India’s decision to revoke Article 370 from Kashmir saw Pakistan suspending all the trade relations with India without thinking of the economic implications of suspending bilateral trade with India as Imran Khan sought to project a tough posture. The Imran Khan government just after a month allowed importing essential medicines from India and now a large number of other medicines which are already manufactured at cheap rates in Pakistan is also being imported from India, a move which has not gone down well in Pakistan. Questions must be asked to the Indian government too as to why it is allowing exports of medicines to Pakistan when the latter continues to export terror into India even in the times of a pandemic.
Recently, some media reports have stated that Pakistan has been importing medicines, including life-saving drugs and mustard oil from India. The Pakistan Young Pharmacists Association has written a letter to Shahzad Akbar, special assistant to Imran Khan, complaining that more than 450 medicines are being sourced from India even after the trade is suspended. The association was quoted, “The government was informed about the shortage of cancer drugs but in the summit issued by the federal government, the import of mustard oil along with all types of medicines has been approved.”
The association claimed that a term “Therapeutic Goods” was included in the summary to allow all kinds of medicines, vitamins, syringes and even mustard oil.
Facing backlash, Imran Khan has tasked Akbar to investigate the misuse of the permission which allowed the import of life-saving drugs from India. Khan has come under heavy fire from the opposition parties as PML-N has accused the Imran Khan government of profiting from drug scams. The party also taunted Imran Khan that if something like this happened during the PML-N’s tenure, they would have been immediately called traitors. While the PPP has also demanded an investigation into the import of medicines worth billions of rupees from India.
“Coming on the heels of sugar, wheat and IPPs scandals, the latest drug scandal indicates how powerful mafias within the PTI [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf] government continue to tilt the policy in their favour,” said Shahbaz Sharif. It is important to note that Imran Khan is also the Health Minister of Pakistan and Sharif has directly accused Khan of profiting from the medicine scandal.
Now the question arises as to why are we sending them medicines to Pakistan? There was a time when Sushma Swaraj allowed treatment of Pakistanis in India on humanitarian grounds. However, the export of terror from Pakistan has not stopped and the recent case of Handwara is a testament to this fact.
In the 18-hour operation, five security personnel, including a Colonel, a Major and a sub-inspector were martyred where they killed two terrorists. “A joint operation was launched by the Army and the police. A team comprising five Army and police personnel entered the target area occupied by the terrorists to evacuate the civilians. They successfully extricated the civilians. However, during the process, the team was subjected to heavy volume of fire by the terrorists,” said the Army.
Pakistan true to its characteristics is now carrying out aerial exercises fearing retaliation from India after the Handwara attack. Recently, a video shared by BJP leader Sambit Patra shows Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahudeen claiming responsibility of the Handwara attack.
In the video, terrorist Salahudeen can be heard saying, “It’s a shock (Riyaz Naikoo’s killing) for all of us but these sacrifices have been going on in Kashmir since long. Mujahideens broke the back of enemy (Indian Army) in Handwara Rajwara but the enemy has an upper hand.”
The Hizbul chief said that the Indian Army has eliminated 80 terrorists from the Pakistan sponsored terror outfit in 2020 itself. Salahuddin also admitted that the Indian Army is giving hell to Hizbul and other Pakistan-based terror outfits when he said, “But the enemy (Indian Army) is in a stronger position at present, due to our weak policies.”
Recently, Riyaz Naikoo, Hizbul Mujahideen’s Chief in Kashmir and an A-category terrorist with a bounty of 1.2 million rupees on his head, was gunned down in a smooth joint operation by the Army, CRPF and the J&K Police. Riyaz Naikoo has been the longest surviving terrorist in the valley, with an operational ‘career’ of nine long years. Riyaz Naikoo became the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen after the death of Mohammad Yasin Itoo, who had taken over the terror outfit after Burhan Wani’s elimination in July 2016. Riyaz Naikoo was credited as one of the most effective commanders in Kashmir, who could recruit a large number of youngsters.
To make matters worse for Pakistan backed terrorists, Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen narco-terror network groups are also getting busted in Punjab, and recently the Punjab Police arrested Ranjeet Singh alias Rana alias Cheeta, an associate of the slain terrorist Riyaz Naikoo.
India all ready to fight and eliminate terror emanating from Pakistan – but till the time Pakistan exports terror from its territory, India can’t show goodwill and humanity to Pakistan. The Indian government should start an inquiry as to how and why medicines and mustard oil are being exported to Pakistan even as it continues to export terror.