Dr. Rajkumar Singh
In fact the
intermingling of Pak-Afghan society at various levels led to the formation of
the Taliban, a home-grown – Pak militia. It was the product of extreme Deobandi
madrassas in Pakistan. Taliban of Afghanistan is the product of Deoband
thinking as it evolved in Pakistan after partition. The Wahhabis and the
Salaifis of Saudi Arabia can be counted as clones of the Talibanised mindset.
height of Soviet involvement in Afghanistan, the USA had fostered Talibans
through the Benazir Bhutto government of Pakistan to help Mujahideens fight the
Soviets. Alignment and realignment of forces took place periodically with a
view to marginalising various national movements within Afghanistan until it
suited the Pakistan-American coalition interests. Several similar
organisations, leaders-Tajik-leader Ahmed Shah Masood, Uzbek leader General
Rashid Dastum, the Northern Alliance leader Mohammed Fakim Khan and Pashtuns
chieftain Gulbuddin Hekhmatyar were constantly put at loggerheads with one
another to facilitate the prospects of Talibans.
began as reformers, following a tradition in Muslim history based on the notion
of Jihad-holy war against infidels. Jihad however, does not sanction the
killing of fellow Muslims on the basis of ethnicity or sect. Yet the Taliban
has used it for just that. Taliban, a force which grew out of Afghan refugee
students who got their religious and military training in Pakistani madrassas,
gradually established close ties not only with the military but with many
sectors of Pakistani society and later formed a government in Afghanistan when
Soviet army withdrew at the close of the eighties.
Motivation And Programming
meaning “the base” is a global terror group is the main threat to our open and
democratic societies. In its quest to establish the global Kalifat,
organisations as Al-Qaeda are seeking to direct a deadly blow to the
fundamental set-up of our societies and of the international community as a
whole. Osama bin Laden, its supreme leader, was a Saudi fugitive and the Emir
General of Al-Qaeda.
There is a
Majlis called al Shura or governing Council with active member–citizens from
many countries, who are loyal to Osama. Al-Qaeda does not have specific
territorial boundaries. Their borders stretch up to wherever Islam has spread.
Osama’s greatest success was to make this particular interpretation of radical
Islamism globally known.
other strands of militant thinking and strategy but 20 years of “propaganda by
deed” made it the dominant one. A thriving Jihadi subculture has emerged, and
it has become, in many ways a social movement. its ideology spawned a Pan
Islamic thrust. It emphasised that a Muslim’s first loyalty was to his creed,
not his nation; any means of violence could be employed including weapons of
mass destruction to achieve political and other aims; and belonging to one
Ummah a Muslim could participate in any struggle worldwide where Islam or its
believers were being victimised.
ideology, drawn–from scriptures, a Muslim was freed from the need of having any
further organisational guidance. The result was that many Muslim groups in many
parts of the world, started thinking and acting on identical lines. There was
an upsurge in fundamentalism world wide and of terror.
March 1957, Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was
the seventh son among 50 or more siblings. He had united disparate militant
groups, from Egypt to Chechnya, from Yemen to the Philippines, under the banner
of his Al-Qaeda organisation and his ideal of a borderless brotherhood of
radical Islam. Initially, for years when he was not a known face bin Laden had
sought to become the principal leader of the Jihadist movement, by developing
loose alliances with ideologically–affiliated organisations–alliances that were
built around personal relationships, and cemented with cash from his coffers.
then a non-entity, going from one ethnic leader to another to seek protection
and favour of a fugitive until he settled down with the Taliban leader, Mulla
Omar, who had allegedly married his eldest daughter. Marital relations between
the families of Osama and Omar fermented their politico– religious alliance to
fortitude. Defence of Islam became the common platform of unity. Money got from
opium cultivation and narcotic trade cemented the bond between Taliban and Al-Qaeda
and over the years both became invincible enemies of democracy. For the first
time during 1979-89 bin Laden built reputation helping US-sponsored Mujahideen
fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
of an Opportunity
takeover in Afghanistan ended in February 1989 marked the end of an era. The
supply of US arms which were given to Afghan rebels to fight against the Soviet
army and, Pakistan to protect itself from Soviet influences were suddenly came
to a halt. The US was not in favor of establishing the kind of government in
Kabul that Afghan rebels wanted.
