Written By: Abdullah Khan

There are many types of Indian intelligence involvement in Pakistan. It has a history of launching dirty games in Pakistan and it brought the worst kind of results in 1971 when East Pakistan defected to become Bangladesh because of India’s intelligence and military involvement. Let’s discuss different types of Indian involvement in Pakistan.


Terror Sponsoring: India has a documented and well-proven history of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. It supported Mukti Bahini, the rebel militia in East Pakistan and eventually Pakistan was broken into two. Indian government has now officially admitted that it was not only sponsoring Mukti Bahini terrorists but also Indian forces fought alongside Mukti Bahini in the garb of Bengali fighters.1 Pakistan officially accuses India of sponsoring TTP, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and other anti-Pakistan militant groups. Former foreign secretary of Pakistan and Pakistan’s ambassador to U.S. Aizaz Chaudhry2, and many other government officials have publicly accused India of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan3.

 

theindiandirty.jpgKeeping the deniability factor in play, India has been smartly using Afghan soil against Pakistan.4 Pakistan believes that India spent huge money in Afghanistan’s civil society and academia to tarnish Pakistan’s image despite being host to millions of Afghan refugees. Hostile environment in Afghanistan helps India to use Afghan territory and resources against Pakistan. Nexus between Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Indian intelligence is a well-known fact. Recent surrender of chief spokesman of Jamat-ul-Ahrar and former spokesman of TTP Ahsanullah Ahsan revealed that Afghan NDS at the behest of Indian intelligence provides special cards and permits to anti-Pakistan militants of different groups to move freely in Afghanistan.


Most worrying factor was revealed recently in April 2017 that RAW is also sponsoring Daesh or ISIS. Although Pakistan had strong intelligence inputs that establishment of Daesh sanctuaries along its border in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces were a handiwork of RAW, but an operation by Sindh Rangers in Karachi unearthed dangerous level of involvement by RAW in the country.5 India not only provides funds, logistics and other resources to anti-Pakistan militants but it also provides medical treatment to key militant leaders. Surrendered spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan revealed that Omar Khalid Khorasani was injured in a gun fight and went to India on an Afghan passport for treatment.6 Ajit Doval, the national security advisor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is key man behind the policy of sponsoring terrorist groups. He professes the concept of fighting fire with fire. His infamous lecture of 2014 in which he advocated using militant groups for strategic goals is available on internet (link in the footnote).7 There are worrying signs that Indian intelligence under his supervision is in a process of bringing Daesh in Occupied Kashmir to counter Pakistan’s so-called influence over militant groups and freedom struggle. Recent audio messages by a senior militant commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Zakir Musa in favor of Daesh can be seen as symptoms of the strategy being pursued. Daesh’s inclusion in Kashmir theater will weaken Pakistan’s influence but it will be catastrophic in future for India itself. Since Ajid Doval became advisor to Prime Minister, this has been seen for the first time that Indian nationals have started taking part in global jihadi movements. Prior to emergence of Daesh there were rare instances where Indian citizens despite being second or third largest population of Muslims in any country were found involved in global Jihad.


Sending Own Agents: India has a history of sending its own agents and officers to carry out subversive activities in Pakistan. Many of them were caught and tried in courts. The latest example is arrest of Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW) officer Kulbhushan Jadev who was arrested from Balochistan and was operating from Iran. Few years back an Indian RAW agent Surbajeet Singh died in a Pakistani jail after an attack by other prisoners.8 He was convicted of terrorism charges and was sentenced to death by Pakistani court. Prime Minister Modi’s advisor on National Security, Ajit Kumar Doval spent seven years in Pakistan as undercover agent as a Muslim and he admitted it openly.9 Another Indian agent Kashmir Singh was released by President Pervez Musharraf after 35 years in Pakistan.10 Some Muslim clerics who recently visited Pakistan were also suspected of working for Indian Intelligence.11 Who knows how many are still in the country without any detection.

 

India has a documented and well-proven history of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. It supported Mukti Bahini, the rebel militia in East Pakistan and eventually Pakistan was broken into two. Indian government has now officially admitted that it was not only sponsoring Mukti Bahini terrorists but also Indian forces fought alongside Mukti Bahini in the garb of Bengali fighters. Pakistan officially accuses India of sponsoring TTP, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and other anti-Pakistan militant groups. Former foreign secretary of Pakistan and currently Pakistan’s ambassador to U.S. Aizaz Chaudhry, and many other government officials have publicly accused India of sponsoring terrorists in Pakistan. Keeping the deniability factor in play, India has been smartly using Afghan soil against Pakistan . Pakistan believes that India spent huge money in Afghanistan’s civil society and academia to tarnish Pakistan’s image despite being host to millions of Afghan refugees.

Political Involvement: India always exploits weak points of Pakistan’s internal politics. It is practically involved in Balochistan to exploit the political rights issue of the Baloch people. As mentioned earlier that it sponsors rebel groups in Balochistan and all their propaganda material is carried without verification in Indian media. One of the major political parties MQM has also been accused of being sponsored by India. RAW allegedly provides training to MQM militants in India. Recently, political leadership of MQM Pakistan distanced itself from its founding leader Altaf Hussain on the charges of his links with Indian intelligence as well as receiving funds from RAW. It also runs training camps for Baloch rebels in Afghanistan. India was also involved in 1960s/1970s in the issue of Pakhtunistan, a proposed separate homeland for Pashtuns. One of the leaders of Pakhtunistan movement, Juma Khan Sufi has recently exposed how India was providing funds and other support for the movement.

