By NP Upadhdhaya
The criminal-minded terrorists of the 23rd November attack on the Chinese Consulate office in Karachi, Pakistan have forced now the country’s security forces to retaliate in an appropriate manner and save the declining image of Pakistan, as is being disseminated by Pakistan’s known and unknown detractors of late. The US and the media in the West have also joined this tirade against Pakistan.
China, the “iron friend” of Islamic Republic of Pakistan must have been in a state of shock. Pakistan must act fast. The message is loud and clear. China needs to be assured and reassured that its nationals now in Pakistan were safe henceforth.
The timing of the attack and the diplomatic mission that has been made the target is somewhat not only dangerous but also forces one to presume that it should have been the pre-planned cowardly acts of those inimical forces who were neither happy with the Pakistan’s likely emergence in greater South Asia as a formidable power, a likely game changer in the making, nor were that much pleased with the grand engagement of the Chinese government in Pakistan through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects. In a way, the attackers have attacked only the countries that have their involvement in the CPEC scheme. This has some political connotations and thus demands deep and thorough investigation.
Clearly, the Karachi assault could have been the nasty work of those forces, near and far, who openly oppose not only Pakistan tooth and nail but also were not that happy with the Chinese for their benevolence being exhibited towards the South Asian nation, the emerging economic hub in greater South Asia, which expects that she will become a center for power and trade and industry in the entire greater Asian region with the help of the China aided mega projects that are likely to be joined by the entire countries of the adjoining central Asian republics plus Iran.
As is expected the Pakistani police say the suicide bomber that struck the country’s Chinese consulate used foreign-made C-4 plastic explosive and suggested the attack was orchestrated in India. Mere passing on the allegations onto others’ head is not going to solve the problem. Facts should assist the allegation.
Had such events rocked India, the latter would surely have directed its fingers at Pakistan instantly without wasting a single second. And so if Pakistan does the same then it is no wonder. These two countries hurl allegations at each other in a convincing manner and so the observers in Nepal have reasons to believe the Pakistani version that the Karachi attack had been a well structured plan of the Indian side should be very close to correct. How to prove this theory rests now on the security personnel of Pakistan as they perhaps understand the Indian methodology as to how such attacks are made. The Pakistan Army too take it as a challenge. India perhaps has mastered this art, as is the Nepali experience. But yet let the country that has suffered the trauma should go deep into the matter. China may assist Pakistan in this fact finding mission. China has the technological advantages on matters of security.
In the mean time, the counter-terrorism officer Umar Khitab said Saturday that authorities are investigating whether Baluch separatist commander AslamAchhu, who they believe masterminded the attack, is in India. The Baluch Liberation Army claimed the attack, and Khitab said the group is backed by “the ‘enemy country,” a Pakistani reference generally that is made to point India.
But this assertion is not enough to wrap India sumarrily.
The fatal physical attack has come at a time when the Indian security advisor AjitDoval was in China in order to have boundary settlement talks which allows India the liberty to tell the Chinese not to suspect the Indian involvement in the Karachi occurrence as they sincerely wished to have intimate China-India relations and thus have had nothing to do with the Karachi incidents.
Doval is very smart. He is talked to have stayed in Lahore for more than eight years and worked for India-his own country. And the Pakistani security men could not recognize this Indian national who was posted in Lahore to spy on Pakistan much similar to what KulBhusanYadav did in Baluchistan but nabbed finally.
The love and hate drama of India and Pakistan continues. Now let’s see the love part of these two countries.
The Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has confirmed that he has been invited to attend the Kartarpur groundbreaking ceremony by Prime Minister Imran Khan on November 28. Siddhu is excited once again.
He was very freshly in the Wagah border.
Siddhu’s first trip to Pakistan at Imran Khan’s inauguration ceremony, August 18, 2018, had invited wide criticisms in India for having “hugged the Pakistan Army Chief QamarJavedBajwa”. But Navjot faced the domestic condemnation very bravely and perhaps has now facilitated both the countries this time to open the Kartarpur corridor for the Indian Sikh pilgrims so that they can now visit Pakistan and bow down their heads in front of GurdwaraDarbar Sahib in Narowal district near the Indian border. The Indian government too was quick enough to accept the Pakistani proposal that the Kartarpur corridor would be used to facilitate Sikh pilgrims wishing to visit the GurdwaraDarbar Sahib in Narowal district near the border.
To recall, the Pak Army chief had talked of the opening of the Kartarpur corridor for the Indian Sikhs in August 18, 2018 with Siddhu.
Siddhu has won the game and in a way has brought the two countries together. He is the real diplomat for India-Pakistan peace.
