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The late Mohammad Khan Junejo, who was sacked by Zia-ul-Haq as the Prime Minister in 1988, the late Zehur Elahi, who was assassinated in the 1980s allegedly by the Al Zulfiquar of the late Murtaza Bhutto, brother of Mrs. Benazir Bhutto, Mr.Nawaz Sharif, the present Pakistani Prime Minister, Qazi Hussain Ahmed,the Amir of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI),and Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK),were amongst the political leaders closest to Zia.

While Junejo,a Sindhi,was considered an independent-minded politician with no clandestine nexus to the military-intelligence complex,the other four were widely viewed in Pakistan as the creations of the complex,who were happy to do the bidding of the military regime for political and material gains.

Zia used Zehur Elahi and Mr.Sharif, both Punjabis, to counter the influence of Mrs.Benazir Bhutto and her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in Punjab and to act as channels for passing on the financial and other assistance of the Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI)to the Sikh extremist groups. In fact, Mr.Sharif, who was looking after his family business interests in the United Arab Emirates (UAE),was persuaded by the ISI to return to Punjab and join politics.

When Mrs. Benazir, after taking over as the Prime Minister in November,1988,ordered the ISI to stop assisting the Sikh extremists,the latter, without her knowledge,used to pass on the money to Mr.Sharif,who was then the Chief Minister of Punjab,for being distributed to the Sikh extremist groups.

Zia used the Qazi,a Pakhtoon from the North-West Frontier Province, to rally the support of the clergy for the military regime and to act as a channel for assisting the Kashmiri extremist groups. The Qazi was assisted in the second task by Sardar Qayyum Khan.

Even though the Qazi took over as the JI Amir only in 1988, the year of Zia's death, his personal proximity to Zia gave him tremendous political and administrative influence even before 1988. Zia,like the Qazi,was a devout Deobandi, and treated him with genuine respect and obliged him in various ways

Zia inducted a large number of JI mullahs into the Education Department as Arabic teachers, favoured military, police and civilian officers recommended by the Qazi for promotions and appointments to key posts and consulted him on his Afghan and Kashmir policies.

Mr.Sharif, in his keenness to ingratiate himself with the military-intelligence complex, sedulously cultivated the Qazi. As the Chief Minister of Punjab and later, even as the Prime Minister in his first tenure, Mr.Sharif always used to walk reverentially after the Qazi in public gatherings and would remain standing till the Qazi sat down.

The ISI had persuaded Mr.Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League(PML)and the Qazi's JI to come together in the Islamic Democratic Front(IDF)to counter the PPP. Even though they failed to stop Mrs. Benazir in the 1988 elections, they succeeded in the 1990 elections held after the dismissal of Mrs.Benazir, with the help of the ISI's funds and alleged rigging.

Till 1992, the Sharif-Qazi nexus held together. Mr.Sharif consulted the Qazi on all key appointments and decisions and allowed him to literally run the Afghan and Kashmir policies through a JI functionary, who was inducted into the Prime Minister's office as Adviser.

However, differences started developing between the two in 1992 because of the Qazi's open support for President Saddam Hussain of Iraq, which created difficulties for Mr.Sharif in his relations with Saudi Arabia, and the Qazi's unhappiness over Mr.Sharif reducing the ISI's assistance to Gulbuddin Heckmatyar of the Hizbe Islami of Afghanistan.

They came to a parting of the ways when Mr.Sharif ordered the ISI to use the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and the Markaz Dawa Al Irshad and not the JI for passing on assistance to Kashmiri extremist groups and removed from his entourage those considered close to the Qazi and the JI.

The PML issued advertisements in the Urdu press demanding that the JI should render accounts of how it spent the annual grant of Rs.100 million which it was receiving from the Government (meaning the ISI) for over a decade for assisting the Kashmiri cause.

The JI retaliated by demanding that Mr.Sharif should give details of how he spent the money allegedly given to him for helping the "Khalistanis". Insinuations were made that Mr.Sharif misused this money for expanding his family's business empire.

Subsequent attempts at a rapprochement were not effective and the JI's criticism of Mr.Sharif has intensified after the visit of the Indian Prime Minister, Mr.A.B.Vajpayee, to Lahore in February, which was bitterly opposed by it, and after Mr.Sharif ordered the end of the Kargil invasion.

The JI is now in the forefront of the Islamic organisations in Pakistan calling for a permanent jihad against India. Even though it enjoys very little electoral support (less than 3 per cent), it continues to have a close nexus with the military-intelligence complex and,often,either reflects the complex's views on matters relating to India or acts as their surrogate in their covert operations directed against India. It is, therefore, important to closely monitor its views and activities.

