RAW assigned to scuttle China-Pakistan Corridor
By Asif Haroon Raja
India never reconciled to the existence of Pakistan and kept hatching conspiracies to undo it. RAW was specifically created in 1968 to subvert the people of former East Pakistan and prepare grounds for creation of Bangladesh. India was the first country in South Asia to introduce the concept of cross border terrorism in 1971. RAW had established 59 training camps along the border of East Pakistan for the training of over one lac Mukti Bahini. After succeeding in its mission of creating Bangladesh, RAW was tasked to repeat its success story in Sindh. Sindhu Desh movement was instigated by RAW in interior Sindh with the help of GM Sayyed. A special wing of Indian Special Services Bureau established terrorist camps in Rajasthan at Ganganagar, Jaipur, Udhampur, Kishangarh, Bikaner, Barmer, Jaisalmir, Gandhinagar. Services of Hindus who had migrated to India in 1971 and whose relatives are still living in Sindh were coordinated through a RAW cell at Jaipur called Sindh Desh Department. It is also well known that RAW supported Mengal-Marri rebels in Baluchistan insurgency in 1970s. With the exit of Al-Zulfiqar Organization from Afghanistan and Libya in 1980s, it was taken over completely by RAW and used for carrying out sabotage and subversion in Pakistan. After the birth of MQM in 1984 in Karachi, the party was hijacked by RAW. It helped the new political party to create a militant wing and taught how to control port city of Karachi through terrorization.
RAW is used as an instrument to apply state terrorism, indulge in false flag operations, psychological war, espionage, sabotage/subversion, destabilize/topple neighboring governments, or browbeat them into accepting India’s hegemony. RAW incited trouble in Sikkim in early 1970s and made it part of Indian Union in 1975. Its next target was Bhutan and was forced to toe Indian line to retain its independence. When landlocked Nepal got inclined to pursuing independent foreign policy, it was disciplined by stopping import of food, medicine, oil supplies. Burma was pressurized by RAW by fomenting trouble in its Arakan province, which resulted in exodus of 250,000 Arakanese to Bangladesh. Next was Sri Lanka where high intensity insurgency was stoked in 1983 with the help of RAW trained Tamils in Tamil Nadu. The LTTE were finally defeated in May 2009. In Maldives, RAW created a Maldivian mercenary force to stage a coup against President Gayoom, prompting the latter to seek Indian assistance. Help was extended in return for grant of base facility for Indian aircraft carrier.
Since 1990, India has been dubbing Pakistan as a country indulging in cross border terrorism solely because of its support to Kashmir cause. As a state policy India puts all acts of terror taking place in India at the doorsteps of Pakistan. In most cases Indian spin doctors cook up false stories to blame Pakistan and at times go to the extent of putting its own crimes at the doorsteps of Pakistan. India resorts to these wicked tactics to cover its own brutal policies against its own people and against Kashmiris.
If you recall, a terrorist attack was stage-managed on State Assembly in Srinagar in October 2001. Soon after, another attack took place on the Indian Parliament building in Delhi on December 13, 2001 when the session was on. All the five attackers were killed in the shootout outside the building and all lawmakers remained safe. Indian officials and media made hue and cry over the ordinary incident and termed it as another 9/11. Pakistan’s ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba were blamed without even carrying out preliminary investigations. In that timeframe, Pakistan had deployed 70,000 troops along the western border at the request of the US to nab fleeing al-Qaeda/Taliban operatives from Afghanistan and its bases were in use of US air force. Pakistan’s ambassador in Delhi was asked to leave and Samjhota train service between Delhi-Lahore stopped. Within days, Indian military carried out biggest ever troop mobilization, activated all air bases, deployed naval warships in Indian Ocean and hysterically started beating drums of war. Everyone in India bayed for Pakistan’s blood. Purpose behind it was to browbeat and overawe Pakistan.
This offensive move was made in collusion with USA hoping that Pakistan would submit to Indian demands the same way as it had succumbed to the US seven demands on a phone call. Military standoff continued till October 2002 and ultimately Indian troops quietly withdrew after Pakistan military gave a befitting response. While the military refused to be cowed down and responded aggressively to India’s aggressive posture, Gen Musharraf buckled under Indo-US pressure and on the quiet gave series of concessions to India in his bid to make Vajpayee agree to sign peace treaty.
