A Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorist – Adil Ahmed Dar – in a civilian vehicle laden with 300kg of explosives rammed into the second bus (bearing registration number HR 49 F 0637) of a convoy carrying Indian CRPF forces to Kashmir. As a result 44 CRPF jawans died in this suicide attack and two dozen were injured. The deadly attack happened at around 3:15 pm in Lethpora area on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway (NH-44) in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The bus that was targeted belonged to 76th Batallion of CRPF and 44 personnel from 92, 17 and 54 battalions were traveling in it. Another CRPF truck was also blown away and two more buses badly damaged. The injured were moved to Badami Bagh Base Hospital in Srinagar, where many succumbed to their injuries. This is the list of the Brave-hearts who gave their lives for India.
Due to bad weather, the personnel had not been moved to the Srinagar region. Usually, the convoys have much lesser personnel, but in this they had 2,547 personnel.
There was a local intelligence input talking about possible Fidayeen attack which came after JeM had issued a threat on social media that it was planning to carry out a major blast.
“The chatter inputs revealed that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit has hinted to carry out IED attacks along the routes of security forces across Jammu and Kashmir. A video uploaded by the outfit was also shared with all concerned. It is as such suggested that security forces need to be put on alert to thwart any such attempt by terrorists”, read the input that was shared with the security forces across Jammu and Kashmir.
In the video that was uploaded along threat message showed a truck carrying troops in Somalia blown up in a power IED blast. In the message, the JeM had warned similar type of blast in Kashmir. (source)
Meanwhile, NIA team with forensic experts and Black Cat commando force NSG are joining in the investigations into the attack.
Pakistan’s link to Attack – narrative coming from US
The influential Brookings Institute scholar, Bruce Reidel, has stated that this attack – which was done by JeM, which has links to ISI, poses a serious threat to Imran Khan’s government.
“The self-proclaimed involvement of JeM in the attack raises serious questions about the role of the ISI in supporting the masterminds of this operation,” Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst, told PTI (source)
Also, Anish Goel who was in Obama’s National Security Council, made some interesting observations.
“By claiming such quick credit for the attack, JeM is clearly indicating that they will continue to cause trouble in the region and stoke tensions between Pakistan and India,” he said.
“In the wake of this attack, there will likely be increased pressure on Prime Minister Modi to take action against all militant groups still active in Kashmir,” Goel told.
What this means is that once JeM’s link is clear to the world, everyone knows that ISI and the Pakistani establishment cannot be far behind. And, the official press release from the US underscores that clearly.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the heinous terrorist attack by a Pakistan-based terrorist group that killed over 40 Indian paramilitary forces and wounded at least 44 others,” Trump’s Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Thursday night.
“The United States calls on Pakistan to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to sow chaos, violence and terror in the region,” her statement said.
“This attack only strengthens our resolve to bolster counter-terrorism cooperation and coordination between the United States and India,” the White House statement warned.
This will only strengthen India’s stand when the Government undertakes a strong military or other action.
These statements and sentiments across the board – Riedel is a democrat – shows that the view point of Pakistan being behind the attack is shared. This reduces the options that Pakistan has and greatly increases the leeway that India can exercise against Pakistan without international repercussions! Modi’s international visits and foreign diplomacy initiatives will finally become critical now!
Narratives within US think-tanks: the Churn
Meanwhile, there is a churn that is going on within the US think-tanks and thinkers. Specially those who have an eye on South Asian matters.
While, Michael Kugelman was busy playing “subtle games” of propaganda with this tweet, others were calling out the obvious behind his statement.
And then he was called out.
And then this was how Christine Fair, arguably the most authoritative voice on Pakistan Army and establishment within US, discussed the absurdity of the take.
Pakistani government and its people are obviously busy trying to sanctify the terrorist who attacked by calling him a “martyr” or shaheed. And when this came up, Fair brutally mauled up this guy Ejaz Haider, who is a prominent Pakistani analyst.
