Final phase of Indo-US-Israeli gory drama and our response
By Asif Haroon Raja
After 9/11, India fabricated another 9/11 by stage-managing a terrorist attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001. It gave a ready-made excuse to deploy over one million troops along Pakistan border to bully Pakistan and extract concessions. While the military coercion made no impact because of tit-for-tat response by Pakistan armed forces, USA helped India in forcing Musharraf to cede to Indian demands. India has once again manufactured 9/11 like drama in Mumbai to extract further concessions from Pakistan which are the ultimate of Indo-US-Israeli sinister plan. Mumbai attacks had similarities with 9/11 attacks particularly with regard to hostile media warfare and the anger expressed.
Americans had bayed for blood and the UN hurriedly sanctioned the invasion of Afghanistan which had no role in the terrorist attacks. Afghanistan under the Taliban had neither any means to defend on military or technological planes nor on the media front and hence was made a scapegoat to assuage the rising anger of the American public. The Indian media too has gone bonkers and Indians are thirsting for Pakistan blood which has inflamed passions and fuelled the fatal enmity. Indian belligerence can be gauged from the poll taken by a private Indian channel which showed 90% Indians wanted India to attack Pakistan. BJP is in the lead role desiring revenge. Not a single voice of sanity has been heard from any quarter in India. Indian leaders were sure to harass and intimidate NRO cleared pliable leadership of Pakistan.
The soft but re-corrected response by Pakistani leadership by refusing to send DG ISI as demanded further antagonised Indian leaders. The small but razor-sharp and biting media riposte which mirrored the sentiments of Pakistanis took the Indians by surprise and flabbergasted them. Their lies started to get exposed too quickly and easily which checkmated their offensive and put them on the defensive. Their internal weaknesses and vulnerabilities which they had cleverly camouflaged under the farce of secularism were bared and the world got much wiser that India is hotbed of terrorism and Hindu extremism and biggest violator of human rights.
In order to neutralise the media strikes emanating from Pakistan, India was prompt to alert its Pakistani cronies inside and outside Pakistan to play their role. Certain Pakistani TV channels and newspapers where the Indians have invested heavy amounts were to become the platforms to damage Pakistan cause and promote Indian cause. The lackeys have begun to play their devious role by bad mouthing against Pakistan in form of writing articles and participating in talk shows.
Aakar Patel in his write up in The News on 1 December says that the horrifying scenes of brutal killing of hotel employees and other inmates when shown to the Indian public is bound to evoke uncontrolled fury. Not only he pre-supposed public anger but used it as a plank to caution Pakistan to be aware of it and try to prevent such backlash because of which it would become difficult for Indian leadership to restrain its armed forces. He advised Pakistan to tread the path of submissiveness by promptly accepting all demands of India promptly to assuage public anger. This in his view was the only way to save Pakistan from getting crushed. He equated Indian anger with American anger after 9/11 which led to decimation of Afghanistan without collecting any proof of Al-Qaeda involvement. Patel ignored the hard reality that the state sponsored media hype created within hours of the happenings and Indian leadership seething with anger had whipped up emotions of the Indian public and within first 12 hours had turned their passions into a state of frenzied fury. He claims that Indian investigators have traced the smoking gun and says that if clinching evidence is gathered from Kasab, India will be constrained to attack abodes of Jihadi groups inside Pakistan.
Patel did not like the tone and tenor of FM Mehmood Qureshi in his Press conference in Islamabad on 29 November on his return from official visit to India. He ignored the humiliating treatment meted to him by Indian leadership in India and his counter part Pranab Mukherjee as well as Manmohan having refused to meet him despite his repeated requests. He had offered full cooperation and joint mechanism to unearth the real culprits. He was handed over a terse letter in which Pakistan was rudely asked to hand over 20 suspects most of whom they had been demanding since 1993. Patel regretted that Qureshi had not used the language of diplomat. How strange, kettle unashamedly calling the pot black. Unlike all the Indian leaders, by all standards Qureshi had behaved in a very responsible, cool and measured manner in spite of being humiliated. His only fault was that he did not accept the blatant charge of Indian media that Pakistan was complicit in the Mumbai carnage.
