Originally Published 2013-09-17 04:13:23 Published on Sep 17, 2013
India has to deal with Pakistani jihadis as it would deal with any other terrorists and send them to the court of law to whatever dispensation the court might decide. The lesson for India is that it has to live with troubles from Pakistan and deal with them as the situation arises.
India should patiently deal with Pakistan
"Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, who was a native of Beed district in Maharashtra, was one of the high-profile jihadis deported from Saudi Arabia on June 25, 2012 ,and was arrested at the International Airport, New Delhi, and later taken in remand for interrogation. Ansari held a Pakistani passport and two Pakistani identity cards, which clearly pointed to Pakistan’s involvement. During interrogation it was established that Jundal went to Pakistan around 2005 where he was given terror training and attached to Lashker-e-Taiba headed by Hafiz Saeed. Jundal later moved to Saudi Arabia, apparently at the instance of Lashker-e-Taiba and Pakistan’s ISI. While in Saudi Arabia, he was on the lookout for Indians domiciled there and got the willing victims indoctrinated in jihadi affairs. The Saudi Arabian authorities, who were watching the activities of Jundal, decided to deport him to India, even though Pakistani’s ISI exerted considerable pressure to prevent Jundal being handed over to India.

During interrogation by security agencies, it was revealed that Jundal was very active on the internet. He admitted to have recruited several cadres from India. He used several chat forums like Islamic chat. He was also on Facebook looking for recruits. Jundal was also familiar with the Karachi project, headed by Major Zakir-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, under which jihadi attacks in India were planned. The most important revelation of Jundal is that the Karachi project jihadis like Lakhvi were planning more attacks on the lines of the Mumbai attacks at some other places in India.

Syed Abdul Karim Tunda, who was from a village in Pilkhwa district in Uttar Pradesh, was a carpenter by profession. He later went to Pakistan and promptly got recruited by the ISI, which put him in touch with a bomb-maker. He was trained on the fabrication of explosives, particularly IEDs. He was also attached to Hafiz Saeed of LeT. Tunda was sent to India to carry out bomb blasts during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, but the plan did not work out. However, Tunda was instrumental in masterminding bomb blasts in Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Hyderabad and Surat.

Tunda was arrested from the Nepal border on an FBI tip-off on August 16, 2013. Tunda was having a Pakistani passport issued on January 23, 2013. Tunda confirmed Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in Karachi and that he was being protected by ISI guards. Tunda also met Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Lakhvi. He also disclosed that the ISI attached him to Hamid Gul, a former ISI chief. Tunda was suspected in the Chhattisgarh Express bomb blast near Ghaziabad railway station in 1994. Tunda was among the prominent activists who extended the LeT network in Jammu and Kashmir.

The latest jihadi terrorist arrested by Indian intelligence agencies is Yasin Bhatkal along with Asadullah Akhtar. Yasin Bhatkal was born Ahmed Siddihapa in the coastal town of Bhatkal on the south-western sea coast of Karnataka. Bhatkal is the ancient home of some famous archeological marvels. Yasin Bhatkal joined Indian Mujahideen reportedly after he heard the news of the alleged killing of a large number of Muslims in Ahmedabad in 2002. He emerged as an active terrorist with specialisation in making bombs.

In September, 2008, he was instrumental in several bomb blasts in Delhi, where 30 people were killed and over 100 injured. In the same year, he carried out nine blasts in Jaipur, causing the death of about 90 people. He was also instrumental in at least 20 blasts in Ahmedabad which killed 26 people. Later in July 2011, Bhatkal was instrumental in the blasts which rocked Zaveri Bazar and Opera House in Mumbai in which 27 people were killed and 130 were injured. Bhatkal was also responsible for planting a bomb in German Bakery in Pune in February 2010 in which 17 people were killed. In February 2013, Bhatkal carried out two blasts in a crowded market area of Hyderabad city in which 60 people were killed and about 80 injured. In the Mumbai and Hyderabad blasts the CCTV footage clearly showed Bhatkal planting the bombs and slipping away.

A former DGP of Maharashtra, D Sivanandan, has narrated how Yasin Bhatkal was indoctrinated by the ISI and later attached to Masood Azhar, a jihadi who was released and handed over to Pakistanis at Kandahar after the hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight by the ISI men in Kathmandu. Sivanandan has described Yasin Bhatkal as a cool-headed, multi-tasking terrorist, who acted as a motivator, fund-raiser, trainer, bomb assembler and planter. Yasin Bhatkal is probably the most wanted jihadi terrorist who was arrested in recent months.

Yasin Bhatkal, who was hiding in Nepal proceeded to Raxaul on the Nepal-Bihar border to meet his friend, Asadullah Akhtar. It turned out Asadullah Akhtar was also a jihadi terrorist. Both of them had earlier met in Dubai at the instance of the ISI. Asadullah Akhtar, alias Haddi, turned out to be an active operative and a member of the Indian Mujahideen. He is a native of Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh which is known to be home to many other jihadi and militant activists.

Stephen P Cohen, who is a great student of the subcontinent affairs, was in Delhi recently. During a discussion on the subcontinent, Stephen Cohen spoke about the state of affairs in Pakistan. He referred to Hafiz Saeed and said it was outrageous of him to parade himself there. Left to him, Cohen said, he would like to send a missile against Hafiz Saeed. He went on to say that the danger was that Pakistan was perhaps too weak to do anything. Pakistan was now struggling with the problem of Afghanistan. Cohen added that the two countries were so different, and clubbed together, they would not succeed in the next two hundred years.

The problem is, Cohen added, Pakistan is a nuclear power and perhaps has more nukes than India. Many people feel that Pakistan is a failed state. And if Pakistan broke apart, millions of Pakistanis would like to go back to their ancestral home in India which would create a huge problem for India. Cohen’s suggestion was that India should patiently deal with Pakistan. India has to deal with Pakistani jihadis as it would deal with any other terrorists and send them to the court of law to whatever dispensation the court might decide. The lesson for India is that it has to live with troubles from Pakistan and deal with them as the situation arises.

(The writer is a former Governor and presently an Advisor to Observer Research Foundation, Delhi)

Courtesy : The Tribune

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