Meanwhile, US has also issued a travel advisory to all its citizens on the impending danger in that country.
This may be significant if US is also anticipating a serious and military response from India.
Pakistan’s Weak Points – Know your Enemy
Pakistan is close to an economic catastrophe. We have reported it here earlier – Pakistan on the Brink of Bankruptcy and Economic Ruin / Terror-Hub Pakistan’s Economic Doom – that Pakistan’s economy is in a complete mess. When these articles were written, Pakistan’s foreign reserves were roughly $15 bn – including the reserves in its commercial banks.
Now, after $2 billion has been injected by Saudi Arabia, the foreign reserves stand at $6.9 bn week ended on January 11, 2019. The reserves with their Central Bank State Bank of Pakistan, went down by $147 million in just one week period mainly due to loan repayment and other payments. Now in the ongoing financial year 2018-19, Pakistan needs to make payments of $9.06 billion loan (principal amount $ 7.27 billion and $ 1.787 billion interest).
With $7 billion of TOTAL reserves in hand, it needs to pay $9 billion this year!
Now, some countries are trying to help Pakistan out. Specifically UAE and Saudis. As the State Bank of Pakistan official states.
“Saudi Arabia will deposit remaining one billion dollars of three billion dollars that were committed. Similarly, we are expecting UAE will deposit $3 billion in one installment,” he added.
But it should be remembered that these $3 billion from Saudi Arabia are funds parked with Pakistan. They cannot be used. And they are at 3.18% interest rate! So, its not like as if the Saudis have given the Pakistanis some grants. They have further indebted Pakistan!
In this situation, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) is expected to be in Pakistan this week (February 16 possibly)
His security team, comprising 170 personnel, has already arrived in Pakistan and is visiting various places in Islamabad.
Two five-star hotels and couple of three-star hotels have been booked for the delegates. In addition, media reports suggested that the PM’s House that had earlier been converted into a university will be used to host the royal guests.
One of the major deals to be struck is the Oil Refinery at Gwadar where Saudis may invest $3 billion on deferred payments.
Interestingly, the Saudis will be getting a HUGE subsidy where Pakistan will give $1.6 billion worth of incentives for the UAE-based Abu Dhabi Petroleum Investment Company to encourage it to establish an oil refinery.
Saudis may also invest in privatisation of over $2 billion worth of LNG-fired two power plants.
Now, these may seem like life lines for Pakistan, but these are mere expressions of interest in Saudis making their assets in Pakistan further at the expense of the Pakistanis who are giving them subsidies.
Also, it must be remembered that Saudi Prince MBS is in the dock internationally for the brutal assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul and criticism over the Yemen war.
Next week, however, after his visit to Pakistan, MBS is to visit India as well.
- Saudis are in a dock – specially the Crown Prince – due to Khashoggi’s assassination.
- Saudis need allies. India is a better ally than Pakistan. When MBS comes to India after Pakistan visit, it will be time to do some arm twisting.
- Pakistanis are at $7 billion reserves, and even with the UAE and Saudi parking their money (not to be used), can at best go to $10 billion for a show!
- Any attack and pressure on Pakistan militarily where it has to bleed money, will put Pakistan in a suicidal spiral.
- If an attack hits at Pakistan’s Oil reserves and its economic reserves, it will be
- Given how things are in Pakistan economically, the number of people ready to help Indian forces for money would increase greatly. Currently, intelligent and smart Pakistanis would be planning overtime to move their monies, assets and their families outside of Pakistan. Working out a deal for some will go a long way in enhancing options for Indian forces.
This – economy – is the weakest spot for Pakistan. It is critical that India now hits it with complete and unapologetic way.
Games India media plays – treasonous bunch
Meanwhile, the Indian media is busy playing its games – of doing its bidding for its masters. How they have constantly and perennially batted for the terrorists by either making human stories out of them while vilifying the forces or trying to whitewash the whole terror angle, has been the source of consternation for most Indians. It is like the intelligence of common man is challenged right in front of his own eyes! Look at these vile reports and statements.
