– Shantanu Mukharji
It’s a matter of great shame and is indeed unethical when Pakistan’s acts of terror continues unabated specially when the world is fighting the dreaded pandemic called COVID 19, claiming thousands of lives the world over and threatens to increase the toll in the coming months.
Amid this grim scenario, there are sustained global attempts to contain the disease and we see Pakistan unabashedly sending COVID 19 positive cases from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to the Indian side to spread the infection. Instead of any medical attempts to cure the patients afflicted with the virus, it’s trying to let it spread to affect their adversaries.
On April 22, Director General (DGP) of Jammu and Kashmir Police has also confirmed quoting reliable sources that Pakistan is, as part of an aggressive policy, is dispatching infected patients. This was earlier confirmed by a very senior Indian military officer posted in Srinagar, who had also added that in addition to infiltration of COVID patients, Pakistan was regularly sending terrorists especially in a targeted area called Keran. Such acts are clearly bereft of any humanitarian signs at this juncture of universal significance.
Apart of this, Pakistan in clear defiance of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) observations given last February to comply took off names of as many as 3800 terrorists from the watch list on April 20. This dereliction has caught the attention of the anti-terror experts, who are finding it implausible as to why National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) is keeping quiet on the critical issue of removal of names of 3800 terrorists from the watch list?
Meanwhile, the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Defence of Security (NDS) arrested a top IS terrorist, Munib Mohammad on April 22. It was revealed in the preliminary interrogation that Munib was the main IS Commander of ISKP (Islamic State Khorasan Province) responsible for IS sponsored terror strikes in the region. What was revealing is the ISKP Commander’s strong links with the Pakistani ISI and the deadly terror outfit, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). This was immediately confirmed by the Afghan Intelligence chief.
Earlier, there was another important arrest made of Aslam Farooqi on April 4 who, in association, with Munib Mohammad had planned the killing of 27 Sikhs in an Afghanistan Gurudwara. They had also used the Kerala person, Mohsin Tikaripur to carry out the killings and its now definitely known that the mass murder of the Sikhs were planned by the ISI. Such blatant Pakistani activities perpetrating terror, merits international condemnation.
It’s also pertinent to state that Munib Mohammad was earlier a recruit in the Al Qaeda and then he joined the IS cadres and fought with them for establishing a caliphate. ISI was impressed with his track record and was later used to target places to create a schism between India and Afghanistan. That was the agenda of the ISI and Munib’s arrest is surely a setback for the notorious ISI, albeit temporarily.
In sum, irrespective of Corona virus threatening the world, there is no let up in the Pakistani sponsored terror activities in and around this region. Pakistan is clearly hiding behind the pandemic scare trying to dodge the USA and the FATF in furtherance of its terror agenda.
(Writer is a security analyst, a columnist on security issues and a former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Mauritius. The views expressed are personal.)