Susmit Kumar, Ph.D.
Russia, US and other Western countries have been bombing to destroy ISIS. They need to realize that Pakistan’s army and its ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s equivalent of the CIA) are bigger threats, to the world, than ISIS, as they have been sponsoring terrorism globally. In majority of attacks world-wide, terrorists are linked with Pakistan; some of the examples are - Spain (2004 Madrid train bombing), Denmark (2007 and 2010 Copenhagen terror plot), UK (2004 London Fertilizer bomb plot, 2005 London train bombings), US (9/11 attacks in 2001, 2001 Shoe bomber, 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation shooting, 2015 San Bernardino attack, 2016 New York Bombing), France (2012 Toulouse and Montauban shootings), Indonesia (2002 Bali bombings, 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing), China (several 2011 Xinjiang attacks), Saudi Arabia (2016 Madina, Jeddah and Qatif bombings), and also all the terrorist attacks in India and Afghanistan. Top al Qaeda leaders, like Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Abu Zubaydah, Abu Laith al Libi and Sheikh Said Masri were either killed or captured in Pakistan.
Several groups within Pakistan’s army and its ISI are supporting anti-Pakistan terrorist groups in the name of making Pakistan an Islamic country based on ultra-conservative form of Islam, Wahhabism. Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has admitted that Pakistan supported and trained terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in 1990s to carry out militancy in Kashmir. From 1979 Pakistan was in favor of religious militancy. “The Kashmiri freedom fighters including Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi were our heroes at that time. We trained Taliban and sent them to fight against Russia. Taliban, Haqqani, Osama Bin Laden and Zawahiri were our heroes then. Later they became villains" says Pervez Musharraf. By training terrorists and infiltrating them inside India, Pakistan’s army wants to keep Kashmir issue alive otherwise they would become redundant in Pakistan.
Legally POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) belongs to India which was confirmed by the UN in 1948. On February 4, 1948, the U.S. representative, Warren Austin clearly said in the Security Council, “With the accession of J&K [after Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of J&K, signed the Instrument of Accession] this foreign sovereignty (of J&K) went over to India.” In addition, Justice Owen Dixon of Australia, stated in his September 15, 1950, report to the Security Council that Pakistan had violated international law by crossing into J&K territory. On August 13, 1948, the UNCIP (U.N. Commission in India and Pakistan) passed a resolution asking Pakistan to withdraw its troops and tribesmen from J&K. As per its resolution - “Once Pakistan withdraws them, the administration by the local authorities needs to be restored, India will reduce its troops to the barest minimum and then a plebiscite will be held to ascertain the wishes of the people of the state.” The chairman of the UNCIP was Dr. Josef Korbel, father of former U.S. secretary of state Madeline Albright. Although India has preserved the demography of J&K since 1948 as Indians from non-J&K states cannot buy real estate in J&K, POK demography is completely changed because non-Kashmiris are in majority in POK. It was completely wrong on the part of Nehru to agree to a plebiscite in a territory that was a legal part of India. Nevertheless, the plebiscite was conditional upon Pakistan withdrawing its troops and tribesmen from the state and restoration of the administration to the local authorities. In last 70 years, Pakistan has not fulfilled the first two conditions and is hence responsible for the stalemate.
There are several terrorist attacks by anti-establishment terrorist groups inside Pakistan. Just in 2016, terrorists have killed and wounded thousands in Pakistan; some of them were: Quetta suicide bombing (killing at least 15 people, including 13 policemen and one soldier killed and wounding another 25, including 18 policemen, two soldiers and six civilians), Bacha Khan University attack (22 killed and 20 wounded), Peshawar bus bombing (15 killed, 25 wounded), Lahore suicide bombing (75 killed, 340 wounded), Quetta attacks (70 killed, 130 wounded). Terrorists have attacked high value military targets also, like 2009 Pakistan Army General Headquarters attack (9 soldiers, 9 militants and two civilians killed), 2011 attack in PNS Mehran, the headquarters of the Pakistan Navy's Naval Air Arm and the most populous Pakistani military installation (15 attackers killed, 18 military personnel killed and wounded 16 in this sophisticated terrorist attack. Two American-built P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft were also destroyed), 2014 terrorist attacks at Peshawar Army Public School (141 dead including 132 school children, ranging from 8 to 18 years of age, children of army officials).
Pakistan is a failed country. Unless Pakistan’s army and ISI are disbanded, there is no hope for peace both inside Pakistan and for its neighbors. First by diplomacy and then by relentless bombing in 1990s, the US dissolved Yugoslavia to get rid of vestiges of Communism in Europe. One has to do the same with Pakistan, the epicenter of terrorism.
