New Delhi: Former CIA director David Petraeus said yesterday that in his entire career he “never once heard the term Indian state-sponsored terrorism”.
Petraeus reportedly jumped in to answer a question actually directed at (soon-to-be former) foreign secretary S Jaishankar from an audience member at the Raisina Dialogue, an annual Geo-political conference held in New Delhi. The question was about alleged India-sponsored terror.
“I might offer that…as director of the CIA, and commander of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan, I never once heard the term ‘Indian state-sponsored terrorism'”, said Petraeus, as seen in a video clip circulating online. He headed ISAF in 2010-2011 and was CIA chief from September 6, 2011, until November 9, 2012.
The former CIA chief’s comment is a slap in the face to Pakistan, which has often accused India of fomenting unrest and terror in the restive Balochistan province. Balochis though often talk of the Pakistani state’s and army’s atrocities against them, including alleged rapes and ‘disappearances’.
There is separatism in Baluchistan, yes, but Balochis in Pakistan and in exile say that’s a reaction to how they are being treated by the government and the army of their country.
Pakistan, though, in the face of sustained international pressure for its providing safe haven for India- and Afghanistan-oriented terror, has often sought refuge in trying to paint India in its own image.
In fact, it even contended that the Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, whom it has put on death row, was arrested in Baluchistan and is an Indian spy. The facts though are that Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran where he was on private business and is a former Navy officer.
Pakistan has lately been under even more fire following the US cracking the whip on it after years of threats it never followed up on. US President Donald Trump began his broadsides against Pakistan in August and kept up the pressure with a New Year’s Day tweet roundly berating the country for “lies and deceit” in return for as much as $33 billion in aid it has got from the US in over the last decade and a half.