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Did Pakistan Army chief just admit to sponsoring terrorism in India?

Qamar Bajwa's speech at the Munich Security Conference confirmed what New Delhi has been saying all along about Islamabad.

 |  2-minute read |   20-02-2018
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Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa's candid speech at the Munich Security Conference (February 17) confirmed what New Delhi has been shouting from the rooftops all along - that Pakistan sponsors, nurtures and uses terrorists against any country that qualifies as a "tyrant" in its own rule book. 

As far as the government, its armed forces and the ISI are concerned, there is the good terrorist and the bad terrorist. Bajwa said Pakistan was a victim of "bad terrorists" - terrorism emanating from Afghanistan. 

Without naming India, Bajwa made it amply clear that Islamabad supports "good terrorism" if it is against any country it considers oppressive. He effectively put the seal of official approval on the killings of innocent civilians and security personnel in India.

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The army chief practically admitted his country's support for terrorists bound for India as he described Pakistan's "national action plan" to fight terrorism. Called the "key message of Pakistan", the plan actually "bans suicide bombing and jihad - as proclaimed by a recent fatwa - other than one that is sanctioned by the state".

The Pakistan Army chief virtually admitted to sending young, drug-fuelled suicide squads to countries it considers "tyrannical" (read India). One must thank the General, at least, for his candour, something that Pakistani politicians refuse to show.

While Bajwa was addressing the forum, Pakistan decided to dispatch Miftah Ismail, financial adviser to the prime minister, to attend the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris.

The decision, in all likelihood, was impromptu considering that only a day before his departure for France, Ismail had returned from a week-long sojourn to Europe. He had gone to "convince" the FATF member countries about Islamabad's sincerity and actions  to remain compliant with global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime.

Placing Pakistan on the watchlist would increase manifold the scrutiny of financial transactions that the country's banking sector undertakes, especially international transactions. That would automatically jack up the cost of opening letters of credit, used for trading purposes.

Any negative FATF rating will affect Pakistan's international credit ratings and increase the cost of government borrowings.

Pakistan was on the FATF grey-list from 2009 to 2015 and well understands the implications of a negative FATF rating.

But what about the General's take? Do we have an official version? Who is telling the truth?

Also read: I'm surprised Modi, like Indira Gandhi, has ensured Doordarshan remains biased and boring

 

Writer

Arindam De Arindam De @arindamde01

The writer is journalist working with India Today.

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