Taliban,India and IC 814

In 1994, Masood Azhar was traveling in an auto-rickshaw with Sajjad Afghani. At that time, Masood was a part of a group called Harkat-ul-Ansar, while Sajjad Afghani was a part of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM).

                              Sajjad afghani

Ajit Dovel and Masood Azhar

The military intelligence was intercepting both of them. They were both arrested after a small chase at Khanabal Chowk, Anantnag, Kashmir. They were both sent to Jammu for interrogation. Immediately after their arrest, Ajit Dovel was one of the officials who played a very crucial role in the interrogation of Masood. 

Ajit Dovel says that Masood was initially very rigid and was unwilling to speak out to the Indian army regarding any information after his arrest. One of the Army jawans ended up in slapping him hard undercover sti, Masood did not breakdown, This was the time New Delhi recalled Dovel  (who was on a mission in London) to interrogate Masood at Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu. 

Dovel recalls that when he Masood for the first time, Masood complained to him that he had never been slapped by his father but by an Indian Army jawan. Dovel showed him the picture of Omar Saeed Sheikh and Ilyas Kashmiri. Be of them had a relationship with Masood and Dovel wanted to know the relationship. Masood opened up in front of Dovel. During interrogation, Masood told Dovel that he had landed in India through a fake Portuguese passport and ISI had instructed him to carry out the merger of HuM and Harkat-ul-jihad-E-Islami (HUJI), led by Nasrullah Manzoor Langaryar, who was also in Indian custody.

Al Faran

Dovel says that in 1995, a group called Al Faran (led by Abdul Hamid al-Turki) and created by the ISI, as a shadow group sought the release of Masood Azhar. When Dovel asked Masood about Abdul Hamid al-Turki, Masood said that Turki was a man of low intellect and one who had been a Turkish national and presently living in Anantnag. 

The army used this input of Masood and on 4 December 1995, the army killed Turki in an operation in Anantnag. However, Dovel asserts that throughout his interrogation, Masood always asserted that India is underestimating the popularity of Masood. He used to say that ISI would do anything and everything to secure his release. 

Dovel says that probably, the words of Azhar proved out to be prophetic and on 31 December 1999, in return for passengers of IC 814 (an Indian Airlines aircraft hijacked by the ISI and taken to Kandahar), Masood was released. Mullah Mansoor (Minister of Civil Aviation of Afghanistan 1996-2001) in Pakistan at that time observed that moment Masood reached Pakistan, he was declared the ultimate Ghazi' against India, and ISI handed over to him all the training camps cadre of HuM. The cadre was now merged into a new group called Jaish-e-Mohammad. 

Dovel was sent to Pakistan in 2000 on a diplomatic cover. Dovel says that one day he was on his way to his office (Indian High Commission) when the vehicles on the road were stopped for allowing a convoy to pass. As Dovel sat in his car, he saw a convoy of Toyota vehicles with Masood Azhar branding Kalashnikov going towards the Lal Masjid. Dovel says that thankfully Masood Azhar did not see him in the car!

Ajit Dovel with Masood Azhar (white turban), Omar Sheikh & Mushtaq Zargar in Kandhar

The IC 814 incident not only cemented the Pakistan-Taliban nexus but also was an eye-opener for India. India realized its strategic failure of not being able to establish contacts with the Taliban. But, per Mullah Mansoor, the IC 814 incident also softened India's stand on the Taliban as India realized that the Taliban had no role to play in executing the IC 814 incident, which was solely the brain of ISI. X and Z say that the Taliban was reluctant to allow IC 814 to even land in Kandahar, but the ISI put its foot does he also helped India realize that the Taliban was not a threat to India. 

Mullah mansoor says that the Taliban may be supported by Pakistan but they are not the bondage of Pakistan, Taliban has never fought in Kashmir they do condemn violence by India in Kashmir, but they favor a peaceful dialogue. 

In fact, Dovel so that the Taliban has never waged a jihad against India. All these helped India to gradually change the tie Perception of the Taliban.

Mullah Mansour(leader of Taliban )

               Mullah Mansour(leader of Taliban )

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