The Living Legacy of Zia Ul-Haq, Godfather of Pakistan’s Modern Jihadist Military
Then U. S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson, alarmed by her interaction with trainees at Pakistan’s National Defense University (NDU), where, after addressing them, she had “received astonishingly naive and biased questions about America,” wrote a 5/12/2008 memo “LIFE AT NDU: TRAINING PAKISTAN’S NEXT GENERATION OF MILITARY LEADERS,” now published as Wikileaks #153436 by the Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
The memo concludes with Ambassador Patterson’s concern that,
The elite of this crop of colonels and brigadiers are receiving biased NDU training with no chance to hear alternative views of the U.S.
The cable highlights these salient details provided by a US army officer, Col Michael Schleicher, who attended a course at Pakistan’s NDU:
Students are first instructed on classic nation state development, which includes use of Islamic texts.
During his professional and personal interactions with the students, Col. Schleicher estimated that approximately a third of his class was religiously devout, a third of his class was moderately religious, and less than a third of his class was overtly secular. Of the 135 Senior Course students, only two openly drank alcohol. Col. Schleicher believed the secular students felt peer pressure to appear more religious than they actually were.
Course instructors often had misperceptions about U.S. policies and culture and infused their lectures with these suspicions. For example, one guest lecturer–who is a Pakistani one-star general–claimed the U.S. National Security Agency actively trains correspondents for media organizations. Some students share these misconceptions despite having children who attended universities in the U.S. or London. For example, some did not believe the U.S. used female pilots overseas; they were convinced female pilots were restricted to flying within U.S. borders. Others thought the CIA was in charge of U.S. media (and that MI-5 was in charge of the BBC).
Students in the Junior Course shared many of the biases prevalent in the Muslim world, including a belief the U.S. invaded Iraq for its oil and that 9/11 was a staged “Jewish conspiracy.”
In contrast to criticism of the U.S., students and instructors were adamant in their approval of all things Chinese.
The roots of this indoctrination have been apparent for over three decades, and “the use of Islamic texts” refers specifically to “The Quranic Concept of War”, published in Lahore, originally in 1979. Under “President” Zia-ul-Haq’s patronage, this mainstream Pakistani text on jihad warfare by Brigadier S.K. Malik, was endorsed in a laudatory Foreword to the book by his patron, Zia-ul-Haq, as well as a more extended Preface by Allah Buksh K. Brohi, a former Advocate-General of Pakistan. This text—widely studied in Islamic countries, and available in English, Urdu, and Arabic—has been recovered from the bodies of slain jihadists in Kashmir, for example.
Brigadier Malik emphasizes how instilling terror is essential to waging successful jihad campaigns—like those acts of jihad terror we are witnessing, daily, on both sides of the Durand Line, and in India:
Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is the end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent’s heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved. It is the point where the means and the end meet and merge. Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy (sic); it is the decision we wish to impose upon him…
“Jehad,” the Quranic concept of total strategy. Demands the preparation and application of total national power and military instrument is one of its elements. As a component of the total strategy, the military strategy aims at striking terror into the hearts of the enemy from the preparatory stage of war…Under ideal conditions, Jehad can produce a direct decision and force its will upon the enemy. Where that does not happen, military strategy should take over and aim at producing the decision from the military stage. Should that chance be missed, terror should be struck into the enemy during the actual fighting.
…the Book [Quran] does not visualize war being waged with “kid gloves.” It gives us a distinctive concept of total war. It wants both, the nation and the individual, to be at war “in toto,” that is, with all their spiritual, moral, and physical resources. The Holy Quran lays the highest emphasis on the preparation for war. It wants us to prepare ourselves for war to the utmost. The test of utmost preparation lies in our capability to instill terror into the hearts of the enemies.
Regardless of faux, pseudo-secular, Western leaning leaders like Benazir Bhutto, or Pervez Musharraf, all Paki leaders foment jihad against Indian Kashmir—which alone creates, permanent, dangerous regional instability. More than a decade ago, Yossef Bodansky’s (1999) biography of Osama Bin Laden included details of what clearly remains Pakistan’s overarching (and duplicitous) policy despite the appearances of “Western leaning” Pakistani leaders, and their soothing rhetoric. Referring specifically to the late, much lionized Benazir Bhutto, Bodansky made these observations which US policymakers have continued to ignore at our nation’s peril—including Pakistan’s warm relations with China, mirrored in the Wikileaks memo capturing the Sinophilic sentiments of the Pakistani NDU officers in training.
Despite her rhetoric, Bhutto seemed genuinely convinced that the future of Pakistan lay with the Iranian-led Islamic bloc and its activist anti-US posture. By the end of 1993, after her round of visits to Beijing, Pyongyang, and Tehran, Bhutto clearly demonstrated her determination to implement these policies and realize this strategic posture as soon as possible. Markedly increasing Pakistan’s participation in the Islamist international terrorist system was an integral part of Bhutto’s new strategy.