Patel laments Pakistan reversing its decision not to send DG ISI and considers it a mistake which makes Pakistani government more vulnerable to Indian public anger. He also reprimands the negative role of Pakistani columnists who castigated Gilani’s capitulation to unwarranted demand of India. Rawalpindi based Agha Manzoor Rauf in his letter to editors to News Post of 6 December asserts that Pakistan should be generous and broadminded while dealing with India and Indian request to send DG ISI should have been accepted. He adds that a good opportunity has been lost due to misplaced egos. Hats off to his weird logic but he must have gladdened the hearts of Indians.
Foqia Sadiq based in London in her write up in The News on 4 December castigates the role of media anchors as well as security analysts on both sides of the divide. She has felt irked at the small-scale counter strokes launched by few anchors and analysts whose strength doesn’t exceed 5-7. Majority of Pakistani media anchors and analysts are diplomatic, soft and many are visibly pro-India. Foqia named Lt Gen ® Salahuddin Tirmizi and questioned as to why such jingoistic commentator was invited. She has probably either not seen the scenes of bellicosity on Indian channels or pretends to be naïve about it. But for the few counter jabs by 2-3 channels, Indian media’s jingoism would have remained in a state of frenzy. It has been deliberately stoking the emotions of Indians within hours of the occurrence of attacks in Mumbai and had gone wild in churning out half-truths and fabrications at an unprecedented momentum. Sentiments of Indian nation were whipped in a manner that 90% of Indians desired war as was evident from the survey conducted by a private Indian TV channel. Hysterical calls were made by rightist Hindus led by BJP to decimate Pakistan. The purpose of state sponsored media war was to malign Pakistan, its institutions and its people and to harass leadership to achieve sinister objectives. It had almost succeeded in flabbergasting Zardari and Gilani who feeling the heat ceded to the demand of Manmohan to despatch DG ISI. But for sense of patriotism and national spirit shown by the brave and upright ones, India would have achieved its objective without taking any physical steps.
Every country of the world has lauded the responsible and measured response of Pakistani leaders as well as the media to defuse the situation but Foqia has put both in the same basket thereby bailing out Indian detestable jingoism and irresponsible behaviour. In her view Pakistanis should not have defended Pakistan’s honour and dignity that was being soiled and instead should have continued with its traditional policy of appeasement. She fails to mention persistent efforts by highest in the land to cool down raised tempers of Indians and offering all sorts of cooperation. She strongly feels that Pakistani media should not have replied in the same coin. I only hope she expresses her view out of altruistic sentiments and independently and has not been tutored.
Praful Bidwai is a learned scholar and undoubtedly he has been commenting upon certain high-handed but well exposed actions of Indian extremists like the Gujarat carnage. The world had witnessed and commented upon the pogrom against Muslims of Gujarat perpetrated under the directions of State Chief Minister Narindra Modi. Mr Praful could not have written anything in defence of Modi even if he wanted to. With regard to Mumbai carnage, in his article in The News dated 6 December Praful terms the all out offensive of Indian media and Indian leaders and few Pakistani media jibes in self defence as a retreat into shell of nationalism. He sees it a competitive blame game; that is, tit for tat. It implies both were equally guilty and had indulged in media hype on same levels, which is far from truth. He has absolved India loving PPP, MQM and ANP government asserting that it could not have colluded with the army, ISI and terrorist groups in the Mumbai operation. He indicts the army which in his view is beyond the civilian government control.
He associates the ISI with extremist group and pronounces his verdict that those who attacked Mumbai were Pakistani nationals connected to and controlled by an extremist group (he implies Lashkar-e-Taiba (LT)), who received combat and marine training from professionals (implying army/ISI). He pronounces that LT was ISI created and trained and desires that the ISI must be reined in and punished.
He lends strength to his indictment by quoting Pakistani analysts Ahmad Rashid, Shuja Nawaz, Hussain Haqqani and Aeshya Siddiqua (known for their secular and pro-western/Indian thoughts and anti-army/ISI bias. He missed out Pervaiz Hoodbhouy). He provides the circumstantial evidence in the form of discovery of GPS, satellite phone records, e-mail tracks, ordinance factory markings on armaments (he means POF Wah), and fingerprints on boats and other materials which in his view were sufficient evidences to prove that the attackers came by sea from Karachi. The lone captured terrorist Kasab (whom he has given a new name as Muhammad Ajmal Amir Iman), (I wish he had added few more Muslim names to his name to make his case more strong), has supposedly corroborated the story.
