Pakistan accuses India of non-cooperation as JIT arrives in Pathankot!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Apparently, owing to the explosive Kashmir issue, the neighboring nuclear powers in South Asia India and Pakistan are not able to resolve their tensions so that the region is peaceful and prosperous. Terror accusations by India trying to target Pakistan as a usual strategy have not helped improve the bilateral ties.
As the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) arrived in Pathankot on March 29 to probe the terror attack, which took place in January resulting in the death of seven military personnel, the Pakistani media said that India was reluctant to cooperate with Pakistan on the probe.
On the one hand, India wants Pakistan to help find the guilty but on the other refuses to cooperate with Pakistani investigations. Indian authorities showed signs of reluctance when the JIT asked them for information and evidence. India TV channels “debate” the JIT’s role in Pathankot in order to condemn Pakistan, insulting Pakistani policies.
The Pakistani media report said that Indian authorities did not provide the JIT with any evidence when it asked for the recordings of the telephone calls of SP Salwinder Singh, his wife and other related persons and the IME numbers and copies of the three FIRs that had been filed after the attack. Pakistani newspaper Daily Times reports: “Sketches of the attackers, footage of the closed-circuit television, duty registers of the Border Security Force (BSF), details of the bank accounts, service records, post-mortem report of the driver who died in the car accident at the time of the incident and the FIR of that car’s snatching have not been given to the Pakistani investigation team”.
The report further said that post-mortem and DNA reports of the terrorists involved and phone records and information about the commander of Pathankot airbase had not been given to the JIT. The report further claimed that the stances of the Indian government and BSF regarding the terror attack were contradicting each other. Moreover, the report said that while Indian authorities had said that terrorists had entered the Pathankot airbase after climbing ten-feet walls, no ropes were found as evidence.
These claims by the Pakistani media come just a day after it was found that Pakistan’s electronic media regulatory body (PEMRA) on Sunday had released a statement for the Pakistani media, asking them to be “professional” and “responsible” when reporting on the Lahore attacks, unlike the Indian media. “Pakistan needs to follow the example of professional handling of Brussels attacks by international media rather than following the footsteps of Indian media that is driven by crass commercialization,” the statement had said. In fact, the Pakistani media’s claim that India was not cooperating with Pakistan also comes at a time when the JIT and Indian authorities agreed on a very crucial aspect of the probe.
Indian investigators had said that the visiting JIT officials did not contradict any of the evidence submitted by the NIA, according to IANS. This evidence also “proves” India’s claims that the Pathankot attack on 2 January was planned in Pakistan and had a link to the Jaish-e-Mohammed and its chief Masood Azhar, the investigators had said. “The fact that they did not contradict or made any adverse comment or observation is a positive sign,” the authorities had said.
It is not just the Pakistani media though, which has had a sceptical perspective towards this probe. Opposition parties like Congress, which is eager to get back the Hindu vote banks from BJP, has used the Pakistani investigation and accused the Modi government of surrendering to Pakistan. This was the usual rhetoric of BJP and other Hindutva parties while Congress was ruling India. ” ..Pathankot terror attack was Pakistan-sponsored, how can ISI probe against itself?” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had said. Congress workers were even protesting with black flags outside the Pathankot airbase, shouting “Bharat Mata ki Jai“. Delhi Chief Minister also targets the double-speak strategy of BJP which is trying to create problems of AAP government in Delhi state “By allowing an official Pakistani team to visit and investigate, BJP government has, for the first time, distinguished and, therefore, recognised that the Pakistani establishment does not have any role in perpetuating terror in India, more so in the context of Pathankot terror attack” So, Pakistani involvement in Pathankot is ruled out.
BJP is growing nervous about is its increasing isolation in national politics, notwithstanding gall Hindutva tricks and rhetoric. Its efforts to equate nationalism with Hindutva and denial of basic rights have not impressed the public, even those who have voted for the party.
BJP, more than Congress now, is eager not to let people know the crude fact that Kashmiri Afzal Guru was hanged wrongly and Indian government tries to justify state crimes and legal. The fact that JNU students raised the hanging of Afzal has annoyed both Congress and BJP and sedition law was readily enforced on JNU students so that no one hereafter ever mention the crime called the murder of Kashmiri Afzal. Media stand solid behind the Indian government in shielding state crimes as their own.
The Afzal murder would not die down that easily!
Indian state double-speak became apparent when Indian protests against the JIT took place despite Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar saying that the defence ministry had not permitted the visiting team into the Indian Air Force base and that the crime scene, handed over to the NIA, had been isolated. The IAF base will be visually barricaded by NIA to prevent any view of critical areas.
The NIA team will, however, show some of the areas to the JIT where the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists engaged in an 80-hour-long gun battle with security personnel. The five-member Pakistani JIT is headed by Chief of Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Muhammad Tahir Rai and comprises Lahore’s Deputy Director General, Intelligence Bureau, Mohammad Azim Arshad, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Lieutenant-Colonel Tanvir Ahmed, Military Intelligence official Lieutenant-Colonel Irfan Mirza and Gujaranwala CTD Investigating Officer, Shahid Tanveer.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on march 27 called up his Pakistani counterpart Mian Nawaz Sharif and offered his “deep condolences” to the victims of the terror attack in Lahore, which has left at least 69 dead so far, mostly women and children. At least 69 people, mostly women and children, enjoying holiday at a popular public park, were killed and more than 300 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.