By Brig Asif Haroon Raja
Armed uprising by the Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir in 1988 had placed India in a very tight corner. State terrorism by India’s 700,000 strong military force had completely failed to suppress the freedom movement. India’s consistent efforts throughout the 1990s to brand freedom movement as terrorism and to get Pakistan branded as a terrorists supporting state by USA and the UN couldn’t bear fruit. It propagated that all Jihadi outfits linked with Kashmir like Harkatul Mujahideen (HuM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizb-e-Islami, Jaish-e-Muhammad, late Ilyas Kashmiri outfit and several others were the creation of ISI and without Pakistan’s support, the movement would have died its own death. Indialost its blackmailing capability after Pakistan became nuclear in 1998. Nuclear Pakistanfurther bolstered the spirits of freedom fighters in Kashmir, but saddened India. When terrorism became the chief concern of USA and its western allies in the aftermath of 9/11, excited India jumped to the conclusion that it could now easily sort out its archrival. Indiabecame party to the master plan conceived to undermine and denuclearize Pakistan.
From 2002 onward, RAW in concert with allied intelligence agencies embarked upon a comprehensive covert war against Pakistan. Though all the Jihadi groups were banned by Musharraf in 2001/02, India maintained that those were still patronized by ISI under different names. Almost all terrorist attacks taking place in India in the first decade of the new millennium were ascribed to LeT and ISI was blamed. Although the six agencies involved in subversive acts succeeded in making several regions of Pakistan restive, they couldn’t breach the first line of defence put up by the ISI. After failing to put it under Ministry of Interior in August 2008, the schemers chalked out an ISI specific plan.
On 26 November 2008, a false flag operation by RAW-Mossad-CIA combined was stage-managed in Mumbai with multiple purposes. Hemant Karkare, the anti-terrorist police chief of Maharashtra who had arrested key accused persons involved in several terrorist acts and had learnt about linkage of Hindu terrorist groups linked with Indian Army was to be bumped off. Attention of the world had to be deflected from Indian Occupied Kashmir that had become explosive due to non-violent movement. ISI that was not getting controlled by CIA was to be cut to size by getting it declared a rogue outfit. 2002 military standoff like pressure was to be exerted on Pakistan to make it cede more ground. Ground had to be prepared to make Pakistan agree to surgical strikes by Indian air force against alleged terrorist camps in Muridke and Azad Kashmir. With these objectives in view, Indian media went berserk and created war hysteria and once again Indian forces including strike corps were deployed along the border and a threatening posture adopted. Indiaremained in a belligerent mood till as late as beginning of 2011 and then suddenly started to show its soft face.
The plan was executed so poorly that it left too many loopholes. A Rambo-like story was hatched to look real. LeT was blamed for masterminding Mumbai attacks and ISI providing backup support. Former DG ISI was haughtily summoned to Delhi. Throughout the military standoff period, Indian military itched to carryout surgical strikes on suspected terrorist camps in Pakistan. But for prompt response by our F-16s, Indian jets might have struck a selected spot.
The lone survivor Ajmal Kasab in custody of Indian authorities was awarded death sentence by Mumbai court but his Indian accomplices were let off. Pakistan has not been given access to Kasab and it is not clear whether he is a Pakistani or an Indian. Even Interpol was denied access. India has not been able to answer as to which network in Indiawas behind the murder of Hemant Karkare who was about to reveal sensational news about the progress he had made. While his murder has been shelved, crocodile tears are still being shed over the deaths of 166 people at the hands of ten terrorists, mostly Indians.
In November 2010, the US Federal Court issued summon to former DGISI Lt Gen Shuja Pasha and senior members of LeT for their alleged involvement in Mumbai attacks. On 16 December 2010, in response to a complaint lodged by one Kareem Khan of North Waziristan, Islamabad Police moved to register murder case against CIA Station Chief in Pakistan Jonathan Banks who was supervising drone campaign. Kareem claimed his son and brother had been killed in drone attack on 31 December 2009. Although Jonathan flew away to USA, involvement of CIA in anti-state activities in Pakistan was established. Its covert network involving hundreds of spies operating in Pakistan was blown up with the arrest of Raymond Davis on 27 January 2011.
India’s strategic partner USA fully corroborated India’s version on Mumbai episode and continued to exert pressure on Pakistan to abide by the dictates of India to avoid war. It also overplayed LeT and described it as a global threat as deadly as al-Qaeda. Series of articles were written by US-western writers projecting LeT as an international organization and a serious threat to the US and western world.
In late 2010, it was revealed by Indian agencies that Hindu terrorist groups linked with serving and retired Indian Army officers were responsible for the terror attacks. Last summer, a Hindu religious fanatic Ameenasabad was found involved in Samjhota Express train bomb blasts in 2007, in which 60 Pakistanis were killed. During his trial, he confessed his guilt and gave out details of his network which was Indian Muslims specific with an agenda of creating a Hindu State in India. It was found out that all the acts of terror in which the ISI and LeT were blamed were in actuality committed by Hindu terrorist groups. The biased US-western media remained tightlipped over these revelations and no aspersion was cast on India or any of the involved groups and Indian military.
02 May 2011 raid encouraged India to renew its demand for extradition of wanted persons allegedly hiding in Pakistan and in exuberance issued a list of 50 most wanted fugitives.India also gave a veiled threat that it could also replicate Abbottabad like commando raid to get hold of Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed. Since lie has no feet, India had to embarrassingly withdraw the list when two of the listed fugitives were found residing inIndia. However, Indian spin doctors kept up with their efforts to portray LeT as the most dangerous threat not only to India but to the world as a whole.
