In­dia sup­ply­ing weapons to ISIS

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENT - Sul­tan M Hali

Po­lice, the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and forces of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment. Th­ese com­po­nents were seized dur­ing bat­tles in the Iraqi towns of al Rabia, Kirkuk, Mo­sul, and Tikrit and the Syr­ian town of Kobani.

Th­ese find­ings sup­port grow­ing in­ter­na­tional aware­ness that IS forces in Iraq and Syria are very much self­sus­tain­ing, ac­quir­ing weapons and strate­gic goods with­out any dif­fi­culty. In­dia’s role in sup­port­ing ISIS with lethal IEDs parts that too with the tacit ap­proval of Gov­ern­ment has raised eye­brows World over. This role of In­dia is highly con­demnable and a drag to in­ter­na­tional ef­forts on com­bat­ing ISIS. CAR in­ves­ti­gated the sup­ply chain of weapons used in Iraq and Syria and dis­cov­ered that com­po­nents used in im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices (IEDs) are built us­ing com­mer­cial goods that do not re­quire a gov­ern­ment ex­port li­cense and fall un­der the radar and reg­u­la­tion of weapon sales.

Com­pany head­quar­ters in Ja­pan, Switzer­land and the United States man­u­fac­tured mi­cro-con­trollers and tran­sis­tors used in re­mote-con­trolled IEDs by ISIS mil­i­tants in Iraq, the re­port also states. CAR ap­proached rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the com­pa­nies in­volved and said some were sur­prised and even shocked. IEDs are now be­ing pro­duced on a “quasi-in­dus­trial scale” by the mil­i­tant group, which uses both in­dus­trial com­po­nents that are reg­u­lated and widely avail­able equip­ment such as fer­til­izer chem­i­cals and mo­bile phones, ac­cord­ing to Con­flict Ar­ma­ment Research (CAR), which un­der­took the 20-month study.

ISIS con­trols large swathes of Iraq and Syria. NATO mem­ber Turkey shares bor­ders with both coun­tries and has stepped up se­cu­rity to pre­vent the Email: sm_hali@ya­ flow of weapons and in­sur­gents to the hard line Sunni group. The study found that ISIS is able to ac­quire some com­po­nents in as a lit­tle as a month af­ter their law­ful sup­ply to firms in the re­gion, sug­ges­tion a lack of over­sight in the sup­ply chain. ISIS used chem­i­cal weapons in Syria and Iraq, CIA Di­rec­tor John Bren­nan said.

The sale of th­ese cheap and read­ily avail­able parts, some of which are not sub­ject to gov­ern­ment ex­port li­censes, is far less scru­ti­nized and reg­u­lated than the trans­fer of weapons. “We have a num­ber of in­stances where ISIL [an­other name for IS] has used chem­i­cal mu­ni­tions on the bat­tle­field,” Bren­nan told CBS News in an in­ter­view. He added that the mil­i­tant group had ca­pa­bil­i­ties to pro­duce small amounts of mus­tard gas or chlo­rine gas and pos­si­bly ex­port it to the West­ern coun­tries. The CIA chief said that US in­tel­li­gence was ac­tively in­volved in search­ing for chem­i­cal weapons or labs pro­duc­ing those in Syria and Iraq.

US Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Di­rec­tor ames Clap­per said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an al­leged ISIS at­tack in Syria in Au­gust re­vealed that at least two peo­ple were ex­posed to sul­fur mus­tard. In­dia does not let on its links with the ex­trem­ist ter­ror out­fit but has now been pres­sur­ized by in­ter­na­tional forces to take ac­tion against ISIS. Ma­ha­rash­tra Po­lice un­der in­struc­tions from Anti-ter­ror­ism Squad (ATS) has blocked a to­tal of 94 web­sites spread­ing ISIS pro­pa­ganda on the in­ter­net. The de­ci­sion was taken af­ter the po­lice forces in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) ar­rested at least six in­di­vid­u­als for link­ages with ter­ror con­duits.

It is also a mat­ter of con­cern that Afghan of­fi­cials and gov­ern­ment have been in a state of denial re­gard­ing the har­row­ing pres­ence of the ISIS in their coun­try. The main rea­son is that they are afraid of ad­mit­ting the weak­nesses of their own law en­force­ment agen­cies. Re­cently, Ha­jji Zahir Qadir, a se­nior Afghan Mem­ber Par­lia­ment has crit­i­cized the Afghan Gov­ern­ment for sup­port­ing the ISIS. First Deputy of Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Afghan Par­lia­ment) re­vealed that Afghan gov­ern­ment has adopted treach­er­ous poli­cies for tack­ling the ter­ror­ism in their coun­try. He dis­closed that Afghan Gov­ern­ment only tar­geted the Tal­iban dur­ing clashes be­tween Tehreek-e-Tal­iban Afghanistan (TTA) and ISIS in Nan­garhar. Among other dis­clo­sures, it was brought out that Afghan Gov­ern­ment has is­sued cards to Lashkar-e-Is­lam (LI) cadres out of which 90% are fight­ing in Achin and Nazian Dis­tricts of Nan­garhar. LI has the re­spon­si­bil­ity of mov­ing ISIS mil­i­tants from Nazian and Achin Dis­tricts to Ghani Khel District and from Bhati Kot District to Jalal­abad.

It is equally dis­tress­ing to learn that about a week ago, an ANSF he­li­copter landed in Hi­jrat vil­lage lo­cated in Surkh RudDistrict, Nan­garhar dur­ing night and dropped peo­ple dressed in black clothes. Ear­lier, the se­nior Afghan Mem­ber Par­lia­ment had also claimed with ev­i­dence that Afghan In­tel­li­gence and other de­part­ments have been sup­port­ing ISIS. Ha­jji Zahir Qadir’s group has be­headed 4 ISIS mil­i­tants in Achin District to avenge the be­head­ing of his as­so­ciates by ISIS. It is un­for­tu­nate that both of Pak­istan’s neigh­bours, In­dia and Afghanistan have been har­bour­ing, abet­ting and aid­ing the ISIS. This heinous col­lu­sion must be ex­posed and stopped. —The writer is re­tired PAF Group Cap­tain and a TV talk show host.

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