The Indian government this Thursday accepted Pakistan’s proposal to build the Kartarpur corridor to facilitate Sikh pilgrims wishing to visit the GurdwaraDarbar Sahib in Narowal district inside Pakistan.
Talking to the Indian Express, an overly excited Sidhu said: “I got a call from Pakistan Prime Minister’s office on Friday. It was the same person who had called me when I was invited to the swearing-in ceremony.”
Imran Khan and Siddhu’s political equation perhaps are having the same wavelength and thus their combined efforts may one day bring both the rival countries together and force the population on either side of the border to compromise for peaceful living. Their nationality though differs.
Let’s see how the Cricketer turned politician Sidhu expressed his outbursts when he said, “I will go if the Government of India allows me to go. It will be a great honour to be a part of history. There will not be a happier moment than the time when my turban touches the ground where Guru Nanak Dev once walked. It was an unfulfilled wish of my parents.”
Siddhu has been allowed, we have been told.
While the Karachi terrible incident is there but yet the two countries have been talking peace through the opening of the corridor that allows the Indian Sikh nationals to enter into Pakistan. Good move that it is.
In a very prompt and what could also be taken as positive action, Pakistan and India have decided to open the Kartarpur border corridor to facilitate Sikh pilgrims visiting one of their holiest sites on the banks of River Ravi in a move that analysts say might thaw the frosty relationship between the two neighbors.
Let’s hope that this initiative brings the two countries together. But is that possible? A million dollar question that it is.
New Delhi announced last Wednesday that it would start construction of the Kartarpur corridor up to the international border with Pakistan. The announcement was immediately welcomed by Islamabad as ‘victory for peace’.
At another plane, responding to the Karachi attack on the Chinese consulate office, the United States of America has also strongly condemned terrorist attacks in Karachi and Orakzai agency.
In a statement the US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said, “We send our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and wish the speedy recovery of the injured.”
“We also commend the Pakistani security forces’ quick response to the attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi that prevented further loss of life.”
AjitDoval in a mysterious manner too has condemned the Karachi attack. It should be noted that AjitDoval was in China while the terrorists stormed the Chinese consulate in Karachi.
Pakistani security men point their fingers towards India to have mastered this plan. India denies though.
In a dramatic move , the US has assured Pakistan stating that “the United States stands with the Pakistani people in the face of these terrorist acts and will continue to seek opportunities to cooperate with the Pakistani government to combat these threats in the region”.
Otherwise US and Pakistan do not enjoy intimate relations these days.
Back in Nepal, various diplomatic missions based in Kathmandu have told the Nepal government to step up the security mechanisms so that the missions could feel safe and sound. The diplomatic missions in Kathmandu have taken the Karachi incident in a serious manner which is only but natural The Pakistan and the Chinese embassy appear to have become the prime target not only in Pakistan but in each and every country of the globe Nepal inccluded.
Clearly, the terrorists appear more political than the real terrorists simply because they prefer to attack only those countries whose increasing friendship is not that much liked by a section of special country situated in greater South Asian landmass and in the West also.
China, one of the main aggrieved party whose consulate was under attack is in a puzzled state as she has so far failed to guess even as to which country on earth may have dared to do so?
But China perhaps knows the actual culprit but prefers to remain silent for some diplomatic courtesy.
In the mean time the UN Security Council has condemned “in the strongest terms” last Friday’s attacks against the Chinese Consulate-General in Karachi and also a market which was rocked in Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa’sOrakzai district.
Members of the council appreciated the swift response of the Pakistani authorities, expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims’ families and to the Pakistani government, and wished a speedy and full recovery of those injured, said the council in a press statement.
While we discuss the terrorist attack on Karachi, in a different U turn twist observed in the Indian politics is that “according to a recent piece in the Times of India, a former Under Secretary of Indian Home Ministry Mr R V S Mani, has clearly stated that “the Indian government, but not Pakistan, was behind the Parliament Attack (13/12, 2001) and Mumbai Attack (26/11 2008) India.” This officer of the rank of Under Secretary of Indian Home Ministry was categorical in his revelation that, this was orchestrated by India to formulate and strengthen the counter-terrorism laws in India and to defame Pakistan.
This straight but mind boggling revelation perhaps gives the Mumbai incident a different turn which is just the opposite the claim being made by the Indian authorities. As per the Times of India, Mr Mani has submitted an affidavit in the court stating that a member of CBI-SIT probe team, MrSatishVerma told him that these attacks were carried out “with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation.” The unfortunate attacks on Indian financial capital Mumbai on November 26, 2008, had killed 167 innocent people, including HemantKarkare; in-charge of Anti-terror Squad, who was conducting inquiry of terror attack committed by serving Indian Army officer, Colonel PrashadSrikantPurohit; arrested on the charges of attack on Malegaon Mosque bomb blast and Samjhauta Express.
