The European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) has expressed fear that Pakistan-backed and trained ‘jihadi’ terrorists will be diverted to Kashmir after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. During a virtual intervention at the ongoing 48th regular session of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Junaid Qureshi, the Director of EFSAS and a Kashmiri drew the Council’s attention to the grave situation in Afghanistan and the ramifications it could have for Jammu and Kashmir.
“When the Soviets left Kabul in 1989, many Islamist fighters had to go somewhere. And for many, somewhere was Kashmir. 32 years later, when the last US soldier has left Afghanistan and Taliban has taken over, it again has left thousands of mercenaries jobless, who are triumphant after having driven yet another superpower out of Afghanistan,”, he said. Junaid said, “Visions of the dreadful years in the 1990s when these jihadis, trained, armed and patronized by Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency, the ISI, were re-routed to Kashmir, have now come back to haunt us”.
“In view of the destructive role that Pakistan has historically played in the region, the people of Jammu and Kashmir fear that the country will persist with its strategy of supporting terrorism and will resume its policy of pushing terrorists into Kashmir to keep dangerous veterans of the Afghan campaigns from destabilizing Pakistan itself,” he said. Junaid said that the Kashmiris stand with Afghans, but are against the Taliban and terrorism.
He urged the Council to intervene and deter Pakistan from imposing its merchandise of terror and jihad on Afghans and Kashmiris. “Because while we feel honoured with the Afghan proverb which says that everyone’s own homeland is Kashmir to him, we would not want our bruised homeland to become the Afghanistan of today”, he said.