Dire need to counter RAW’s terrorism

by Brig Asif Haroon Raja

It is now an established fact that no South Asian state has ever indulged in covert operations or cross border terrorism against its neighbors. The only culprit is India which resorts to this evil practice against all its neighbors, be it Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, China and Myanmar. It has dovetailed clandestine operations into its war strategy to apply it against its foes during peace time for harassment, intimidation and blackmailing purposes and for weakening them from within. Afghanistan has been used by Russia and India to raise the bogey of Pashtunistan, render support to Pakistani runaways and rebels and to launch covert operations against Pakistan. Karzai has belatedly assured Pakistan that it would not allow its soil against Pakistan. Hopefully he sticks to his commitment. Marching orders given by Karzai to his intelligence chief and interior minister, both venomously anti-Pakistan and favorites of Washington are positive signs though some more steps are needed to scatter away clouds of distrust built over nine years.

The US military has starting packing its bags to wind up its business in Afghanistan and go home starting July 2011. The US and Karzai’s tilt towards Islamabad are ominous developments for India vying to have complete sway over Afghan affairs after the departure of coalition forces. The entire Indian leadership is in a state of depression. Its spin doctors are at a loss but are still scratching their heads how to retrieve the situation. Indians are feeling out of place since they are akin to traits of a scorpion which stings compulsively.

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Home Minister Chidambaram were here in Islamabad to renew talks. An Indo-Pak talk is a drama staged by India at the behest of USA. India loses all and gains nothing out of composite dialogue, which she had purposely stalled after Mumbai attacks. She stubbornly clung to her one-point agenda of no talks without Pakistan tackling India’s concerns about terrorism. After intense pressure from USA, stuck in Afghanistan and urgently requiring Pakistan’s services for a bailout, India has reluctantly relented and agreed to resume talks. However, the entire focus of talks was on terrorism. Chronic issues such as Kashmir dispute, Siachin and Sir Creek problems, water problem, RAW’s support to terrorists in Balochistan and in FATA were skipped. India wants solution to Kashmir as suggested by former President Gen Musharraf. It had been mutually decided to sideline UN resolutions on Kashmir, convert Line of Control (LoC) into soft border and to put the dispute in cold freezer as had been done during Simla Agreement in 1973.

But for lawyers movement which weakened Musharraf, the sellout plan would have been implemented in 2008. It is for this reason that Indian leaders fondly remember Musharraf and pray for his return. President Zardari was also in favor of this plan as was evident from several statements he had made on Kashmir and the so-called ‘good news’ he wanted to give to the nation. Had the Army under Gen Kayani not taken a firm stand and had Zardari not lost his reputation and credibility, he would have given a go ahead signal to the plan. Zardari’s inability to open up nuclear program for US and IAEA inspection, bring ISI under Interior Ministry and to implement Indian dictated Kashmir solution has disappointed USA and India. To twist his arm, he is off and on subjected to barrage of vilification campaign, most of which is based on facts.

Pakistan had been led up the garden path by India through much hyped composite dialogue in early 2004. It was pledged that all issues including Kashmir would be resolved through dialogue. Four rounds of talks were held but nothing concrete came out of the meetings. While Pakistan lost a lot, India gained a lot. Under the garb of friendship, India successfully completed fencing of LoC, defanged armed resistance in Held Kashmir, redirected all Jihadi outfits towards Pakistan, made Balochistan, FATA and large parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa restive, lowered the image of Pak Army and other institutions through propaganda campaign, consolidated tentacles of RAW within Pakistan, disturbed law and order situation, built several dams over rivers Chenab, Jhelum and Indus and reduced flow of water into Pakistan. India not only enhanced its presence in Afghanistan significantly but also spread hatred amongst Afghans against Pakistan to keep the two neighbors perpetually hostile to each other. Through these acts, it impoverished the economy of Pakistan.

