New Pakistan, old mindset! Twelve days after the air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest terror camp in Balakot, India has asked the keepers of “Naya Pakistan” to move beyond the post-Pulwama persiflage of denial and duplicity, and take “new action” against terrorist groups and terror infrastructure on its soil.
In a damning indictment of Pakistan’s double-faced approach towards terror and utter lack of sincerity in punishing the choreographers and perpetrators of the Pulwama massacre, the Indian government has dismissed the cosmetic crackdown by the Pakistan government on militant groups, and taunted Islamabad to show some “naya (new) action” to stop anti-India cross-border terror.
“If Pakistan claims to be a “naya Pakistan with nayi soch”, it should show “naya action” against terrorist groups and terror infrastructure on its soil and end cross border terrorism in support of its claims,” Raveesh Kumar, India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson, told journalists in New Delhi on March 9.
New Delhi’s sharply-worded response came in response to Pakistan’s reported crackdown on some militant groups in the past few days, which is widely seen as PR trick to hoodwink the international community.
“Pakistan claims to proscribe groups and individuals, but this is confined only on paper. Actually, terrorist groups and individuals continue their activities without hindrance,” said the spokesperson.
“Pakistan has not shown any serious intent to address the legitimate concerns of India and the global community,” he said.
The spokesperson reminded Pakistan that it’s rehashing the same script that was played out earlier after the terrorist attacks on our Parliament in December 2001, the Mumbai terrorist attack in November 2008 and the attack on Pathankot airbase in January 2016.
Countering propaganda & fake news
India also accused Pakistan of “propagating a false narrative of the events of that day” on February 27 when Pakistan’s Air Force tried to unsuccessfully target Indian military installations to avenge India’s air strike on JeM terror camp the day before. Seeking to expose fake news circulated by the powers-that-be in Islamabad, New Delhi out the record straight by reiterating that India only lost one aircraft, as opposed to two, which is repeatedly claimed by Pakistan.
“Pakistan should explain why it continues to deny that its F-16 aircraft has been shot down? We have asked the United States to also examine whether the use of F16 against India is in accordance with the terms and conditions of sale,” said the spokesperson.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again promised that “this government will not allow Pakistan’s land to be used for any kind of outside terrorism.” “God willing, you will see that a new era is emerging,” he said at a rally in southern Pakistan on March 8. India is clearly not convinced. “We remain resolute in our determination to persuade the international community of the necessity of compelling Pakistan to move beyond mere words and to show credible, verifiable and sustained actions. We have, and we will continue to act with responsibility and maturity,” said the spokesperson of India’s foreign office on March 9.
India’s strong rebuttal of Pakistan’s propaganda and expose of cosmetic crackdown on the so-called militant outfits, while being silent about JeM’s role in the Pulwama attack, underlines New Delhi’s utter exasperation with Islamabad’s entrenched equivocation on anti-India terror directed from the Pakistani soil.
Going forward, the latest statements by India’s foreign office and Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggest that New Delhi will keep mounting pressure on the Imran Khan government to take credible and verifiable action against the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack and the larger anti-India terror infrastructure operating from Pakistan. The air strike on the Balakot terror camp and the strategy of sustaining international pressure on Pakistan till it punishes Pulwama killers and dismantles anti-India terror infrastructure underscores a paradigm shift in India’s strategy of countering Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terror. PM Modi has dubbed this new approach ‘nayi reeti, nayi neeti’ (new methods, new policies). This new policy entails paying back terrorists and their sponsors in “the same coin, and teaching them a lesson in the language they understand,” as stressed by Mr Modi.
Full text of statement by the Spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs on India-Pakistan Situation on March 09, 2019
You are all aware of the developments following the heinous terrorist attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir State, on 14 February, that was executed by the Pakistan-based and UN-proscribed terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The Foreign Secretary and the Spokespersons of our Armed Forces have already briefed the media on the action taken by us against the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Our non-military counter terrorism strike of 26 February achieved the intended objective. It has demonstrated our firm resolve to take decisive action against cross-border terrorism.
