India’s security establishment and intelligence agencies suspect an ISI hand in the attack on the country’s consulate in Herat.”We have reasons to believe the Haqqani network is involved in the attack and they have strong rapport with the ISI. This looks like an effort to scuttle Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s possible visit to Delhi on May 26 to attend swearing-in ceremony of India’s PM-elect Narendra Modi,” an intelligence official, unwilling to be named, said. Modi invited all heads of government in South Asia to his swearing-in ceremony.He has also set aside time to meet them, specially Sharif, if he comes, and Bangladesh speaker Shrin Sharmin Chaudhury, who will attend as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s representative.
Modi is likely to give Chaudhury ‘definite assurances’ on pushing ahead with the Teesta water sharing treaty.
BJP sources say Modi has been advised by Indian President Pranab Mukherji to carry forward Manmohan Singh’s effort to improve relations with Bangladesh and fulfil India’s sovereign commitments to the friendly neighbour.
Modi met Mukherji to stake claim to form government and the two had a long chat in which foreign policy priorities, specially Bangladesh, figured significantly.
Afghanistan’s outgoing president Hamid Karzai has agreed to attend the swearing-in but Sharif is yet to decide. Hasina will be away to Japan on a pre-scheduled tour and is sending the Speaker.
“The gameplan is simple. The terrorists strike an Indian consulate which will provoke India under a new PM known to be tough and that will make it difficult for Nawaz Sharif to go ahead with any plan to normalise relations with India,” said a Pakistan specialist in India’s external intelligence RAW. He was against being named.
Former deputy chief of India’s Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) Major General Gaganjit Singh says the Pakistan military officials including its chief have issued hawkish statements on Kashmir recently giving clear indication they would obstruct Nawaz Sharif if he tried to normalise relations with a new government in India.
“The ISI is even attacking independent journalists and TV stations who support normalisation of relations with India,” said Singh.
India’s deputy National Security Adviser Nehchal Sandhu told a BSF ceremony on Thursday (a day before the consulate attack) that “we have detailed information about certain terror entrepreneurs in Pakistan who are likely to create trouble to disrupt possible Indo-Pakistan parleys”.
Sandhu, a former chief of India’s Intelligence Bureau, is a specialist on Pakistan’s terror groups and their modus operandi.
“We may see some fireworks and all aimed to disrupt peace,” he had said.
The IB has reports that Pakistan-backed Indian Mujahideen has plans to attack Narendra Modi and he figures at the top of their so-called hitlist. – Agencies