By Sajjad Shaukat

Emergence of Real Evil

Taking cognizance of the growing threat of global terrorism which has been dividing the Western and Islamic nations on cultural and religious lines since 9/11, American and European governments have already started inter-faith dialogue especially between the Christian and the Muslim nations.

In this connection, many conferences were held in various countries in which scholars from Islamic states also participated with a view to creating cultural understanding among major religious communities. In the recent past, a four day conference of Muslim and Christian intellectuals held at the Yale University Divinity School of America for promoting interfaith dialogue, but ended without discussing any issue of religious fundamentalism in respect of state terrorism. Another conference of Muslims, Christians and Jews was held at Madrid, arranged by the efforts of Saudi King Abdullah.

However, all these measures are proving fruitless due to a deliberate anti-Muslim campaign, launched by the Indo-Israeli lobbies, creating obstacles in global cultural cooperation which is essential for global peace. America and its allies continue to kill many innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Palestine through heavy aerial bombardment and ground shelling in the name of war on terror. US-led Indo-Israeli forces have been using every possible technique of state terrorism in these territories which have become the breeding grounds of a prolonged interaction between freedom fighters and state terrorists, sabotaging world peace.

Indian-held Kashmir has become a special focus as state terrorism there keeps on going unabated. In this context, on August 12, 2008, Indian forces killed Hurriyat Conference leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz along with five other persons who were protesting against the government decision to give land to trust that runs Amarnath, a shrine of Hindus. On the same day, more than 200000 Kashmiris marched towards the Martyrs Graveyard to participate in the funeral of Abdul Aziz. The police killed 18 innocent Muslims by firing. Nevertheless, massive demonstrations, strikes and firing by the security forces continue in the occupied Kashmir intermittently and people raise the slogans for liberation of Kashmir. While extremist Hindus had also begun economic blockade of the Muslims in wake of curfew, emulating the Israeli siege of Gaza which resulted in starvation of thousands of innocent Palestinians. Meanwhile, from time to time, Tel Aviv has continued shelling on the controlled territories of the Palestine including targetted killing, while Indian troops continue to kill Kashmiri people through fake encounters.

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Besides, both India and Israel which had openly jumped on Bush’s anti-terrorism enterprise after the September 11, are acting upon a secret diplomacy, targeting Pakistan and China in particular and other regional countries in general.

In this context, proper media coverage was not given to the Indo-Israeli secret diplomacy, which could be assessed from the interview of Israel’s ambassador to India, Mark Sofer published in the Indian weekly Outlook on February 18, 2008. Regarding India’s defence arrangements with Israel, Sofer had surprisingly disclosed “We do have a defence relationship with India, which is no secret. On the other hand, what is secret is the defence relationship”. And “with all due respect, the secret part will remain a secret.”

Indo-Israeli nexus remained under wraps till 2003, when Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited India to officially reveal it. In this regard, Indian ‘The Tribune’ wrote on September 10, 2003, “India and Israel took giant leaps forward in bolstering the existing strategic ties and forging new ones” and Tel Aviv has “agreed to share its expertise with India various fields as anti-fidayeen operations, surveillance satellites, intelligence sharing and space exploration.” From anti-missile systems to hi-tech radars, from sky drones to night-vision equipment, Indo-Israeli defense cooperation has known no bounds in recent times.

The matter is not confined to purchasing of military equipments only, Indo-Israeli overt and covert links are part of a dangerous strategic game in Asia. In this connection, the then Israeli premier, Benjamin Netanyahu had already made it clear in July 1997 saying, “Our ties with India don’t have any limitations—as long as India and Israel are friendly, it is a strategic gain”.

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There are other reasons behind Indo-Israeli secret nexus. Fast growing economic power of China coupled with her rising strategic relationship with the Third World has been misperceived by the Americans and Indians. Owing to this jealousy, tactical support of Washington to New Delhi, indirect military aid through Israel, the US-India nuclear deal—all are part of American desire to make India a major power to counterbalance China in Asia as both of them see Beijing a “future strategic competitor”.

On the other side, a ‘nuclearized’ Pakistan, depending upon minimum deterrence, having close ties with Beijing is another major target of the Indo-Israeli secret diplomacy. As regards Islamabad, India, Afghanistan and Israel are in collusion as part of a plot to ‘destabilize’ Pakistan for their common strategic interests.

The fact of the matter is that by availing the ongoing international phenomena of terrorism, Jewish-Hindu lobbies are collectively working in America and other European countries to exploit the double standards of the west in relation to terrorism and human rights vis-à-vis Pakistan and China. Israel and India are equating the ‘war of independence’ in Kashmir and Palestine with terrorism. If India considers Pakistan as her enemy number one, Israel takes Iran in the same sense especially due to its nuclear programme which is also negated by the US. Tel Aviv is also against Pakistan as it is the only nuclear Islamic country. However, these similarities of interest have brought the two countries to follow a common secret diplomacy with the tactical support of Washington, targeting particularly Pakistan and China including other states like Nepal, North Korea, Bangladesh, Iran, Syria etc.

Another regrettable point is that irresponsible attitude of some Indian, Israeli and Western  politicians has introduced dangerous socio-religious dimension in their societies by equating the “war on terror” with “war on Islam” and acts of Al Qaeda with all the Muslims. Their media have also been contributing to heighten the currents of world politics on cultural and religious lines with the negative projection of Islam. In this connection, reprinting of the caricatures about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and release of a Dutch film against the Holy Quran in the recent past might be noted as an example.

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It is because of these developments that a greater resentment is being found among the Muslims who think that the US in connivance with the Indo-Israeli lobbies is sponsoring state terrorism, directly or indirectly from Kashmir to Palestine.

In this context, on October 19, 2007, the special issue of South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, under the caption-‘Working for India or against Islam? Islamophobia in Indian American Lobbies’ wrote, “In the past few years, Indian American community has gained an unprecedented visibility in the international arena and now constitutes influential ethnic lobbies in Washington. Among other factors, Hindu aligned with Jewish pressure groups in relation to the war against terrorism and to further the India-Israel-US strategic partnership play a major role in exaggerating Islamophobic overtones in the Indian American lobbies”.

Nevertheless, by manipulating the present phenomena of world terrorism and anti-Muslim approach of the west, both India and Israel have been availing this golden opportunity to achieve their covert goals by convincing the US-led European states that a ‘nuclearized’ Pakistan is sponsoring cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan and Kashmir. And Iran and Syria are doing the same act in Iraq, Lebanon and Israel. In this regard, equation of ‘war of liberation’ in Kashmir and Palestine with terrorism has become the main target of New Delhi and Tel Aviv which intend to divert the attention of the west from their own atrocities, being perpetrated in the occupied territories.

Most alarming point in this respect is that Indo-Israeli nexus for the sake of delaying the solution of Kashmir and Palestine—under the pretext of so-called Islamic terrorism is not only sabotaging world peace, but is also taking the world to the brink of clash of civilizations.

Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations