Strategic Analysis

Strategic Analysis:
A Monthly Journal of the IDSA

June 2000 (Vol. XXIV No. 3)


Export of Holy Terror to Chechnya From Pakistan and Afghanistan
By Vinod Anand *


It was towards the latter half of the seventh century that Islam initially came to the North Caucasus region through Arab conquests. However, it was only during the late 17th and early 19th centuries when the present day Daghestan and Chechnya were largely converted to Islam with some proportion of Chechen population accepting Islam as late as 1895. This was largely due to efforts of Arab and Caucasian Sufi missionaries and the two predominant orders were Naqshbandiya and Quadriya brotherhoods. The last two hundred years have witnessed, first, the effort of Tsarist Russia to keep Chechens under control and thereafter the Bolsheviks following suit. During World War II, Stalin deported a large number of Chechen and Inguish people to Siberia and Kazakhstan. And now after the collapse of Soviet Russia, the Russo-Chechen conflict has carried on.

In the aftermath of ‘Perestroika’ and disintegration of the Soviet Union, Chechnya declared independence from Russia on September 6, 1991 under the leadership of Dzokhar Dudayev. He was able to seize all important assets and established control over the region. The Russian state could only organise a concerted effort to overthrow Dudayev in November 1994 when the first major military offensive to remove him from power was launched. However, it was only in August 1996 that this violent Russo-Chechen conflict came to an end albeit temporarily with a peace agreement. 1 The presidents of Russia and Chechnya signed a pact that rejected the use of force and visualised a final agreement on the political status of Chechnya after 2001. However, peace was shattered in August 1999 when Chechens launched a violent incursion into Daghestan in August 1999 followed by explosions in Moscow and two other cities in September, killing over 300 people. These explosions were supposedly the handiwork of Chechen militia.


The Holy War

It was sometime in 1993 that Dudayev gave the call for jihad (holy war). There were some reports that Dudayev’s call was answered by many Pakistani, Afghan and Iranian volunteers. It is also believed that Inter Services Intelligence of Pakistan trained Chechen fighters in the training camps of Afghanistan and Pakistan on the same lines as they had trained Afghans against the Soviet Union. During the first Chechen war of 1994-1996, Pakistan along with some other Muslim countries, was in the forefront of criticising the Russian military intervention in Chechnya. Pakistan rejected the claims that its citizens were in Chechnya as mercenaries but made the usual remark that ‘there is sympathy and concern for the people of Chechnya in Pakistan and other Islamic countries.’ 2

In August 1999, Afghan, Pakistani and Arab militants, trained in training camps set up by militant organisations of various hues and persuasions in Pakistan and Afghanistan, are understood to have participated along with Chechen commander Shamil Basayev and Jordanian fighter Khattab when they stormed some areas of Daghestan in Russia. 3 This led to the second military intervention by Russia in Chechnya. These Islamic militants saw themselves as “warriors of Allah” performing their divine duty to carry out the will of God. Ultimately, the Russian forces threw them out from Daghestan and their actions were more akin to those of Islamic terrorists rather than the ‘liberators’ of Daghestan. Some of these elements, after returning from Chechnya participated in a campaign led by the Farghana-based Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to capture more than 20 villages in Kyrgyzstan. 4 Thus, such Islamic groups are exploiting the weak political and law and order situation in the regions of North Caucasus and Central Asian countries.


Training Camps

Pakistan is home to approximately 6,000 religious seminaries that churn out as many as 500,000 students, among them Pakistani, Arabs, Central Asians and even those from North Caucasus and the Far East. According to Pakistan sources as many as 1500 of such schools preach jihad and are instrumental in giving military training to the students. 5 Before Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was overthrown in October 1999, he had acknowledged the Taliban’s links with Pakistan’s sectarian terrorists, saying “we have made it clear to the Taliban that this is not acceptable”. However, Musharraf with an eye on increasing the pressure on India has looked the other way and does not want to antagonise the Deobhandi Islamic militants who are useful for Pakistan’s Kashmir policy. In fact, after taking over the reins of Pakistan, Musharraf released the sectarian fundamentalists who, besides indulging in sectarian violence, are also associated with supporting insurgency in Chechnya.

