Part 1 of this series can be found here.
Pakistan became the hub of global Jihadists. The US delegations conducted official visits at the Pak -Afghan borders and planes were landing with ammunitions and dollars to fuel the Jihad against the Infidel, the USSR. The western world titled Jihadists as Freedom Fighters. Osama Bin Laden was called into the US. He attended briefings and was given a mission to accomplish before his landing in Afghanistan.
Israel offered ammunition to Pakistan for Jihadists and the state of Pakistan thankfully accepted the generous offer through the US. The US, Pakistan and Israeli intelligence officers were deployed on Pak -Afghan borders to train the Mujahedeen. The new Arab and non -Arab Jihadist organisations were immediately formed and offices had been opened all around Pakistan.
The schools’ syllabus was changed and Jihadi verses and religious texts were added. The structure to form Jihadi generations was on its way. Pakistani president and dictator General Muhammad Zia UL Haq enforced strict shariah laws in the country. TV programs were changed, modernisation was banned, clubs were shut, the prayer was compulsory for all governmental employees. The sermons about Jihad were given in Friday prayers in all the mosques in Pakistan.
The militant training centres were operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The local religious parties perpetrated sending their religious students into Jihad in Afghanistan from their seminaries. The newspapers affiliated with religious parties circulated news of Jihad and Mujahideen’s successful operations against the USSR. People were keen to join the Afghan Jihad and their only wish was martyrdom. The country’s atmosphere was completely changed and it looked like Pakistanis were living in a live Jihadi camp. Shariah rules were introduced in Pakistani constitution and commanded everyone to follow it or face persecution.
Every single person was talking about Jihad and Shariah, everyone was involved in the Jihadist mission by any means. Religious parties’ workers were collecting donations for Jihad by knocking on every door, office, school and mosque. Millions of dollars were collected throughout the country and also, International aid was pouring on a monthly basis from Muslim nations, the US and from Western countries. The Jihadi clerics fled to the western countries, including the US and the UK to collect the donations as well as the manpower. Those who were being killed in the Afghan Jihad were granted the title of the Martyrs by the Muslims as well as the western countries. Martyred fund was established for the widows and orphans of the Mujahedeen.
The goal to promote Jihadism was applied on an immediate basis. The print and electronic media was constantly used to fuel the radicalisation. The Jihadist ideology was bred in every Governmental departments and every person had an easy access to a gun. Free arm licences were given to the people of Pakistan. The gun culture was introduced amongst them. Crime became the culture. The law and order situation began to lose its grip in the country.
The Pakistani spy agency, Inter – Services Intelligence (ISI) officers were commanded to keep the beard and listen to Jihadi sermons in mosques and in their workplaces. The spy chiefs of the US, UK, Pakistan and Israel arranged joint meetings to launch the Jihadist strategy in Pakistan and Afghanistan, respectfully. There were different sectarian and jihadi groups in the Pakistan army and in the ISI in relations to push the Jihadi culture within the institutions. The Pakistan army introduced a separate department whose prime goal was to promote, support and propagate the ideology of Jihad in Pakistan. They motivated religious cum political leaders to open Jihadist/militant wings within their organisations that would be run under their umbrella such as JUI (F), JUI (S), JI, Salafi and other Sunni and Shia organisations.
The ideology of Jihadism was taught in educational institutions. The basic Arabic alphabets were changed in primary schools. For example: The Arabic words “Alif” for Anaar (pomegranate), “Bay” for Bakri (Goat), “Jay” for (Jungle) and “Kaaf” for Kutta (dog) were changed into “Alif” for Allah, “Bay” for Bandook (Gun), “Jay” for Jihad and “Kaaf” for Kafir (Infidel), etc. This is how they indoctrinated the Militant/political Islam into the minds of the new generation and no doubt, the western world as well as the Islamic world wanted to raise a Jihadist generation to achieve their political goal, which was to defeat the communism.
Every individual wished to contribute his share in Jihad. Some provided finance and others their young children to participate in the holy cause. Arab Jihadists started landing in Pakistan, they opened mosques and seminaries and also got married with local Pakistani women. They opened the doors of their wealth to promote Jihad in Pakistan. Osama Bin Laden along with his Jihadist mentor Sheikh Abdullah Azzam arrived in Pakistan and opened their legal and official office with the help of Pakistani, American and Saudi Arabia’s support and assistance. They recruited thousands of local youngsters and sent them into the Afghan Jihad. Sheikh Abdullah Azzam is also known as the father of global Jihad, was a Palestinian Islamic and theological cleric and a founding member of Al-Qaeda. He founded the Maktab al-Khidmat, a prominent Jihadist organisation that was later turned into Al-Qaeda and succeeded by Osama Bin Laden after Azzam’s assassination in Peshawar, a city in Pakistan.
I must mention a very important thing, that Sheikh Abdullah Azzam was also a co-founder of the Lashkar -e- Taiba (LeT), a globally declared terrorist organisation, currently run by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed in Pakistan.
In a few years’ time, the current generation was ready to participate in the Islamic holy war and the future generation was successfully indoctrinated via their educational and social system. The media and Islamic seminaries played a very crucial role in relations to propagate Jihadism in the country. The religious extremism was at its peak. The religious parties and organisations became stronger than the government departments. The Jihadist leaders had more freedom of movement in Pakistan than the security officials. The extremist clerics became the decision makers of the country. They were able to make internal and external decisions regarding Pakistan. In this case, the state of Pakistan was successfully handed over or I can say, high jacked by Islamists whose core ideology was to promote and propagate Jihad all around the world with the help of Islamic and western powers.