Pak Blames Israel for Indo-Pak Tension
| Virendra Kumar Gaur, Former IG, BSF - 05 Mar 2019


Pak Blames Israel for Indo-Pak Tension


By VK Gaur

New Delhi, March 05, 2019: Pakistan press continues to claim glory for Pak and accuse India to be solely responsible to push the sub- continent to the brink of Nuclear - war. Pak press is talking about banning the terror outfits banned by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) but not ready to admit that Pakistan is a factory of terrorists and an exporter of terror.

A paper says “Dar’s videotape prior to the suicide attack (PULWAMA) showed his affiliation to Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). But it has not been proved that Dar was acting under orders of the Pakistani militant group of this name, headed by Maulana Masood Azhar, which was outlawed in 2002.”

Papers have expressed profuse praise for Pakistan PM Imran Khan for Returning Indian Pilot and restoring peace. (Imran was recommended for Noble Peace prize by Pak Parliament. 

Of late the Pak press has implicated Israel also for the current tension.



The DAWN daily writes - 


India with the backing of Israel and at the peak of its standoff with Pakistan had last week planned a “dangerous attack” to be executed from its Rajasthan airbase, a highly placed government source revealed on Monday.

Timely intelligence and backdoor messaging made it clear to India that a befitting response would be given if it were to go ahead with the planned attack, one which would possibly take the countries to a “point of no return”.

And as the nuclear armed neighbours wound up a tough week in what was possibly the most near-war situation the two have been in since decades, no one is quite sure of what to expect next.

However, the top civilian source observed that the next possible escalation by India would not be in terms of ground, air or missiles — but more likely in the form of a hybrid conflict in the nature of militant attacks, economic measures etc.

In fact, what India termed, and thus legitimised as “pre-emptive non-military strike” last Tuesday, was a first of its kind violation of international border and Pakistan’s airspace since 1971.

A top government source says that New Delhi planned strike from Rajasthan airbase and stepped back only after warnings

It was followed by Pakistan taking down two Indian aircraft in a dogfight, leaving one Indian pilot dead and another captured — who was later released as a unilateral gesture of peace.

Since then, Pakistan and India have continued to exchange gunfireacross the Line of Control (LoC), only having eased in the last 24 hours.

When inquired by this correspondent if this can be seen as a sign of de-escalation, the chief military spokesman said, “There is a relative reduction in CFVs as compared to heavy exchange of fire during the week”.

“However, based on this apparent ‘strategic restraint’ during the last 24 hours, we cannot lower our state of vigilance and readiness. We have to stay prepared against any misadventure,” explained Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, director general of Inter-Services Public Relations.

In the other sitting with the top government source, there was considerable pride in Pakistan having thus far shown inordinate maturity and a genuine desire for peace and having dominated all spheres of the standoff in this precarious situation initiated by India in what the source saw as [Narendra] Modi’s war politics.

This highly placed government source recognised the “Modi dilemma” as one where the Indian prime minister continues to beat war drums leading up to elections this May, thus the Catch-22 situation the Indian PM has put himself in means “we are not out of the woods just yet”.

The source briefed a handful of journalists on the “dangerous attack” India had planned with the backing of Israel from its airbase in Rajasthan, located about a 100km from the international border with Pakistan. Timely intelligence and backdoor messaging made it clear to India that a befitting response would be given if it were to go ahead with this plan, one which would possibly take the two states to a “point of no return”.

The source credited Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, ISI, as “one of the best in the world” and feared the next possible escalation by India would not be in terms of ground, air or missiles, but more likely in the form of a hybrid conflict in the nature of militant attacks, economic measures, etc, against Pakistan.

The same was reiterated a day earlier by military sources this correspondent spoke to.

The Pulwama trigger coupled with diplomatic plus political coercion had India embark on what is now being referred to in military quarters as the “New Normal”. India by this new approach assumed punitive deterrence would be accepted by Pakistan.

In what is largely seen as a dangerous precedent set by India — with far-reaching and worrisome consequences — New Delhi also ironically is not in a position to take one more blow, with both elections overhead and Pakistan continuously preaching and exhibiting the first two stages of the three dimensions of war, deterrence and avoidance.

This double-edged sword dangles overhead, as the ball remains in India’s court, and the world’s eyes upon it. Civilian and military leadership of Pakistan regret what they see as India having taken the course to a broad spectrum dominance of Pakistan with acquiescence of international allies.

Standing at a critical juncture in our history and making significant economic headway, the topmost government source recognised that proscribed organisations were only adding to Pakistan’s problems. Statements in the past against such outfits were made under pressure and lacked political will.