While preaching friendship, Indian military feverishly built up its strength and former Indian chief Gen Kapoor hurled threats of Cold Start and limited war under a nuclear overhang. Pakistan quietly digested all the insults and harms inflicted upon the body of Pakistan under the skewed policy of appeasement and under a misperception that Kashmir issue would be resolved. In return, India didn’t budge an inch over any of the disputes and continued to maintain its pre-2004 rigid stance on all issues. It showed its ugly face after Mumbai carnage and reverted to its old policy of antagonism. Read more of this post

After the failure of its war-mongering and threat-issuing strategy; dialogue now has become a necessity for India

So if the Indians are seeking a one-item agenda for dialogue it logically has to be Kashmir bef-ore all else. After all, India wants to discuss terrorism, so does Pakistan. India’s terrorism issue, as they see it, is linked to Occupied Kashmir; Pakistan’s terrorism issue is linked to state terrorism by India on the water issue and in Occupied Kashmir as well as now increasingly within Pakistan. Since India will not accept the earlier agreed-upon blueprint for the resolution of Siachin, resolution of the Kashmir dispute will resolve this automatically. As for Sir Creek, with a decreasing trust deficit if Kashmir is resolved, this border dispute will also resolve itself. So whichever way one looks at it, rationally Kashmir is the core issue that needs to be discussed first – if India wants to move away from the composite dialogue framework.


Dr. Shireen M Mazari: India’s real intentions on commencing a dialogue with Pakistan are now becoming clearer. One, they have no intention of resuming the composite dialogue; two, they want to talk on issues framed their way focusing on terrorism, but they do not include water, which has become a source of Indian state terrorism for Pakistan; and, three, they have now said they will talk on Kashmir and Balochistan! This should make Indian designs only too clear. Yet there has been no suitable response from the Pakistani side at all. After all, if India wants to talk on Balochistan, we should offer talks on Assam and the other eastern states of India where insurgencies are rife! But our leaders are maintaining a strange silence on this ridiculous Indian demand.

It seems we, or rather our decision makers, never seem to learn from history – or perh-aps they do not actually want to. That is why we are at sixes and sevens trying to deal with India’s so-called offer of a dialogue premised on an Indian agenda. Worse still, instead of evolving a cohesive and consensual policy to deal with the calibrated Indian move, our present and past decision makers have resorted to point sco-ring with each other, or at least displaying a lack of understanding of India and its history of duplicity and double talk – especially on the core issue of Kashmir.

We have the bizarre situation of the present Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi – famous for his incredulous defence of the debilitating Kerry Lugar Act – declaring that the water issue will take precedence over Kashmir when the new dialogue begins. In fact, speaking to an Indian publication, Qureshi was almost apologetic about Pakistan’s position on certain issues being grounded in history. There was no assertion of the fact that it requires no history to see Indian antics today, including its aiding and abetting of terrorism in Pakistan and its increasing state terrorism on the water issue. The tone was defensive when we have nothing to be defensive about – after all, vis-a-vis India we are the aggrieved party and have been so since 1947.

Meanwhile, the official spokesperson of the Foreign Office declared, at the same time, also in an interview to the official Press Trust of India, that Pakistan would prefer to stick to the already-agreed up-on composite dialogue procedure. Incidentally, I am intrigued enough to examine how many Indian leaders at the top level give interviews and how frequently to the Pakistani print and electronic media as compared to the Pakistanis and their constant access to the Indian media? Somehow, one can foretell the results already! Anyhow, following from these statements, the next day we have the Foreign Minister, now in Pakistan and addressing a Pakistani political audience in Multan, declaring that the government of Pakistan would fight the cases of Kashmir and water with its ‘full strength” as these were “based on truth”! Suddenly we also have ex-Foreign Minister Kasuri declare that the Musharraf government was very close to a Kashmir settlement, through backchannel diplomacy. But what settlement, since as many of us had critiqued at that time, there were strange trade-offs being made on Kashmir with the APHC being downgraded and the likes of Omar Abdullah being suddenly feted in Pakistan? Worse still, the “four-points” on Kashmir were floated first and then as an afterthought it was realised they needed to be defined and explained! So there was utter confusion over Kashmir during the previous government’s tenure, similar to the one prevailing now – but the present situation is worse because now there has been inaction on the water issue as well as unilateral concessions on trade. Read more of this post

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