Thwarting All Peace Processes
In the recent months, Pakistan made strenuous efforts to advance peace talks with India in order to resolve all issues, especially Kashmir dispute, while it took several positive steps to improve relations with Afghanistan. Similarly, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ahmad Khan decided to begin negotiations with all the Taliban groups, particularly Hakimullah Mehsud, Chief of the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). But, all these efforts received a greater blow due to anti-Pakistan developments, aimed at thwarting all the peace processes which were essential for the stability of Pakistan as well as the whole region.
In this regard, Pakistani prime minister’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz who visited New Delhi to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), held a meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on November 12, this year to defuse tension at the Line of Control (LoC) and to restore the peace process. Sartaj Aziz also met the Hurriyat leaders of Kashmir. However, statements issued by their related-ministries said that both the diplomats reviewed bilateral relations in a constructive and forward looking manner, and pledged to settle all issues.
Quite contrarily, in a strong message, Salman Khurshid stated that he told the Sartaj Aziz that his decision to meet Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi was “insensitive” and “counterproductive.” While keeping pressure on Pakistan, Khurshid explained that he gave “benefit of doubt” to Islamabad by telling them that “the conditions of the dialogue cannot be met till there is peace and tranquility on the LoC. He also allegedly said that Islamabad has been using delaying tactics in relation to the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks trial.
Recently, tension arose between Pakistan and India when Indian military conducted a series of unprovoked firings across the LoC, and international border in wake of war-like strategy which still continues. While, Indian military high command failed in producing dead bodies of alleged terrorists who had crossed the LoC from Pakistan to Indian-occupied Kashmir. The ground realities proved that it was just propaganda against Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and Pak Army, as indicated by the Indian media, Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi and leaders of the Hindu fundamentalist party, BJP.
Besides new pretension of the LoC violations, in the past too, New Delhi availed various crises to suspend the process of Pak-India talks. For example, in 2002, under the pretension of terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, India postponed the dialogue process. Again, in 2008, India suspended the ‘composite dialogue’ under the pretext of Mumbai terror attacks which were in fact, arranged by its secret agency RAW.
In the recent past, the Indian former officer of home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai and assault on the Indian Parliament were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism legislation. In fact, under the cover of LoC accusations, India seeks to create obstacle in the way of the new peace process with Pakistan so that Pak-Indian concerned issues, especially main dispute of Kashmir remain unresolved.
Most alarming aspect is that Indian duress on Islamabad regarding LoC is part of other related moves against Islamabad because India, US and Afghanistan have been playing double game with Pakistan through their secret agencies, as some latest incidents in our country have proved. In this context, leader of Haqqani Network, Nasiruddin Haqqani who was on US list of global terrorists was killed by unidentified gunmen on November 10 in Islamabad. Some sources suggest that CIA and RAW are behind the death of Nasiruddin, as the Haqqanis have never struck inside Pakistan because they have been waging a war of liberation in Afghanistan. The main aim of assassinating him is to sabotage the Pak-Afghan peace process, making both countries acutely vulnerable to disruption by the militant groups—and to castigate Pakistan’s major role in any future Afghan peace deal with the Haqqanis.
In this connection, opposition leader, Syed Khurshid Shah of the PPP said on November 14, “killing of Nasiruddin Haqqani is a conspiracy against Pakistan and no government institution is involved in this murder.”
Similarly, when the TTP Chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by the US drone strikes on November 1, leaders of the ruling and opposition parties including prominent figures and Unlmas (Religious scholars) took the event as a plot to thwart the peace process with the militants. In this context, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar openly pointed out that that killing of Hakimullah Mehsud in the US drone attack was a conspiracy to sabotage peace talks with the Taliban. He added that his death was, in fact, a fatal blow to the peace process in the region.
On the other side, the TTP new Chief Maulana Fazlullah dismissed the proposed peace negotiations with the government as a “waste of time”, and vowed to target the prime minister, chief minister, chief of army staff and corpse commanders. During Swat and Malakand military operations, Fazlullah fled Swat and took shelter in Afghanistan.
Well-established in Afghanistan, with the tactical support of the US, in connivance with Indian RAW and Afghan spy service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Pakistan-based TTP, Maulana Fazlullah—and these foreign agencies have been conducting target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, beheadings, assaults on civil and military personnel, installations and forced abductions including ethnic and sectarian violence. By sending heavily-equipped militants in Pakistan, these entities are also assisting Baloch separatists.
Particularly, the captured TTP leader Latifullah Mehsud by US Special Forces (USF) in Afghanistan confessed that Afghanistan and India were waging proxy wars in Pakistan, and terrorist attacks on Gen. Sanaullah Khan Niazi in Upper Dir, at Peshawar Church, in Qissa Khawani Bazar and elsewhere had been planned by Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies. Now, Pakistan is facing multi-faceted challenges internally and externally, arranged by the anti-Pakistan enemies, as followed by a deliberate propaganda to destabilize and denuclearize it. So, these external entities also intend to thwart all the peace processes to further weaken Pakistan through their collective sinister designs. 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.