PAKISTAN ARMY REITERATES HIS STAND OF NO COMPROMISE ON KULBHUSHAN JADHAV

Pakistan’s Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa today held a conference of top army commanders at Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi (GHQ).

According to the Facebook page of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan Army’s media wing, Gen Bajwa and other commanders were briefed on Kulbhushan Jadhav issue and ‘it was concluded that that no compromise shall be made on such anti state acts’. Pakistan Army’s 201st Corps Commanders’ Conference was held to ‘review national security environment and recent developments in the region’.

It was Gen Bajwa only who had sentenced Jadhav to death. A military court in Pakistan had found Jadhav guilty of espionage and sabotage activities and of waging war against Pakistan by fomenting unrest in Balochistan and Karachi and had sentenced him to death which was confirmed by Gen Bajwa.

The first reaction by the Pakistan’s civilian government came hours letter after it was made public by the ISPR. Though Pakistan’s civilian government, including its prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has toed the military line, a Samaa TV report makes it clear that Pakistan Army acted unilaterally on Kulbhushan Jadhav.

“A meeting took place between the Prime Minister and the Chief Of Army Staff during which the latter took the former into confidence regarding the issue of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav”, the Samaa TV report said yesterday.

India alleges that Jadhav is innocent and there is no evidence against him and that’s why a sham trial was held in secrecy in a military court where no information on charges and evidence was given. India has warned Pakistan of ‘dire consequences’ equalling Jadhav’s death sentence with pre-meditated murder and has again asked for the consular access to him, 14th time since his arrest on March 3, 2016.

Kulbhushan Jadhav is a formal naval officer turned businessman who was on a routine business trip to Iran when he was abducted by the Pakistani intelligence. Reports also say that he was captured by the Taliban and later sold to the Pakistan Army. Pakistani claims Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel in Pakistan, was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

©SantoshChaubey

SECTION 59 OF PAKISTAN ARMY ACT UNDER WHICH KULBHUSHAN JADHAV HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO DEATH

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is modified and extended.

Section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act sounds like a death knell for anyone whosoever is tried under it. Defined as the Section for Civil Offences, it categorically lays out conditions for it to become an overarching legal intrusion into the fundamental rights of humanity.

And when read in conjunction with other supporting sections and sub-sections of the Pakistan Army Act, we find a lethal tool that Pakistan’s Army so indiscriminately uses to suppress voices of human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, its own members who go against senior officials or against Indians, as has happened with Kulbhushan Jadhav. Kulbhushan Jadhav is a formal naval officer turned businessman who was on a routine business trip to Iran when he was abducted by the Pakistani intelligence. A Pakistani statement claimed Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

According to an ISPR press release, a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) found Kulbhushan guilty of espionage and sabotage activities and of waging war against Pakistan by fomenting unrest in Balochistan and Karachi. He was tried under Section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act 1952 and Section 3 of the official Secrets Act 1923 and was found guilty of all charges in a secret trial in a military court where no information on charges and evidence was shared.

According to Pakistan Army Act 1952, the Section 59 defines Civil Offence as,

SECTION 59: CIVIL OFFENCES

(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), any person subject to this Act who at any place in or beyond Pakistan commits any civil offence shall be deemed to be guilty of an offence against this Act and, if charged therewith under this section, shall be liable to be [dealt with under this Act], and, on conviction, to be punished as follows, that is to say,

(a) if the offence is one which would be punishable under any law in force in Pakistan with death or with 1[imprisonment for life], he shall be liable to suffer any punishment 2* * * assigned for the offence by the aforesaid law or such less punishment as is in this Act mentioned; and

(b) In any other case, he shall be liable to suffer any punishment 2* * * assigned for the offence by the law in force in Pakistan, or 1* rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or 1* such less punishment as is in this Act mentioned [:]

[Provided that, where the offence of which any such person is found guilty is an offence liable to hadd under any Islamic law, the sentence awarded to him shall be that provided for the offence in that law.

The sub-section further defines the powers of court-martial:

The powers of a Court martial [or an officer exercising authority under section 23] to charge and punish any person under this section shall not be affected by reason of the fact that the civil offence with which such person is charged is also an offence against this Act.

