By Sajjad Shaukat
On December 31, 2014, Indian security agencies orchestrated a terror-related fake boat drama to defame Pakistan in the world. In this regard, Indian media and high officials unfolded the drama on the New Year’s eve by allegedly reporting that a Pakistani fishing boat as a Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was intercepted by Indian Coast Guards, some 356 km. off the coast of Porebandar, Gujarat. Taking a new twist which overturned Indian aspersions in accusing Pakistan, the Indian government had claimed that it had foiled another 26/11-type attack of Mumbai.
As per Indian Coast Guard IG, K R Nautiyal, an operation was undertaken on a precise intelligence tip and boat was ordered to stop, but it did not comply and sped away. Propagating that Pakistani terrorists had been apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard on the high seas and, after a long chase, when warning shots had been fired, the ‘terrorists’ had blown themselves up.
Indian Coast Guard officials stated that no body or debris was found due to bad weather. Moreover, it was also stated that search was on for another boat which they fear was in communication with the capsized boat.
The Pakistani media said that the Indian media was playing up the incident without establishing proper links to terrorism. The incident was strongly rejected by Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, terming it as mere propaganda aimed at tarnishing Pakistan’s image. She elaborated, “Pakistan expects India to conduct a transparent probe to ascertain the facts of the boat incident, while highlighting that its own investigation had shown that there was no sound evidence to substantiate India’s assertions. On the so-called terror boat incident, India has not approached Pakistan through diplomatic channels.”
However, the boat incident had also stirred a controversy within India itself. Indian National Congress had stated that it has doubts on government’s version of Porebandar incident. The ruling party BJP in response had stated that Congress was lending credence to Pakistani stance. In this regard, hitting at Congress, BJP President Amit Shah asked the opposition party, whether it was fighting elections in India or Pakistan.
It is notable that 48 hours after the incident, the Indian officials had started portraying another version by suggesting that the boat which had left Keti Bandar, Karachi might have belonged to small time smugglers.
And it was not possible that 30 HP boat could run four state of the art Indian Coast Guard ships. The media clips showed only fire damage to the boat, whereas, in case of an explosion, as suggested by the Indians, complete boat which was small in size, would have torn to pieces.
Indian officials said that wreckage and dead bodies could not be recovered due to bad weather, whereas, open source met data forecasted fair weather. The argument is supplemented by the fact that small boats do not operate in deep open waters unless weather is clear.
Meanwhile, despite the insistence of Islamabad, no solid proof was provided by Indian authorities about the incident, and no inquiry reports was shared with local and international media. Hence, Pakistan launched strong diplomatic protest at UNO, demanding impartial inquiry which could expose Indian fabricated story regarding the Boat episode.
Nevertheless, we cannot see the event in isolation. The aim of that stereotype Indian orchestrated boat drama was to create an aura against Pakistan prior to US President Barrack Obama’s visit (25-27 Jan. 2015) to India and put pressure on Pakistan government on Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi’s bail issue and allege LeT as an organization, posing regional threats. Prior to Obama’s visit, Indian propaganda was also part of overall plan to malign Pakistan of sponsoring terrorist activities in India. New Delhi, for the last few months, was propagating conduct of terrorist activities by LeT inside India.
It is noteworthy that on December 13, 2001, Indian parliament was attacked by five terrorists. Without any evidence, Indian top officials and TV channels started a blame game against Pakistan by involving the banned Lashkar-e-Tayba and Pakistan’s primary intelligence agency ISI in relation to the parliament assault.
While, regarding the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks, Indian rulers and media had again started a blame game against Pakistan, propagating that Indian Mujahideen, the banned Lashkar-e-Tayba and ISI were behind the Mumbai carnage.
Availing the pretext of the parliament attack and Mumbai catastrophe, New Delhi had, twice, suspended the process of dialogue with Islamabad in wake of its highly provocative actions like mobilization of troops. Pakistan had also taken defensive steps to meet any Indian prospective aggression or surgical strikes. But, India failed in implementing its aggressive plans, because Pakistan also possesses atomic weapons.
It is of particular attention that on July 19, 2013, the Indian former home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma revealed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in December 13, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.
It has clearly proved that Indian secret agencies; particularly RAW arranged coordinated terror attacks on the Indian parliament and in Mumbai and orchestrated those dramas only to defame Pakistan in the world, but also to fulfill a number of other aims.
It is mentionable that during the talks between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, at Ufa, Islamabad had conveyed to New Delhi a comprehensive agenda to discuss all outstanding issues, including Kashmir as well as terrorism. But, New Delhi’s insistence to restrict the agenda for the dialogue to terrorism or cross-border terrorism only, demonstrated India’s confused policy towards Pakistan.
Indian foreign secretary level talks were held in Islamabad on March 3, 2015. In this connection, Indian External Affairs Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry discussed contentious issues including Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek and other bilateral issues. While, in 2014, India postponed the Secretary level talks with Pakistan; under the pretext that during his Indian visit Sartaj Aziz met Kashmiri leaders.
