BJP pussyfoots on terror


The revelations by the Enforcement Directorate that Hurriyat leader Firdaus Ahmad Shah allegedly received terror funding from Pakistani national Javed Iqbal are not shocking; this is despite the fact that the Mumbai Police charge-sheeted Iqbal in the 26/11 attack case. Also not shocking is the continued support to Hurriyat by the PDP, as evident from party leader Abhijit Jasrotia’s statements on NewsX, for the PDP is an Islamist party. Similarly, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s alliance with the PDP, despite the latter’s persistence with pro-separatist attitude, doesn’t even surprise. Today, nothing in Indian politics surprises or shocks us. Our political masters have delivered what the electrical equipment company Havells promised us—shockproof life.

So, Jammu & Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Nirmal Singh tells us that the ED’s findings have “exposed” the separatists. As if their depravity was ever in question, as if we never knew about it, and as if the revelations would lead to the dissolution of the unholy alliance between his party and the PDP.

“These people [the separatists] are engaged in such activities. There is a law for it and law will take its own course. Those involved would be dealt strongly and action will be taken against them,” Singh said. Law will take its own course, wrongdoers would be dealt strongly, action will be taken against them—for how long do we have to put up with this twaddle?

Meanwhile there is a lot of activity, which may give the illusion of action. The Union Home Ministry has sought the details on common terror links from the ED. “We have asked ED for a report on the alleged terror linkages between Shah and 26/11 accused Javed Iqbal. The probe agency has also been asked to give its opinion on whether the linkages must be probed separately, possibly by National Investigation Agency (NIA) since it is already probing the larger conspiracy behind the 2008 Mumbai strikes. They need to clarify if Shah is the only one involved or the terror funding conspiracy extends to other Hurriyat leaders as well,” a senior Home Ministry official was quoted in the media.

The agencies are capable of doing good work, but that is not the issue. For instance, the ED reportedly had detected the nexus quite some time ago but former home minister P. Chidambaram asked it to go slow. The BJP government, too, is not doing anything meaningful as far as action against cross-border terror is concerned. Apart from tall talk, what the saffron party has delivered is an abomination—the PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu & Kashmir. Like everything else in the world, it has consequences.

First, the BJP has started sounding more and more like the ‘secular’ parties whose Muslim appeasement it has always opposed. The tie-up with the jihad-friendly PDP has already cost the saffron party considerable support; the continuation of this marriage of convenience is eroding the party’s nationalistic credentials by the day.

Second, BJP thinking is getting aligned with the ‘secular’, mainstream notion that the best way to tackle the Kashmir problem is unquestioning acquiescence to the demands of jihadists and jihad-friendly forces like PDP.

Third, the BJP is increasingly looking silly because its placation of separatists and their friends has had occasioned any softening in their positions, let alone change of heart. They continue to wave Pakistani flags in the Valley. In fact, the BJP’s pusillanimity has only emboldened the PDP.

In this context, Abhijit Jasrotia’s insolence stands out as an exemplar. He brashly defended Muslim supremacists on NewsX, not realizing that his defence was akin to a Jew championing the Nazi cause; for jihad is a supremacist ideology that is predicated upon the liquidation or at least subjugation of all non-Muslims. The way he talked to Maj. Gen. (Retd.) G.D. Bakshi was absolutely brazen; he went on to accuse the decorated officer as some kind of Taliban.

Jasrotia’s shamelessness should be seen as the expression of the PDP’s newfound belief that it could get away with anything. Its top leader and J&K Chief Minister could express gratitude to the terrorists in Pakistan, release notorious terrorist Masarat Alam, allow the waving of Pakistan flags, and torpedo the move to resettle the ousted Kashmiri Pandits, but the BJP would not do anything to check its mischief.

The problem, therefore, does not lie with the lack of information or the inadequacy of the institutional infrastructure to combat terror; it lies with the propensity of the ruling party to act in earnest against terror and separatists.