According to a report by the BBC, the Pakistani state is allegedly still involved in the training and funding of militants in Kashmir. Not that this allegation is new, but it has managed to stir up some vehement denials by the government. The foreign ministry terms the report “baseless” and “malicious”. The report claims that the radicalisation of militants to fight in Kashmir and the arms and money being funnelled to them for their Kashmir jihad are being supplied by the country’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). Some Kashmiri fighters claim this ISI intervention has had the effect over the years of changing this largest regional nationalist cause into a religious one. Others claim the ISI is saving these militants for a rainy day so that they may be used as bargaining chips in any negotiations with India while keeping India tied up in conflict.
To gain strategic depth in Afghanistan, the Pakistani establishment has been nurturing the Afghan faction of the Taliban militants, much like this report suggests it has been doing for the Kashmiri militants. Pakistan has been saving the Afghan Taliban as a trump card for a centre-stage seat in Afghanistan after the US/Nato troops withdrawal. Such allegations are hardly a secret by now for the country, the region and the world at large. Therefore, whilst the BBC report is old news, it has ignited some fresh thought and recommendations on the topic.The intelligence establishment has to learn to prioritise and put the country first. Enough of dual policies, war games and the sponsoring of militants which, although the government is denying, it seems at the very least to be tolerating. The Pakistani militants we were using for Afghanistan have turned on the state and engulfed it in the flames of terrorism. This report, if true, confirms that we have not learnt from past mistakes and could suffer similar consequences if and when these insurgents decide to turn on Pakistan as well.
Pakistan is in a state of increasing state failure. No institution seems salvageable and we are having trouble managing what little resources we have. To stake everything on a claim on Kashmir when we are hard put to it to manage our domestic affairs is increasingly too high risk to be continued with equanimity. India is progressing globally at breakneck speed and could eventually trigger an internal collapse in this country without firing a single shot, a la the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War. We must abandon this militant adventurism we have embarked upon on many fronts and work hard on the process of dialogue leading to regional peace – Dailytimes