Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been heralded as a turning point in the war against terrorism. This new direction has received the support of the whole nation who could not longer bear the cost of tens of thousands being killed by the jihadi terrorists. The new direction has also pleased the Americans and Chinese who had grown impatient with Army’s lack of interest in breaking up militant camps. Underneath the new rhetoric, however, there lies a familiar bed of anti-Indian propaganda.
The standard propaganda line about jihadi militants is that they are either Indians or RAW-funded. In the past, the acid test was always to check the circumcision of killed militants. Today, though, the preferred method is to check the wallet.
According to certain security agents ‘analysts’, proof that TTP are actually Indian agents has come in the form of stacks of Indian notes found in Waziristan.
— Ahmed Quraishi (@AQpk) July 14, 2014
This is actually an old and worn out tale that has been passed along by mysteriously-funded ‘think tanks’ since long.
In recent years, when the Pakistani military had carried out massive operations against the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) in the porous tribal belt, it was soon discovered that this group apparently had a totally different ideology to that of the Afghan Taliban. The TTP turned out to be mercenaries, fulfilling the goals of Pakistan’s eastern enemy. While operating against them, the Pakistani army found support-material and large caches of Indian-made weapons in their hideouts, thus, explaining why the war with this enemy within Pakistan had no end to it. While US-made weapons were also discovered during these operations, all fingers pointed towards those sitting in Afghanistan, as India had been suspected of dispatching consignment after consignment to the TTP.
Even accepting that fake media people like Ahmed Quraishi have zero credibility, the absurdity of this propaganda is so obvious that it’s almost depressing to think it’s the best they can come up with. If TTP militants were Indian agents, why would they pay them in Indian notes which are not usable in either Pakistan or Afghanistan? Wouldn’t RAW pay in either dollars? Or better still, counterfeit Pakistani Rupees to cast the blame on ISI? Jihadi militants hoarding Indian notes is just ridiculous.
Beyond the absurdity of the propaganda, however, there is a very real concern. If Pakistan Army has actually changed directions, why does this silly anti-Indian propaganda continue? If Zarb-e-Azb is truly meant to prove that Pakistan Army realises the threat that TTP and other jihadi militant groups pose for Pakistan, why try to link them to India?
Top military brass have issued statement that terrorists will not be allowed to re-group after Zarb-e-Azb operation is complete. If Pakistan Army is sincere in its efforts to rid the nation of jihadi terrorists, we need to name them for who they are, not who we wish they were.