When Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh meets his Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the 68th UNGA, he would no longer be able to refer to at least two sticky incidents: the attack on Indian Parliament in 2001 and the Mumbai carnage of 2008. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will still be able to talk to him about the Indian intelligence agency’s handiworks within India as well as in Pakistan, thanks to the startling revelations by a former Indian investigator Satish Verma.

Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Satish Verma belong to the category of people, who risk their way of life to set the records straight. Not an easy thing to do, indeed. It is stressful, often costing near and dear relationships. Whistleblowers of this level are destined to lifetime harassment by the silhouettes and revengeful persecution by the affected states and former colleagues. Certainly, Verma was not unaware of the hardships Assange and Snowden are facing, yet he chose to follow their line.

Verma has, indeed, done a good service to expose the wheels within wheels system that does not let the Pakistan-India relations stabilise, let alone attain maturity in a sustainable way. This bilateral relationship has followed the analogy of one step forward and two backwards. Some very meaningful initiatives proved to be non-starters because something would ‘happen’ just when their launch was around the corner.

According to Times of India, Mr Mani, a former Interior Ministry official, has submitted affidavits in court in the Ishrat Jahan “fake encounter case”, stating that Verma, told him that both the 2001 attack on Indian Parliament and the 2008 Mumbai attacks were set up “with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation.” Mani has said that Verma “.......narrated that the 13/12/2001 (attack on Parliament) was followed by POTA (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act) and 26/11/2008 (terrorists’ siege of Mumbai) was followed by amendment to the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).” It is an open secret that Indian intelligence agencies cook up and execute plots of terrorism and killings of people to put the blame on Pakistan; and now it appears that these two incidents were no exception.

The startling revelation that the largest democracy brought the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust by bombing its own Parliament building has raised a lot of dust. Verma said that India engineered an attack on its Parliament in December 2001 and rushed its troops to the borders, where they stayed in battle readiness for nearly one year. The ensuing anti-Pakistan frenzy reached a level that posed risk of a nuclear war, as later revealed by the then US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Ever since, these two incidents have become an unmanageable baggage in the context of forward moment in Pak-India relations. India vehemently refuses to put these incidents behind and move forward for the normalisation of relations.

Pakistan has asked the Indian government to explain its position and bring forth facts about the revelations. The Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are also reviewing the statement made by the former Indian official.”

Verma’s revelation has also prompted Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, whom India has accused of masterminding the 26/11 attack, to launch an online response, "Mumbai False Flag": "We have been saying since the first day that any person associated with Jamat-ud-Dawa has no relation with the 26/11 attacks. The Pakistani government should not remain silent at a time when India's own officers are busting the myths."

Pakistan does not expect a confession from the Indian government, there are signs that Mani is already retracting; Verma could also follow suit under duress. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s relevant quarters should certainly pick up the cues and construct the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzles. Earlier on, also there have been indications about Indian Parliament attack being a false flag operation. However, it is for the first time that fingers have been pointed from within India with regard to Mumbai carnage as well.

Both these attacks served Indian strategic objectives, as did the fake hijacking of its own airliner Ganges in 1971. After the attack on Parliament, the Kashmir issue got inseparably linked with prevailing trends of terrorism. According to one narrative, Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance leadership had provided five Kashmiri boys out of the arrested stock. They were brought to India, brainwashed and used. The promptness with which this drama was enacted left many questions unanswered. Against the backdrop of 9/11, the world opinion quickly swayed in favour of India. It seems that both these attacks were part of the series of incidents planned to create justification for unilateral Indian military intervention as part of “hot pursuit operations.”

If one digs deeper, there have been a number of similar incidents, especially in IHK, when the blame was immediately put on Pakistan without concrete evidence and later when the inquiry reports came to light, it was proved that the terrorist acts were engineered indigenously. In all probability, Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab were made the scapegoats and promptly executed. Likewise, massacre of 36 Sikhs in IHK on March 20, 2000, coinciding with the visit of then US President was exposed by Mr Clinton himself, saying that Hindu militants had perpetrated the act.

Hopefully, the Indian government would give a serious consideration to the acts of its intelligence outfits and check their activities inside its own country and in Pakistan in order to sincerely improve bilateral relations.

Apart from these issues, India is not letting due space to Pakistan in matters like international trade. Ahead of the next WTO ministerial meeting, reportedly, it has begun aggressive lobbying to get legal shelter for subsidy on rice exports to the world market, a move likely to affect Pakistan’s rice exports. As a result of trade distorting subsidies in India, Pakistan has already lost its 7 percent market share in rice exports to it.

Further, it has recently passed an ordinance on food security, which is nothing short of a government takeover of two major commodities: wheat and rice. Production of these two commodities is highly subsidised in India, further policy space would mean that it will have an adverse impact on the food security of other countries, which will lose their market share due to subsidised Indian exports.

Against this backdrop, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir has recently said: “The government of Pakistan is clear and categorical in according high priority to improving relations with India.......We are working on the dialogue process and fix date of various meetings.”

One wonders that in the presence of these fundamental weaknesses, how bilateral relations could become self-sustaining? While the Prime Ministers of both the countries are keen to leave behind a legacy of putting Pak-India relations on right track, the two sides need to correct the macro level distortions and create an environment of mutual tolerance. Rhetoric alone won’t work; the entire structure of Pak-India relations needs reorientation and refitting. As of now India is in no mood to cede space, and Pakistan is in position to cede space. One should not expect much beyond symbolics. Nevertheless, the effort must go on to re-rail the bilateral peace process yet for another time.

The writer is a freelance columnist.