Pakistan at it again

The more Pakistan plays the ‘victim’ card, the less credible it appears.

Pakistan at it again

sanjiv@tribunemail.com

The more Pakistan plays the ‘victim’ card, the less credible it appears. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Sunday that India was devising a plan to attack Pakistan, probably between April 16 and 20, after staging a ‘mishap’ in Jammu and Kashmir. Citing ‘reliable’ intelligence, he stated that the purpose of the ‘misadventure’ would be to justify India’s offensive against Pakistan and increase diplomatic pressure on Islamabad. Crying wolf, the neighbour has already apprised five permanent members of the UN Security Council about the so-called conspiracy.

The preemptive move betrays Pakistan’s nervousness in the light of its abject failure to rein in terror outfits operating from its soil. India has rightly dismissed Pakistan’s statement as irresponsible and preposterous and seen through the ploy of absolving itself of responsibility in case there is a repeat of the Pulwama terror strike. With several terror assets in place across the border, Pakistan has every reason to be nervous about one of its modules trying its luck with or without explicit instructions from Rawalpindi. Even though the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) had promptly owned up the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy, Pakistan is suggesting that India orchestrated it all to justify the Balakot airstrike. This laughable theory will cut no ice with the international community, which is already distrustful of Pakistan’s claims and intentions. The Imran Khan government’s purported crackdown on banned militant outfits has proved to be an eyewash. In late February, India had handed over a dossier to Pakistan with details of the JeM’s complicity in the Pulwama attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in the neighbouring country. A month later, Pakistan announced that it had found no evidence to prosecute 50-odd persons who were detained in connection with the terror strike.

Thanks to the Balakot operation, India managed to call Pakistan’s nuclear bluff. The neighbour’s latest act of desperation won’t help it defend the indefensible. India should remain on guard and resist getting provoked into taking any rash step. Sooner than later, and not for the first time, Pakistan could end up with egg on its face.

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