Dear Nawaz, get your facts straight on Mumbai attacks
Like all Pakistanis, I too was taken aback by former premier Nawaz Sharif’s recent statement regarding 2008 Mumbai attacks.
His views on the matter clearly exhibits how “knowledgeable”, articulate and “visionary” statesman he must had been.
It also exhibits his “great command” on International affairs and world politics. His statement on Mumbai attacks appears to be voicing in the voices of Indian propaganda machinery which malign Pakistan as a terrorist state.
Hence Sharif’s statement is being portrayed as Pakistan’s acknowledgement of its involvement in Mumbai attack.
Let me, however, remind Nawaz the terrorism typologies of Professor Michael Wolzer who is a prominent American political theorist and public intellectual, who opined ‘sometime governments use terrorism against their own citizens’.
India has a history of using unrestricted violence against its own citizen to suppress dissent and blame others.
Nawaz forgot that Pakistan was also accused of orchestrating the Samjohota express carnage.
However, in 2010, Indian government admitted that the extremist group Abhinav Bharat and its affiliate Indian Army’s serving officer Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit, was responsible for the Samjohota express carnage.
Nawaz should not forget during his premiership; Gurdaspur attack in July 2015 was also alleged by India to have connection with Pakistan.
This false flag Gurdaspur operation like Mumbai attacks had an international dimension.
Indian government and media portrayed that combatants were equipped with China-made grenades.
It is important to remember that only a month before Gurdaspur attack on 27th June 2015, India presented a resolution in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to impose sanctions on Pakistan for supporting cross-border terrorism.
India based the resolution over the grant of bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi by a Pakistani Court.
Lakhvi is the commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba and alleged to be a central planner in the November 2008 terror attack in Mumbai.
However, to utter dismay of Indian Ministry of External affairs, the resolution was vetoed by China.
Gurdaspur operation provided Indian government an opportunity to propagate against Pakistan in the international comity.
India has constantly been lobbying against Pakistan ever since the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement has been signed between China and Pakistan.
Few spectators will now applaud Nawaz for his views on Mumbai attacks and conclude that Pakistani military controls its country’s relations with India, and army leaders are fundamentally opposed to the idea of peace with New Delhi.
But what should not be forgotten that it is not Pakistan Army which is hampering the meaningful dialogue between the two countries but it’s the cold shoulder policy of India.
Indian government has consistently used Mumbai attacks as an excuse not to start any meaningful dialogue with Pakistan.
Despite of Pakistan’s assurances to fully cooperate to uncover the offenders of this crime, the then Indian Foreign Minister and former Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee, announced on December 16, 2008 to put on hold composite dialogue with Pakistan due to Mumbai attacks.
Following the 2009 Lok Sabha elections that saw the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coming back to power, there were high hopes that India would show some flexibility towards Pakistan.
These hopes saw some light when on July 16, 2009; Prime Minister Gillani met with his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh in the Egyptian city of Sharm-al-Sheikh on the side-lines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit.
The meeting concluded with the issuance of a joint statement in which both countries agreed to de-link action on terrorism and the composite dialogue process.
This joint statement aroused a strong response in India as Mr. Singh had to face severe denigration not only from opposition parties but also from coalition partners and some members of the congress party. Dubbing the statement ‘surrender by India’, opposition parties, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), made such hue and cry that Manmohan Singh was forced to backtrack from the commitment made in Sharm-el-Sheikh.
Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupuma Rao invited her Pakistani counterpart for talks to New Delhi.
Welcoming the move, Pakistan accepted the offer and a delegation went to New Delhi in February 2010. During the meeting, besides making certain other demands, India handed over three dossiers to Pakistan asking that thirty-three individuals, including two serving Pakistan army officers, as well as Indian fugitives allegedly involved in terror acts, be handed over to India. Repeated references to terrorism forced the Pakistani foreign secretary to remind India that Pakistan had witnessed “hundreds of Mumbais” taking the lives of thousands of lives in terror attacks since 2008 and, therefore, was not ignorant of the dangers of terrorism.
It would have been appropriate if Nawaz would have reflected that during his days as prime minister why he remained completely numb on the critical issues i.e RAW’s involvement in exporting terrorism to Pakistan.
Why he failed to provide a response when his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi made a statement on fall of Dhaka – in which Modi formally acknowledged the Indian involvement in the 1971 war and confirmed India’s negative role against sovereign neighbouring states.
Why as Prime Minister Nawaz had not followed up the joint statement of Indo-Pak Prime Minister of July 16, 2009.
The statement which made a reference to Indian involvement in Balochistan. He has reflected about Mumbai attacks but he should also reflect about the carnage of Samjohta express which claimed the lives of 59 Pakistani citizens.