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Thursday, February 15, 2024

India’s history of orchestrating false flag operations

False flag operations and surgical strikes have been hogging the limelight in both Pakistan and India. According to Syed Zain Jaffery, India is infamous for its predilection for false-flag operations, and it is always concocting indirect covert schemes to harm Pakistan’s national interests, not just on its Eastern border but also on its Western border via Afghan proxies.

There are a number of false flag operations that have been launched by the Indian establishment in order to achieve strategic advantages and put Pakistan under diplomatic pressure and keep it isolated internationally.

India has a history of orchestrating false flag operations under the pretext of broader hybrid warfare against Pakistan by manipulating media perception through fake news and disinformation campaigns. India, almost on eight occasions, used false flag operations against Pakistan which triggered far-reaching dissensions in South Asia. This includes the Ganga hijacking (1971), the Indian parliament attack (2001), Godhra train burning (2002), Samjhauta Express bombings (2007), Mumbai attack (2008), Pathankot airbase attack (2016), Uri (2016) and Pulwama suicide attack (2019).

Read more: How India triggered the South Asian nuclear arms race

Is India planning another false flag operation?

In wake of humiliation on the Afghan project, the Indian mainstream leadership along with different media outlets are setting the stage and framing the environment for another false flag operation. The BJP government is reinforcing a set narrative to its media while distracting international attention from the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir(IIOJK) and the deteriorating domestic law & order situation. India is facing multiple challenges which include domestic insurgencies, widespread demonstrations, tensions between ethnic groups, religious bigotry and economic downturn due to Covid 19 outbreak.

The aggressive policies of the Modi government have isolated India internationally and the world is no longer accepting India as a democratic country. Indian embassies and consulates along the Pak-Afghan border have been operating as hubs of terror sponsorship against Pakistan. According to intelligence reports released by Pakistan, there was a close liaison between Indian intelligence officials and terrorist factions within Afghanistan. India was planning to “upscale terrorist activities in Pakistan” to create instability.

Now that the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan, it has become quite difficult for India to collaborate with terrorist organizations to establish decoy insurgent movements in Pakistan. In such circumstances, the possibility of false flag operation by the Indian establishment has increased.

Read more: India needs to control its military desires for regional stability

Recounting Pulwama incident and its significance

The Pulwama incident was not the first time that the Indians have used a false flag to achieve the predetermined strategic and political goals. RAW had launched a false flag operation on 30 January 30, 1971, by staging a plane hijacking drama when it was flying from India to Lahore. Without conducting any valuable investigation, the Indian government accused Kashmiri freedom fighters of the hijacking. India promptly disclaimed the usage of its airspace by Pakistani airlines.

The successive events revealed that the objective of this false flag operation was to block Pakistan’s access to the East-West region while allowing Mujib-ur-Rehman and his companion’s free hand to speed up their bid for secession and to create Bangladesh. Consequently, East Pakistan stayed segregated from West Pakistan up to the very end of the 1971 war, thus the “hijacking” enabled Indian military forces to fan the uprising.

In July 2013, the ex-investigating officer of CBI, Satish Verma, uncovered the secret that the Indian government killed hundreds in Mumbai and Parliament attacks just to strengthen the counter-terror legislation. Whereas, the former Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde also exposed that BJP and RSS were running training camps to promote Hindu terrorism. These extremist groups are also responsible for Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts.

On the day of the Mumbai attacks, Hemant Karkare, chief of the Anti-Terrorist force in Maharashtra, was assassinated. He headed the 2008 Malegaon terror investigation and in late October 2008, he detained 11 suspects, most of whom had a previous connection to an extremist Hindutva party, Abhinav Bharat. Hemant Karkare was exposing that Hindutva groups in India were promoting terrorism therefore he was assassinated.

In 2016, without any investigation, the BJP government swiftly blamed the banned “Jaish-e-Mohammad,” when the Pathankot Air Base in Indian Punjab was allegedly targeted by so-called militants. An internal probe, however, refuted the Indian Government’s statements within hours. Subsequently, Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) Sharad Kumar said, “No evidence to show that Pakistan government or Pakistani government agency was helping Jaish–e–Mohammed or Masood Azhar or his aides carry out Pathankot attack.”

Read more: Operation Shakhti: When India tested a nuclear device on its people

Analyzing India’s falsified propaganda campaigns

Again in 2019, India used the self-created Pulwama incident, to commit a military surgical strike against Pakistan’s trees in Balakot. Immediately after the incident, the Indian Prime Minister accused Pakistan and threatened it with surgical strikes without any inquiry or evidence. Pulwama was a false flag operation that was politically used by Modi’s government to gain the sympathy of Hindutva followers to gain political mileage. The Pulwama attack and ensuing debate amply proved that Modi was the primary beneficiary of the resultant escalation.

One of India’s long-standing delusions – spread through targeted disinformation – is the false assumption that Pakistan is a terrorist patron state. India is persistently secretly fabricating opportunities for false flag operations to portray itself as a victim of terrorism. Due to India’s falsified propaganda campaigns – along with disinformation campaigns and unethical diplomatic efforts – Pakistan was placed on the FATF grey list. In order to fight Indian fake news and false propagated efforts, the Pakistani media must get appropriately trained and equipped to counter it with factual reports and verified data.

Read more: India is allegedly misreporting nuclear weapon stockpile

Contemporarily, India has created a difficult situation for itself in South Asia. India’s hegemonic aspirations have strained its relations with all the regional countries including Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Meanwhile, India is diplomatically bankrupt and after COVID-19, it is on the verge of economic collapse. In such a scenario, to divert international critics, India will most likely resort to a false flag operation against Pakistan. Pakistan needs to be watchful and its media must continuously sensitize the domestic and international audience on India’s dangerous game.

The writer is a student of current affairs and political science with a Master’s degree from NUST, Islamabad, Pakistan. He can be reached at zainmoeed7637@yahoo.com. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.