Ahead of the Thimpu dialogue of SAARC foreign secretaries, Pakistan has raised the issue of Hindu terror involved in the Samjhauta Express train blast. The Indian side remained determined not to soften its own stand regarding Pakistan’s protection of jihadi terror outfits. How convenient! Now India and Pakistan have been put on the same page regarding terror. Therefore both governments can cooperate to fight terror on an equal footing. Is that what the scandalous charade about the purported Swami Aseemanand confession was all about? Was his confession a crude device to set the foundation for a joint fight against terror? If so, nothing more stupid, self-destructive and demeaning could have been attempted by the Indian government.
There is no doubt that Hindu terror outfits do exist. There is no doubt that India and Pakistan must cooperate to jointly fight terror. Both facts have been consistently repeated in these columns. But there is a straightforward and honest way of achieving cooperation between India and Pakistan. The Aseemanand affair has all the signs of crude subterfuge to achieve it. It reveals a conspiracy of silence involving the government, the opposition and the entire national media.
On October 1, 2010 it was pointed out that “Swami Aseemanand’s lawyer had alleged that his client had confessed to his role in the Samjhauta Express bomb blast under police duress”. On January 16, 2011 it was recalled: “On June 29, the 1267 committee of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which mandated sanctions on the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, froze assets, banned travel and imposed an arms embargo on Arif Qasmani, a Karachi businessman who it described as the ‘chief coordinator’ for Lashkar’s links with outside groups… In its press release the 1267 committee stated: ‘Qasmani has worked with LeT to facilitate terrorist attacks, to include the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, India, and the February 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing in Panipat, India…Arif Qasmani has also provided financial and other support to Al Qaeda…Al Qaeda provided Qasmani with operatives to support… the February 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing in Panipat, India’.”
The names of the four Lashkar operatives who carried out the Samjhauta attack were provided by the UNSC report. They were repeated in these columns. It was further stated in these columns: “If Aseemanand is correct, the UN was wrong. If the UN was correct, Aseemanand is wrong. Can such a glaring contradiction be ignored in any credible investigation? Surely the public deserves some explanation right away.” No explanation was provided by the authorities. The government is merrily proceeding with the probe on the basis of Aseemanand’s alleged confession. The UN findings have been totally ignored. Meanwhile Pakistan not surprisingly is taking full advantage of Aseemanand’s confession. Despite the glaring contradiction pointed out the government, the opposition parties and the national media responded only with a deafening silence. Can anyone explain the mystery why?