Many people of this country are intrigued about Pakistan’s consistent denial of the surgical strikes done by the Indian armed forces across the LoC in various sectors of the J&K. However, those who have followed Pakistani history, right from the day of its creation, weren’t surprised to come across such denial from a country which treats terrorism as one of the tools of statecraft.
My memories of the falsehood propagated by Pakistan go back to the year 1965 and I am sure that they will not end with the denial of the recent surgical strikes; the existence of that country traces its roots to two nation theory- proven conclusively wrong with the creation of Bangladesh – therefore, in future also one should expect plethora of lies only coming from Pakistan, as far as its relations with India are concerned.
I was not even five-year-old when war broke out between India and Pakistan on 4th September 1965. Born in the border town of Amritsar, patriotic fervour prevailing in lanes and by-lanes, was palpable for us children; we were entrusted with the duty of enforcing blackouts in the neighbourhood in the anticipation of air raids by the Pakistani aircraft. My grandfather would remain clung to his Murphy radio to listen to the news broadcasts of All India Radio and Pakistani news broadcasted from Lahore.
In the middle of the war, Lahore radio started broadcasting news that the “gallant” Pakistani troops have reached Amritsar and have plucked out the clock, as a souvenir, from the Hall gate clock tower. Our house in Amritsar was not even one kilometre away from the said Hall gate and my grandfather and his brothers owned three shops in the bazar which connected Hall gate to Golden temple. For obvious reasons, my grandfather wanted to know the actual situation but because of curfew couldn’t verify the facts. We children always could sneak through the by-lanes and managed to reach Hall gate; I remember the older lot among us bursting into Bhangra on seeing clock of the Hall gate intact and no sign of any enemy troop movement in the vicinity.
One Punjab Police constable was standing on duty near Hall gate, admonished us and told us to immediately go back to our homes. We told him about the news of ransacking of Clock tower being broadcasted on Lahore radio. I still remember the choicest Punjabi adjectives that constable reeled out for the Pakistanis and told us that on the contrary, our army has already reached outskirts of Lahore. Later, during the ceasefire period and before Tashkent accord when the territories won by us were returned to Pakistan, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then leader of Jan Sangh, came to Amritsar and accompanied some RSS workers- my father being one of them- to Bata Nagar, in outskirts of Lahore city and brought back a signboard of a petrol pump from there as a souvenir. That was my first encounter with the Goebbelsian Pakistan.
In the context of 1965 war, one fails to understand that despite the loss of a larger amount of territory, tanks, and other military hardware and suffering much bigger number of casualties than India – a fact well documented by the neutral international observers – why Pakistan claims to have won the said war? When our army had reached two of the most prominent towns, Lahore and Sialkot of that country during the war, it is nothing but a delusionary syndrome for Pakistan to treat its ignominious defeat as a victory. One cannot help laughing at the spectre of Pakistanis celebrating 8th September as a victory day and parading its so-called borrowed military might on the streets of Islamabad.
My second memory about Pakistani lies is pertaining to an eyewitness account narrated to me by one of the employees of my father in Srinagar, Kashmir. Shaukat Hussain used to tell us-in the decade of the seventies- that it was a complete lie that only Kabailis attacked Jammu and Kashmir in October 1947. He hailed from the Baramulla town and had vivid memories of the Pakistani raiders converging on the town and indulging in loot, plunder, and raping of women. He told that while the Kabailis (mostly Afridi tribe) were conversing in Pashto, their commanders and controllers were speaking in Punjabi. That proves that the command and control of the raiders were in the hands of regular Pakistani army men during the first attempt by Pakistan to snatch Kashmir away from India. However, Pakistan never admitted that its state engineered the raids to snatch the state of J&K away from this country.
Many a time, Pakistani lie making and spreading machinery not only targets India in particular and the rest of the world in general, it remains more targeted on its domestic audience also. When General Musharraf sent the soldiers of Northern Light Infantry disguised as Mujahidin to capture posts vacated by the Indian army (it used to be practice of the army to vacate some very high altitude posts during winter and reoccupy the same during months of summer) in Kargil, he and the entire Pakistani state remained in complete denial of the involvement of the regular Pakistani army in the process of incursions. Indian establishment had to bring in the public domain the conversation-intercepted by the intelligence agencies- between Gen Musharraf and his subordinate Lt. Gen Aziz to prove that those who had illegally occupied the Kargil posts were not Mujahidin but regular soldiers of the Pak army.
Pakistani state betrayed its own people when it declined to accept the dead bodies of its soldiers during the Kargil war on the pretext that they were not Pakistanis; that was the biggest dishonour any nation had ever done to its soldiers. Many observers opine that since the units had been drawn from Northern Light Infantry which is a Shia dominated regiment of that country, Pakistani army and civilian dispensation didn’t care to give decent burial with army honours to their dead of the war.
Later, one of the sanest voices of the Pakistani armed forces, Air Marshal (Retd) Asghar Khan, in an interview, stated that all four wars which took place between India and Pakistan were started by Pakistan. Nothing more, from an insider’s view, can expose the propaganda factory of the state of Pakistan. When the nefarious actions of the Pakistani state become naked in front of the world community, it starts blaming its non-state actors. In this context, Nawaz Sharif, who currently is PM of Pakistan and during the Kargil war too, he was at the helm of affairs of the democratically elected government, stated that he was completely unaware of Pakistani army’s occupation of Indian-held posts. He squarely blames General Musharraf for that clandestine operation. The conclusion can be made that for a democratically elected civilian government even the army of that country can be a non-state actor. No surprise then that for the majority of the nations, it is becoming difficult to figure out with whom in Pakistan, they should engage in diplomatic terms.
Despite glaring and incontrovertible proofs available of the Pakistani involvement in Mumbai attacks of the year 2008, that recalcitrant country is still not ready to concede that the terrorist attacks were masterminded by its infamous ISI and were executed by its deep Jihadist state of Lashkar-e-Taya ba. Though a complete dossier of evidence has been periodically given to Pakistan by the Indian authorities, one irrefutable proof which emerged in the public domain was the voice transcript of the conversation which took place between the terrorists and their handlers sitting in Pakistan. Terrorists, who had intruded in Taj and Trident hotels, were taking instructions from their masters from across the border; many of them were speaking in Saraiki language on the satellite phones which they were carrying with them. It is well-established fact that Saraiki, which is a dialect of Punjabi, is spoken in southern Punjab (Pakistani Punjab) in the areas of Multan, Jhang, and Dera Gazi Khan. The truth is that the terrorists were hailing from that area of Pakistan, cut no ice with the Pakistani establishment and till today, unabashedly, it is not ready to accept the reality.
Today, if Pakistan is not accepting that Indian forces did surgical strikes across the LOC in Jammu & Kashmir, there are two reasons for it. Firstly, its inability to strike back weakens its bluff of nuclear blackmail; secondly, if it accepts that more than five terrorist launch pads had been destroyed by the Indian para commandos and no retaliation has taken place from its side then the credibility, of its Jihadi tanzeems-ISI- Army nexus, suffers a lot.
Even if all the adjectives like congenital, pathological, habitual and compulsive liar are used for the state of Pakistan, nothing on this earth can define the behaviour and conduct of that country with other sovereign states. But, one thing can be said with certainty; as former Commander in Chief of Pakistani Air Force, Air Marshal (Retd) Asghar Khan removed shroud from the plethora of lies spoken by the Pakistani state, tomorrow somebody from the land of Pakistan only will rise and reveal the truth about surgical strikes done by India on the terrorist launch pads.
By Rajan Khanna