Also present on the occasion, Finance Minister Asad Umar revealed that on ground work against proscribed organisations had started before the Feb 14 Pulwama attack in India-held Kashmir. In the second last meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) the decision to speed up the progress against these organisations had already been taken and his ministry had decided to set finances aside for these elements to be successfully rehabilitated post deweaponisation.

A day earlier, the ISPR director general told this scribe, Pakistan had decided as far back as 2014 to put an end to such organisations as they “don’t have currency today and are transforming a just Kashmir cause into terrorism”.

At the NSC meeting it was unanimously decided between the civilian and military leadership that not responding was out of the question. An unemotional, rational decision albeit in the domain of irrational (read nukes) had to be taken, and the country’s leadership was on the same page.

Pakistan had already offered “investigation sans any qualifier” with regards to the Pulwama attack and shown willingness to discuss terrorism; signs of unprecedented maturity and willingness for conflict resolution on behalf of Pakistan. The government source on Monday felt that India’s intention lay exposed in its handing over of the Pulwama dossier two days after having attacked Pakistan. The dossier apparently “lacks actionable evidence” but is under review by both the Foreign Office and ISI.

Stone cold warnings

In the midst of serious diplomatic manoeuvrings under way, the spokesperson for the military was very clear about two things. Firstly, if India chooses to escalate from here, it will not be about India Pakistan anymore, it will be about the region. Secondly, India shall not be afforded any facesaving at the cost of Pakistan’s integrity and sovereignty.

The lowest of the escalation ladder being no war and the ultimate, nuclear; India has right now, what every country enjoys at each step of the escalation ladder, an exit, if it so chooses (wisely at that) to let things be from here on. Unfortunately, that might not be the case as felt by the ISPR director general, “India emotionally is not prepared to take this exit point”. All weekend, India has been in pursuit of “pumping, luring, provoking” Pakistan out of the “performance, capacity and moral ascendancy” it continues to display. India seemingly has returned “back to the drawing board” to ascertain what kind of response to save face with. However, what remains critical are exit points, knowing when to back off, as any further adventurism by India shall be “too dangerous and critical”.

With regards to his question “you know what National Command Authority means” last Wednesday, the ISPR director general was unambiguous in clarifying “whereby Pakistan will always choose peace over war, dialogue over hostility, be very clear, we shall never compromise on defence of our beloved motherland” so for the time being Pakistan’s “alertness is on high”.



Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, has said ongoing troubles with India in Kashmir will compel Pakistan to focus on its eastern frontier rather than the western front that could affect the peace process in Afghanistan, the Radio Pakistan reports on Tuesday.

In an interview with a US TV channel, she said both Afghanistan and Kashmir issues are important in their own right but it is our eastern border that we perceive a threat as India has already attacked Pakistan.

“The current crisis between Pakistan and India will obviously mean that Pakistan will have to put its full focus on its eastern border and it could affect what it is trying to do on the front with Afghanistan,” Maleeha Lodhi said.

“In other words, our full focus is going to be on the eastern frontier rather than the western front and that could affect the peace process. Our attention is going to be where we feel there is a military threat to us,” Maleeha said.

Responding to a question about the possible impact of the simmering India-Pakistan tensions stemming from the Kashmir dispute, the Pakistani envoy said, “The ongoing threat is from India.”

The Afghan peace talks are currently taking place in Doha between Zalmay Khalilzad, the American special envoy and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy leader, who for the first time is taking a more direct role in the process.

“Both [Afghanistan] and [Kashmir] issues are important in their own right. But it is the eastern border, from where India attacked Pakistan,” ambassador Lodhi said.

She continued that Afghanistan is a different situation. We would like that war to end. But we don’t perceive a threat from our western border. It’s our eastern border from where we continue to perceive a threat.

She said that the Indian leadership is failing to respond to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s repeated gestures of peace, which included the release of Indian pilot.

She said that Pakistan keep asking the Indians to provide us with what they have and we will act on it, adding that only a couple of days ago, the dossier was handed over to Pakistan.

Maleeha said that “We are examining the dossier to see if there is anything in there which we need to act upon. We will act if there is any solid evidence, but we cannot act on the basis of allegations.

Pertaining to a question on Kashmir issue, the Pakistani envoy said that the issue has to be addressed, in its own right and on its own merits because Kashmir will remain an issue that will lead to repeated tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbouring countries.

“In any case, it is an issue that is on the Security Council agenda and it has resolutions that remain unimplemented,” the ambassador added.



While Pakistan and India collectively represent 88 percent of South Asia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), trade between the two countries is only valued at a little over $2 billion which could be as high as $37 billion, said a new World Bank report.

Regional trade can create many more jobs and make the country prosperous if trade barriers with South Asia especially between India and Pakistan are removed.

