According to media reports, Latifullah Mehsud second in command of the TTP captured by the NATO-Isaf forces in Afghanistan last month confessed during the interrogation that Kabul-Delhi nexus was harbouring ‘safe heavens’ across the Durand line and using them for subversive and terrorist activities within Pakistan. He is further reported to have told his interrogators that the recent attack on Major General Sanaullah Khan and others in Dir, suicide attack on a church in Peshawar, bomb blast in Qissa Khawani bazaar and assault on the provincial secretariat were masterminded by the same nexus and executed through local militants. It is noteworthy that Latifullah Mehsud before his arrest had met key figures in Kabul and Chief of Afghan intelligence and was being escorted by the Afghan Army when he was picked up.

Karzai government has all along been accusing ISI of controlling the Taliban and obstructing process of reconciliation in Afghanistan while India also has been persistent in pointing an accusing finger towards Pakistan for supporting acts of terrorism within India through non-state actors. So they had a cause for getting back at their supposed common enemy.

Both of them also have been propagating against Pakistan at the international level. Indian Prime Minister in his address to the UN General Assembly accused Pakistan of exporting terrorism to the neighbouring countries. President Obama in a recent meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also broached the subject and demanded action against the banned outfits.

The revelations by Latifullah Mehsud and confirmed by the top command of the NATO-Isaf do provide Pakistan with an irrefutable evidence of the dangers within our territory.

Pakistan has been making sincere and relentless efforts in nudging Afghan-led and Afghan-owned solution to the Afghan conundrum. It has released a number of Taliban leaders including Mullah Baradar to assist and promote dialogue between Taliban and Karzai government. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to assist Afghan reconciliation during a trilateral meeting with Hamid Karazai and British Prime Minister David Cameron in London recently and also urged the Taliban to become part of the peace process.

It would perhaps be pertinent to mention that Pakistan also played a key role in facilitating participation of Taliban including Haqqani group in the Doha talks, which was duly acknowledged by the US, testifying to Pakistan’s credentials as a sincere peace broker. Pakistan indeed has a big stake in peace in Afghanistan which may also help in curbing militancy and terrorism within Pakistan.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also made sincere overtures towards India for a new beginning and resolution of all disputes through dialogue. One can hardly take an issue with the rationale and vision that he has been expounding in regards to improving relations with India. Ending of enmity between India and Pakistan is indispensable to regional security, welfare of their people and unleashing the shared regional prosperity which continues to be a hostage to the security environment in the region. But India unfortunately has failed to respond positively to the peace initiative. The Indian Prime Minister threw a spanner in the works by declaring Kashmir as an integral part of Kashmir in his address to the UN General Assembly. But as they say it takes two to tango, Pakistan while remaining steadfast in pursuing its objectives in regards to peace in Afghanistan and conflict free relations with India, cannot allow them to sponsor terrorism within its territory behind the smoke screen of a smear campaign against it by both of them. 

It is also a proven fact that India is very much involved in fomenting insurgency in Balochistan and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a meeting with the former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani at Sherm ul Shaikh in Egypt did accept this reality and subsequently had to face harsh criticism by the Indian opposition and media for this alleged groveling act towards Pakistan when he returned home. Casting doubts on Pakistan’s sincerity in pursuing peace in the region, when it is the biggest victim of terrorism is unfair.

The writer is a freelance columnist.