Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) government has once again informed the world about India’s involvement in destabilizing Pakistan. Dr Moeed Yusuf, special assistant to the prime minister on national security division and strategic policy planning, in an interview with Indian media outlet The Wire, exposed India for carrying out state-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. While speaking with Karan Thapar, a prominent Indian journalist, Dr. Yusuf specifically pointed out the role of India’s intelligence agency in creating unrest in Pakistan.
I appeared on @thewire_in to talk about peace in the region. Exposed previously unrevealed information about regular Indian state sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan and laid out clear conditions for forward movement centered on the Kashmiri people. https://t.co/WzFuXydGzy
— Moeed W. Yusuf (@YusufMoeed) October 13, 2020
Political analysts are viewing Dr. Yusuf’s interview as “an important development in the right direction” for highlighting two points; Pakistan’s position on the Mumbai attacks and the Kulbhushan Yadav’s, Indian army officer nabbed in Pakistan.
Dr. Yusuf set the record straight?
Indian journalist asked Dr. Yusuf about the Mumbai attacks as if they were sponsored from Pakistan’s territory. Dr. Yusuf said that Islamabad had pursued the case but India refused to grant access to the crime scene or to send its witnesses.
Moeed Yusuf setting the record straight on cross border terrorism. pic.twitter.com/Vu5tRoObjv
— پاکستانی رینچ 👨🏾🔧 (@NaikRooh) October 13, 2020
“We have to follow the course of law and India is not cooperating in the evidence it needs to provide. Get the witnesses over, provide the evidence,” he said about cases concerning attacks in India.
“Any Pakistani [or] any Indian involved in any violence must face justice. Please play your part and we’ll get this done,” he added.
Yusuf also discussed the case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was convicted by a military court in 2017.
He told Thapar that the Pakistani government had granted India consular access to Jadhav as per the International Court of Justice’s verdict but that the Indian government was “dragging its feet” over the matter of appointing a legal representative.
He further said that Pakistan had complied with the ICJ verdict and lamented that court proceedings could not be started because India has yet to appoint a lawyer to get relevant documents. He told Thapar that the Pakistani government was waiting for India to accept Pakistan’s offer for a third consular access.
A rebuttal to Nawaz Sharif?
Dr. Yusuf’s comments seem to be a well-thought rebuttal to the former Prime Minister of Nawaz Sharif who had somehow confessed that those who carried out the Mumbai attacks belonged to Pakistan. Sharif made some ‘irresponsible’ and ‘controversial’ remarks on the Mumbai attacks. In an exclusive interview to daily Dawn’s Cyril Almeida that appeared on 12th May, Sharif blamed Pakistan for ‘allowing’ terrorists to kill 150 people in Mumbai. “Militant organizations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?” angry Nawaz asserted. The same interview has been used by the Indian legal counsel to blame Pakistan for its alleged involvement in sponsoring terrorism in India.
Moeed Yusuf putting Karan in an awkward position by stating the proof of RAW's involvement in terrorism within Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/FdK5wfX6zA
— پاکستانی رینچ 👨🏾🔧 (@NaikRooh) October 13, 2020
Sharif was alluding to the 2008 Mumbai attacks when more than 150 people were killed and more than 300 were wounded. Indian media and authorities immediately blamed Pakistan for the brutal attack. Lashkar-e-Taiba, a banned terrorist organization, was held responsible for a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai. Pakistan agreed to cooperate with India in order to reach logical conclusion of the case.
Nawz’s comments were used by the Indian lawyer at the international court of justice in Yadav’s case to establish that Pakistan sponsors terrorism in India.
The reaction of Indian Media
Within a few moments of the interview being published, Indian media was rampant with a campaign to spread what Nawaz had said. Much of it in the light of media sensationalizing.
“Pakistani terrorists carried out 26/11 Mumbai attacks, admits former PM Nawaz Sharif,” read the headline on Hindustan Times.
“Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has tacitly admitted in an interview that Pakistan played a role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks,” wrote The Times of India.
Times Now went a step further about “Nawaz Sharif’s sensational confession”, saying: “Now, Pakistan can’t rid off 26/11 stain”.
Khaleej Times wrote, “Militants from Pakistan attacked Mumbai, claims ex-PM Sharif”. These headings helped Indian media, establishment, and political elite to reaffirm their stance on the Mumbai attacks. Since India has, unlike Pakistan, many English TV channels and online publications to attract an international audience and sell their narrative, an interesting anti-Pakistan narrative just got strengthened across the world just in a while.
Mumbai attacks; Conspiracy Theories and Indian Narrative
There are a number of conspiracy theories and a well-furnished anti-Pakistan narrative to explain the causes behind the Mumbai attacks. Conspiracy theorists get attention when they focus on explaining events on the basis of their ‘utility’ and ‘outcomes’, not only on superficial levels. If Mumbai attacks and their causes and masterminds are to be understood and identified, there needs to be asked a fundamental question; who benefits?
In the wake of the Mumbai attacks, argues Elias Davidsson, India managed to get some advantages/outcomes it wished for. Pakistan, on the other hand, paid a heavy price and is still paying. “Mumbai terrorism benefitted Indian institutions (Defense budget hiked by 21% immediately) and helped India, US, UK, and Israel come together and strengthened right-wing Hindutva politics in India makes lots of historical sense,” wrote Dr. Moeed Pirzada while making references from Elias Davidsson’s book, The Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence.
Pakistan earned a bad name, was blamed by India, bashed by the international community and snubbed by the United States of America. As a matter of fact, why would Pakistan do something which damages her image and credibility? In the age of dominant media war and narratives, anything which does not conform to the norms set by global and regional hegemons is called a conspiracy theory. So is the explanation of Davidsson’s of Mumbai attacks these days.