Pakistan’s Hollow Attempt

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made a half hearted attempt; that too after a week, to ward off accusations that Islamabad was behind the Pulwama terror attack that killed more than forty Indian soldiers belonging to the CRPF. It was too weak a defence from the Pakistani leadership after the world’s focus was drawn.

It is well known to global community that Pakistan uses terrorism as an ‘instrument of its state policy’. The US President Donald Trump was among the first leaders to condemn the barbarous attack in Pulwama. TheP5 countries too joined in the condemnation. Though, China for its own strategic interests, kept short of naming the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group for the heinous attack.

Indian External affairs ministry strongly countered the address of Mr. Imran Khan. Each of his points was strongly rebutted by India. New Delhi said, India is not surprised that the Prime Minister of Pakistan refuses to acknowledge the attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama as an act of terrorism. The Pakistan Prime Minister has neither chosen to condemn this heinous act nor condoled with the bereaved families.

Disclaiming any link between the terrorist attack and Pakistan is an oft-repeated excuse by Pakistan. The Pakistani Prime Minister has ignored claims made by the Jaish-e-Mohammad, as well as by the terrorist, who perpetrated this heinous crime. It is a well-known fact that Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action.

India further said, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has offered to investigate the matter if India provides proof. This is a lame excuse. In the horrific attack in Mumbai on 26/11, proof was provided to Pakistan. Despite this, the case has not progressed for the last more than 10 years. Likewise, on the terror attack on Pathankot airbase, there has been no progress. Promises of “guaranteed action” ring hollow given Pakistan’s track record.

Mr. Khan had referred to a “Naya Pakistan” with a new thinking. In this “Naya Pakistan”, Ministers of the current Pakistani Government publicly share platforms with terrorists like Hafeez Saeed who have been proscribed by the United Nations.

The Pakistani Prime Minister has called for dialogue and expressed his readiness to talk about terrorism. India has repeatedly stated that it is ready to engage in a comprehensive bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence. Pakistan claims to be the greatest victim of terrorism. This is far from truth. The international community is well acquainted with the reality that Pakistan is the nerve center of terrorism.

It is regrettable that the Pakistani Prime Minister has insinuated that India’s response to the terrorist attack is determined by the forthcoming General Election. India strongly rejects this false allegation. India’s democracy is a model for the world which Pakistan would never understand.

The world knows the track record of Pakistani democracy, for more than half of its existence; the country had been under Army rule. Democratic forces in Pakistan are yet to find their feet. It would be pertinent to point out that the current Prime Minister of Pakistan was ‘backed’ by the Pakistan Army.

The political leadership in Pakistan has no say over the country’s foreign and defence policies. Relations with India depend on the whims of the strategy enunciated by the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. It would be better if Mr. Imran Khan looked inwards and then sermonized.

The international community led by France and the United Kingdom are working towards moving a motion in the UN General Assembly to declare the JeM chief Masood Azhar as a ‘global terrorist.’ Even, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan close ally has called on “all states” to reject the use of terrorism against other countries; dismantle terrorism infrastructures where they exist and to cut off all kinds of support and financing to the terrorists.

Its high time Pakistan stopped misleading the international community and took credible and visible action against the perpetrators of Pulwama terrorist attack and other terrorists and terror groups operating from its territory.

Script: Kaushik Roy, AIR, Strategic Affairs Analyst