In February, coinciding with the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Lahore, Nawabzada Nabiullah Khan of Quetta, Balochistan, a close associate of the Qazi, who had lived with him for six years in his house at Peshawar and had accompanied him on his travels in Pakistan as well as abroad, had given a detailed interview to the Balochi language monthly called "Jamhooria Islamia" on the Qazi and his hidden agenda, which he does not discuss in public.

In this interview, the Nawabzada speaks of the aims and objectives of the JI as projected to the public and as revealed by the Qazi to his close associates. For example, even though the Qazi supports in public women's right to education and employment, the Nawabzada says that the Qazi's views on this are exactly identical with those of the Taliban of Afghanistan, but he did not want to say so in public because women in Pakistan have the right to vote.

According to the Nawabzada, if the JI came to power, it would abolish the women's voting rights and keep them confined to only those professions where they would interact and compete with other women and exclude them from those where they might interact and compete with men. Women's education would be restricted to meet this narrow requirement.

Before the Taliban came to power it never opposed women's rights, but after having captured power, it drastically restricted their rights. The JI, according to him, was following a similar tactics.

From the point of view of India's national security, the most worrying portion of his interview relates to the JI's hidden agenda regarding India. He says that it was the Qazi who persuaded Zia to start Operation Topac. Its main aim was not just the acquisition of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) as assumed by Indian analysts, but to make India break into a million pieces through permanent jihad.

The Qazi convinced Zia that the loss of J&K by India would set in motion the process of disintegration and,for promoting this,Pakistan should exploit not only the grievances of the Muslims against the Hindus, but also the ethnic and linguistic differences amongst different sections of the non-Muslim population in East and South India and support militancies in different parts of India, whether these were started by Muslims or non-Muslims.

The Nawabzada claims that during Zia's regime, two secret meetings of the JI leaders of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh were held at Peshawar and Multan at which the leaders of India and Bangladesh agreed to work under the overall direction of Pakistan's JI for this purpose.

He also says that the JI felt that to achieve their initial objective in J&K it was necessary to reduce the percentage of Hindus in the State, but the Hindus of the valley, when attacked by the extremists, shifted to Jammu instead of fleeing to other parts of India.

This did not help them in bringing about a change in the demographic composition of the State. Hence, the militants were asked to target the Hindus of Jammu in order to drive them out. The JI similarly wanted the militants to target the Buddhists and drive them out of Ladakh.

Talking of the JI's plans in the rest of India, the Nawabzada states as follows: "We have planned to start riots in each State against the neighbouring State in order to keep the States fighting amongst themselves. There are many Kannadigas and Telugus in Tamil Nadu. We will start anti-Telugu riots in Madras, which will keep Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu fighting." He adds: "If we keep an explosive device in a Telugu cinema hall in Madras and another in a Tamil cinema hall in Andhra, the fighting between the two communities will continue for ever. Similar actions could be taken in the Assam cultural centres in West Bengal and in the Hindi Prachar Sabha in Orissa. Given the differences amongst different ethnic and linguistic groups in India, the possibilities of action are immense."

The Nawabzada says that the Qazi feels that a united India where the Hindus were in a majority was an impediment to Pakistan and that the JI should, therefore, aim to break this unity.

In the light of the recent reports of the recovery of high-quality RDX explosives of Pakistani origin in different parts of the country, it would be necessary for our intelligence community to pay close attention to the activities of the JI of Pakistan and Bangladesh and their sympathisers in India.

The attachment gives the salient points of the policies and views of the JI on other subjects as indicated in the interview. (27-8-99)


(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt.of India, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies,Chennai. E-Mail: )


