Despite the civil and military leaderships’ vows to “eradicate” terrorism from Pakistan, the country continues to suffer from militancy, with authorities increasingly pinning the blame on “hostile” neighbors, i.e. India and Afghanistan. The past week was especially brutal, with 14 Pakistani soldiers martyred in Gwadar; five attacks in as many days in the Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; and an assault on a Pakistan Air Force base in Punjab’s Mianwali. Addressing the mounting violence, the Balochistan caretaker information minister has directly accused India of using its RAW spy agency to foment terrorism in Pakistan. This is not new information; in 2020, Pakistan had issued a dossier containing ‘irrefutable’ evidence of India financing multiple terrorist organizations, including Jamaatul Ahrar, the Balochistan Liberation Army and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Predictably, India denied this.
Two years later, however, Pakistan shared a new dossier with the global community, containing “detailed evidence” of India’s role in the June 2021 bombing at Lahore’s Johar Town, as well as other terrorist attacks. The report, also shared with the U.N., alleged India had fomented terrorism in Pakistan through “third party” agents located in Afghanistan, indicating a nexus of threats from the country’s eastern and western borders. Last month, while announcing a drive to expel illegally residing foreigners from Pakistan, the interim interior minister noted that of 24 suicide attacks in Pakistan thus far this year, 14 had the involvement of Afghan nationals.
Both New Delhi and Kabul have denied the allegations, with the former accusing Pakistan of deflecting, while the latter claims Islamabad has a homegrown terror problem. Pakistan, meanwhile, sees the repeated global ambivalence to its dossiers as the world turning a blind eye to India’s aiding and abetting of cross-border terrorism. This view is bolstered by statements from Indian commentators, who often defend any alleged terror funding as “self-defense,” pointing to the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as “precedent” for “overthrowing oppressive regimes” to fight terrorism. Unfortunately, India’s economic might has prevented any legal consequences, proving once again that money talks and human rights and international law are little more than tools to browbeat weaker states.