On March 8, 2017 India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) released two Pakistani youths whom it had arrested in connection with the last year’s attack on a military base in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir that had killed 19 soldiers. The NIA Spokesperson said “Evidence collected in the form of statements, technical analysis of their mobile phones, seized GPS devices and other circumstantial evidence collected by the NIA did not reveal any linkage of the suspects with the Uri attackers.” It would be pertinent to recall here that hours after the attack, India started accusing Pakistan and Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed Pakistan as a ‘terrorist state’.

This is not an isolated example where Pakistan was initially blamed for carrying out an attack but later on absolved the accused of any involvement in it. The investigations carried out by Indian courts of a number of terrorist incidents occurred in India blatantly belie Indian’s claim of external involvement—a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan. Rather, it brings to fore the Hindutva-Military nexus. Following incidents substantiate my proposition:

On September 29, 2008, two bombs went off in Malegaon, Maharashtra. As many as 17 more bombs were also planted on the same day in various parts of Kalupur region of Ahmedabad, just a day before the start of Navaratri—the biggest Hindu festival of Gujarat. Fortunately, these bombs had been detected before they went off. The festival is usually heavily crowded and celebrated throughout the state. Had the 17 bombs went off, it would have caused a great tragedy.

The investigations on thwarted Malegaon blasts conducted by Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) brought to fore Hindutuva-Military nexus. The ruling of the court concluded that a serving colonel in Indian Army Lieutenant Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit, Major Kulkarni, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur had their close association with extremist Hindu organizations and had been involved in other recent terror incidents orchestrated in India.

This was for the first time in Indian history that such a coordinated Hindu extremist network of terrorism with its links with the Indian Military was unearthed. Later, the investigations led by Hemant Karkare, Chief of the Maharashtra ATS, gradually unfolded a number of important dimensions of the network and it was expected that the Malegaon accused might lead to some other terrorist groups/incidents in the country but Hemant Karkare was killed in 26/11 Mumbai attacks that proved a great setback for further progress in this case.

The same network was involved in the bomb blast in Hyderabad’s Makkah Mosque- one of the oldest and biggest Mosques in India- where thousands of Muslims were congregated for Friday prayer on May 18, 2007. The explosion killed 14 people. The then Home Minister K Jana Reddy said that it could be an act of the foreign elements. However, it was discovered in the Malegaon investigations that the perpetrators of this act were the same domestic elements who were earlier involved in the Malegaon blast. Moreover, Col. Purohit, the prime suspect of Malegaon blast, confessed that he had provided RDX to the Sangh Parivar for causing carnage in Makkah Mosque.

On October 14, 2007 another incident of bomb blast took place in a Cinema Hall in Ludhiana, Indian Punjab in which Pakistan was initially blamed but later on December 30, 2007, the Punjab police arrested Gurpreet Singh saying he was the mastermind of Ludhiana blast and recovered a huge amount of explosives from him.

On February 18, 2007, Samjhauta Express came under attack at Diwana station near Panipat leaving 68 dead and over 50 injured. Indian police Inspector-General Sharad Kumar claimed that a Pakistani confessed to have thrown an explosive laden suitcase on the rail track which caused the explosions and after two weeks, on March 6, 2007 during the first meeting of the India Pakistan Joint Anti-Terror Mechanism the government of India handed over the photographs of the suspected Pakistani nationals who were allegedly been involved in the Samjhauta tragedy. Indian authorities gave the impression that Pakistan’s prime Intelligence agency ISI was behind this terror incident. BJP, the then opposition party in Indian lower House of Representatives (Lok Sabha), also petitioned the Indian government to ask Pakistan to comply with the promise made in the joint statement of 2004 to stop cross border infiltration.

However, this notion was completely reversed when Col. Purohit confessed before the ATS during the Norco analysis test that he had provided the explosive material used in the Samjhauta blasts. The Indian army’s Court of inquiry has also declared Col. Purohit an offender in the blast and his court-martial is on cards. So the Samjhauta Express tragedy not only falsified the alleged involvement of Pakistan.

Besides, the investigations of the classic cases of the incidents of Ganga plane hijacking in the far past and attack on Indian Parliament building down to the relatively recent past major incidents of terrorism in India belie India’s claim of ‘external involvement.’

So this phenomenon of unfounded accusation against Pakistan needs to be seen in Shakespearean words “method in madness”. Seeing the Indian track record of taking military actions in the aftermath of such incidents without carrying out proper investigation, the Hindutva-Military nexus becomes a great threat to regional peace and harmony.

In this backdrop, the role of international community in general and big powers in particular is very important: they need to realise that if this pattern to secure their political and strategic interests becomes a norm of international politics; the causes, actors and factors, and the solution to the problem of terrorism will remain a dream.