New Delhi, July 28: The Gurdaspur terrorist strike throws open a lot of questions. The identity of the terrorists is under question. Whether it was the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad or some Khalistan group is not important at the moment.
Read more: Gurdaspur attack was meant to last a day
What is pertinent to note is here is that no attack of this nature can be done without the approval of the Pakistan establishment.
The identity of the terrorists is not relevant here especially in the context of what India has been facing for several years now in terms of terrorism. We also know for a fact that during the height of the Punjab militancy, the dividing line between one organization and another was disappearing. The militants from Punjab were often seen using the strengths and assets of Pakistan based groups and very often they even operated in tandem.
What is relevant is that the terrorists came from Pakistan:
According to the former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, C D Sahay, what is relevant in this attack is that the terrorists came from Pakistan.
More importantly they chose the first target available after coming into Gurdaspur. Only a couple of months back there was an attack on a police station at the Samba region. The Gurdaspur attack witnessed a similar modus operandi, Sahay points out.
Why Punjab and why this timing?
Many have stated that the ISI sponsored proxies are attempting to set up a module in Punjab. Now that is not the case in the Gurdaspur attack. One thing is clear that the media treats attacks at Jammu and Kashmir as a routine news. An attack in Punjab draws more attention.
Take a look at the Gurdaspur attack. The terrorists planned this operation quickly and after entering into Gurdaspur they chose a target very quickly and began their assault. Now look at the media coverage that it got.
The media was stuck with the news for the entire day and this provided the necessary publicity that these militants would have wanted, Sahay also points out.
The timing of the attack is another crucial point here. Each time India and Pakistan have attempted to hold talks there has been an attack trying to derail the same. In the wake of such attacks, India has always been driven to a point to call off the talks. Once India calls off the talks, Pakistan goes to town with this.
Why blame only the ISI and the Pakistan army?
After every terror attack, we are quick to blame the Pakistan army and the ISI.
While there is no doubting that the establishment is behind each and every attack that emerges out of Pakistan, one must stop and think about the intent of the democratically elected government too.
There is a democratically elected government in Pakistan and the question that needs to be asked here is whether it is really interested in engaging with India?
Talks with India would mean answering questions and does the government in Paksitan have all the answers?
During the talks, Pakistan will be asked questions and the point here is, " do they have the answers?" Does the political leadership want to engage in talks in a meaningful way?
Pakistan will ensure no talks are held:
Pakistan does not want to talk. They have several uncomfortable questions to answer.
India on the other hand is in a catch-22 situation. If it does not call off the talks, it faces the risk of more such attacks. If it does go ahead and call the talks off, then it plays into Pakistan's hands.
Sahay points out that it is a comprehensive strategy of both the Pakistan government and its military/ISI to keep pushing India to call off the talks.