Spearhead Analysis – 20.01.2016
2015 ended on what everyone thought was a positive note — Prime Minister Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan and the decision to start a Comprehensive Dialogue between India and Pakistan. 2016 started with the January 1st attack by militants on India’s Pathankot Air Base in Jammu, Kashmir. India after an investigation pointed the finger at Pakistan and named a banned organization as the perpetrator of the attack. Pakistan’s Prime Minister promised action if the leads provided by India proved to be correct and soon made good on his promise by arresting the leaders of the banned organization and sealing its premises. There were those in India who pointed out the security and response lapses and possible inside collaboration that had made the attack possible but Pakistan continued to cooperate.
While many had predicted that the decision to start a dialogue would provoke a reaction from those who did not want such a process to begin, much less succeed, because it would change the environment of conflict that suited them. The pleasant surprise was that both governments acted maturely and responsibly by agreeing to cooperate in the investigation of the Pathankot attack and also agreeing to continue with the dialogue though it was rescheduled to a date to be decided mutually. This was a first in the media fuelled explosive relationship between the two countries.
Then came the statement from India’s Defence Minister Mr Parikar. He stated clearly and unambiguously that Pakistani investigators would never be allowed access to the Pathankot attack site and more ominously that Pakistan would learn in the next year what India could do to it. One assumes that the minister had access to highest level decisions and simply could not help boasting because of his strong links with radical extremist Hindu militant organizations that also support Mr Modis government and not only oppose any link with Pakistan but actively advocate the dismantling and absorption of Pakistan into a ‘greater India’ (Akhand Bharat).
Probably spurred on by Mr Parikars boast Hindu extremists attacked and vandalized the offices of Pakistan International Airlines in New Delhi a step beyond the treatment meted out to visiting Pakistani performers, cricket officials and a former foreign minister who was there for a book launch. Now Pakistanis are reviewing the events in Pakistan over the last few days.
“For the people of Pakistan, this new year was full of blood, gore and tears. Come January and four attacks took place, the bloodiest of all will perhaps be the siege of the Bacha Khan University.
January 13, 2016: Suicide Attack on Pakistan Polio Vaccination Center Kills 15
A suicide attack on a polio vaccination center in southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday killed 15 people, mainly policemen gathered to escort health workers. It was the latest attack on the vaccination campaign and health workers have been repeatedly targeted in recent years by Islamic militants.
The bombing on the outskirts of the city Quetta killed 13 policemen, a soldier and a civilian. He said 23 people were wounded.
January 18, 2016: Six FC personnel killed in Quetta blast
At least six Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel were killed and one personnel injured in an explosion near Margit Checkpost in Quetta.
According to security sources, the roadside bomb targeted vehicle of the security personnel in Margit area, around 30 kilometres (around 19 miles) east of the provincial capital Quetta, killing five FC men on the spot. Another security personnel succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
January 19, 2016: 11 killed, 31 injured in Jamrud check post blast
At least eleven people were killed and 31 others injured as a suicide bomber blew himself up near a check post in Karkhano Market, adjacent to Jamrud in Khyber Agency on Tuesday.
Aaj TV journalist Mehboob Shah Afridi was also killed in the blast.
January 20, 2016: The Bacha Khan University, Charsadda Attack
A group of militants stormed a university in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, police said, with firing inside the campus still going on and two explosions heard.”
Pakistan’s former Interior Minister has pointed the finger at India’s RAW — the intelligence agency involved in the destabilization of Pakistan according to the dossiers given to the UN by Pakistan. India’s National Security Adviser is an old intelligence man. No doubt there will be investigations and analyses but given Mr Parikar’s boast Indian involvement cannot be ruled out no matter who claims responsibility for these attacks and those that might follow in the year long period indicated by Mr Parikar.
(Spearhead Analyses are collaborative efforts and not attributable to a single individual).