KARTARPUR CORRIDOR

Pakistan’s 24 years overdue offer of the Kartarpur corridor, closely following a series of events, spread not only over the Kashmir Valley, but Punjab and the NorthEast, yet again expose this rogue state’s duplicity. While India decided to make a corridor on the Indian side till the Indo-Pak International Boundary to join Pakistan’s corridor leading to Kartarpur Saheb Gurudwara, in deference to the faith and hopes of millions of its Sikhs and other citizens following Sikhism, it firmly turned down Pakistan’s yet another overture for “peace talks”.

First, the corridor offer was timed with the completion of 10 years of the heinous 26 November 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai by the Lashkar e Taiyyaba (LeT), whose leaders were proved to have planned, organised and directed it with active support by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and who, instead of being proceeded against legally, have not only been protected but even elevated by the Pakistan government to allow them to contest elections. Further, irresponsible statements like the one by Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi-“Imran’s googly stumped India”-with reference to Indian Ministers who went to Kartarpur Saheb, only strengthen India’s resolve to spurn Pakistan’s call for talks.

Compulsions behind Pakistan’s offer are its terror proxies being hit very hard in J&K, denial by the US to continue its monetary dole and its global image being the lowest ever. By making much of its purported desire for peace talks, even while actively continuing its anti-India terrorist operations, the Pakistani leadership thinks it will fool the world and get brownie points.

The elimination of over 230 terrorists in Kashmir Valley in 2018 till November, including nine out of twelve “commanders” of terrorist groups, leaving only three commanders and 250 terrorists still at large has caused enough frustration to the organisers/directors of terrorist operations in Pakistan and their minions in Kashmir Valley, S.A.S. Geelani & Co. Hence comes Pak army’s attempt to on the one hand, try for peace talks and on the other, vent their frustration, target Kashmiris serving in Indian Army and J&K Police.

Out of the top terrorist “commanders” eliminated by the Army in Budgam, was Naveed Jatt of the LeT, who had murdered senior and highly regarded journalist Shujhat Bukhari and many other innocent civilians who were soft targets. Two more were Dr. Manan Wani and Altaf Kachroo.

The latest of many Kashmiri victims of the terrorists’ and Pak army’s frustration, was Lance Naik Nazir Ahmed Wani, twice awarded the Sena Medal for outstanding bravery. Born in Gund Ashmuji, Kulgam, Lance Naik Wani, was an erstwhile terrorist, who, realising the futility of terrorism, shunned violence and began assisting the Army in anti-terrorist operations in the Valley. His indomitable courage and invaluable knowledge of the countryside and terrorist outfits, contributed to many successful operations. In January 2004, based on the recommendations of the Army formation commander, he was enrolled into the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry’s 162 Battalion of Territorial Army and was serving in Rashtriya Rifles. Survived by his wife and two sons, his funeral was attended by over 500 local people.

Reverses in the Valley have further driven the ISI to renew its operations in Punjab and the Northeast. While much has been reported on the recent and earlier Pakistani terrorist attacks in Punjab, in the Northeast, ISI’s old tool, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) got revitalised by it. ULFA (I) under Paresh Barua has been active recently with its signature kidnappings and killings. In October 2018, at least three senior tea gardens staffers were abducted by ULFA from Assam’s Charaideo and Tinsukia districts in Assam and Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh. In early November 2018, five persons were shot dead by suspected ULFA(I) militants in Tinsukia district. Barua, in a recent interview to a weekly stated that he was getting “international” assistance and then mentioned that Pakistan has good “international connections”. ISI’s connections with ULFA go back to the early 1990s, ULFA arranged for ISI to enter India’s Northeast and establish contacts with Naga  and  Meiteiinsurgent-turned terrorist groups.

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