By Aijaz Ilmi
22 Feb, 2010, Current News
Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear,” is Albert Camus’s favourite quote which should be India’s response to Hafiz Mohammed Saeed’s bluster on Kashmir. His statement regarding resolution of Indo-Pak troubles based on the “liberation of J&K”, failing which radical groups would resort to jihad should be seen as the frustrated fulminations of a deviant and desperate mind. The sheer veneer of charity that the Jammat ud Dawa chief uses to block action against his band of terrorists is clearly giving way to his earlier avatar as the head of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Since the gloves are off and the relative calm of the Kashmir valley is at stake, the timing of Hafiz Saeed’s statement needs careful analysis.
The coalescing of terrorist forces inimical to India’s national interest like the LeT, Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin and ISI sponsored rogue groups are aimed at unleashing a psychological propaganda offensive against us at the crucial juncture when the US-UK led offensive against the Taliban is tottering. The lack of will to tame the Taliban in Afghanistan as evident from last week’s London conference is probably re-energizing Hafiz Saeed’s agenda to come out of hiding and resume his cowardly strikes against India like the Mumbai carnage of 26/11. As the old adage goes ‘a cowardly cur barks more fiercely than it bites’ should strengthen our resolve to relentlessly pursue the perpetrators of 26/11.
With the American’s playing their old familiar game of dividing real and perceived enemies into political planks like the good and the bad Taliban, the Shia- Sunni divide etc, the time has come to stop seeking US certificates and concurrence against our enemies who have repeatedly wreaked havoc by striking at numerous Indian states including J&K. The recent changes and alacrity towards our internal security as envisaged by Home Minister P Chidambaram should “
Include zero tolerance towards any and all subversive activities especially in J&K which is inalienable from the idea of India. Threatening jihad and claiming divine interpretation from the holy book, Hafiz Saeed like the al Qaida is in reality the heinous wilful political misrepresentation aimed at usurping power and starting a new religion which can never be the Islam as preached 1400 years ago. Islam says: “The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr” but the ignoramus revel and excel in bombing out schools and closing down centres of knowledge. The Prophet beseeched the community to embrace and seek knowledge but these people live in and seek darkness for the believers. Various verses in the Quran point towards pluralism but Hafiz and company are still delusional about the glory of the ancient Caliphate. If Iran and Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia can continue to remain at loggerheads for decades the concept of a pan Islamic ideology is inherently faulty to begin with.
Please spare us this devilish demagoguery since it insults our basic intelligence.
We live in the 21st century and our democratic structure is our way of life. The Indian Muslims have suffered twice over, first from the terror strikes aimed randomly at all citizens and then from the accusations afterwards. The opinion makers and the religious clergy should declare Hafiz and company as enemies of the nation and deviant heretics. These ideological recruiters and handlers should be dealt severely and that can only happen by working with marginalized sections of society. The potential and hope for a better life is the first line of defence in our war against terror. Putting Kashmir on the fast track of development will blunt this divisive agenda and we must not shy away from signalling our displeasure at attempts to needle and enlarge the dialogue with non state actor’s .The dialogue should remain bilateral since war between two nuclear states is not an option either.
The David Headley episode has clearly signalled that intelligence sharing amongst nations instead of being complete and comprehensive have acquired a selective bandwidth with various pieces of the terror jigsaw puzzle missing or held back purposely. With Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq occupying global attention we will have to learn to defend our people with our own resources and forces.
The US has its own compulsion and cannot resolve our issues with Pakistan.
While we keep talking to Pakistan about conflict resolution, we cannot afford to quibble over our internal security. Acts of terror will never distinguish its targets, so every citizen including Indian Muslims has an equal stake in telling Hafiz Saeed that his threat of misplaced jihad will be rebuffed with the combined force of over a billion Indians.