India And Pakistan - Hide and Seek

January 13, 2009
Suresh Naig

After the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, India claims to have furnished enough evidence to Pakistan, about the perpetrators originating from Pakistan, corroborated by US intelligence. Yet the Pakistan Government continues to be obstinate in denying Pakistani involvement, in the worst ever terror attacks of recent past.

Confused by the cacophony of different voices emanating from official, semi-official, demi-official, dummy-official, and non-official sources, an Indian journalist assumed the onerous responsibility to unearth the facts for the benefit of Indian public. Over the years, the journalist in India gathered enough confidence on fact finding missions, since it used to be an easy task; it takes only one visit to the location of an encounter accompanied by some select politicians, and with ease a journalist could declare it to be a fake encounter. However fake the pronouncement might be, there always existed persons from different political parties, ready to sanctify the verdict. Having gathered confidence than facts, the journalist embarked on a tour to Pakistan.

Only on reaching Pakistan, the journalist could realise the hardships involved in fact-finding in the alien land. She was warned about the consequences involved in snooping around in unwanted territories, especially Faridkot and she was reminded about the fate of Daniel Pearl. Having realised the perils involved in fact-finding, she had restricted her activities to only interviewing select diplomats.

The interview was full of surprises and revelations right from the beginning. She had learnt from her younger days, about the intriguing and queer ways a diplomat would respond. She recalled her senior's lecture about diplomats, "When a diplomat says he will, he means he shall try, when he says he will try, he means no and when he says no he is not a diplomat". Equipped with that knowledge, the very first answer from the Pakistani diplomat confused her and her confusion lingered for many more days after the interview. She had sought the help of a local camera person to record her interview with the diplomat and the interview went on for over an hour.

IJ (Indian Journalist): There are talks in India that the terrorists involved in 26/11 Mumbai attacks were from Pakistan. What is your comment on their perception?

PD (Pakistani Diplomat): No they are not from Pakistan and at best they can be termed as Non-State actors.

For a moment the journalist got confused whether he was a diplomat or intelligence person, since she never expected a firm NO from a diplomat. The interview continued.

IJ: Indian Government claims to have furnished all the evidences pertaining to the identity of the persons killed and also a person caught.

PD: No. They have not given any credible evidence. What they have furnished is a bunch of suspicion and we cannot act on suspicions.

IJ: But sir, the terrorist caught by the Indian police, claims he is from Pakistani.

PD: We checked our records, but his name does not exist in our registry. Had his name existed in our records, we would not have spared them.

Indian journalist was confused, as to who is being referred to as them. The terrorists or the officials in-charge of the registry?

IJ: There is news in Indian media, that a person from Faridkot in Pakistan, claims that the terrorist caught in Mumbai is his son.

PD: You are a journalist. Tell me honestly, How much of the news do you trust?

Now the journalist felt the person she was interviewing is a hard core diplomat. Whichever way she answers him, she would be caught. She had ignored the question and proceeded further.

IJ: Even assuming it only as a doubt, don't you think sir, that you should pursue it relentlessly to fight the war on terror?

PD: You are right. But your Government is not allowing us to do so. We wanted to pursue it, so that we can prove that it was a conspiracy, wherein selected police officers were killed, who were pursuing the Malegaon blasts.

Now the Indian Journalist was once again in a fix.

IJ: Are you not raising a doubt, while brushing aside the evidence submitted as a doubt?

PD: No. Not at all. Are you trying to sweep under the carpet what is being said in your Parliament, by one of your ministers?

IJ: But Sir, he had retracted his statement later.

PD: That's the precise point. He had made the statement in the Parliament and retracted it out side. We infer a whole lot, not only from what is said, but also from where it is said.

IJ: I learnt that USA had furnished enough evidence to you about the handlers of the terrorists, giving instructions from your soil.

PD: We are going through the materials submitted by them. If found true, we will try them on our soil.

Indian journalist was once again confused, as to what the diplomat's "try" means. As a last ditch effort, she posed a question pretending to take him into confidence.

IJ: Sir tell me honestly. Where do you think the terrorists are from, who attacked Mumbai?

PD: I have a strong doubt that these men were from the Moon.

The journalist was shocked, yet continued interviewing him calmly.

IJ: What makes you think so Sir?

PD: A terrorist, who is well trained and motivated, from our experience, can never be caught alive. When a terrorist wielding AK47 is caught alive, he could only be a lunatic. The old English expression for a lunatic is "Man in the Moon", and that's why I say he must have been from the Moon.

With that statement, the Pakistani camera person felt "enough is enough" and switched off the camera.

A science graduate from Madurai University.(1975) A compulsive writer as there is no dearth of compulsion from the system, society or our beloved politicians. A tough minded optimist, who would enjoy the scenic beauty from suicide point. Maveric in words, thoughts and deeds. He lives in Bangalore
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January 13, 2009
02:10 PM

Haha..this reminds me of:

The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path
The lunatics had landed in Mumbai...

January 14, 2009
09:32 AM

Must be a true interview. Our friends across the border are perfectly capable of saying things like this. Who can forget the 1999 Kargil war when from Mujahideen they became the regular pakistani army

January 15, 2009
07:54 PM

Let's take a look at 3 different articles, which tell us some interesting things:

Stratfor podcast says that Mumbai terrorist controllers ordered Chinese women to be shot:

January 15, 2009
08:03 PM

Longwar Journal says that Hamid Gul was one of the controllers directing the Mumbai terrorists over the phone, which is why India and the US sought to have the UN put Gul under international terror sanctions:

January 15, 2009
08:06 PM

Christian Science Monitor says that China saved Hamid Gul from UN terror sanctions, by using its position on the Security Council:

The order of these linked articles is from most recent to oldest. It may be that China did not know of Gul's complicity in the murder of Chinese hostages when they protected him from UN sanctions. I wonder if the Chinese might have a change of heart, when they learn the truth.

January 15, 2009
08:31 PM

But let's first hear a word from the former ISI Chief himself, General Hamid Gul:

Gee, I don't think there's any way to top that, do you?

January 15, 2009
08:57 PM

Pakistan is getting F-16 from USA as a reward for a job well done. What would be Pakistan army without helping hands? We can count on USA to bail out Pakistan every time Pakistan is backed up in a corner.

January 16, 2009
05:50 AM

Sanjay: Thanks for the links. esp the youtube, where the former ISI chief was talking. I would say it was audaucious. He was making preposterous accusations against everyone other than the militants in Pakistan and Afganistan for the terror attacks in India and USA.

I felt we were giving enough fodder for these people to give excuses and escape.

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