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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Rediff.com: Promoting jehadis has hurt Pakistan

Pakistan has damaged itself by promoting jehadi groups under the 'tutelage' of Islamic parties to wage a separatist war in Kashmir, which ended up inflicting far bigger wounds on the country than it had on India, a leading daily in Islamabad said on Tuesday.

"And many objective observers actually say that Pakistan has damaged the Kashmir cause by not controlling the men and that it became ideologically subservient to the groups created mostly under the tutelage of the religious parties in Pakistan," the daily said.

"The conclusion in many studies is that a mishandling of the Kashmir cause has damaged Pakistan instead of the other way around," it said.

"Pakistan put everything at stake in 1990 when the insurgency in Kashmir started. It diverted a stream of mujahideen volunteers from a successful Afghan war to Kashmir and by the mid-1990s had created a situation in Kashmir that made the world wake up and take note of the Kashmir issue," the daily said.

"But the irony is that the Pakistani 'support' that Salahuddin thinks is now gone was sabotaged by the evolving nature of the 'struggle' itself and what the international community came to think of it," the Daily Times pointed out.

"The real damage Pakistan suffered was in the social consequences of the Kashmir jihad... The militias deployed by Pakistan in this privatised war penetrated Pakistani society and clashed with state sovereignty.

"Their pockets full of money and their armouries full of the latest weapons, the jihadi organisations took over entire cities in Pakistan and literally ran the administration there, killing at will people who opposed them," it said.

"Religion has been so exploited at the behest of the Kashmir cause that even the state has lost the ability to see right from wrong; and the entire strategic underpinning of jihad has fallen apart after it turned sectarian, and faith started eating its own children," the daily said.

"What has come to the fore in recent days is the real antipathy of this leadership towards the hard-line religious militias, which have sought to change Kashmiri society coercively and have resultantly diverted international support to India," it added.

Read full coverage on rediff.com

(Excerpts drawn from: www.rediff.com)

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