News & Views
SINCE Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed his office, India’s violations on the LoC and working boundary increased manifold. India also started war of words, and statements from Indian defence minister to a junior minister are reflective of India’s jingoism that tends to exacerbate tension between the two countries. On Wednesday, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj underlined its claim over, what she described, territories of Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistani occupation. She said that both Houses of Parliament had passed resolutions which had iterated India’s claim over PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan, both under Pakistan’s occupation, and the government was bound by it. “We are bound by Parliament’s resolutions and also our resolve,” she said. The world knows that Jammu and Kashmir territory is disputed, and UNSC resolution clearly states that people of Kashmir have the right to join Pakistan or India through a plebiscite under the UN aegis.
Meanwhile, Indian print and electronic media highlighted the news that India rejected US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s suggestion for a proactive role for America in India-Pakistan ties. “We of course expect the international community and organisations to enforce international mechanisms and mandates concerning terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which continues to be the single biggest threat to peace and stability in our region and beyond,” said Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Gopal Baglay. Indian has always rejected third-party mediation and vows to resolve the issues bilaterally. But during the last six decades many rounds of talks have been held but no progress could be made on any of the substantive issues or core issue of Kashmir. By such statements, India wants to divert the world attention from the orgy of death and destruction in Indian Held Kashmir by unleashing propaganda against Pakistan.
India is continuously engaged in propaganda against Pakistan and its institutions, especially the ISI, by publishing concocted stories in electronic and print media. Recently, Indian intelligence agencies claimed to have arrested suspected persons on charges of spying for Pakistan and used its media for anti-Pakistan propaganda and to create alarm in the local population. Police said that three persons namely Gulshan Kumar Sain, Shyam Babu and Sinedra Mishra have been arrested for allegedly working for ISI. In February 2017, the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Madhya Pradesh Police arrested 11 members of an espionage ring allegedly backed by Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from different parts of the state. Those arrested were said to be running call centres using Chinese equipment and SIM cards that helped ISI to spy on India’s military operations.
All the 11 men were reportedly booked under provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, besides Section 122 and 123 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). ATS chief Sanjeev Shami, who led the operation, told reporters that three people were arrested from Bhopal, one from Satna, two from Jabalpur, and five from Gwaliar. He said that Balram, the man who was arrested from Satna, is the mastermind of the racket. “We arrested a Satna-based man identified as Balram, the kingpin of the espionage ring, following tip-offs by two ISI agents, Satwinder and Dadu. The two ISI agents were arrested from RS Pura in Jammu in November last year on charges of sending strategic information to their handlers in Pakistan. Balram led us to 10 other people involved in the racket, who were running parallel telephone exchanges causing loss of revenue,” Shami said.
These are few of the many examples in which Indian media is used as propaganda tool by RAW to defame Pakistan/ISI to further create hatred among the masses in India, which is reflective of its negative mindset. India blames Pakistan’s ISI not only for every incident of terrorism but also for any natural calamity. A former press secretary posted in Pakistani consulate in India told this scribe that in 1994, a pneumonic plague epidemic broke out in India, which was particularly widespread in Surat, Gujarat that resulted in 52 deaths. He said that in local media a ridiculous story was planted that “drinking water supply of Surat city was poisoned, and that the ISI had thrown dead rats in the tanks.” Indian government and media are also trying to portray the Kashmiri freedom fighters as terrorists, and Kashmir freedom movement as terrorism.
Unfortunately, not much has appeared in the media about India’s longer and wider role in clandestine warfare against its neighbours – Sri Lanka, Nepal and particularly Pakistan. Anyhow, India is frustrated because Pakistan has successfully decimated the network of terrorists and TTP thugs who in liaison with the India RAW were involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan. After Manohar Parrikar’s statement hurling threats, in the event of any terror attack in Pakistan, the responsibility would lie with India. Manohar Parrikar should remember that he is India’s defence minister, and Pakistan will take a serious note of his continuous provocative statements issued during the last one year. He should understand that Pakistan is also a nuclear state, and war between the two nuclear states would be devastating for both the countries. If India continues to up the ante, Pakistan has the capacity and capability to cut Indian war mongers to size.
It is hoped that better sense will prevail and Indian leadership would stop issuing direct or veiled threats. However, Pakistan’s intelligence and secret agencies increased their efforts against the enemies of the country and achieved great success by arresting a number of RAW agents from Punjab and elsewhere including Kulbushan Yadav from Balochistan, who were tasked to make economic corridor project a failure. They had also smashed a network of more than twelve RAW operatives in Punjab. In addition to supporting its proxies in FATA, Balochistan (Quetta), Sindh (Karachi), RAW then started focusing on Punjab. Its operatives had been arrested from eight districts of Punjab in separate swoops in Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Multan, Okara, Kasur, Lahore and Sialkot. RAW’s operative Ilyas with pseudonym of Pervez is reportedly RAW’s master spy from Baseen, a village near Wagah border, who revealed details about Indian secret service on Pakistani soil.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.