Pakistan Under the Indian Spy War – Part 1

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Ayaz Ahmed
India has long dreamed of becoming a regional hegemon in South Asia. With an aim to achieve preponderance, New Delhi has employed both soft and hard power in order to bring all the peripheral South Asian states under its military and economic tentacles. For India, economically- and militarily-rising Pakistan continues to pose a significant threat to its ambitions. “India has always tried to maintain its hegemony in the South Asian region and Pakistan has rejected this while effectively protecting its interests”, said Sartaj Aziz, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs.
To overwhelm Pakistan, India launched an aggressive ‘Cold Start’ doctrine, a disruptive water war and the diplomatic offensive to label Pakistan as a state that sponsors terrorism, but all its efforts have dismally fallen through. After all these anti-Pakistan offensives have failed to yield any of the predetermined results, the Modi government has now tasked its hawkish National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, with a mission to weaken Pakistan internally through a multi-pronged proxy war.
Ajit Doval, along with the former Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who recently became the Chief Minister of Goa, formulated the infamous ‘Doval doctrine’ This doctrine is a disruptive intelligence warfare primarily designed to foment low-intensity insurgency in Balochistan, ethnicity in Sindh, militancy in southern Punjab and terrorism in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has been assigned the task of executing the main flanks of the Doval doctrine. In November 2016, Pakistan’s Foreign Office disclosed that: “[A] number of Indian diplomats and staff belonging to Indian intelligence agencies RAW and IB have been found involved in coordinating terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan under the garb of diplomatic assignments”.
Under Doval’s directions, RAW’s newly-appointed head Anil Dhasmana has premised the agency’s operational strategy on the ancient adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Since the launch of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the Indian spy agency has unremittingly provided financial resources and sophisticated weaponry to terrorists, militants and insurgents based in Afghanistan’s provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar, Nuristan and Badakhshan, to orchestrate terrorism in Pakistan. Kulbhushan Yadav, the detained operative of RAW in Pakistan, revealed in his six-minute video: “RAW is involved in some activities related to the Baloch liberation movement within Pakistan and the region around it.”
Indian spymasters, especially Doval and Parrikar, are fully cognizant of the fact that RAW cannot optimally maximise its malicious operations against Pakistan without the intelligence support from National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan intelligence agency. Since the NDS has its own axe to grind, it has literally provided RAW with a carte blanche to use some strife-torn areas in eastern Afghanistan, as a springboard to sponsor and monitor terrorist and militant networks inside Pakistan. “The Karzai administration open-heartedly offered India an opportunity to establish its terror recruitment camps against its traditional enemy, Pakistan. This was a golden opportunity where India trained its fighters and sent them to Pakistan to carry out suicide attacks,’ wrote Musa Khan Jalazai, the author of ‘Fixing the EU Intelligence Crisis’.
One can also recall the remarks of ex-American Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, when he, during a discussion on Afghanistan, said, “India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.”
Besides this, the NDS has greatly facilitated RAW’s secret infiltration into disillusioned Afghan expats nestled in Pakistan. These disgruntled refugees are indoctrinated and then used to launch terrorist attacks inside Pakistan. In May 2016, Balochistan’s Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said that Pakistan’s security and intelligence agencies have arrested six NDS operatives involved in terrorist activities. He added that the suspects, most of them Afghan refugees, were planted by the Afghanistan’s NDS and India’s RAW, and they confessed to killing more than 40 Pakistanis in various acts of terrorism.
So, some vexing questions can be raised on the RAW-NDS nexus: why is the NDS lending a hand to its Indian counterpart to create insecurity and instability in Pakistan? What are the main objectives behind RAW’s increasing flirtation with terrorist, insurgent and militant outfits in the region?
With meager financial resources coupled with military incompetence, cash-strapped Afghanistan is unable to make the NDS an effective intelligence agency. Due to lack of professionalism and scant monetary resources, the NDS has fared badly in terms of supplying timely intelligence to the underperforming Afghan National Army (ANA). This has prevented the Afghan law-enforcement agencies from conducting intelligence-based operations against the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), the East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and the Afghan Taliban — all are based in Afghanistan. Therefore, the NDS supports RAW against Pakistan only to receive financial and military assistance from New Delhi and to malign Pakistan.
(To be Continued)
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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Ayaz Ahmed is a featured columnist for Balochistan Voices. He also writes for The News, Jahangir World Times, Defence Journal and Pakistan Observer.