Pakistan’s Options to Taliban: Jihad Or Jail

Pakistan is viewed by the Ally Forces fighting in Afghanistan under the leadership of USA, as an important ally in the war against terror with Taliban but the story is completely different on the other side of the border. Pakistan has been home to some of the “most wanted” criminals and terrorists wanted by India.

Indian agencies feel that Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI is trying to force the battered Talibani terrorists to the Indian side failing which they have been threatened to be captured and jailed. As many as 60 “surrendered” Talibani fighters are being pushed into Jammu and Kashmir to become part of the “jihad” against India.

Indian security agencies had apprehensions that the crackdown by the Pakistani army on Taliban could mean trouble in India are being proved correct. Pakistani security agencies recently started cracking down on the jehadis after they started attacking Pakistani targets. The infiltration attempts by regular jihadi outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba has seen a upsurge in the recent past and the presence of Taliban poses a new threat to Kashmir in particular and India in general.

The Times of India reported from its sources in the Border Security Force (BSF) of India and the Indian Army that the intelligence agencies had alerted them after intercepting calls about infiltration bids in the next 15 to 20 days. This issue cropped up as a major security concern during the two-day visit to Srinagar by an Indian high-powered central team led by Cabinet Secretary – K M Chandrashekhar and comprising Home Secretary – G K Pillai, Defence Secretary – Pradeep Kumar and other senior officials.

Although the Taliban is yet to successfully infiltrate into India, the coming days will pose a challenge as their attempts to sneak in are expected before the onset of winter,” said a senior official. The infiltration is closely controlled and monitored by the ISI and Pakistan army which is often involved in the crossings.

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Such incidents (like use of choppers) clearly show the involvement of Pakistani authorities in facilitating infiltration. Though our forces are fully alert to thwart Pakistani designs, the next 15-20 days are quite crucial as this is the period when they will do everything to infiltrate as many terrorists as possible,” said a senior official. That is when winter will begin to set in.

The infiltration of terrorists to India from Pakistan is not new and every year such infiltration bids increase during the onset of winter when Indian forces retreat from higher grounds. Post 26/11 terrorist attacks Pakistan has been under pressure to take action against the terrorist named by the Indian authorities but the Pakistani tactics of dilly-dallying has been a continuous feature of the whole episode.

The Indian Defence Minister, A K Anthony‘s statement that Pakistan’s stance has not changed much even after 26/11 and that it is still trying to support and push terrorists into India aslo holds importance in the light of the allegations made by the security forces and intelligence authorities.

A top US military commander’s statement about the Pakistani authorities that the Pakistani leadership and its spy agency ISI still consider India as its greatest threat, even greater than the Taliban and Al Qaida terrorists, speaks volumes about the view Pakistan has about India. He also said that this stance affects US strategy in the region.

It is important to note that India is still seen as the greatest threat, greater than the Taliban, greater than even Al Qaida,” Gen David Petraeus, commander of the US Central Command said at the Association of the US Army annual meeting in Washington on Tuesday.

While the comander seemed positive that Al-Qaeda was a diminishing force in the region, the recent attack on the U.S troops which was termed most violent in recent times discredits his claim to some extent.

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