New Delhi, May 10:
Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the US, says that an ex-chief of the ISI spy agency had admitted that “some retired Pakistani Army officers” were involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack that claimed 116 lives and injured hundreds of others in 2008.
Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha, who then headed Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency, made the admission to his CIA counterpart, Gen. Michael Hayden at a meeting in Washington in December 2008, Haqqani writes in his new book, “India vs Pakistan: Why Can’t We Just Be Friends”.
The publisher, Juggernaut Books, says there is a specific reference to the Pakistani Army in the book, a no-holds-barred analysis of the India-Pakistan relationship by Haqqani, adviser to four Pakistani prime ministers, including Benazir Bhutto.
In the analytical book, Haqqani quotes a secret, hitherto unpublished letter from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the US secretary of state, complaining that while Pakistan was accused of assisting terrorism in Kashmir and Punjab, the US silence on “terrorism being carried out by the Indian government in Kashmir” was difficult to understand.
The letter also accuses India of “terror, subversion and sabotage” in Pakistan’s Sind and Punjab.
In the book replete with revelations and anecdotes, Haqqani also describes how an inadvertent intelligence tip-off through phone intercepts from Indian saved the life of then president Pervez Musharraf.
The attack was planned for December 15, 2003 and thanks to the tip-off, the ISI could foil it and nab the perpetrators, he said.
In the book, the former diplomat also quotes an ISI briefing that contended that the objectives of Indian spy agency RAW were “to divide Pakistan on ethnic and sectarian basis; to disprove and ridicule the two-nation theory; and weaken Pakistan to the extent that it ceases to pose any threat to Indian hegemonic designs”.
Haqqani also states that “the reason why Kashmir remains a problem that is neither solved nor set aside lies with Pakistan … Pakistan’s claim to Kashmir has never been accompanied by a coherent strategy or a well-considered endgame to get it”.
Haqqani say every schoolchild in Pakistan learns that ‘Kashmir is Pakistan’s jugular vein’ asking “is it really Pakistan’s jugular vein if the country has survived for 69-years without Kashmir?”
He also examines the key pressure points in the relationship between the two countries — Kashmir, terrorism and the n-bomb — and points out where both sides were to blame.
“Pakistan developed, and continues to develop, its nuclear bombs as a direct response to India, nothing more, nothing else … Pakistan’s nukes are centred on India,” the book says.
Haqqani goes on to establish how, under the military’s influence, Pakistani nationalism had evolved as anti-Indianism and how Pakistani textbooks continue to reinforce these feelings among the youth.
“Pakistan was not like other countries that raise an army to deal with threats they face; it had inherited a large army that needed a threat if it was to be maintained and the only threat that could be invoked was India … Pakistan has continued to nurture a national narrative of grievance against India,” says the book.
The book is available on the Juggernaut app. (IANS)