Dismiss Notice
Welcome to IDF- Indian Defence Forum , register for free to join this friendly community of defence enthusiastic from around the world. Make your opinion heard and appreciated.

Pakistan Army pushed political role for militant-linked groups

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by Hellfire, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    4,902
    Country Flag:
    India
    SEPTEMBER 16, 2017
    Asif Shahzad

    LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - A new Pakistani political party controlled by an Islamist with a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head is backing a candidate in a by-election on Sunday, in what a former senior army officer says is a key step in a military-proposed plan to mainstream militant groups.

    The Milli Muslim League party loyal to Hafiz Saeed - who the United States and India accuse of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people - has little chance of seeing its favoured candidate win the seat vacated when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was removed from office by the Supreme Court in July.

    But the foray into politics by Saeed’s Islamist charity is following a blueprint that Sharif himself rejected when the military proposed it last year, retired Lieutenant General Amjad Shuaib told Reuters.

    Three close Sharif confidants with knowledge of the discussions confirmed that Sharif had opposed the “mainstreaming” plan, which senior military figures and some analysts see as a way of steering ultra-religious groups away from violent jihad.

    “We have to separate those elements who are peaceful from the elements who are picking up weapons,” Shuaib said.

    Pakistan’s powerful military has long been accused of fostering militant groups as proxy fighters opposing neighbouring arch-enemy India, a charge the army denies.

    PATRIOTIC PEOPLE

    Saeed’s religious charity launched the Milli Muslim League party within two weeks after the court ousted Sharif over corruption allegations.

    Yaqoob Sheikh, the Lahore candidate for Milli Muslim League, is standing as an independent after the Electoral Commission said the party was not yet legally registered.

    But Saeed’s lieutenants, JUD workers and Milli Muslim League officials are running his campaign and portraits of Saeed adorn every poster promoting Sheikh.

    Another Islamist designated a terrorist by the United States, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, has told Reuters he too plans to soon form his own party to advocate strict Islamic law.

    “God willing, we will come into the mainstream - our country right now needs patriotic people,” Khalil said, vowing to turn Pakistan into a state government by strict Islamic law.

    Saeed’s charity and Khalil’s Ansar ul-Umma organisation are both seen by the United States as fronts for militant groups the army has been accused of sponsoring. The military denies any policy of encouraging radical groups.

    Both Islamist groups deny their political ambitions were engineered by the military. The official army spokesman was not available for comment after queries were sent to the press wing.

    Still, hundreds of MML supporters, waving posters of Saeed and demanding his release from house arrest, chanted “Long live Hafiz Saeed! Long live the Pakistan army!” at political rallies during the past week.

    “Anyone who is India’s friend is a traitor, a traitor,” went another campaign slogan, a reference to Sharif’s attempts to improve relations with long-time foe India that was a source of tension with the military.

    ‘DERADICALISATION’ PLAN

    Both Saeed and Khalil are proponents of a strict interpretation of Islam and have a history of supporting violence - each man was reportedly a signatory to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa declaring war on the United States.

    They have since established religious groups that they say are unconnected to violence, though the United States maintains those groups are fronts for funnelling money and fighters to militants targeting India.

    Analyst Khaled Ahmed, who has researched Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity and its connections to the military, says the new political party is clearly an attempt by the generals to pursue an alternative to dismantling its militant proxies.

    “One thing is the army wants these guys to survive,” Ahmed said. “The other thing is that they want to also balance the politicians who are more and more inclined to normalise relations with India.”

    The military’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency first began pushing the political mainstreaming plan in April 2016, according to retired general Shuaib, a former director of the army’s military intelligence wing that is separate from the ISI.

    He said the proposal was shared with him in writing by the then-ISI chief, adding that he himself had spoken with Khalil as well as Saeed in an unofficial capacity about the plan.

    “Fazlur Rehman Khalil was very positive. Hafiz Saeed was very positive,” Shuaib said. “My conversation with them was just to confirm those things which I had been told by the ISI and other people.”

    Saeed has been under house arrest since January at his house in the eastern city of Lahore. The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his conviction over the Mumbai attacks.

