Are Indians misreading Nawaz Sharif’s statements about Pakistan army?

5 Jun

NSIs India so sure that Mr. Nawaz Sharif nurtures a grudge against Pakistan army and ISI that it found it appropriate to fire its first salvo against the agency on the very day he was to get elected? And just look at the allegation; ISI is trying to revive Sikh militancy and Indian youth are being trained in ISI facilities to carry out terror attacks in the country. This accusation was hurled by no less than the Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde. He said there have been significant developments on the Sikh militancy front and its commanders based in Pakistan are under pressure from the ISI to further the Pakistani intelligence agency‘s terror plans not only in Punjab but also other parts of India.

Mr. Sharif may have dropped some hints that he would investigate Kargil and Mumbai but did he ever mean that he’d welcome to be dictated by the Indians? The Indians, it seems, are misreading his statement, or are not familiar with ground realities. Whatever grudge Nawaz Sharif or his party have against the 1999 coup or the Kargil adventure, it is against one person; Musharraf, and not against the institutions. They’d have no grudge if they had not been dethroned. History suggests that Mr Bhutto tried to humiliate the armed forces after he came to power. First he pressured army not to let Mujeeb take over as PM even though he was in majority, then after Fall of Dacca, he left no stone unturned to reduce the humiliated and demoralized force into a toothless army. He further humiliated the institution by appointing a COAS who he himself used to call a “monkey general”. He had to pay for his arrogance heavily; with his life.

Mr Sharif may have felt hurt by the treatment meted out to him post-1999 but he is no fool. He will tread with caution and being a hardcore Punjabi, he knows fully well that his major support base, Punjab, will not approve of his anti-army overtures. Remember the joy of deliverance when he was dismissed in 1999?

India has also blamed that Sikh youth based and settled in Europe and the US were also being motivated towards militancy and a large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives, including RDX have managed to find its way into Punjab through the borders.

What they blame Pakistan for doing in Punjab is already being done by Indians in Balochistan. Who is training and arming Baloch youth in Afghanistan and who is paying for BLA leadership’s expensive living in UK and Switzerland? Who has been training the sharpshooter of a politico-terrorist outfit of Pakistan’s port city belonging to a certain ethnic community in 1980s? And who has invested heavily in Afghanistan to fund, arm and sustain TTP elements fighting against Pakistan? And if ISI is trying to pay back, it only shows that it is doing its jobs efficiently, media and judiciary bashing notwithstanding.

Some months ago, Deccan Chronicle reported that the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has in a classified report submitted to the government warned that Pakistan’s ISI, as part of its new strategy, has started surrounding India from all neighboring countries -Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and even Burma -by setting up modules for its agents who in turn promote and sponsor subversive activities against India. This new trend is extremely significant as Pakistan’s dependence on countries like Nepal and Bangladesh for using them to launch anti-India activities is reducing. And instead Pakistan’s ISI is looking at expanding its network in Sri Lanka and Burma. While warning New Delhi’s security top-brass the RAW document states that ISI has already established a formidable network in both Nepal and Bangladesh and it is now focusing on other neighboring countries of India like Sri Lanka and Burma. This way, the ISI will completely surround India with its agents and can launch them into the country from anywhere.

If the contents of RAW’s report have correctly been reported, then it means it is being checkmated by ISI. But Pakistan has not armed and funded any separatist movement in mainland India. The insurgencies of the Red Corridor and the Seven Sisters are homegrown and Pakistan has nothing to do with it. The one in Indian-held Kashmir is homegrown too but may have Pakistan’s moral and diplomatic support because Kashmir is the core issue and the sole cause of Indo-Pakistan tense relations for the last 66 years. Indians should not forget that Nawaz Sharif’s forefathers migrated from Kashmir and they would not be able to woo him as long as Kashmir dispute remains unresolved.

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