Imran's Dilemma
| Avinash Sharma, Expert, Border (W) & Industrial Security - 26 Jul 2019

Imran's Dilemma

By Avinash Sharma

The recent statement made by Pakistan premier Mr. Imran Khan in the US on Pak sponsored terrorists has been a known fact India claiming for the last 30 years. But what could be the possible reasons to make such an expose on such an important official US visit by the Pakistan PM? Has Mr. Imran been forced to make such a statement being on the back foot in garnering financial support from the US? Would this be a turning point to sèe a drastic policy tilt in Pakistan's survival?

Will the US intervene militarily to suppress an armed uprising in Pakistan? Will Pakistan Army shamed and declare Army rule or eliminate Imran Khan in near future to bring in dictatorship again? Will the Kashmir policy find a softening change from Pakistan's point of view? Is this a calculative move by Pakistan to revive lost ground of friendship with the US?

Because, since Donald Trump took office in 2017, the US administration has adopted a hard line against Pakistan, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and misleading the US over the issue - charges Islamabad denies. Again in 2018, US President Trump promised on Twitter to end "foolish" aid to the country. He had tweeted, “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

However, Imran Khan shot back to "put the record straight" on which country had paid more to defeat terrorism only after Mr. Trump tweeted again in November 2018 to remind Pakistan that 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden had lived there before finally being hunted down by US forces by saying, “Record needs to be put straight on Mr. Trump's tirade against Pakistan:

1. No Pakistani was involved in 9/11 but Pak decided to participate in US War on Terror.

2. Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war & over $123 bn was lost to the economy. US "aid" was a minuscule $20 bn.”

Now the same Imran Khan, during his three-day US visit last week, has admitted that about 30,000-40,000 "armed people", who have been trained and fought in some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir, were in Pakistan and accused the previous governments of not telling the truth to the US about the militant groups operating in the country.

Was the Pak Army taken into confidence before issuing such a blatant statement which lowers the dignity of politics in Pakistan to a new low? There are several such questions jolting the minds of every one of us.

Mr Imran Khan was playing 1st class cricket during the early 80's in the times of late Gen Zia ul Haq when Pakistan had begun aiding and abetting terrorism in our side of Punjab and it took entire decade to subside extremism with India spending heavily in taking countermeasures such as - erection of power fence along the western borders, pumping in more Security forces, etc, but not before its culmination into thousands of deaths during Hindu Sikh riots after the assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then PM, Mr Beant Singh, the then CM of Punjab and many more.

In the late 80's turbulence in J&K began with a mass exodus of Kashmiri youths exfiltrating into POK and the bus conductors in buses leaving Kashmir valley towards Baramulla, Kupwara shouting 'Sopore, Kopore, Opore' ( Going across via Sopore and Kupwara).

But with the beginning of the '90s the ISI sponsored pro -Pakistani militant outfits like Hizbul Mujahideen, Harkatul Mujahideen, etc had already swung into action with more than 100 such groups operating in the Kashmir valley by 1994.

However, most of those groups were eliminated by brave Indian security forces but Pakistan ISI kept on rejuvenating the extremism through a deep-rooted upper ground network with financial support by spearheading Narco-Terrorism and pumping in counterfeit currency at the cost of thousands of human losses and that process is still continuing.

It is true that the snakes nurtured by the Pakistan Army/ISI have been turning towards the charmers and biting them profusely thus acutely impacting their own growth.

In the foregoing fact, Imran Khan and his propagators did not have any other alternative to win support from the US as this visit appears to have been stage-managed perhaps based on the preplanned agenda to again rake up Kashmir issue by Pakistan. Image courtesy - Google

(Author Avinash Sharma, after having worked in the two Indian missions in our neighboring Pakistan and China in the 80s, remained connected with the Indian Intelligence for about 13 years and closely monitored activities on the Western and Eastern borders as well as Industrial Security. He had been witness to the onslaught of Kashmir militancy in the nineties and saw the uprising and subsequent waning of several Pakistan sponsored militant outfits vis a vis analysing role of Pak intelligence agencies. The views expressed in this article are his personal.)

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