Who Was Behind Indian Parliament Terror Attack?
On December 13, 2001, five terrorists had attacked the Indian parliament by penetrating the tight security in a car with home ministry and parliament labels, and resulted into deaths of the gunmen along with six police officers, after an exchange of gun battle. The day has come at a time when in one way or the other, India has been repeating the similar blame game against Pakistan.
On December 14, 2001, Indian ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had accused Pakistan-based banned militant groups Lashkar-e-Tayba and Jaish-i-Mohammed for the assault on the Indian parliament. In that regard, the then Home Minister LK Advani had disclosed indirectly referring to Pakistan, “We have received some clues that a neighbouring country and some terrorist organisations active there are behind it.”
In this that respect, without any evidence, Indian top officials and TV channels started a blame game against Pakistan by involving the banned Lashkar-e-Tayba and Pakistan’s primary secret agency, ISI in relation to the Parliament assault.
Similarly, regarding the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks, Indian rulers and media had started a blame game against Pakistan, propagating that Indian Mujahideen, the banned Lashkar-e-Tayba and ISI were behind the Mumbai carnage.
Availing the pretext of the parliament attack and Mumbai catastrophe, New Delhi had, twice, suspended the process of dialogue with Islamabad in wake of its highly provocative actions like mobilization of troops. Pakistan 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.
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, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January, 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 on the Indian parliament and in Mumbai and orchestrated those dramas only to defame Pakistan in the world, but also to fulfill a number of other aims.
It is notable 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.
It is mentionable that during the talks between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, at Ufa, Islamabad has conveyed to New Delhi a comprehensive agenda to discuss all outstanding issues, including Kashmir as well as terrorism. But, New Delhi’s insistence to restrict the agenda for the dialogue to terrorism or cross-border terrorism only, demonstrated India’s confused policy towards Pakistan.
Indian foreign secretary level talks were held in Islamabad on March 3, 2015. In this context, Indian External Affairs Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry discussed contentious issues including Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek and other bilateral issues. While, last year, India postponed the Secretary level talks with Pakistan; under the pretext that during his Indian visit Sartaj Aziz met Kashmiri leaders.
In 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 like the parliament attack and Mumbai mayhem to cancel peace talks.
Particularly, on May 27, 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff in the oath-taking ceremony proved faultless, because Modi raised baseless issues like terrorism as pre-condition to advance the Pak-Indian dialogue. He said that slow pace of trial against the terrorists of the Mumbai 26/11 terror case; being held in Pakistan is main hurdle.
As regards the case of cross-border terrorism, India has shown ambivalent approach which can be judged from various recent 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 are 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.”
Besides, in the recent past, 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. But, its reality exposed Indian terrorism, because, some Indian high officials admitted that there was no such boat which came from Pakistan.
India intends to obtain various hidden purposes by blaming Islamabad for terrorism. First of all, it wants to divert the attention of the international community from the involvement of RAW which has well-established its network in Afghanistan, and is fully assisting cross-border incursions and terror-activities in various regions of Pakistan through Baloch separatist elements, Jundullah and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) including their affiliated outfits. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their acts of sabotage.
New Delhi is also trying to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Recent terror-attacks in Pakistan and Balochistan might be noted as instance. Indian RAW has also created a heavily funded China-Pakistan and Afghanistan specific desk to target growing Pak-China-Afghanistan relations.
And on the direction of the Indian leader of the fundamentalist party BJP and Prime Minister Modi, Indian forces have accelerated unprovoked shelling across the Line of Control and Working Boundary, while creating war-like situation between Pakistan and India.
Notably, Islamabad has raised the question of Indian cross-border terrorism and RAW involvement in Pakistan at the UNO forum, with strong evidence which was also shown to the US.
In fact, on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans, BJP got a land sliding victory in the Indian elections 2014. Hence, Prime Minister Modi is giving impetus to Hindu chauvinism against Pakistan and the Muslims. In the recent months, extremists of Hiudu fundamentalist outfits intensified assaults on the Muslims and Pakistani artists, famous literary persons—members of the cricket boards etc., and even on moderate Hindus.