It became evident that after playing up al-Qaeda threat for over a decade, LeT was picked up and its linkage with ISI scandalized to keep ISI in the dock. With the death of Ilyas Kashmiri heading 313 Brigade (its outfit’s name), HuM was also painted as a monstrous militant group associated with ISI. The US built up a story that HuM was OBL’s support group in Pakistan and was in collusion with ISI. Link was established after extracting phone call records from cell phone in use of OBL at Abbottabad.
US officials spread the story that some elements within the Army/ISI were in the know of OBL’s hideout and were providing logistic support to him. The theme of ‘either you were complicit or inefficient’ was callously played up. Documents and video tapes collected from Abbottabad compound were frenetically browsed to establish ISI’s linkage with the most wanted man. The three widows of OBL, released by Pakistan would also be grilled by CIA and RAW agents to extract something out of them which could help in hooking up Army/ISI. If the US was really so serious in obtaining the truth, why was OBL killed and why his body was secretly dumped in sea? The two partners in crime are not interested in truth but are past masters in twisting facts and in fabrications.
The whole world knows that India’ RAW is deeply involved in FATA and Balochistan. India’s motive of making Pakistan a vassal state is no more secret after seeing it craze to modernize its armed forces and to buildup its nuclear stockpiles. Its design to chokePakistan has become evident after witnessing its obsession to construct dozens of dams over the three rivers. In conjunction with US-western-Jewish media, Indian media is involved in smearing the image of Pakistan and its premier institutions through a calculated media campaign. The US and its western allies turn a blind eye toward over hundred Hindu terrorist groups in India and perverse role of RAW. Not a single group or an individual involved in terrorism has been declared a terrorist group.
On the other hand, the US is keen to ostracize even those outfits like Jamaatud-Dawa purely engaged in education and charity works. Following in the footsteps of USA, Indiahas also announced $10 million award money for the arrest of Hafiz Saeed who has been honorably cleared by the courts. While the duo is after his blood, the US is highly miffed over the sentencing of Dr Shakil Afridi on charges of treason. He preferred to keepPakistan agencies in the dark but guided CIA to the compound of OBL to get dollars. Pakistan has been punished by cutting $33 million aid. This has become yet another irritant in Pak-US frosty relations. I wonder how American courts would deal with an American spying for ISI to embarrass USA and hiding it from own intelligence agencies.
Having agreed in 1989 to pullout its troops from occupied Siachin Glacier, India has backtracked and is in no mood to honor its pledge. It got keyed up when some of our political leaders and pro-India writers suggested that Pakistan should withdraw from Siachin unilaterally, since such a move would not only help Indian troops occupying two-thirds of the glacier to cut off Pak-China linkage but also would place them in a commanding position to encircle Azad Kashmir. India refuses to settle Kashmir and Sir Creek disputes and wants Pakistan to give up its claims. With such devious intentions, Indiastill has the temerity to say that it desires friendship with Pakistan and prophesizes that opening up of bilateral trade would help in resolving all outstanding issues. It is offering trade since Pakistan’s exports to India are only 15% and that of India 85%.
There are unconfirmed reports that the tragedy which befell upon the 138 defenders ofPakistan in Gayari sector of Siachin on 7 April was not a result of an avalanche or a cloud burst, but because of satellite targeted laser impulse by NASA. If so, it makes the tragedy all the more painful. Seven weeks have elapsed and in deference to the instructions of Gen Kayani, round the clock rescue operations are continuing, but so far no trace of the brave hearts buried under the snow mountain has been found. Unless a miracle happens, chances of any survival are nil. Those who are involved in search operations are also risking their lives. Several families of the affected victims have given up hope and want the GHQ to officially declare them as martyrs rather than keeping their status in suspense. Others who have not given up hope need to be consoled and convinced to ask themselves that the Army should stop highly expensive but futile search operations. Unless they are officially declared martyrs, their next of kin will not get entitled to compensations. Civil society may undertake this difficult task of approaching the affected families, while welfare & rehabilitation directorate in GHQ should extend the special compensation package meant for the Shuhada to them.
While Pakistan is facing the natural and manmade calamities and conspiracies and is going through testing times, irony is that some TV channels and groups within Pakistan such as SAFMA and Aman ki Asha and individuals like Najam Sethi, his wife Jugnu Mohsin, Imtiaz Alam, Ahmed Rashid, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, Ayesha Sadiqa, Hasan Nisar, Ghamadi, Asma Jahangir, Hussein Haqqani, and several others are getting good funding from India and elsewhere to espouse Indian cause at the cost of Pakistan’s national interests. They see nothing good in Pakistan; they spread gloom and open up settled issues by questioning the ideology of Pakistan, two-nation theory, and whether it was right decision of the Quaid to make Pakistan. Some among them cast aspersions on Islam while others consider it their obligatory duty to malign Pak Army and ISI and to sing praises of India and USA. No one from among the promoters of peace talks of bloodletting in occupied Kashmir, or the havoc wrought by foreign agents in Pakistan.
India and USA helped by quislings in Pakistan are incessantly firing psychological operations bullets on Pak Army and ISI so as to keep these extremely efficient organizations under pressure. Pakistan is being pressured, vilified and victimized despite being the biggest victim of terrorism and having suffered most grievously. As against 35000 civilian casualties and 15000 security forces dying and getting wounded in the war on terror, casualties suffered by the US and NATO countries are too insignificant. Indiasuffered 166 fatalities in Mumbai attacks and about 25 in a suicide attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul. Their total casualties in over ten years don’t exceed 300. This comparison in human losses alone belie Indo-US motivated propaganda and gives a clear picture as to who is the sufferer and who is malingering and who is the perpetrator of terrorism.