‘Pakistan and the jihadis’s capacities have been diminished because of increasing dominance of our security forces.’

IMAGE: A Talib points his gun at protesters during an anti-Pakistan protest near the Pakistan embassy in Kabul, September 7, 2021. Photograph: Reuters

 

“This present wave of hysteria on the takeover by the Taliban unleashed by our television channels does not create an assessment of security, these are indices of people trying to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment. Show me how the capacities of terrorists in India will increase as a result of the Taliban coming to power,” Dr Ajai Sahni, executive director, Institute for Conflict Management, tells Rediff.com Senior Contributor Rashme Sehgal.

The first of a multi-part interview:

Are we witnessing a resurgence of jihadi forces inspired by the Taliban victory?

Where are you witnessing this resurgence?

The Taliban has been fighting the Americans in Afghanistan for the last twenty years.

All we are witnessing is a flight of American forces. The Taliban is an insurgent force that uses terrorism, but they are fighting within their own country.

We are hearing all kinds of statements emerging from the Haqqani Network and al-Qaeda to cite two examples.

Anyone covering Afghanistan knows that these groupings are already there. So where is the resurgence, where has there been an increase in their activities?

Show me that incidents of terrorism have increased or there has been a spike in their recruitment.

For any assessment, there has to be a matrix. All we have is a hysteria being generated by right wing news channels that there is a resurgence in Islamic terrorism.

I am not saying it cannot increase in the future, but before we make such assertions, show me how and where these activities are taking place at present.

Al-Qaeda recently issued a threat that it will now turn its attention to Kashmir.

Al-Qaeda has had a free reign in Pakistan for so many years.

Al-Qaeda has been threatening India openly from Pakistan and been trying to enter India from 1996. ISIS has been trying to get into India from 2014.

Why should the Taliban presence in Afghanistan make a difference? These groups are not new.

The Afghans and Arabs are not going to enter India and fight against our security forces. It is the Pakistanis who are going to come and fight in India.

They are the ones who will continue to try and create mischief. They constitute a threat to us and they are the ones who know how to get into India.

They are the ones who can culturally merge with us, they know our language and will try and recruit and create networks.

The Pakistanis have tried relentlessly and they have failed. They did succeed for a brief period of time, but now they are failing magnificently.

Why do you say they are failing magnificently?

We have come down from more than 4,000 fatalities in J&K in 2001 to between 200-300 fatalities in a year. Pakistan has not given up their jihad on Kashmir.

The Pakistan prime minister makes a statement every third day on this jihad, their army chief makes a statement every other day in support of these so-called jihadis.

Their capacities have been diminished because of increasing dominance of our security forces.

The problem is that this present wave of hysteria on the takeover by the Taliban unleashed by our television channels does not create an assessment of security, these are indices of people trying to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment.

Show me how the capacities of terrorists in India will increase as a result of the Taliban coming to power.

The establishment of a Taliban government has proved a feather in the cap in Pakistan.
Look at the amount of American weapons that have fallen into the hands of the Taliban to be handed over to Pakistan.
Our neighbourhood has become so much more dangerous.

US weapons have all gone to the Taliban. If Pakistan had the capacity to harm India, do you think they do not have enough AK-47s or RDX or other weapons to use against us through these so-called jihadis?

Do they not have a pipeline coming from China to Pakistan?

Do you think if they were in a position to escalate violence and harm us, China would have hesitated to provide them with additional weapons.

Is the Taliban takeover a turning point?

These are mere words. How have capacities and intentions changed? Does this mean there is a sudden escalation, does it mean an amount running into millions of dollars has been given to them to acquire weapons being directed at us?

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com

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