Categorized | India

Under the Cover of Pathankot Episode?


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By Sajjad Shaukat

In the aftermath of the terror attack at Indian Air Force Base in Pathankot, on January 2, this

which resulted into the death of six militants and eight personal of the Indian security forces in a

four day’s gunbattle, India has been pressurizing Pakistan by saying that secretary-level talks

scheduled to be held in Islamabad on January 15, 2016 will remain postponed.

While, Pakistan which wants to advance the peace process with India has offered its full

cooperation in the probe of Pathonkot incident.

In this regard, on January 8, a high level meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

was held in which chief of army staff and DG, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also participated.

The meeting also discussed the Pathankot incident and expressed Pakistan’s condemnation.

Reiterating commitment to cooperate with India to completely eradicate the menace of terrorism

in the region, it was decided to remain in touch with the Indian government—expressed the

goodwill generated by the recent high level contacts, the two countries would remain committed

to a sustained, meaningful and comprehensive dialogue process.

But, India is not serious in advancing Pak-India dialogue process, agreed upon between the two

countries during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Pakistan. Under the cover

of Pathankot episode, New Delhi wants to postpone the secretary-level parleys, as part of its

delaying tactics in settling various issues with Islamabad.

However, first of all, various contradictions of Indian high officials show that India has itself

orchestrated the episode of Pathankot assault. In this respect, Indian Intelligence agencies had

already alerted security agencies about the possible terror group’s planning of the attack, after

tracing the phone calls of the militants. Following the alert, Western Air Command chief Air

Marshal SB Deo had reached Pathankot air base on the same day of night himself to take stock

of security preparations. One day before, the terrorists had also hijacked the car of Indian

Superintend of Police (SP), Gurdaspur, Salwinder Singh, which was used by them to reach the

base. SP, his friend Rajesh Verma, and cook Madan Gopal were abducted and afterwards

Latest reports disclose that the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which has been entrusted

with the attack probe, is questioning the SP, his friend and cook, deliberately connecting him

with Pakistan’s banned outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad and spy agency, ISI.

Earlier, without any investigation and evidence, since the first day of the incident, Indian media

and top civil and military officials claimed that the attackers had arrived from Pakistani Punjab’s

Bahawalpur district, and had links with Jaish-e-Mohammad and ISI.

The fact is that none had crossed the highly secured border from the Pakistan side and Jaish-e-

Muhammad had been banned by Pakistan several years ago. Quite contrarily, Indian and foreign

media have disclosed that Pakistan-based Kashmir’s militant body United Jihad Council on

January 4 claimed responsibility for the Pathankot airbase attack. Besides, why the SP, his friend

and cook were spared by the terrorists, proving them an opportunity to alert the senior authorities

about the plot. How could the terrorists still penetrate the air base when some 200 commandoes

had been airlifted to the base on January 1 and the base security was fully alert? As regards the

number of the terrorists, New Delhi started from four and by adding one each day, reached the

Meanwhile, during queries of media persons, Indian home minister could not give appropriate

replies to all these contradictory developments.

In fact, like other past episodes, Indian intelligence agencies, especially RAW have themselves

arranged terror attacks at the Pathankot airbase to fulfil a number of anti-Pakistan designs.

As regards the case of cross-border terrorism, India has shown ambivalent approach which can

be judged from some other developments. In this connection, 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 started accusing Pakistan, its banned militant outfits and intelligence

agencies for the Gurdaspur incident. Indian Police remarked that the attackers were 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.”

Notably, on December 31, 2014, prior to the US President Obama’s second visit to New Delhi,

Indian intelligence agencies orchestrated a boat drama to defame Pakistan, allegedly reporting

that a Pakistani fishing boat as a Pakistan-based outfit group Lashkar-e-Taiba was intercepted by

Indian Coast Guards, off the coast of Porebandar, Gujarat. And Indian Coast Guard crew set the

boat on fire and it exploded. The Indian government had claimed that it had foiled another 26/11-

type attack of Mumbai. But, its reality exposed Indian terrorism, when some Indian high officials

admitted that there was no such boat which came from Pakistan.

In case of the Mumbai terror attacks of November 26, 2008 and assault of the Indian parliament

of December 13, 2001, without any enquiry, Indian high officials and media had started

deliberate blame game against Pakistan by alleging that Mujahideen and the banned Lashkar-e-

Tayba based in Pakistan and ISI were behind those terror events.

It is of particular attention that on July 19, 2013, the Indian former home ministry and ex-

investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008

and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government

to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.

Nonetheless, it clearly proves that under the cover of the orchestrated Pathonkot episode, India

wanted to postpone the secretary-level dialogue, while shifting the the blame game to Pakistan,

as New Delhi is non-serious in resolving all disputes, especially Kashmir issue with 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

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