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Al-Qaida & India – Strange Bed Partners

In response to the unprecedented attack on September 11 on American soil, U.S. entered Afghanistan with gun blazing last October, the end of Taliban and their ‘guest’, the criminal terrorist organization Al-Qaida was imminent. Al-Qaida immediately went into hiding in the mountains, US. Led anti-terror coalition followed them leaving no place for them to run.

Those who tried to run into mountains areas near Pakistan were met with U.S. forces and heavy Pakistani border patrol. Pakistan, the frontline state in global war on terrorism, relaxed border rules allowing U.S. forces to pursue running Al-Qaida across its border.

The first setback to anti-terrorism coalition was letting go of tens and thousands of Taliban and Al-Qaida fighters by the ‘Northern Alliance’, the pro-India group of warlords the coalition relied on to topple Taliban. The Taliban quickly dispersed themselves making it impossible to distinguish them from Northern Alliance or ordinary Afghans. However, the small band of hard core Al-Qaida vowed to continue fighting.

The ruthlessness of Al-Qaida is evident from the fact that a band of captured Al-Qaida members over powered and killed 42 Pakistan Army men who were hauling them away after their capture. Pakistan has lost many more of its soldiers in helping fight back Al-Qaida than all the other members of global anti-terrorism coalition. Taliban and Al-Qaida is no friends of United States or Pakistan, although both helped establish Taliban as a unifying and stabilizing force in Afghanistan after the Russian departure.

The plans of Taliban and Al-Qaida for Pakistan were no different than the Indian plans. That is to destabilize and take over Pakistan. India found Al-Qaida a helpful ally in this regard. The increasing number of religiously motivated incidents & killings among others were already taking place in the entire Pakistan long before September 11 terrorist attack on the United States. The Pakistan Government was scrambling with controlling this menace. It was evident that a small developing country constraint with resources will have a difficult time in its efforts to curb terrorism. Hence, it was not a surprise when Pakistan welcomed the coalition to fight against a mutual enemy.

However, when by December 2001 it appeared that Al-Qaida had no place to hide and no place to run, help to Al-Qaida came from a strange corner – India. Rushing its forces to Pakistan border after a foiled attack on its parliament. India was not able to provide any evidence although was quick to blame it on Pakistan. India knew its actions would impede Pakistan’s ability to help fight terrorism as well as throw the whole region into nuclear war threat. This Indian created distraction provided vital time for Al-Qaida to regroup.

Pakistan stood fast and refused to move its forces away from Afghanistan border. India continued to build pressure on Pakistan to a point where she was shelling Pakistan’s towns and village along the border and killing civilians daily. After two weeks of consecutive cross border shelling and severe threats to its sovereignty Pakistan has finally decided to move it forces away from Afghan border bringing a halt in pursuit of Al-Qaida.

However, this is exactly in accordance with the Indian plans. Moving forces from the border is likely to provide opportunity to the fleeing Al-Qaida to infiltrate into Pakistan and continue with its plans to destabilize Pakistan.

In its zest to destroy Pakistan, India has embarked on a very dangerous road of supporting and helping Al-Qaida, a known terrorist organization. Next time there is a terrorism attack on US by Al-Qaida, India for one will be directly responsible for it and must be ready to bear the consequences.


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