Why India Blames Pakistan for Gurdaspur Terror attack?
By Sajjad Shaukat
India has a history of surprise attacks by terrorists, grown at its home or supported by its secret agency RAW. In most of the cases, the aims behind are political. Therefore, India has always blamed Pakistan for various subversive acts.
In this regard, on July 27, this year, three gunmen dressed in army uniforms killed at least seven people, including three civilians and four policemen in the Indian district of Gurdaspur, Punjab—after a siege at a police station which was brought to an end by security forces after 12-hour-long gun battle.
Without any investigation, Indian high officials and media started blaming Pakistan, its banned militant outfits and intelligence agencies for the Gurdaspur incident. Indian Police believe 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. Besides Indian renowned newspapers and TV channels also covered the Gurdaspur event by saying that the terrorists belong to Pakistan-based banned groups Lashkar-e-Jhangvi or Jash-e-Mohammad.
Rejecting New Delhi’s false accusations, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said, “Pakistan has condemned the Gurdaspur attack…it is unfortunate that India is pointing fingers even before the investigation is complete…Pakistan being a victim of terrorism itself is against all forms of terrorism.”
Meanwhile, Khalistan Movement Chief Manmohan Singh stated that the Gurdaspur incident is a conspiracy of India’s RAW to defame Pakistan.
However, 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 (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.
Similarly, India intends to obtain various hidden purposes by accusing Pakistan for Gurdaspur terror attack. First of all, it wants to divert the attention of the international community from the involvement of RAW which has been arranging terrorist activities in Pakistan.
In this respect, RAW 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 and anti-Pakistan groups like Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundullah and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) including their affiliated outfits. They also abducted and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their acts of sabotage.
In fact, RAW is making efforts to weaken Afghanistan, Tibetan regions of China and Pakistan, particularly Balochistan by promoting subversive activities, sense of dissent, political volatility, sectarian violence and arousing sentiments of separatism.
It is mentionable that India which has already invested billion of dollars in Afghanistan, also signed a wide-ranging strategic agreement with that country on October 5, 2011. The then President Hamid Karzai had also signed another agreement with New Delhi to obtain Indian arms and weapons. While, under the cover of these agreements, India has further strengthened its grip in Afghanistan. By taking advantage of lawlessness in Afghanistan, India is up to its usual tirade to foment an environment by conducting terrorist attacks in that country to prove that Pakistan is creating trouble for Afghanistan.
While, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani realized that Afghanistan and Pakistan are facing similar challenges of terrorism and will combat this threat collectively. On May 18, 2015, the two countries signed the security agreement—Pakistan’s primary spy agency ISI and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) to share intelligence and conduct coordinated operations against terrorists. And, frequent visits of Pak-Afghan civil and military leaders to each other’s country also annoy India.
It is notable that Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif accompanied by the DG of ISI went to Kabul on December 17, 2014. During his meeting with his Afghan counterpart, President Ashraf Ghani and the ISAF commander, he presented the evidence of linkage between the massacre of children at Peshawar school and TTP sanctuaries in Afghanistan. He also asked about action against the TTP and handing over of its chief Mullah Fazlullah to Pakistan. In response, Afghan government and US have started taking action against the TTP. A number of TTP militants have been killed and captured in Afghanistan, while Fazlullah survived in a drone attack. Meanwhile, Washington has also designated Mullah Fazlullah as a global terrorist and seized his bank accounts.
And, waging a prolonged war in Afghanistan, the US and other NATO countries have realized that after the withdrawal of foreign troops, Afghanistan would be thrown in an era of uncertainly and civil war. They recognize the fact and terrorism or stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan is interrelated. Hence, US-led developed nations which also spent billions of dollars for the development of Afghanistan have repeatedly agreed that without Islamabad’s help, stability cannot be achieved there. In this connection, a meeting was hosted by Pakistan between the Afghan officials and representatives of Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan in Murree (On July 8, this year) and dialogue were conducted for an Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, while the representatives of China and America also participated in the meeting. The participants expressed their collective desire to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region—agreed to continue talks through the next meetings.
In this backdrop of growing engagements of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and US, Indian desperation in Afghanistan is increasing. Moreover, New Delhi is trying to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Recent terror-attacks in Pakistan and Balochistan might be noted as instance. In this context, Indian backed Baloch secessionists have been directed to step up their activities on the CPEC project. Indian RAW has also created a heavily funded China-Pakistan and Afghanistan specific desk to target growing Pak-China-Afghanistan relations.
Furthermore, on the direction of the Indian leader of the fundamentalist party BJP and Prime Minister Narendra 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 decided to raise the question of Indian cross-border terrorism and RAW involvement in Pakistan, with strong evidence in light of open statements of Indian defence minister and Prime Minister Modi who recently confirmed assistance to anti-Pakistan elements including separation of East Pakistan.
Nevertheless, due to the new developments which favour stability in Pakistan and other regional countries, India in frustration, blames Pakistan for Gurdaspur terror attack.
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