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force a person who becomes subject to this Act by reason of his being accused of an offence mentioned in clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 2 shall be liable to be tried or otherwise dealt with under this Act for such offence as if the offence were an offence against this Act and were committed at a time when such person was subject to this Act ; and the provisions of this section shall have effect accordingly.

Now, let’s see what clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Pakistan Army Act says:

SECTION 2: PERSONS SUBJECT TO THE PAKISTAN ARMY ACT 1952

CLAUSE D OF SUB-SECTION 1

Persons not otherwise subject to this Act who are accused of__

  • Seducing or attempting to seduce any person subject to this Act from his duty or allegiance to Government, or
  •  Having committed, in relation to any work of defence, arsenal, naval, military or air force establishment or station, ship or aircraft or otherwise in relation to the naval, military or air force affairs of Pakistan, an offence under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and
  • Raise arms or wage war against Pakistan, or attack the Armed Forces of Pakistan or law enforcement agencies, or attack any civil or military installations in Pakistan; or
  •  Provide or receive funding from any foreign or local source for the illegal activities under this clause shall be punished under this Act.

The Pakistan Army Act sounds like a convoluted document that gives unbridled power and illegitimate secrecy to military courts in Pakistan and these are some of its legal jargons that Pakistan has used against an innocent Indian.

Pakistan has also invoked the Official Secrets Act 1923, a British era document that has been the subject of intense debate in India for its archaic provisions. Both countries have inherited many colonial legacies like this. But Kulbhushan Jadhav’s sham trial and punishment show Pakistan uses it with impunity.

Section 3 of the OSA 1923 defines penalties for spying that can be upto fourteen years of imprisonment and goes on to say,

“It shall not be necessary to show that the accuse person was guilty of any particular act tending to State, and notwithstanding that no such act is proved against him, he may be convicted, if from the circumstances of the case or his conduct or his known character as proved, it appears that his purpose was a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interest of the State.”

Pakistan had established military courts in 2015 with a constitutional amendment to try people for terrorism and related offences committed in civilian areas after the December 2015 Peshawar school massacre and only last month, in March 2017, its parliament voted for another two years extension to them. Since their establishment, the military courts have an absolute record of convictions with no acquittals. According to the Pakistan’s military, the military courts have convicted 274 people in last two years, 161 of them being sentenced to death and 113 to varying prison terms.

India has strongly protested the sentence likening it to murder and claims that the only evidence against Jadhav is his forced confession and is expected to raise the issue internationally to expose the Pakistani sham. Since Jadhav’s arrest in March 2016, India has repeatedly asked for consular access to him but the way he has been arbitrarily and summarily sentenced to death by its Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, tells us that Pakistan was never serious about the Indian demands and about the established norms of international jurisprudence.

©SantoshChaubey

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SLAMS PAKISTAN ON KULBHUSHAN JADHAV’S DEATH SENTENCE

The article originally appeared on India Today.

Amnesty International has slammed Pakistan on the death sentence given to Kulbhushan Jadhav, the alleged Indian spy who was arrested by Pakistan in March 2016. A military court in Pakistan has sentenced him to death for espionage, sabotage activities and waging war against Pakistan.

In a series of tweets, Amnesty International’s India arm has questioned the way Pakistan’s military courts function.

Amnesty says that Pakistan’s military courts act against the established norms of jurisprudence with no access to charges and evidence against a person and sentence based on that given.
Follow

Amnesty India @AIIndia
Under Pakistan’s military courts, no info about charges or evidence against suspects, or sentences given, is made public. #KulbhushanJadhav
6:42 PM – 10 Apr 2017

Reacting to the highhandedness and arbitrariness of Pakistan’s military courts, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director Biraj Patnaik has said that the death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav “shows yet again how Pakistan’s military court system rides roughshod over international standards”, a PTI report quoted him saying. Amnesty India’s tweets with the hashtag #KulbhushanJadhav say military courts should only be for maintaining the military discipline and the rest should be left for the judicial system, be it Pakistan or India or any country.

