For the past two decades, the Jaish e Mohammed terrorist group, led by the Alvi brothers, has been targeting India with terror attacks on Parliament, Ayodhya, Pathankot, and Pulwama. The fact that the organisation is still active in Pakistan makes India vulnerable to future attacks.
Indian security remains vulnerable as long as Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar Alvi and his brothers are in charge of Pakistan’s terror factories.
Three years after the terror attack in Pulwama, the QUAD foreign ministers issued a joint statement condemning the 2008 Mumbai 26/11 and 2016 Pathankot airbase attacks. The four QUAD partners strongly condemned the use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism and demanded that terror attack perpetrators be held accountable. The banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist group carried out the 26/11 attack, while the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist group carried out the Pathankot attack. Both Punjab-based organisations have deep ties to Pakistan’s deep state, with the sole purpose of targeting India in the name of Kashmir and radicalising the Indian hinterland via local proxies.
While the QUAD ministers avoided mentioning Pakistan in relation to Mumbai and Pathankot, the Pulwama attack on February 14, 2019, was the last major attack carried out by JeM’s multinational terror factory in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, run by the Alvi brothers Masood, Rauf, and Ammar. Following the attack, the Narendra Modi government retaliated by destroying JeM’s terror camp at Jaba Top in Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, on February 26, 2019.
Although the exact number of terrorists killed at Balakot is unknown, according to high-resolution photographs taken within the camp a day before the attack, more than 300 religious radicals were spotted in the training camp a day before the attack.
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Following the Pulwama attack, the Indian security forces and the Jammu and Kashmir police went into action, and eight terrorists have been neutralised, including the Pulwama suicide bomber, and seven have been arrested and are awaiting trial in the NIA court in Jammu. Ashiq Nengroo, a former resident of Pulwama who is now a Jaish operative based in Occupied Kashmir, and the infamous Alvi brothers have yet to face Indian justice.
Despite the fact that the Modi government has had Pakistan-based terrorist groups on its radar since 2014, the JeM and LeT terror factories are up and running, inspired by the Taliban, who degraded and eventually forced US-led multinational forces to leave Afghanistan after two decades of fighting. Even though the Taliban has yet to take control of Afghanistan, their rise has boosted the confidence of both Pakistani and Indian local jihadists. In the Indian subcontinent, as well as other parts of the world, Islamic radicalization is on the rise.
The JeM has been relentless in targeting India since its inception in the aftermath of the 1999 IC-814 hijacking to Kandahar in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, with major attacks on Parliament in 2001 and the Ramjanambhoomi temple in Ayodhya in 2005. If the attack on the Ayodhya temple had succeeded, it would have sparked a massive communal conflagration and ripped the societal fabric apart. This is precisely the goal of Pakistan’s deep state, which has terror factories operating in Muridke, Lahore, and Bahawalpur.
India will continue to be vulnerable to terror attacks as long as terrorists like Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed are alive and their family empires are running with the support of Rawalpindi. Pakistan simply has nothing to lose in its quest to bring India down. Increased radicalization of Indian Muslims due to religious and political issues, as well as insecurity, will prepare more recruits for these groups to exploit, as it is a win-win situation for them. Pulwama is just another jihadi checkpoint for the Alvi brothers. India will not be safe until Pakistani terrorist leaders thrive.