Reasons behind false flag operation in Gurdaspur
By Asif Haroon Raja
The explosive nature of relationship between the two South Asian neighbors is once again under stress after Pak Army’s shooting down of Indian ‘spy’ drone and the recent Gurdaspur terrorist attack. India has been blaming Pakistan for 1993 Bombay Bombings and all the terrorist attacks which took place in India between 2001 and 2008. These included December 2001 Indian Parliament attack, 2007 Samjhota Express bombings, Malegaon blast and 2008 Mumbai attacks in India. Indian officials spilled the beans by stating that all the attacks were undertaken by Hindu terrorist groups helped by Indian military intelligence officers. India has also been blaming Pakistan for abetting and aiding armed uprising in occupied Kashmir and trying hard to get Pakistan declared as a terrorist state and ISI as a rogue outfit. In continuation of this line of action which has become appealing to the US and western world after 9/11, India blamed Pakistan for the terrorist attack on a police station in Dina Nagar in Gurdaspur district on July 27, 2015. The incident claimed 10 lives, including the Gurdaspur police chief and injury to 18. The three terrorists were killed in 12 hour gun battle undertaken by Indian Punjab SWAT and Punjab Police with Indian Army put on standby.
Within 17 minutes of the incident, Indian media joined by Indian police and military officials started pointing fingers at Pakistan. Blames were apportioned to Pakistan in the Indian media when the encounter with terrorists was still going on. The shoddy story cooked up by RAW and Indian military explained how the armed terrorists dressed in uniform came from Pakistan side, crossed River Ravi, attacked a roadside eatery, hijacked a 800 cc Maruti car, shot dead a roadside vendor, opened fire on a bus injuring several passengers, attacked a community health centre killing three, and then carried attack Dina Nagar police station shouting ‘Allah o Akbar’ killing five policemen and the SP. Entire evidence revolved around the data fed in captured GPS which showed the infiltration route near Tash in Gurdaspur district where River Ravi enters Pakistan. Soon the two archrivals were locked in a furious verbal duel. Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Rajya Sabha, the attack was carried out by cross-border terrorists who forded the swollen Ravi River where it enters Pakistan’s Punjab. “Any effort by the enemies of our nation to undermine India’s territorial integrity and security or imperil the safety and security of our citizens will meet an effective and forceful response from our security forces,” Rajnath told the Rajya Sabha. He assured the house that “the government will do everything possible to prevent cross-border terrorism aimed against India”.
Rajnath Singh said that the same terrorists were suspected to have planted five IEDs on the Amritsar-Pathankot railway track on a rail-bridge near Talwandi village between Dinanagar and Jhakoladi which were subsequently defused by the bomb disposal squad. A night vision device was also recovered from the spot. “The security forces in the border are alert but the difficult terrain coupled with recent heavy rains, resulting in excess flow in the rivers and canals along the border could have been a factor, in this particular group sneaking into Punjab,” he said. He went on that during the last one month, there were five attempts at cross-border infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir sector, out of which four were interdicted and eight terrorists neutralised. In the remaining one instance, the terrorists went back after effective retaliation by the Indian forces. While he spoke, the Congress members, carrying placards, jeered and shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government over the terror attack. The slogans included: “56 inch ki chhati hai, Narendra Modi hai hai (56-inches chest and down with Narendra Modi); NDA government hai hai (down with the NDA government).”
In his statement, Rajnath narrated the sequence of events of July 27 when three heavily-armed terrorists dressed in army uniforms struck in Gurdaspur at around 5.30am and stormed the police station, leading to a 12-hour gun-battle. He claimed that the Punjab police had recovered a number of “incriminating material” including three AK rifles, 19 magazines and two GPS devices from the dead terrorists, which were being analysed for further necessary action. Chairman Hamid Ansari referred to the Gurdaspur terror strike as “dastardly attack and deplorable“. There are as many glaring loopholes in this drama as was in the case of attack on Indian Parliament which led to unjustified hanging of Afzal Guru, Mumbai attacks which resulted in unjust hanging of Ajmal Kasab. Now Yaqub Memon who was falsely implicated in 1993 Mumbai blasts has also been unfairly hanged. 300,000 people attended Yaqub’s funeral.
One is surprised at the wise heads in RAW who never fail in committing blunders. Rather than approaching the assigned target of police station stealthily, finishing their task and ex-filtrating safely, why the hell the three gunmen chose to go on a firing spree soon after it crossed the border? Were they drunk to lose surprise at the outset and that too targeting an eatery, a vendor and a civil bus and compromise their main mission? How did they manage to cross high-flood Ravi, the electrified and heavily defended high fence? Any information can be fed in GPS. RAW needs training how to craft a false flag operation.