    Then-Prime Minister Sharif, however, was strongly against the military’s mainstreaming plan, according to Shuaib and three members of Sharif’s inner circle, including one who was in some of the tense meetings over the issue.

    Sharif wanted to completely dismantle groups like JuD. Disagreement on what to do about anti-India proxy fighters was a major source of rancour with the military, according to one of the close Sharif confidants.

    In recent weeks several senior figures from the ruling PML-N party have publicly implied that elements of the military - which has run Pakistan for almost half its modern history and previously ousted Sharif in a 1999 coup - had a hand in the court ouster of Sharif, a charge both the army and the court reject.

    A representative of the PML-N, which last month replaced him as prime minister with close ally Shahid Khaqi Abbasi, said the party was “not aware” of any mainstreaming plan being brought to the table.

    RELIGION AND POLITICS

    Some analysts worry that mainstreaming such controversial groups would be a risky strategy for Pakistan.

    U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has threatened sanctions against members of Pakistan’s military and even raised the spectre of declaring Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism.

    “It will send a wrong message,” said analyst Zahid Hussain, who nevertheless thought that Saeed’s new party would have a “negligible” effect on Pakistani elections because religious parties have never won more than a few seats in parliament.

    Others are not so sure.

    Sheikh, the MML candidate in Sunday’s by-election who says he was handpicked by Hafiz Saeed, vowed to establish strict Islamic rule and “break” liberalism and secularism.

    Analyst Ahmed warned that few existing religious parties have a charismatic leader like Saeed, and Pakistan may find itself unable to control a rising tide of Islamist sentiment.

    “If Hafiz Saeed comes into the mainstream, it’s not that he is going to be politicised,” he added. “It’s that he is going to make politics more religious.”

    Additional reporting by Mubasher Bukhari in LAHORE, Syed Raza Hassan in KARACHI; Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Alex Richardson


    https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKCN1BR02B
     
  2. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    4,902
    Country Flag:
    India
    The mainstreaming of the militant groups based in Pakistan is a very sly move by the Pakistani Army. This enables them to continue to harbour their 'proxy' arm, reduces the attention in garb of political outfits operating under the freedom of expression and true to the democratic values (US will be hard pressed to say otherwise) and also will enable Pakistan Army to send a message across to both the world and it's citizens.

    The message, of course, being the fact that the political class is unable to act responsibly (expecting the militant groups to be responsible is wishful thinking in best case scenario and sheer lunacy as a norm) and it is only the Pakistan Army which looks after the nation's interest (for the world - the equations may change in time, but the place is firmly in PA's hands) while at the same time, scuttling the attempts, howsoever meagre they maybe, of the civil leadership in Pakistan to reach some kind of peace with India.
     
  3. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,388
    Likes Received:
    4,777
    Country Flag:
    India
    There will be no peace between India & Pakistan as long as there is Pakistan Army at the helm of state affairs. Pakistan is on the path to become next ISIS state and ground for testing different weapons for NATO nations.

    But in all this it is HUMANITY which will suffer......... A very SAD state though........

    This happens when an ARMY is having a country instead of a country having a country.........

    Earlier it was 3 As, Army, Allah & America now it is AAM, Army, Allah & Mullahs...........
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  4. Blackjay

    Blackjay Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2016
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    853
    Country Flag:
    India
    The damage these political groups will do to Pakistan is something I am really looking forward to. One fanatic named Zia made sure that Pakistan will never catch up to India in any field.They are still trying to deal with after effects of his term.That's just what every extremist government does to their country.Islamisation will begin with banning of entertainment and other industries that are considered unislamic and then will spread to whole economy.


    Best thing India could hope for is this party coming in power.
    Once they have established the strict Islamic/sharia law they are promising.Pakistan will be reduced to the same state Afghanistan is in right now,hopefully worse.Even if they can't form a government such mainstreaming will allow them to propogate their religion more effectively.After all whether a government ban cinema halls or an organisation(with enough political muscle) kill cinema owners both produces the same result.



    The problems for India with a suicidal/irrational neighbour is going to be significant too.Much more than it is now.But if we could handle the nuclear aspect(with US help) then the benefits are great too.Imagine difference between India and Pakistan to become as big as the current difference between South Korea and North Korea.Those minnows can threaten all they want but whose citizens are better off cannot be denied.
     
