US-based expert on south Asia, Christine Fair, has argued that the current government in Pakistan wanted Narendra Modi to be re-elected as India’s prime minister. Analysing the recent military skirmishes between India and Pakistan, Fair, who can read and write Hindi and Urdu, said that to have a ‘very scary’ enemy in India under Modi suited the agenda of the Pakistani military, which is facing a rebellion of sorts by local Pashtuns in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Speaking on an American radio programme, Fair said, “Pakistan these days want Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi to be re-elected. That might sound counter-intuitive but what Pakistan has to deal with domestically is some ongoing rabble-rousing by a very important group called Pashtun Tahaffuz movement.
“These are Pashtuns, who figured out what Pakistan’s game is, that Pakistan is supporting terrorism and that Pashtuns are paying the price for it. In their marches, they have very petty slogans that says ye jo dahshat gardi hai, is ke peeche vardi hai (The terrorism that you are seeing is really caused by the army. To suppress this movement, which has really got the Pakistani army shaking in their boots, it really needs to have a very scary enemy in the east, which is India.”
Her comments assume significance in light of the Indian air strikes taking place deep inside Pakistan and not the area in the close proximity across the Line of Control. India had claimed to hit terrorist camps in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This had left many pundits shocked since this was the first time India had chosen a target, which was not in an area close to the LoC.
Fair is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor in the Peace and Security Studies Programme, within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She went on to add that Al-Qaeda in the sub-continent and the ISIS may be active in using the atrocities against Muslims across India to boost their recruiting drive in the region. To support her argument, Fair said, “To my knowledge this was the first Kashmiri suicide bomber.”
If what Fair said has any truth, it presents a very scary scenario to people on both sides of the border.
Modi has been under fire for his indifference even when 45 CRPF soldiers were killed in the deadliest terror attack against the Indian armed forces in Pulwama on 14 February. He was seen shooting for a documentary film, being made on his life in Uttarakhand. His top party leaders were either busy campaigning or performing at a musical concert. A day later, Modi had attended an election rally even when Indian security forces were still counting their fallen heroes.
In India, MNS leader Raj Thackeray too had made a stunning allegation against National Security Advisor Ajit Doval accusing the Centre’s Narendra Modi government of orchestrating the Pulwama terror attack for political gains.