The Pakistani Dystopia
The attack on the base in Pathankot has especially lurid implications. Masood Azhar, who appears to have overseen it, was once imprisoned in India on charges of kidnapping Westerners there. In 1999, he was released at the demand of a group of terrorists—from yet another Pakistani-backed group—who hijacked Indian Airlines flight 814 and landed it in Afghanistan, which was then under Taliban rule. Once Azhar was released, I.S.I. encouraged him to set up his group Jaish-e-Mohammed, according to Rashid. (Among the others released from the Indian prison that day was Omar Saeed, the British-Pakistani militant who was later convicted for kidnapping and murdering the Wall StreetJournal reporter Daniel Pearl.) Shortly after Azhar’s release, with the I.S.I. at his side, he toured Pakistan, raising money for the jihad against India.