Caution is the watchword

Joginder Singh ji
Former Director – CBI

Benazir Bhutto, daughter of India-baiter Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was hanged by Gen Zia-ul-Haq, was assassinated in a suicide attack following an election rally in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

The Pakistani Government of the day, led by allies of Gen Pervez Musharraf, blamed Taliban leader and Al Qaeda ally Baitullah Mehsud for the murder. But a report by a UN commission of inquiry, set up at the insistence of Pakistan, has said in its report, released last month, that her assassination, carried out by a 15-year-old suicide bomber, could have been prevented if adequate security measures had been taken. The report has also called the ISI ‘a state within a state’.

The UN commission has hinted at a possible link between Benazir Bhutto’s ‘independent’ position on improved relations with India with that of her assassination. It has suggested the setting up of a truth commission to unravel the mystery of Benazir Bhutto’s death. There is nothing unusual about one commission suggesting the setting up of another commission. And so the game goes on ad infinitum, not only in India but all over the world. What a UN report says about the killing of a Pakistani leader is its own outlook. But we in India can only treat the assertion that Benazir Bhutto was killed for seeking better ties with India as the joke of the century.
Indeed, right from the day Pakistan was carved out of India in deference to the demands of Muslim fundamentalists, its aim has been to cause problems for the latter. It has fought four wars with India in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1998 — the last is also known as the Kargil war — but was defeated in all of them. It is a different story that Pakistan’s history books portray that country as the victor in these wars.

Pakistan’s foreign and domestic policy is solely aimed at destabilising India with the help of a microscopic section of the Indian Muslim community. It is hogwash to believe that any Pakistani President or Prime Minister, including the late Bhuttos, both father and daughter, were ever genuinely interested in friendly ties with India. ‘A thousand-year-war against India’ was a slogan that was coined by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and it was repeated by his daughter to which then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had replied that Pakistan would not be able to stand for 100 hours against India.

Pakistan wants to use terrorism as a protective shield and also to strike at India at will. First, Pakistan undertook a campaign of ethnic cleansing, driving out non-Muslims from that country. It achieved the same result in the Kashmir Valley by using proxies. Meanwhile, Pakistan-based terrorists are very clear about their intentions. They say that one Mumbai is not enough. They threaten India with dire consequences, saying that India would suffer the same fate over Kashmir as the Soviet Union did over Afghanistan.
But the Pakistani rulers’ sins have now come to haunt the people of that country. They created the Frankenstein’s monster of terrorism to torment India. The terrorists have now turned on their masters. Following are some major terror attacks in Pakistan.
October 18, 2007: 139 people were killed and more than 387 wounded in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi in a suicide bombing near a motorcade carrying former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The latter escaped with her life.

December 27, 2007: Benazir Bhutto was shot at after a political rally at a park in the eastern Pakistani city of Rawalpindi and a suicide bomb was detonated immediately following the shooting. The Pakistani leader was killed in the attack.

January 10, 2008: 34 people, including 17 policemen, were killed and 80 others injured in a suicide bombing outside the Lahore High Court minutes before the arrival of an anti-Government lawyers’ procession.

March 11, 2008: 40 people were killed and more than 200 sustained injuries in suicide bombings at the Federal Investigation Agency headquarters and an advertising agency in Lahore.

July 6, 2008: 30 people, including 15 policemen, were killed and more than 40 sustained injuries in a suicide attack near the Melody Market area of Islamabad.

August 21, 2008: Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the gates of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories in the high security cantonment town of Wah, around 30 km from Islamabad, killing 80 people in what has been described as the deadliest attack on a military installation in the history of Pakistan.

September 20, 2008: A dump truck filled with explosives blew up in front of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, killing 64 people, including five foreigners, and injuring at least 266.

March 3, 2009: Seven people, including five policemen, were killed and six cricket players from Sri Lanka injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire on the players’ bus and the policemen escorting them to a stadium in Lahore.

2009 has been the bloodiest year yet. Pakistan is already being viewed as an unstable country by the international community. Last year saw at least 11,585 terror-related fatalities — the actual numbers could be significantly higher since Pakistan denies the media and independent monitors access to most areas of conflict.

There is a saying that he who digs a well for others to drown has a better chance of falling in himself. Bhutto or no Bhutto, the truth is that Pakistan’s rulers start talking in conciliatory tones only when they are out of power. We simply cannot afford to let our guard down. In its latest travel advisory, the US has warned of fresh terrorist attacks in Delhi. Therefore, let us talk peace and goodwill but also keep our powder dry in case those from across the border again think of stirring