By Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza
Glasgow [UK], October 30 (ANI): At 15:30 hours (local time) on February 14, 2019, a convoy of 78 vehicles, transporting 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, passed through Lethpora near Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir when it was hit by a car carrying 300 kilograms of explosives. At the time, all fingers pointed towards Pakistan. However, Prime Minister Imran Khan and his spin-doctors wasted no time in disassociating themselves with the horrific terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 40 jawans.
Nevertheless, Masood Azhar, the chief of the terrorist organisation, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), based in Pakistan, issued a statement claiming the responsibility for the deadly attack. Azhar was later added to the United Nations Security Council list of international terrorists on May 1, 2019. He still resides in Pakistan under the alleged protection of ISI.
In retaliation to the Pulwama attack, 12 Mirage 2000 Indian fighter jets crossed the Line of Control on February 26 and hit the JeM's terrorist training camp in Balakot in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa deep inside Pakistani territory. The following day Pakistan Air Force jets entered Indian territory by crossing the Line of Control and in the ensuing dog fight, an Indian Mig 21 was shot down as its pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, chased the enemy into its territory.
On March 1, within less than 48 hours, Pakistan released Abhinandan, claiming that it was a goodwill gesture.
Two days ago, the former National Assembly speaker and leader of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Ayaz Sadiq, revealed that Pakistan Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, was perspiring and his legs were shaking during a meeting of the parliamentary parties when minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi said that if Abhinandan was not released, India would attack Pakistan by 9 pm that day. The statement brandished not only the morale of the military but actually shook the whole structure of the Pakistan Army to its foundation. Sadiq said that Khan even refused to attend that meeting!
Earlier in February 2019, Khan had confessed in front of the parliament that he knew of an impending missile attack by India on Pakistan; therefore confirming the above revelation by Sadiq.
But this was not the end of the story. Faced with utter humiliation from an Opposition leader (Sadiq), the military establishment hurriedly assigned the task of recouping its lost prestige by instructing Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry to issue a counter statement at the House of Parliament. And that is when the confession of a terrorist state was made.
In an emotional speech made, the federal minister, accepting the responsibility of the Pulwama attack, confessed that "hum nay ghus kar marra Hindustan ko (We entered India to kill its armed forces)". Not only that but he continued to boast that the way, in which the attack was conducted, was a matter of great pride and "under the leadership of Imran Khan it is a success of the whole nation"!
The above statement, which has not yet been expunged from the record of the National Assembly minutes, should be enough evidence to prove to the world community and above all to the Financial Action Task Force that the Pakistani civil government, its military and non-state actors like the terrorist outfit, JeM, are hand in glove in the execution of terrorist activities in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and beyond.
The statements quoted above are in itself a confirmation of what this scribe has always been emphasising upon that Pakistan's army is involved in cross-border terrorism in Kashmir and that it is not a fighting army. On the contrary, it is a band of mercenary armed thugs who have taken a nation hostage for financial extortion by setting up business concerns in every sector of the economy and would fight anybody's war if the price was right. (Recent example being sending troops to Azerbaijan to fight under Turkish command for $1,200 -$1,500 per army personnel)
The confessions of the former speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan and a sitting federal minister are more than enough to prove the role of the rogue state of Pakistan in manufacturing, harbouring and exporting terrorism in the region. This should remove any doubts from the minds of international human rights institutions such as the UN Human Rights Council who have only recently allowed Pakistan to be re-elected to the council for three years and to declare Pakistan's membership to this august organisation null and void. Furthermore, the Financial Action Task Force should reconvene a special session and put Pakistan on the blacklist
Since the Pulwama attack, Pakistan has been continuously provoking India by endlessly firing mortar bombs across the Line of Control into civilian neighbourhoods. Pakistan has used the cross border firing as a cover to infiltrate jihadist terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir. Now is the time to pay them back by exposing them further in the eyes of the world community what sort of a nation-state Pakistan is and increase its fast-growing diplomatic isolation.
The best way to take revenge for the Pulwama attack is to hasten the return of the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir, hasten the completion of developmental projects and encourage non-Union Territory citizens of India to invest and capitalise on the Modi government's recent law.
It should also settle the debate between the Modi government and Indian opposition parties regarding any doubts about its readiness in tackling Pakistan. Three-time prime minister of Pakistan and Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif's speech that was broadcasted via satellite from London at the Quetta rally on October 25 should also be an eye-opener, in which he has directly accused the Army chief and ISI director general for exerting pressure on him to resign from his office.
Today not only her neighbours but perhaps more importantly the people of Pakistan are looking for ways to get rid of the military oligarchy. The slogan popularised by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement "Ye Jo Dehshat Gardi hai, is kay pechay wardi hai (Uniform is behind the terrorism)" was rightly echoed by youth in the valley on Black Day on October 22 this year when they marched to the UN mission in Srinagar to hand a memorandum, accusing Pakistan of War Crimes. In a nutshell, the Pakistan Army, the civilian government of Khan and non-state terrorist outfits are hand in glove in the deadly trade of terrorism.
Disclaimer: Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK. (ANI)