Interview with PirmohammadMolazehi
Expert on Indian Subcontinent
The unrest in Kashmir has started following the killing of young commander of HizbulMujahideen, Burhan Wani and protests erupted with interfering of Indian army troops and many injured and killed. In these days, Al Qaeda has announced the establishment of its India branch and ISIS has started to recruit members and extremist groups of these regions. This dialogue aims to investigate the roots and causes of current crisis in Kashmir and its future solutions.
IIWFS: what has made the roots and causes of this current crisis in Kashmir?
There are some points; one is that when the leader of the Mujahideen was killed, they succeed to lead the masses to protest against the killing of its leader and governmental forces opened fire at the crowd. In fact, the confrontation between groups of people has occurred for funeral and government forces. It seems that it was a record among radial groups who fight for independence of Kashmir and probably the reason is that Mujahideen was able to communicate with al-Qaeda and ISIS and used their experiences in this issue. Indeed, ISIS and al-Qaeda are looking to make crisis in Kashmir where predominantly Muslim live and penetrate in critical condition also to obtain a position,What They experienced in Iraq and Syria. That’s why Indian felt to deal decisively and understood that the situation which exists now, is in relation with this issue. However Hindi believe that Pakistanis are involved in this issue, Pakistanis reject it and state that they have no interference in this matter.
IIWFS: Is it possible that Arab and western players have a role in Kashmir current developments?
This subject does not seem directly. In the sense that westerner don’t take any benefits in Kashmir crisis. They can’t interfere. India security is vital for U.S. and Europe. There is two points about Arabic countries: one is that extremist groups in the Indian subcontinent primarily influenced by Wahhabism and Jihad means that Jihad and a kind of Salafist comes from Pakistan religious schools during Afghanistan war and the occupation of it by Red Army of the former Soviet Union also with funding from Arabic countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which contributed greatly to these schools and their jihadist training. In fact, this thought exists. Although this movement has two branches in middle east, one is Egyptian branch which arises from the ideas of SayyidQutb and brotherhood and influence the Muslim communications. On the other hand, there is the Wahhabi movement. There is no doubt that some of these groups are under the influence of jihadist Salafism.
IIWFS: In current situation what is the role of ISIS and Al Qaeda in this issue? Is Kashmir crisis a religious crisis?
The reality is that Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are competing with each other. Although It is true that in terms of ideology both of them believe in Salafist Jihadism, there is a competition between them given the problems in middle east and conflicts in Afghanistan and due to the efforts of each group (which attract groups in the region). I believe that the competition between al-Qaeda and the Islamic State will lead to crisis in Kashmir. In other words, fueling the crisis is in their interest. When there are tensions, they have this opportunity to recruits and have more presence. There is this perception that if ISIS and al-Qaeda face to fail by any reasons in middle east and have to leave the Syria and Iraq, Kashmir is one of the areas of their interest. As this region is mountainous and in terms of land,is connected with Afghanistan.The region is hardly mountainous where it’s possible to preserve the Jihadist forces.Therefore, one part of this theory refer to the relations between ISIS and al-Qaeda.
But if this issue goes to the sectarian war between Hindus and Muslims, it seems that it would be an attempt by ISIS and al-Qaeda to occur. Also they try to battle Sunnis and Shiites, because that region is a Shiite minority. They try to battle the Muslimsand make conflict with Hindus. When the situation goes to tensions, they can take advantage of these opportunities. However, India’s military and security power is higher than these tensions to occur. Because it’s the concern of national security. ISIS and al-Qaeda have announced that they have established the Hindi caliphate and in an official statement they state that will attack India through the borders of Bangladesh, Kashmir and Pakistan. In fact, they want to enter by two sides to undermine the rule of India and turn the Islamic government to India. Obviously Indian show decisiveness against it. Because India is a great power politically, economically and militarily. Thus when we consider these equations, there is no chance for them. However, they attempt for it.
IIWFS: how many scenarios can be considered for the future of this crisis in the current situation?
From the viewpoint of Kashmiris, there is three views. One is that Kashmir will join India and fix the problem. A part of the community, especially the ruling party which is the National Conference and sir is their minister, has united with G.V.J and won the election. there is a part of public though behindthe fact that they have won the election. The other view is that Kashmir must decompose from India and join Pakistan. This group attempt to join Kashmir with Pakistan and be integrated also refer to the UN and to act a resolution by the UN in 1948 – 1949 which proposed referendum. In that referendum it is predicated to vote whether people want to join Pakistan or India. In recent years, a third movement has formed who are Independentism that Mujahedeen party is a powerful group in this case. They believe that PakistanKashmir and Indian Kashmir must be separated and they allow these countries and Kashmir Muslim establish their own Islamic state.
If we consider the Kashmiris’s three views also the competition between India and Pakistan and the position of these two countries and national and international situations, it seems that the condition won’t be appropriateto held referendum in Kashmir and resolved the situation politically. On the other hand, the war between India and Pakistan which continues nearly sixty years and failed to make any changes in the borders, can’t be a solution. Therefor a political solution should be considered. A political solution that if Indian treat wisely, it will be available. This is Indian constitution which considers Kashmir as an almost semiautonomous which central government can interfere it only in some cases including money printing and army and so on. They must not interfere in other Kashmir internal affairs. If Indian apply that legal matter in Kashmir, it seems that a better solution must be given.Though this may not be the definitive solution. Although the problems in India and Pakistan and their disputed will be sparked. If ISIS and al-Qaeda havepenetrated in Kashmiri groups, they make the conditions totally different from the past and in my idea it will sparked the crisis.
Interview with PirmohammadMolazehi