There are a number of religious militant groups and organisations with their headquarters either in Pakistan or in Taliban ruled Afghanistan, which are spawning holy warriors for Islamic Ummah to carry out jihad in distant lands like Chechnya. Some of the prominent groups/organisations are:

(a) Harkut-ul-Mujahideen, a successor of Harkat-ul-Ansar which was declared as a terrorist organisation by the USA after kidnapping of four western tourists in the Kashmir Valley. Jamait-ul-Ulema-Islam and Sipahe Sahaba Pakistan also influence it.

(b) Hijbul Mujahideen, a military arm of the politico-religious party Jamaat-I-Islami (JI). It has been quite active in collecting funds for jihad in Chechnya.

(c) Al Badr (a militant organisation backed by Jamaat-I-Islami).

(d) Sipahe Sahaba Pakistan. A fundamentalist sectarian Wahabi-Sunni group.

(e) Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Quaida organisation and International Islamic Front.

(f) Lashkar-e-Toiba, the militant wing of Markaz Dawat wal Irshad, preaching jihad.

Jihad commanders aver that the short term objectives of these training camps is to provide trained and motivated manpower for the struggle in Kashmir and for the Taliban’s fight against the Northern Alliance forces. However, the long-term objective of these camps is to export this Taliban and Islamic model to North Caucasus, Central Asia, Balkans, Philippines, the Middle East and Xinjiang province of China.

One training camp that has become infamous is the one at Akora Khattak in Pakistan, near the Afghan border. It is also a religious school housed along with the well-known Haqqaniya Mosque. Here, some Chechen militants were given a year of Koranic teaching and thereafter were sent to face Russians in Chechnya. The madrasa has state-of-the-art, hi-tech facilities and has a web site, e-mail, computer and other communication paraphernalia. And it has a boarding hostel for 3000 students. 6 Even though Pakistan’s rulers deny that any help or incentives are being given to such organisations/institutions, Pakistani police has provided armed guards to the seminary. The funding for the instruction comes not only from the government but through various invisible sources like individuals settled abroad and some friendly Arab countries. The main aim and purpose of this school is to produce ‘holy warriors’ and bring about an Islamic revolution. During the first week of February this year, Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Taliban government, Mohammed Rabbani visited Pakistan. One of the main highlights of Mr. Rabbani’s (the second in command in the Taliban hierarchy) visit was his speech at Darul Uloom Haqqaniya in Akora Khattak. Of the 18 members of his delegation some had studied at the same madrasa. He gave a call for Muslim unity and denounced anti-Islam powers. He further emphasised that Osama Bin Laden, was a guest in Afghanistan. Bin Laden’s International Islamic Front is believed to have even trained and sent British Muslims to Chechnya.

Another group the Lashkar-e-Toiba has become one of the biggest private armies of Islamic militants in Pakistan that is not only engaged in jihad in Kashmir but has also set its sights on the ongoing conflict in Chechnya and Central Asia. So far, it has trained over 100,000 ‘Mujahideen’ in military craft in a number of military training camps located in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It has got a vast network in Pakistan with over 2000 unit offices. 7 It follows the Ahle Hadith or Wahabi sect of Islamic beliefs. With Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s recognition of the Taliban, there has been a convergence of anti-Shiite-Deobandi-Wahabi Sunni fundamentalism. And if one adds a dash of Naqshbandiya philosophy to this recipe, then it raises the ire of Russians and Central Asian regimes besides Iran and various Shia sects. A large portion of Muslim inhabited areas of the North Caucasian region in Russia follow the shrine-worshipping mystical order of the Naqshbandiya. The conflict in Chechnya and the Arab influence there has turned the Naqshbandi followers to the more strict orthodoxy of the Saudi-based Wahabi order.