Pakistan’s trade with South Asia accounts for only 8 percent of its global trade, despite the region being the world’s fastest growing.

However, intra-regional trade in South Asia is among the lowest at about 5 percent of total trade, compared with 50 percent in East Asia and the Pacific.

Addressing a selected group of journalists here at the WB office, World Bank lead economists, and main author of the report, Sanjay Kathuria said “by reducing man-made trade barriers, trade within South Asia can grow roughly three times, from $23 billion to $67 billion”.


Setting a new record, US dollar has hit Rs.134 against Pakistani rupee in the interbank market on Tuesday, a day after the government announced that it was going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.

According to local media reports, the US dollar gained Rs9.75 against Pakistani rupee. On Monday, the US dollar was being offered at the rate of Rs124.25 in the interbank market.

However, with a sharp Rs 9.55 rise within a few hours, the rupee devalued considerably against the dollar.

With the devaluation of rupee, the external debt on Pakistan swelled by a staggering Rs 900 billion.

Analysts are attributing Pakistani rupee’s persistent weakness to balance of payment crisis and falling foreign exchange reserves.

Some say that the currency is intentionally being weakened in line with the conditions imposed by the IMF for an economic bailout.


Pakistan has laid bare a joint plan by India and Israel to target its nuclear facilities ostensibly on the pretext of anti-terror war in the wake of Pulwama attack.

As tension between Pakistan and India lingers on, official reports by the government of Pakistan confirm that India and Israel were ready for a joint attack against Pakistan, however, the threat of retaliation and active vigilance staved off the strike a few days ago.

Multiple journalists in Pakistan, while quoting official sources and meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan have revealed that the joint plan was thwarted due to the contact between the spy agencies of the South-Asian countries and threat of retaliation by the armed forces of Pakistan.

“High-level sources have informed us that there was a plan to attack 7-8 places in Pakistan from a base in Rajasthan, India. Pakistan had learnt that Israel was helping India in this plan and this was a joint plan of these countries,” Veteran journalist Hamid Mir revealed on Monday.

The seasoned journalist continued that after getting information about this attack, Pakistan’s security agencies warned their counterparts in India that Islamabad was ready and the retaliation, in that case, would be thrice as much.

Official sources also revealed that India was planning a second attack with missiles, however, Pakistan had sent a message to India indirectly that if there was an attack there would be a strong response.

There was also contact on the night of February 27-28, Mir said and added that initially Saudi Arabia, Turkey and US were involved to defuse the tension, however, over the last two days, British Prime Minister Theresa May played a crucial role for detente.

Nasim Zehra, the author of ‘From Kargil to the Coup’, also dished in on the matter with more details that on Thursday, Pakistan’s spy agency anticipated Indo-Israel attack in Karachi and Bahawalpur for which New Delhi had deployed Brahmos missiles as well.




The federal government on Monday announced the freezing of accounts and seizure of assets linked to organisations banned by the UN Security Council (UNSC).

The Foreign Office in a statement said that the government had issued the United Nations Security Council (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019 in accordance with the provisions of Pakistan’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Act, 1948.

Interpreting the order, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said it means that the government has taken over the control of all proscribed outfits operating in the country.

“[From now onwards], all kinds of assets and properties of all [banned] organisations will be in the government’s control,” the spokesperson told a private TV channel. JuD, FIF charities banned as govt seeks to rout extremism

He added that the government will now also seize the charity wings and ambulances of such banned outfits.

“The objective of the [order] is to streamline the procedure for implementation of Security Council Sanctions against designated individuals and entities,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

It may be recalled that the Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter authorises the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), acting under Article 41, to decide measures, not involving the use of armed force, to give effect to its decisions for the maintenance of international peace and security.

“Over the years the sanctions regime of the United Nations Security Council have evolved. A key measure of these sanctions regimes is “assets freeze” under which States are required to freeze/seize the assets of designated entities and individuals as soon as they are designated by the relevant UNSC Sanctions Committee,” the Foreign Office said.

In Pakistan, such decisions of the Security Council are implemented through the United Nations Security Council Act (UNSC), 1948.

FATF urges Pakistan to reassess militant outfits’ ranking

Also on Monday, a high-level meeting was held at the interior ministry to discuss the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP). Representatives of all provincial governments were in attendance.

During the huddle, the interior ministry directed all provincial governments to “speed up” action against banned organisations, a spokesperson for the ministry said.

The developments come a day after reports emerged of a decisive crackdown to be imminently launched by the government against extremist and militant organisations in the country.


