By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
08 Jul , 2016
The historical basis of the ISI’s confidence flows from the fact that both the US and China used Pakistan for creating the Taliban and Al Qaeda and the US gave Pakistani regulars and Taliban safe exit from Afghanistan during the US invasion. Proxies of Pakistan continue to be used in the Great Game. That is why Mussharaf confidently says, “Osama-bin-Laden, Ayman-al-Zhaveri, Haqqanis are our heroes ….. We trained the LeT against India”.
…the Haqqani Network based in Pakistan past 30 years itself is Al Qaeda, as acknowledged by US scholars and being used not only as a crucial anti-India asset in Afghanistan but also against US and Afghan security forces.
When Asim Umar was appointed the AQIS South Asia head by Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in September 2014, it not only denoted the Pakistani connection, it obviously was on the recommendation and behest of Pakistan’s ISI. After all the finesses with which Osama bin-Laden was kept in a safe house for years in Abbotabad right under the noses of US-NATO forces searching for him in Afghanistan, was well-planned investment for future dividend. It is unclear if the CIA was aware of Osama’s whereabouts but Benazir Bhutto from abroad had certainly given a broad hint by saying Osama bin-Laden was perhaps in Musharraf’s backyard. But then the Haqqani Network based in Pakistan past 30 years itself is Al Qaeda, as acknowledged by US scholars and being used not only as a crucial anti-India asset in Afghanistan but also against US and Afghan security forces.
Getting back to Asim Umar, his birthplace remains a mystery, some suggesting Uttar Pradesh in India where he attended the Darul Uloom Deoband seminary before migrating to Pakistan in 1990s. In Pakistan, he studied at the Jamia-ul-Islamia in Karachi and later at the Darul Uloom Haqqani in Khyber Pakhtunwala (KPK). Darul Uloom Haqqani is also known as the ‘University of Jihad’ where notorious radicals like Mullah Mansour Akhtar and Sirajuddin Haqqani have been past alumni.