Pakistan Kashmir and The Trans- Asian Axis. by Yossef Bodansky, Research Director, International Strategic Studies Association, USA
Kashmir is unique among all the crisis points along the Indo-Pakistani border in that a marked escalation of the fighting -- both insurgency and regular -- is virtually inevitable before any effort for a peaceful solution can succeed. The primary reasons is the extent of the ideological commitment and self-interests of several of the key players involved.
The ISI has a major interest to continue the crisls. Back in the 1970s,
During the 1980s, the ISI completed a vast training and support infrastructure for the Afghan resistance that was also used for the training and support of other regional groups. There was a corresponding ideological development in Indian Kashmir. Since 1984, virtually suddenly, the prevailing popular sentiments in Indian Kashmir was that "Islam is in Danger," and that sentiment, rather that nationalism, began mobilizing the youth.
The timing of the change was not spontaneous. Hashim Qureshi, the founder of the nationalist JKLF [Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front] recently recalled how in 1984 ISI Generals and Brigadiers approached me with the offer: 'get us young people for training from the Valley so that they could fight
Meanwhile, by the late-1980s, with the war in Afghanistan slowing down, the vast network of training camps for Afghan Mujahideen was transformed by the ISI into a center of Islamist terrorism throughout south Asia, as well as the melting pot of the world wide Islamist Jihad. This transformation concurred with an active ISI program "to initiate full- fledged subversion in
Similarly, the Armed Islamic Movement, as well as several Saudis, Gulf Arabs, and other supporters of Islamist causes, put
Presently, Pakistani officials repeatedly vow to "liberate"
In early 1992, with world attention paid to their presence in
In early 1995, the Harakat ul-Ansar was maintaining offices in most Pakistani cities, as well as training facilities in
Meanwhile, the ISI continues to provide the terrorists with new weapons. In the summer of 1993, the Kashmiri Mujahideen were provided with long range and powerful missiles -- Sarq missiles of Afghan War vintage. At that time, the Kashmiri and ISI crews were being trained in the use of these missiles in Pakistani Kashmir.
As of the fall of 1993, the Kashmiri terrorists also began using sophisticated communication systems including small radios (including systems with frecuency hopping, selective broadcast, digital burst communications, etc.) and collapsible solar-panels for reload systems, as well as frequency scanning devise for detecting and homing on military- type broadcasting. All the communication systems are of NATO/US origin, with some components made in
The summer of 1994 was a fundamental turning point in the conduct of the Pakistan-sponsored Jihad in
In early June 1994, Commander Manzur Shah declared that the sole objective of the escalating Jihad in
Meanwhile, a campaign of assassinations was launched in order to eliminate the Kashmiri civic leadership that opposed the escalation of the Jihad. On
This marked escalation in the ISl's support for the Islamist insurgency and terrorism in
What is most significant in both the spokesman's statement and the subsequent clarifications is their context. The strategic logic of using the nuclear factor to offset any deficiencies in conventional military power has been the cornerstone of