Pathankot Attack and Indian Rhetoric against Pakistan

29 Mar

By Tariq Rizwan

A group of unidentified armed men attacked an Indian Air Base at Pathankot on 2 January 2016. The attack had great similarity with the attacks taken place against air bases in Pakistan in the past. The so called non-state-actors only believe in regional instability and have never spared any one. Pathankot is part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force. Four attackers and three security forces personnel were killed in the initial battle, with an additional security force member dying from injuries later. On 3 January, fresh gunshots were heard, and another security officer was killed by an IED explosion. The operation continued on 4 January, and a fifth attacker was confirmed killed. The attackers were wearing Indian Army fatigues and were suspected to be affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammed, an Islamist militant group. The group has been declared as a terrorist organization by India, the US, the UK and the UN. The attack was described as a terrorist incident in the Indian and foreign media. The United Jihad Council, a Kashmiri Freedom Fighters’ group claimed responsibility for the attack on 4 January
Media reports suggested that the attack was an attempt to derail a fragile peace process between India and Pakistan, as several pieces of evidence were found linking the attackers to Pakistan. Reports claimed that the people who carried out the attack in Pathankot were in regular touch with their handlers. It has been alleged that the two phone numbers to which calls were made by the attackers were from Pakistan. According to the report, the first number probably belonged to the mother of one of the militants made in order to intimate her of not coming back home and taking care of herself, while the second one belonged to one of the handlers of the attackers. Indian Intelligence Bureau officials have stated that the attackers called their handler “ustaad” while describing their positions inside Punjab after crossing over from Pakistan. Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and his brother Abdul Rauf Asghar are among four persons identified by Indian intelligence agencies as “handlers” behind the attack. They alleged that the conspiracy was hatched from vicinities of Lahore. As usual, Indian defense Minister Manohar Parrikar has pointed out that some of the materials used by the terrorists were made in Pakistan.
Pakistan has assured India of all possible help in the case but requested India to allow its investigation team to collect sufficient evidences to present it in the local court. After lot of efforts, Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has got Indian visas and has prepared a 50-point questionnaire for investigating the Pathankot incident. The team which will leave for India on Sunday, will stay there for a week for complete probe there. Modalities of JIT have been agreed between the Indo-Pak authorities,” said a senior member of the JIT. The Pakistani authorities conveyed to India that the JIT is of the opinion that it requires a minimum seven-day stay there to carry forward the investigation. The JIT’s senior official said that concerned authorities of both countries had agreed on the mandate and working of the JIT and hoped that the issue of stay would also be solved amicably. The top officer of the JIT said that the JIT would enjoy the same power, mandate and authority in India as in Pakistan. The JIT would work under its own CRPC in India and would visit the crime scene and collect evidences.
The JIT Team will meet witnesses to record their statements and would also call on Indian investigation officers who already carried out the investigation for sharing information. The JIT will examine the arms used by the terrorists. It would also record statements of the victims of the terrorist attack and would prepare a memo of the tragedy. India agreed with all the modalities and gave a green signal to Pak authorities. Officers from various security agencies would be part of the team.
Pakistan has remained the most affected country in the ongoing war on terror. Deployment of thousands of troops on its Western Border, losing thousands of people in the war as well as suffering economical losses worth more than Rs 70 billion shows Pakistan’s sincerity and whole heartedness in the struggle to see terror free world. Our leadership humble approach is being taken for granted. Indian interference from Afghanistan to destabilize Pakistan’s western belt coupled by a series of premature statements after attacks in India by the non-state actors followed by Indian media’s irresponsible tirade against Pakistan has raised a big question mark on the sincerity on India in the war on terror.
It is India who has exposed Pakistan’s weak security in Balochistan and KPK by carrying terror attacks. The arrest of Indian serving Navy officer Kul Yadav Bhoshan from bordering areas of Balochistan is a strong evidence of Indian interference in Balochistan. So there is no use of bilateral talks unless both sides are sincere to settle all the controversial issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. The politics of allegations for the sake of maligning and defaming one another must end now. Indians are not bad and people from both sides want peace and prosperity but the Modi led government must come out of the clutches of Hindu extremist groups; Shiv Sina and others. The pace of talks and speedy resolve has been sluggish and needs to develop an environment of trust by both sides.
Pakistan’s Army and its prime institution ISI have specially been targeted to undermine its strong pillars. India was actually just left behind as no man area and backlog has yet not been cleared. It is still ruled by the extremist Hindus. Moderates have no say in the affairs. The day to day killing of innocent people by Hindu “Banyas “have exposed the India’s face of secularism and big democracy. India has no democracy rather a “Government of the mob, by the mob and for the mob” of extremist Hindus. Pakistan was created for and ideology that we are Muslims and we have to live according to our Islamic teachings. Islam does not believe in ethnic and sectarian divide. However India and its intelligence agency “RAW” have remained engaged to revive such weak areas and exploit them for destabilizing Pakistan specially our Western Belt.

Unlike India, why Pakistan is close to China; due to China’s sincerity, friendly attitude and her belief in non interference as well peace and prosperity in the region. Despite having large population, India is playing in the hands of extra regional power US/West to counter China’s rising power and strength in the region. It is all at the cost of regional peace and stability. Europe has witnessed all levels of development by leaving behind all past rivalries and wars for the sake of peace and prosperity in their continents. Only we are leaving in Stone Age by pressing one another’s tales. It is reap time to forget about the past and resolve all outstanding issues and move forward to compete in development. The region may usher in new era of peace and prosperity.
The writer is a freelance journalist based in London

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