elements in Kabul also suffered a set back on account of Gulf crisis that
prevented them to be famous internationally but, more to Soviet disintegration
which marked the end of cold war between the two super powers and made US least
interested in Afghan affairs. In the whole Afghan episode, Pakistan created and
nurtured Taliban-Al-Qaeda for transnational terrorism to achieve predominance
in the Islamic world. The Pakistan establishment apparently felt that by
facilitating the various partners in the Taliban-Al-Qaeda it can obtain their
help in pursuing its own foreign policy objectives.
commonly given rationale for this belief by people like General Hamid Gul,
General Durani and General Aslam Beg was that this collective effort succeeded
in defeating the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. When a superpower is defeated by
this strategy, it will work in other places also, The Taliban’s military
success in Afghanistan and their missionary zeal has infected Pakistani
brethren influencing them with renewed fervour to bring a truly Islamic state.
organisation Al-Qaeda had, at the beginning, a core of just under 200
cadre-120-odd grouped together in a crack unit, and a small number of
foot-soldiers handling logistical work and training. By the time a thousand men
had graduated from the training camps it ran in Afghanistan, but they were
riven by ideological disputation and personal feuds. However, in a decade
Osama’s Al-Qaeda was linked to its different branches proliferated all over the
world and the number of Al-Qaeda training camps rose to 30 in Afghanistan only.
Al-Qaeda has always been an organisation that depended as much on local
initiative as on top–down direction.
organisational structure is something between a centralised hierarchy and a
decentralised flat network. It is a flexible and adaptable organisation that
has survived well beyond the lifespan of most other terrorist organisation. But
decentralisation remained an integral part of the strategy of Osama. Al-Qaeda
was conceived as an umbrella group, channeling and focusing the diverse
energies of the various groups active across the Islamic world in the 1990s.
for a while but the main regional groups now Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
(largely the Yemen), Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (largely Algeria) and Al-Qaeda in
Iraq are largely independent of the main leadership. Each is rooted in specific
local factors and history. The terrorist organisations spread all over the
world made it a wider phenomenon.
Soviet Retreat In Afghanistan
Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda, after the 1989 Soviet retreat, returned to Saudi
Arabia to be showered with praise but soon during the Gulf conflict he tried to
dissuade Saudi government from allowing infidel armies into Saudi Arabia. The
Saudi leadership then turned to US for protection. Bin Laden bitterly
criticised both–Saudi government and Washington.
As a result
in 1992 Saudi Arabia freezed Laden’s bank account that was followed by his
expulsion from the country on known international pressure in 1996. Now he
returned to Afghanistan, set up several training camps, the same year, and had
sought attention of the world by declaring war against the United States of
America, a super power. On August 7, 1998 Al-Qaeda bombed US embassies in Kenya
and Tanzania which killed 231 people. He gave radical Islam another push by
crafting the World Islamic Front in 1998.
five extremist organisations of Pakistan including Lashkar-e-Toiba,
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Hizbul-e-Jihad-e-Islami had joined the Front among
others from the Islamic countries and became founder members of the
organisation. The Front was mainly meant for Jihad against the Crusaders and
the Jews. However, joining of Pakistani extremist organisation and guidance of
ISI included Hindu India in the list of enemies and in later years the Front
became a tool to fulfil the Islamist ambitions of Pakistan, against India in
Islamists, a conglomerate of several groups, want to bring the entire
contemporary society under what they call God’s sovereignty and laws laid down
in the scriptures – as interpreted by them. There are differences in their
methods of operations but their focus basically remains on achieving political
power by use of force.
is one manifestation of inordinate use of force for gaining political
objectives. Of the terror philosophers the two-Syed Qutb of Egypt (1906-66) and
Maulana Abdul A’la Maududi in India (1903-47) and later in Pakistan (1948-79)
deserve special mention in this context. Syed Qutb belonged to the Muslim
Brotherhood of Egypt interpreted some traditional Islamic norms to mean that
use of violent means for achieving power and influence is justified and to
fight non-believers was a duty towards God. He preached that any system not
based on divine revelation or ‘Hadith’ is Jahilleye–pagan state of object
ignorance that prevailed in pre-Islamic Arabia. Likewise Maududi preached
fundamentalist Islam of the Qutb variety. He was the founder of
Jama’at-e-Islami in Pakistan which he visualised as a party that must wage
Jihad against all infidels and non-conformist Muslim societies.These were the
founding fathers of the contemporary fundamentalist movement and Jihad in its
present violent form. They wanted to create a religion–based world order in
which non–believers have to be converted or destroyed. Thus terrorism poses a
threat to globalisation.
Headline: The Intermingling Of
Pak-Afghan Society at Various Levels Led To the Formation of the Taliban, a
Home-Grown – Pak Militia
Source: Eurasia Review