With the security forces achieving a major breakthrough by capturing alive a terrorist involved in the attack on a BSF convoy in J&K’s Udhampur on Wednesday, the onus now lies on the Indian government to use his ”confession” to nail Pakistan’s blatant lie on its continued covert support to terror operators.
Since Pakistan has categorically denied giving any direct or indirect support to terrorist outfits operating on its soil, the capture of Kasim Khan holds huge significance for Indian diplomats and investigators, who can now use his confessional statement to counter Islamabad’s claim.
Kasim Khan’s arrest is also important since the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif, recently agreed in Russia’s Ufa to take the dialogue process forward for resolving all issues, including cross-border terrorism..
Kasim Khan, who has been trained in Pakistan, is believed to have slipped into the Indian side nearly five days ago and managed to conceal himself till the attack, allegedly with the support of some pro-Pakistan locals.
Importantly, the two sides are also due to hold NSA level talks in Delhi where India is expected to raise the issue of Pakistan’s slow probe into the 26/11 attacks and Islamabad is expected to corner India over its alleged covert support to rebels in Balochistan and terror activities in Karachi.
After the NSA-level talks, the two countries are also slated to hold meetings between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers chiefs as well as the two DGMOs to discuss de-escalatory mechanisms along the borders.
The information extracted from Kasim Khan can be used as a proof of Pakistan’s alleged involvement in anti-India activities and can be used as a bargaining chip for getting the custody of 26/11 attacks mastermind Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon.
Since 2013, Pakistan has violated the ceasefire as many as 1,140 times, with the focus of its firing being concentrated more across the settled International Boundary (IB) than the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, said while there were 347 ceasefire violations in 2013, the figure jumped to 583 in 2014. Till June 30 this year, 199 such violations have been recorded. Of the 199, only around 25 of them were across the LoC, which is manned by the Army, with the rest being along the BSF-guarded IB.
“Diplomatically, India has repeatedly emphasised, including at the highest level, the need for Pakistan to uphold the sanctity of the LoC and abide by the ceasefire commitment of 2003 along the IB and LoC,” said Parrikar.
When the two DGMOs had last met face-to-face at the Wagah-Attari border in December 2013, it had led to a noticeable drop in ceasefire violations and infiltration bids, which often go together since the Pakistan Army gives “covering fire” to help militants sneak into India.
But it had proved to be quite short-lived, with ceasefire violations once jumping to as high as 50 along the LoC in August last year.
The attack in Udhampur comes days after the daring terror attack in Punjab’s Gurdaspur in which at least 7 people, including some policemen, were killed. It is for the first time that a terrorist has been captured alive ever since the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in which Pakistani national Ajmal Kasab was captured by the security forces and later executed.