Indo-US peace treaty signed in January 2004 was preceded by cease fire in Kashmir in later part of 2003. None knew that Vajpayee had agreed only when Musharraf held an assurance that Pakistan will not allow Pakistan’s soil for cross border terrorism against India or any other neighbor. This one-sided silly assurance authenticated India’s stance that Pakistan was abetting terrorism. It was later misused by India and Afghanistan to the hilt. The treaty helped India in fencing the entire length of the Line of Control (LoC) in AJK and installing electronic gadgets/building posts, thereby enabling Indian military to check cross LoC movement and curtail freedom movement. Responding to India’s demand, Musharraf promptly banned six Jihadi groups entirely focused towards Kashmir and also froze their accounts. He thus forced the Jihadis to turn their guns inwards and later get aligned with TTP.
Optimists viewed the peace treaty as a watershed in Indo-Pak relations since India had agreed to resume composite dialogue stalled after the Kargil episode and discuss all issues including the issue of Kashmir. High hopes were expressed that it would end age-old antagonism and herald a new beginning of peace and friendship. In reality, India had no intention to touch upon outstanding issues of Kashmir, Siachin, Sir Creek and water, but wanted to hoodwink Pak leadership into believing that India was genuinely interested in finding solution to chronic issues. Hidden motive was to dupe Musharraf and then carry out its planned covert war from Afghan soil in connivance with other intelligence agencies to destabilize FATA, and Baluchistan and in the process pin down sizeable regular troops in the troubled regions. Groundwork for the same had already been done. Apart from establishing four Pakistan specific consulates in eastern and southern Afghanistan and filling them with RAW officials, 17 intelligence units were deployed in Afghanistan to undertake clandestine operations at a massive scale. Indian defence attaché in Indian Embassy in Kabul became the chief coordinator. Afghan intelligence and military provided full support for the establishment of 70 training camps and centres and CIA provided funds. CIA and FBI enjoying full liberty of action in Pakistan helped RAW agents to creep into troubled spots.
Another sinister purpose of India behind the farce of peace mantra was to launch cultural invasion from eastern border with the help of its electronic media, artists and singers so as to dilute the spirit of Jihad, deflect the youth towards fun and frolic, paint India as shining and an unconquerable giant, undermine two-nation theory and Kashmir freedom movement. Aman ki Asha and SAFMA facilitated the goals of India by showing its soft face and hiding its ugly face.
After destabilizing FATA and Baluchistan, flames of militancy were pushed into settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Peshawar. Blackwater elements were inducted in 2008 and tasked to destabilize major urban centres. Induction of NRO cleansed PPP-MQM-ANP dream team of the US and deceptive Kerry Lugar Bill made the infiltration of Blackwater operatives and dozens of NGOs to pursue US agenda easy. Services of Blackwater were availed by RAW for its own clandestine operations. From 2008 onwards, MQM aided by RAW was activated to destabilize Karachi with the help of target killers, kidnappers and extortionists. Sectarianism was also heightened in several parts of Pakistan. As a result of mushrooming of militant wings, and linkage of TTP with Punjabi Taliban, mostly from southern Punjab, flames of terrorism spread to every nook and corner of the country. Insurgency in Baluchistan was converted into separatist movement.
To make the covert operations more deadly, Indo-US-Jewish-Western media in conjunction with Pak media embarked upon a calculated vilification campaign to discredit Pakistan and its premier institutions, particularly Army and ISI. Obama administration invested $60 million to subvert Pak media. Likewise, nuclear program was also vilified by asserting that it was unsafe and would fall into wrong hands. Pakistan was kept on the defensive by leveling unsubstantiated charges of its collusion with Taliban and continuously pressed to do more. Pakistan was an ally but distrusted and treated as a foe.
Bajaur, Swat, South Waziristan (SW) were converted into fortresses laden with tons of arms, ammunition, explosives stored in tunnels and caves. Fazlullah made a state within a state in Swat and provoked the Army to barge into the well fortified ambush site in May 2009. So did Faqir Muhammad in Bajaur. The two fortresses were dismantled in a month time, which shocked the plotters. GHQ was attacked on October 10, 2009 to provoke and lure the Army into the killing zone of SW where none had ever succeeded. This area was also cleared in a month time and in the process the security forces managed to free 17 out of 18 administrative units from the sway of TTP. Not knowing what to do, the conspirators then prepared North Waziristan (NW) to destroy the might of the military.
Attack on Karachi airport in June 2014 triggered operation Zarb-e-Azb in NW and gruesome tragedy in Peshawar Army School galvanized the operation. The scope was extended to all parts of the country and it was decided not to spare any terrorist, his protector and sympathizer. 20-point National Action Plan was formulated and host of other corrective steps taken to achieve decisive results against scourge of terrorism.
