Pakistan’s use of terror as an instrument of meeting its foreign policy objectives has angered its neighbours except China….writes Syed Shihabudhin
In the past two-three months, Pakistan has become brazen in sending terrorists into India as a part of its new offensive against India, going by the account of a terrorist who gave his name as Bahadur Ali. He was arrested in mid-June in North Kashmir after he crossed the line of control (LoC) with two other terrorists. His two partners in crime were shot dead by the security forces.
India has arrested a large number of Pakistani terrorists over the years. The first reaction in Pakistan is always to deny that they are their nationals. Pakistan has refused to accept that Bahadur Ali is a Pakistani. One of the reasons for this lie is that Ali does not speak any Pakistani language! Video clips of Ali show him confessing to his involvement in terrorist activity in a Punjabi dialect that is spoken around Lahore. But for Pakistanis that is a foreign language!
During interrogation, Bahadur Ali provided details of how he was recruited and trained to carry out terrorist acts in India. He also has spoken of how army officers in civilian clothes conduct training for the fresh recruits in terrorist camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
His questioning has confirmed that Pakistani militant outfits like JuD and LeT enjoy army support. The Pakistan army also helps the terrorists enter India. It could not have come as a surprise that Bahadur Ali was instructed to join the violent protests in Kashmir and create mayhem by hurling grenades.
It is a standard Pakistani practice that when one of their terrorists is arrested in India their security personnel isolate the family and prevent members from talking to anyone. One of the Mumbai attackers, Kasab, was disowned by Pakistan for months until it became impossible to deny that he was a Pakistani.
It is part of the Pakistani propaganda to deny that any terrorist captured alive in India was their national. Sometimes, they go a little far and claim that the man captured on spying or terrorism charges was well within the Pakistani territory or had accidentally strayed across the border while on cattle grazing—or on a picnic! As for the arms and ammunition found on the persons of these terrorists, they are all supposed to be planted by India.
Bahadur Ali has made denial mode difficult for his handlers. He has sought consular support from the Pakistan government. In fact, he has sent a written request to the Pak High Commissioner in New Delhi.
The ‘freedom’ for Kashmir that Pakistan claims to support is a farce when the part of the state it illegally occupies has been converted into a colony. The so-called elected representatives in PoK have less powers than a junior bureaucrat in Islamabad.
The last thing that Pakistan should be talking about is human rights. It has a long and shameful record of oppressing and torturing minorities, including non-Sunni Muslims. Balochistan has been under brutal army rule from the time Pakistan had forcefully annexed it after 1947. Jet fighters and artillery are used to destroy the hideouts of ‘bad’ terrorists, killing hundreds of civilians in the process.
Pakistan’s use of terror as an instrument of meeting its foreign policy objectives has angered Iran and Afghanistan, its western Muslim neighbours. Indeed, except for China, Pakistan has few friends in the world. This fact is no secret but needs to be highlighted to checkmate Pakistan.
The two Sharifs who run Pakistan, the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and the army chief, Raheel Sharif, have found a common cause in whipping up passions against India. Nawaz started his third innings as Prime Minister (in June 2013) by expressing his desire to improve relations with India. Yet, he has quickly changed his colours – guided as much by Darwin’s theory as Rawalpindi reality that the GHQ Shura is implacably hostile to India.
Of late, Prime Minister Sharif has been more shrill than ever before while talking about Kashmir, and often says he awaits the day when that territory becomes part of Pakistan. It was left to the media, with Daily Times of Lahore in the lead, to bluntly tell the Sultan of Raiwind that he was being delusional.
Both the Sharifs and their storm troopers have made vigorous efforts to catch the attention of foreign powers to their Kashmir harangue. Except for occasional ‘balanced’ statements by Washington, nothing that can really please Islamabad has happened.
Pakistan’s defacto foreign minister Sartaz Aziz has since announced that they would take their never ending Kashmir battle to the UN general assembly, (UNGA), which meets this month. The Kashmir ranting by Pakistan and its cry about ‘suppression’ of Kashmiris’ ‘freedom movement’ by India have been a regular feature at the UNGA even when the rest of the world has got tired of it.
After the exposure of its duplicitous character in the on-going fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the world is not going to listen to these cries. The Pakistanis have been foolish enough to continuously rub the US the wrong way ever since the Chinese promised to bring a ‘miracle’ to their land by pumping in $46 billion in the so-called China Pakistan Economic Corridor, (CEPC) with multiple energy and other projects.
The Asian giant has a poor image globally despite its economic and military might. Its arrogance after an international court of arbitration rejected its claim on South China Sea has made it more unpopular. Pakistan can lean on China as long as the common intention of the two countries is to needle India. But neither of the two countries should assume that India will take it lying down.