Shamil Basayev and Khattab conducted the raid on Daghestan, in August 1999. Shamil had visited Afghanistan in March 1994 via Baku in Azerbaizan and Pakistan. He had visited guerrilla training facilities in Khost province of southern Afghanistan. 8 In May the same year he had returned with the first group of volunteers to be trained for ‘jihad’ against the Russians. These were the same training camps, which were struck by US Cruise missiles in August 1998. Khattab is sometimes referred to as Russia’s Osama Bin Laden. Besides taking part in the August 1999 raid, he is alleged to have engineered explosions in Moscow and Volgodonsk. He is believed to have trained along with other Arab volunteers in Afghanistan in the mid-eighties and in 1992 took part in Islamic militant operations against Tajikistan. In 1995, he moved to Chechnya along with a contingent of Arab volunteers and started imparting training to Chechen militants. 9

It is believed that Afghan veterans to a large extent support Chechen insurgency. According to Pakistani sources, a large number of Chechens along with other foreign nationals continue to receive training in military camps in Afghanistan such as Kargha-1, about 12 km north of Kabul. 10 There were reports in the second week of February this year that 70 militants from Pakistan and Arab countries had been dispatched to reinforce militant groups fighting in the southern mountains of Chechnya. They had gone through special training camps in Afghanistan and had planned to use the route through Turkmenistan, Azerbaizan and Turkey. 11


Jamaat-I-Islami Support

One of the active politico-religious parties which is supporting the cause of Chechnya militancy is Jamaat-I-Islami with its headquarters based at Mansoorah near Lahore. On November 14, last year Naib Ameer (second-in-command) Professor Ghafoor Ahmed gave a call in Karachi for contribution to jihad against Russians in Chechnya. In his public speech he asked for donations and established a “Sheshan Jihad Fund” meant for Chechnya. 12 He also organised a demonstration to express solidarity with Chechens and waxed eloquent on the valour of Chechen people, predicting that Chechnya would prove to be a graveyard of Russian troops. He considered the struggle in Chechnya to be a continuation of the Afghan struggle that had resulted in disintegration of the former Soviet Union. He exhorted CEO, Gen Pervez Musharraf to openly announce support to Chechen Muslims. Again on January 27, this year Jamaat-I-Islami Ameer (Chief) Qazi Hussain Ahmed appealed to Pakistanis to help and support Chechen Muslims in Grozny with arms, food and medicines. 13 He urged Pakistanis to donate generously and stated that Muslim Ummah had always looked towards Pakistan for help in need. On February 9 this year Qazi urged Musharraf to bring an end to anti-Islamic practices. He also demanded that the Pakistan government should recognise Chechnya. Earlier in October, Qazi had stated that “Kemalism or secularism would not be tolerated in Pakistan; and added, only an Islamic system can work here”. He went on to state that “If somebody has an obsession with Kemalism or any other system, he should clear his mind of all such thoughts. The people and the armed forces of Pakistan will not tolerate any such system. They will rather resist such condemnable ideas.” 14 This was a direct rebuff to remarks of Gen Pervez Musharraf who had stated earlier that he was impressed by Kemal Ataturk. This was a pointer towards the hard-line stance of militant and politico-religious organisations as far as efforts or reforms to control their activities by the military junta are concerned. Qazi believed that the overthrow of the Nawaz Sharif government was not the result of the coup by a few individuals. Instead, it was the outcome of a collective well thought out mass movement against the Sharif Government.


Fund-raising by Zelimkhan

In February this year, Zelimkhan Andarbayev, a former President of Chechnya visited Pakistan on his way to Afghanistan. He was granted a visa by the Pakistan government. He carried out an extensive tour of Pakistan to garner support for Chechen militants. Qazi Hussain Ahmed of Jamaat-I-Islami was instrumental in contributing about $200,000 to Zelimkhan. 15 The former Chechen President visited many mosques and met militant leaders of numerous factions and organisations and raised unspecified amounts for the Chechen war effort. It was all accomplished under the benevolent eye of the present Pak government. The militant groups and organisations headquartered in Pakistan and the Taliban controlled areas were quite receptive to Zelimkhan’s visit. On various occasions since 1992, such groups have exported arms, mercenaries and trained militants of various nationalities to Chechnya. The route used for such exports has been from Pakistan to Afghanistan, through Tazikistan and thereafter straight to the Caspian Sea and then cutting across Daghestan to Chechnya. Harkat-I-Jihadi Islam, a militant group is believed to have used this route to dispatch about a platoon worth of holy warriors to Chechnya to fight against the Russians in the current Russo-Chechen conflict. 16 It is also believed that one Maulana Dadullah had taken a Taliban contingent to Chechnya as reinforcements for jihad against the Russians. Apparently, the activities of extremists have been spurred by the visit of Zelimkhan. Taliban’s Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil said that, “It is Muslim world’s shame that it does not support Chechens. They are my brothers. They are Muslims. The only solution is to help Chechens”. He went on to state that they were not terrorists and they were fighting for freedom and independence from Russia. 17

