Islamabad, Jan.30 : An editorial in a Pakistan daily has suggested that the interim government in Pakistan is indirectly pointing an accusing finger at Indian intelligence outfits, and holding them responsible for fanning terrorism in Pakistan.
According to the Daily Times editorial, federal Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah, claim that the government has "credible evidence" that "hostile foreign intelligence agencies" were fanning terrorism in Pakistan is a view that has been aired before, and quite categorically charges Shah with applying an "old gimmick" to escape censure from the Senate Standing Committee on Interior Affairs which had asked him to explain the recent acts of terrorism in the country.
"We can recall the number of times the government and its senior bureaucrats have relied on it (foreign hand) to explain acts of terrorism in the past. This is not to say that India has never been indirectly involved in such acts, but we have to take note of the number of times the "foreign hand" gimmick failed and the government forgot to apologise after the real culprits were arrested," the editorial says.
The recent application of the "foreign hand" gimmick meaning "India is killing us" took place when President Musharraf went on record to reveal that the Indians placed in Afghanistan were egging on the insurgents in Balochistan with money and weapons. The charge was credible circumstantially on the basis of the game of tit-for-tat that had been going on between the intelligence agencies of the two countries, it adds.
According to the editorial, the tit-for-tat use of the foreign hand role goes back to 1996 when Pakistan avenged the destruction of its embassy in Kabul by ousting the Tajik commander Ahmad Shah Massoud from Kabul and sent the Indian embassy packing out of the country.
After 2003, India made a comeback and reopened its old consulates after nearly seven years of Pakistan's "strategic depth" supremacy in most of Afghanistan.
The editorial further claims that no officer or politician has been taken to account after the "foreign hand" alarm was found to be false, and believes, intelligence agencies represent the paranoia of the state.
"They live in a world of their own without accountability and can spread their microcosm of make-believe on to the country. Unpopular leaders begin to rely on them rather than the experts and come to grief but not before bringing harm to the people they rule," the editorial says.
It concludes by advising Interior Secretary Shah to be careful how he deploys the old device without first going public on the "proof" he has acquired.