New Delhi: It was a random phone call to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, not a formal exchange of information, that tipped off India that there could be an improvised explosive device (IED) attack on the Army in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources in the security establishment told ThePrint that the phone call was received by the Indian High Commission “recently” and that the information was passed on to the relevant authorities in Jammu and Kashmir.
A source in the Valley said the information given about the location of the possible attack was “vague”, but did mention that “al-Qaeda” would be carrying out a vehicle-borne IED attack.
Just two days after The Indian Express reported that Pakistan had tipped off both India and the US about the attack, an Army convoy was targeted in south Kashmir’s Pulwama Monday, leading to the deaths of two soldiers.
The report had quoted an unnamed official as saying: “The Pakistanis shared this information regarding the possibility of such an attack with our High Commission in Islamabad. They had also shared this information with the Americans, who too, informed us. So this information has come directly as well as via the Americans to us.”
Scepticism about Pakistan’s intentions
However, sources in the defence and security establishment are sceptical about the information shared by Pakistan, formally or informally.
This, they argue, could be just another “game” played by Pakistan to ensure it is able to earn brownie points as the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) reviews the country’s actions on curbing terror financing.
The meeting, the last plenary before Pakistan’s “all-weather friend” China assumes the chair of the FATF, will look into whether to keep Pakistan on the ‘grey’ list or downgrade it to the ‘black’ list, which includes countries such as North Korea.
“Within 48 hours of sharing inputs, there was a vehicle-borne attack. Let us not miss who is the master and who has the strings,” a source said.
Sources also said the appointment of Lt Gen. Faiz Hameed, a “subterfuge expert”, as ISI chief is an “indication” of the games that Pakistan could play in the coming days.
Hameed is known to be the man behind the political and judicial campaign against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, which played a key part in favour of Imran Khan becoming Pakistan PM.
Also read: Pakistan’s new ISI chief was accused of secretly helping Imran Khan’s party in 2018 polls