By Yasmeen Aftab Ali
At least 40 Indian paramilitary police was killed in a bomb attack in Indian Occupied Kashmir. India was quick to accuse Pakistan of being behind the attack. As per Indian sources, it came from an outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad, an outfit outlawed by Pakistan in 2002. The organization, led by Masood Azhar, twice tried to assassinate the then President Pervez Musharraf in 2003. Azhar was arrested for alleged attack on the Parliament as well but had to be released due to inadequate evidence. Azhar’s present whereabouts are unknown.
According to an Al Jazeera report, quoting a senior police officer, working with the counterinsurgency department of India-administered Kashmir, “In the last two years, the armed group has suffered a setback in south Kashmir such as Pulwama and Tral due to the counterinsurgency operations. JeM is not only on a revival mode by carrying out such high-value attacks, but it also nurtures pan India Islamist goals,” he said on condition of anonymity. An official also told Al Jazeera there are 56 JeM fighters active in Kashmir. (15 Feb 2019)
Although, India bases the involvement of Jaish on a ‘text’ received, it has not shared any concrete evidence to the effect. The claim may or may not be true. This can only be ascertained after exhaustive investigations and not knee jerk reactions. If Jaish is involved, to state that it means the State of Pakistan is supporting the attack is unsustainable and needs a reality check.
Immediately following the accusation, US picked up the cue. Secretary Pompeo in a tweet of 15th February, says, “The U.S. condemns yesterday’s horrific terror attack on Indian security forces. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand with #India as it confronts terrorism. Pakistan must not provide safe haven for terrorists to threaten international security.”
Iran, echoed the Indian stance on heels of visit of the Saudi Prince to Pakistan, accusing Pakistan of ‘supporting’ the perpetrators of a suicide bombing. In a rare statement, condemnation by the UAE government was issued via The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,
“UAE “condemns this terrorist act,” reiterating the country’s principled and unequivocal position rejecting all forms of violence and terrorism. The UAE stands in solidarity with the government and people of India in their fight against violence and extremism.”
A Contradiction in Facts
Adil Ahmad Dar, also called Adil Ahmad Gaadi Takranewala, 20 years of age, was a resident of Gundibagh village of Pulwama district of South Kashmir. According to Indian sources, he recorded a video before the suicide attack before ramming his explosive loaded vehicle into a CRPF convoy.
Here is the contradiction:
Quoting from Kashmir Times, known as a reputable source on Kashmir Affairs, dated 9/10/2017 published a report of 2 militants killed and one arrested in Barbugh village of southern Shopian district. “The encounter had started at around 6.00 PM Saturday after the forces including army and Special Operations Group (SOG) of police laid a siege to the village following an input about the presence of militants there. Official and local sources said that the fresh firing near the encounter site began this morning after the forces advanced towards the house for conducting searches. They said that as the fresh firing started, forces razed the house to the ground, killing another militant. He was identified as Tariq Ahmad Dar of Barbugh Shopian. The third militant, Adil Ahmad Dar, sources said, rose from the rubble of the house and was apprehended by the forces along with his weapon. He, they said, was soon whisked away in a forces vehicle for interrogation. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police for southern Kashmir, S P Pani said that the militants belonged to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. The police officer also confirmed that one of the militants was caught alive near the gunfight site. The apprehended militant had joined militant ranks three months ago while as the slain were active for last over a year.” Link: kashmirtimes.com/newsdet.aspx?q=71138 …
The questions that arise are:
– How could a man in custody, a known militant with full evidence, taken in custody at a shoot-out be released by the authorities?
– If released, was the person made to turn for Indian intelligence and reserved as an asset to be used later, or
– The killer was someone other than Adil Ahmed Dar and if so, is then the Indian government using this incident to attack Pakistan?
– If the man was not Adil Ahmed Dar, who was he?
Who stands to gain by Pulwama Terror Attack?
Whereas, the death of Indian forces men in this act of extremism can only be mourned, it is a fact that Pakistan stands to lose by being involved at any level in this act of barbarism. Faced with a patchy economy, struggling to keep it afloat, trying to attract foreign investment and making CPEC a success, Pakistan would be utterly out of her mind to support any such mission with Saudi Crown Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) visit immediately following the attack. It defies common sense. Imran Khan upon becoming Prime Minister went out of his way to offer a hand of reconciliation to India only to be spurned when he made peace overtures. “In an interview with Turkish news agency TRT World, according to his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, Khan again expressed his desire for talks with India. He said that even a Cold War was not in the interests of the two countries.” (The Hindustan Times Jan 08, 2019)
Threatening to ‘isolate’ Pakistan, taking away the MFN status of Pakistan PM Modi is on the roll. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Watch Video of his address using Pulwama Attack)) on Friday urged voters in Uttar Pradesh to vote for his Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and ensure a strong government at the Centre. Modi made the pitch towards the end of a speech in Jhansi, hours after the BJP said it was cancelling all political events in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.” (16/2/2019)
The one person who is squeezing Pulwama attack for all its worth for his election pitch is Prime Minister Modi. It is BJP exploiting the unfortunate and sad incident to the hilt.
As a side dish it can also have a negative fallout on the peace talks between U.S and Taliban with Pakistan as a facilitator.
The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled ‘A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan.’ She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org and tweets at @yasmeen_9
Original Source: PakPotPourri