Wednesday, January 19, 2022

India Rebuffs Pakistan’s “Dossier Strategy”

Last week, Pakistan came out with a bunch of ridiculous allegations against India. Islamabad’s lies have found no takers. The so called “dossier” detailing the various allegations was released at a joint press conference by the Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the DG Inter Services Public Relations, General Babar Iftikhar.  It said that Pakistan has got “irrefutable evidence” of India indulging in many activities and using Afghan soil to send “terrorists” to Pakistan. It also tried vainly to point out that India had projected itself as a victim of terrorism.  

Clearly, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. These are precisely the concerns which the world is grappling with reference to Pakistan for the last four decades! As a result, the US stopped financial aid to Pakistan years ago, the Financial Action Task Force, the global watchdog on terror funding, has put Islamabad in the ‘grey list’ for the last 2 years and refused to give any relaxation at its latest plenary, saying Pakistan has not so far complied with its directions to contain money laundering and terror funding.

In a befitting response through a Virtual address at the ‘Deccan Dialogue’ at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, External Affairs Minister Dr.  Jaishankar described Pakistan as an “egregious example of state that sponsors cross border terrorism”, He said the world was gradually becoming aware of the global nature of international terrorism. He said, India has through its relentless efforts “kept Pakistan in the spotlight bringing out related aspects like terror finance, radicalization and cyber recruitments”.

Soon after Pakistan levelled the baseless allegations against India, the Indian External Affairs Ministry responded by describing Pakistan’s action as a diversionary tactic to take away public attention from its domestic troubles plaguing the country for the last several months.

It should also be noted that the opposition parties in Pakistan have launched a movement to dislodge the Imran Khan government which they say has been “selected” by the army and not “elected” by the people!

India strongly condemned the allegations and termed it as Pakistan’s desperate attempt to redeem its global image. Afghanistan too, has rejected point blank Pakistan’s allegation of Kabul allowing its soil to be used for terrorist activities against Pakistan.

Pakistan is now trying to circulate the purported dossier in other neighbouring countries as a propaganda tool in the hope that it can create a new narrative against India. New Delhi too has launched a diplomatic offensive to deal with it. If Pakistan thinks its dossier gambit will pay off, it is living in a fool’s paradise. The world is aware of Pakistan’s strategy.

One can see a clear pattern in Pakistan’s actions and utterances for past some time now. Repeated cease-fire violations on the line of control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir are a part of this pattern to project India as an aggressor and shift the blame of indulging in terrorism to it.

Significantly, India is taking a seat in the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member from first January next year. Pakistan, it seems, is preparing the ground to face the new situation at the UN. But Islamabad can’t hope to influence world view of Pakistan having become an epicentre of global terrorism by using terror as an instrument of state policy.

Islamabad is conveniently forgetting that the most wanted Al-Qaeda terrorist Osama Bin Laden was tracked down in Pakistan where he had been hiding for at least 5 years in the Abbottabad cantonment area. Also, Pakistan’s Minister Fawad Choudhary recently admitted in the country’s National Assembly that the Pulwama attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir last year killing 42 Indian security personnel was a major achievement for the Imran Khan government.

These incidents have already foreclosed the door for Pakistan to project itself as an innocent country. Pakistan would be serving itself better by focusing on eradicating terrorism in her soil rather than trying cheap tricks to hoodwink the international community.

Script: Ashok Handoo, Political Commentator

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