On 27 February Pakistan, instead of taking action against terrorist groups on its soil, chose to escalate through an act of aggression by violating our air space and attempting, unsuccessfully, to target our military facilities. Their action was effectively thwarted by the alertness and readiness of our armed forces.
We have been transparent and open in informing the media on 27 February itself that, in the process of defending our national sovereignty and territorial integrity, one Mig 21 Bison was lost in action and Wing Commander Abhinandan had to bail out and landed in Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan, however, continues to propagate a false narrative of the events of that day.
The statement by our Indian Air Force is in the public domain. Only one aircraft was lost by us. If, as Pakistan claims, they have a video recording of the downing of a second Indian aircraft, why have they not shown it to the international media even after more than one week? Questions should be asked to them as to where the fuselage of the aircraft is and what has happened to the pilots? As we have already said, there are eye-witness accounts and electronic evidence that Pakistan deployed F-16 aircraft and that one F-16 was shot down by Wing Commander Abhinandan. Evidence of the use of AMRAAM Missile, which can only be deployed on the F-16 with Pakistan, has also been shown to the media. Pakistan should explain why it continues to deny that its F-16 aircraft has been shot down? We have asked the United States to also examine whether the use of F16 against India is in accordance with the terms and conditions of sale.
Since the Pulwama attack, the international community has solidly stood with India in their condemnation of the attack as well as in asking Pakistan to take concrete action against terrorists and terrorist infrastructure in territories under the control of Pakistan. The United Nations Security Council unanimously issued a Press Statement in which they have explicitly referred to the Jaish-e-Mohammed as having claimed responsibility for the attack. The UN Security Council Press Statement also calls for perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of terrorism to be held accountable and brought to justice. It is regrettable that Pakistan still continues to deny Jaish-e-Mohammed’s own claim of taking ownership of the Pulwama attack. In his interview to BBC on 1 March, Pakistan Foreign Minister said, and I quote “they have not claimed responsibility of that (Pulwama attack). There is some confusion on that. The confusion is that the leadership has been contacted and they said no” unquote. Is Pakistan defending the Jaish-e-Mohammed and acting as its spokesperson? Does Pakistan’s claim have any credibility?
In 2004, the then President of Pakistan had made a solemn public commitment that they would not allow any territory under their control to be used for terrorist activity in any manner. But till today, however, Pakistan has failed to take any credible action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and other terrorist organizations, which continue to operate with impunity from Pakistan. The widespread presence of terrorist camps in Pakistan is a public knowledge within and outside Pakistan. Repeated requests by us and the international community for Pakistan to take action against such groups has been met with denial.
Since 26 February, following demands from the international community, Pakistan is again claiming to take fresh action against terror groups on its soil. In an interview to CNN on 28 February, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan has said, and I quote “Well, he is (Masood Azhar) in Pakistan according to my information” unquote. Claims are being made that terrorist organizations will be proscribed, that some individuals have been placed in preventive detention and that some action has been taken against seminaries and Madarsas belonging to terrorist groups. We are seeing the same script that has been played out earlier after the terrorist attacks on our Parliament in December 2001, the Mumbai terrorist attack in November 2008 and the attack on Pathankot airbase in January 2016. Pakistan claims to proscribe groups and individuals, but this is confined only on paper. Actually, terrorist groups and individuals continue their activities without hindrance. Pakistan has not shown any serious intent to address the legitimate concerns of India and the global community.
Despite the media interviews by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister and former President Musharraf acknowledging the presence of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Pakistan, the spokesperson of the Pakistan armed forces openly denied the presence of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Pakistan, in an interview on 6 March. This statement is a sufficient proof that Pakistan still remains in a state of denial.
We remain resolute in our determination to persuade the international community of the necessity of compelling Pakistan to move beyond mere words and to show credible, verifiable and sustained actions. We have, and we will continue to act with responsibility and maturity. Our armed forces continue to maintain strict vigil and will remain determined in the defence of the nation and its citizens.
If Pakistan claims to be a “naya Pakistan with nayi soch”, it should show “naya action” against terrorist groups and terror infrastructure on its soil and end cross border terrorism in support of its claims.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.