Last update: Sun, 14 Feb 2016 02am

The farce that sank with the boat

A recent Facebook video of a lecture by India's ex-spymaster and now Modi government's national security advisor, Ajit Doval, says it all. What is that farce of exploding a fishing boat by an Indian Coast Guards ship in the Indian Ocean on the night between December 31, 2014 and January 1?: The lecture places it in its right perspective. 'Doval calls Pakistan the "enemy", extols Indian intelligence's ability to compromise and infiltrate the Kashmir insurgency; crows about the beheading of Pakistani soldiers by the TTP and advocates a policy of "defence offensive" against Pakistan,' says Pakistan's former ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram. No surprise then, coincidental to the culmination of the Zarb-e-Azb against tribal areas- based TTP militants India has raised the ante by heating up the common border with Pakistan. And then there is this fishing boat saga, a farce staged rather unprofessionally, in that before Pakistan could respond it is the Indian media, followed by Congress Party, that have pulled the carpet from under Doval's feet. That a small fishing boat which was hardly a match with high-powered coast guards ship was chased for an hour and when not reached and seized was shot at and exploded is a story that defies common sense. That the allegation that intercepted mobile phone traffic suggesting a boat loaded with "illicit" cargo left Keti Bunder should be bandied around as "yet another attempt by frustrated Pakistan in aiding terror in India" is an evidence that shows that indeed the Doval mills was working overtime. But this time not for long enough. Breaking down the Indian government stand brick by brick the mass-circulation Indian Express is of the view that "the exploded boat might have been small-time liquor and diesel smugglers, ferrying boot-leg cargo". And expressing doubt about the veracity of the Indian government's stand the Congress Party wants the BJP government to "come clean" on the boat incident. At the time the boat was exploded it was some 365-km off India's Porbandar coast, that's far out of Indian territorial waters. The question whether the four crew members were pirates, smugglers or terrorists has no answer because the identity of the four crew members who went down remains unconfirmed. But what stands confirmed, and confessed by India, that they were shot and killed by its coast guards ship on the open sea, which is a flagrant violation of international laws.

The failed boat plot is just one of the many dirty tricks that India has in its bag to malign Pakistan when the Pakistani government is fully engaged in the fight against terrorism, both home-grown and bank-rolled by India. India wants to engage Pakistan in a "low-intensity" war by keeping its eastern border hot - as much in pursuance of Indian generalship's "cold start" doctrine as in compliance with the Modi government's attempt at relieving pressure on its proxies. As Pakistan's top political and military leadership were meeting to finalise a national action plan against terrorists two Pakistan soldiers who were invited by their Indian counterparts for a normal flag meeting were murdered in cold blood. Once again India's perfidy was at its best. But there is no reason for Ajit Doval's machinations to succeed in Pakistan, especially from now on when the Pakistani nation has come to recognise India's true face. India dare not engage Pakistan in a wider war, but there is little hope also of it resisting shadow wars against its neighbours. In the words of Munir Akram, 'Pakistan will have to defeat India's secret war against Pakistan if it is to defeat the TTP. It is difficult to expect a change in Indian policy while people like Doval are in charge'. The misjudgements made in the past have to be precluded - had the Khalistan movement succeeded Pakistan may well have been more secure.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015