Of the ten districts in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK), Muzaffarabad, Neelam Valley, Hattian Bala and Forward Kahuta have a high level of Islamic extremism. According to an estimate, at present there are more than thirty Islamist madrassas, which in reality are factories of terrorism.
About twenty seven madrassas can be found across Mirpur, Bhimber and Kotli which belong to the Barelvi sect and four madrasas are owned and operated by the Taliban. In the past when the Taliban were ready to send mujahideens to the Indian Kashmir, their base camp was in Kotli. Neelam Valley, Hattian Bala, Forward Kahuta and Kotli are a few districts that share border with the Indian Kashmir. The madrasas in these districts are used to sneak in mujahideen across the Indian Kashmir to spread terrorism, the consequences of which are then borne by the common people.
Significantly, the Jamaat-e-Islami has firmly planted its claws in Kashmir, especially in Bagh and Rawalakot where they have literally started a mujahideen factory. They have turned young impressionable Muslims into Islamist cannon fodder, and continue to work on their evil plans.
Similarly, in Bagh and Rawalakot there are extremists of Sipah Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jamaat-ud-Dawa whose only job is turn themselves into suicide bombers and/or spread religious extremism. These Islamic extremists openly carry out their activities in these areas of occupied Kashmir. They run religious seminaries as well as NGOs and raise millions of dollars in the name of philanthropy, which is then used to carry out their evil “mission”. They employ all possible means to eliminate secular minded people and are responsible for tarnishing the image of religious Muslims.
These Islamic fundamentalists relentlessly campaign against anyone who tries to question or reason out with them. Negative propaganda is openly spread so that rational and secular people are unable to speak up. All questioning is curbed because Islamists find it very difficult to answer questions, they are only used to giving sermons. Pakistan’s intelligence agencies offer full support to these Islamist fanatics.
Islamist fanatics in Mirpur, Bhimber, Kotli receive all kinds of support from the Pakistani intelligence agencies. Although religious jihadists are also present in large numbers in these districts but the methodology is slightly different. This is because the people of this region are Peeri-Mureedi (disciples of Sufis and Saints)types, which is seen in the Barelvi sect of Islam.
Pakistani intelligence agencies play the Islamic religious card in a way that antagonizes different sects and beliefs of people of “Azad Kashmir” (POK). Their actions ensure that all sects are at loggerheads with each other.
It would not be wrong to call Jamaat-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi as the radical Islamist military wing of Pakistan Army and the ISI. Ganga Choti is a famous tourist spot of Bagh. Ganga Choti is at around 12,000 feet above sea level and is considered as one of the highest peaks of Kashmir. Even at this tourist place there is exists a check post of Jamaat-ud-Dawa. An ISI goon also remains on duty with the mujahideen at this check post. These mujahideen are stationed round the year whether its cold, hot, snowy or sunny. The mujahideen and ISI are present to facilitate the entry of terrorists produced in the madrasas inside Indian Kashmir.