“The final barrier”
In my previous Army posts I mentioned that Al-Hindi is writing for two key audiences: idealistic young men willing to fight and old men with money willing to donate. This is what I call “Blood and Money,” the fuel of any regional jihad. In order to generate sympathy, he has to argue that the Kashmir jihad is fundamentally a defensive jihad. And as a defensive jihad it obligates individual Muslim to support the cause, what is called fard ‘ayn.
In the initial sections of Army, he makes the case for Kashmir as a defensive jihad. He follows his justification, by now describing the efforts of the mujahideen. The audience here are the young men who may see the deprivations and dangers Al-Hindi describes as noble struggle.
Al-Hindi describes the process of “launching.” This is the initial trip the mujahideen take over the Line of Control [LOC] in order to infiltrate into Kashmir. To his credit he doesn’t sugar coat the process. Indian and Pakistani (and Mujahideen) engagements along the LOC or in Kashmir are at extremely high elevations [10,000 ft and higher].
The Mujahideen, are completely manual, sometimes even crawling like babies on steep includes and declines. Many of the methods are defunct, as the do not have modern technology on their side…(page 20)
…the journey inside is of an extremely toilsome nature, a lengthy one. The Mujahideen, will sleep in sub zero temperatures and ration their food. Sometimes even air may be thin, thus causing altitude sickness which cannot be avoided due to the speed of their accelerated assent. (page 30)
His use of hyperbole and, quite frankly, poor grammar, show Army to be the amateur work it is, but it was never meant for wide distribution, and probably played well with its intended audience. Regardless of literary skill, he can create a sense of drama for the reader:
The journeying is always commenced in the thick of the night, naturally flash lights, reflectors or anything which could attract the even vigilant enemy’s slightest attention are strictly prohibited.
In fact, even minute details such as the observation of time through the light piece in ones wristwatch must be exercise with extreme caution. One a densely dark night (which Kashmir has many of) this light piece small as it may be, could still be observed from afar by the foe…
Sometimes ones own outstretched hand may not even de discernible due to the intensity of the darkness that envelops the land. In such cases the Mujahideen whilst moving at night will simply grasp a hold of the clothing of the man who is directly in front of him, such as a flowing shirttail. (page 23)
I can’t help but think that the above passage could have been used to argue for funding the purchase of night vision goggles.
He uses military-style training images to describe the formations for “launching” possibly as a way of highlighting both the jihadis military preparedness and professionalism and as a lure to young men who may be attracted to the idea of learning military arts – especially in the “cause of Allah.”
And concludes this part of Army by once again placing Mujahideen activity within a sacramental context:
It is of a surety a punishing soul searching experience...Moreover, it is a question of how large the individuals heart is and whether or not it is filled with Dhikr of Allah without whose aid all would be futile, rendering ones effort to no avail. (page 31)