Saturday, January 23, 2021
 News Details
Failed at home, Imran sheds tears for Kashmiri Muslims
Straight Talk

K B Jandial

While corona virus has sidestepped all other activities in the world except evolving strategies to fight out the pandemic to save the lives of the people, Pakistan is perhaps the only country which is engaged overtime in evolving strategies of different type. Its leadership has fanatical to step up terror strikes in Kashmir and shelling on LoC regularly to push in more terrorists to spill blood. Having failed to deliver in Pakistan on pandemic coronavirus, Pakistani journalists, columnists, TV anchors and political leaders are slamming him for absence of concrete policy against deadly virus and lauding PM Modi for bold and visionary approach to contain the disease. Unmindful of abject failure in this situation, Imran Khan is trying to wriggle out by raking up “suffering” of Kashmiri and Indian Muslims on account of lockdown. The “sufferings” he is referring to actually exist in Pakistan due to absence of any concrete strategy.

What are contributions for people of Pakistan before we talk about Kashmir & India? How can Imran forget the sobs and shrieks of more than 500 hundreds Pakistani students stranded in Wuhan, the epicenter of Novel Coronavirus, and their worried parents? These are still fresh in the minds of the people. Their appeal on you tube to their PM Imran Khan, some of them were diagnosed positive to Covid, to airlift them to home in Pakistan fearing certain death from the virus fell on deaf ears. They even quoted India’s example of evacuating their students which even evacuated foreign students as well, praising Indian Govt openly to the annoyance of Pak leadership. Instead of bringing them back into the safe environs of their home, he declined to do so as he wanted to stand by China at this “critical junction”. They preferred to scapegoat their children rather than risking annoyance of its ally China. Caring damn to these tense students and worried parents, Imran Khan, instead, flew to Malaysia for two days to sidestep domestic pressure.

Needless to say that India not only airlifted Kashmiri students from Wuhan along with other Indian students, Foreign Affair Minister S Jaishanker specially flew in to Srinagar on 9th March and met the worried parents and relations of those stranded in Iran and assured that flights are being sent to bring them back. India has brought back thousands of its nationals from different countries and treated them as per the COVID protocol. How can a Govt can allow their own nationals to die just to please an ally which is accused world over for concealing the ‘birth’ of novel virus that has now spread to 220 countries responsible for 1.80 lakh deaths and about 26 lakh positive cases. This is the fundamental difference between two Govts.

In terms of preparation to face this medical emergency, Imran Khan has adopted no firm strategy and the country is amidst worst kind of confusion. So is the frustration in media and people that every day the TV channels run down their own Govt and praise Modi and Indian Govt for its strategy to contain the virus. The popular Pakistan daily Dawn and TV panelist have come down heavily on Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) whose about 80,000 Jamaatis including 3000 foreigners from 40 countries attended annual Ijtima on 10th March at Raiwind Markaz near Lahore against strong opposition by Punjab Government. However, the TJ had claimed presence of 2.50 lakh activists. The Dawn had reported that Raiwind city was completely lockdown when report came that hundreds of Tablighis were found to be positive after the congregation. This was because the national Govt didn’t issue uniform action plan like in India. Some of the Tablighis on return carried the coronavirus and spread the virus across Pakistan and other countries. Strong criticism of Tablighis for organising annual Ijtima was not taken as against Muslims in Pakistan as is done in India.

India bashing and Kashmir issue continue to be the two convenient tools in Pakistan’s armory that are used frequently as and when its leadership failed to deliver on domestic front. Unmindful of the imminent danger and abject failure to face this pandemic disease, Imran Khan took to tweeter to interfere in India’s internal affairs. He made bizarre comment on alleged discrimination against Muslims in India dealing with coronavirus. How strange is that the Prime Minister who is responsible of “abysmal handling” of medical emergency found it expedient to divert the issue to Kashmir and Indian Muslim. Initially, he opposed the lockdown on the ground that 25% of the population is poor who would be affected but he later announced it up to 14 April, 2020 and now extended by to 30th April but traders rejected the extension. This is the state of affair in Pakistan.

Imran Khan is more worried about the effects of coronavirus on Kashmiri Muslims than his own people. At the same time Pakistan is infiltrating terrorists in Kashmir to strike and shed blood. Even in this extraordinary medical emergency world over when all nations are trying to save their people from the disease and reviving their economy, Pakistan’s priorities are different. When the world is engrossed in strategizing to flatten the curve and breaking the chain of transmission and revive crippled economy due to lockdown, Pakistan is busy in finding ways to step up terrorist violence in otherwise peaceful Kashmir. Amidst report of Coronavirus infection in terrorist launching pads across LOC, Pakistan is pushing even such infected militants to Kashmir which has serious health ramifications in Kashmir for whom Pakistan’s leadership keep shedding crocodile tears.

During the lockdown, over a dozen terror incidents have taken place in Kashmir after comparative lull in earlier months. The LoC was violated almost every day, primarily to push infiltration. In one such attempt, Security forces killed five Pak terrorists in Keran sector in which five security personnel too were martyred. In April, militants martyred nine security forces personnel and two civilians. Fifteen militants too were killed.

To evade scrutiny of 39-member FATA (Financial Action Task Force), a global money laundering & terrorist financing watchdog, which has put Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 extended now up to June 2020 for compliance to 29- actionable point, Pakistan has been trying to fool the world by renaming banned terrorist groups systematically. The Resistance Front (TRF) is one such group having direct link with LeT. JK Fighters is another such group. The five terrorists killed in Keran area are of this newly floated outfit, TRF.

In one of the tweets Imran wrote, “Kashmiris are being deprived of all basic amenities during lockdown”. Expert in falsehoods and misleading people, Imran lies are nailed by the co-operation by the people of many Red Zones in Kashmir by way of community effort to contain COVID. It is again by cooperation of every stake holders that doubling rate of positive cases in UT has come down from 3 days a month ago to 12 days with low mortality rate. The lockdown is for entire India including Jammu & Kashmir and not on the basis of religion. Essential supplies have been maintained in Kashmir like elsewhere in the UT and no such problem has been encountered so far.

On the contrary, there are ominous signals of Pakistan sitting on Coronavirus time boob with its own estimates indicate over half a lakh people infected by this virus. The Chinese Medical team has warned Imran Khan that COVID outbreak would be far bigger than what the number of confirmed positive cases indicates. One reason is the poor health infrastructure and shortage of testing kits that mask the reality. Even Pakistani doctors apprehend that the nation is not equipped to handle Covid outbreak. The real test of leadership comes in the time of crisis and ability to steer the nation as one with vision and ability combat this threat. Imran doesn’t fit in this mould.

(Author is a retired IAS officer)
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