If so then people around the world have now plenty of political reasons to suspect the Indian hands in the Karachi attacks though it demands justifiable and convincing proofs. As stated earlier, sound proofs must back the charges that India is the real culprit. But if Mr. Mani is correct in his allegation then the fingers could also be pointed towards the Indian establishment.
Back in Karachi again.
As the investigation into Friday’s attack in the China consulate made headway on Saturday, police officials suspected HarbiyarMarri, the presumed exiled leader of the banned Balochistan Liberation (BLA), of being the mastermind of the deadly assault that left two policemen and as many civilians dead.
Police officials say the attack, carried out with the assistance of Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) (?), was an attempt to strike against the growing diplomatic and economic relations between China and Pakistan.
In a case registered by the Sindh police’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) against Marri and 12 of his aides, including BLA commander Aslam ‘Acchu’ alias MiraqBaloch, investigators said their initial findings had shown that the attack was “a failed and shameful attempt to harm the Pakistan-China relationship”.
The new Pakistan Prime Minister should find time to convince the Baluch people that the CPEC projects shall also benefit the people living in Baluchistan.
Reports reaching Nepal claim that the people in Baluchistan are not happy with the Chinese presence in Baluchistan as they contend that China is colonizing Pakistan in a smooth manner.
This confusion that is in the minds of the Baluch people that China is exploiting them must be erased once and for all and for this only PM Imran Khan can accomplish this hard task. PM Khan must make it as a tough mission and he must convince the population there that the CPEC projects shall surely bring benefits to them equally as others shall enjoy after the completion of the projects. Is it that the Baluch people have been ignored so far?
Now a word for the India-Pak friendly ties before we conclude.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu this Monday laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Dera Baba Nanak-Karatarpur Sahib road corridor in the presence of the Punjab chief minister and Union ministers.
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways NitinGadkari, Union Minister for Food Processing HarsimratKaurBadal, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, were among those who were present at the event.
However, the Chief Minister of Punjab had some undiplomatic words that he made against Pakistan. Siddhu though is in his cabinet.
The Kartarpur Corridor will reach the international border with Pakistan. The ceremony was performed in Mann village of Gurdaspur district in Punjab. The ShiromaniAkali Dal (SAD) party leadership and its workers also took part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the proposed corridor to ShriKartarpur Sahib on November 26.
Some Indian politicians presume that through this Sikh corridor, Pakistan may extend helps to the Khalistan movement.
Sat Shiri Akal…Jo Boley So Nihal….
Now to conclude. The Pakistani Information Minister FawadChaudhary has said inimical foreign elements are behind the terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi.
He though remains tight lipped in naming the inimical forces.
He made this statement recently in Islamabad in connection with collecting donations for two policemen who sacrificed their lives in foiling the terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate.
Some three million rupees, as collected by the Chinese nationals, to each victim’s family have already been handed over, it has been reported.
The minister said “these forces cannot sabotage the Pak-China relations that are deep rooted and time tested”.
Tracing the history of Pak-China relationship, the information minister said the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China has further strengthened these relations in different spheres including economy and defense. He said this close collaboration is itching in the eyes of certain forces and that is why they are resorting to such cowardly acts.
Now it remains to be seen as to how the scared China (?) reacts in the end. Perhaps it is time for Prime Minister Imran Khan to work very hard in order to keep his nation and the foreign friends intact. Is he ready to prove his political stamina? He must. He has no options left.
Reassuring China of the good intent of the Pakistan government, the Planning, Development and Reform Minister Makhdoom KhusroBakhtiar this Monday met Ambassador Yao Jing at the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad to condemn the attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi.
Both sides on the occasion expressed their commitment to defeat the enemies of their friendship and to further expand cooperation under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The minister said that the bilateral relations between Pakistan and China were time-tested, as both countries shared a long history of cordial, friendly and strategic cooperation in all areas and domains. “The entire nation is standing in support of Pak-China relations and cooperation under CPEC,” he added.
The minister termed the attack on Chinese Consulate as “a conspiracy to sabotage CPEC”. However, he said, “The detractors cannot hinder our resolve to successfully implement CPEC projects. Evil designs of such coward perpetrators would face a clear defeat.”
Karachi consulate attack, a conspiracy to sabotage CPEC?
By NP Upadhdhaya