ON Tuesday, a comprehensive briefing was given to military leadership – Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and services chiefs on the regional security issues with special focus on situation of Line of Control (LoC) and India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K). General Nadeem and the services chiefs appreciated the tireless efforts of ISI for national security and expressed satisfaction over professional preparedness, and measures to counter India’s sinister designs. The visit of top military leadership to the ISI headquarters came amid the surge in the Indian ceasefire violations along LoC following the abrogation of IOJ&K special status in August last year. Prime Minister Imran Khan twice visited ISI headquarters once in April and then in June. These briefings assumed special significance because they took place amid escalating tension with India; and secondly, ISI must have information about what India is up to.
During the last few weeks, Prime Minister Imran Khan through his tweets has been reminding the international community that India may conduct a false flag operation to mislead the world by showing that Pakistan was backing the militants in India-occupied Kashmir. In fact, Indian media has been highlighting the losses to Indian military in IoK just to build up the case that Pakistan is behind the surge in militants’ attacks in IoK. In May 2020, Indian media quoting police reported that two Indian paramilitary soldiers were shot dead by militants in IoK. In another report, 10 militants and six Indian soldiers were killed in four separate incidents within 10 days. On 5 April, five Indian paratroopers and five Kashmiri militants were killed in a shoot-out in Kupwara district. An Indian army spokesman said the militants were trying to cross LoC, a de facto border.
According to police, the deceased were reportedly manning a checkpoint on the outskirts of the capital Srinagar when they were targeted by two or three militants. Pakistan’s military rejected the Indian claim, terming it New Delhi’s attempt to divert international attention from the humanitarian crisis in the disputed region, deteriorating economic situation and failure in controlling the coronavirus, which has taken quite some toll. Narendra Modi’ frustration has waxed because of India becoming irrelevant in Afghan Peace Process. Apart from that, the Indo-Pacific strategy has been blunted by China’s policy of cooperation with the developed countries. The term Indo-Pacific used by Trump had meant that India, the United States and other major Asian democracies, especially Japan and Australia, will join in curbing China in the new framework of growing Cold War influence. And India would play a major role in containing China. However in process, India stands contained.
It should be borne in mind that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been telling the world that everything is under control in India-occupied Kashmir; and that there is no resistance whatsoever from the militants. The question is why Indian media is highlighting the deaths of Indian soldiers by the Kashmiri freedom fighters? The answer is that India is planning something sinister, and like Uri and Pulwama, it may try to launch false flag operation to justify some action against Pakistan. It is worth noting that despite India’s disputes with the neighbors such as China and Nepal and Pakistan, the focus of Indian govt is on Pakistan. After facing humiliation at hands of Chinese soldiers at Ladakh; and when Nepal has also retaliated to India, which started constructing road in area Nepal claimed as its territory and had issued a map showing the area as Indian territory.
On Saturday last, the Lower House of Nepal’s Parliament approved a new map of the country, including areas disputed with India, the Speaker of the National Legislature said. The area includes the Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand and also Limpiyadhura and Kalapani, which areas are of high strategic importance, which India has been guarding since the 1962 War with China. The move signals a hardening of Nepal’s position over a decades-long border dispute that has strained ties between the two neighbours. India has rejected Nepal’s new map, calling it a unilateral act that is not based on historical facts or evidence. Nepal had published its revised map in May after India inaugurated an 80km (50 miles) road connecting its northern Uttarakhand State with Lipulekh on the border with Tibet that passes through the land Nepal says belongs to it. Last year, New Delhi published a new map that showed Kalapani within its borders, and Nepal’s Foreign Ministry had condemned India’s unilateral act against the understanding reached between the two countries. Agni Prasad Sapkota, the Speaker of Nepal’s House of Representatives, said the new map was approved by 258 out of 275 members of Parliament, more than two-thirds majority. In this backdrop, India wants to showcase that India is still a power to reckon with. During the course of writing this article, in an unexpected development, India was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term, which has raised many questions on the conscience of international community.
It is unfortunate that despite alarming rise of Hindutva driven fascism, unsafe lives of minorities especially Muslims, Islamophobia, illegitimate occupation of Kashmir showing utter disregard to the decisions of UNSC, brutal suppression of people of Kashmir, and last but not the least India being a threat to regional peace and stability, it has been inducted as non-permanent member in Security Council for two years. Apart from Kulbushan Jadev, which proves that India is involved in State terrorism, confessions of Indian retired major exposing Indian involvement in exporting state terrorism to Balochistan and other areas of Pakistan and creating unrest through their stooges provide ample proof of India’s sinister designs.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.