Amnesty India @AIIndia
Military courts in Pakistan & other countries including India are only apt for military discipline, not any other crimes. #KulbhushanJadhav
6:44 PM – 10 Apr 2017

Amnesty further said that ‘that military courts are linked to coerced confessions, opaque processes and unfair trials’. “Stripping defendants of their rights and operating in notorious secrecy, military courts do not dispense justice but travesty it,” Patnaik’s statement read.

Pakistan’s propaganda claims Jadhav is a serving Indian Navy officer while India has clarified that Jadhav was an ex-Navy officer and he had no link with the government. India has also maintained that Jadhav was abducted from Iran.

©SantoshChaubey

KULBHUSHAN JADHAV DEATH SENTENCE: PAKISTANI CIVILIAN ESTABLISHMENT CALLS IT WARNING TO PAK’S ENEMIES

The article originally appeared on India Today.

Reacting to the death sentence given to the former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court, the country’s civilian establishment has likened it to ‘warning to the enemies of Pakistan’.

Pakistan has accused Jadhav of being a Research and Analysis Wing agent, a charge that the Indian government has strongly refuted.

According to a report published in Pakistani publication, The Nation, Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif said, “No leniency will be given to those with anti-Pakistan sentiments. His (Jhadav) death sentence is a warning to the enemies of Pakistan”.

Asif said that India’s spy agency R&AW was acting in collusion with Afghanistan to foment unrest in Balochistan and to destabilise the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Reiterating the Pakistani rant that law was followed in Jadhav’s case, the Pakistani defence minister said, “India was not their (Pakistan’s) well wisher and it sponsored cross-border terrorism in Pakistan.”

This is the first reaction from any senior minister of Pakistan’s civilian establishment on the Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence, which was confirmed by Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.

MILITARY VS THE GOVERNMENT

Notably, the civilian establishment is seen not at good terms with Pakistan’s all powerful military.

Asif’s statement on the Jadhav issue is on the expected line as Pakistan’s military wields the real power in Pakistan and its civilian government has always been forced to toe the army line.

At the same time, rivals of Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif have slammed him for his alleged soft stance on India.

Also, it is widely believed that Sharif has tried to take on the military establishment to assert the civilian government’s supremacy.

The death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a military court of Pakistan through a trial conducted in secrecy once again reaffirms the fact that it is the Pakistan’s military that calls the shots in the country.

Just in December, Nawaz Sharif’s Foreign Advisor Sartaj Aziz had accepted in the Pakistani Senate that the dossier on Kubhushan Jadhav had mere statements and more evidence was needed.

And now, all of a sudden, in just four months, in a military court trial, Pakistan has amassed enough evidence to hang Kulbhushan.

INDIA CRIES MURDER

The Indian government, in its reaction, has slammed the Pakistani military court’s verdict announcing a death sentence for Jadhav.

The Ministry of External Affairs sent Pakistan a sharply worded demarche, which read, “If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the Government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder.”

©SantoshChaubey

INDIA’S NO TO US MEDIATION: PAKISTAN SEES A WEAK INDIA!

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is modified to reflect the dateline continuity.

Pakistan reacted on expected lines on India’s snub to the US on its offer to mediate between India and Pakistan. According to a recent Dunya News report, Pakistan Foreign Office reacted saying that the Indian stand once again proves India’s ‘weak’ position on the Kashmir issue.

According to the report, Nafees Zakaria, spokesperson of the Pakistan Foreign Office said that ‘the behaviour of the neighbourly state was disappointing, adding that the weak position of India compelled it to quit Kashmir talks’. “Whenever the United States or any other global power asked to mediate the talks, India backed away,” the report quoted him saying. He added to his statement the favourite Pakistani rant of India sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan to it.

Nikki Haley, the Indian origin United States Ambassador the United Nations, had created a storm by saying that the Donald Trump administration was concerned about tension between India and Pakistan and would not wait for something to happen to intervene. She said that the US might offer to mediate between India and Pakistan to ‘de-escalate’ tension and that even President Donald Trump might come forward to play an active role.

India readily dismissed Nikki Haley’s offer saying it was India’s official position that the Kashmir issue could only be resolved through bilateral efforts and the ball was in Pakistan’s court to resume the dialogue process. It has been India’s demand, especially after the Pathankot airbase attack by Pakistan based JeM terrorists in January 2016, that terror and talks cannot go together and to resume the dialogue, Pakistan should stop sponsoring terror in India.

