Revisited Mumbai Terror Attacks
By Sajjad Shaukat
Mumbai attack was just another false flag operation of Indian establishment to gain sympathies of world community and defame Pakistan in the comity of nations. The whole drama was staged to put blame Pakistan and its intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Similarly, Indian extremist government led by the fanatic Prime Minister Narendra Modi planned the terror attack in the Pulwama district of the Indian Occupied Kashmir on February 14, this year, where at least 44 Indian soldiers were killed when a suicide bomber rammed a car into a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
According to the Indian media, the banned Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility soon after the assault. Without any investigation and evidence Indian high officials and media started accusing Islamabad, saying that the attackers had come from Pakistan to stage the assault.
Next day after the Pulwama assault, India’s Prime Minister Modi blamed Pakistan for the Pulwama terror attack and warned of a strong response.
Very tension escalated rapidly between India and Pakistan when on February 27, 2019, in response to the Indian so-called pre-emptive air strike near the town of Balakot, close to the border with Pakistan’s sector of Kashmir, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets and launched aerial strikes at six targets in the IoK.
Addressing a press conference on the same day, Director General of Pakistan Army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj-Gen. Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan Air Force have conducted aerial strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) from Pakistani airspace and shot down two Indian aircraft. One of the two Indian air force pilots was taken into custody.
Regarding Indian surgical strike, Maj-Gen. Asif Ghafoor explained: “There are only mud-brick homes. There is no madrassas. There isn’t even a concrete house…Two of the dried mud structures were damaged in the explosions…No one has been killed, no one has been seriously hurt…Indian planes crossed into the Muzafarabad sector of Pakistani-side of Kashmir…Pakistan scrambled its warplanes and the Indian jets released their payload in haste near Balakot.”
The truth about India’s surgical strikes unmasked, when India top civil and military leaders failed in providing any evidence in this respect. Besides foreign media, Indian opposition parties and leaders of the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK), including retired military officers criticized Prime Minister Modi in failing to supply any proof that of 350 militants of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were killed.
Afterwards, journalists visited the targeted site of Balakot and Islamabad also released a video which exposed the false statements of New Delhi that IAF fighters targeted the camp of the JeM and killed 350 militants.
Meanwhile, as a peace gesture, Islamabad released the captured Pilot and handed over to the Indian authorities. Pakistan also offered joint investigations to New Delhi in connection with the Pulwama attack, but, India rejected it, as like the Mumbai terror attacks, it was also a false flag assault, secretly arranged by the Modi-led entities.
However, the myth of Indian surgical strike was further exposed, when DG of ISPR General Asif Ghaffor, while referring to the statement of Indian India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who admitted on April 18, this year that no Pakistani soldier or citizen died in the air strike carried out by IAF across the border in Balakot, stated on April 19, 2019: “After India finally admitted that their so-called air strike carried on February 26 in Balakot caused no deaths and casualties…Hopefully, so will be about other false Indian claims [such as] surgical strike of 2016, denial of shooting down of two Indian Air Force [IAF] jets by Pakistan Air Force and claims about F16…Better late than never.”
It is notable that continuing false flag operations, on Setember18, 2016, India had staged the drama of the terror attack in the Indian Controlled Kashmir at a military base in Uri, close to the LoC with Pakistan. After the Uri episode, without any inquiry, India’s top civil and military officials, including their media started propaganda against Pakistan by accusing that the militants who targeted the Uri base came from Pakistan’s side of Azad Kashmir and the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) controlled by the ISI were involved in it. Under the mask of the Uri base attack, India created war-hysteria against Pakistan and started mobilization of troops near the LoC, while claiming surgical strikes on the Azad Kashmir.
Nevertheless, this very day of the Mumbai terror attacks has come at time when the people of Kashmir have accelerated their legitimate struggle, as since August 5, 2019, New Delhi unilaterally annexed the IOK, revoking articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution which gave a special status to that region. Since August 5, Indian forces have continued lockdown and curfew in the IOK. In order to hide human rights violations, communication services have been cut off from the world and foreign delegations and journalists are not allowed to enter the Indian Controlled Kashmir.
Besides, Indian extremist rulers are also escalating tensions with Pakistan to divert attention from the drastic situation of the Indian Held Kashmir, and have continued shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir by violating the ceasefire agreement in relation to the LoC.
It is mentionable that renowned thinkers, Hobbes, Machiavelli and Morgenthau opine that sometimes, rulers act upon immoral activities like deceit, fraud and falsehood to fulfill their countries’ selfish aims. But such a sinister politics was replaced by new trends such as fair-dealings, reconciliation and economic development. Regrettably, India is still following past politics in modern era.
