Wednesday, August 21, 2019

World needs to recognise Pakistan’s double-game

Mar 10. 2019
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Re: “The line crossed in Kashmir”, Editorial, March 5, and “India must stop sabre-rattling over Kashmir and start talking peace”, Have Your Say, March 7. 

It is surprising that your esteemed newspaper has published a letter titled “India must stop sabre-rattling over Kashmir and start talking peace” that through a distortion of facts portrays Pakistan, which has a long history of state-sponsored terrorism and acts of belligerence, as a beacon of peace.

Sadly for India, its neighbour Pakistan has been the epicentre of global terrorism for several decades. Pakistan-based terrorists have been responsible for several heinous acts of cross-border terrorism in India, including the Mumbai attack of 2008 in which more than 160 people across 11 nationalities including a Thai citizen were killed. 

As for the latest such attack, Pakistan is in denial mode and asking for credible evidence, when the terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), sponsored and based in Pakistan, has publicly claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack. 

JeM, proscribed by the UN, has been responsible for a series of terrorist attacks including on the Indian parliament in December 2001 and the Pathankot airbase in India in January 2016. India has repeatedly urged Pakistan to take action against the JeM to prevent jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan. However, no concrete actions have been taken by Pakistan to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil.

In the wake of the Pulwama attack, when credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of India, in the face of imminent danger, India undertook a non-military counter-terrorism strike on February 26. On February 27 Pakistan, instead of taking action against terrorist groups on its soil, chose escalation through an act of aggression by violating our air space and attempting, unsuccessfully, to target our military facilities. Its action was effectively thwarted by the alertness and readiness of Indian armed forces.

The international community stood with India in their condemnation of the Pulwama attack as well as in asking Pakistan to take concrete action against terrorists and their infrastructure in territories under the control of Pakistan. The UN Security Council issued a statement explicitly referring to the Jaish-e-Mohammed as having claimed responsibility for the attack. The statement also calls for perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of terrorism to be held accountable and brought to justice. It is regrettable that Pakistan still continues to deny Jaish-e-Mohammed’s own claim of responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

In 2004, Pakistan’s then-president made a solemn public commitment that it would not allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorist activity in any manner. But Pakistan has failed to take any credible action against JeM and other terrorist organisations that continue to operate with impunity from Pakistan. 

Since February 26, following demands from the international community, Pakistan has again claimed to be taking fresh action against terror groups on its soil. We hope that, unlike in the past, Pakistan actually walks the talk by taking credible, verifiable and sustained action against terrorist groups and their infrastructure on territories under its control.

Meanwhile, India will continue to act with responsibility and maturity.

Sudhi Choudhary 

First secretary, Indian embassy, Bangkok

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