India’s official response was brief and specific, “Government’s position for bilateral redressal of all India-Pakistan issues in an environment free of terror and violence hasn’t changed. We of course expect international community and organisations to enforce international mechanisms and mandates concerning terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which continues to be the single biggest threat to peace and stability in our region and beyond.”

Also, experts dismissed Nikki Haley’s offer saying it might not represent the official US position on the issue. Subsequent US administrations have kept the Indian sensitivity in mind and have desisted from offering direct mediation between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue.

In fact, during his campaign days, Trump had indicated that he would seek Indian help to keep ‘unstable Pakistan’s nukes’ in check. He had also said that Pakistan had double dealt the US in spite of receiving huge aid from the US. He reiterated his stand on Pakistan even after he won the US polls when he tweeted to slam Pakistan in December, “Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend.”

Pakistan’s ruling establishment, in fact, survives on anti-India propaganda. Pakistan has no serious standing in the world. For many in the world community, it is just another country. For major global powers of the free world, it is a country with ‘unstable nukes’ as US President Donald Trump says or it is country with countless terror havens, as the world community generally believes.

So, there is immense international pressure, in spite of Pakistan’s big brother China’s backing, an autocratic economic and military giant. To counter this pressure, the Pakistani power elite does what it has been doing – drawing its sanctity back home from anti-India propaganda. The Pakistani power elite has created a fallacy in the country that India is Pakistan’s sworn enemy and they want its populace to remain trapped in that fallacy and this statement by Pakistan’s FS is just among those propaganda moments.

©SantoshChaubey

WHY JIT JUNKING PATHANKOT TERROR ATTACK WILL BE A BAD IDEA FOR PAKISTAN!

What is routine in India-Pakistan ties has reportedly happened with the reports saying the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has refuted India’s charges and the Pathankot airbase attack, in fact, was stage managed by India to malign Pakistan in the world community.

That is on the line how Pakistan behaves and therefore has no surprise or shock value.

What was unusual, and in fact, remarkable – was Narendra Modi’s decision to engage Pakistan again after the bitterness on Pakistan High Commission’s insistence on inviting J&K separatists that rendered India-Pakistan ties hostile for months – with verbal rhetoric, escalated tension in capitals, Delhi and Islamabad, and cross-border firings.

With today’s development, that says the Pakistan’s Pathankot JIT has rubbished all Indian claims of any Pakistani hand in the Pathankot airbase attack, there are now valid questions being raised on the diplomatic coup that Narendra Modi seemed to have achieved with his unscheduled stopover at Lahore while coming back from Afghanistan on December 25 last year.

The dramatic event changed the bilateral course and the news agenda about India-Pakistan ties. Though there were developments like the National Security Advisors of both countries meeting in a third country and some meetings of officials of both countries, the way perspectives to look at things in Indo-Pak context changed, was visibly different after this visit.

Border skirmishes, if not stopped, came down significantly. Verbal rhetoric was toned down. The escalated tension between both neighbours looked giving way to a thaw towards a normalizing relation with Sushma Swaraj visiting Pakistan for a SAARC meet and talks of Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Advisor, coming to India to take forward the Indo-Pak dialogue.

And then – the Pathankot airbase attack happened – on the intervening night of January 1-2.

The terror attack that killed seven Indian security personnel and four terrorists lasted for three days. It was proved beyond doubt, with the evidence available, that the terrorists had come from Pakistan and Pakistan even showed sincerity in acting on evidence India provided – with Nawaz Sharif forming a team to probe the incident and the reported crackdown on the terror group responsible for the attack, JeM (Jaish-e-Muhammad) and its members, including JeM chief Masood Azhar though it was never officially confirmed.

That was the first clearly visible sign of Pakistan backtracking. Many flip-flops on Pathankot incident probe in Pakistan then ensued. The almost certain dates of India-Pakistan NSA level talks were postponed with India making the talks conditional with the progress made by Pakistan in the Pathankot probe. Pakistan also continued with its audacity on hosting the J&K separatists to the Pakistan High Commission.