Despite giving tens of billions of dollars to Pakistan in aid since 2001, US army in Afghanistan is still facing terrorist attacks on its troops by terrorist groups based in Pakistan. A terrorist attack similar to the 2008 Bombay hotel attack in the US or Western European country, with Pakistan terror link, would force the US and its Western allies to get rid of Pakistan's army and ISI because till these two latter organizations are intact, organized terrorism, originating from Pakistan would not end. Another terrorist attack in India also, similar to 2008 Bombay hotel attack, would force Modi government to take decisive step to attack and dis-member Pakistan. Like the three-month long relentless bombing on Yugoslavia by NATO in 1999, US and its Western allies would bomb Pakistan for several months to destroy all its military infrastructure. It is worth noting that before the 2001 US attack in Afghanistan to get rid of Taliban govt, the Bush government threatened Prevez Musharraf to bomb Pakistan to stone age if he would not support the US efforts in Afghanistan. Only after the bombing to stone age threat, Musharraf withdrew more than 5,000 Pakistani army officials from Afghanistan, especially from Kunduz, who were fighting on behalf of Taliban.
Also It is now high time for India to take decisive step to dismember Pakistan to get rid of its threat permanently. India needs to make it clear to US and Western countries, including Russia about its firm resolve to dissolve Pakistan and it would be up to them if they would provide support or not. Once India takes this decision, the US would certainly fall in line because elimination of ISI and Pakistan army is the only solution of Afghanistan conundrum and it is the only way the US can get out of Afghanistan. For US, Pakistan has become a liability and it is no longer a friend in fighting terrorism – it is funding Pakistan just to make sure that its army and ISI would not go fully rouge. US involvement would force China not to intervene although it would try its best to save its proxy for keeping India tied down in South Asia. If it would keep quiet, then it might be able to preserve access to the Gwadar port.
Let us first study how Pakistan was founded. Muslim leaders, like Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, in Hindu majority states in undivided India, afraid of being discriminated, were behind the creation of Pakistan. In the Indian provincial elections, 1937, the Muslim League, which espoused division of inhaling communal lines and led by Jinnah, turned out its best performance in only Muslim-minority provinces such as the United Provinces, where it won 29 of the 64 reserved Muslim seats. However, in the Muslim-majority regions of the Punjab and Bengal regional parties outperformed the League. In the Punjab, the Unionist Part of Sikandar Hayat Khan, won the elections and formed a government, with the support of the Indian National Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal. In Bengal, the League had to share power in a coalition headed by A. K. Fazlul Huq, the leader of the Krishak Praja Party.
Badshah Khan, undisputed leader in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and founder of Khudai Khidmatgar party, strongly opposed the Muslim League's demand for the partition of India. When the Indian National Congress declared its acceptance of the partition plan without consulting the Khudai Khidmatgar leaders, he felt very sad and told the Congress "you have thrown us to the wolves.” Khudai Khidmatgar dominated the politics of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. His brother, Dr. Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan (known as Dr. Khan Sahib), led the political wing of the movement, and was the Chief Minister of the province (from the late 1920s until 1947 when his government was dismissed by Mohammad Ali Jinnah of the Muslim League). When the referendum in his state over accession to Pakistan was held, Badshah Khan and the Indian National Congress Party boycotted the referendum. After the partition of India in 1947, he spent majority of his life in jail.
Once the top Muslim League leaders were gone (Jinnah died in 1948, Khan was assassinated in 1951), Pakistan became leaderless politically and the Pakistani army generals took over the country. The US supported these dictators and hence democracy could not take deep roots there. In all wars it has fought, the United States claims to be fighting for freedom and democracy. However, in all its Cold War battles it did not hesitate to deal repeatedly with military dictators instead of democratically elected leaders as they tend inevitably towards a socialist or participatory style of government. After the end of the Cold War, almost all countries are leading towards the path of peaceful democratic states, barring a few such as Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s armed forces became proponents of Islamic holy war during General Zia-ul-Haq’s rule in the 1980s. The 1979 Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and subsequent U.S. funding of the Afghan mujahideen via the ISI made the Pakistani army holy warriors in the name of Islam, since it was the Pakistani army that was training the mujahideen.
The Pakistan government has no control over the terrorist training camps, as they are run by ISI, which is outside governmental control. ISI works independently of the government and gets several billion dollars every year from illegal drugs, using poppy cultivated along Pak-Afghan border. Under pressure from the US, the Pakistan government tried to bring the ISI under civilian control in 2008, but they were forced by the army to withdraw this decision.
