In February 2016, New York Times South Africa correspondent Carlotta Gall stated that experts have found a lot of evidence of Pakistan facilitating the Taliban offensive. “This behaviour is not just an issue for Afghanistan. Pakistan is intervening in a number of foreign conflicts. Its intelligence service has long acted as the manager of international mujahideen forces, many of them Sunni extremists, and there is even speculation that it may have been involved in the rise of the Islamic State… Pakistan regards Afghanistan as its backyard. Determined not to let its arch rival, India, gain influence there, and to ensure that Afghanistan remains in the Sunni Islamist camp, Pakistan has used the Taliban selectively, promoting those who further its agenda and cracking down on those who don’t. The same goes for Al Qaeda and other foreign fighters… It said there are reports that Pakistan had a role in the rise of ISIS… It might come as a surprise that the region’s triumvirate of violent jihad is living openly in Pakistan… First, there’s Siraj-ud-din Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network. Then there is the new leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour. Finally, Al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, enjoys sanctuary in Pakistan.

In October 2014, Lt Gen. Subrata Saha, then GOC of 15 Corps headquartered in Srinagar had cautioned: “The emergence of ISIS flags (during protests) merits concern and deserves the highest attention of the security agencies to prevent the youth of Kashmir from getting lured (into ISIS),”while former CM, J&K, Omar Abdullah had dismissively stated “The flag was waved by some idiots, which does not mean that ISIS has any presence in Kashmir.” In April 2015 there were reports of not only protesters raising anti-India slogans and waving ISIS and Pakistan flags after Friday prayers at the Jama Masjid, but also of protesters setting ablaze flags of PDP. Since then, waving of ISIS and Pakistani flags outside the Jama Masjid on Fridays has become a routine affair.

2016’s tally of attacks by Pak army/ISI supported terrorists in Kashmir valley till June 2016, is thirty, with over 30 terrorists killed and a large number of incidents of incitement of local populace, particularly youth, to disturb peace.

Pakistan’s next absurdity is a sinister mix of piling up a nuclear arsenal by devious means, being a dangerous global liability as a nuclear armed nation ruled by a rogue army connected with/supporting mad-dog-minded terrorists, its irresponsibility/gung-ho bravado of threatening to use its nukes against India and the lies and irony of its other related statements.

A day after India’s March 2016 testfiring of an indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile, Pakistan claimed that this test will “disturb the balance of power in the region.” Sartaj Aziz, adviser on foreign affairs to Pakistan’s Prime Minister said that Pakistan will raise its voice at the international level against these developments and will upgrade its defensive capabilities by acquiring advanced technology to improve its defence. This is but a classic example of Pakistan’s irresponsibility, as it involves its declared use of “tactical nuclear weapons” against Indian Army if it enters Pakistani soil. Pakistan’s nuclear materials procurer Dr. A.Q. Khan chipped in with his claim of nuking India in 5 minutes. Hafiz Saeed also ranted about using nukes against India. Does that mean that apprehensions about terrorists already possessing nukes are true? Such kind of sabre-rattling must be taken serious note of by not only India, but other major powers, particularly the US and China, especially the latter as also the Pakistani public.

It is reiterated that India needs to make it unaffordable for Pakistan to continue its proxy war by terror by developing the capacity to strike effectively against Pakistan’s terrorist assets. Simultaneously, BJP’s ideologues must reign in its “fringe” liabilities. The people of J&K must also assert themselves to separate the separatists (read traitors) from amongst the masses. Other wise, the state will continue to be hostage to terrorist groups at great cost to life and liberty.

Lt Col Anil Bhat

Col Anil Bhat (retd) is an independent defence and security analyst he is also an Editor at Word Sword Features

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