Al Badr is also one such group that has organised fund raising activity for the Chechen war effort. Even Sipah-e-Sahaba, the militant Sunni fundamentalist group joined the bandwagon to support Andarbayev’s effort. 18 All these groups exhort the government to declare jihad against Russia so that they could legitimately send militants to North Caucasus. Zelimkhan in an interview during his visit to Pakistan stated “I have seen and studied all systems, nothing will work but the Islamic system”. He believed, like any other radical Muslim, that Shariah and jihad were the answer to all problems and ills of a society and the nation. Jihad was the best course of action against injustice and the terror of the powerful.


Taliban’s and Pakistan’s Support

In January this year the Taliban government recognised the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria as a separate country and Zelimkhan Andarbayev was appointed as the envoy to Taliban controlled Afghanistan. Russia not only raised objections to the visit of the Chechen to Pakistan but had also protested regarding Islamabad’s failure to oppose the recognition of Chechnya by the Taliban. 19 Pakistan’s official stance is to regard Chechnya as an integral part of the Russian federation and not to interfere in their internal affairs. However, covertly, it does not discourage any inimical activities being carried out on its soil against Russia. In fact, the Pakistani state is a willing facilitator for extending moral and material support to the Chechen insurgency. This can be easily judged from the activities of politico-religious parties and militant groups which are openly supporting the Chechen cause.

The Taliban leader Mulla Mohammed Omar had decided to support the separatist government headed by President Aslan Maskhadov after having met a delegation from Chechnya in the second week of January this year. Russia has asserted that recognition of Chechnya by the Taliban regime was legally void as the regime itself is not recognised by the UN and it is the government of Burhauddin Rabbani, recognised by the UN, which is the legitimate regime of Afghanistan. The UN Security Council resolution on introducing international anti-terrorist sanctions against the Taliban movement from November 14, 1999, also contains provisions for applying additional and more severe measures, if required. Thus Taliban’s open support for terrorists operating from areas under Taliban control gives adequate reasons for toughening of UN sanctions against the Taliban movement.

During his sojourn in Pakistan, Zelimkhan had proposed the formation of an international army of Islamic states to prepare themselves against Russian aggression and the challenge by others to the entire Islamic Ummah. He even went on to suggest that Pakistan, Afghanistan and Chechnya form a confederation with common armed forces to counter the onslaught of anti-Islamic forces. 20 He expressed his satisfaction at negotiations conducted with some Pakistani officials, though he did not divulge the names or appointment of such officials. He was asked to leave by Pakistan authorities after a three-week visit in view of the impending visit of President Clinton in March and due to fierce objections raised by Russia to his fund-raising and rabble-rousing activities. Though Pakistan authorities maintained that he was their guest but had asked him to leave since his visa had expired.

Some Pakistanis find a reflection of their own society’s ethos (which has evolved since 1947) in the Chechen way of behaviour, especially during times of danger. Brigadier Syed Tirmazi, a Pakistani author in his book, “Chechnya; Tragedy and Triumphs” mentions that “Traditionally, Chechnya is a society of military democracy. In times of danger and when threatened by aggression, Chechens, elect a military leader and obey his command.” 21 Pakistan has had mostly military dictators ruling it and apparently India has been the only ever present danger throughout Pakistan’s existence. Pakistan has always endeavoured to become a leader of Islamic Ummah by indulging in questionable activities. When a de facto Chechen Republic was established in the period 1994-96, Pakistanis were appreciative of the fact that a smaller Chechen nation defeated the ‘mighty forces’ because of Chechens motivation, faith and ideas of revenge and hatred for Russians. This is precisely what the Pakistan State has been trying to achieve against India, especially since the days of General Zia ul Haq and after its defeat in the Indo-Pak war of 1971.

