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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2732

Propaganda blitz by Pakistan

By Allabaksh - Syndicate Features

After it found it difficult to convince the outside world that it had no role in the 26 November terror attacks on Mumbai, Pakistan has unleashed a full-scale propaganda war against India. Since over the years Pakistan has acquired a mastery over a composite art consisting of lies, deceit, fraud, distortion, blackmail and what not, it is one war it hopes to win with some overt or covert support from its usual benefactors in the West.

Indians can see how this assistance has already been extended to Pakistan in its bid to gain some advantage through this reprehensible exercise. Take the so-called ‘threat’ from the Indian minister of external affairs, Pranab Mukherjee, to President Asif Ali Zardari on 28 November that India would attack Pakistan if the Lashkar-e-Toiba camps were not wound up.

The Western world and its media have swallowed this priceless piece of fiction from Islamabad’s army of Goebbels. The alleged ‘threat’ from India, while taking reluctant note of denials from New Delhi, was fabricated to clearly win sympathy for Pakistan and negate the overwhelming effects of the adverse publicity it had received after the Mumbai blasts.

Nobody has bothered to explain that it is not a common protocol or diplomatic practice for a minister in one country to directly call up the head of another nation even if they happen to be friends. No president of a nation, much less one of a paranoiac one like Pakistan, would personally answer a call straightaway.

Even if all that is possible does it make sense to anyone, in India at least, that an Indian minister, known to be a tactful politician, would issue threats or holler profanities at the head of another nation, howsoever unfriendly. That the information about the so-called threat from Mukherjee took a week to be ‘leaked’ would raise questions.

A Pakistani who has done his country ‘proud’ by enunciating and then executing the ‘bleed India with a thousand cuts’ policy is Lt-Gen (retd) Hamid Gul, once the head of Inter-Services Agency (ISI). Perhaps he found that the nation was about to forget his ‘great’ contribution in making Pakistan ‘invincible’ and so stories were invented that he was one of the top Pakistanis India wanted arrested and handed over. Obviously, either US or Islamabad added that name to the list of 20 Indian criminals being fed, feted and protected by the ISI.

One of the prominent Pakistanis who were vigorously hawking the Indian ‘threat’ story to the West—with the BBC showing itself to be the most eager buyer—is Bhutto loyalist in London. If some in India can jog their memories they would recognise that man as the same High Commissioner who was using the generous hospitality of Bush House (BBC headquarter) to dish out anti-Indian propaganda and falsehood with unfailing frequency in the pre-Musharraf period.

The military coup in Pakistan saw him dethroned from what he perhaps considers to be a lifelong job in the land of his permanent residence. The return of the civilian government found him ‘restored’ to his position. So, he is back at his favourite old game of manufacturing macabre stories about India in trying to win friends for his country. Competing with him for the top Pak honours in bashing India is Islamabad’s permanent representative at the UN; he was once nearly jailed for abusing his Caucasian girl friend in New York. If Islamabad still finds him absolutely indispensable it because of his anti-India expertise.

Perhaps there may be some disappointment in Pakistan that the ‘threat’ from Mukherjee was not followed up by India because woven into the Pakistani canard was the great possibility of a nuclear war in the sub-continent. Moments after the first cries of anguish went out of India following the Mumbai attacks Pakistanis went into an overdrive to talk about Indian troops being amassed on their borders as a result of which Pakistan would have to use its nukes.

This lie was also successfully sold to the West where the only real concern is that Pakistan keeps up the charade of fighting the terrorists on its western borders close to Afghanistan. The West has no problem with the Pak ‘freedom fighters’ carrying on with their business on the Indian border as long as they donot attract much attention. The reluctance or the double-crossing by Pakistan in fighting the terrorists is overlooked because US and NATO trucks are allowed to carry the vital supply of arms, ammunition and goods through its territory to the war-ravaged Afghanistan.

It could be a willing suspension of disbelief in the West that finds Pakistan singing with rising crescendo the false theme of Indian troops being moved to the Pakistani border. What better way to blackmail the West? Any whisper of the Pak troops on the Afghan borders being transferred to the Indian border sends shivers in the entire Western world. Pakistan uses the blackmail to see that the combined pressure of the Western world ends in India letting Pakistan off the hook---once again.

Building up Pakistan as the ‘victim’ of the fallout from the Mumbai attack requires plenty of PR skills and help from the media where all manner of incredible stories are being planted, some clearly at Islamabad’s behest. The gullible are supposed to believe that Pakistan is such a reasonable country that it is going out of its way to offer ‘full cooperation’ to India in investigating the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan is not ready to accept that its hands will not become clean by merely talking about ‘stateless’ persons being behind the Mumbai attacks. It has to take quick action that culminates in prosecution, and conviction of these ‘stateless’ persons, particularly the mastermind. But that is totally out because President Zardari downwards every one in Pakistan has refused to accept that any of its citizens were involved in the Mumbai attacks.

As for the terror training camps and taking action against organisations behind them what can be expected when a well-orchestrated publicity campaign was mounted to suggest that the Muridke headquarters of Lashkars and their other incarnation JuD is nothing but a ‘modern’ educational institution, teaching English and computer science among other subjects. And imparting ‘secular’ arts while openly preaching that only the green crescent should flutter in the sub-continent and all the infidels should be eliminated.

And Western media enjoyed ‘sponsored’ tour of the place without questioning the Professor’s claim of a man preaching peace and love.

- Asian Tribune -

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