The Financing of Terrorism

The financing of terrorism is a major problem and has been for a long time. Before you donate to any charity claiming to raise money for regions of conflict please be warned.

Before the naive start praising Pakistan for release of the Indian pilot consider that secret leaked US State Department documents show funding for JeM ( the Pakistani terror organisation that bombed Indian soldiers in Kashmir to begin with) came from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan’s spy agency ISI to JeM.

And who visited Pakistan just a day after the terror attack? Crown Prince of Saudi. Pakistan thinking that timing gave them cover presumably.

What Saudi and Pakistan did not expect was Indian retaliation into Pakistan occupied airspace – after all in nearly 50 years no Indian Government had done this – resulting in Pakistan holding an Indian pilot.

India being economically more important to Saudi, but also able to show the leaked document to Saudi, would have had a moral and economic case as well a political to put to Saudi why they should put a gun to Khan’s head and get him within 48 hours to wash and clean up the Indian pilot and release him.

Key passages of the leaked US State Dept documents on terror funding:

“Locals believed that charitable activities being carried out by … Jaish-e-Mohammed were further strengthening reliance on extremist groups and minimizing the importance of traditionally moderate Sufi religious leaders in these communities. Government and non-governmental sources claimed that financial support estimated at nearly 100 million USD annually was making its way to Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith clerics in the region from ‘missionary’ and ‘Islamic charitable’ organizations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ostensibly with the direct support of those governments.”

And can you see this leaked secret US State Dept document? Of course. Wikileaks: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08LAHORE302_a.html and https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09STATE131801_a.html

The Indian message that ‘Pakistan must do more to shut terrorists operating out of its territory’ is wrong. It would make the State separate from the terrorist. Britain should do more to stop terrorist funding to Pakistan I could argue. Does that mean Pakistan and UK are the same? No. Pakistan is a State sponsor of terror. That is the message the Indian Government needs to get across. It ferments and uses terrorists. It was the message when I worked in the US Congress we got out in resolutions working for Congressman Eliot Engel (full disclosure: not helped by the Government of India). It is a State sponsor because intelligence from the CIA and US State department disclose the same. If India is too scared to get this across, too polite, then it’s not serious. When America wants something, it knows how to go out and get it.

In the social media age -the message has to be simple, direct, short, repeated and backed by facts (see Wikileaks for those). The Indian messaging is wrong.

Moreover, this funding is no small matter. Nuclear war was averted according to this Yale University article by US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott who shows how PM Shariff used the same tactic as every time Pakistan uses Kashmir including 1965 and Kargil: https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/day-nuclear-conflict-was-averted . It’s their Bay of Pigs strategy.

1.be aggressor directly or via terrorists
2. claim it’s nothing to do with them (and no one in the world believes them except the Chinese)
3. blame India for defending itself
4. prepare its nuclear arsenal with civilian ignorance
5. Speak to 3rd parties to get India to discuss surrender of territory
6. Pakistan has to stand down without concessions from India (1965 and Kargil the US made them do it, in 2019, the Saudis did)
7. Longer term the conflict is seen as a strategic and political defeat for Pakistan as it neither succeeds in fomenting insurrection in Kashmir nor gain meaningful support at an international level.

Shariff was told by Clinton in the White House in the middle of the Kargil conflict – your ground nuclear weapons are being prepared, you don’t know this, and you will back down or you will stay in the US as a PM in exile.

Pakistan may have fooled many Indians even in the short term. And they may have fooled them for the reasons General of the Pakistani Army, Ayub Khan, stated in 1965 "Hindu morale would not stand more than a couple of hard blows at the right time and place" (quoted by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). That Khan, and the present day Khan are both wrong about India.

Alpesh Patel

Columnist, Asian Voice Newspaper

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