India’s Fake Encounter Drama in Kashmir
By Sajjad Shaukat
On the one side, India claims to be world’s largest democracy, but, on the other, these claims have often been proved by international media including its own opinion makers as fake.
India is presently holding State Assembly Elections in the Indian occupied Kashmir. These sham elections in no way are substitute to the UN approved resolutions to hold plebiscite as per aspirations of the people of the valley. The ongoing elections have been portrayed as a historic success as far as the turn over is concerned. But, this self-generated perception lacks any substantial evidence, especially, when no foreign media and election observers have been allowed to cover the polling process. In this regard, the vicious dream of the BJP government in the shape of “Mission 44” has already been criticized by Indian politicians as well as the international think tanks. However, BJP’s overconfidence to achieve the mission itself pollutes the transparency and legality of fake elections.
Like its past record, India is once again staging a fake encounter drama across the Line of Control (LoC) to implicate Pakistan for infiltration. Sources suggest that for the purpose, the fundamentalist government of the BJP asked Indian secret agency RAW to arrange some terror attacks in the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). It did so when on December 5, this year, militants sneaked into an Indian military camp in the Indian held Kashmir, killing 11 soldiers and policemen. The arranged attack was followed by a gun battle between the Indian security forces and the militants, in the state capital, Srinagar—and a grenade blast in south Kashmir. Two militants were killed later in the clash in Srinagar where BJP-led hardliner Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit is due next week on election campaign.
However, the fake encounter drama on the camp took place in the Uri sector, near the heavily militarized border with Pakistan where there is no chance of infiltration. But following previous blame game, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “These terrorists keep coming from Pakistan”, and “Pakistan should make an effort to stop them.” Besides, Indian high officials and media also accused that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is behind these terror attacks in the Indian controlled Kashmir. They forgot they Kashmiri people are fighting a war of liberation and for their legitimate rights, as recognized by the UN resolutions.
Nevertheless, the drama is still on and Indian venomous media which has openly started implicating Pakistan and LeT for the attacks. Such orchestrated dramas have many a times been exposed in the past as well. Besides, previous episodes, in the recent months of 2014, reportedly, Indian military had killed two militants in August, three militants in Keran Sector in September, and seven terrorists in October, three in November, while in Tut Mari Gali sector, three were killed. These are Indian LoC encounter dramas; however, Indian forces have also been violating ceasefire on the Line of Control and Working Boundary. The problem is that there is no dearth of hate and war mongers in Indian Army, and it is always their agenda to keep the LoC in the line of fire. Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm, the incidence of ceasefire violations has increased. Army has also been given free hand to indulge in fake encounters to implicate Pakistan.
Question arises as to why India is staging encounter drama? The plausible reasons are obvious. Firstly, it may be an attempt to create hype prior to the election campaign visit of Modi in the alleged area, falling in the sector where terrorist attack drama is being played. Secondly, the failure of BJP to win in the Muslim majority area seems imminent and it is trying to accuse Islamabad for sabotaging the elections through LoC attacks. Thirdly, the alleged attacks are part of campaign to malice Pakistan internationally and tarnish its image worldwide before the forthcoming visit of the US President Barack Obama who will travel to India in January 2015 to hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and also to attend its Republic Day celebrations.
It is of particular attention that in November 2013, the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Defence Minister had expressed concern over the ‘fakes intrusion’ claims of the Indian Army in Keran sector, making it clear that the troops enacted a drama “as there was no evidence on ground to suggest any infiltration bid by the militants.”
While, Indian government is accusing Pakistan government of giving legitimacy to Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, claiming that a recent rally being held in Lahore by the group which masterminded the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks was being viewed with concern in India. New Delhi has since long been demanding the deportation of Saeed from Pakistan so that he can be tried for his involvement in the Mumbai attacks. Islamabad has refused to do so stating that there is no credible evidence relating his involvement in the attacks. And, Lahore High had released Hafiz Saeed on the ground that there is no evidence about his involvement in the Mumbai mayhem.
It is notable that on July 19, 2013 the Indian former home ministry official 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.
In fact, Hafiz Saeed is a die-hard patriot and continues to raise the banner of ideology of Pakistan. Recently, a two-day national conference organized at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore by JuD called for a countrywide movement to protect the ideology of Pakistan. Hafiz Saeed inspires the great majority of the people of Pakistan and has the capacity to mobilize them and unite them against the foreign conspiracy against the country. Therefore, especially, New Delhi considers him as an obstacle in its plan to weaken and destabilize Pakistan.
As regards cross-border terrorism, former Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly confessed in September 2013 that special intelligence unit like Technical Services Division were raised by him to operate inside Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan and Azad Kashmir to conduct terrorism and to bribe the politicians in the Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Nonetheless, there is a need to expose India’s fake LoC encounter drama to implicate Pakistan to hide its own failure to set its own house to order. Pakistan’s high officials and media must highlight that such fake encounters have become second nature of India to appease Indian radical and extremist groups like BJP, RSS VHP, Shiv Sena and other similar groups, and thus malign Pakistan.