India keeps its ties with centrifugal forces in Pakistan especially ethnic political parties. It used its influence to make Kalabagh Dam a controversial issue, which deprived Pakistan of a huge mega energy project. Pakistan is still unable to build Kalabagh Dam because ethnic politicians in KP and Sindh oppose the project publicly while privately they admit that there is no harm to any of the provinces. Pakistan also believes that India is involved in exploiting sectarian fault lines in Pakistani society.


Media Sector Involvement: Indian intelligence is also believed to be involved in exerting its influence in Pakistani media, film industry, showbiz, and other areas. Although Pakistan may not be able to prove Indian involvement in media sector at international level but Indian narrative gets very good coverage in Pakistan.

India has a history of sending its own agents and officers to carry out subversive activities in Pakistan. Many of them were caught and tried in courts. The latest example is arrest of Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW) officer Kulbhushan Jadev who was arrested from Balochistan and was operating from Iran. Few years back an Indian RAW agent Surbajeet Singh died in a Pakistani jail after an attack by other prisoners. He was convicted of terrorism charges and was sentenced to death by Pakistani court. Prime Minister Modi’s advisor on National Security, Ajit Kumar Doval spent seven years in Pakistan as undercover agent as a Muslim and he admitted it openly.
Some media networks are accused of having ties with India. Aman Ki Asha project by staunch anti-Pakistan Times of India is also seen as part of Indian efforts to influence Pakistani media for its better public perception. Indian film industry has produced many anti-Pakistan movies in collaboration with their intelligence. Informed circles in Pakistan maintain that Pakistan is under ‘cultural invasion’ from India.12 There is no doubt that Indian film industry has helped India create a soft image of it not just in Pakistan but in other countries as well.

 


Indian intelligence involvement in Pakistan is far cleverer than Pakistan. It seldom leaves footprints and most of the time uses local assets to promote its interests. However, recent arrest of RAW’s officer Kulbhushan and its case now in International Court of Justice may present an opportunity for Pakistan to highlight the issue at international level with facts and proofs.


Matter of fact is that almost every country has some level of intelligence presence in neighboring countries or in countries where there are some national interests involved. However, there is a difference between intelligence presence and meddling in other country’s affairs. Unfortunately, India has used its intelligence to dent Pakistan’s geographical integrity. These are nothing but dirty games which will eventually hurt India itself as ‘what goes around comes around’ and sometimes ‘comes around big time’.

 

The writer is Managing Director Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies. He is an expert on militancy and regional security. twitter

@Abdullahkhan333

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

1 "Indian Forces Fought Along Mukti Bahini: Modi". 2017. Thenews.com.pk.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/12923-indian-forces-fought-along-mukti-bahini-modi.
2 Haider, Mateen. 2015. "RAW Involved In Terrorist Activities Across Pakistan: Foreign Secretary". DAWN.COM.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1181908.
3 "India Involved In Terrorist Activities In Pakistan: FO". 2017. Thenews.com.pk.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/186742-India-involved-in-terrorist-activities-in-Pakistan-FO.
4 "Sabena Siddiqui". 2017. Commandeleven. https://www.commandeleven.com/author/sabeenasiddiqui/.
5 "Rangers Unearth Terrorist, RAW, NDS Nexus - The Express Tribune". 2017. The Express Tribune.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1381325/rangers-arrest-5-raw-affiliated-al-qaeda-terrorists-karachi/.
6 "NDS-RAW Nexus Working To Destabilise Pakistan: Ehsanullah Ehsan". 2017. Pakistantoday.com.pk.
https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/05/13/nds-raw-nexus-working-to-destabilise-pakistan-ehsanullah-ehsan/.
7 Ranjan, Pratyush. 2016. "Who Is India's NSA Ajit Doval And What Is The 'Doval Doctrine'? - News Nation".
http://Www.Newsnation.In. http://www.newsnation.in/article/146274-who-is-indias-nsa-ajit-doval-and-what-is-doval-doctrine.html.
8 Dawn.com, Agencies. 2013. "Sarabjit Dies at Lahore's Jinnah Hospital". DAWN.COM. https://www.dawn.com/news/795055.
9 "Ajit Doval – The Great Indian Spy Who Spent 7 Years in Pakistan as a Muslim". 2015. Zee News.
http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/ajit-doval-the-great-indian-spy-who-spent-7-years-in-pakistan-as-a-muslim_1837959.html.
10 Kashmir Singh released from Lahore jail - Times of India
"Kashmir Singh Released From Lahore Jail - Times Of India". 2017. The Times Of India. Accessed June 6 2017.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kashmir-Singh-released-from-Lahore-jail/articleshow/2834915.cms.
11 "Pakistan Admits Detaining Indian Clerics Over Suspected Movement, India Rubbishes Claims Of 'Unauthorised Visit'". 2017. Firstpost.
http://www.firstpost.com/india/sushma-swaraj-asks-for-update-from-islamabad-on-indian-clerics-missing-in-pakistan-3339390.html.
12 "Invasion Of Pakistani Culture". 2017. Thenews.com.pk.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/48155-invasion-of-pakistani-culture.

 
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