Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal |
The transnational terrorist groups have been targeting both state and society of Pakistan since the launch of the global war on terrorism. The armed forces of Pakistan successfully erased their sanctuaries in the (erstwhile) Federal Administrative Tribal Areas. However, a few sleeping cells remain operative in the urban centres of the country. They, sporadically, conduct their evil acts to grieve the nation and obstruct the economic investment in the country.
Last month, in three separate attacks, the terrorist killed 35, including 15 members of the law enforcement agencies and injured 48 innocent citizens in Balochistan. The Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) involvement in the recent terrorist groups’ strikes in Balochistan cannot be ruled out. It is financing and supporting radicalised Sunni militants and Baloch separatist groups in the province to intensify the sectarian divide and obstruct the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.
The recent series of terrorist attacks reveals that the Indian intelligence network exists in the province and India is determined to sabotage CPEC.
Modi Government failed to accomplish its military objectives through its ‘Surgical Strike’ Stratagem. The befitting-cum-restraint response of Pakistan’s armed forces to India’s aggression exposed the Indian armed forces limitations. The post-Pulwama developments confirm that Pakistan possesses the adequate conventional military capability to check the military adventure of India.
More precisely, the February 27 dogfight between the Indian Air Force and Pakistan Air Force spoiled the Modi, Davil, and Bipin nexus strategic designs. The Indian Air Force not only lost its two fighter jets but its senior leadership also lost credibility by making false claims about their fictitious achievements. After failing at military chessboard, Modi government once again opted Hybrid warfare tactics to obstruct developmental projects and destabilize internal security.
The RAW and its allies sponsored terrorist strikes in Balochistan. They carefully crafted to ignite the sectarian divide in Quetta to spoil the societal and religious harmony among the people of the area and also terrorize the investors, who have been contemplating to invest in Balochistan due to the development of Gwadar city’s port and the inauguration of an international airport. To terrorize the government employs commuting on the Makran Coastal Highway; the terrorist offloaded 14 employees of Pakistan Navy and Coast Guards and shot them cold-bloodedly.
The transnational terrorist groups have been targeting both state and society of Pakistan since the launch of the global war on terrorism.
The Hazaras (a faction of Shia) in Quetta were the main target of Tehreek-e-Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Both are Sunni radicalized militant organizations. The attack on Hazarasrefreshes the memory of previous deadly attacks in Quetta. On 21 April, Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Quetta to condole the bereaved families of Hazarganji market blast and assured them that the state would ensure their protection.
Whether the government can provide foolproof security to Hazaras? The trends indicate that RAW will continue exploiting the sectarian divide and use hardcore Sunni militant organizations for killing the Shias in Pakistan. The terrorists targeted Frontier Constabulary’s (a paramilitary force) convoy through a remote-controlled improvised explosive device planted in a motorcycle when it was passing through a busy market in the border town of Chaman and killed one man and injured 11 others including two Frontier Corp personnel.
The Chaman attack on 12 April, seems a replica of Pulwama terrorist attack which happened on 14 February 2019. The Baloch separatists killed 14 members of security forces. According to Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi Baloch separatists have training camps in Iran. It is an open secret that Baloch separatist organizations receive financial and diplomatic support from India and they have sanctuaries in Afghanistan. However, having training camps in Iran is very alarming.
The government employs commuting on the Makran Coastal Highway; the terrorist offloaded 14 employees of Pakistan Navy and Coast Guards and shot them cold-bloodedly.
Prime Minister Khan discussed this issue with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his Iran visit. Both sides agreed to raise a joint border ‘ rapid reaction force’ to counter terrorism. Improving understanding with Iran on the issue of terrorism is prerequisite to quash Baloch separatists’ hideouts located across the border in Iran. The primary objective of the recent terrorist attacks in Balochistan was to obstruct the developmental projects in the province.
The reduction of terrorists’ activities during the last five months in Balochistan and headway on CPEC projects generated optimism about the development of backward areas of the province. The developmental projects in Balochistan are neither acceptable to RAW nor Baloch rebels, because the economic progress always facilitates in uprooting insurgencies. The Government of Pakistan refrained from accusing India.
Nonetheless, it is an open secret that Indian intelligence agency, RAW has been sponsoring and conducting terrorist activities in Pakistan particularly at the sites of CPEC to impede the developmental work and frustrate the investors. It had crafted a terrorist network in Balochistan to obstruct the construction of CPEC infrastructure. On 03 March 2016, during a counter-intelligence operation, the Pakistani law enforcement agencies arrested RAW’s chief operator, a serving commander in the Indian Navy Kulbhushan Yadav, managing terrorist activities in Balochistan.
The law enforcement agencies claimed that they suppressed the RAW sponsored terrorist network in Balochistan. However, the recent series of terrorist attacks reveals that the Indian intelligence network exists in the province and India is determined to sabotage CPEC.
To conclude, RAW is very active to destabilize Balochistan and sabotage CPEC projects. However, the government of Pakistan seems cautious in charging it publically.
Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal is Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He is also an advisor on Non-Proliferation to SASSI, London and a course coordinator at Foreign Services Academy for the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This piece was first published in Pakistan Observer. It has been republished with permission. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.