Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has been working on tarnishing India’s reputation for more than a year(Photo courtesy: Facebook/Imrankhanofficial)
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has been working on tarnishing India’s reputation for more than a year(Photo courtesy: Facebook/Imrankhanofficial)

Pak’s ‘dossier’ on India is a gamble. 4 reasons why Imran Khan took the risk | Analysis

Imran Khan’s government last week released a dossier that accuses India of fomenting trouble in Pakistan
By Shishir Gupta | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 17, 2020 12:56 PM IST

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government attempted to change the narrative around Pakistan’s support to terrorism last weekend but the effort to build a case against India has continued for more than a year. The release of the bunch of documents that Islamabad has described as a dossier came after its repeated attempts to implicate Indians for terrorism did not succeed. The last one was in September when the United Nations Security Council rejected a proposal by Imran Khan, backed by President Xi Jinping’s China, to designate two Indians as terrorists under the 1267 sanctions committee process. A few months earlier, the UNSC had already blocked proposals to designate four other Indians.

It is in this context that Moeed W Yusuf, Imran Khan’s special assistant on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning, switched gears and started building the ground for a public campaign in October when he accused India of perpetrating terrorism in Pakistan. An academic believed to have had links with the Pakistan Army when he was still in the United States, Moeed Yusuf has been big on building narratives after joining the government. Yusuf did complain not so long ago how Pakistan had not been able to set the narrative on Kashmir, a remark that was then seen as an indictment of the foreign office led by Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Last month, he told a news conference that the media should play a role to change the country’s narrative. “Pakistan’s narrative is of economic security and the world has not seen that,” he lamented, claiming Islamabad stood for regional peace. At the same briefing, Yusuf complained about India’s “one-sided narrative” against Pakistan and hinted that Islamabad would launch a counter-narrative.

The ‘dossier’ unveiled at a Press conference by foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and he military spokesperson Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar in Islamabad was Moeed Yusuf’s first step to make an attempt to change the narrative.

By all indications, a Pakistan watcher in New Delhi said, the “dummy dossier”, which regurgitated old allegations, was a rush job. It had got spellings of Indian intelligence chiefs accused of fomenting trouble in Pakistan wrong. Some basics too.

“The entire dossier is full of such howlers,” he said. “From the estimates of economic costs of terrorism ($126 billion) to reports of terror training camps in India and Afghanistan, from allegations of a special cell to sabotage China Pakistan Economic Corridor to Indian embassies (high commission) and consulates along Pakistan’s border serving as operations centre, the dossier is full of half-baked, fatuous, and asinine assertions which the Imran Khan government believes constitute ‘irrefutable evidence’,” he said.

It also repeats Moeed Yusuf’s recent charge that attempts to link India to the 2014 terrorist assault on an army school in Peshawar, an attack for which the Taliban had claimed responsibility. The Pakistan army had then claimed to have arrested the main executors of the dastardly attack that killed 141 people including 131 children. In August 2015, then Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif had confirmed the death sentence given by military courts to seven members of Tehrik-e-Taliban and Tawhid-wal-Jihad group for supporting and collecting funds for the school attack.

To be sure, this isn’t Pakistan’s first effort to tarnish India’s reputation and acquiring some sort of parity with New Delhi by levelling charges of sponsoring terrorism. Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 2017, did make the effort when she called India the mother of terrorism in south India and accused New Delhi of “indulging in an orgy of slander against Pakistan”. But that campaign sank without a trace.

Indian counter-terror officials said there were four possible explanations why the Imran Khan government decided to amp up its pitch against India at this time.

A counter-terror official said the attempt to put the spotlight on India comes at a time Imran Khan is under tremendous pressure from a resurgent opposition, and economic distress, continuing drift in governance and an economy drowning in debt. Desperate to get the opposition to call off their anti-regime programme, the government has resorted to the time-tested India bogey. Moeed Yusuf did tacitly admit that the government wants the opposition to understand the sensitivity of the matter and not politicise things to a point that India can take advantage.

