PM Khan’s warning justified as India seeks to exploit terrorism fears

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India

TIC Analysis l

Prime Minister Imran Khan warned against any emotional attempt from the people to cross the Line of Control (LoC) from Pakistan into India held Kashmir, saying on Wednesday any such attempt would, in fact, affect the struggle of the people in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The Prime Minister declared any bid to “wage jihad in Kashmir” would be an act of extreme enmity towards the Kashmiris, he said, adding: “Anyone who thinks that he will cross the border to join the Kashmiris [fighting for their right], is a big enemy of them and Pakistan.” The warning is justified especially in light of recent attempts by India to fabricate a terrorist event in order to divert global and domestic attention from Occupied Kashmir.

The most recent such event was when a terror alert was sounded in India after some abandoned boats were claimed to have been found by the Indian Army. The Indian army also claimed to have received intelligence inputs that terrorists could attack the southern part of India, earlier ports in Gujarat were put on high alert after intelligence agencies claimed that Pakistani commandos were likely to infiltrate into Indian waters through the Kutch area and use the sea route to try and incite communal trouble or carry out a terror attack in Gujarat. Many commentators saw these ploys as ruses which usually did not conform with facts on the ground.

The case of the abandoned boats in Sir Creek is the same. While the Army has used abandoned boats as proof of an impending terror attack, the reality is different according to local sources and witnesses. The four boats in total actually belong to local fishermen who live on the Pakistani side of the border. They usually operate in the Harami Doro area which is a thin line separating both countries and easily accessible to both sides. Fishing in the area is general practice of the communities living in the adjoining areas.

As per witness accounts, a number of 4 small fishing boats (Horas) from Badin proceeded  towards the Harami Doro creek  area for fishing on 23 Aug 19. While the boat were engaged in fishing in the vicinity of Pakistan India border, the crew saw  a number of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) boats approaching them. Usually such an approach means that the fisherman will be arrested and then jailed in an Indian prison for an indefinite period. Therefore, they immediately left the area on two of the four boats as a fewer number made it easier to evade the BSF and left behind 2 fishing boats. These same boats were seized and then used by Indian authorities to put forward their claims while also naming their owners as terrorists.

However, both the owners are well known locals who have engaged in the family profession of fishing as a source of income and have never had contact with any militant group. This act of the Indian government echoes a similar incident in 2012. In 2012, India had presented a list of five infiltrators it had claimed had arrived on Indian soil in order to carry out terrorist attacks, however later investigation exposed the claims as a false alarm when it was found out that four of the infiltrators were shopkeepers in Lahore and one was a security guard at a mall. The three even showed up on local media outlets in order to clear their names but even then the Indian government refused to own up to its blunder or deception.

In the context of the recent Human rights situation in Occupied Kashmir, Observers stress that India is desperate in order to carry out a false flag attack and pin it on Pakistan in order to divert extreme global and domestic pressure. In such conditions, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s warning is justified as it will allow India a breathing space that it could use to commit further atrocities in Occupied Kashmir.