shiv wrote:WRT to Fair's article linked by Jhujar earlier, Hafiz Saeed is "moving away" from Kashmir to a faraway target, Yemen. This is an interesting tactic in my view. It could mean that the man is under sufficient pressure for him to try and pass himself off as a big jihadi fighting for all of Islam and the entire ummah rather than just Kashmir, giving him an excuse to turn his attention away from Kashmir momentarily to score Islamic brownies.
But with Cashmere being so popular in Shitistan, why would Saeed need to do that? Saeed has personal axe to grind after all - one of his sons was given his 72 in Kashmir by Indian forces. But Saeed lives under heavy security. In this case Saeed is "going against the instincts" of Pakistanis and is acting as the Army's tool to make a case for involvement in Yemen. This could make him less popular - but the army needs it because it needs the money.If India builds up enough capability by co-opting disgruntled Pakis - Saeed could be bumped off by a soosai. Saeed needs to make sure that Pakistan will burn if he is bumped off.
Shiv, I have not had time to read yet C.Fair's article. But, I have a divergent view on why, if it is true, Hafeez Saeed would be turning his attention to Yemen.
The spate of public support meetings being organized in Pakistan now is being organized by Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wa'l-Jama'at (ASWJ), the erstwhile SSP, the mother of all Sunni Wahhabi/Deobandi terrorist tanzeems in Pakistan. Its emir, Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, is a close friend of the Sharifs and the PML-N has an electoral understanding with him and ASWJ. The Punjab government is very generous with him. He is the modern-day Pakistani equivalent of Muawaiyah in slaughtering the Shi'a. On the other hand, LeT follows the Ahl-e-Hadith maslak
which, though closely resembling Wahhabism, has some differences too. No doubt the Ahl-e-Hadiths do consider the Shi'a as kafir, but Hafeez Saeed did not have such an anti-Shi'a bias and on many occasions, he has even urged unity between the sects to confront the common enemy the Yahud, the Hanud and the Nasara. In my opinion, this is an indicator as to why he is turning to Yemen now, though it may look contradictory. Let me explain.
I believe that LeT learnt a bitter lesson after 9/11 when its hoardes of jihadists which it had carefully trained over long periods began deserting it for a more action-packed FATA frontier, initially under various warlords and later under a more unified Punjabi Taliban and the TTP. We all know the investments that the LeT makes into training its cadres and this attrition caused serious problems for the LeT. It cannot let go of its trained cadre because it also impacted its popularity and thus the pipeline of foot soldiers. That would impact the revenues too. The Pakistani Army/ISI also disliked the exodus for the same reasons. Also, such a hijra
gave its enemies the much needed manpower to attack it too. So, LeT had to enlarge its scope of activities, with the help of the Pakistani Army, the navy and the ISI and it led to audacious fidayeen attacks on the Red Fort (though it happened before 9/11), the J&K Assembly, the Indian Parliament and the 26/11. So, LeT has a deep motive and need to keep its sheep together.
In order to keep its cadres together, it did a couple of things. It sent them to FATA to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with the Punjabi Taliban, but against the occupying American and NATO forces. But, the Punjabi Taliban and the TTP have a serious misgiving with the LeT because of the latter's deep nexus with the Pakistani Army, a symbol that the former were relentlessly attacking. Therefore, the LeT offered its services to the Haqqani group which used the LeT to mount attacks on Indian interests in Afghanistan. It helped to some extent and all parties involved - the Haqqanis, Hafeez Saeed and the Army/ISI - were happy for multiple reasons.
But, then tragedy struck. In the form of the unravelling of the TTP. Whether it was due to the machinations of the ISI or the disaffection caused by the election of Mullah 'FM Radio' Fazlullah or the fight among the Mehsud tribes or the general loss of leadership due to drone attacks etc, is immaterial for this discussion. What matters is that there was a 4-way split. My earlier post on that is here.
. Except for the pro-sarkari Asmatullah Muawaiya, the rest got integrated with the IS which is naturally attracting jihadists widely in Peshawar and even elsewhere. Certainly in many Afghan provinces. A series of incidents not favourable to the LeT happened. Fazlullah hit the Army School in Peshawar, Zerb-e-Azb was sharpened, Haqqanis were forced out of FATA (mostly due to US pressure), LeT had to lie low. A friendlier regime emerged in Kabul and the Army/ISI does not want LeT to participate in actions within Afghanistan. LeT is jobless.
The Pakistani Army, for obvious reasons, does not want the IS to gain foothold in Af-Pak lest it would lose its backyard. The LeT fears the same and naturally fears more attrition too. It could even become irrelevant because the jihadists and the Islamists always side with the group that displays more violence and by implication more refined Islam. Unfortunately, the Pakistani Army-LeT combine is unable to do much with India because of the very muscular response it received to its probing recently and the credible threats of disproportionate retaliation conveyed through various sources to the Pakistani Establishment. The idling LeT cadres have to be gainfully employed. We now know that even the Indian Mujahideen's top brass left ISI/LeT patronage. The IS is already ruling over a large swathe of land in Syria and Iraq. It announced its plans for Khorasan a few months back and also appointed an Emir. The IS is attracting a lot of manpower not only from the West but also from Pakistan. The IS could step into Yemen for two reasons, one, to capture more territory in order to expand the Caliphate and two to kill Shi'a Houthis. As the IS juggernaut comes nearer home, the LeT and the Army need to worry. It seems that for various reasons (fear of internal instability and the pressure from China), Pakistan does not want to get involved in Yemen at this stage. This even led to earning severe displeasure from the Gulf Kingdoms and dire warnings too. At the same time, Pakistan cannot let the IS in to the Yemen vacuum either. So, the best bet for it is to dispatch the trusted (and frustrated) LeT. This might also have the benefit of assuaging the ruffled feelings in the Gulf countries. Simultaneously, the Pakistani Army has been trying to appropriate AQ in Af-Pak to strengthen its leverage in the post-American scenario and also to ward off the IS incursion. Yemen could be a crucible to test this collaboration also.