Secondly, officials said, this was a ploy to divert attention from the rigging that was planned in the Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan. The India threat could help both shift focus as well as be used as a bogey to contain any fallout of the rigging. Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has already accused Imran Khan’s party of carrying out “open and naked rigging” in Gilgit-Baltistan’s elections.

Thirdly, the dossier coincides with the election of the Joe Biden administration in the United States. An official said Pakistan timed the dossier to persuade the in-coming administration that it needs to play a more even-handed role in the region and force India to desist from taking any aggressive action against Pakistani adventurism and export of terrorism.

Fourthly, it would help target and tarnish opposition leaders such as Nawaz Sharif who have been accused of being soft on India and wanting to normalise relations with India.

The dossier is aimed as much at the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’ constituency back home as the international community, a national security planner in New Delhi said. It is a gamble but could backfire on Imran Khan if the campaign collapses like the last one. Because then he will have to explain why he couldn’t sell its narrative to the people and the world.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's plans to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during a COVID-19 response event at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst(REUTERS)
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's plans to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during a COVID-19 response event at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst(REUTERS)

Joe Biden names US SEC Commissioner Herren Lee acting head of regulator

Reuters, Washington
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 06:26 PM IST
Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler, who led Biden's transition planning for financial industry oversight, would be named as head of the SEC, sources said.
Close
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's plans to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during a COVID-19 response event as Vice President Kamala Harris listens at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst(REUTERS)
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's plans to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during a COVID-19 response event as Vice President Kamala Harris listens at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst(REUTERS)

Biden administration believes WHO is vital to containing Covid-19 pandemic

PTI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 06:23 PM IST
During her phone call with Dr. Ghebreyesus, Kamala Harris discussed the decision by the Biden administration to rejoin WHO. Harris emphasised that she and Biden believe that WHO is vital to controlling the spread of Covid-19 and building back better global health and pandemic preparedness.
Close
A POW-MIA flag flies at the graveside during a full honours burial service for seven US Vietnam era military members at Arlington National Cemetery.(Reuters)
A POW-MIA flag flies at the graveside during a full honours burial service for seven US Vietnam era military members at Arlington National Cemetery.(Reuters)

US Senators to ask Biden to restore POW-MIA flag to White House

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 05:55 PM IST
US law requires the flag to be displayed in a “manner designed to ensure visibility to the public.”
Close
Canada is struggling to stop a second wave from spiralling out of control, and its political leaders are begging residents to stay home to prevent the spread.(REUTERS)
Canada is struggling to stop a second wave from spiralling out of control, and its political leaders are begging residents to stay home to prevent the spread.(REUTERS)

Canada deporting thousands even as pandemic rages: Report

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 05:49 PM IST
Canada counted 12,122 people as removed in 2020 - 875 more than the previous year and the highest number since at least 2015, according to CBSA data.
Close
Dr Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) speaks during a news conference.(File Photo / REUTERS)
Dr Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) speaks during a news conference.(File Photo / REUTERS)

Explainer: How US CDC missed chances to spot Covid-19 silent spread

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 05:40 PM IST
More than two months passed before the CDC expanded its testing guidelines to include all asymptomatic people.
Close
People line up to be tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Beijing on January 22. (AFP)
People line up to be tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Beijing on January 22. (AFP)

Beijing begins mass testing for Covid, Shanghai to test all hospital staff

By Sutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Vinod Janardhanan
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 05:38 PM IST
The Beijing district tests could be a run-up to the testing of the remaining 20mn in the Capital as Chinese New Year holidays approach.
Close
People wait in line to be vaccinated at a super vaccination station setup in an empty department store in Chula Vista, California.(Reuters)
People wait in line to be vaccinated at a super vaccination station setup in an empty department store in Chula Vista, California.(Reuters)

Florida blocks wealthy vaccine tourists after anger from elderly residents

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 05:26 PM IST
Since the start of January, when the vaccine first became available, the state has prioritised its senior population, which accounts for one-fifth of 21 million residents.
Close
Since 2009, the number of suicides in Japan has been declining every year. Image for representational purpose only. (AP)
Since 2009, the number of suicides in Japan has been declining every year. Image for representational purpose only. (AP)

