Stringer Asia Logo
Share on Google+
news of the day
in depth
KASHMIR: a fight between jihadis
  • Adil Ahmed Das
    Adil Ahmed Das
A fact that is almost irrelevant at the beginning. In the orchard in Anantag, Kashmir, the bodies of two terrorists are found in the afternoon of June 26: one, Adil Ahmed Das is dead; the other, Arif Bhat, is dying. Das has gunshot wounds and signs of strangulation: to kill him they used the string that held his pants. A fact that is almost irrelevant in Kashmir: the operations of the police are practically daily, and finding a couple of jihadis dead does not, alas, almost more news. In this case, however, there is something strange. While some sites and some Telegram channels attribute the death of Das to the Indian armed forces, other channels and other sites are not so sure. Uncontrolled rumors are beginning to circulate until a Pakistani analyst working for the British think-tank Aurora Intel, Faran Jeffery, manages to put together a story that has at least disturbing implications: Das had recently abandoned the ranks of the Lashkar -i-Toiba to join Islamic State's Hind Province (ISHP), a group affiliated with ISIS. Two of his former comrades call him, they tell him that they want to change the flag too and, having sworn loyalty to the ISHP with lots of photos to document it, they kill him in cold blood and, just to do good weight, they take away the weapons. "It was only a matter of time before it happened," said Faran Jeffery. "Until now, rival terrorist groups stationed in Kashmir have avoided any direct confrontation because they were busy fighting against the Indian army. And this episode can potentially precipitate Kashmir into a full-blown civil war between fighting groups. " Because to operate in Kashmir are no longer, by now, the 'traditional' groups sponsored by Islamabad: the Hizbul Mujahidin and the Lashkar-i-Toiba in the first place. The Islamic State Jammu & Kashmir, which previously had only four components, gains ground every day. As well as the United Jihad Council, which is based in Pakistan but has major ideological differences both with the 'traditional' groups and with Surry Gilani's Hurryat in Srinagar. A few days ago yet another small group of budding terrorists swore an oath from Kashmir loyalty to Al-Baghdadi. Releasing a video in which he states: "We have succeeded in founding a jihadi group based on the uniqueness of Allah and destroying the foundations of nationalism, democracy and self-determination, we have declared war on these concepts. We do not fight for Kashmir, ours is a war of faith ". The same war of faith that other organizations affiliated to the Islamic State, such as the Islamic State Khorasan Province, are fighting in the province of Kunar in Afghanistan against the Taliban, aided instead by members of the Lashkar-i-Toiba. In addition to the ISHK and ISJK, the jihads of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, affiliated with Al Qaida, also fight in Kashmir. For the umpteenth time, the monsters generated by Islamabad's dreams of supremacy make the end of Frankenstein. It is no secret to anyone, in fact, that ISI and the Pakistani army in Afghanistan have been playing on several tables for some time, and that some sections of affiliates of the Islamic State are also dependent on Pakistan. While others are getting out of hand, just as a part of the Taliban escaped from twelve years ago. Years and years of indoctrination of young Kashmiris by LiT and HM have borne fruit and, for India, they are poisoned fruits. In recent years the closure of public schools on the occasion of increasingly frequent disorders has left a free hand to madrasa and mullahs. Social media do the rest. Just take a ride on Telegram to find yourself in the eye of a storm of propaganda without contradiction and without control. A war between jihadi groups is a war, first of all, on the shoulders of the Kashmiris: if the 'new' groups no longer fight for Kashmir but for the supremacy of the Islamic State, the 'old' groups plus a good chunk of ordinary citizens should oppose to the project. And while the United Jihad Council calls for the unity of the fighters, those belonging to the new groups have no intention of responding. Indeed, they swear revenge for the death of Das. Of course, the Indian army could stand in the front row armed with popcorn, watching the jihads slaughter each other, but it is not a good idea since Kashmir risks turning into a powder keg. Some analysts say Pakistan could pass intelligence information to India concerning anti-Pakistani groups. But it is not probable, also considering that the army, starting from July 12, enlists fighters for Pakistan Army Mujahid, a special body that fights in Kashmir directly under the command of Jaish-i-Mohammed and in Afghanistan under the flag of Taliban-Emara. The announcement can be found in all newspapers in Urdu. No one knows, and it is very difficult to predict, what will happen in the coming days or months. But what will happen in Kashmir is in many ways linked to the Afghan situation, and the repercussions of the struggle between rival groups and state-sponsors could be greater, much greater than what the West imagines or manages to predict.
Francesca Marino