Indian involvement in fomenting terrorism in Pakistan is not a new revelation; however it is oft overshadowed in the international media by the Indian sponsored propaganda against Pakistan. In a recent spate of fresh evidence emerging out of the terrorist activities inside the country, Pakistan’s intelligence agencies have arrested an Indian Navy officer from the restive province of Baluchistan, alleged with involvement in terrorist activities and tasked with a larger agenda of disintegrating Baluchistan and Karachi.
Kulbhushan Yadav, (serving Indian Navy Commander) was allegedly sent under deputation to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of the government to Iran (Chabahar Port) since 2013. It is well documented that India uses its consulates close to the Afghanistan and Iranian border to infiltrate terrorists in Pakistan. However, this case is unprecedented as the arrested man is, allegedly, a serving Indian armed forces employee.
It is no secret, that Pakistan undertook the decision to built nuclear weapons to ensure its survival against a neigbour that helped disintegrate its Eastern half. The western policymakers and commentators believe that Pakistan’s threat perception must be de-hyphenated from India when the Indian Premiere doesn’t hesitate celebrating for his country’s consistent efforts that resulted in disintegration of the East Pakistan. Addressing the University of Dhaka, on 7th June 2015 he held no scruples in admitting that, “we fought for Bangladesh’s ‘swabhimaan’ (honor) … alongside Mukti Jodhas (Mukti Bahani)”.
Since Modi’s holding of office in India, the relations between Pakistan and India have seen a lot of upheavals. Although Pakistan’s Premiere Nawaz Sharif attended the swearing in of his counterpart, the good gesture didn’t translate meaningfully later for bilateral relations or dialogue. The dialogue process was repeatedly disrupted on nonissues and there was a discernable increase in dismissiveness from the Indian side.
Although, both states recurrently accuse each other of fomenting unrest and terrorism in each other’s territory, the international community promotes the India’s case of victimhood much strongly. The automaticity, with which fingers are pointed towards Pakistan by the Indian government, the moment an incident of terrorism happens, is appalling. No wonder, when the attack on Indian Airbase Pathankot attack was underway, Pakistan was accused of being involved and the media started touting the same old Pakistan hate story. This hysteria is mutual; however the Pakistani version of it is less sellable in the international community.
Notwithstanding that, the revelation of the Indian Navy officer posted in Chabahar port since 2003 with an Iranian Visa in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province is very revealing. It reinforces all the evidence, made available earlier by Pakistan in form of high level statements, official dossiers and agencies claims of Indian sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan and its evil designs for possible disintegration of the country.
In what could be considered as a visible shift, since may last year, Pakistan’s top operational commanders conference, i.e. Corp Commanders Conference categorically mentioned RAW’s involvement in whipping up terrorism in Pakistan. It was the first time that the top military institution in Pakistan took a stance against such anti-state activities of RAW. Pakistan also submitted to the United Nations evidence in form of a dossier to support its claim of Indian involvement. While this was underway, the Indian administration was reinforcing its agendas through statements outlining its strategy for conducting terrorism in Pakistan. Indian Defence minister Manohar Parrikar readily admitted, in one of his statements in May 2015 that India ‘neutralizes terrorists only through terrorists’; only confirming the established Indian hostility manifested through sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. Much earlier, in February 2014, India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, referred to Indian terrorism strategy against Pakistan, where India buys terrorist elements to be used against Pakistan as part of its defensive-offence strategy.
Indian intelligence involvement in aiding terrorism perpetrators in Pakistan is simply not a onetime agenda but a consistent policy of Indian administration. Retrospectively, there are clear and substantial evidences in the Indo-Pak bilateral relationship where India has admitted its role in agitating terrorism and continued unrest in Pakistan. In the Sharm-el-Sheikh joint statement, July 2009, between India and Pakistan, Indian premier admitted Indian involvement in fermenting terrorism in Pakistan. The statement reflected that Pakistan had credible information on threats in Baluchistan and other areas. Furthermore, India Today in a September 2013 report revealed that a Technical Support Division (TDS) was raised by the Indian army specifically to carry out covert operations. TDS mission mainly related to financing of bombings and session movements in the neighbouring states through pouring in of several crores of rupees.
One cannot but commend Pakistan’s decision in conducting investigations through joint intelligence in the Pathankot incident, when cases – like the involvement of Indian Colonel in Samghota Express train bomb blasts – still await the sharing of concrete evidence from the Indian side. In April 2010, India officially admitted that its Army’s serving officer, Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit, was an active member of the Hindutva brigade and responsible for the bombings on Pakistan-bound Samjhota Express. Pakistan has till date been seeking evidence from India in this regard, which is not forthcoming.
Whereas the Pathankot attack clearly manifested the glaring security lapse at an operational Indian base housing fighter aircrafts and helicopters, Pakistan’s forthcoming response couldn’t help thaw the ice of distrust. Unlike the tall expectations attached to the overture, it capsized under Indian intelligence’s tsunami of distrust.
Pakistan’s government should take serious note of such Indian belligerence, war mongering hyperbole, repeated confessions and evidence of promoting terrorism in Pakistan. It should launch a counter diplomatic offensive against India in all significant foreign capitals. Pakistan’s ambassadors from the key international states should be briefed comprehensively on the such evidence.
In the long run, Pakistan ought to undertake a comprehensive politico-diplomatic strategy in dealing with the Indian threat in fermenting terrorism in Pakistan through direct involvement and through aiding proxies to forestall the brute and malicious Indian designs in weakening Pakistan.
The writer is a security analyst and a former Fellow of James Martin Centre for Non-Proliferation Studies, Monterrey, California.