Then came Pakistan’s proposal to send its JIT to India to see the evidence-set to further the probe. India accepted it and the Pakistan JIT team was in India for five days (March 27 to April 1) to carry out its investigation, ascertain facts, and collect evidence that was needed in the Pakistan courts.

Now that the JIT is back in Pakistan, everyone in India is desperately waiting for what comes next.

Obviously, the logical extension would be, from India’s perspective – the JIT should come with a status report that would speed-up the probe there in Pakistan.

But what about designs of all stakeholders involved?

Pakistan’s Army and ISI (a JIT member was from ISI) would never accept Pakistan’s hand and would do all to shield JeM and Masood Azhar. Civilian government of Pakistan would want to toe a more disciplined approach given the international interest and pressure. The political opposition in Pakistan would obviously take the side of the Pakistan’s Army.

In India, the first preference of everyone would be that all goes well and the Pakistan JIT carries the work ahead by expediting the probe there based on evidence India has provided. But given the Pakistan’s history of backstabbing and backtracking, the groups in India opposed to NDA, BJP and Narendra Modi would see a ‘windfall opportunity’ in catching up on any hostile development and thus the opportunity to corner the Narendra Modi government over failure of a much discussed foreign policy move, something that happened today with the alleged report that the Pakistan JIT had dubbed the Indian version a blatant lie.

For the moment, India and its agencies have done the right thing by not jumping to any conclusion. Even with Pakistan’s dubious history and credentials, we need to wait for any official version from Pakistan and must not go by whatever crap the hysterical media outlets in Pakistan report.

But, if indeed the reports coming out in the Pakistani media about the JIT report are true, then also we should not jump to any such conclusion as seeing it as some ‘impulsive foreign policy move’ by the Narendra Modi government.

Because, after Narendra Modi’s Lahore stopover and India’s permission for Pakistan JIT to visit India to see and collect evidence, Pakistan is simply not in a position to junk the Pathankot airbase attack as some stage-managed propaganda attack to malign Pakistan.

The world saw and appreciated Narendra Modi’s Lahore move. The world went to believe the use of Pakistan’s soil in orchestrating attack on Pathankot airbase. The world knows that Pakistan is home to some of the world’s most dreaded groups. The world knows how Pakistan made mockery of 26/11 probe where its non-state actors were involved. The world knows Osama bin Laden was found and killed in Pakistan. The world knows how he survived there for years – with the state’s patronage. The world knows JeM is a UN recognized terrorist group and Masood Azhar was freed (swapped) in the 1999 Kandahar hijacking incident. The world knows ISI is more involved in promoting terror groups in India than caring for incessant intelligence failures in Pakistan.

This all has made Pakistan like a failed state in the international community – a state which cannot be trusted. After all, the US did not inform Pakistan before the operation to kill Osama bin Laden fearing leaks.

The world knows how serious India has been with Pakistan, in taking the dialogue process forward, especially after Narendra Modi’s Lahore stopover and after India allowed the Pakistan JIT visit in spite of strong opposition in India.

Now any further bravado/sham will further dent Pakistan’s credibility in the International arena as the country has already lost much of its currency after Pakistan it’s exposed patronage of the terror groups including Al Qaeda, Taliban, LeT, JeM, Haqqani Network and countless others. And it should also be seen in the context of Narendra Modi’s emphasis on improving ties with the Muslim countries including Pakistan’s supporter nations like Saudi Arabia.

If Pakistan now denies use of its soil and junks the Pathankot terror attack, it will do so at its own peril. Yes, it is an altogether different issue to see if it happens so, then how India plays it out at international platforms.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

INDIA PAKISTAN THAW: IT IS IRONIC BUT..

It is ironic but two unfortunate terror strikes have come as the opportunity cost to show verbal restraint in India-Pakistan ties – something that should be identified as a ‘real time real’ development in India-Pakistan thaws.

First it was Pathankot terror strike in India – on Pathankot air base – near the Pakistan border in Indian state of Punjab. The terror strike that began early in the morning of January 1 when, like the whole world, India, too was welcoming the New Year and went on for quite some time. The attack had clear Pakistani imprints (and footprints, literally). Though the attack did not cause much damage, it dragged on for hours and caused irreparable loss with seven Indian soldiers martyred.