ISI’s sponsorship is not limited to Kashmir only. It is funding, training and supplying arms to militants and separatists all over India – as far as in Assam and its neighboring states. In the hills of Bangladesh, deep forests of Bhutan and Myanmar, ISI is operating dozens of training centers for separatists operating in the Northeast states. Even if Kashmir problem is solved, Pakistan's ISI is not going to stop its terrorist activities in India as it wants to balkanize India in order to take revenge for the creation of Bangladesh. This is the main reason that ISI as well as its military do not want to stop the funding and training of Islamic militants despite pressure from the US to do so.
The 1971 Genocide by then West Pakistani military against the then East Pakistan, and subsequent creation of Bangladesh proved that religion cannot be a unifying factor for a country. Also had Islam being the unifying factor, we would not have had more than forty countries in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.
For India the first step towards the dissolution of Pakistan is to prepare its case before the entire world. It needs to send its envoys to all major countries by proving to them that Pakistan in present form is danger to the entire world.
Pakistan has separatist movements in every state, except Punjab. Like the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 with the help of Mukti Bahini, trained and armed by India after the start of Pakistani army genocide in the then East Pakistan, India needs to train and arm the separatist movements, like Baluch, Sindh, and Pakhtunistan, in Pakistan by creating training camps inside India, Afghanistan, and possibly inside Iran. Iran might be apprehensive of creating an independent Baluchistan because of sizeable Baloch population in Iran but for a peaceful Afghanistan, it may agree as an unstable Afghanistan is not good for Iran.
At the same time, India needs to start amassing its troops all along Pakistan borders for a full blown attack along entire Indo-Pak boundary. India should also ask Iran and Afghanistan to provide logistic supports to attack Pakistan along its northern and western borders at strategic points. India (and also the US) would give ultimatum to disband Pakistani army and ISI and also to surrender terrorists, like Hafiz Saeed, wanted by the US and India on terror charges, to the US for trial. The US has a bounty of $10 million on Hafiz Saeed, for his alleged role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 6 American citizens were killed among hundreds of other victims. They also would give ultimatum to destroy terrorist training camps, including in POK. In no way, Pakistan would heed to these ultimatums. The US and Western countries, including Russia, would provide the air cover to the Indian army.
It is certain that the war may involve nuclear attack, initiated by Pakistan who cannot win a conventional war with India. Hence India should be ready for sustaining losses due to one or two small nuclear bombs. Pakistan would lose most in any nuclear war with India. Prestigious American think tanks like the semi-official Rand Corporation and the U.S. Army War College’s Center for Strategic Leadership have predicted a nuclear war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir in the near future. According to a Rand report published in early 1998, titled “Sources of Conflict in the 21st Century: Regional Futures and U.S. Strategy,” a nuclear war was to have occurred in 2006. According to this report, the insurgency in Indian Kashmir will become unmanageable. Pakistan’s involvement—never precisely subtle to begin with—becomes highly visible when two Pakistani soldiers, acting as trainers for Kashmiri insurgents, are captured in an Indian commando raid on a rebel-controlled village. India then warns Pakistan to desist from supporting the insurgencies and threatens dire consequences. Pakistan initiates diplomatic efforts to isolate India, while increasing the levels of covert support for the insurgents. In the spring of 2006, India increases counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir and the rebels are pushed into a precipitate retreat. Pakistan’s response is to infiltrate a number of special forces teams. India then launches major attacks all along the border, accompanied by an intense air campaign. Fearful that India will use its air superiority to locate and destroy the Pakistani nuclear arsenal, Pakistan uses a small fission bomb on an Indian armored formation. India’s response is to destroy a Pakistani air base with a nuclear attack. Pakistan then attacks the city of Jodhpur with a 20-kiloton (kt) weapon. India responds by striking Hyderabad, a city in Pakistan, with a 200-kt weapon and threatens 10 times more destruction if any more nuclear weapons are used. Pakistan then offers a cease-fire in place. The Rand report was published before the nuclear tests by the two countries in 1998.
India needs not physically liberate all four or five regions of Pakistan in order to dismember it, as once the bulk of the Pakistani army, which is mainly Punjabi Muslims, is defeated, the U.S. and other Western countries can complete the task. In the process of dismembering Pakistan, however, India may have to lose its portion of the Kashmir Valley where Muslims are in a majority, though not the Jammu and Ladakh regions, where Hindus and Buddhists are in a majority, respectively.
Because of Islamic militancy, more than half of India’s army has been deployed in Kashmir for more than two decades, and fighting them costs India several billion dollars annually, money that could otherwise be used for development work. Till now, nearly all terror attacks inside India have been orchestrated by Pakistani nationals being trained in Pakistan. But if situation remains the same, India might start to witness home-grown terror attacks also. Keeping in mind large Muslim population, India has a short window to take the decisive step of dismembering Pakistan which would certainly dampen any prospect of large scale home-grown terror.