Trouble for India as Pakistan terror groups join with Islamic State, and Taliban in Afghanistan
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When a militant attack on Nagrota in Jammu unfolded late in November, senior Indian intelligence officials were keeping a close watch on the Indian consulate in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
The Army had been provided with intelligence inputs that the Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based terror outfit, had planned simultaneous attacks against Indian targets. According to the intelligence, while one attack was planned on a “high value military target” in the “Jammu region”, the other target was the Indian consulate in Afghanistan.
When India received intelligence of the impending attacks, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval wrote to General Dalbir Singh, then the Army chief, asking him to alert the lower formations in the Jammu region. However, the exact details of the target were not known, and the attack went through. For reasons not known, the attack on the Indian consulate did not take place. However, both threats were a part of a larger and a potent new threat to Indian interests.
The Nagrota attack, as well as the one on the Pathankot Air Force station last January, pointed to a worrying phenomenon never seen in the Indian sub-continent before.
The attacks, and credible intelligence gathered by several countries, show there is a growing working relationship between the Pakistan-based largely Punjabi terror groups, and the Taliban and Islamic State-Khorasan Province based in Afghanistan.
Security analysts feel that one of the main reasons Punjabi-speaking fighters are joining the Taliban or the ranks of the Islamic State-Khorasan Province is to ensure that Pakistan’s external spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence, continues to have reasonable control over Afghanistan’s various militant outfits and ideologies.