And first time in the known history, at least in the recent times, Pakistan reacted sincerely to the leads points its hands there – even if it was under pressure to do so – under US pressure – and under the pressure of Narendra Modi’s surprise Lahore stopover and diplomacy that ensued.

Pakistan condemned the attack and its prime minister’s office released a statement saying Pakistan was seriously working on the leads provided by India and several Jaish-eMuhamman operatives were arrested. The statement also said that a Special Investigation Team was constituted for comprehensive probe. JeM is a Pakistan based terror group that is behind this attack on Pathankot. Its chief Masood Azhar, who was in Indian jail, was swapped in 1999 Kandahar hijacking incident.

It’s true that we cannot expect much from Pakistan. That is visible from its flipflops on Masood Azhar’s arrest.

But we need to appreciate the restraint shown. Pakistan’s ruling establishment and even its military have tried to look sincere this time. Yesterday, a report came that Pakistan had assured the US of no doublespeak in Pathankot terror probe on its soil.

Let’s give Pakistan some time to see what it comes with – as it time and again – after the Pathankot air base attack incident – has reiterated that it will reveal something concrete once the probe is finished.

India bashing was regular in Pakistani media – as usual -as expected – as the stories planted on crackdown on JeM and Masood Azhar’s arrest.

The second indicator came today – with terror strike at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda district in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KP). Around 25 people were killed when terrorists attacked the University founded in 2012 in the name of Gandhian Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan or Frontier Gandhi.

Like has been the practice in Pakistan, blaming India blindly for every terror strike, was not the case today.

No one in Pakistan’s ruling establishment, including its civilian government and its military, rushed to blame India today – and that was very sincere.

In fact Nawaz Sharif responded sensitively to Narendra Modi’s message in this crisis hour saying “this incident is yet another reminder that terrorism is our common enemy and a cooperative approach is essential to eliminate it from the region.”

Yes, as usual, a section of Pakistani media has been on an overdrive to prove Indian hand in Bacha Khan University attack – blaming Indian Embassy in Kabul and providing some phone numbers that were used – but that looks more like a ‘tit for tat’ – with India’s actionable evident provided to Pakistan in Pathankot attack incident. Hope, Pakistan government it’s all powerful army would not go into that rhetoric.

Pakistan’s ruling establishment knows that linking India to attacks in Pakistan is nothing but to appease the elements in its domestic politics – and the time is not opportune for that. Promoting unrest in India has been a state policy for Pakistan while India has always been a responsible democracy.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MASOOD AZHAR DETENTION: WHERE WAS SUSPENSE?

The news that Masood Azhar had been detained in Pakistan in Pathankot terror attack case broke like a sweeping development – taking over all in its awe.

But scratch a little and there is something familiar that worries us as – something that has worried us all in every case where perpetrators are ‘hiding’ at large in Pakistan with a respectable public life.

Unlike Dawood Ibrahim, whose presence Pakistan denies vehemently, such has not been the case with Hafiz Saeed, the LeT and JuD chief, with a US bounty of US$ 10 Million on his head. He is a highly respectable figure in Pakistan. He spews venom against India. He warns Pakistani establishment on speaking even a single word that is pro India. He regularly visits border areas in Pakistan to deliver anti-India ‘sermons’.

And such has not been the case even with Masood Azhar, even if he was an imprisoned terrorist in India who was swapped in the IC814 hijacking episode in 1999. A natural, responsible step by Pakistan would be to hand over Masood Azhar to India – because he would always remain wanted in India – with his past – with his arrest in Sringar in 1995 or his role in 2001 Parliament attack and his conviction in absentia, his role in 2008 Mumbai attacks, or in different terror attacks in India.

But India must not forget that Pakistan did not hand over Masood to America even after intense pressure in journalist Daniel Pearl murder case.

So, Pakistan is not going to detain him or arrest him for India – that is like daydreaming.

Also, it was said (or alleged) that Masood was taken in ‘protective custody’. Now what is this ‘protective custody’? You don’t need to go far and deep to know what this term legally means in Pakistan than a simple Google search.

