Sultan M Hali
INDIAN government is creating a narrative that there is a strong likelihood of a major terrorist attack from Pakistan in India before or on 26 January 2020 (Indian Republic Day). This fake narrative is being proliferated with the purpose of diverting the domestic outburst against two pieces of legislation carried out by the Indian Establishment which have backfired immensely. The two acts that have set the government reeling are the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). NRC demands citizens to register themselves but Muslims of Assam and elsewhere were denied this opportunity so that they remain outside the Register of Citizens thus they can be deprived of their basic rights and if deemed necessary, forced to leave India.
The CAA, on the other hand, is an act, which has provided Non-Muslims, who entered India as refugees to become citizens, but the Muslims are being kept out of this fold. Throughout India, there have been massive rallies protesting the promulgation of both pieces of legislation, which were deemed as usurpation of human rights. Interestingly, the people who are protesting the NRC and CAA are not Muslims but ordinary citizens of various faiths including Hindus. The rallies have been led by the student community, who have been fired upon and a number of students have died while protesting. The chaos and mayhem has caused a state of emergency to be imposed in New Delhi. Foreign investors and tourists have departed while the panic spreads. 19 countries have imposed Travel Advisories for India last month with more to follow. Japanese Prime Minister plus three Bangladeshi Ministers, two Afghan Ministers and three visits by European Union dignitaries were all cancelled.
The prevailing disorder is leading to an economic collapse. Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has stated that the Central government was on the “brink of bankruptcy” due to the economic slowdown. He also said the economy was passing through its “worst-ever crisis” due to the “death of demand” in sectors. Sinha was speaking on the sidelines of his “Gandhi Shanti Yatra” against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens, which has arrived in Ahmedabad. He reiterated that the new citizenship law was a ploy of Narendra Modi government to divert attention of people from important issues like the “failure of economy”. “This government ignored problems related to the economy and tried to portray that everything is fine by manipulating figures. But the data cannot be fudged forever.
As the Indian Republic Day 2020 nears, genocide is feared. This has forced the Narendra Modi government to use its old ploy of a false flag operation and blame Pakistan for it. It is being propagated that a major terror attack has been averted before the Republic Day as allegedly Srinagar police busted a module of the alleged Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed. It is being claimed that Indian police have arrested five operatives associated with the terror group helmed by Masood Azhar, who is on the UN-designated terrorist list. They are spreading that Jaish-e-Mohammed has been behind several terrorist attacks on Indian soil, the latest was the Pulwama terror attack, which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019.
In the major choreographed bust, the Srinagar police recovered a huge cache of explosives. To add credence to the false claim, names of the alleged culprits have been released. The arrested terrorists have been identified as Aijaz Ahmed Sheikh, Umar Hameed Sheikh, Imtiaz Ahmed Chikla, Sahil Farooq Gojri and Naseer Ahmed Mir. Indian media, which parrots the Establishment’s fake claims, is calling it a “major success”. Amongst huge cache of arms and ammunition, the police has allegedly recovered a vest laden with explosives. A source in security grid said fixing this material to a vest and making an RC-IED (remote control IED) out of it requires precision and skill. Over 140 gelatin sticks and 40 detonators were also recovered.
On 08 January, a low-intensity explosion had rocked Habbak crossing, resulting in minor injuries to some civilians. A similar grenade attack had taken place near Sir Syed Gate, Kashmir University on 26 November 2019. The police made the bust during the investigation in these blasts, an official statement said. Supposedly acting on artificial and human intelligence inputs, the police conducted raids at hideouts and homes of the suspected persons and arrested two people, Aijaz Ahmad Sheikh and Umar Hameed Sheikh, suspected to be associated with Pakistani terror outfit Jaish. During interrogation, the two suspects reportedly admitted their role in January 8 blast and provided leads for November 26 grenade attack, the statement said. Following the self-acclaimed fresh leads, the police arrested Imtiaz Ahmed Chikla, Sahil Farooq Gojri and Naseer Ahmad Mir.
Subsequent interrogation led the police to raid a house where the explosives had been stored. “It appears that they were planning a major IED/Fedayeen attack leading up to Indian Republic Day (26 January 2020). Moreover, their primary aim behind the attacks was to subvert the return of normalcy in the region. Further investigation is underway to ascertain their role in other similar incidents in the city and more arrests and recoveries are anticipated,” the official statement said. It is now clear that out of sheer desperation, India will conduct any type of fake attack or false flag operation so that the rising anger against its ill-conceived legislation and economic faux pas can be diverted towards Pakistan.
—The writer is retired PAF Group Captain and a TV talk show host.
Sultan M Hali