Under the cover of the Mumbai catastrophe, India began a deliberate propaganda campaign against Pakistan and tried to isolate the latter in the comity of nations by showing that Islamabad was sponsoring terrorism in India. In this regard, Indian former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and its other high officials, while repeating old rhetoric of baseless allegations, had stated that Pakistan has “epicenter of terrorism” and Islamabad should “end infrastructure of terrorism.” L.K. Advani, leader of the BJP, while accusing Pakistan as the hotbed of terror in the region, said that Pakistan’s secret agency ISI should be declared a terror outfit.
In this respect, Indian top officials and TV channels had remarked that Indian Mujahideen and the banned outfit LeT based in Pakistan and ISI were behind the Mumbai terror attacks. With the assistance of Indian secret agency RAW, Indian investigators fabricated a false story that 10 terrorists who executed Mumbai carnage came in a boat from Karachi and were in contact with the militants of the LeT through phone calls. But a number of questions arise in relation to the so-called links, deliberately entangling Pakistan. First, how it is possible that the militants phoned 100 times inside Pakistan, but they did not call their families? Second, the lonely gunman Ajmal Kasab who was arrested, knew his address and why he did not indicate the names and home addresses of other 9 fugitives with whom he lived for a long time? Third, after the hard journey of more than 50 hours, traveling on the slow moving water, evading 20 coastal guards of Indian Navy, how they reached Mumbai? Fourth, where did they change their muddy shoes and wet dresses? Fifth, how it became possible that they immediately hired a taxi and reached their targets, without taking some rest? Sixth, why the terrorists killed only four people at the Nariman house, sparing the other six guys present there?
Availing the pretext of the Mumbai catastrophe, New Delhi had suspended the process of ‘composite dialogue’ in wake of its highly provocative actions like mobilization of troops. Islamabad had also taken defensive steps to meet any Indian prospective aggression or surgical strikes. But, India failed in implementing its aggressive plans, because Pakistan also possesses atomic weapons.
Nonetheless, in the post-Mumbai terror attacks, Indian rulers had started blackmailing Islamabad that they would not resume the talks unless Islamabad takes actions against the culprits of Mumbai mayhem. New Delhi urged Islamabad to arrest the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks. Rejecting Pakistan’s stand that its government or any official agency was not involved in the Mumbai attacks, New Delhi wanted to make Islamabad accept all other Indian demands since our rulers admitted that Ajmal Kasab was Pakistani national. In fact, Islamabad’s admission which had emboldened New Delhi was forced by the US. And, Ajmal Kasab was tortured by the Indian intelligence agencies so as to endorse Indian false story against Islamabad, while giving statement in an Indian court. Suppose, even if he was Pakistani, it did not matter because he was a non-state actor, as non-state actors like smugglers and the militants are found in many countries.
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.
It has clearly proved that Indian secret agencies; particularly RAW arranged coordinated terror attacks in Mumbai and orchestrated that drama only to defame Pakistan in the world, but also to fulfill a number of other sinister aims.
As a matter of fact, a lack of seriousness on India’s part to settle all disputes, especially Kashmir issue has compelled New Delhi to follow a self-contradictory and confused strategy towards Islamabad. Hence, New Delhi earnestly found various pretexts to cancel peace talks, while shifting the blame to Islamabad. For example, besides Mumbai attacks, in 2002, under the pretension of terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, India postponed the dialogue process.
Notably, 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 LeT 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. But, its reality exposed Indian terrorism, because, some Indian high officials admitted that there was no such boat which came from Pakistan.
Likewise, India orchestrated the drama of militants’ attack at Indian Air Force Base in Pathankot on January 2, 2016. Indian media and top civil and military officials started claiming that the attackers had arrived from Pakistani Punjab’s Bahawalpur district, and had links with Je-M and ISI. But, despite Islamabad’s cooperation with New Delhi like formation of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) consisting of professionals to investigate the Pathankot attack, crackdown against the militant group JeM—lodging of a First Information Report (FIR) in relation to the incident, India failed in providing any proof of Pakistan’s involvement in the Pathankot episode.
Undoubtedly, all these terror attacks were planned by Indian security agencies to tarnish the image of Pakistan and its primary intelligence agency, ISI In these terms, especially coordinated terror assaults of November 26, 2008 in Mumbai were part of the same Indian scheme.
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