News Analysis |
India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has put a Pakistani diplomat to its list of people wanted for carrying out various acts of terrorism in the South Asian country, seeking information on him. This event is the latest in the continuing saga of the anti-Pakistan rhetoric in Indian circles guided by vested interests.
Amir Zubair Siddique, who was posted as visa counselor in the Pakistani High Commission in Colombo (Sri Lanka), has been added to the list. Siddique is accused of conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks on United States and Israeli consulates in India, the Hindustan Times reported. He reportedly planned these attacks during his stint at the Pakistani High Commission in Sri Lanka in 2014, the agency said in a charge-sheet it filed in February.
NIA list has nicknamed him as ‘Boss’ and he was charge-sheeted in February, along with two others, for plotting 26/11 type attacks in southern India. Diplomat Amir Zubair Siddique has been added to the wanted list that already features Major Samir Ali and Sajid Mir of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Jamaat ud Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed. The agency has put his photo on its wanted list and is seeking information on him.
Much of this anti Pakistan posturing has to do with internal domestic ramifications rather than legitimate concerns. An anti-Pakistan stance in the Indian elections always guarantees a win, as seen in various elections by the BJP.
NIA said a fourth Pakistani officer posted in the high commission in Sri Lanka was also involved in the conspiracy. The NIA has also initiated the process for securing an Interpol Red Corner notice against him. According to Indian allegations, the diplomat was named by a Sri Lankan resident Sakir Hussain, who is at present undergoing imprisonment after pleading guilty in the court of law. He was arrested by the Tamil Nadu Police after the Intelligence Bureau busted the conspiracy in April 2014.
Hussain had carried out reconnaissance of the US consulate in Chennai and Israeli consulate in Bangalore to facilitate a terror strike similar to 26/11. Two terrorists were to be flown in from Maldives for the same. Siddique was working as visa counselor at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo but had to be repatriated to Islamabad after India mounted pressure on Sri Lanka about his alleged activities targeting this country.
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This is the latest twist in the Indo-Pak saga where New Delhi routinely accuses Pakistan of aiding and abetting separatist attacks on its soil. Pakistan has always denied allegations and used proof such as captured Indian intelligence operative Kulbhusan Jhadev as proof of Indian terror attacks against Pakistani citizens.
The recent Indian step against a Pakistani diplomat seems to be a continuation of harassment against the Pakistani diplomatic staff. Pakistan’s Foreign Office had already confirmed that diplomats and their children in India were being threatened, abused and filmed by unknown individuals. Amid protests and complaints no positive action has been taken by the India Government so far, mentioned the FO spokesperson.
A tough stance against Pakistan will help in riling up Hindutva sentiments which often paint Pakistan as the “eternal other”. The continuous Intimidation of Pakistani diplomats is a message to Hindutva segments of Indian society that their champion the BJP and its master, the RSS is still true to its vow of destroying Pakistan.
Earlier the FO office issued a statement shedding light on the current situation in India, “For psychological intimidation, videos and photographs of the children were constantly made for 40 minutes, leaving the children extremely traumatized. They were followed all the way to their residence.”
Moreover, the drivers of the High Commission were forcibly taken into custody by unidentified men and they were not allowed to contact their office. According to the statement by FO the children of the diplomats were being threatened, “Their cars were stopped by unknown persons who threatened the children and filmed them.”
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“When a protest was lodged following this incident, instead of ameliorating the situation, it was followed by further harassment and stoppage of the provision of gas to the residential complex and further threatening of staff working at the High Commission,” said Pakistan’s FO.
The FO spokesperson further stated that no positive action has been taken by the Indian government as yet. “Despite repeated official protests lodged with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs at the highest level, there has been a rise in the occurrence of such disturbing events,” he mentioned.
The documents handed over by the US to India established communication between Hussain and ‘Shahjee’, a Pakistani national introduced to the accused allegedly by a Pakistani diplomat working with its mission in Sri Lanka.
The spokesperson further lamented that either the Indian government was not capable of protecting the diplomats or it was a part of the game. “The total apathy and failure of the Indian government to put a halt to these despicable incidents, sparing not even young children, indicates both a lack of capacity to protect foreign diplomats posted in India or a more reprehensible, complicit unwillingness to do so,” stated the FO spokesperson.
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Much of this anti Pakistan posturing has to do with internal domestic ramifications rather than legitimate concerns. An anti-Pakistan stance in the Indian elections always guarantees a win, as seen in various elections by the BJP. A tough stance against Pakistan will help in riling up Hindutva sentiments which often paint Pakistan as the “eternal other”. The continuous Intimidation of Pakistani diplomats is a message to Hindutva segments of Indian society that their champion the BJP and its master, the RSS is still true to its vow of destroying Pakistan.