Fahad Ali draws attention to am obvious manipulation of Modi and Pulwama cover-up
It was very intriguing to witness the unraveling of the cover-up perpetrated by Modi and Pulwama cover-up which created a crisis between Pakistan and India that posed a real possibility of war between both nuclear-armed neighbours. The Pulwama incident of February 2019 is now exposed to have been covered-up by the BJP regime and utilised for blaming Pakistan with the aim to prove that Pakistani intentions were focused on destabilising the region. This strategy was devised and implemented by the ruling BJP to gain advantage in the 2019 elections and apparently they succeeded in stirring up nationalist fervor in the electorate as Modi’s party emerged as the single largest party in Indian parliament extending Modi’s term of office for five years. Unfortunately, no one paid any heed to the persistent denials issued by Pakistan that it was not involved in the incident and exhorting the international community to rationally view the matter and impress upon India to refrain from exploiting the situation. The assertion of Satyapal Malik, the former governor of occupied J&K who was in the hot seat when the incident took place, that it was essentially the Modi regime that exploited the incident against Pakistan has gained wide traction with fingers pointed out the intriguing nature of the regime.
The crisis sparked after a deadly militant attack on an Indian paramilitary facility in Pulwama located in occupied Kashmir. The consequence of this incident spiraled into high level of tension as India launched puerile retaliation in shape of air strikes inside Pakistan hitting what it claimed to be terrorist targets in Balakot, Pakistan. The situation got ugly when in an air melee Pakistan downed an Indian aircraft whose pilot was captured who was later sent back to India. Now the reality has been brought to fore by Satyapal Malik pointing out that the BJP government at the time had tried to hush up certain aspects of the Pulwama episode in order to blame Pakistan. Satyapal Malik stated that the Pulwama episode was a result of India’s incompetence particularly of the home ministry. He added that when he discussed the issue with Modi, as well as India’s then security czar Ajit Doval, he was told to keep quiet which gave him the impression that the prime minister and his acolytes wanted to blame Pakistan for the incident and gain electoral advantages.
It was not only that the former governor exposed Modi’s intrigue but also criticised BJP’s decision to rescind Indian Held Kashmir’s (IHK) autonomous status mentioning that Modi was ill-informed and ignorant about the disputed territory and was limited to his cocoon and did not pay much attention to detail and his action in Kashmir deliberately provoked a situation that angered Kashmiris compelling them to resort to violent action that has converted the place into a besieged territory whose population is experiencing worst human rights violation. It is not only the former governor who has openly spoken about the negative intentions regarding of Modi regime in respect of the incident but many Indian opposition figures have noted in the aftermath of the Malik interview that when they had raised questions about the Pulwama episode the BJP accused them of speaking in Pakistan’s voice. It is also pointed out that BJP was not averse to escalating war-like situation just to derive benefits for its electoral position. BJP’s reckless action did put Pakistan and India on the course of war without realising its horrendous consequences.
In his interview Satyapal Malik revealed that the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Pulwama was a result of serious lapses in the conduct and performance of the Indian system. He gave details of how the CRPF had asked for aircraft to transport its personnel but was refused by the home ministry. More importantly, he said that all of these lapses were raised by him directly when Modi called him after the Pulwama attack but the prime minister told him to keep quiet about this and not tell anyone. He also mentioned that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval also told him to keep quiet and not talk about it and this stance immediately made him to realise that the intention was to put the blame on Pakistan and derive electoral benefit for the government and BJP. He also pointed out that he did not know why he was prevented from letting Mehbooba Mufti form a new government even though she claimed a majo¬rity of 56 in the 87-member assembly and why he chose instead to dissolve the assembly in November 2018. At one point, he accused Mehbooba Mufti of lying, saying that the parties whose support she was claiming, such as the National Conference, were separately telling him to dissolve the assembly because they feared horse-trading.
Satyapal Malik said that he was removed as governor of Goa in August 2020 and sent to Meghalaya because he had brought to the prime minister’s attention several instances of corruption which the government chose to ignore rather than tackle. He alleged that the people around the prime minister are indulging in corruption and often use the PMO’s name and that he had brought all this to Modi’s attention but added that the PM did not seem to care. Most significantly he pointed out that he can safely say that the PM has no real problem with corruption. This is a serious assertion as the opposition particularly the Congress party is consistently accusing Modi of being hand and glove with some entrepreneurs who are engaged in corrupt practices.
Keeping in view the extreme stance taken by the BJP the outlook for Pakistan-India relations remains troubled and it is feared that India will increase fomenting trouble in Pakistan. Pakistan naturally condemned the hidden-hand of BJP in creating negative impression for Pakistan that has caused serious problems. India has also decided to host G20 tourism working group in the occupied J&K that has provoked sharp response from Pakistan. Pakistan’s response was predictable in view of India’s aim to use these meetings to secure legitimacy for its actions by conveying a sense of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir which it illegally annexed and absorbed into the Indian union in August 2019. Modi regime has now devised another plan to put Pakistan to trouble and it has notified Pakistan of its intention to modify the Indus Waters Treaty reflecting a hardening of BJP government’s position and an effort to take advantage of Pakistan’s preoccupation with its domestic political turmoil and economic crisis.
The BJP intention is very clear as it is taking steps to put Pakistan into trouble and has gone ahead with long disputed construction of the 330 megawatt Kishanganga hydroelectric project on the Jhelum river and plans to construct the 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project on the Chenab river in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. India very cleverly by-passed the recognised channels of sorting out the problem and went to the extent of boycotting the World Bank appointed ad-hoc Court of Arbitration to deal with the dispute, a provision under the treaty. Just two days before the first court hearing in January this year India served notice on Pakistan that it would unilaterally amend the treaty citing Pakistan’s intransigence in handling disputes. BJP’s intent of consistently cornering Pakistan has created tremendous instability in the region. TW
Fahad Ali is associated with maritime trade