Pakistan Uncovers Reality of Pathankot Incident

By Sajjad Shaukatpathankot airbase

Ajit Doval, the ex-spymaster who is now National Security Advisor of Indian Prime Minister Minister Narendra Modi is the real author and controller of India’s offensive-defensive doctrine.

Besides planning various terror attacks in Pakistan as part of Indian offensive-defensive doctrine, Ajit Doval also advised to arrange various subversive acts inside India and to shift the blame game to Pakistan like orchestrated drama of Gurdaspur episode, boat incident etc. The main aims behind were to defame Pakistan and its security agencies.

In this regard, on January 2, 2016, a terror attack at Indian Air Force Base in Pathankot was preplanned under his directions. Without any investigation and evidence, since the first day of the incident, Indian media and top civil and military officials claimed that the attackers had arrived from Pakistani Punjab’s Bahawalpur district, and had links with Jaish-e-Mohammad and Pakistan’s primary intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). But, despite Islamabad’s cooperation with India like formation of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) consisting of professionals to investigate the Pathankot attack, crackdown against the militant group Jaish-i-Mohammad—lodging of a First Information Report (FIR) in relation to the incident, New Delhi failed in providing any proof of Pakistan’s involvement in the Pathankot episode. In fact, India orchestrated that drama to postpone secretary-level talks with Pakistan, scheduled to be held in Islamabad on January 15, 2016.

Undoubtedly, Pakistan as a responsible member of the international community condemned the Patahankot attack and offered honest and sincere help to investigate the issue, though New Delhi itself arranged the incident. In this respect, on January 8, 2016, a high level meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was held in which chief of army staff and DG, ISI also participated. The meeting also discussed the Pathankot incident and expressed Pakistan’s condemnation. Reiterating commitment to cooperate with India to completely eradicate the menace of terrorism in the region, it was decided to remain in touch with the Indian government—expressed the goodwill generated by the recent high level contacts, the two countries would remain committed to a sustained, meaningful and comprehensive dialogue process.

Pakistan’s stance has been appreciated and international community also asked both the countries to solve the issue through diplomacy. Therefore, the so-called offensive behaviour of Indian leadership got toned down. Consequently, Pakistan’s JIT of experts would visit India on March 27, this year to investigate the issue. In view of the forthcoming visit, Indian negative propaganda continues against the sincerity of Islamabad.

Security policy of Pakistan supported by all stake holders including Government and Security institutions aims at eradicating terrorists from its soil. Pakistan is sincere in investigating the Pathankot event. Islamabad is serious in addressing genuine concerns of New Delhi and international community. This was the first ever effort by India to genuinely engage Pakistan.
Pakistan’s seriousness and non-involvement is reflective from Pakistan’s willing support for a fair investigation. Now, India is to open the doors for genuine investigation and share all proves to Islamabad—sufficient enough for a tangible legal action.

In order to allow JIT to thoroughly investigate the case based on admissible evidence, Indian leadership must stop spitting venom and should not view Pakistan’s serious commitments with suspicion. However, India’s orchestrated drama of the Pathankot attack could be judged from the fact that Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that New Delhi would not allow access to the JIT into the base, while; it can undermine the seriousness of bilateral commitments to find the truth.

Team has to be allowed serious access to the Indian investigations as to ascertain the reality. In this connection, varying claims are coming from India with regards to the strength of the killed terrorists. And Pictures/photographs of only four terrorists have been shared with the media so far. Hence it is must to find about remaining two.

Indian Intelligence agencies had already alerted security agencies about the possible terror group’s planning of the assault at Pathonkot, after tracing the phone calls of the militants. Following the alert, Western Air Command chief Air Marshal SB Deo had reached Pathankot air base on the same day of night himself to take stock of security preparations. One day before, the terrorists had also hijacked the car of Indian Superintend of Police (SP), Gurdaspur, Salwinder Singh, which was used by them to reach the base. SP, his friend Rajesh Verma, and cook Madan Gopal were abducted and afterwards released. Reports disclosed that Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) which has been entrusted with the attack probe, is questioning the SP, his friend and cook, deliberately connecting him with Pakistan’s banned outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad and spy agency, ISI.

Nevertheless, Pathaonkot incident cannot be seen in isolation, as it is part of Indian activities against Pakistan. In this context it is of particular attention that on March 24, 2016, Pakistan’s security forces disclosed that they arrested the serving agent of Indian intelligence agency RAW in Balochistan province. During investigation, RAW agent namely Kul Bushan Yadav confessed that during his stay, he contacted various Baloch separatist leaders and insurgents, including Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, to execute the task to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. He further revealed that he also distributed millions of rupees among the separatist elements and insurgents in the province.

The law enforcement agencies for the last eight months monitored Yadav’s movement and activities and arrested him after collecting ample evidence. They also recovered Afghan and Pakistani SIMs as well as maps from his possession. Out of more than 15 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, the majority of whom are located near the Pakistan border and Yadav was also stationed at Kandahar.

On March 25, in a statement, India’s External Affairs Ministry, while admitting the RAW agent, captured by the Pakistani security forces to be Indian citizen, claimed that he was a commander in the Indian Navy, and it has sought consular access to Yadav
In this respect, Pakistan’s Foreign Office, spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that Pakistan summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale and lodged a strong protest over RAW officer’s arrest…India’s spying activities in Balochistan and Karachi…the spy was linked to separatist elements in Balochistan, as well as involved in acts of sectarian terrorism and terror attacks in Karachi…and Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to take up the issue of Indian captured agent and interference in Balachistan with his counterpart Modi in the meeting on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in Washington to be held on March 30, while, the two sides are also optimistic about a foreign secretaries meeting next month. He is also set to brief US President Barrack Obama on the matter.

While, Pakistan itself is facing terrorism challenges supported by regional and extra-regional actors. Most of such acts are committed from across Pakistan’s western borders supported by various elements. Creating unrest on Pakistan’s eastern borders can only be the wish of elements against peace in Pakistan. Such elements also want to project Pakistan negatively. Therefore, involving Pakistan in Pathankot needs to be viewed in larger perspective of terrorism.

But, the arrest of RAW agent was made at a crucial hour, when Pakistani JIT is scheduled to visit India to investigate Pathankot terror attack. Nonetheless, Pakistan has uncovered the reality of Pathankot incident.

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


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