News & Views
In his recent article titled ‘The general, the spy and no talks with India’. former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan G. Parthasarthy wrote: “Nawaz Sharif may have permitted the trial of Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists for the Pathankot attack. But this fell apart because of General Raheel Shareef’s keenness to make Kulbhushan Yadev the centerpiece of global attention.” The learned diplomat should understand that unless there is concrete evidence of someone’s involvement in terrorism, he cannot be indicted. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif having penchant for good relations with India had gone extra mile in giving gestures of good will to Prime Minister Narendera Modi. On his invitation, Nawaz Sharif had attended his oath-taking ceremony though majority of the people in Pakistan was not in favour. Anyhow, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must have been disappointed when within months Indian army violated the Line of Control and working boundary.
The fact of the matter is that India is befuddled with Kulbushan Yadav arrest, as it stands exposed before the entire world. Yet the US and the West would not censure India because they want to benefit from India’s allocation of 100 billion dollars for purchase of defence-related equipment. It has to be mentioned that New Delhi confirmed Kulbushan Yadav as an Indian national, but maintained that he was no longer employed by the navy. It was natural, as no government would accept if its spy was apprehended. However, Pakistan government had released a video in which the terrorist confessed his vile acts to destabilize Pakistan by supporting the Baloch separatist insurgency. He admitted working for India’s primary foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) since the end of 2013, for which he carried out subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi.
In this backdrop, how anybody in his right sense could imagine that Nawaz Sharif being Prime Minister of Pakistan would tolerate acts to destabilize Pakistan? Of course, it was Pakistan government’s responsibility to bring state terrorism of India to the notice of international community by putting across its case forcefully. However, the government did not highlight the issue as it should have been done. Meanwhile, India has come up with another cock and bull story stating that Yadav was arrested some three weeks before the confessional video was released. It termed Yadev’s act as an act of an individual, and nothing to do with the Indian government or RAW. It is not anything unique about it, as the kind of denials, ruses and posturing comes so natural to Indian leaderships. The diabolical role of Indian military and intelligence in a united Pakistan’s breakup is too well known.
In his recent article G. Parthasarthy wrote: “Nawaz Sharif himself has a record of links with organisations like the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. But he has no particular affection for southern Punjab Deobandi groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammed. It is for this reason that Nawaz Sharif appeared more than forthcoming in responding to India’s request for action against the Jaish-e-Mohammed, led by Masood Azhar, the mastermind of the December 13, 2001 attack on India’s Parliament.” Immediately after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, Parthasarthy had written: “For the first time after 60 years, we have Pakistan under our thumb (Mumbai), with a living proof (Ajmal Kasab) that it is a state-sponsored terrorism; we should simply not let it go”. He went on to remind India that it had let Pakistan off too easily in 1971 after Pakistan had been comprehensively vanquished. This is reflective of ultra-hawkish G. Parthasarthy.
In fact, Nawaz Sharif appears to have been disappointed by Modi government’s posturing and support to Hindu extremist organizations. Since the US and the West do not wish to the conflict between two nuclear states, he does not come with hard-hitting statements against India. The author also tried to create misunderstandings between Pakistan and brotherly countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. He bragged about that Saudi Arabia and Arab Gulf neighbors would be cooperating with India in dealing with Islamic radicals and seeking enhanced security cooperation with New Delhi. But within few days of publication of the latest Parthasarthy’s article, the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir met on the sidelines of 13th OIC Summit and reiterated OIC’s continued support to the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in their just struggle for realization of their right to self-determination in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
Opening the meeting, Secretary General’s Special Representative reiterated the principled position of OIC of continued support to the Kashmiri people in their legitimate struggle for the right to self-determination and underscored that the Contact Group had been constantly conveying the OIC‘s concerns to the international community regarding the flagrant human rights violations and abuse of the basic rights of the Kashmiris. He regretted some attempts to equate the Kashmiri struggle with terrorism, and emphasized that the Kashmiris were solely striving to achieve their inalienable right in accordance with relevant UN resolutions. He welcomed the establishment of Standing Mechanism of OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) to monitor human rights situation in IOK, which would present its report to the next session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. This knocks the bottom of Parthasarthy’s pretence that Arab countries are disillusioned with Pakistan.
The author took advantage of the lack of coordination between the Advisor to Prime Minister and Foreign office and wrote: “Many of our analysts have focused primary attention on what the hapless Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said about the peace process being suspended. What they, however, failed to note was that Basit was actually intending to get across the views of his patrons in the Pakistan army’s GHQ about the ‘evil R&AW agent’ Kulbhushan Yadav.” Unfortunately, statement of PM’s Advisor Sartaj Aziz that Pakistan may consider India’s request for NIA visit vis-à-vis Pathankot attack was negation of what Abdul Basit had categorically stated that talks are suspended and Pakistan would not allow NIA to visit Pakistan. Pakistan should have better coordination between the advisors and the foreign office, as differences in their statements make Pakistan’s position weak.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.