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Media’s Response to Pak Envoy!
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
During a press interview to a foreign journalist President Pranab Mukherjee said that even if cross border terrorism was perpetrated by non-state actors as Islamabad claimed, the Pakistan government could not evade responsibility. The territory was under the jurisdiction of the government, the President pointed out. “Non-state actors do not descend from heaven,” he said. This view was echoed by Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Mr. Manish Tewari who told media that the crossing over by terrorists and non-state actors suggested either complicity or negligence by the Pakistan government. “Obviously these terrorists or non-state actors are not coming out of a vacuum,” he said.
The Pakistan High Commissioner to India Mr. Salman Bashir gave a veiled rejoinder to these remarks. But he focused his criticism mainly against the media. He accused the media of focusing exclusively on “so-called” incursions and infiltrations from across the border. He said: “Whoever is making the argument that they have not descended from heaven, I want to ask who are these thousands of people who are involved in heinous acts of terrorism in Pakistan. Have they descended from heaven? We agree they have not descended from heaven, from where are they being funded and sourced?”
Mr. Bashir cannot blame the Indian media of responding to continued incursions from across the border which for diplomatic compulsions he described as “so-called”. But he was right to point out the failure of the Indian government as well as the media to adequately differentiate between the government and non-state actors in Pakistan. Mr. Bashir has rightly asserted that “thousands of terrorists” are operating against Pakistan who obviously did not descend from heaven. By implication this is tacit admission of failure of the Pakistan government. It is a fact that there are substantially more victims of terrorism in Pakistan than in India including in the state of J&K. Then Mr. Bashir went on to question the source of funding and training of these terrorists. His central plea was for the enhancement of cooperation between Islamabad and New Delhi. He said: “We have evidence which we have shared and are prepared to share with the rest of the world and particularly with the government of India on fuelling of acts of terrorism in Pakistan.”
Mr. Bashir you seek closer cooperation between India and Pakistan, you admit that there are thousands of terrorists operating inside Pakistan. You indicate that they are funded and directed from abroad. You tacitly imply though you do not state that they cannot operate without help from a section of the official machinery. I agree with your overall analysis. My question is: Will the Pakistan government accept an offer of joint intelligence and joint operations against terror to wipe out these non-state actors from both our countries?
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