The politico-religious parties in Chechnya and the Taliban exhort their ‘mujahideen’ by fostering the doctrine that if the Taliban could defeat the much larger armed forces of Soviet Russia and send its Army packing to the erstwhile USSR, there was no reason why the Chechen mujahids and Islamic Ummah could not repeat the same in Chechnya.

Along with the Islamic rhetoric and politics it is the strategic importance of Chechnya itself which compels various actors like the USA, NATO nations and other countries to take an active interest in the Chechnya imbroglio notwithstanding the much touted human rights violations by Russians in Chechnya. The strategic importance of Chechnya mainly relates to its location in North Caucasus and the part it plays in the oil pipeline politics. It is quite evident that the USA follows a policy of moving the Caspian oil pipelines away from both Russia and Iran to reduce Russia’s influence in Central Asia and wherever else possible. If the Russians get a firm hold on Chechnya then they would be successful in bringing into fruition two pipeline projects which would carry oil from Kazakhstan and Azerbaizan to Black Sea ports through Chechnya. The American alternative is to take Kazakhstan’s and Azerbaizan’s oil through Georgia and Turkey to the Black Sea. An agreement on this project was signed in November 1999. 22 America also has a complex relationship with the Taliban. On the one hand it is not happy with the Taliban sheltering Osama Bin Laden, on the other hand, it needs the Taliban’s help to achieve its aim and purpose of pipeline politics. To avoid Iran, some of the oil pipelines have to pass through Afghanistan and Pakistan. On February 3, this year, Pakistan and the Taliban agreed on implementation of a Pak-Afghan-Turkmenistan gas pipeline and refinery project in Afghanistan. 23 It is not clear as to how the project will be funded. A similar project of American UNOCAL Corporation has been suspended because of human rights violations by the Taliban and the UN sanctions against the Taliban-led government.


A Pakistani General on Russo-Georgian Border

One event which has largely gone unnoticed is the dispatch of a Pakistani Army officer Major General Anis Bajwa in January this year as CMO (Chief Military Officer) of UNOMIG (United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia) to monitor the problem of Abkhazia, a Muslim predominant region of Georgia. 24 The mandate of UNOMIG, which was to expire on January 31 this year, has been recommended to be extended by six months. The mission has 101 UN military observers looking for a peaceful solution in Abkhazia. Chechnya and other North Caucasus Muslim republics of Russia share borders with Georgia. Russia has been attempting to seal off Chechnya’s southern mountains and fight rebels there. Such an action, as envisaged by President Vladmir Putin, would prevent the rebels from coming down into the plains to attack the Russian positions. It is also believed that Chechens are receiving arms, ammunition and other material aid through porous borders with Georgia. The Russo-Georgian border has been the main supply route through which Chechens have been receiving equipment. Because of American, Western European and Pakistani sympathy for Chechens, the posting of a Pakistani general to a sensitive area assumes added significance. It may be remembered that Richard Butler, chief of the UNSCOM, the UN Commission in Iraq for monitoring their WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) programme, had provided sensitive intelligence to the American and Israeli intelligence agencies. Moreover, Pakistan, which has been suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations and is on the way out from NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) because of forcible removal of democracy and its replacement by military dictatorship, should not have been permitted to send a member of its highly Islamised army to Georgia. In fact, because of the Pakistan Army’s aversion to secular, democratic, progressive and liberal principles it should have been debarred from holding any UN assignment or sending a UN contingent. It is intriguing to note that the USA, the sole superpower with levels of control of the UN has thought it fit not to object to the allotment of such a significant UN assignment to the Pakistan military. The interests of both America and Pakistan, as far as the Chechnya problem is concerned, converge. They are on the same side.


