Distortion of Facts by Indian Writer
By Sajjad Shaukat
An article, entitled, “The olive branch from Pakistan, in its time of crisis” written by Indian writer Shruti Pandalai on November 17, 2011 as published on the website of Institute of Defence Studies & Analyses (IDSA) went unnoticed by Pakistan’s media. This article which has distorted facts in relation to Pak-Indian dialogue and other related issues, needs real analysis.
In this article, Shruti Pandalai writes, “Indo-Pak relations since the diplomatic freeze after the Mumbai attacks in 2008, Pakistan has decided to confer the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ tatus to India. A few days ago, an Indian chopper which strayed into Pakistan was sent back without much chest-beating by Islamabad…dwindling coffers of a state[Pakistan] which has battled the worst form of fundamental terrorism.”
He explained, “In the recently concluded SAARC Summit in Maldives, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar underlined that her country wanted to mend the trust deficit with India” and held bilateral talks on the sidelines.”
Regarding, Mumbai carnage, Shruti Pandalai indicated, “There was a declaration to send a Pakistani judicial mission to India to probe the 2008 Mumbai attacks carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a terror outfit operating from across the border…while Pakistan wants to talk peace, it has still not listed the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) in the group of 31 banned terrorist groups. The JuD chief, Hafiz Saeed…to be the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, roams freely, and has been vowing Jihad against India. Islamabad is accepting a demand from New Delhi for probe, but not etching out any specifics.”
Misjudging the fact that ball is now in Pakistan’s court, Shruti elaborated, “The efforts could be read at face value as a genuine build up for normalising of ties. However, most analysts would point…the context of the reciprocity from Pakistan.” He further wrote, “The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had warned Pakistan to “crush terror havens or pay a very big price…President Hamid Karzai publicly slammed Islamabad for supporting the Taliban and hurting peace.”
According to Shruti, “Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who has come under a lot of fire from the Opposition on the recent peace overtures to Pakistan, calling Pakistan’s Prime Minister Gillani a “man of peace”, but he has clarified that “We are not putting blind faith in one individual” Shruti concluded, “in a relationship, clouded by negatives, the recent positives are a welcome step, but not guarantees of peace dividends.”
However, Indian writer Shruti Pandalai has misperceived the ground realties in the world. He should know that by replacing the by-gone days of the Cold War era, now nations are following the modern world trends such as peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development by preferring regional blocks. In these terms, if Pakistan granted the Most Favoured Nation status to India and also released an Indian helicopter should be taken by New Delhi as positive steps to reslove the disputes between the two countires intead of considering the same as weekness of Islamabad. It is not “The olive branch from Pakistan, in its time of crisis” as India itself is facing movements of separatism and insurgency in seven states. Particularly, New Delhi has totally failed in defeating the Maoist insurgency which has rapidly enveloped more than 10 states of India.
Notably, Indian Prime Minister Singh, after meeting his Pakistan’s counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani in Maldives, called Gilani, a “man of peace.” New Delhi has also offered not to block Pakistan’s bid at entering the European market. Here question ariese that should Islamabad consider it as sign of Indian weakness in wake of its internal crises.
As regards the Mumbai mahem of 2008, while fully cooperating with New Delhi, Pakistan took action against the banned organisations, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD). In this respect, Pakistan’s interior ministery not only lodged FIR against some suspected persons, but also detained many individuals for investigation. India was also illogically emphasising that action must be taken agaisnt Hafiz Saeed who was also detained, but Pakistan’s Lahore High Court released him on bail, saying that there was no evidence agianst him in connecion with the Mumbai catastrophe..
Perharps, Indian writer Shruti Pandalai is not aware of the fact that in the summit at Maldives, about the Indian demand to punish perpetrators of the Mumbai 26/11 carnage, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said about Pakistan’s position that Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the 26/11 terror-incident is a “non-state actor…should be hanged, so should perpetrators of the Samjhauta Express blast.” He also indicated that Pakistan Government was awaiting a visit of the Judicial Commission to India and to get some evidence that will help in prosecuting the accused of the 26/11 in his country.”