  5. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    4,902
    Country Flag:
    India

    AAM!!!
     
    GSLV Mk III and lca-fan like this.
  6. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    4,902
    Country Flag:
    India
    Upasana debnath likes this.
  7. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Messages:
    11,206
    Likes Received:
    6,307
    Don't you think the possibility of war between the 2 countries will only keep increasing if such things happen?
     
    Hellfire likes this.
  8. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    4,902
    Country Flag:
    India
    War - no. But also peace - no.

    Until and unless a fundamental transformation on our way of dealing with national security imperatives is brought about, we are going to continue to face challenges. We do not have conventional challenges anymore, we have asymmetric and unconventional threats on our horizons.

    There is no strategy which can be quantified or elucidated to beat ideology which is pervasive and destructive. Only the will to last has to be strong. Unfortunately, by shying away from facts we do tend to ignore these fundamentals of any counter-fundamentalist strategy. While we may champion ourselves as secular, we have to accept that increasingly we face challenges both at home and at our periphery, which need us to acknowledge them as they stand and not try to push a secular posture without addressing what ails the posture.

    What I mean to say is that one may be politically incorrect and under fire to use the term Islamic terror. But at the same time, we do have to accept that even secularism does not mean any religion needs special protection or treatment. In fact, the word means not connected with any religious or spiritual matter. If that is the case, the logic remains to push the religion off the agenda of national discourse. That is to be achieved by removing any and all references to religion as a policy or administrative issue/decision or as a law/rule or legislation.

    Then, one has to understand what is Islamic Terror. It is not Islam as terror, but recognising that Terror is being pushed in the garb of Islam. The fundamentals are different in addressing this kind of threat. The need is to identify the threat as being primarily justifying terror for Islam. That needs a separate strategy to be countered effectively. What we are facing is, an abject failure on all essential fundamentals.

    So, we are likely to face greater challenges with advent of these mainstream political parties in our neighbourhood. Bangladesh in East and Pakistan on West is a very bad idea.
     
    GSLV Mk III, Blackjay and randomradio like this.
  9. Upasana debnath

    Upasana debnath IDF NewBie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    14
    Country Flag:
    India
    Pakistan is already a very unbalanced state. Including radicals into their politics is only turning it into another ISIS organisation.
    But what problems will that cause our country is more worrying as the hatred of these radicals for India is very evident and clear.
    But somewhere I feel sorry for the Pakistani civilians, who are going to be severely affected by all these drastic changes in their political scenario.
     
    randomradio, Blackjay and Hellfire like this.
  10. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    2,085
    Likes Received:
    4,902
    Country Flag:
    India

    Didn't get the bold part. How so? The ISIS ideology is different from Pakistan's aims and objectives in promoting proxies? Can you clarify?
     
    Upasana debnath likes this.
  11. Anish

    Anish BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,959
    Likes Received:
    1,793
    Country Flag:
    India
    It was the people of Pakistan who created Pakistan and started military hostilities.

    Pakistan army did not start the fight

    Our fight is with ongoing for more than 1100 years.

    The enemy is not the military of Pakistan. It never has been.
     
  12. Upasana debnath

    Upasana debnath IDF NewBie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    14
    Country Flag:
    India
    Won't including the likes of Hafiz
    Won't including the likes of Hafiz saeed who have a very relegious sentiment mould their politics towards a similar style of politics such as the ISIS? After all these kind of people are known to spread terror in the name of relegion?
     
  13. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Messages:
    11,206
    Likes Received:
    6,307
    Interesting. What aspects can be changed to achieve this?
     
    Upasana debnath likes this.
  14. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Messages:
    11,206
    Likes Received:
    6,307
    I think there is a disconnect between the ideologies of the ISIS and South Asian terror groups.

    Pakistan and Pakistani proxies are fighting ISIS in Afghanistan.
     
    Upasana debnath likes this.
  15. Upasana debnath

    Upasana debnath IDF NewBie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    14
    Country Flag:
    India
    What about them safeguarding terrorists and providing radicals such as hafiz saeed a safe place to reside in their soil? They might be fighting isis but if they try to include relegion in their politics, fighting isis would be in vain.
     

Share This Page