NP Upadhyaya, Kathmandu: The 11/23 terrorist attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi forced Pakistan’s security forces to retaliate in an appropriate manner and save the declining image of Pakistan in the comity of nations.
The US and the media in the West have also joined this invective against Pakistan.
China, the “iron friend” and the “all weather friend” of Islamic Republic of Pakistan must have been in a state of shock which is logical given the sudden attack. 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 not only dangerous but also makes clear that the cowardly act was carriedout in a pre-planned manner by Pakistan’s inimical forces.
Clearly these forces do not want emergence of Pakistan as a formidable force in South Asia both militarily and economically.
Not many in the region and beyond are pleased with the ongoing CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) project, a likely game changer in the region.
In the manner the attack was carried out, there should be no confusion that the real target was CPEC. The idea is to sabotage the entire project. These forces not only hate Pakistan but also are not happy with China for its benevolence towards the South Asian nation. Success of CPEC will ensure Pakistan as the economic hub in greater South Asian region. Pakistan in all likelihood is to 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. However, 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 towards Pakistan without wasting a 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 being planned and later brought into effect.
The Pakistan Army, especially its Chief of Army Staff Qamar Bajwa, too must 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 advantage on matters of handling security issues.
In the meantime, Pakistan’s counter-terrorism officer Umar Khitab said Saturday that authorities are investigating whether Baluch separatist commander Aslam Achhu, 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 summarily.
The fatal physical attack has come at a time when the Indian security advisor Ajit Doval 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 much in the manner similar to what Kul Bhusan Yadav did in Baluchistan but nabbed finally.
Several Dovals must have been in Kathmandu to spy on Nepali leaders who were themselves, as talked, were assisting the regime across the border as against the closed envelope.
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. Sidhu is excited once again.
He was very freshly in the Wagah border. He was inside Kartarpur and made some positive comments which has irritated Delhi men. Some have even dubbed him as agent of Pakistan.
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 Qamar Javed Bajwa”. 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 Gurdwara Darbar 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 Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal district near the border.
The road is being constructed now with the consent of both India and Pakistan.
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 who recently met with Khalistan movement Chief Mr. Chawla.
Siddhu has won the game and in a way has brought the two countries together. He is the real diplomat for India-Pakistan peace. Keeping criticism aside, Siddhu is now a symbol of peace.
The Indian government this Thursday accepted Pakistan’s proposal to build open Kartarpur corridor to facilitate Sikh pilgrims willing to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal district inside Pakistan. The road construction has already begun.
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.”
Sidhu in Kartarpur Sahib made a passionate appeal to both India and Pakistan to restore peace.
Imran Khan and Sidhu’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.
“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.”
Sidhu went there and bowed his head at the Holy site.
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’. Pakistan too has began the road construction work in its side as promised.
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.”
Ajit Doval in a mysterious manner too has condemned the Karachi attack.
Back to 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. 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 included.
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 located 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 meantime the UN Security Council too has condemned “in the strongest terms” attacks against the Chinese Consulate-General in Karachi and also a market which was rocked in Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa’s Orakzai district.
While we discuss the terrorist attack on Karachi, in a different U turn has been 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. Diplomacy this?
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, Mr. Satish Verma 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 Hemant Karkare; in-charge of Anti-terror Squad, who was conducting inquiry of terror attack committed by serving Indian Army officer, Colonel Prashad Srikant Purohit; 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 to Karachi
As the investigation into Friday’s attack in the China consulate made headway on Saturday, police officials suspected Harbiyar Marri, 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 Miraq Baloch, 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 Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal, 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 Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party leadership and its workers also took part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the proposed corridor to Shri Kartarpur Sahib on November 26.
Some Indian politicians presume that through this Sikh corridor, Pakistan may extend helps to the Khalistan movement. In a way, they are correct in that the Khalistan movement may get a boost as was evident in the scene the chief of the Khalistan movement Mr. Chawla.
Sat Shiri Akal…Jo Boley So Nihal….
Now to conclude. The Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary has said inimical foreign elements are behind the terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi.
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.
Winding it up all, however, we have some suggestions to Pakistan government, more to PM Khan.
First, tighten the security in the next hundred days.
Second, Through Sidhu, build working ties with India and then normalize the brotherly ties.
Third, Talk to the ignored section of the Pakistan people including those who feel to have been exploited by the Chinese CPEC projects. Take them into confidence.
To conclude: China’s deputy head of mission in Pakistan Zhao Lijian has said the last week attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi was carried out by terrorists and not militants.
“Terrorists have tried to create differences between Pakistan and China but the friendship between the two countries is getting stronger and stronger,” Zhao Lijian said on Thursday while addressing a book launch ceremony in the federal capital.
The book whose Urdu translation titled Aap Aur Hum is published in collaboration with the Express Media Group is written by two authors including former ambassador of China Lu Shulin.
And now let’s see what PM Khan says: “” I am ready to hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring peace in the sub-continent, while acknowledging that it was not in Pakistan’s interest to allow its territory to be used for terrorism.
Addressing a group of visiting Indian journalists in Islamabad on Thursday, on completion of 100 days in office, Khan said that relations between India and Pakistan could make swift progress if India was willing to resume talks.
In the mean time, India has turned down the Pakistan request for a SAARC Summit to be held in Islamabad. This speaks of the urgency of Greater South Asia or say Greater SAARC. That’s all.