  1. A woman has no right to an independent life outside her family. She can be educated, but not to enable her to compete with men. She has no role to play in war or in politics. On coming to power, the JI would abolish the voting rights of women and the religious minorities. However, this would not now be announced as a policy lest women and the minorities, who have these rights presently, vote against the JI.
  2. The JI would levy a special tax ("jizya") on the religious minorities in order to force them to embrace Islam. Both monetary and psychological pressures would be used to make the religious minorities become Muslims.
  3. After the destruction of the Babri Masjid in India in December,1992, the JI was actively involved in destroying the Hindu temples in Punjab and Sindh. It ordered the destruction of Hindu family property also. For each Hindu temple destroyed, a Muslim moves one step closer to Allah. Babar was a true Muslim and,hence,destroyed the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Muslims in Pakistan and India should emulate his example.
  4. Under the JI, the present Pakistani Constitution would be abrogated and a Caliphate set up in Pakistan. It would be ruled by a presidium consisting of the senior leaders of the JI and the chiefs of the armed forces. The Qazi would be designated as the Caliph. The Sharia would be its Constitution and only those who had studied in religious madrassas would be recruited to the judiciary.
  5. The JI is highly impressed by the policies of the Taliban on women's role, rights of religious minorities and law and order and would emulate them. The JI has already reached an agreement in principle with the Taliban that once Islamic rule has been set up in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan would form an Islamic Union.
  6. The JI's motto is permanent jihad to set up an Islamic empire extending from Myanmar to Afghanistan and from Sri Lanka to Tajikistan. In this permanent jihad, the JI would use all tactics including terrorism in the kafir-controlled areas and negotiations in the Muslim-controlled areas.
  7. Once the JI captures power in Pakistan and conquers India, bringing Sri Lanka and Myanmar into the Islamic empire should not be difficult. The faith of the Buddhists in their religion is not as strong as that of the Hindus in theirs and, hence, with a little pressure, it should be easier to make the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and Myanmar embrace Islam.
  8. The Muslim rulers of India could not make the Hindus embrace Islam because they depended on Hindu advisers and bureaucrats for running the administration and did not use force for conversion. Once the JI conquers India, it would declare India an Islamic Republic, abolish the voting rights of non-Muslims and use terror, if necessary, to force the non-Muslims embrace Islam.
  9. It was through the skilful use of terror that the percentage of Hindus in Pakistan's population was brought down from 15 per cent in 1947 to less than one per cent at present. Similar terror would be used against the Hindus, Christians and other non-Muslims in India.
  10. The JI does not consider the over 120 million Muslims of India as true Muslims because they have voluntarily chosen to live under non-Muslim rule and eat the foodgrains produced by the Hindu farmers. For a true Muslim, it is better to live under a bad Muslim ruler than under a good non-Muslim ruler. The Hindu farmers offer their harvests to their Gods before selling or eating them. How can a true Muslim eat foodgrains that have already been offered to a God other than Allah?
  11. It is for these reasons that the JI is not bothered if the Indian Muslims die in communal riots. However, despite this, the JI considers those Indian Muslims who support Pakistan and work and die for the glory of the Islamic Ummah as true Muslims.
  12. Islam does not prohibit slavery so long as one treats slaves with kindness. Slavery is still in vogue in Saudi Arabia. On coming to power, the JI would, therefore, re-introduce slavery and lay down that only non-Muslims could be used as slaves. All the non-Muslims of India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, who refused to embrace Islam, would be declared as slaves and sold by the State to the Muslims, who can afford them. They would be emancipated whenever they agree to embrace Islam.
  13. The Hindus are a corrupting influence in Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Gulf. They should not be allowed to work in those countries. It is outrageous on the part of the Governments of Yemen and Qatar to have allowed the construction of Hindu temples in their territory. It is even more outrageous that some Muslims of Qatar visit the Hindu temple, that a member of the royal family attended the inauguration of the temple and that one of the powerful members of the Qatar royal family is a devotee of the Hindu God Ayyappan. If Islam is to be purified, all such Hindu influences should be eradicated.
  14. The JI would make the conversion of a Muslim to another religion a criminal offence punishable with death for the Muslim who embraces the other religion as well as for the person who converted him.
  15. Religion is far superior to science. Whatever man needs to know is already contained in the holy Quran and the Hadiths. It is not, therefore, necessary for man to know more.
  16. Science sows the seeds of doubt in the minds of Muslims regarding the validity of the holy Quran as the word of God and, hence, should not be encouraged.
  17. Photography is the greatest evil produced by science. The Taliban has already banned it in Afghanistan and the JI would do so in Pakistan except for use in passports and identity cards. (Comments: The Taliban and the JI consider photography as evil because, according to them, it has made men and women aware of the physical attraction of each other)
  18. All the existing languages of Pakistan would be banned and only Arabic, the divine language, would be allowed to be used. The JI is already heavily funding the spread of the knowledge of Arabic in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

The secular-minded journalists of Pakistan are the main impediment in the JI's attempts to capture power because they try to have the JI discredited in the eyes of the Muslims by pointing out that before 1947 the JI of united India had strongly opposed the Muslim League's demand for the partition of India and for the creation of Pakistan. The present JI has nothing to do with the pre-1947 Jamaat of united India. These journalists are as bad as the Ahamadiyas.