Days after the reports of rift between the military and the civilian government over the military’s covert support to militant groups, Jaish-e-Muhammad Chief Masood Azhar has reportedly called for jihadist groups to escalate their operations against India.
He argued in Jaish weekly magazine al-Qalam that “a lack of decisive decision making” could rob Pakistan of a “historic opportunity” to seize Kashmir, The Indian Express reported. He writes, “If the government of Pakistan shows a little courage the problem of Kashmir, as well as the dispute over water, can be resolved once and for all right now. If nothing else, the government simply has to open the path for the mujahideen. Then, god willing, all the bitter memories of 1971 will be dissolved into the triumphant emotions of 2016.”
Bitter memories of 1971 being referred are of the Bangladesh Liberation war. In the war, Indian armed forces and the Bangladeshi Mukti Bahini gifted a decisive defeat to then East Pakistan, a historical event which still feeds into the bellicose narrative of those like Azhar and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed.
Azhar argues that the jihadist policies backed by Pakistan in 1990s had brought strategic benefits to the country. He adds that in the course of building Akhand Bharat, India lost its hopes as Jihad left ‘every one of its limbs badly injured.’ “What remains of its military prowess was exposed in Pathankot and Uri,” he added.
Further, the express report quotes Azhar saying that instead of India putting pressure of Pakistan, the current situation in Kashmir demanded that Pakistan should be the one applying pressure. Azhar also added that since Kashmir is its ” jugular vein”, Pakistan should have itself cancelled the SAARC summit.
After the Uri terror attack, India had used its influence to isolate Pakistan when it announced that it would not attend the regional group’s 19th summit, scheduled in Islamabad for November 15 and 16. He added, “we should have cancelled the SAARC conference ourselves, and cancelled the ceasefire on the Line of Control. In the last ninety days, how many Muslims have been martyred, and how many more injured?”
After the attack on airbase in Pathankot, Pakistan’s government had acknowledged the responsibility for the attacks lay with the Jaish-e-Muhammad, and promised action against the perpetrators. However, investigation agency hasn’t filed any updates even after getting access to witnesses from India. It has been reported that key suspects remain evaded, while Azhar moves free.
In his article, Azhar argues that Jihadist operations have significantly eroded India’s military capacities. He claims, he has witnessed “India reduced from a serpent to an earthworm.”
In a boast of its growth, Azhar has reportedly written that wheels of history are moving its way. “We have watched as the jihad we befriended grew from a glowing ember into the sun; from a small spring into a river, and now, as it is about to become a great ocean,” he writes.