On February 3, 2020, minister of state for parliamentary affairs, Pakistan, Ali Muhammad Khan said that the Ghazwa-e-Hind has begun. I am positive that I myself will uphold the flag of Pakistan and raise it high in Kashmir, he also said.

The important part in the minister’s speech is the use of the word Ghazwa-e-Hind, which means the holy raid of India. This is a phrase that has been used by terrorist organisations a lot. In the various protests that have taken place against the citizenship law, the role of radical Islamists has been found. These are the same radicals who preach Ghazwa-e-Hind and their sole intention is the destruction of India and the imposition of the Sharia law.

Setting the stage:
Days after the riots in Delhi, messages on several chat groups cropped up seeking recruitments into terrorist groups. Images of the riots were used largely by these groups as recruitment material. Intelligence Bureau officials studying these cases tell MyNation that this propaganda would continue, and terror groups would continue to use these incidents and images as recruitment tools.

It is the groups such as the Islamic State, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Tayiba which have used such instances to the maximum. All these groups have one philosophy and that is Ghazwa-e-Hind. The sole intention is the destruction of India and the imposition of the Sharia law, the officer cited above says.

Engineering the riots:
The capture of Sharukh Pathan, the gun wielding man is a story by itself. Police officials interrogating him say that he is highly radicalised. However, during questioning, he maintained that his act of shooting was a spur of the moment decision. However, his intention was to clearly terrorise and possibly kill people, so that the intensity of the riots increase.

If one takes into account the riots that took place at Uttar Pradesh and Mangaluru, the hand of the Students Islamic Movement of India became clear. The riots were being engineered so that the Muslims come out in large numbers. It is the death of the Indian Muslims that the SIMI has used several times in the past to recruit. Also, one must remember, the man who headed the radical faction of the SIMI, Safdar Nagori too propagated Ghazwa-e-Hind. If one looks at the ongoing protests and violence, there is a clear message to misguide the Indian Muslims by suggesting that the citizenship law affects them. In reality it is an attempt to spread havoc, panic and chaos so that violence takes place.

The 2009 plan:
The Mumbai 26/11 attacks too were part of a larger plan aimed at Ghazwa-e-Hind. It was around the same time that the Karachi Project was planned. To oversee this project, the ISI had roped in the chief of the Al-Qaeda’s 313 brigade, Ilyas Kashmiri.

The Karachi Project was set in motion to achieve the larger goal of Ghazwa-e-Hind. It involved carrying out a series of low intensity attacks in various cities and then striking big. There were in fact several attacks in various cities such as Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Delhi, before the Lashkar-e-Tayiba struck big in Mumbai.

A Kashmiri who was tasked with the project trained several terrorists at the Mangala dam near Islamabad. They were to be sent to Gujarat and later to Kashmir. This was done to boost terrorism in the Valley. Several such operations were carried out and over the years, the ISI managed to plant a large number of terrorists in the Valley.

The role of the JeM:
The Jaish-e-Mohammad has been using the protests and riots around the citizenship law extensively to spruce up recruitments. A close watch is being kept on its modules and sleeper cells, which the Intelligence today believes is active and on overdrive mode. There has been plenty of chatter that suggests that the JeM has become very active and has been upping the ante on the recruitment front, especially in the cities of North India.

The JeM it may be recalled had brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war, twice. The first time, it was in 2001, following the attack on Parliament. The second time was following the Pulwama attack in 2019. Both these attacks were part of the larger plan that is Ghazwa-e-Hind. The intention was to bring the two countries to war and create a state of chaos.

Pakistan has always propagated this concept and today there are radicals from within India who are only helping them further their cause.

Apart from the Pakistan minister cited above, there are many others in Pakistan who have spoken about Ghazwa-e-Hind. Zaid Hamid, who calls himself a security analyst, in August, had said, we are entering the Ghazwa-e-Hind. Veena Malik, an actress in Pakistan too had recently spoken about this.

However, for India the big concern today is that there are many who are fuelling these riots and they do not realise that they are playing into the hands of Pakistanis who have been propagating Ghazwa-e-Hind for long now.