2014 and ongoing 2015 proved to be bad years for India and its strategic partners. Except for bloodying Afghanistan and Pakistan, none of the laid out objectives could be achieved and things began to spin out of control of ISAF and ANA in Afghanistan. The ISAF had to ultimately pack up and exit in disgrace, while pro-India Karzai handed over the reins to pro-Pakistan Asharf Ghani which brought marked improvement in Pak-Afghan relations. Ghani candidly declared that he held Pakistan in higher priority because it is Afghanistan’s immediate neighbor. Thaw in Pak-Russia relations also occurred and latter agreed to sell combat helicopters. There is visible change in the US demeanor and it now looks towards Pakistan as part of solution of Afghan imbroglio rather than a problem as it had all along been stating. After prolonged reluctance, USA has agreed to sell attack helicopters and Hellfire missiles to Pakistan. Saudi Arabia led Gulf States are leaning more on Pakistan and so is China. India’s military coercion along the Line of Control/Working Boundary and high-handed tactics has failed to make any impression on Pakistan and Kashmir issue has been reinvigorated. Pakistani flags were hoisted by Kashmiris in Occupied Kashmir and the Valley often resounds with anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans. War on terror has made the Army fully battle inoculated and resilient and is rated as the best fighting force. All economic indicators are showing upward trends and energy crisis is being tackled on war footing.
These positive changes took place as a result of outstanding results achieved by Pak Army in dismantling foreign trained/equipped TTP network in NW and by FC in pushing BLA, BRA in Baluchistan on the back foot. Intelligence based Karachi-Police operation in Karachi has also made substantial gains in netting target killers and extortionists and in ascertaining that majority of criminals belong to MQM, which is linked with RAW. Interrogation of two MQM terrorists Junaid and Tahir lamba revealed that MQM members were imparted training in Dheradun since early 1990s with a view to destabilize port city. The biggest surprise package for Pakistan and biggest shock for India and the US was China’s decision to launch China-Pakistan Energy Corridor (CPEC) worth $46 billion. Experts are of the considered view that even if 50% of the pledged amount is spent in Pakistan on various projects, it would solve all the problems of Pakistan.
Sudden change in geo-political environment has reduced the pace of India racing towards the victory stand from a gallop to canter. While it was bracing up to receive the trophy, its ecstasy has been deflated. This sudden turn of events has left Indian leaders and their meteoric RAW appalled. The US is equally worried since it sees the CPEC enabling China to achieve its ambition of becoming a super power at its cost. In desperation the two are conjointly hatching conspiracies to scuttle the project at whatever cost. RAW has been assigned this task and allocated $ 300 million as initial grant. It has established its special office at Lodhi Road, New Delhi, Rajendar Khanna and its chief is personally supervising the given project. RAW will seek assistance from its strategic partners CIA, MI-6, Mossad, Afghan NDS, BND (Germany) and FSB (Russia). It will also garner help from friendly regimes, banned terrorist groups, its moles in Pakistan which are present in almost every government department, some political parties, electronic/print media, NGOs, human rights activists, mafias, traders, lawyers, quislings to accomplish its task.
ANP which has historically been the camp follower of Indian Congress has cast the first stone by pledging to hype the CPEC on lines of Kalabagh dam. The plea taken is that original route of the corridor has been changed to benefit Punjab. A sit-in was observed in front of Baluchistan Assembly building on 5 May and ANP gave a call for strike in Quetta. Shutter down was observed by trading centres, shopping plazas. The strike call was backed by Anjuman Tajran, three factions of JUI-F, PPP, Hazara Democratic Party and PML-Q. Protesting parties claim that original route was Gwadar-Khuzdar-Quetta-Zhob-DIK, which has been changed to Islamabad-Lahore-Multan-Karachi-Gwadar to facilitate Punjab. This is just the beginning. Paid writers have already started writing articles against China’s investment, arguing it will be bad for Pakistan. Cause of Baloch rebels is being promoted by NGOs. Acts of militancy are likely to accelerate in coming months. RAW will mastermind some false flag operations. Articles in foreign media written by Hussain Haqqani and Seymour Hersh and killing of Sabeen Mahmoud are links of the same chain. India has taken the contract of developing Chahbahar port in Iran to counter Gwadar. It will keep trying to spoil Pak-Afghanistan and Pak-Iran relations. There is a greater need to exercise vigilance and remain watchful of the snakes in the grass. More importantly, doubts about change in route must be clarified and publicity wing in Ministry of Information should effectively counter the propaganda war.
The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran/defence analyst/columnist/author of five books, Member Executive Council PESS, Director Measac Research Centre, Director Board of Members TFP.