Poonch Attack May Also Be Aimed To Derail Peace Process Like Pulwama & Mumbai: Journalist Adrian Levy

On April 20, terrorists attacked an Indian Army truck in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch and killed five personnel.

Five Indian Army personnel were killed in the Poonch attack in Jammu and Kashmir (Representative Photo)

Investigative journalist and author Adrian Levy, who had ‘established’ that 2019 Pulwama attack was planned by Jaish-e-Mohammad in Afghanistan to derail India-Pakistan peace process, believes that the recent Poonch attack could also be a similar attempt.

On February 14, 2019, a suicide bomber had struck a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, killing 44 personnel. 

On April 20, terrorists attacked an Indian Army truck in J&K’s Poonch and killed five personnel. Adrian believes that it could also be an attempt by elements similar to those behind Pulwama attack with the similar intention to derail the ongoing peace process. He believes the peace process is being handled at the top level in the Modi government.

In an interview with YouTube channel Uncensored, Adrian said that to critically examine such super-sensitive attack, one has to also analyse the external political manoeuvres that are taking place between two countries and which may be destabilised with this attack.

“There are political manoeuvres taking place which includes backchannel talks heating up between Indian security services and Pakistan security establishment. And, political offering for peace which are being made by political figures who are advancing their own political careers both in India and Pakistan,” said Adrian.

He further said, “Pakistan Foreign Minister Billawal Bhutto has reached out to [India] in his role as Foreign Minister to explore any kind of peace deal which may be possible given the fact that Pakistan is in a fragile state, so disrupting the deal seem to be one the of aims of this attack.”  

Adrian is the author of several books—who often collaborates with co-author Cathy Scott-Clark— such as the The Siege on 2008 Mumbai attacks, The Meadow on the 1995 abduction of five British tourists in Kashmir, and The Spy Stories on the rival spy agencies ISI of Pakistan and RAW of India. 

India has till now officially not blamed Pakistan for this attack, though Defence Minister Rajnath Singh speaking at Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ meeting in Delhi on April 28 said, “Any kind of terrorist act or support to it in any form is a major crime against humanity and peace and prosperity can’t coexists with this menace.” 

The meeting was attended by Special Advisor to Pakistani Prime Minister through video conference.

Pakistan Army chief General Asim Munir addressing the passing out parade of cadets at Pakistan Military Academy recently said, “We are peace loving nation...We continue to believe in cooperative and harmonious existence with all countries, especially our neighbours. We also welcome recent regional engagement and peace overtures and hope it will have positive impact…But our efforts for peace shouldn’t be seen as sign of weakness.”  

Though, J&K Director General Of Police Dilbagh Singh had during his visit to Rajouri on April 28 said Pakistani agencies were involved in dropping of weapons and cash used in this attack. 

Former RAW chief AS Dulat in an interview to The Wire had said ISI agents along the Line of Control —the de-facto India-Pakistan border in Kashmir region— in the Surankote sector of Poonch were clearly involved in this attack.
Adrian said in the interview that the evidence has not yet been fully gathered but it’s understandable why people are jumping to conclusion because in the past they have seen Pakistani interference in India but it’s important for the evidence to emerge.

“An attack like this puts pressure on Pakistani military establishment and huge pressure on Pakistan in general,” said Adrian.

Adrian said it has been conclusively established that three main planners of the Mumbai attacks were operating from Afghanistan and were incidentally on the hit list of ISI as they were ruthlessly pursuing ISI officers with an aim to assassinate them but the political veneer placed on it made many to believe that Pakistani Army and ISI was directly involved.  

Adrian said at that time of the attack India-Pakistan peace process was at final stage and during Pulwama attack also this process had picked up, so the aim was to derail the process by the forces who have their own interests other than the peace.

“In such attack, it’s important to examine who the likely beneficiaries are, pull out the strands, and look for political contacts. It is true as RAW maintains often with terror that there is no sense and timing is irrelevant. That is true but the political contact matters so important it is not to race to the judge but to allow some time to analyse the key events before creating political contacts which simply doesn’t exist,” said Adrian.

Adrian said it’s difficult to say why the Indian response has been bit muted but one has to understand that since India is chairing G-20 and the government is quite careful in its language and there is no clear evidence yet.

“It suits nobody to see Pakistan as failed state as both nations can profit if Pakistan succeeds economically. Pakistan is in a deadly phase and no one wants to accelerate that,” said Adrian.

India has yet not cancelled the invitee to Pakistan Foreign minister Billawal Bhutto to attend SCO foreign ministers meeting next month at Goa even after this attack.


Adrian said in the interview that signals are emerging that Pakistan establishment is thinking of forming next government which will be headed by Billawal Bhuto which will have “clean” hands being run by technocrats.