Always with an ear to the ground, Indian photo-journalist Danish Siddiqui, prior to his brutal murder in the Spring Boldak area on the Afghan-Pakistan border, exposed the nefarious link between the Taliban and its real masters-the Pakistan military.
In a short but pithy video interview with a 50-year Taliban " foot soldier," Siddiqui exposed how Pakistani military was mobilizing the Taliban cannon fodder drawn from the Afghan refugee camps near Peshawar before pushing them into battle in Afghanistan.
In the interview , the militant , seated with what appear to be fellow fighters, affirms that he belongs to Zakhir camp near Peshawar. "My home is Zakhir camp, Peshawar. My upbringing is from there." It is apparent that the insurgent landed up in northwest Pakistan in the backdrop of the Soviet intervention in the seventies. More than 5 million Afghans became refugees during what is popularly called the anti-Soviet Jihad. After four decades of the infamous event, nearly 1.5 million Afghans still reside on Pakistani soil.
Taking full advantage of their vulnerable status, the Pakistani inter-services Intelligence (ISI) saw that they had a vast reservoir of vulnerable people which could be pushed into a proxy-war with the leadership in Kabul, to achieve Islamabad's larger geopolitical goals.
The insurgent interviewed by Siddiqui acknowledges that Pakistani military officers had approached him at Zakhir camp resulting in his return to Afghanistan under the Taliban's flag.
Asked specifically when he had met anyone from the Pakistani army and told what to do, the militant said: "Yes, of course. Else why would we have come here." He acknowledged that he had not become an insurgent because of any ideological reasons, but because of the fog of war. "...nothing was clear due to violence," he replied when asked by Siddiqui as to why he had picked the gun. The Taliban foot soldier said that the Pakistani army had given him money and arms. Besides, he had been trained to fire a variety of weapons ranging from Kalashnikov rifles, rocket launchers and even shoulder fired missiles.
As reported by India Narrative earlier Siddiqui was brutally murdered, and his body abused on orders of Pakistan's notorious Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) after he was injured.
In an investigative report that appeared in the American publication Washington Examiner the paper said that it's wrong to say that the Indian photojournalist was killed while covering fighting in Afghanistan. "He was not simply killed in a crossfire, nor was he simply collateral damage; rather, he was brutally murdered by the Taliban." Citing the various sources and Afghanistan's local authorities, the report paints a clear picture of the mystery surrounding Siddiqui's death. The photo-journalist was "embedded" with the Afghan National Army team to cover fighting between the Afghan forces and the Taliban at Spin Boldak near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan. While the Afghan army was near the custom check post, it came under heavy fire from the Taliban. Siddiqui was injured in the cross-fire after the Afghan unit split into two.
Three Afghan soldiers then carried the injured Siddiqui, who was very much alive, to a nearby mosque to administer first aid.
It was while he was being treated in the mosque that word spread and seeped into Taliban nodes that an injured media person was being in the mosque. It was then that a Taliban unit swooped over and captured the mosque.
The situation became really ugly when the captors came to know that Siddiqui was an Indian national. Consequently, he was killed after body was riddled with bullets fired at close range. The brutalisation took place after that. The photojournalist's head was battered and his body disfigured. "The photos that have appeared in the media do not reveal the actual situation. Siddiqui's head and face have been brutalised beyond recognition," an insider told India Narrative. The insider pointed out that the Taliban took the extreme step on the orders of the ISI.
"It was done with a clear message to India. Do not mess around in Afghanistan. If you do the consequences would be horrific." (The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com) --indianarrative