Pakistan’s Kashmir Strategy, by Yossef Bodansky - Research Director, International Strategic Studies Association,
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 crisis. 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 than 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
All of these states and organizations have large, highly trained and well equipped forces. Virtually all of these forces have not yet been committed to the Kashmiri Jihad. The sole attempt for mass mobilization, in 1992, was stopped by the Pakistani authorities for fear of Indian retaliation. However,
Presently, Pakistani officials repeatedly vow to "liberate"
In order to escalate their Islamist Jihad, the ISI established in the early 1990s the Markaz-Dawar, a center for world wide Islamist activities. Mulavi Zaki, the center's spiritual leader, told the trainees that their destiny was to fight and liberate "the
In early 1992, with world attention paid to their presence in
Since mid 1993, despite
In the summer of 1993, the ISI had in the Markaz-Dawar another force of some 200 Afghans -mainly Jallalluddin Haqqani's people from the Khowst area -- that operated under direct ISI command and were earmarked for special operations in
Ultimately, many Arab volunteers continue to arrive in
Meanwhile, the Government of Afghanistan also increased its support for terrorist training and preparations. This growing direct involvement is important because the main operating bases for the ISI's operations in
In early December 1993, during a state visit to
He acknowledged that
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 ~U air 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.
Subsequently, there has been a marked expansion of smuggling of quality weapons from
As of the fall of 1993, the Kashmiri terrorists also began using sophisticated communication systems including small radios (including systems with frequency 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
All of these systems had been used by the Mujahideen in
The ISI 'Afghan' and Kashmiri forces also assist the flow of weapons and expertise to the Sikhs in the
In early 1994, the ISI already had a force of 2,000-2,500 highly trained mujahideen assigned for
In April-May alone, some 400 of these 'Afghans' were infiltrated into
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
Thus, by the fall of 1994, the ISI was already successful in consolidating control over the Islamist armed struggle in
This marked escalation in the ISI'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
As the spring of 1995 draws near and the weather improves, the ISI is about to unleash a new cycle of terrorism and subversion. Considering the extent of the training, preparations, and organizational effort invested in the Kashmiri Islamist insurgency during the last few years, it is safe to assume that the fighting in the
Dr. Yossef Bodansky
Yossef Bodansky is the Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare at the US House of Representatives, as well as the World Terrorism Analyst with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies (Houston TX). He is also the Director of Research at the International Strategic Studies Association, as well as a Senior Editor for the Defense & Foreign Affairs group of publications.
Bodansky is the author of nine books (Target America, Terror, Crisis in Korea, Offensive in the Balkans, Some Call It Peace, Arafat's "Peace Process", Islamic Anti-Semitism as a Political Instrument, Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America and The High Cost of Peace), as well as several book chapters, entries for the International Military and Defense Encyclopedia, and numerous articles in several periodicals, including Global Affairs, Jane's Defence Weekly, Defense & Foreign Affairs: Strategic Policy, and Business Week.
In the 1980s, he acted as a senior consultant for the US Department of Defense and the US Department of State. He was also a visiting scholar in the
Kashmir Information Network is grateful to Freeman Center for Strategic Studiesfor allowing us to put Mr. Bodansky's articles on