Whowas behind Pulwama!

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ZAHEER BHATTI

CUSTOMARILY blaming terrorism on Pakistan; the Pulwama suicide attack followed by the In dianBalakotmisadventurelast February,is nolonger sinking with the world community which is beginning to ponder over why none of the episodes blamed on Pakistan, have till date been evidenced or substantiated by India. Except a lot of drum beating and unilateral steps to sound legitimately grieved such as suspending trade, imposing prohibitive tariffs, withdrawing MFN status and refusing even sports and cultural exchanges with Pakistan, India more importantly was using these measures as a smokescreen to redouble State terrorism in its occupied part of Kashmir which even its former Kashmiri puppet Chief Ministers like Ghulam NabiAzad, Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah besides his son Umar Abdullah are today forced to condemn. This is of course besides its water terrorism diverting Pakistani share of waters from the three rivers flowing out of Kashmir apportioned to Pakistan as a lower riparian country, in blatant violation of the Indus Basin Water Treaty. Still nursing its badly bruised ego, Indian frustration was evident from its puerile behaviour in refusing to attend the Pakistan Day Function at the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi last year; a poor reflection of its disrespect to diplomatic norms. It is ironical if not pathetic that BJP’s electoral campaign had to rely on posters with picture of the discredited Indian pilot Abhi Nandan, downed, captured and later released by Pakistan alongside Modi’s, and much worsethe hypocrisy of Indianleadershipin making its cricketers wear army peak caps on the field ostensibly showing solidarity with families of paramilitary men killed in the Pulwama blast it blamed on Pakistan. For those who wish to know the truth will discover that like in the past starting with the hijacking drama of its ‘Ganga’ civil aircraft, be it the Delhi Parliament attack, Mumbai, Pathankot or Uri; all of which turned out to be India’s own handiwork, Pulwama despite its programmed claim of responsibility allegedly by Jaish-e-Mohammad; non-existent any more in Pakistan but conveniently tagged to the banned outfit from within India. ‘Blame Pakistan’ mantra for its self-staged escapades which India has been accustomed to manufacturing, this time backfiring and boomeranging far too quickly in the case of Modi’s latest demonizing of Islamabad, its own population appears to be getting fed up with the Indian leadership continuing to play onthe pumped up anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim public sentiment which he cashed in during his re-election to power. The Indian common man’s disillusionment is reflected in BJP’s stunning defeat in the Local New Delhi election at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party, which has rejected Modi’s discriminatory and divisive politics. Modi had raised the bogey of confrontation with Pakistan and launched what it called a pre-emptive strike to ostensibly avenge the Pulwama attack in its occupied territory of Kashmir on the 14 February last year killing 44 Indian soldiers, which it blamed on Pakistan within minutes of the occurrence and for which till date India has presented no evidence except a dossier with a usual list of suspects, apprehensions and groundless accusations. The people in Pakistan this time demand that the contents of the dossier be shared with the International Press and the global diplomatic community, so that eyes of the world are opened up to the evil machinations of a country seeking global power status to add to those already polarizing an awfully discriminated world. Unfortunately, the self-assumed prerogative of unlawful pre-emptive strike against adversaries practiced by the United States against smaller nations devoid of any rationale and based merely on suspicion has set a bad precedent for adventurers like Modi and Netenyahu to follow. The US used it against Iraq suspecting it of possessing weapons of mass destruction and ransacked a whole nation for something it never possessed, hoping to reassert in oil-rich Iraq with a compliant ruler but disposing off Saddam Hussain found no longer toeing the imperial line and having outlived his utility. It attempted the same against Bashar-ul-Asad’s Syria but failed. It waged the same against Afghanistan throwing the whole region in turmoil for the last nearly two decades in retaliation to its self-staged 9/11 in which not a singleAfghan even by implication was involved nor Pakistan which continues to bear the brunt of its fall-out paying dearlyin men and material besides by way of badly bruised economy. India aped its new-found ally by attempting to implicate Pakistan in the Pulwama attack in its occupied territory of Kashmir at the cusp of its electoral campaign to cash in on the incident which it did successfully, but badly miscalculated the Pakistani response both diplomatically and militarily.With Indian war-monger presenting no evidence till date against Pakistan,Avi Dandiya, a former BJP worker who had reportedly since been arrested in India, had days earlier aired a clip and played an audio recording allegedly of two BJP leaders and a woman discussing how war-hysteria was necessary for Indian election. She was heard saying that since the Indian nation was very emotional on the issue of its soldiers, this is where the situation could be exploited to trigger a war against Pakistan. Initially averseto killingtheir own soldiers,the woman soundedwearywhile sayingthat nothing happenedafterthey performed the URI episode and that she did not understand getting their own soldiers killed, but eventually agreed to blast troops in India-occupied Kashmir. Some say that this Avi Dandiya story was a cut and paste social media handiwork with the man claiming to be son of an ex-Indian army officerthreateningto revealmuchmoreiftheBJPwould not stop politicizing IndianArmed Forces and using them as its electiontool; a double concoctionmeantto belittleKashmiri freedom fighterAdilDar’s dare-devilryand deflect fromtelling Pakistani response to Balakot Indian Air Force misadventure which embarrassed its boastfulArmed Force. —The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.