Jihadi split a red herring

The split serves only to hoodwink Uncle Sam

In his analysis of the split in the ranks of the Jamaat-ud-dawa and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, B Raman concludes that the entire operation is an Musharraf’s attempt to continue to two-time the United States. Faced with pressure to ban the LeT both because of its involvement in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Australia (apart from India) and due to its increasingly shrill anti-American rhetoric, the ISI engineered a split so that the jihadis could continue their terrorist activities under the garb of Khairun Naas, while Musharraf can go ahead and ban the JD and the Lashkar as demanded by the American.

The Pakistani media has reported a split in the Jamaatud Dawa (JD), the political wing of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), reminiscent of the split in the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) in 2000, which led to a large number of its members led by Maulana Masood Azhar leaving the organisation due to disputes over property and the sharing of the funds collected and forming a separate organisation called the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM).

While operating separately since then, the HUM and the JEM continue to accept Osama bin Laden’s ideology and to be members of his International Islamic Front (IIF), whose activities are being co-ordinated for over a year now by the LET due to the logistic and other difficulties faced by Al Qaeda in continuing to act as the co-ordinator.

It is alleged that to ensure that this action would not weaken the terrorist infrastructure meant for use against India and would not demoralise the members of the LET, Musharraf and his ISI have advised all the leading activists of the LET to leave the organisation and float the new organisation called KN so that no action would be required to be taken against them.

Would the new organisation refrain from active involvement in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, confining its activities only to India? Musharraf is hoping that it would cut off its involvement in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. His apparent calculation is that if they remain active only against India, the US pressure on him would ease. But the problem for him is that many serving and retired officers of the Army, the ISI and Pakistan’s nuclear establishment, who share the ideology and anti-US feelings of the LET, have been encouraging it to keep the Americans bleeding. So long as the new organisation is assured of their continued clandestine support, it is unlikely to refrain from participating in the jihad against the USA. [Outlook]