That India uses terrorism as weapon of choice to destabilise Pakistan is a fact that has been admitted by no less a person than its defence minister, Manohar Parrikar.
And New Delhi is in boil over his confirmation, not because he has exposed true face of Indian secularism; it is fuming as it tends to confirm Pakistan’s stance that the latest spike in incidence of terrorism in Karachi is the handiwork of Indian intelligence agency RAW.
Pakistan would be perfectly right in taking this statement by the Indian minister to the United Nations and other world forums that what an irony that pot is calling the kettle black. It is not that Parrikar has justified his strategy of “Kante say kanta nikalo” (Remove thorn with thorn) for the first time.
Earlier, he had admitted using of terrorists against Kashmiri freedom fighters in Occupied Kashmir. But it seems he has bitten more than cabinet colleagues would like to chew, at least publicly. After RAW chief Ajit Doval tried to play down his statement it is now the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s turn to water down his colleague’s rather bold confession.
What rankles with the Modi government is the compelling logic of PM’s Advisor Sartaj Aziz’s assertion that Parrikar’s comments “confirm Islamabad’s apprehensions that India is involved in terrorism in Pakistan … it must be the first time that a minister of an elected government openly advocates use of terrorism in another country on the pretext of preventing terrorism”. Indian intelligence agency has been busy all the time in fomenting trouble in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan, and the issue has been in discussion between the two countries at diplomatic levels.
It was taken up even at the highest level when the then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani took it up with his counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh. But it goes to the credit of Narendra Modi’s government that not only is it employing terrorists to achieve its foreign policy objectives, it is also openly admitting the merit of this policy – just like what President Obama does in defence of drones as weapons of choice.
Let the Congress Party leadership decry Parrikar’s admission as stigma on India’s image, but in Pakistan we should make no mistake in taking Modi government’s ‘peripheral diplomacy’ – to borrow Indian noted strategic analyst Raja Mohan’s words – as a ‘signal to Beijing that if it does not stop poaching in India’s “exclusive sphere of influence” in the subcontinent Delhi could do the same in the China’s backyard’. That backyard, according to the Indian mindset, is Pakistan where China has decided to show up its full-length strategic profile. Breaking into China’s backyard seems to be high on Modi government’s foreign policy agenda.
Having effectively used its string of consulates in Afghanistan against Pakistan the Indian prime minister’s recent visit to Mongolia may well be its search for ‘consulates’ in China’s other perceived backyard. To Indian establishment the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is “core concern”, and New Delhi, therefore, would spare no effort to alleviate it. The murders of some 20 labourers from Punjab and Sindh near Gwadar on the eve of President Xi’s Islamabad visit constitute India’s growing belligerence.
Not that the Chinese people are oblivious of Indian designs, but Beijing doesn’t consider India a rival superpower in the region. It seems willing to help India shed its grinding poverty and acquire confidence worthy of a major stakeholder in regional peace and prosperity. The Modi setup is also against Pakistan for emerging reality in Afghanistan where the national unity government has decided to turn the page on bitter past with Islamabad.
To settle score with Pakistan, the Indian defence minister believes ‘you have to neutralise terrorists through terrorists only’. And there he has some success to his credit, of late in Karachi. Pakistan must expose this little dirty trick mainly by projecting it at the international forums without any loss of time.
The text has been appeared in the Editorial of Business Recorder today !