QUESTIONS THAT COME TO THE FORE ON THE US STAND ON PAKISTAN HANDLING TERROR IN ITS BACKYARD

THE QUESTIONS

1. The United States had agreed to extend for one year the aid to Pakistan to fight terrorism on the condition that it would stop differentiating between good and bad terror. And the country’s most powerful person, the Army chief of Pakistan Raheel Sharif had extended this promise during his US visit. Yet, many big terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, directly implicated in heinous terror acts in India, are roaming free and are even ‘respectable’ citizens there. We saw the Pakistani government’s attitude that allowed bail to Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi, main handler of the Mumbai 26/11 attacks, on technical grounds. This is when the US has put a bounty of US$ 10 million on Hafiz Saeed. This is when Masood Azhar, lodged in an Indian jail, was ‘exchanged’ in a hijacking incident. Isn’t Pakistan taking Uncle Sam for a ride?

2. There is no reason for the world community, for us, to think that the US is not aware of it. But apart from putting a reward and occasional back channel assurances, we don’t see any aggressive posturing by the US. Should we go by the explanation that when the US lawmakers demanded Pakistan to stop differentiating between ‘good and bad terror’, it was meant only in the context of Taliban and the AfPak theatre?

3. But can this narrow view of policymaking on terrorism serve the purpose of the US as well as of the Pakistan?

4. Also, can Pakistan ever be trusted to take on the terrorist networks operating to further its agenda in Afghanistan, especially the Haqqani network and the resurgent Taliban factions of Afghanistan that are eyeing greener pastures after the complete withdrawal of the internal coalition forces?

5. Pakistan has been vocally active on India’s role in Afghanistan and its perennial anti-India instance has been one of the major reasons for actively supporting the Afghanistan Taliban. Is this not a naïve thinking of the US policymakers that Pakistan will be able to overcome this anti-India psychosis to help the international forces wipe out the factors that it feels will help in bolstering its position in the internal matters of Afghanistan in the near future?

6. Is the terror discourse in the context of Pakistan is going to be ‘all Taliban and all terrorists active in Afghanistan are bad’ but ‘good terror Vs bad terror’ is also valid, to sustain and maintain the proxy war against India?

7. Hillary Clinton, the then US Secretary of State, had warned Pakistan sternly on its doublespeak on terrorism. Hillary’s blunt message delivered in Islamabad in October 2011 was: “It’s like that old story. You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.” That was three years ago yet Pakistan kept a blind eye and is still doing the same, harbouring many snakes while trying to crush only a few. Pakistan just had one of its worst human tragedies with TTP attack on the Army school in Peshawar killing over 130 children. What else will it take for Pakistan to realize what Hillary so clearly warned then, the reality that Pakistan deliberately ignores to realize?

8. Can India expect a positive change in the US attitude on this ‘good terror Vs bad terror discourse in the Indian context’ after the recent improvements in India-US ties with Narendra Modi as the Indian Prime Minister? India and the US have warmed up to each other in real terms with Modi’s successful US visit in September and Barack Obama’s upcoming India visit in January next. What is remarkably positive change for the India-US ties this time is, that the US President is not extending his visit to Pakistan, something that has been a routine in the past.

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

QUESTIONS ON ANTI-INDIA RANTS AND THREAT PERCEPTION FOR INDIA IN AFTERMATH OF PESHAWAR SCHOOL ATTACK, EVEN IF #INDIAWITHPAKISTAN TRENDS

THE QUESTIONS

1. #IndiaWithPakistan, solidarity in the aftermath of a crisis like the Peshawar Army School attack is the only human response expected. But beyond that, what can be the possible implications of this attack for India?

2. It may be that to send the message to the Pakistan Army, the Taliban targeted an army school there, as they say, but what if the terror masterminds plan to do something like this in J&K or in other parts of India?

3. Indian Parliament was breached. Then we had 26/11 and many other such terror incidents. How disturbed and reactive should India be on this and how proactive it should act?

4. Hafiz Saeed, one of India’s most wanted, with a reward of US$ 10 million on his head by the United States, is a respectable Pakistani citizen. For his rallies the Pakistani government deploys special trains. He is also the mastermind of the attacks on Indian Parliament in 2001 and in Mumbai in 2008 and India believes is guilt is established beyond doubt, something that Pakistan never accepts. Again, Hafiz Saeed is spewing venom against India using this human tragedy saying India is behind it and he would avenge it. What if Hafiz Saeed tries to collaborate with Taliban to perpetrate some terror act of this scale in India?

