Unlucky JiM

Tariq Ali

Adil Ahmad Dar, the 20-year-old Kashmiri suicide terrorist who killed himself along with forty Indian soldiers at Pulwama on 14 February, will be regarded as a hero and martyr by many Kashmiris of his generation, alienated, desperate and angered by the atrocities that have been rained down on them by the Indian military on the orders of successive governments (the Congress record is appalling) for many decades. Blinding young men in Kashmir with pellet guns is an Indian innovation. Had Dar acted alone, a few might even have dared call him a hero in public. Instead an oppressive silence reigns throughout Kashmir.

The Pakistan-based jihadi outfit Jaish-i-Mohammed has claimed the hit, resulting in revenge on a state-to-state level. Indian jets have strafed a supposed JiM camp near Balakot, well inside Pakistan, and there is much talk of war. Rocket-rattling by both sides should be ignored. There will not be a full-scale war. After all, the travelling Saudi statesman, MBS, on a confidence-building tour of Pakistan, China and India, is appealing for peace.

The JiM leader, Masood Azhar, a creep of the worst type, has been taken to Islamabad from Lahore and is reportedly being treated in hospital. Indian claims that JiM is a poisoned tentacle of Pakistani military intelligence, used for irregular operations, are difficult to dispute. Otherwise JiM and its members could not have got away with so many crimes.

The Pulwama attack is likely to strengthen the Modi government, with new elections not so far away, and to weaken the cause of Kashmir (if it could be further weakened) in India as whole. The governor of Meghalaya, an RSS stalwart and a BJP leader, has called for the boycott of all Kashmiri goods, which will delight all those Kashmiris who favour independence, since the governor is speaking of them as a non-Indian entity.

A chauvinist mood has gripped India and there have been attacks on Kashmiris in many cities, with only the State governments of Punjab, West Bengal and Kerala offering serious protection. Even the world of cricket has been infected, with a huge debate in India as to whether they should play their group-stage match against Pakistan in the forthcoming World Cup. This is seen by some as the real nuclear option. Every ticket has already been sold. India’s captain, Virat Kohli, is a hawk, while older heads (Gavaskar and Ganguly) advise caution. Why give Pakistan two gratis points?

The hysteria will die down till the next atrocity. In the meantime I would suggest an Indian publisher bring out an emergency edition of a very fine book by Robert Pape, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (2005), which argues that the phenomenon has less to do with religious fanaticism than with resistance to occupation by a foreign power. Pape ‘compiled a database of every suicide bombing and attack around the globe from 1980 through 2003’. It has a much longer history than that. During the Peninsular War, a Spanish irregular deliberately blew himself up together with a French arsenal that contained crates of gunpowder.


  • 26 February 2019 at 7:25pm
    Priyansh says:
    A minor correction: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has not advised caution. Instead, he is very much part of the 'Ban Pakistan' lobby. Ganguly has even gone to the extent of considering whether photos of Pakistani cricketers should be taken off from the walls of Eden Gardens. It's a decision he could take as the current president of Cricket Association of Bengal. Clearly, the left-hander has swung to the right.

  • 5 March 2019 at 6:59pm
    Vijay says:
    Some Corrections:
    1. It is JeM ("Jaish-e-Muhammed") per the official spelling from Pakistan.
    2. Several High Courts, including the Supreme Court of India, condemned and issued prohibitive orders against violence to the Kashmiri Students.
    3. The violence erupted because in at least 9 out of 12 video-recorded incidents, the Kashmiri students, (including women) gathered together, began slogans rejoicing in the death of 40+ Indian CRPF personnel and singing "Victory to JeM". Thanks to the ubiquitous mobile phones, dozens of recordings are available showing this.
    3. All Indian states, issued immediate police protection to Kashmiri Students, in spite of their provocative behavior, which in at least 3 recorded incidents, occurred right in front of the families of the martyred CRPF personnel. The father of one CRPF soldier called Maulana Ahmad, called the sloganeering Kashmiri girl students to shame, but they did not shut up!
    4. The above (easily verified from local media reports) shows that there is more to the situation than the superficial account noted in the blog. terrorists know no religion, nor are they loyal to any "cause"- much less the cause of Kashmir.

  • 6 March 2019 at 1:35pm
    Syed Zaidi says:
    Perhaps Mr Ali does not lean to hunting and shooting in his adopted land, or he might himself have noted that the 'pellet guns' he mentions are not the kiddie sort of airgun that ejects a single little pellet to down a sparrow or at best a dove. These are shotguns, with blasts of birdshot to the head, aimed optimally to get both eyes. This is not the simple illiteracy of some IAS sort. It is deliberate obfuscation. 'What's all the fuss about? These are just pellet guns'.

    More important, JeM has denied responsibility. Only Mamta Banerjee has had the guts to persistently raise points that indicate an inside job. It's something people have been openly dreading for months, with Modi ever more desperate about the elections. This is not to doubt the sincerity of the bomber, but his handler or handler's handler. Three hundred kilos of explosive also points to the government of India.

    Given the odd coincidence of the attack in Iran, it could well be the hand of the Empire of Chaos is also behind this, to block China's belt and road initiative at its most critical point. Modi's connections with the globalists and Zionists are manifest.