In fact, a lack of seriousness on India’s part to settle all disputes, especially Kashmir issue has compelled New Delhi to follow a self-contradictory and confused strategy towards Islamabad. Hence, New Delhi earnestly found various pretexts like the parliament attack and Mumbai mayhem to cancel peace talks.
Particularly, on May 27, 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff in the oath-taking ceremony proved faultless, because Modi raised baseless issues like terrorism as pre-condition to advance the Pak-Indian dialogue. He said that slow pace of trial against the terrorists of the Mumbai 26/11 terror case; being held in Pakistan is main hurdle.
As regards the case of cross-border terrorism, India has shown ambivalent approach which can be judged from various recent developments. In this respect, on July 27, 2015, three gunmen dressed in army uniforms killed at least seven people, including three civilians and four policemen in the Indian district of Gurdaspur, Punjab.
Without any investigation, Indian high officials and media began accusing Pakistan, its banned militant outfits and intelligence agencies for the Gurdaspur incident. Indian Police remarked that the attackers are from Indian-held Kashmir, and some said that they were Sikh separatists, while Indian Punjab police chief claimed that the three gunmen were Muslim, but as yet unidentified. Contradicting speculations, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament that the gunmen came from Pakistan.
Khalistan Movement Chief Manmohan Singh stated that the Gurdaspur incident is “a conspiracy of Indian secret agency RAW to defame Pakistan.”
However, continuing false flag operations, on Setember18, 2016, India also staged the drama of the terror attack in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) at a military base in Uri, close to the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan.
Like the previous terrorism-related events, without any investigation, Indian media, civil and military high officials started blaming LeT and ISI, saying that the militants who target the Uri base came from Pakistan’s side of Azad Kashmir. In this respect, a senior Home Ministry official and a spokesman of the Indian army allegedly said, “It is clearly a case of cross-border terror attack…the militants infiltrated across the Line of Control from Pakistan before attacking the base in Uri.”
The situation developed in the aftermath of the Uri base terror assault like creation of Indian war hysteria against Pakistan, mobilization of troops near the LoC, exposure of the myth of Indian surgical strikes inside Azad Kashmir, differences between Indian Prime Minister Modi and Country’s Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Sing about the ‘fake video’ of this episode, criticism Modi government inside India, continuous violations at the LoC, targeting villages of Azad Kashmir etc., and diversion of attention from the new phase of uprising in the Indian held Kashmir where Indian security forces have martyred more than 300 innocent Kashmiris since July 8, 2016, who have been protesting against the martyrdom of the young Kashmir leader Burhan Wani by the Indian security forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in wake of continued sieges and prolonged curfews have clearly proved that with the help of Indian intelligence agencies, especially RAW, India has itself arranged the Uri base assault not only to defame Pakistan abroad, but also to achieve a number of sinister designs.
Nonetheless, all these terror attacks were planned by Indian security agencies to distort image of Pakistan and its primary intelligence agency, ISI, linking it with the banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
India intends to obtain various hidden purposes by blaming Islamabad for terrorism. First of all, it wants to divert the attention of the international community from the involvement of RAW which has well-established its network in Afghanistan, and is fully assisting cross-border incursions and terror-activities in various regions of Pakistan through Baloch separatist elements, Jundullah, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL) including their affiliated outfits. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their acts of sabotage.
With the backing of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, New Delhi is also trying to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Recent terror-attacks in various regions of Pakistan and particularly in the Balochistan province might be noted as instance. Indian RAW has also created a heavily funded China-Pakistan and Afghanistan specific desk to target growing Pak-China-Afghanistan relations.
Notably, Islamabad has raised the question of Indian cross-border terrorism and RAW involvement in Pakistan at the UNO forum, with strong evidence which was also shown to the US.
As a matter of fact, on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans, BJP got a land sliding victory in the Indian elections 2014. Hence, Prime Minister Modi is giving impetus to Hindu chauvinism against Pakistan and the Muslims, while implementing the agenda of Hinduvta (Hindu nationalism). Under Modi rule, extremists Hiudu fundamentalist outfits have intensified assaults on the Muslims and Pakistani artists, famous literary persons—members of the cricket boards etc., and even on moderate Hindus.
Renowned thinkers, Hobbes, Machiavelli and Morgenthau opine that sometimes, rulers act upon immoral activities like deceit, fraud and falsehood to fulfill their countries’ selfish aims. But such a sinister politics was replaced by new trends such as fair-dealings, reconciliation and economic development. Regrettably, India is still following past politics in modern era.
It is established fact that as part of anti-Pakistan move, BJP-led government which is continuously manipulating the double standards of the US-led Western countries in relation to New Delhi and Islamabad arranged fake boat drama to not only to defame Pakistan in the world, but also to obtain Indian sinister designs against Pakistan.
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