“Local Youth”?! He had 300 kgs of explosives with him, dammit! And he killed 44 military personnel who ENSURE that you can bring out a newspaper where you have freedom to write what you want. Those in Pakistan do NOT have this luxury. And yet, they sanitize the evil guy who had nothing but blood in his eyes?
And, then this perversity of humanity called Rana Ayyub.
When one plays both the sides – like Trump did after Charleston, there is a vile agenda. That we all must acknowledge and understand. There are times when there are no “two sides”. There is one side which wants to hurt life and another which doesn’t. We know which is which.
Finally, here are two stalwarts who have been fighting the battle in media for many years now – on these issues – General GD Bakshi and RSN Singh. Their views and arguments are worth listening to. As is the statement of Navjot Siddhu, who is the vile man who hugged Pak Army Chief and eulogized him.
The time has come for the Indian public to give it back to such media personnel who take the whole country for granted.
Resolve in India – At its highest
The Indian reaction can be seen best in the statement of martyr Ratan Thakur’s father who says that he will send another son to the forces for a befitting reply to Pakistan.
This was backed up by a very intense Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi making a statement with very deliberate choice of words with the important emphasis on the most critical ones in his statements. Even if one did not understand what he said, one look at his eyes and demeanour would give the depth of PM Modi’s intensity at this moment.
The warning and the consequences that await Pakistan are unmistakable.
One can be assured that the Pakistan will have to repay a very high price. Possibly one that hits at its sovereignty itself and definitely one that not only it won’t be able to deny (like it did with Surgical Strikes) but also come off as a spectacular failure that it is.
This is something that Gaurav Pradhan, the analyst and technology/Big Data expert, said so well for Indians who are being impatient.
Mat Chuke Chauhan – Moment Modi was being Prepared for
There comes a moment, but rarely in the lives of ordinary folks, where great men who have prepared their being in a certain way, are presented with the opportunity to fulfill their destiny and that of millions around them. It is almost as if they have been chosen for this moment and they and those around them have prepared them for this moment.
Pulwama is that moment for Modi.
Legend goes that when Prithviraj Chauhan was blinded and standing in front of Ghori who wanted to see his archery skills before he was executed, Chauhan’s poet friend Chand pinpointed Ghori with his couplet which Chauhan used to kill Ghori. His lines were:
चार बांस चौबीस गज, अंगुल अष्ट प्रमाण, ता ऊपर सुल्तान है मत चुके चौहान।”
Irrespective of whether that actually happened or not. But destiny has prepared Modi for this day. मत चुके चौहान. Don’t miss, Chauhan.
For last almost 5 years, Modi Government has been working hard to put Pakistan in its place. A lot of its ways and strategies have worked very well. And knowing this, Pakistan has been – in the belief that Modi is like the earlier Indian leaders – trying to finger him. Every time they get a bloody nose. And the situation has come to a point that Pakistan is close to complete bankruptcy. No one can save it. This is when, possibly in collaboration with the treasonous forces in India – who would use the opportunity and the government response to play politics – like they did with the Surgical strikes where quite like the Pakistani establishment they wanted proofs – Pakistan hopes to corner Modi. And in that way, it hope to dislodge Modi in 2019.
But, Pakistan did not properly estimate three things:
- Resolve and Nationalism that prevails in India today and how it can fight the so-called Secular betrayals which ensured that even after 26/11 no action was taken
- Its own weakness and where it stands. Isolated, bankrupt, and staring at complete disaster and break-up. Pakistan is now trying to bluff is position to its ownself.
Modi is not anything like the 13 Prime Ministers which went before him. He is different. He knows his place in history and what opportunity he has been presented. The response would not be a hit on Pakistan.
The response will be Destruction of Pakistan as we know it. Time for “hits” is long gone.