Pakistan’s special advisor on national security Dr. Moeed Yusuf, in his interview Indian journalist Karan Thapar, laid into the Indian narrative on terrorism and painted India in a different light altogether.
In the first interview by a senior Pakistani official to an Indian news outlet since India’s unilateral and illegal actions on 5th August 2019, the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Dr. Moeed Yusuf minced no words in calling India out on a range of issues, including Kashmir, blind pursuit of the Hinduvta ideology, and duplicity in sponsoring major terrorism in Pakistan, while accusing Pakistan of the same.
Dr. Yusuf’s insistence on Indian-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan seemed like the tip of the iceberg, as he detailed the many data points Pakistani authorities had painstakingly tallied over a long period connecting Indian handlers and money directly to horrendous acts of terrorism in Pakistan.
The most damning among these was the implication that the Army Public School attack on December 16, 2014, in which the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorist killed 135 schoolchildren, had direct Indian involvement. He stated that Pakistan had record of eight phone calls made from India to a TTP commander prior to the attack. The APS attacks, which are widely seen as the worst incident of terrorism in Pakistan and have a lasting impact on the national psyche, also led to the formation of the National Action Plan (NAP) against extremism, and led to dramatically scaling up of the kinetic operation against militant outfits in the country. Linking India to this paradigm-shifting incident would be devastating for New Dehli, which has staunchly accused Pakistan of state-sponsored terrorism in India.
The APS attack was not the only major terror incident with links to India, the Dr. Yusuf revealed. He added that Indian intelligence handlers based in a neighbouring country had directed the attacks on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, Pearl Continental (PC) hotel in Gwadar and the PSX attack in the last two years. He also revealed how Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) terrorists were receiving treatment in a hospital in New Delhi.
Dr. Yusuf shared that millions of dollars in payments had been made to TTP leadership by a RAW officer through Indian Embassy funds and that Pakistan knew the names and ranks of officers in touch with terror leadership and would soon reveal Indian activities to the world through a detailed dossier based on lengthy investigations. He also revealed that India had financed anti-Pakistan terrorist groups and supported their merger with the TTP earlier this year.
On the issue of Kashmir, Dr. Yusuf said that Pakistan was ready to hold talks with India, provided Kashmir was included as a third party. Thapar asked Dr. Yusuf why Pakistan was “so worked up” on the issue which was India’s “internal” matter. The SAPM responded by saying that the Indian Muslims did not want to be “ruled by India”. He quoted Kashmiri leader Farooq Abdullah, who during an interview with Thapar had said that Kashmiris living in the occupied territory “would much rather be ruled by Chinese” than India.