Saturday, February 26, 2011

A walk through a terror industry!

Visit to a military cantonment in Pakistan is revealing and inspiring for some and alarming, nay frightening, for many. On the main gate to a compound, one can see on a huge hoarding: “Jehad Fi Sabee Lillah--Jehad in the name of Allah”; wall-chalking like “Shaheed ke jo Mawth hai, Wo Qaum Ke Hayat Hai—the death of a martyr is the life of nation”; “A martyr never dies”; and a collection of Jehadi  and pan-Islamic poetry of Pakistan’s national poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal, defying the modern nation-state theory based on demarcated international boundaries.  
If that fails one to inspire, here is yet another stuff that takes one to a war zone in imagination—a model of fighter aircraft inscribed with, “This (Indian) plane was gunned down by the brave soldiers of Pakistan Air Force (PAF),” a cannon, replicas missiles, crossed swords and war flags.
Don’t blame al-Qaeda or Taliban propaganda for winning the potential suicide attackers on to their side. One does not need to read a book of Maulana Maududi, the 1920s journalist-turned-religious scholar and founder of Jama’at-e-Islami, or a four-week Jehad orientation course in Kamoke, headquarters of the Jamat-ud-Dawa near Lahore to become a religious mercenary. A 20-minute stroll in any cantonment area is enough to inspire a young Pakistani for ‘Jehad’ in Afghanistan, Kashmir or somewhere in Pakistan’s remote tribal regions, FATA or Pakhtunkhwa.
Jehadi slogans and war symbols, smearing the otherwise beautiful and artful walls, red brick pavements, huge entry & exit gates, street lights and blooming flower-beds on road sides in cantonment areas throughout Pakistan are a common scene. The moment one enters military zones in Kharian, Rawalpindi, Kamra, all the way from Nowshera to Risalpur to Mardan, where the Punjab Regiment Centre (PRC) is situated, emotional couplets of Allam Iqbal, urge everyone to violate the international law.
The military and Pakistani nationalists might call the ‘roadside Jehadi campaign’ in cantonments as a morale booster. True, but in uniform the morale is working within the framework of a chain of command, a mechanism lacking in the mind of a stray Pakistani. The roadside Jehadi literature rather targets hundreds of thousands of young Pakistanis who pass through it on daily basis while going to schools and colleges, unfortunately, located again in or near the military zones. They see, and one is sure, read it on daily basis, leaving its impact on their innocent mind at the risk of landing the young student in a terror camp or madrassa (religious seminary) affiliated with a Jehadi organization miles away from military cantonments.
An ordinary Pakistani takes the cantonment style of ‘hoardings, coloured banners, pamphlets and war symbols’ for granted as the military and the text books have injected everyone with high doses of anti-India acrimony, anti-Israel hate and that ‘Islam and Pakistan are in danger’. Some wise heads, however, are questioning the military-sponsored Jehadi slogans now, thanks to the terrorist attacks on school buses, blowing up of girls schools, attacks on Pakistan’s tax payers in crowded markets, killings of the moderate Pakistanis and beheading of those unsung heroes in Swat Valley and FATA who said ‘No’ to the brutal proxies of military.
By the way, how many of you have been to Jamat-ud-Dawa training centre at Kamoki, Harkat-ul- Mujahideen camp in Mansehra, Jaish-e-Muhammad training compounds in Bahwalpur or paradise of potential suicide attackers in Waziristan? Perhaps very few.
For your information, they are also decorated with the same slogans that you see daily in the meticulously preened cantonment areas of urban Pakistan, making almost 70 per cent of the lucrative commercial land of Pakistan's major cities. The only difference is: you will not see a banner eulogizing Mumtaz Qadri for assassinating Governor Salman Taseer in a Jehadi training center but you will see pamphlets hanging from street light poles in Lahore cantonment lionizing the murderer.       

1 comment:

  1. she must be speaking of another era.all these jehad signs were removed on the orders of USA by their toady Pervez Musharraf. And to add to her information this culture of Jehad and the sign boards and motivational messages were installed when the US needed 'Mujahideen' for 'Holy Jehad' against the USSR.pakistan has only been a toy in the war of worlds with the willing participation of its dictatorial rulers.

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