A Google search with ‘protective custody’ returns with loads of pages saying ‘Osama bin Laden was in protective custody in Pakistan’. That is more than enough to tell us what it means. Osama enjoyed a safe life in Pakistan for years, in its military backyard – till one fine day – when America disrupted and destroyed the related ‘collective designs’.

Today’s rumour that spread like wildfire may well be intended at creating atmospherics for India-Pakistan FS level talks – that both countries are in a trap to look committed to – after Narendra Modi’s surprise Lahore visit on Nawaz Sharif’s birthday on December 25 last year.

Anyway, we can expect that something good will come out from this dilemma – that it will not work as some ‘entrapment’- because both countries are looking closest to their shared and distinctive realities now.

If Pakistan needs a ‘Pakistan’ that goes ahead on the path of development, away from a very certain scenario of nation’s disintegration, it must maintain peace with India – because most of its resources, in the situations now, are being absorbed in destabilizing India – something that is nothing but a daydreaming. A peaceful relation with the world’s third largest economy, that is also its neighbour, will give Pakistan the much needed leverage to initiate on the process of nation building.

For India, a peaceful Pakistan and peace at India Pakistan borders would help in developing areas in these conflict zones at par with other parts in the country. And obviously would smoothen the flow of energy resources from ‘energy-rich’ central Asian countries.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

INDIA AND PAKISTAN ARE TALKING AGAIN

So, on a non-rhetorical note, India and Pakistan have decided to resume their bilateral dialogue again – that has had a fractured history so far – with many more lows and few, standalone highs.

And away from all pointers of debate and who said what in the past and who did what – it is the best possible option available for both countries – because it suits their populations back homes – two populations that were one before 1947.

It is the best thing that can happen to India and Pakistan – increased people to people to contact – revisiting the shared cultural interests that still define life in every city of India – and a ‘peaceful’ Pakistan can immensely benefit from it.

The present geopolitical balance where economy is the most important parameter to weigh one’s share in the ‘group of most effective voices’ on world affairs, Pakistan is nowhere near to India. India is a major world economy now and is poised to become a global power.

But that only makes for the case that it engages in peace process with Pakistan – to synergise its efforts in building an economy that is already the most preferred destination of every global outfit – and thus building a society that becomes an example. That one is a massive task with long term goals and require decades of continued nation building.

And doing so, engaging with India in the peace process and looking for solutions to the issues that create problems, will ultimately help India – its fledgling economy – increasing radicalization of its society – and its crumbling national integrity.

Even if Pakistan employs all its resources and wages a war till its last remnant , it will not be able to take Kashmir, or for that matter, any other part from India. This realization is already there. The need is to act on it. The need in Pakistan is to utilize the resources for nation building that it is wasting in creating troubles for India – a huge pool of resources that can prove very vital for Pakistani society.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THANKFULLY, NARENDRA MODI DOESN’T NEED TO MEET ARMY CHIEF BEFORE NSA LEVEL TALKS

It can be a normal report on a routine political development in Pakistan but thankfully, we, in India, don’t come across such ‘displays’.

Army chief of Pakistan, Raheel Sharif, met Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif today to discuss the upcoming dialogue between the National Security Advisers of India and Pakistan. Chief of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s notorious spy agency, was also there.

Obviously, the public façade of such meetings are always conveyed as something else, like this was a routine security meeting between the prime minister and the army chief. But on agenda was the upcoming NSA level meet in Delhi and as ceasefire violations have continued in spite of Nawaz Sharif’s words, we can easily guess what would have transpired in the meeting.

No such meeting happened in India. No such meeting for the ‘meeting’ of NSAs is going to happen in India. 

Narendra Modi doesn’t need to call Indian Army chief to prepare for Ajit Doval – Sartaz Aziz meet in New Delhi on August 23-24.

Indian political establishment is free from such interference. That is the strength of our functional democracy.

And that is just one among many pointers that tell why we are a flourishing democracy and why Pakistan is still a limping military state – a country where democracy has always been dependent on its army to draw sanctity – a country where military has been in the government most of the time.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/