Modi’s anti-Pakistan policies have also external aspects. In this regard, while addressing a ceremony during his Bangladesh tour, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi openly stated on June 7, 2015 that Indian forces helped Mukti Bahini (Militants) to turn East Pakistan into Bangladesh. He elaborated that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had played an active role in separating Bangladesh from Pakistan, and he had also come to Delhi in 1971 to participate in the Satyagraha Movement, launched by Jana Sangh as a volunteer to garner support for the Mukti Bahini members.
It is noteworthy that since Prime Minister of Bangladesh and leader of the ruling party, Awami League, Sheikh Hasina Wajid came into power, India has been employing various tactics to entrap Bangladesh by exploiting her pro-Indian tilt to fulfill its strategic interests. In this context, Prime Minister Hasina Wajid has continuously been pursuing Indian directions by conducting anti-Pakistan campaign. Therefore, after passing of 42 years to the events of 1971, which resulted into the separation of East Pakistan, Abdul Qadir, the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) was hanged because of his loyalty to Pakistan.
Bangladesh’s ruling party, under Sheikh Hasina Wajid maintains an anti-Pakistan posture with sinister designs of expressing animosity, antagonism and unrestrained emotional flare-up. The aim is to exploit feelings of masses by keeping the “hate Pakistan” agenda alive. This enables Awami League and Hasina Wajid to remain significant in Bangladesh’s power politics despite their failure to deliver good governance to the People. It also helps them to appease their mentors in India. Using abusive language against Pakistan and its armed forces makes Hasina Wajid relevant in Indian politics, while she herself prefers those entities which derive sadistic pleasure by depicting Pakistan in bad light.
In this connection, in connivance with New Delhi, Bangladesh government and Awami League have launched a massive media campaign in order to spread venom against Pakistan, its armed forces, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and against all those Bangladeshi nationals who were loyal to the state during 1971 crisis.
By neglecting Islamabad’s positive approach, Bangladesh government has continued its anti-Pakistan approach to please India. It could be judged from the statement of Prime Minister Hasina Wajid who has vocally said, “Bangladesh has no room for the people loving Pakistan.”
As a matter of fact, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been following pro-Indian policies. In this respect, on the secret insistence of India, unlike the past years, a ceremony was held in Dhaka on March 24, 2013, with full pump and show to honour ‘Foreign Friends of Bangladesh Award,’ in relation to the separation of East Pakistan. For this aim, several foreign friends who included various institutions and media anchors from various countries, particularly India were invited. The main purpose behind was to distort the image of Pakistan and its armed forces regarding alleged atrocities, committed against the Bengalis. Notably, in December, 2012, Prime Minister Hasina had refused to attend D-8 conference in Islamabad unless Pakistan tendered apology for the alleged genocide of Bengalis.
While, a famous Bengali journalist Sarmila Bose authored a book, “Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War” after thorough investigation. Her book was published in 2011. While countering exaggerations of the Indian and Bengali Journalists, Bose argues that the number of Bengalis killed in 1971 was not three million, but around 50,000, while Bengalis were equally involved in the bloodshed of Punjabis, Biharis, Pashtoons and Balochis.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was already in connivance with India for separation of East Pakistan. Therefore, when East Pakistan was occupied by Indian Army in 1971, he stated with pleasure that his 24 years old dream of an independent Bangladesh had been fulfilled. While commenting upon 1971 tragedy, Indra Gandhi clearly divulged Indian hegemonic designs by saying “Today we have sunken Two Nation Theory in bay of Bengal.”
Majib had earlier developed his contacts with Indian rulers and training camps of Mukti Bahini, established by Indian army and RAW which also funded Mujibur Rehman’s general elections in 1970.
Undoubtedly, various anti-Pakistan developments such as Modi’s open confession regarding Indian support to militants of Mukti Bahini, his arrival in Dhaka to receive award of Atal Bihari Vajpai, presentation of ‘Surrender Ceremony’ photograph by Bangladeshi leader to Modi, ruthless death sentences to Jamat-e-Islami Pro-Pakistan leaders under highly doubtful and objectionable trials etc. show that Indo-Bangladesh media nexus backed by RAW has become more active for last 4/5 years to create mistrust among people of Bangladesh against Pakistan.
Nonetheless, Like the Mumbai terror attacks, Indian RAW arranged the attack on the Indian Parliament.
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