5. Another 26/11 attack mastermind, Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi, was given bail today and will walk free tomorrow. Wouldn’t it embolden the likes of Hafiz Saeed even more?

6. India was in mourning, with Pakistan, on the tragedy and Parvez Musharraf, the dictator who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008 and who gave humanity the dangerous ‘good Taliban and bad Taliban’ discourse has toed the Saeed line of blaming India though in a sophisticated way. He says RAW, the Indian intelligence agency, is backing Maulana Fazlullah, the TTP commander, for such terror attacks in Pakistan in collusion with Afghanistan. Isn’t it preposterous even to think so given the fact that all the wars between India and Pakistan were initiated by Pakistan only, though it lost all? India is an economic power and an emerging global power and engaging in such acts only come back to you to harm more, Pakistan’s experience tells us.

7. Isn’t it disturbing, for Pakistan as well as for India, that no one from the mainstream Pakistani political leadership criticized or spoken against the rants of the likes of Pervez Musharraf and Hafiz Saeed?

8. Or a serious reaction by India by reading too much into the rants by the likes of Hafiz Saeed and Pervez Musharraf would be giving too much attention to them, beyond their worth, when Pakistan is reeling under the pain of one of worst man-made human tragedies possible? Likes of Hafiz Saeed are always out to hurt India. India is on alert and needs to be more alert, as always happens, after a terror strike of this scale in Pakistan.

9. Many Indian cities and vital installations are on high alert. Already, there is an increased threat perception as the day of US President Barack Obama’s India visit, around January 26, 2015, is coming near. How can this terror attack in Peshawar complicate things more for India?

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

QUESTIONS ON PAKISTAN AND TERRORISM AFTER TERROR ATTACK ON PESHAWAR ARMY SCHOOL (1)

THE QUESTIONS

1. The heart goes out to them. Even the God of death would cry. In uniforms to in caskets, how can anyone on Earth justify killing innocent school students in the name of avenging atrocities on his lot?

2. Pakistan today saw its worst ever terror strike where around 150 people lost their lives, most of them being the students, as per the latest reports, in Taliban attack on Army Public School in Peshawar. The toll may go up with over 200 injured in hospitals facing blood shortage. But, the big question is, can we say will it remain the worst ever terror strike of the country?

3. From targeting girl schools and girls in schools, now schools and students, irrespective of the gender, is Pakistan staring at the next wave of terror where nothing would be spared, not even children, in settling scores with the government or in pushing the terror agenda further?

4. Pakistan is a fractured nation. Its political chaos, lost in its military juggernaut has made the country directionless. The perpetual disagreement among its controlling institutions failed to check insurgency in its restive provinces and now it has engulfed the whole country. What precipitated today, and we cannot say it ends here – isn’t it Pakistan’s own making?

5. Afghanistan President Mohammad Najibullah had warned Pakistan of Taliban’s grave dangers saying its flames would burn Pakistan. Soon Taliban swept Afghanistan and killed Najibullah in a public display of brutality. Pakistan created Taliban and now Taliban is trying to undo an already chaotic Pakistan. Isn’t it?

6. Isn’t it the high time, the wakeup call for Pakistan to look at and treat terror as ‘terror’, not differentiating it in categories like ‘good terror’ or ‘bad terror’ or ‘good Taliban’ or ‘bad Taliban’?

7. What Pakistan has become today – a country infested with terror, by its own doings. Doesn’t it once again prove the established dangers of ‘state sponsored terror’ as a policy tool?

8. After the attack today, Pakistan has vowed to hit back and its military launched air strikes in North Waziristan, based on actionable intelligence. But given the scale of Taliban attack today and another blast in Peshawar in the evening, what would be Pakistan’s backup plans to thwart any further big attack?

9. Is Pakistan equipped to gauge and thwart suicidal terror attacks of this scale on large social institutions and gatherings? Its political institutions have been in disarray and are week. Its military is engaged in fighting on many unnecessary fronts, including Pakistan military sponsored terror export in India, Afghanistan and other South Asian countries. The flares are reaching even to China and Iran. 

10. Is it still foolhardy to expect if Pakistan’s military and political establishments would be forced to think on their long cherished patronage of the terror apparatus in their country after this barbaric Monday?

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