These baseless allegations made by India have poured cold water over years of diplomatic progress and have resulted in escalated tension in the region between the nuclear rivals. Hope of revival of stalled peace talks in the aftermath of Ufa meeting between Modi and Nawaz has once again dimmed and the apparent thaw has been overtaken by India’s age-old belligerence. Pakistan called the Indian unsubstantiated claims a threat to peace and security in the region and saw in the cantankerous statements ominous portends. Spokesman of Foreign Ministry stated: “The Government of Pakistan categorically rejects the baseless allegations made by Mr Rajnath Singh…Pakistan regrets the unsubstantiated and unwarranted assertion that those involved in the Gurdaspur incident of 27 July, had entered India from Pakistan. Pakistan believes that Home Minister’s provocative comments are a threat to peace and security of the region. We have noted with concern a continuing tendency of India to cast blame on Pakistan for any terrorist incident in India”. India was reminded that immediately after the Gurdaspur incident, the Government of Pakistan had issued a statement expressing condemnation “in the strongest terms” of the attack. He added, “Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Terrorism is a common enemy of both Pakistan and India. To tackle terrorism, a cooperative approach is required. If Government of India has any concrete evidence in this case, same may be shared with Government of Pakistan. Blame game and finger-pointing would be unhelpful.” Pakistan urged India to refrain from “casting baseless allegations” and to work with Pakistan to eliminate terrorism from the region and create an environment of peace and amity in South Asia.
Having brought out the Indian version and Pakistan’s guarded response; it will be in fitness of things to see as to why India has chosen to once again vitiate the atmosphere after Modi making a promise at Ufa to ease tension along the LoC and working boundary in Sialkot sector where Indian troops have been resorting to unprovoked firing since long and to normalize bilateral relations. It was mutually agreed to hold regular BSF/Rangers and DGMOs meetings. Reasons are simple. India cannot digest the fast changing geo-political environment favoring Pakistan threatening his hegemonic ambitions. Under no circumstances Pakistan’s political stability and economic prosperity suits India. Pakistan has successfully weathered the foreign inspired storm of terrorism and has gained substantial ground in bottling up terrorism in FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi. This is huge setback for the highly expensive covert war launched by RAW from Afghan soil in 2002 with well defined objectives. RAW had a definite hand in terror attacks on GHQ, ISI installations, Mehran Naval Base, Kamra Base, FIA HQ, Peshawar school attack, Safoora attack, Mastung attack. It is stoking ethnicity and sectarianism. Pakistan has gathered substantial evidence of RAWs involvement in all the restive areas and is now for the first time exposing India’s subversive activities to destabilize Pakistan. Pak Army has referred the case of Indian military’s violent behavior to UNMOGP. It gave details of Indian drone which had come on a spying mission in Bhimber sector. Pak government is now actively thinking of taking up the case of Indian unwarranted hostility with the UN.
With great effort India had made Afghanistan hostile against Pakistan and made Karzai sing Indian tunes to blame Pakistan for terrorism. It had worked hard to become a leading player in Afghanistan and to completely sideline Pakistan. Things have started to reverse under Ashraf Ghani who has taken firm steps to disperse the clouds of distrust and improve bilateral relations with Pakistan. This is another setback for India and it is once again struggling hard to spoil Pak-Afghan relations. Destabilised Afghanistan and Pakistan suits India. Yet another development which has distressed India immensely is China’s decision to invest $ 46 billion and build China-Pakistan Corridor and Gwadar seaport, which has the potential to overcome energy crisis and uplift the economic fortunes of Pakistan. Russia’s tilt towards Pakistan and Pakistan becoming permanent member of SCO are also worrisome for India since it breaks off Pakistan’s isolation and make it relevant in the whole region. Probability of renewal of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project which was hanging in the balance since long and its possible extension up to China with latter’s assistance has irked India. This project will ease up Pakistan’s gas shortfalls. Hoisting of Pak flags and chanting of pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans in occupied Kashmir and activation of Khalistan movement and possibility of Khalsas joining up with Kashmiri freedom fighters has rattled India. One of the objectives of Gurdaspur drama was to create bad blood between Sikhs and Pakistan and to deflect the ire of Sikhs from BJP regime towards Pakistan. Hosting of peace talks in Murree by Pakistan between Afghan Taliban and unity government of Afghanistan on July 7 was a diplomatic triumph for Pakistan since no other country could do it. Next meeting scheduled on July 31 again at Murree would have made further progress towards an Afghan based workable power sharing formula to prevent civil war. It would have shrunk power base of Northern Alliance, shriveled Indian influence as well as that of USA in Afghanistan and enhanced influence of Pakistan and China.
These fast moving events baffled the conspirators and spoilers and they decided to throw a spanner. One of the spanners was a false flag operation in Gurdaspur to put Pakistan on the defensive. The second was leakage of news of Mullah M. Omar’s death by Afghan NDS which was fed to BBC. It has resulted in postponement of talks and given rise to speculation of possibility of infighting within Taliban despite the fact that Taliban Shura elected Mulla Akhtar Mansour as the next Ameer. The other sinister plan which RAW and CIA are jointly working upon is to strengthen Daesh in Afghanistan and pitch it against Taliban to enfeeble it. But for Operation Zarb-e-Azb which has dismantled all bases of TPP in FATA, Daesh would have come into Pakistan by now. It is satisfying to note that India’s never ending conspiracies and covert and overt operations have backfired. Today India finds itself in a thorny situation particularly because of Modi’s popularity graph at home falling down because of his extremist policies. Pakistan should stay firm and remain ever vigilant from getting duped or bitten by devilish India, which will never let go any opportunity to damage Pakistan. There can never be peace with India without finding an amicable solution to Kashmir issue. This longstanding issue must be highlighted with full force by Nawaz Sharif in the coming UN General Assembly meeting next month.
The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran/defence analyst/columnist/author of five books, takes part in TV talk shows/seminars, Director Measac Research Centre, Director Board of Governors TFP. firstname.lastname@example.org