Uri aftermath: Khawaja Asif's threat to nuke India displays a Pakistani habit to play victim

Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s preposterous statement that the Uri attack was "a plan devised by India itself" is a familiar narrative that emanates from across the border after all major acts of terror. His rant falls into the larger pattern of global jihadists’ narrative they use to portray them as victims and not aggressors.

Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif. Reuters

Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif. Reuters

Asif flatly denied any Pakistan’s role in the Uri attack stating that there was no proof yet to implicate his country. And then taking to by now familiar rant he told Dawn newspaper, “It was evident the attack was a plan devised by India itself.”

Pakistan plays the victimhood card every time it carries out an act of terror against India. It resorts to lies every time it’s exposed and squeezed for its acts of terrorism.

After the Pathankot and the Mumbai attacks too, Pakistan used the same tactics to accuse India of staging the attack itself. The Pakistani government is not the only entity to shift the blame for the attack on India. The Pakistani army, all the jihadist groups or the so-called non-state actors, the media, as well as the civil society too, buy into the victim-as-aggressor syndrome. The whole country is seen to be on the same page on this issue.

Soon after the Uri attack on 18 September, the Pakistani media began singing the familiar tune as though on a cue. The News International quoted sources in the Pakistani security establishment to say that the Uri attack was "a Pathankot-like Indian-staged drama to trumpet its terrorism mantra against Pakistan." Other newspapers such as The Express Tribune and The Dawn too sang the same tune.

The narrative of calling the victim as an aggressor is based on the cult of victimhood and lies the global jihadists have mastered. The whole narrative stands on two legs: play a victim and weave lies to mask the terror crime, gain the sympathy of the people and the gullible intellectual class and justify and enhance the broader agenda of jihad.

Once the jihadists get traction in the propaganda to paint them as victims, the process to indoctrinate people for carrying out jihad becomes easy. This culture of victimhood is part of a much broader and calibrated strategy to mould impressionable minds and for recruiting volunteers for global jihad.

This is what happened after the 11 September 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. The global jihad industry accused the US of staging the attack to defame Islam with an aim to carrying out war against Muslims in Afghanistan and later Iraq.

Just a week before the Uri attack, the mother of Mohammed Atta, who piloted the hijacked plane to destroy the World Trade Centre said in an interview that her son was the victim of a US plot. She also believes that her son is still alive and that he is being held at US prison in Guantanamo Bay.

Bozaina Mohamed Mustafa Sheraqi, Atta’s mother, told AFP, “The United States is hiding the truth. They are the ones who designed this attack to spread the idea that Islam is terrorism.” She is not the only one who believes in the jihadist propaganda that the US staged 9/11 to defame Islam. A large number of gullible and common people do.

Atta’s late father too believed the US was not the victim but aggressor in the 9/11 attack. He claimed that his son had phoned him from an undisclosed location the day after the attack. One can understand the pain and loss of parents and empathise with them. However, Atta’s parents’ belief of painting the US as an aggressor in the Twin Tower attack and their son as a victim fits into the narrative of victimhood and lies theory used by jihadists to advance their cause.

The phenomena of victimhood and lies used by Pakistani against India are designed to gain moral high ground abroad and to maintain and continue the jihadists industry at home. The Pakistani government has to maintain the veneer of denial and lies to distinguish itself from the global jihadists, such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State who own up their acts of terrorism, to maintain the State’s legitimacy.

Pakistan also gathers the sympathy of a vocal section of civil society and political class in India. The narrative of victimhood appeals to the whole grievance industry in India, which in turn helps in blunting the response of the government towards Pakistan.

Congress’ Digvijaya Singh almost fell into the trap with his tweet quoting the Pakistan’s Defence Minister and by choosing not to debunk Asif’s lies.

Veteran journalist Chitra Subramanium slammed Digvijaya Singh on Twitter by asking him why he had not condemned Khawaja Asif’s lies.


The Pakistani government and its sponsored jihadists get emboldened by the conduct of the people like Digvijaya Singh who seems to be buying into the culture of victimhood propagated by them.

Updated Date: Sep 28, 2016 22:34 PM

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