Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed has virtually launched a war against India. In the last few years, JeM has targeted multiple army posts and strategic locations including an attack on airbase in Pathankot, Punjab. Masood Azhar-run JeM carried out two audacious attacks in 2016— first, it targeted airbase in Pathankot in which seven people lost their lives and the second attack was in Uri where 20 army jawans were martyred.
Now comes, the dastardly attack on security forces in Pulwama, Kashmir. Jaish-e-Mohammed has taken responsibility for the attack in which over 40 CRPF personnel have lost their lives. India had avenged Uri attack by carrying out a surgical strike but it failed to completely deter the terror organisations from hitting India inside its territory. Jaish-e-Mohammed, which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by many countries, has not given up on Kashmir. These are forces which are covertly or overtly supporting Masood Azhar’s continuous attack on India:
No Action By Pakistan
Despite ample evidence against Masood Azhar, Pakistan has never acted tough against Jaish-e-Mohammed thinking it would help Islamabad continue to put pressure on New Delhi over Kashmir. Pakistan army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have been using Masood Azhar to carry out their proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir region of India. After the Pathankot attack, Pakistan had taken Masood Azhar and some of his associates into protective custody but released them later.
Jaish-e-Mohammed chief has been walking freely and holding rallies in Pakistan. JeM, which was created by ISI as Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in the late 1990s, has been officially banned in Pakistan but it still runs its operations from Islamabad with backing from the military and ISI — authorities that wield real power and decide the foreign policy of Islamabad unlike any other country where elected civilian governments are in control of their external policies.
China Backs Pakistan on Masood Azhar in UN
Jaish-e-Mohammed has been designated as a terrorist organisation by Russia, Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and the United Nations. India has been demanding the member countries to support the proposal to list JeM Chief Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council and to ban terrorist organisations operating from territories controlled by Pakistan. However, China has blocked New Delhi’s attempt to get JeM Chief Masood Azhar listed as a designated global terrorist by the United Nations.
China has a huge economic interest in Pakistan — Beijing’s ambitious CPEC passes through its territories including Pakistan-occupied Gilgit and Baltistan — with an investment of over USD 66 billion. Major General (Retd) Shashi Asthana says: “Chinese won’t mind buying any terrorist group whom they feel can disturb its economic interest.” He further says that the Chinese won’t do anything because it suits them. “Because if the militancy goes up in Jammu and Kashmir, a bulk of the Indian army will be stuck in that region, it will suit China strategically,” Asthana said. Considering this, China doesn’t want to hurt its economic and geopolitical interest by altering its relationship with the establishment of Pakistan.
India’s Flip-Flop in Taking on Separatists
India has failed in handling separatists in Jammu and Kashmir. Shashi Asthana believes that “the government should take action against separatists because they are the conduits to terror finance institutions”.
“The entire thing is the terror industry. Separatists still enjoy perks and privileges and all kind of protection from the government. We have not targeted the money trails which is quite lucrative. The second thing that is at the heart of this problem is narcotics business that funds these terrorists and attracts young populations. A person who commits a suicide attack is firstly brainwashed and then made a drug addict. Now all this happen via separatists and we have been soft on them,” Asthana said.
He further says that India should choke their funding and withdraw all state protection provided to them. “The NIA had carried out some raids on the separatists. But has any bug big fist convicted? Unless conviction takes place, these people will get young guys and will attract them with money,” he said. The (retd) major general further said that Pakistan may be broken but the terror funding is still on through narcotics trade.
JeM fishing in troubled water — J&K
After finding it tough to infiltrate in India, Pakistan-based terror outfits have gone offensive on indoctrination of local Kashmiri youths. In Pulwama too, Jaish-e-Mohammed used Kashmir-based Adil Ahmad Dar to carry out the worst ever attack after Uri. This has happened because a section of people in India has extended their support to Kashmiri militants in the name of human rights, completely discounting the role of Pakistan that has left no stone unturned in keeping Kashmir on the boil. Asthana says India should go hard on separatists to tackle rising indoctrination in the state. He further adds that Masood Azhar has gone wilder in the region after losing his two nephews in the recent past. “India would not have seen this trouble if it had not released Masood Azhar in exchange of the passengers of IC814 (known as Kandahar hijack case) in 1999,” Asthana said.