Source of Funds

When Zia started his drive in the eighties to Islamise Pakistan, he made large amounts of funds available to madrasas from the Zakat fund. He had also equated the certificates given by madrasas to those given by the universities. Madrasas offered to the poor and illiterate not only free education but a cause to make life more meaningful. And this cause was jihad. This was an antidote to the disillusionment of common people with the political and socio-economic state of affairs in the country. The onslaught of modernism had also threatened the fundamentalist and extremist religious parties as the spread of modernism questioned the very basis of religion. During the Soviet-Afghan war, Americans provided the funds and a large arsenal of weapons. But this source dried up after Americans lost interest in the wake of withdrawal by the Soviet forces. The present source of funding is through public collections and donations and contributions from Arab countries. Apparently, this is inadequate to support the ever-burgeoning requirement of funds by the growing factories of terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“The most important attraction that Afghanistan holds for fugitive Islamists from around the world is the opportunity to finance their activities through heroin and smuggling of contraband goods. Whatever be the Taliban’s shortcomings they offer perfect security and protection to its citizens and traders”, says a Pakistani analyst. Revenue on the poppy crop is the main source of income as the Taliban charge ten per cent ‘Ushr’ at the manufacturing stage. The extremist groups garner funds by facilitating the transportation of drugs through Central Asia, Pakistan, the Arab countries, Turkey, Caucasus and Russia. In fact, sundry Islamic radical and militant groups have almost been given a license by the Taliban for transportation of narcotics while revenue at source is collected by the latter. The Chechnya connection, therefore, comes in very handy for the militant groups operating in North Caucasus as a good source of income.

Afghanistan, being a land-locked country, all its imports come through Pakistan’s ports. Its situation is somewhat similar to that of land-locked Nepal with respect to India. There is rampant smuggling and a trade in contraband items. The militant groups have a share in this trade, the volume of which is estimated to be $1.96 billion a year. 25 The Taliban also make a considerable sum on goods transiting through its territory and being exported to Central Asian countries.



The conflict in Chechnya has created another raison d’etre for jihadi organisations. Pakistan and the Taliban are in the forefront of encouraging and facilitating the existence of such organisations. Gen Pervez Musharraf has advised all the jihad organisations and militant groups to come under one banner but apparently, some of the politico-religious parties like Jamaat-I-Islami are apprehensive of erosion of their power and role if they unite under one umbrella organisation. The jihad organisations and militant groups are becoming increasingly powerful and more extremist in their views and assertive in action because of independent sources of funding and increasing disenchantment with the prevailing economic and socio-political conditions in Pakistan. The schisms in Islam have given rise to sectarian violence in Pakistan that is nibbling at the very innards of the modern, progressive, liberal and democratic society of Pakistan. Though the activities of such militant groups suit the Kashmir policy of Pakistan, yet, the activities of these groups have had the effect of isolating Pakistan and Afghanistan from the international community.

Pakistan’s support to Chechnya has antagonised Russia. China is also not happy about some of its Muslim rebels from Xinjiang province being trained in militant training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Central Asian states are wary of Islamic resurgence in their countries being fostered by Islamic radicals having connections with Pakistan and Afghan religious fundamentalists. America is also displeased with the Taliban for harbouring its enemy number one Osama Bin Laden. And it is also not happy with Pakistan’s inability to influence the Taliban to hand over Laden to the US. Pakistan stands isolated from the international community because of its pronounced proclivity to ignore the growing specter of Islamic militancy. Thus General Musharraf is in an unenviable position; he is riding the tiger of Islamic militancy and does not know whether to curb it or continue to encourage it. Both options appear to be disastrous for his continued well-being. During the Pakistani tour of Chechnya’s former president, Zelimkhan Andarbayev, the government of Pervez Musharraf maintained a cautious distance from him. However it allowed him to carry out a fund-collection campaign for the cause of Chechen militancy. Zelimkhan was able to establish a rapport with the various jihadi organisations and has been able to obtain both moral and material support for the Chechen insurgency.