It is brought to the notice of Shruti Pandalai that the Mumbai catastrophe, in fact, was arranged by RAW in connivance with Indian home-grown terrorists. In the recent past, the true story of Mumbai canage has been exposed when a day after the Indian media exposed the name of the terrorist, Wazhul Qamar Khan whose name was included in the list of 50 alleged terrorists given to Pakistan in March, 2011. On May 18, 2011, Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram was compelled to admit that what the media mentioned was correct. On the other hand, Pakistan’s security and intelligence agencies were desperately looking for Wazhul Khan. But Wazhur Qamar “is living in the suburbs of Mumbai with his family” and “is regularly reports to a court that gave him bail” as reported by The Times of India.
Indian Prime Minister Singh, after meeting his Pakistan’s counterpart Gilani in Maldives, had said, “The time has come to write a new chapter in the history of our countries” and to improve the ties. Unlike, Gilani, Singh issued more optimistic statements in a joint press conference, and agreed to further expand Pak-Indian interaction at all levels to improve their bilateral relations in various fields by discussing all the issues like Kashmir, Sir Creek, Siachen, Wullar Barrage, water etc.
Manmohan Singh has always come under the pressure of India’s opposition party, BJP in relation to Pakistan. In this context, BJP severely criticized Singh’s optimistic statement towards Pakistan. Confused by the BJP reaction, just two days after showing optimism in Maldives, Manmohan Singh backed out of his statement and stressed that he made it clear to Gilani that if another barbarous Mumbai attack were to happen, it will be a setback, explaining, “if justice is not being done to those responsible to the barbarous attack of Mumbai, it would not be possible to move forward with the peace process.”
Both the countries had resumed the new phase of talks through their home secretaries who had met in 2009. Every time, prime ministers and foreign ministers of the Pakistan and India have ended their meetings with a positive note, terming their talks ‘useful’ and vowed that the same would pave the way for solution of all the related-disputes including the thorny issue of Kashmir, yet the same failed without producing real results owing to India as by following the BJP policy, New Delhi wants to focus on only single agenda of terrorism and the perpetrators of the Mumbai-terror mayhem.
Indian writer should know that India is determined to keep its illegitimate control on Kashmir which is considered by it as integrated part of the Indian union. So, as part of delaying tactics, Indian diplomats have always tried to make the longstanding disputes intricate, challenging Pakistani stand. Hence, Pak-Indian issues remained still unsettled.
Shruti must also take note of the fact that the US-led India and Afghan President Karzai have been playing a double game with Pakistan. It could be assessed from their contradictory statements as sometimes they claim friendship with Islamabad and sometimes blame Pakistan for cross-border terrorism. For example, during her latest trip to Islamabad, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton realized the sacrifices of Pakistan regarding war against terrorism. Meanwhile, after reaching Washington, Ms. Clinton said that cross-border infiltration from Afghanistan inside Pakistan must stop. But some US top officials has still been accusing Pakistan of cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan.
While, with the backing of America, India and Afghanistan, in the last few months, heavily-armed insurgents from Afghanistan’s side entered Pakistan’s region intermittently, targeting the security check posts, killing 100 personal of Pakistan’s security forces. Meanwhile, air strikes by the US-led Jet-helicopters, ground shelling and drone attacks on Pakistani soil have also continued intermittently. Besides, American CIA, Indian secret agency, RAW and Israeli Mossad are in connivance to destabilize Pakistan through subversive acts as the latter is the only country in the Islamic world. Afghanistan has become a hub of their collective conspiracy, also against China and Iran.
So, Indian writer Shruti Pandalai is advised to grasp the ground realities by noting the secret strategic game of the US-led India and Israel in the region instead of distorting the facts. It is due to this deadly double game with Islamabad that “the recent positives are a welcome step, but not guarantees of peace dividends.”
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations