By Sajjad Shaukat
The US drone strikes which killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the Chief of the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on November 1, this year, cannot be seen in isolation because it is ingredient of continued subversive activities, especially taking palace in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi arranged by the foreign powers against Pakistan. As part of psychological warfare, these terrorist acts coincide with malicious propaganda against Pakistan and its security agencies. Different war between our country’s sovereign and no-sovereign entities has also added a new element to this warfare.
However, the US, India and Israel are in collusion to weaken Pakistan because it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Based in Afghanistan, these countries’ secret agencies CIA, RAW and Mossad have been supporting subversive attacks in various cities of the country through their affiliated militant groups in order to fulfill collective secret strategic designs against Pakistan. While backing similar acts of sabotage in the province of Balochistan, these agencies have also been assisting Baloch separatist elements.
While, leaders of the ruling and opposition parties including prominent figures and Unlmas (Religious scholars) termed drone attacks which targeted Hakimullah Mehsud as a conspiracy to sabotage the expected peace dialogue with the militants. In this regard, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ahmad Khan recently decided to begin negotiations with all the Taliban groups, particularly TTP so as to restore peace in the country, as decided in the All Parties Conference (APC) in September, 2013.
But, all this optimism received a blow on November 7 when TTP appointed Maulana Fazlullah as their new chief who dismissed proposed peace talks with the government as a “waste of time”, and vowed to target the chief of army staff and corps commanders. During Swat and Malakand military operations, Fazlullah fled Swat and took shelter in Afghanistan. Having close connections with Pakistan-based TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud, and hiding in the Afghan region of Kunar and Nuristan, in the recent years, his insurgents accelerated subversive activities in Pakistan—and he was sending suicide bombers and heavily-equipped militants in the country.
Pakistan’s civil and military leadership lodged a strong protest with their counterparts in Afghanistan, but no action was taken against these terrorists-led by Maulana Fazlullah who has been playing a double game with Pakistan because he is supported by Indian RAW and Afghan spy service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) which also have tactical backing of the US. These entities have been conducting target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, beheadings, assaults on civil and military personnel, installations and forced abductions including ethnic and sectarian violence.
In this regard, the capture of a senior TTP leader Latifullah Mehsud by US Special Forces (USF) from Afghan custody, confessed that Afghanistan and India were involved in promoting terrorist activities inside Pakistan. He also revealed that while waging proxy wars in Pakistan, terrorist attacks on Gen. Sanaullah Khan Niazi in Upper Dir, at Peshawar Church, in Qissa Khawani Bazar and elsewhere had been planned by Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies.
Notably, Pakistan’s top civil and military officials, and former Interior Minister Rehman Malik have repeatedly disclosed that training camps are presence in Afghanistan, and supply of arms and ammunition to the Baloch separatists and Pakistani Taliban keeps on going by the external elements as part of a conspiracy against Pakistan.
At this critical hour, Pakistan is passing through multi-faceted crises of grave nature, but as part of psychological warfare, external entities like the US-led India and Afghanistan are operating without restraint to damage the core fiber of national edifice of Pakistan by creating political instability, economic problems, social strife, poor governance, menace of terrorism and scourge of corruption which are further encouraging the enemies of the country. Intelligence agencies belonging to foreign hostile forces, especially India are working against the national interests of our country, while their propaganda machines and media openly use malicious expressions to call Pakistan, a country allegedly sponsoring terrorism. They also feel no hesitation when they covertly propagate against vital institutions of Pakistan including Pak Army, intelligence and other law-enforcing agencies. These hostile elements also misperceive that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are not safe.
It is mentionable that recently, tension arose between New Delhi and Islamabad when Indian military conducted a series of unprovoked firings at the Line of Control (LoC), and international border, killing a number of soldiers of Pak Army and innocent civilians in wake of war-mongering diplomacy which still continues. In this context, Indian military high command failed in producing dead bodies of alleged terrorists who had crossed the LoC from Pakistan to Indian-occupied Kashmir. The ground realities proved that it was just propaganda against Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and Pak Army, as indicated by the Indian media, statements of Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi and leaders of the Hindu fundamentalist party, BJP.
Quite contrarily, former Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly confessed that special intelligence unit like Technical Services Division were raised by India to operate inside Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan and Azad Kashmir to conduct terrorism and to bribe the politicians in the Indian-occupied Kashmir.
It is regrettable that New Delhi is offensive in its posture, while Islamabad has gone apologetic and defensive in its approach to deal with the foreign blame game. So, our leaders, media analysts and intellectuals must counter external propaganda by proving that Pakistan is not a terrorism-sponsored state, while external elements are encouraging, financing and fostering terrorism in Pakistan. They must indicate that their country denounce terrorism in all its forms and also condemn foreign-illegitimate involvement in Pakistan. These internal entities must also play positive role in image-building of Pakistan.
At this crucial juncture, instead of entangling in controversial debate regarding various issues like closure of NATO supply and drone attacks which need solution through selfless unity, our internal elements must cope with the propaganda campaign of foreign countries, particularly India which are acting upon every tactic of psychological warfare against Pakistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations