The attack on Pathankot has released a ghost from the past. While there is more than little evidence linking Pakistan to the July 11, 2006, train bombings, Wikileaks has revealed that the US and the UK rubbished the claims, covertly, of course, reflecting their duplicity in fight against terror.
Bombs were set off in pressure cookers on trains plying the Western line of the Suburban Railway network. 209 people were killed and over 700 were injured.
Religious extremists from the Lashkar-e-Taiba and ISI were prime suspects. Lashkar-e-Qahhar, a terrorist organisation linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), claimed responsibility for the bombings – an almost clear proof of Pakistan’s involvement.
M K Narayanan, the Indian National Security Advisor, said they didn’t have clinching evidence, but it was nevertheless good enough. The Crime branch also learnt that the men behind 2008 Delhi bombings were those very operatives who had introduced themselves as Pakistanis to perpetrators of 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings. There is enough and more to nail Pakistan, but evidence is very subjective in US’ eyes.
US likes to pussyfoot when it comes to Pakistan. Their fascination for our neighbours continues to compromise its stand on tackling terror. Publicly, US and UK condemned the attack and believed in Pakistan’s involvement, perhaps to appease Indian sentiments, but within, they played a different ball game.
Secret State Department wires quoted former US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W Patterson, saying that India had offered inadequate proof against the senior leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba. It was written that the evidence for prosecution against Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Zarar Shah and Mazhar Iqbal Alqama was short of requirement.
US is setting the bar too high for ‘solid evidence’ of Pakistani intelligence involvement. The wire, generated from New Delhi, had also shown the Indian politicians reminding the Americans that India had sided with US on the issue of 9/11 despite the absence of concrete evidence. At dinner with CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence, Carmen Medina, former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra said: ‘We backed you when you decided to take action in Afghanistan after September 11. Your evidence after 9/11 was no less circumstantial than our evidence after 7/11 in Mumbai.’
This is surely double standard and there is a widespread belief that the US is doing hardly anything concrete to help India fight against terror. It is a fact that Pakistan has been helping terrorists in India for a long time now, but that has never stopped US from giving out doles. In 2009, a US congressional committee sanctioned a law tripling US non-military aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion annually, but went soft on Islamabad, dropping all direct references to India on not allowing its soil to be used to plot terror attacks.
The US-Pakistan relationship is fundamental to US vital national security interests. They need Pakistan cooperation to wipe out Al-Qaeda for attacking twin towers and have clear passage to Afghanistan, among others. Because of its interests, they have settled on ignoring India’s case from time to time. Although India’s relationship with the United States is improving, they will always tilt towards Pakistan when it comes to making choice.
But we can’t even take the matters in our own hands like the US did to kill Osama-bin Laden in Pakistan’s Abbottabad. US defence experts have said that in case of a nuclear confrontation, India would essentially wipe out most of what we call Pakistan, but at the cost of lives of around 2 million of its people and complete destruction of many of the finest cities in north India. We can’t take that call.
The stalling of the sale of eight fighter jets to Pakistan recently could be a ruse, a facade to mollify India. We can no longer be fools and helpless.
But that is exactly what India’s curse could be.