Is New Delhi toying with an idea of sending its military to the Iraq-Syria battlefield to fight the Islamic State ? In a media interaction the other day, our Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar hinted India might do so. He said, “if there is a U.N. resolution .. a U.N. flag.. a U.N. mission.. , we will participate.” I, however, wonder how effective the United Nations can be in ending the threat of the Islamic State. Knowledgeable sources say four of the five permanent members of the U N Security Council -- the United States, France, Russia and Britain-- have of late been fighting the evil . But there is little coordinated strategy among the nations fighting the evil .
The sources say the major powers have divergent objectives in their war on the ISIS. Washington is interested in throwing out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus . But Moscow and Beijing back President Assad . The main fight against the ISIS needs to be waged on the ground . But the coalition is hardly focused . Syrian rebel groups are neither united nor strong enough to resist . Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and part of the U.S.-led coalition against IS, downed the Russian aircraft over the Syrian border in November . The Kurds have fought very hard against the IS on the ground . But Turkey has been bombing the Kurdish rebels as well on the Syrian border. Turkey is also allegedly complicit with the IS in facilitating its trade in oil.
Also, I don’t think the elimination of the Islamic State alone will end the Islamist terror . There are other radical violent sectarian extremists around. They have been created and are still shielded by states such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran . These states are yet to severe their links, overt or covert, with them. No joint action is yet in sight on terror outfits such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah in the Middle East.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force has been the force behind terror militias such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Houthis and others. Reports are that Tehran has backed al Qaeda against the West. It offered anti-aircraft weapons to the Taliban to “use against the United States and Coalition forces. The Kurds too have been the victims of the current Shia regime since long . But Russia and China have backed Khomeinist Iran. Now the West, the United States in particular, too, is cultivating Iran .
More importantly, New Delhi may bear in mind, Washington and Beijing are yet to be tough with elements in the Pakistan establishment who are the real brains behind terror against India . The main threat to India’s pluralistic culture and territorial integrity comes not from the Islamic State but from the radical Islamist version of the Wahabbism---Deoband seminary, Tablighi Jamaat, Ahle Hadith and the Jamaat-e-Islami. Islamabad continues to gloss over the activities of anti-India elements such as the Laskar-e-Taiba (LeT) aka Jamaat-ul-Dawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and others. According to a report , the Pakistan Army is tough to some jihadists only, not to their ideology. The banned sectarian groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat are still thriving in the country .