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AliSakhanverI never knew that there is no difference between a spy and a terrorist but the recent reporting of some of our own national media houses on the Sarabjeet Singh’s death revealed upon me that a spy could be called a terrorist and a terrorist could be a spy. According to my knowledge, a spy is a person who secretly collects and reports information about an enemy or competitor. A spy is usually employed by a state or institution to obtain secret information from rival countries, organizations and companies. In short his sole responsibility is to keep secret watch on others and he is never involved in any act of terrorism. In most of the countries a terrorist is not treated in the same manner as a spy is treated because the working of a spy is altogether different from that of a terrorist. We can say that a spy is considered an ambassador of his country taking care of mischievous rather roguish interests of his country in a foreign land. The main objective of a spy is to get secret pieces of information and manipulate and exploit the situation in the larger benefits of the country he belongs to. He himself is never directly involved in any act of terrorism. Most of the time his identity remains concealed.


Unfortunately in Pakistan, the situation is otherwise; here a spy from another country acts as a terrorist as well. A few years back, we had been hosting Raymond Davis, who was apparently a spy but later on by killing three Pakistanis he proved that he was a terrorist as well. Same is the case with Sarabjeet Singh. The Indian hi-ups as well as the Indian media claim that he was a spy but the honuorable Supreme Court of Pakistan said he was a terrorist directly involved in a series of bomb attacks in Lahore and Faisalabad that killed 14 innocent Pakistanis, in 1990. He was sentenced to death in 1991. Five of his mercy petitions were rejected by the honuorable courts and the President of Pakistan. It was because of the loose-administration of the jail authorities at Lahore that Sarabjeet Singh got involved in illegal and immoral practices including the sale and transaction of narcotics with his fellow prisoners. It was 26th of April 2013 when he was attacked by his fellow prisoners and got seriously injured. The jail authorities at once sent him to the Jinnah Hospital Lahore where he died on 2nd May 2013. His dead body was sent to India so that his relatives may not lament as those of Afzal Guru whose dead body was not handed over to his family. Instead of being thankful to Pakistan for returning the dead body to India, the Indian authorities started a blame game against Pakistan. Amber Sen, a former special secretary in the Research and Analysis Wing of India said delivering a lecture on terrorism at the International Centre in Panaji, “The Indian state over-reacted over the death of Sarabjeet Singh.” Sarabjeet was a terrorist who took lives of more than 14 innocent Pakistanis; he must not be treated as a national hero in India. The ‘Incredible India’ must have treated him as a national hero if he was simply a spy which he was not. Showering honours upon a terrorist is something very immoral and unethical. Moreover some of the Indian newspapers have admitted the fact that Sarabjeet was a terrorist hired by the RAW. Parmjit Singh reports in the Hindustan Times of 5th May 2013,” Sarabjeet was sent to Pakistan for an operation managed by an official of Research and Analysis Wing. This official later became the intelligence agency’s chief as well. Sarabjeet managed to accomplish the task given to him but was caught while trying to flee. The RAW had executed many such missions in Pakistan in the early and mid 1990s.” Parmjit Singh further says “Some of the operations executed by the RAW during the period were totally mindless. Terrorists such as Sarabjeet and their families have paid a huge cost for it. Sometimes, the agency officials executed operations out of personal bravado that they can get ‘something’ done in Pakistan.”


More pathetic is the fact that in response to Sarabjeet’s death a fifty two years old Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Haq was attacked by Indian inmates in Jammu jail. He received serious head injuries and died on 9th May, 2013. Sanaullah Haq was serving a life term there for mistakenly crossing the Line of Control. Unfortunately the Indian authorities, the Indian media and some of the media men from Pakistan who had been raising huge hue and cry on Sarabjeet’s death remained in complete state of silence on murder of Sanaullah. Such a cruel behaviour of the Indian authorities, the Indian media and their sympathizers in Pakistani media would simply mar the ongoing peace process between Pakistan and India. The desire or struggle for peace must not allow any one forget the difference between a spy and a terrorist. The terrorists deserve no sympathy whether they belong to India, USA or Pakistan and any one having a soft corner for a terrorist must also be dealt in the same way but what to do with Sanaullah Haq who was neither a spy nor a terrorist. Surely there must be some caring and kind authority that could look after the sorry plight of innocent people like Sanaullah Haq.


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