| by B Raman
( January 14, 2013, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Pakistani jihadi organisations working for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are known to use barbaric methods against their targets. Among such organisations are the Harkat-ul-Ansar, also known as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, alias Al Faran, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
|“To expose the repeated use of barbaric methods by the Pakistan Army, the Indian Army should document all such past instances and disseminate the details before the international community.”|
The barbaric methods used by them against their targets included beheading and slitting their throats. In 1995, the Al Faran had kidnapped some Western tourists who had come to Jammu and Kashmir for skiing. They beheaded one of them and had his mutilated body buried.
When General Pervez Musharraf was the Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS) under then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999, HUJI, operating in the bordering areas of J&K from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK), had come to notice for using beheading as a modus operandi. HUJI in POK was then headed by Ilyas Kashmiri, who had served in the Special Services Group ( SSG), a commando unit of the Pakistan Army in which Musharraf had served for some years as the Commanding Officer.
Sections of the media in the PoK had reported that Ilyas and some of his men from HUJI had raided an Indian post in J&K, beheaded an Indian soldier and presented his head to Musharraf, who allegedly complimented him and rewarded them. This indicated the approval of such barbaric methods by the Pakistan Army.
During the military conflict in Kargil in 1999, the Northern Light Infantry Regiment of the Pakistan Army had used mutilation against Indian soldiers caught by it. When an aircraft of the Indian Airlines was hijacked to Kandahar in December 1999 by some terrorists of HUM, they separated a passenger, took him to the business class after asking the business class passengers to shift to the economy class and slit his throat. He bled to death. In February 2002, a group of HUJI and HUM terrorists had kidnapped Daniel Pearl, an American journalist working for the ‘Wall Street Journal’, from Karachi.
The kidnapping was orchestrated by Omar Sheikh, one of the terrorists released by the government of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in December 1999 in order to secure the release of IAC passengers in Kandahar. Sheikh crossed over to Pakistan from Kandahar and started working for ISI under the command of Brigadier Ijaz Shah. After some days of kidnapping, the mutilated body of Pearl was found in an abandoned area of Karachi.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who had co-ordinated the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the US on behalf of Osama bin Laden, was reported to have told his US interrogators after his capture in Rawalpindi in March 2003 that he had participated in the kidnapping and personally beheaded Pearl. Since all those who had participated in the incidents mentioned above were closely associated with ISI and SSG, they could not have indulged in such methods without the approval of the Pakistan Army, its ISI and SSG.
In the light of such past instances, the killing of two Indian soldiers by a raiding Pakistani group in the Jammu area on January 8 and the beheading of one of them point to the involvement of the Pakistani Army itself or one of its surrogates. After carrying out this barbaric act, the Pakistan Army has mounted a disinformation campaign to deny its involvement in the incident and to allege a diversionary attempt by the Indian Army to divert attention from some recent domestic developments in India, such as the students’ protests over a gang-rape incident.
To expose the repeated use of barbaric methods by the Pakistan Army, the Indian Army should document all such past instances and disseminate the details before the international community. The Ministry of External Affairs should also bring the dossier to the informal notice of the UN Secretary-General while rejecting any suggestion of an UN enquiry in the matter.
An offence should be registered in a Jammu Police Station in connection with the January 8 incident and investigated. Attempts should be made to identify the Pakistanis involved and seek their arrest and handing over to the Indian police.
Their cases should also be brought to the notice of the Interpol and its help sought for their arrest and prosecution. The barbaric incident and the disinformation campaign in damage control mounted by the Pakistan Army show that hawkish anti-India elements in the Pakistan Army are trying to rekindle tension in J&K, possibly coinciding with the forthcoming elections to the Pakistan National Assembly to re-assert the primacy of the Army in matters concerning India. We have to be on guard against the possibility of more such incidents.
(The writer is additional sec (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India. The article was originally appeared on the Economic Times)