Sentralregjeringens handlingslammelse og sommel med å hjelpe jordskjelvofrene, gjør at ekstreme islamister ser sitt snitt til å hjelpe. Disse er sterkt anti-indiske.
Befolkningen i landsbyene langs demarkasjonslinjen ønsket at indiske soldater skulle få hjelpe. De står bare noen kilometer unna. De har utstyret som trengs, men Islamabad gir dem ikke lov. Istedet sprer islamistene sitt hat.
As a result of the Pakistani government’s failure to get aid to the most remote areas, Kashmiris living in towns like Bagh are turning for help to well-organised Islamic militant groups, officially banned by President Musharraf. In the mosques of Kashmir they are talking of a new jihad. Pakistan-based Islamic militants, who spent the past decade fighting Indian rule in the region, have announced a ‘holy war’ to help victims of the earthquake.
The United Jihad Council, a loose alliance of pro-Pakistan militant organisations, last week announced a temporary truce in the areas hit by the quake but warned it wouldn’t allow Indian troops to carry out relief work in their territory. Jamaat-ud-Dawa, with past links to Lashkar-e-Taiba - blacklisted as a ‘terrorist organisation’ by the US - was also among the first groups to offer organised aid in Bagh following last Saturday’s earthquake. The group’s high-profile activities in recent days have angered the Indian military, reducing the already slim chance of it intervening in the area.
Jason Burke forklarer hvorfor det er islamistene som er effektive: Ikke-religiøse, rene humanitære NGO’er blir ikke tolerert av myndighetene. De trakasseres og får ikke bygge seg opp til noe i nærheten av det vi kjenner. Når ulykken er ute, vet islamistene at det er en enesteående anledning til å vise befolkningen hvem som bryr seg. Regjeringen gjør det ikke: den er korrupt og udugelig.
In 1989, when a major earthquake struck the Tipasa region in Algeria, the official response was pathetic. In Egypt, three years later, the poorer districts of Cairo itself did not see a government official for days after a tremor killed hundreds. In Turkey, too, the civilian government and the powerful military failed lamentably after a tremor in 1999 killed nearly 20,000 and left 50,000 homeless.
However, in each case there was one set of organisations that provided help swiftly and effectively: the Islamic religious groups. So it should be no surprise that in Pakistan it was activists like those of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an ultra-hardline group with past links to a banned militant group, who took up the slack.
But why? First, states such as Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan and, until recently, Turkey harass and obstruct secular, often liberal, NGOs, leaving the way clear for the religious networks. In addition, these networks are dedicated and uncorrupt, while government bodies are riddled with corruption, laziness and incompetence. The religious groups are organised and disciplined, with considerable funds from mosque and private collections at home and abroad
Nor is relief work anything new for the religious groups. The Front Islamique du Salut (FIS) in Algeria, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Pakistani groups, of which Jamaat-ud-Dawa is only one, all see the provision of basic social needs for a population that has been failed by the state as the bedrock of their strategy. So, incidentally, do Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hizbollah in Lebanon.
Anger in Kashmir as death toll rises
With doctors and aid agencies stretched, to the limit villagers are outraged by government delays and a new stand-off with India, reports Dan McDougall in Uri
Islamic religious groups will quickly take advantage of government shortcomings, warns Jason Burke