It was in November 2008 when 10 terrorists from Lashkar-e-tayyeba (LeT), patronised by Pakistan Army, carried out a three-day long mayhem in Mumbai, killing about 175 persons, maiming over 300, bringing a nuclear war closer to grim reality.
It is no secret that it was a first state-sponsored terrorist attack in the recent history, alleged experts on Pakistan affairs. Terrorists had direct support of the army and its intelligence agency. They were trained, armed and aided all along by various state agencies. The attack was planned, coordinated and monitored by terrorist leaders like Sajid Mir who worked for the army. China this year foiled efforts to list Mir under 1267 UNSC sanctions committee.
It is shocking to many in the international community how Pakistan managed to wriggle out of such a compounding culpability in committing such a heinous crime against humanity and pretend to be a `victim of terror`.
Not a single person has been charged or punished by the Pakistan government for the attack and no army officer has been sanctioned internationally. There is no talk of the investigation which Pakistan had assured the world. The last time any politician, who took the courage to mention the complicity, was hounded out of Pakistan. He was twice Prime Minister and was called a `traitor`.
“In the aftermath of the current floods, there has been much discussion about Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change. The Pakistani ruling elite are painting Pakistan as a victim by claiming that Pakistan contributes less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and therefore deserves compensation from rich industrialized countries. What they deliberately don’t mention is their government’s gross mismanagement of water, utter unpreparedness to manage floods, and inadequate infrastructure,” according to Vinay Kaura (Assistant Professor in the Department of International Affairs and Security Studies, Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice, Rajasthan)
“Despite having experienced similar disasters in 2007, 2010, and 2012, the government was just not prepared to deal with it. Poor governance and rampant corruption and non-existent nature of basic health facilities are equally responsible for the high number of deaths from floods. Pakistan cannot tackle natural disasters because the scarce resources are eaten away in useless defence preparedness against India. And since the world is currently focused on climate change, Pakistan sees a great opportunity in brushing aside terror charges by diverting attention from it’s terror infrastructure to man-made natural disasters,” Kaura noted.
From a terrorist sponsoring state, Pakistan first became a `victim of terror` and now is basking in the limelight for being the `victim of climate change`. There is no debate about the Mumbai attack or the LeT. With the FATF removing Pakistan from its grey list, all actions against terrorists have ceased forthwith.
LeT, and its various branches continue to exist under different names and forms. There have been some actions against some of the leaders, and that was due only to the threat of FATF, according to the experts.
China has continuously opposed all actions against Mumbai attackers. The US has made some perfunctory sounds but did not make any effort to lean on the Pakistan Army but rather made complicit to the US plan in Afghanistan.
There is no talk of the military culpability in the terrorist attack and the cover up thereafter. It was simply ludicrous to believe that at least more than two groups of terrorists could set sail on rubbery dinghy boats using a larger mother ship from Karachi towards Mumbai without alerting the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, Pakistan Navy and other intelligence and security agencies bordering the coast. Such sophisticated training could only have taken place in military institutions and by military instructors, according to the experts.
The Pakistan Army has effectively buried its clear complicity in the Mumbai attack and neither has the so-called `courageous` media nor any human rights group in Pakistan had the audacity to challenge this notion. There is a 14-year long complete denial of Pakistan’s hand in the most devastating terrorist attack in South Asia in November 2008 and Pakistan remains as much a terrorist sponsoring state.
Pakistan exploited its vice-chairmanship at the COP27. While the demand for loss and damage fund was made by all developing countries including India, Pakistan, which projected heavy damage due to recent floods amounting to $30 bn according to its chief negotiator Nabeel Munir, is trying to take the credit for the decision.
“Munir stated that Pakistan resolved to push for it after seeing the victims of floods. It is projecting that one third of its population was adversely affected by the floods with 8 million were displaced and that its 80% crop was destroyed. Its debts have substantially increased. Pakistan owes $1 bn in debt obligation payment. It is now saying that the IMF’s restriction on govt spending is not allowing to meet the challenges of the flood and is expecting relief on this under the scheme of ‘debt for climate swap’. Most of the problems of Pakistan’s debt arising from its mismanagement and its support to BRI of China. The damage from the floods mainly due to its inability to manage. It is going to press for a larger share from loss and damage fund and debt relief. It has already obtained funds from China and Saudi Arabia and China has assured that it would not allow Pakistan to fail. India needs to ensure that Pakistan does not get out of proportion amount form this fund,” former Deputy NSA Dr SD Pradhan told ET.