Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has very rightly taken a “serious notice” of the alleged involvement of Indian intelligence agency RAW in “whipping up terrorism” in Pakistan. A year ago, Indian Prime Minister clearly stated to conduct operation on Pakistani territory. There are numerous pieces of research to suggest that RAW is exporter of terrorism in Pakistan. RAW agents are financing and supplying weapons to the Pakistani Taliban’. While deceitfully accusing Pakistan of terrorism, RAW has been indulging in terrorism in Pakistan at a massive scale. Dozens of RAW agents killed and arrested in Swat, FATA and Punjab in recent times. The confiscation of Indian origin explosives, ammunition clearly indicates RAW’s involvement in concealed operations.
We must not forget that on July 16, 2009; Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani met his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh in the Egyptian city of Sharm-el-Sheikh on the side-lines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit. The meeting concluded with the issuance of a joint statement in which both countries agreed to de-link action on terrorism. A reference to Indian involvement in Balochistan in the joint statement was also criticised in India. The then opposition and present ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), made such hue and cry that Manmohan Singh was forced to backtrack from the commitment made in Sharm-el-Sheikh.
RAW is now under direct control of PM Modi. It is trying to achieve the policy goals set by Chanakya (Kautilya) centuries ago in his book Arth Shastar. Knowing that engagement of Indian Armed forces in conventional warfare with Pakistan is no more a viable option; RAW has adopted indirect, unconventional warfare against Pakistan. Chief of the RAW is a designated secretary in the Modi’s Cabinet Secretariat which is a part of the Indian Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). RAW has expanded its budget to Indian Rs. 1500 crore, alternately estimated at 145 million US dollars. As indicated in a report by Federation of American scientists ‘as many as 35,000 RAW agents has entered in Pakistan, with 12,000 working in Sindh, 10,000 in Punjab, 8,000 in KPK and 5000 in Balochistan’.
The war on terror in Pakistan has concreted the way for RAW to conduct clandestine operations. During the Karzai regime, these stealthy terrorist activities in Pakistan were being conducted in conjunction with Afghanistan’s Intelligence agency RAAM (Riyast-i-Amoor-o-Amanat-i-Milliyah) and Israeli Mossad. RAW used Afghan soil for carrying out massive terrorist activities against Pakistan. Daily Dawn has also previously reported that the three arrested militants of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan namely Khurram Ishtiaq, Ghulam Mustafa and Shamim have disclosed that RAW has been funding suicide bomb attacks in Pakistan and that the Indian intelligence agency has channelled Rs 680 million.
Webster Griffin Tarpley, an American Journalist while responding to a question of his TV Interview once said; “the Research and Analysis Wing of Indian intelligence, they are up in Afghanistan, recruiting crazies from there to bring them down and help them to engage in terrorism inside Pakistan. So the Indians have this real dirty aspect’.
RAW supports insurgent groups in Balochistan. Zahidan border has been used for destabilisation of Balochistan. Shahgarh-Kishangarh Indo-Pak border is also under use to supply arms to terrorists in Karachi and Balochistan. There is a strong suspicion that the unrest in Balochistan and FATA region has something to do with the RAW’s presence in Afghanistan and the number of Indian consulates that are operating close to the Pakistani border. In this connection, one cannot ignore the observations made by renowned scholar Christine Fair of Rand Cooperation who said that “having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity. Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Kandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Balochistan.’
Even USA has advised India to slender Indian consulates in Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif and Kandahar infamous for RAW’s clandestine activities against Pakistan. RAW has also aimed to promote sectarian violence in Pakistan. It has fuelled the fire of sectarianism by killing religious leaders of one group and pointing it towards the other sectarian group.
RAW has also been criticised in Indian policy debates for its poor attention to domestic affairs to safeguard India’s security and territorial integrity. There is no doubt that RAW has had limited success in dealing with separatist movements in Manipur and Tripura in the northeast, Tamil Nadu in the south and Punjab and Kashmir in the north-western part of the India. RAW obviously feel embarrassed that 20 years junior ISI has surpassed it in terms performance. Feeling outstripped and bested, RAW’s is intriguing against ISI.
But it is very optimistic that Pak-Afghan relations have taken a positive turn due to change of political regime in Afghanistan and repeated visits of General Raheel to Afghanistan. It is now very clear that the government of President Ashraf Ghani is seeking closer security ties with Pakistan including intelligence sharing and provision of training and equipment to Afghan troops in a bid to combat terrorism. We should hope that the ‘serious notice’ of RAW activities by the Chief of Army Staff will enable Pakistan to generate a matching response to the despicable designs of RAW.