Sunday, 25th March, 2018

Exclusive: Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s Interview with Faking News

02, Apr 2015 By nileshkunwar

Unable to produce anything humorous ever since Rahul Gandhi suddenly disappeared from the scene, the Faking News team has been forced into doing odd-sort of jobs to keep afloat. One such assignment took the Faking News team to the Pakistan High Commission where it hired to dismantle the elaborate arrangements put up the day earlier for Pakistan Day celebrations.

On its arrival, the Faking News team found Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit in a pensive mood and out of pure perverse inquisitiveness (which is the USP of Faking News), Berozgar Kalamkaar who was heading the dismantling team struck a conversation. No sooner had pleasantries been exchanged, the High Commissioner broke down and started sobbing inconsolably. Complaining that despite having pulled off a major coup by getting both the Hurriyat and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs retired General VK Singh to attend the Pakistan Day celebrations no TV channel had approached him for just a 30 seconds byte, Basit lashed out at the Indian media alleging that it had an anti Pakistan bias.

Abdul Basit during the interview with Faking News
Abdul Basit during the interview with Faking News

Citing how General Singh hogged all the limelight even though he was present for only 15-20 minutes, Basit lamented, “First TV channels endlessly debated the significance of the green waistcoat that he wore and when viewers lost interest, experts were quickly called in to decipher his “Duty and Disgust” tweet.

Consoling the grieving High Commissioner and lauding his spectacular achievement (out of the sheer habit of instinctively indulging in black humour) Kalamkaar jokingly suggested he give the Faking team an interview. To his surprise, Basit happily agreed. Below is the exclusive Faking News interview of Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit:

Faking News: Considering that New Delhi had called-off Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary talks last year because of your meeting with Hurriyat leaders, weren’t you apprehensive that your recent meeting with the Hurriyat leader SAS Geelani could end up the same way? Basit: You see, while the Hurriyat may be inconsequential to you, but for us separatists mean the world- after all, they are the only ones in this big, bad and cruel world who endorse our stand on Kashmir. So, we have to humour the Hurriyat in order to keep the Kashmir issue alive. And that is exactly why we consistently keep inflating their ego by making meaningless statements like the “Hurriyat is the true representative of the people of Jammu and Kashmir” Faking News: Using the excuse that since the Hurriyat is the solitary supporter of your Kashmir policy, you have to keep them in good humour may not be correct. Why are you not talking about the PDP chief Mufti Sayeed, who after becoming J&K Chief Minister is openly making the pro-Pakistan comments? Basit: I agree that by complimenting Pakistan and our ‘freedom fighters’ for allowing elections to take place in Kashmir, the PDP chief and J&K Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed has shown that he has the potential to join our fold. Yet we remain cautious. After all, even though we desperately need to enlarge our “Kashmir banega Pakistan” (Kashmir will become Pakistan) club and Mufti Sahib seems to be a worthy candidate, how can a man who has no scruples and is willing to barter both his principles and morals for the sake of the CM chair ever be trusted? Faking News: Islamabad talks of peace- yet it is not doing anything to stop cross border terrorism. Under these circumstances, how can you ever expect peace to prevail? Basit: The basic problem with you Indians is that instead of dealing with each issue individually, you tend to co-relate issues and thus end up in confusion. Look at us- unlike you, we have been able to completely disassociate our peace efforts from the proxy war handiwork of our State and non State ‘actors’. Thus, while we are convinced that a few terror attacks can never be a threat to peace, you all unnecessarily start complaining about peace being endangered every time a terrorist attack takes place. So, let us learn not unnecessarily waste time and energy in trying and find a relation between peace and proxy war as none exists. Faking News: On the one hand, you make a goodwill gesture by extending an invitation to the Indian Government, while on the other hand you carryout terrorist attacks in Kathua and Samba on the eve of Pakistan Day celebrations. How do you explain this contradictory behaviour? Basit: Indian media always tries to sensationalise issues just to portray Pakistan as the villain. We do not deny that there were terror strikes in Kathua and Samba just prior to the Pakistan Day celebrations. But, let me assure you that they were not meant to provoke New Delhi or derail the peace process. Faking News: Then what was the reason for these terror attacks? Basit: I’m happy that you have asked this question. As you well know that Pakistan has been going through such bad times that we couldn’t even muster up soldiers for a having a parade on Pakistan Day for the last seven years. So, this time we decided to have a parade and to make it a grand show, have a couple of terror strikes as ‘curtain raisers’ of these celebrations. Faking News: You surely cannot justify terror attacks by saying that they were part of the Pakistan Day celebrations? Basit: I’m not trying to justify anything but merely stating facts. When you Indians celebrate your Republic Day, don’t you showcase your achievements? If you can do so, why can’t we? You must understand our problem – we actually have nothing to showcase. In the past, we tried passing off our Hatf and Ghauri missiles as being ‘Made in Pakistan’, but everyone knew that these were secretly imported from North Korea! And when you included the ‘Make in India’ float this year, we too had to find an indigenous achievement that was truly Pakistani. Finally, our social worker Hafiz Saeed who runs many charitable organisations came up with the idea of cashing upon the sobriquet of “Epicenter of Terrorism” given to Pakistan by the international community. Thus, the Kathua and Samba terror strikes were just to showcase our solitary yet unparalleled achievement in the 68 long years of Pakistan’s existence. Faking News: How do you think can the Kashmir problem be resolved? Basit: We have always been very serious on the issue of finding a “just solution” to the Kashmir problem. Immediately after Pakistan was created, we thought that our army could ‘just’ grab Kashmir, but they failed us. Yet we did not give up hope and in 1965, our army once again ‘just’ tried to annex Kashmir with equally disastrous results. However, it was only when General Musharraf’s third attempt in Kargil failed that we finally realised that it was beyond our army’s capability to ‘liberate’ Kashmir. So, we have now given up our quest of a “just solution” for Kashmir and have ‘just’ left this job to the ‘freedom fighters’ and social workers like Hafiz Saeed. Faking News: In case of a plebiscite, do you think that a majority of the Kashmir Valley population will vote to make the “Kashmir banega Pakistan” slogan a reality? Basit: I’m sure that a majority of the population in Kashmir Valley will vote for joining Pakistan. After all, unlike India which has kept people of J&K isolated from the rest of India by promulgating Article 370, we have allowed the people of Pakistan to freely set up their homes in ‘Azad Kashmir’. This gives the Kashmiris under our control the chance to mingle freely with people of other ethnicity and become worldly wise by gaining firsthand experience about crucial issues like sectarianism and terrorism as well as get over the primitive mindset of preserving their ethnic and cultural identity. We have also given the people of ‘Azad Kashmir’ a truly democratic constitution with unique provisions to safeguard their unbounded love and affection for Pakistan. One such provision enshrined in Section 7(2) of this constitution states: “No person or political party in Azad Jammu Kashmir shall be permitted to propagate against, or take part in activities prejudicial or detrimental to, the ideology of the State’s accession to Pakistan.” On the contrary, India has put no such stipulations but allowed the people of Kashmir to freely express their views on the Kashmir issue and this has sent out confusing signals to the international community. Faking News: In the end, do you think that the Kashmir issue can be resolved in accordance with the aspiration of Kashmiris? Basit: Of course the Kashmir issue can be solved in accordance with the aspiration of Kashmiris. But that is not the issue- the real issue is whether the Kashmir issue can be resolved as per the wishes of Pakistan Army. And it is here that we get stuck as we neither have the military might nor the diplomatic leverage to influence the results in our favor!

Nilesh Kunwar