Now that Indian made weapons have been found in Swat, will the civilian government take up the matter on a diplomatic level?
By Sabeen Hafiz. Originally published on ‘thecurrentaffairs.com’.
Briefing reporters about the progress of operation Rahe Rast, military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas yesterday revealed the extent of foreign support that the TTP terrorists are getting from Afghanistan. Large caches of weapons of US and INDIAN origin have been found as the security forces completely secure control of Mingora city, destroying various training centres of terrorists and killing important militant commanders, the military said.
The Americans have their excuses in order – Earlier this year it was revealed that over 200,000 US weapons – including assault rifles and grenade launchers – are ‘missing’ from the US army’s inventory in Afghanistan. The US army is unable to provide serial numbers for a large number of the missing weapons and no records have been maintained for the location or disposition for the rest.
The Pakistan Army, quite rightly has told the Americans to stop worrying about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and start worrying about the weapons ‘lost’ in Afghanistan.
Coming to the issue of Indian made weapons found in Swat – India claims its consulates in Afghanistan only issue visas for Afghan tourists to India and runs scholarship programmes for Afghan students. The Indians also claim their presence in Afghanistan is limited to reconstruction and aid efforts.
Here is what Christine Fair of RAND corporation had to say about India’s actual operation in Afghanistan and Iran:
“I think it would be a mistake to completely disregard Pakistan’s regional perceptions due to doubts about Indian competence in executing covert operations. That misses the point entirely. And I think it is unfair to dismiss the notion that Pakistan’s apprehensions about Afghanistan stem in part from its security competition with India. Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity! Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan. Kabul has encouraged India to engage in provocative activities such as using the Border Roads Organization to build sensitive parts of the Ring Road and use the Indo-Tibetan police force for security. It is also building schools on a sensitive part of the border in Kunar–across from Bajaur. Kabul’s motivations for encouraging these activities are as obvious as India’s interest in engaging in them. Even if by some act of miraculous diplomacy the territorial issues were to be resolved, Pakistan would remain an insecure state. Given the realities of the subcontinent (e.g., India’s rise and its more effective foreign relations with all of Pakistan’s near and far neighbors), these fears are bound to grow, not lessen. This suggests that without some means of compelling Pakistan to abandon its reliance upon militancy, it will become ever more interested in using it — and the militants will likely continue to proliferate beyond Pakistan’s control.”
The Foreign Policy magazine also recently confirmed the Indians were neck deep in supporting the TTP in Pakistan: While the U.S. media has frequently reported on Pakistani ties to jihadi elements launching attacks in Afghanistan, it has less often mentioned that India supports insurgent forces attacking Pakistan. “The Indians are up to their necks in supporting the Taliban against the Pakistani government in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” a former intelligence official who served in both countries said. “The same anti-Pakistani forces in Afghanistan also shooting at American soldiers are getting support from India. India should close its diplomatic establishments in Afghanistan and get the Christ out of there.”
Wounded Pakistani Soldiers interviewed have recalled the stiff resistance they have faced while attempting to flush out terrorists armed with sophisticated weapons in Swat.
“They are well-equipped, they have mortars, they have rockets, sniper rifles and every type of sophisticated weapon,” says one Lt. Zaigham.“I am certain that foreign elements are behind these militants. Can I ask something very simple — who are their sponsors? What are their sources of funding? Who runs their logistics?”
Pakistan has substantial evidence and statements recorded by captured terrorists that confirm the involvement of Indian intelligence agencies in sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan from Afghan soil.
Even some Afghan officials have confirmed that India is using Afghanistan to stir trouble in Pakistan.“India is using Afghan soil to destabilize Pakistan and Afghan security agencies are unable to stop Indian intervention due to absence of centralized government mechanism”, said Afghan Government’s Advisor, Ehsanullah Aryanzai on sidelines of Pak-Afgan Parliamentary Jirga at a local hotel on April 2nd, 2009.
The Lahore Police Commissioner Khusro Pervez has also said earlier today that Pakistan had unearthed evidence of a commute in Afghanistan a year and a half ago between members of Indian, Afghan and Israeli intelligence agencies.
‘I have first hand knowledge of captured terrorists trained by Indian nationals in Afghanistan, who then crossed over and carried out attacks in Pakistan. The failed kidnap attempt on Sri Lankan cricketers earlier this year was carried out by militants working directly for Indian and Israeli intelligence agencies’, Khusro added.
Reports have also confirmed that suspects of the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers were in the ISI building at the time of the blast on May 27th. It has been blatantly obvious to Pakistan Army and intelligence agencies that the Indians are up to their necks in supporting terrorism in Pakistan. Now that Indian made weapons have been found in Swat, will the civilian government take up the matter on a diplomatic level?