Returning from the brink -Shahid M Amin

There are signs that the current crisis in Pakistan-India relations is deescalating. Certainly, this is what the whole world wants. Pakistan and India are nuclear powers possessing missiles that can reach all parts of either country. It would be nothing short of madness to start a war between them. Unfortunately, this stark reality is not understood by many circles in both countries. But to be fair, in the current tension, blame has to be placed mainly on the Indian leadership, particularly its news media, for the war talk. Most observers agree that Indian Prime Minister Modi’s obsession to win the forthcoming general election has been a key reason for whipping up the war fever. He found a handy excuse to do so when a Kashmiri suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar blew up an army caravan at Pulwama on February 14, 2019 resulting in death of over 40 Indian soldiers.

Dar’s videotape prior to the suicide attack showed his affiliation to Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). But it has not been proved that Dar was acting under orders of the Pakistani militant group of this name, headed by Maulana Masood Azhar, which was outlawed in 2002.

JeM Pakistan has not accepted responsibility for Pulwama and Dar possibly had only an ideological attachment to JeM, or there could be a Kashmiri outfit of the same name. Dar was a local youth, who was maltreated by Indian military and was radicalized. In the suicide attack, he used a big amount of explosives, which were of local origin and could not possibly have been carted across the heavily fortified border. And yet, practically all quarters in India straightaway accused JeM Pakistan of responsibility for Pulwama. This has become the basis of war fever raised in India against Pakistan. India has clearly ignored the indigenous nature of Pulwama attack. In any event, there is no basis for linking JeM with the Pakistan government. On this logic, the US could have put all the blame on Saudi Arabia for 9/11 since Osama was a Saudi citizen. In the Pulwama case, India is acting as the judge and jury all by itself.

Having whipped up an anti-Pakistan frenzy, with the Indian media baying for Pakistan’s blood, Mr. Modi threatened to teach Pakistan a lesson. Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke on TV to assure India of full cooperation in case any actionable evidence was produced against any Pakistani group. But he warned that if India conducted a “surgical strike”, Pakistan would have to retaliate. India nonetheless went ahead and its planes came inside Pakistan near Balakot during the night of February 26 to attack a “terrorist camp of JeM”. It claimed to have killed over 250 terrorists. But photographic evidence was immediately produced by Pakistan showing that some craters had been found near a forest area but no casualties had been caused.

The Indian claim was nothing but a fairy tale, but it created much euphoria in India. Next, Pakistan was compelled to retaliate. Its planes went inside Indian-occupied Kashmir in daylight and bombed close to Indian military installations, but avoided any collateral damage. When IAF planes tried to stop them, two Indian aircraft were shot down while they were inside Pakistani air space. One plane crashed inside our territory and its pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan was captured. In the military clashes, Pakistan seemed to have come out better. India’s poor performance led to sacking of a senior IAF official. Later, Modi himself confessed in a public speech that had India earlier bought French Rafale jets, it would not have faced this setback.

Imran Khan again made a gesture by ordering return of the captured pilot to India. Abhinandan praised the Pakistan army for treating him well and criticized Indian media for exaggeration. This again dampened the enthusiasm in India on return of the pilot. In the meantime, criticism of Modi has grown in India, not only by the opposition parties but also by several independent observers, mainly, because Indian claims have not been backed by any credible evidence.

The only area where India could take comfort was the surprise invitation to its Foreign Minister to address OIC Foreign Ministers’ Conference in Abu Dhabi on March 2. Since India is neither a member of OIC nor has observer status, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister decided to boycott the session but Pakistan was represented by a delegation. The invitation to Indian Foreign Minister was a unilateral initiative taken by UAE some months ago. However, keeping in view the close ties with UAE, Pakistan did not want to create a deadlock. Indian joy was again short-lived as ICFM issued Resolutions supporting Pakistan’s stance and criticizing India repression in Kashmir.

During this crisis, international pressure has been more on India rather than Pakistan since the latter has shown itself to be responsible and conciliatory whereas India has been acting like a warmonger. It has turned down offers of mediation by foreign heads of states. The Indian Ambassador in Moscow ruled out Russian mediation saying that relations between India and Pakistan were beginning to improve. While tough talking by India has continued, air traffic has been restored and road and railway links with Pakistan are back to normal. It is self-evident that negotiations are the only feasible option open to both India and Pakistan. Matters will improve further if Pakistan shows zero tolerance to all outlawed militant groups. (The writer of this article published in PAKISTAN OBSERVER served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Soviet Union, France, Nigeria and Libya.)

Photo – Courtesy NDTV / LiveMint / Dawn

(Compiled by Shri VK Gaur, former IG, BSF, who has written more than 50 Books on the issues related to Defence, Strategy and Internal security.


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