Uncovering the Ghost Terror Masterminds of ISI and their Future Proxy War Strategy in Kashmir
In this article, the focus is on those findings, ISI’s terror masterminds and trends which are not available in the open domain.
By Masroor Khan
As Zarar Khuhro rightly wrote,
“Whether Imran Khan wins or the establishment triumphs, Pakistan, like a snake swallowing its tail, is consuming Itself”.
Pakistan's political and economic crisis have always generated a keen interest among the Indian policymakers because of its impact on India's national security. The two countries have a history of conflict, and tensions have escalated in recent years, particularly in the Indian region of Kashmir, after the abrogation of article 370. From 1947 Pakistan used non-state actors as proxies in Indian Kashmir to carry out terrorist attacks. In the 1960’s Pakistan used Al-Fateh Force and in the 1980’s JKLF and other groups, which were later hijacked by the Jamaat-e-Islami of Kashmir and Pakistan by using religion. A lot has been written on Pakistan-sponsored terrorist groups like Jaish, LeT and post-370 groups like The Resistance Force, People’s Anti-Fascist Force etc. so I will not discuss the details of the new terror tactics and strategy followed by Pakistan after the abrogation of article 370. In this article, my focus is on those findings, ISI’s terror masterminds and trends which are not available in the open domain. I have knowledge of such facts because of my previous background in militancy. During my days as a militant, I got the opportunity to understand the workings of the Pakistani intelligence minds and the terrorist groups.
Instability in Pakistan can lead to an increase in cross-border terrorism. Terrorist groups are exploiting the situation and using Pakistan as a haven to launch attacks on Indian soil. The Kashmir conflict in Pakistan is as usual a business venture for military officials of Pakistan they are using LeT, and JeM, and their offshoots like TRF (The Resistance Force), PAFF (People’s Anti-Fascist Force), Kashmir Tigers so on and so forth, to sustain the conflict and the imagines spectre of India, and appropriate a large chunk of the state budget. After Jamaat-e-Islami was banned in Kashmir the local Terror organization Hizbul Mujahiddin is struggling very hard and the ISI is not supporting them as were supported earlier. Brigadier Hussain Ali who was the main handler Kashmir desk in Islamabad is of the opinion supporting local Kashmiri boys is not in the interest of Pakistan because the Kashmiri boys are more inclined towards international terrorism. He put forward the example of Zakir Musa an engineering graduate turned AQ terrorist in Kashmir. Presently the ISI is desperate to carry out strikes in Jammu and Kashmir because of the following reasons:-
- The instability in Pakistan is providing a good field of recruitment for Pakistani-based terror outfits mainly LeT and JeM. Since they are currently involved in social work providing basic necessities of livelihood to the rural people of Punjab, these terror outfits have huge amounts of money collected in the name of Kashmir Jihad and through drug dealings.
- Due to the instability in Pakistan, radicalization increases day by day, and ISI, mainly Brigadier Iqbal (served in Pakistan HC Delhi in 2017-20) and Colonal Hasan Ali are of the opinion that this radicalized youth needs vent and Afghanistan chapter is closed now so it is important to use them in Kashmir otherwise they will turn against us.
- The recent attacks on Pakistan’s senior military officials by the protestors are also a hot debate in ISI circles and they are likely to increase their terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir to divert attention from the domestic fault-lines.
The dangerous trend which has been started by the ISI in Kashmir terrorism is providing logistics support to a few individuals who have a very low profile and are less known to counter terrorist experts in India, for example, like Dr. Osama, a Pok-based man originally from downtown Srinagar who runs Kashmir Liberation Worriers (KLW), Hussain of Muslim Janbaz Force and Ahsan Dar of Al-Jihad. They are all directly controlled by ISI mastermind, Col. Abdullah. It is important to mention that the recent attacks on the security forces in Poonch Area were carried out by PAFF. PAFF is the offshoot of LeT headed by Muzamil Shah@ Ahmad Bhai and handled by Sajid Jatt@ sajid Nouman, and Murtaza Aqib@Zaid. Both are experts in the Pir Panchal area and Zaid was jailed in Kashmir for at least 16 years along with JeM present Handler Waseem Noor. Waseem Noor initially supported the Zaid; however, not at an organizational level; but as a friend, so, some of the counter-terrorist experts framed PAFF as JeM. All these attacks in this area are directly handled by Muzamil Yousuf who recently visited the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) after a long gap and is the main terrorist who carried out the Chattisingpora massacre in Kashmir in 2001. ISI Brigadier Iqbal is in close contact with Muzamil and the recent spree of attacks in Poonch-Rajauri region is a strategic move, based on research and a long-term vision. They all are of the opinion that if they carry out big strikes in Valley the government of India will further persecute the Muslims of Valley so it is easy to target in Jammu and persecution will be negligible. Other outfits like TRF are struggling very hard in both countries. Initially, TRF chief, Sajad Gull was supported by LeT and ISI. However, later, he was abandoned by LeT and ISI both. But ISI is still using him at crucial times for killing minorities and other high-valued civil targets. Sajad is a cause of concern because he is extraordinarily intelligent and basically an AQ mentality person who will use ISI as well LeT for TRF’s organizational motives. Pakistan's political instability and military control over civilian institutions have raised concerns about the country's nuclear program. There are fears that extremist elements within the military could gain access to nuclear weapons, leading to a nuclear crisis.
The conflict has had a severe impact on the region, with both countries spending significant resources on their militaries and border security. The people living in the border areas have also been affected, with frequent ceasefire violations and cross-border shelling leading to loss of life and displacement.
In conclusion, it can be stated that Pakistan's political and economic crisis is likely to have a significant impact on India's national security. The country's political instability and military control over civilian institutions raise concerns about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. Pakistan's economic struggles have also led to an increase in terrorist activities in the region, which could escalate tensions between the two countries. India needs to remain vigilant and take steps to protect its borders and citizens from any potential threats. It is also essential for India to work with other countries in the region to maintain stability and prevent any escalation of conflicts. Pakistan capitalized on Kashmir by making it an integral part of its foreign policy. It capitalized on the emotional attachment of Kashmiris towards Pakistan by apparently supporting terrorism in Kashmir in different ways while, behind the curtain, furthering its political and economic gains against those of India. In the guise of its support to Kashmiris, it served the cause of different economic enterprises, especially the arms manufacturers.
The time is ripe for attacking the Neelam Valley, so, that terrorism can be eliminated from the land of Kashmir.
Disclaimer: This paper is the author's individual scholastic contribution and does not necessarily reflect the organization's viewpoint.
Masroor Khan ( Name changed) is a Former Religious Radicalist, Cadre of Terrorist organization LeT. Now a research scholar of a Reputed university. His area of interests are Religious Terrorism in South Asia, Geopolitics and strategic studies, Religious studies mainly modern trends and challenges in Islamic studies.