Praful lays heavy stress on the military-style operation, which was meticulously planned and executed with precision but does not say anything as to why the planners and executors decided to provide so many clues to be found out in a jiffy. Does he not know that in today’s world of technology, carrying mobile phones and conversing on it is a sure death certificate. The militants in FATA and Swat have long thrown away their mobiles forcing the adversaries sitting across the Durand Line to resort to chip technology to locate the target. Unless they wanted to be found out before hand and killed, should the Mumbai attackers logically not have maintained radio silence till the accomplishment of the mission? Even if they had used GPS to help them in guiding their way to Mumbai shores, should they not have destroyed it the moment they landed at the objective area? Reportedly they came on Pakistan navy ships up to a point and then hijacked a trawler for covering the last hop and the ships were reportedly on their return journey and apprehended near Gujarat Coast. If so, what would have been the mode of return journey of terrorists if we take it that the GPS mapping indicated return route to Karachi? Was it planned on the trawler? Normally such dare-devil missions are suicide missions in which the terrorists are given one-side tickets and not return journey tickets.
Praful has ingeniously put the blame of targeted killings of anti-terror chief Hemant Karkare and two senior police officials who had unearthed the Hindu extremist network. Hemant’s cold-blooded murder will haunt India for a long time. He artfully reduces the strength of Indian commandoes and combat soldiers from 1200 to 500 who battled with ten terrorists for 60 hours and projects the terrorists as fanatically dedicated having received frightening level of combat training. He makes no mention of Israeli and South African specialised troops who wrapped up the operation. No mention is made of glaring loopholes in the episode that have come to bug the Indians. No mention is made of Intelligence failure and ineptness of Indian navy, security forces and other state departments.
He has given out India’s future course of action which says that if Pakistan refuses to act on the dictated terms, the matter should be taken up with (all too willing) UNSC by citing Resolution 1373. I reckon, he and all Indian nationals forget that India is the biggest violator of UN Resolutions. I may like to refresh their memory that UN Resolution on Kashmir is pending action since 6 February 1948. India draws strength from US all out support to Indian crimes. USA has promptly fallen in line with the Indian drumbeat and already corroborated the charge sheet framed by India that terrorists have links to Pakistan and Condi Rice has delivered a stern warning to listen to India and comply. Factor of non-state actors and danger to nuclear weapons is again being overplayed which exposes the real design behind Mumbai drama. Beware, the final act of the gory drama conceived by Indo-US-Israeli nexus based in Kabul is about to be put into operation.
Mercifully, the political parties have risen to the occasion and have come on a single platform to confront the Indian challenge backed by Israel and USA. Army chief has given a loud message that he would shift forces employed in FATA and Swat towards eastern border. Their hopes that the army would not be able to extricate itself have dashed because of the vociferous calls of support given by all militant groups in FATA. All have expressed their willingness to fight the Indians alongside the army and promised whole-hearted support. They have even volunteered to send thousands of suicide bombers into India to wreak havoc. Even the retired armed forces personnel whose number runs in lacs have volunteered to fight for the defence of motherland.
The state of combat preparedness of the army could not have been better than what it is today. Whatever operational, technical and logistic flaws it had had been rectified during the ten-month military stand off with India in 2002. The entire army is battle hardened carrying a rich experience of six years war under most trying conditions. Each infantry, armoured-infantry and artillery regiment has gone through the mill. The patriotic tribals too are fully battle inoculated and combination of the two would make an unconquerable force. The nation as a whole too is quite prepared for war since the people have become accustomed to bomb blasts and suicide attacks. Overall morale is high and it is a unique chance to gel the nation into a cohesive nation. All our economic indicators are down and the foreign debt too heavy to repay. We have nothing more to lose but India has everything to lose including its Silicon Valley. India is otherwise on the verge of getting imploded from within because of innumerable separatist movements and all its minorities fed up of brutal rule of Brahmans. Conflict with India would also rid Afghanistan of occupation forces which are otherwise in no mood to depart. So let India and its backers commit a folly of imposing war on Pakistan and regret its fatal decision.
Asif Haroon Raja is a retired Brig and a defence and political analyst.
- Asian Tribune -