Motives and Objectives: Pulwama and Zahedan terrorist attacks

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It is very difficult to take a public position on a policy matter until there are sufficient facts to understand and analyze it.

There seems to be a global trend of growing popularity of ultra-nationalist leaders which are significantly different from a nationalist leader. A nationalist leader promotes the interest of his nation but at the same time understands that his counter-party also has legitimate interests in a geopolitical situation. A nationalist leader is willing to compromise and make an effort to find a middle or common ground. An ultra-nationalist leader is uncompromising and rigid. He believes in a black or white world view. They demand my way or highway from their followers.

Erdogan, Bolsonaro, Trump, Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi are ultra nationalist leaders. Their rise is forcing Xi Jinping, May, Angela Markel and Hassan Rouhani to convert from nationalist to ultra-nationalist leaders. Not just that this trend is now extending to the general population and even moderate voices are getting transformed into ultra-nationalism. This is a dangerous trend as it can push the world towards Third World War. We have to keep in mind that the assassination of one person Franz Ferdinand resulted in the First World War. The terror incidents of Pulwama and Zahedan are much more serious and the comments by the leaders are worrying. The ultra-nationalist response from even moderate voices in India and Pakistan was a big surprise for me and highly concerning.

With reference to Pulwama, Narendra Modi is a practitioner of Chanakya and Machiavelli doctrine of politics. He is capable of taking any extreme step to retain his grip on power. He thrives on promoting hate and dividing people. He is losing popularity and many surveys suggest he will lose the majority in Lok Sabha after the next elections. Modi Sarkar is also deeply concerned about the growing international legitimacy of Kashmir uprising and awareness of atrocities committed by Indian forces. Pulwama is the kind of event on which he thrives as evident from the early reaction of his government and it kills many birds with one stone. Pakistan’s reaction has been more or less calculated and mature.. Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility to the terror incident which would naturally implicate Pakistan. Why would JeM do that if they are not involved? Reports suggest 750 pounds of explosives were used, how could Indian intelligence miss accumulation of such large amounts? How did Modi government know Pakistan’s involvement within hours? That means they either had prior intelligence and they did not prevent it or they (Indians) orchestrated the whole terror attack. Was it another Samjhota Express type incident which was an inside job? These are just a few of the many questions which remain to be answered.

Zahedan is very close to the borders of both Afghanistan and Pakistan so terrorists could have arrived from any of the three countries to execute their plans. A few years ago Heartz newspaper of Israel reported that Mossad agents were operating in Pakistani Balochistan using American passports and dollars to create assets. The issue was so serious that it made President Bush very angry and he demanded an explanation from Israel. These intelligence officers were not doing a picnic in Baluchistan.

The timing of the Zahedan incident was perfectly timed to enlarge the gulf between Iran and Saudi Arabia as well as create tension between Iran and Pakistan. Jaish ul Adl that claimed responsibility is allegedly operating in Pakistani Balochistan and gets funding from Saudi citizens. Why is there no denial from JAA if it is not involved in the incident? Saudi Foreign Minister’s comments during a visit to Pakistan also did not help the situation. Iranians have been sending mixed signals on their part. On the one hand, they are blaming Pakistan for its failure to prevent terrorists from crossing over from our side thereby suggesting we are complicit while at the same time offering to join CPEC. The masterminds of the incident must be satisfied that their objectives are achieved.

Indian media’s negative and nonconstructive role in this time of tension is another clear indicator of how the BJP government in India is using ant–Pakistan propaganda to achieve its malicious objectives. Despite multiple offers by Pakistan to have a full and detailed investigation to ascertain the source of Pulwama attack, India is acting childishly exposing its true ugly face.

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