Along with the Kashmir, Bosnian and Palestinian causes, the Chechnya cause has been added to target enemies of Islam. The jihadi organisations that had become causeless after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan were provided a fresh impetus by the Kashmir insurgency in the nineties and now they have been given additional momentum by the Chechnya insurgency. Pakistan being a theocratic state, whether ruled by civilians or the military junta has looked on benevolently and with an approving eye on the activities of religious radicals. For the Taliban, it is business as usual since intolerance, terrorism and fanaticism and profiteering therefrom seen to be its principle goals. In fact, Pakistan and the Taliban ruled Afghanistan have become focal areas from where holy terror is being exported. And the Taliban has the dubious distinction of being the only entity in the world to have recognised Chechnya as a separate republic. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan is itself recognised only by three countries, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Thus, the equation about who is aiding whom is quite clear. The Chechnya conflict seems to be nowhere near a peaceful resolution even though Russians have claimed that they have gained control over Chechnya. If one looks back to past results of Russo-Chechen conflicts the present conflict is more than likely to be a long drawn-out affair. The Taliban and Pakistani support to the Chechens has only added fuel to the fire and is unlikely to mitigate the travails and tribulations of the Chechen people. It is only through a Russo-Chechen dialogue that a mutually acceptable solution to the present imbroglio can be found.



Note *: Senior Fellow, IDSA.  Back.

Note 1: Sergei Kovalev, “Putin’s War”, The New York Review of Books, February 10, 2000.  Back.

Note 2: Brigadier Syed A.I., Tirmazi; (Retired), Chechnya: Tragedies and Triumphs (Lahore: Fiction House, 1999).  Back.

Note 3: Kovalev n. 1. Also see Ismail Khan in Newsline, February 2000 and “Comments; Chechen Rebels Getting Training in Pakistan”, POT (Pakistan Series), vol. XXVIII, no. 83, April 8, 2000.  Back.

Note 4: See M. Ilyas Khan in Herald, January 2000. He spent 40 days touring in Afghanistan. Also see “Islamic Extremism–Afghan Connection”, POT (Afghanistan Series), vol. XXV, no. 4, February 2000.  Back.

Note 5: Ibid.  Back.

Note 6: Robert Fisk, “A Taliban Factory in Pak”, The Hindustan Times, April 4, 2000.  Back.

Note 7: See Arif Jamal in News, February 20, 2000 and “Comments: The Biggest Private Army of Islamists in Pakistan”, POT (Pakistan Series), vol. XXVIII, no. 23, March 3, 2000.  Back.

Note 8: Ismail Khan and Steve LeVine, “The Rebel Connection”, Newsweek, March 13, 2000. Also see n. 3 for detailed report on activities of Chechen commanders Shamil Basayev and Khattab.  Back.

Note 9: Kovalev and Khan, n. 3.  Back.

Note 10: Ibid.  Back.

Note 11: Dadan Upadhyay, ‘70 Pak, Arab Militants Head for Chechnya”, The Indian Express, February 13, 2000.  Back.

Note 12: See website of Jamaat-I-Islami on the Internet, address <>  Back.

Note 13: Ibid.  Back.

Note 14: Ibid.  Back.

Note 15: The Newsweek report at n. 8 above mentions an amount of $185,000. Another report appearing in Dawn mentions a collection by Zelimkhan of rupees 0.2 million from one mosque only of Jamiat Ahle Hadith. Earlier on February 8, local Jamaat-I-Islami (JI) Ameer, a Karachi advocate Naimullah Khan, handed over RS. 5.8 million to Zelimkhan. The total collections could be much more since Zelimkhan visited many mosques and seminaries.  Back.

Note 16: Khan and LeVine, See n. 8.  Back.

Note 17: Frontier Post, February 1, 2000. Also see, “Taliban Troops to Support Chechen Fighters”, POT (Afghan Series), vol. XXV, no. 7 of February 24, 2000.  Back.

Note 18: Khan and LeVine, See n. 8.  Back.

Note 19: Dawn, January 28, 2000.  Back.

Note 20: News, February 11, 2000.  Back.

Note 21: Tirmazi, n. 2.  Back.

Note 22: Khan, See n. 4.  Back.

Note 23: News, February 4, 2000.  Back.

Note 24: Pakistan Times, January 26, 2000.  Back.

Note 25: Khan, See n. 4.  Back.