Japan records rise in suicide rate for first time since 2009

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 05:20 PM IST
According to the NHK broadcaster, 20,919 people took their own lives in 2020, which is an increase of 750 or 3.7 percent from 2019, when the lowest-ever number of suicides per year in Japan was recorded.
Close
People walk under the giant rainbow flag in front of the parliament building in Budapest downtown during the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade in the Hungarian capital. (AFP)
People walk under the giant rainbow flag in front of the parliament building in Budapest downtown during the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade in the Hungarian capital. (AFP)

In a win, UK census 2021 will allow people to enter their gender identity

AFP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 05:08 PM IST
The census, which will be held on March 21 in all regions except Scotland, will include the question after asking for people's legal sex, Professor Sir Ian Diamond told BBC radio.
Close
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's plans to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during a COVID-19 response event as Vice President Kamala Harris listens at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst(REUTERS)
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's plans to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during a COVID-19 response event as Vice President Kamala Harris listens at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst(REUTERS)

After big hack of US government, Biden enlists 'world-class' cybersecurity team

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 04:43 PM IST
Cybersecurity was demoted as a policy field under the Trump administration.
Close
National Guard troops reinforce security around the U.S. Capitol ahead of expected protests leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, following the deadly attack on Congress by a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)(AP)
National Guard troops reinforce security around the U.S. Capitol ahead of expected protests leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, following the deadly attack on Congress by a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)(AP)

A day after safe inaugural for Joe Biden, over 15,000 Guard troops head home

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 04:33 PM IST
Thousands of Guard troops from all across the country poured into DC by the planeload and busload late last week, in response to escalating security threats and fears of more rioting.
Close
Members of a rescue team working at the site of a gold mine explosion where 22 miners are trapped underground in Qixia, in eastern China's Shandong province.(AFP)
Members of a rescue team working at the site of a gold mine explosion where 22 miners are trapped underground in Qixia, in eastern China's Shandong province.(AFP)

Chinese mine workers to remain trapped for at least 2 weeks: Experts

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 04:31 PM IST
The mine shaft is blocked 350 meters (1,000 feet) below the surface by 70 tons of debris that extends down another 100 meters (330 feet).
Close
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it was "heartbreaking" that, among the more than 10,000 people arrested over the pro-democracy protests, 40 per cent were students.(AP file photo)
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it was "heartbreaking" that, among the more than 10,000 people arrested over the pro-democracy protests, 40 per cent were students.(AP file photo)

Hong Kong pushes for surveillance cameras in classrooms

ANI, Hong Kong
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 04:09 PM IST
  • According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, an adviser to the Executive Council, Chief Executive Carrie Lam's de facto cabinet, suggested that placing CCTV cameras in classrooms would reveal if teachers had made "subversive remarks".
Close
Iraqi mourners pray over the coffin of a victim who was killed in a twin suicide bombing in central Baghdad, during a funeral in the holy city of Najaf on January 21, 2021. (AFP)
Iraqi mourners pray over the coffin of a victim who was killed in a twin suicide bombing in central Baghdad, during a funeral in the holy city of Najaf on January 21, 2021. (AFP)

Islamic State claims deadly and rare twin blasts in Baghdad

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 04:09 PM IST
The attack was the first in nearly three years to hit the capital. Elsewhere, in northern Iraq and the western desert, attacks continue and almost exclusively target Iraqi security forces.
Close
Boris Johnson also signalled the lockdown could last until summer.(REUTERS)
Boris Johnson also signalled the lockdown could last until summer.(REUTERS)

UK considers paying people to stay home amid lockdown breaches

Bloomberg, London
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 04:00 PM IST
The policy, which would cost about 2 billion pounds a month, would be designed to overcome people’s fear of losing income if forced to self-isolate by a positive test, according to a document dated January 19 obtained by the Guardian and confirmed by a person familiar with the matter.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP