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Friday, December 8, 2023

India’s New Spymaster: Mastermind of the Unproven Balakot Strike

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed Samant Goel as the new Chief of India’s premier spy agency, RAW, while Arvind Kumar, a specialist in Kashmir militancy, has been appointed as Director of the IB. Both are trusted aides of Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

News Desk |

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed Samant Goel as new chief of India’s premier spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), while Arvind Kumar has been appointed as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau.

Indian media is touting Samant Goel as the “mastermind” of the alleged Balakot strikes that damaged 19 Pakistani tress after the Indian Air Force jets “hastily dropped their payload”. Indian media reports indicated that before his appointment as the RAW Chief, Goel was handling operations of the external intelligence agency.

Goel: Balakot Mastermind 

Samant Goel was “instrumental” in planning the alleged Balakot air strikes on 26th February and was also responsible for planning the 2016 surgical strike, which India claimed to have carried out within Pakistan’s territory after the false-flag Uri terror attack.

Goel hails from a 1984 batch of the Punjab cadre, and reports reveal that he also played a “crucial role” in quelling the Sikh militancy while it was mounting its peaks in the 1990s. His appointment as India’s new spymaster ushered in almost three months after India’s claims of staging a counter-attack on allege terror networks and infrastructure “deep inside” Pakistan’s Balakot region.

India claimed to have carried out this offence in retaliation of the Pulwama attack, which killed 40 CRFP soldiers in Indian-occupied Kashmir. Speaking to the New Indian Express, a senior Indian security official said, “R&AW had developed primary intelligence and was involved in choosing probable targets for the February air strikes. Goel was actively involved in the planning of both the strikes.”

Arvind Kumar has been facilitating Modi’s policy of “no tolerance” and barbarism in the Indian-occupied valley

Indian media reports reveal that Goel is responsible for quelling “Rawalpindi-sponsored terrorism” across Punjab, and also played an instrumental role in reeling “Khalistani propaganda” across Europe during his foreign appointments.

A report by the Times of India stated, “As an intelligence officer specializing in counter-terrorism, he has in-depth knowledge about the origins and operations of Pakistan-based terror groups as well as global jihadi outfits like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State.”

Other reports suggest that given his vast expertise in security, intelligence and militancy in Punjab, Goel is thought to have a sound understanding of the dynamics of Pakistan’s premier security agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Read more: No Pakistani killed in Balakot air strike: India finally admits

Specialist in Handling Khalistani Movement

Speaking to Global Village Space, defence and security expert, Zaid Hamid highlighted Goel’s role in quelling the Khalistan movement and his appointment along the lines of RSS-Hindutva supporters. Hamid noted, “As it can be seen by everyone that the new power structure of the establishment that Modi is creating is hardcore RSS.

India claimed to have carried out this offence in retaliation of the Pulwama attack, which killed 40 CRFP soldiers in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

And this new RAW Chief appointment, Samant Goel-he is an old hardcore, ideologically Zionist.” “He has a track record of being venomously against the Khalistan Movement. He specializes in working against insurgencies, as they call it, or separatist movements. He was first in Dubai, and then he was the station chief of RAW in the United Kingdom.

There, he was very successful in infiltrating the Sikh organizations in UK, and almost converted them into Hindu organizations of Punjabi-Hindus, and Sikhs were almost eliminated from there.” Zaid Hamid added that Goel also harbors close ties with the current Chief Minister of Punjab, the “Hindutva tout”, Amarinder Singh.

The Afghan war veteran Zaid Hamid explained, “His appointment gives a very clear signal that as far as RAW is concerned, as far as their intelligence establishment is concerned, we are going to be seeing a very, very hardliner RAW chief who has a track-record of being active in suppressing the separatist movements and insurgencies, particularly those which they suspect of being affiliated with Pakistan.”

Read more: Let truth be known: Pakistan takes int’l media to Balakot

Pakistan needs to be Careful

Analysts have warned Pakistan and its security establishment against the “hardliner” new RAW Chief’s appointment, predicting a rise in terrorism, economic warfare and proxy warfare.

Hamid noted, “As it can be seen by everyone that the new power structure of the establishment that Modi is creating is hardcore RSS.

Zaid Hamid commented in this regard, “We can expect very brute and harsh methods to be deployed, not just inside Kashmir and against the Khalistanis, but also, internationally because he has the global exposure. He (Goel) has developed strong contacts in the Middle East and in UK.”

Given Goel’s “Zionist ideologies” and support for RSS-Hindutva doctrines, Zaid Hamid underscored, “Pakistan should fasten its belts, and we should be very, very careful of his appointment. He is not a dove, he is a rabid hawk, and Pakistan’s security establishment needs to be very careful about it.”

Explaining the dynamics of Goel’s strategy, Jan Achakzai underscored, “The idea to have networks like TTP-ISIS to attack not only on the Eastern part of Durand line but also conduct operations on the western part focusing NATO forces, was the brainchild of Mr. Goel.”

Read more: Balakot airstrike: India’s failure at legal front?

Jan Achakzai stressed that the appointment of Samant Goel as the Chief spymaster of India will trigger a series of terror and economic attacks on India. He warned, “He will likely intensify anti-Pakistan terrorism, manipulate other fault-lines including economic ones (pump in fake currency, dollars buying, cyber-attacks) to raise cost for Pakistan in Afghanistan and region for Islamabad’s rising diplomatic and strategic clout.”

Achakzai added, “Pakistan must brace for more violence and proxy warfare after his elevation.”

Arvind Kumar: Kashmir Specialist

Arvind Kumar, an officer of a 1984 batch of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, is considered a specialist on Kashmir and Naxalism.

Kumar has extensive experience handling left-wing militancy during his tenure in the Intelligence Bureau. Before assuming his newly-acquired position as the Director of the IB, he spent a long part of his career working for them. He was in-charge of Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh regions throughout India’s anti-Maoist operations, and Indian media reports observe that Kumar is a “dependable intelligence officer”.

When it comes to Kashmir, Arvind Kumar has been facilitating Modi’s policy of “no tolerance” and barbarism in the Indian-occupied valley. He has been instrumental in handling “terrorism” in Kashmir, and boosts a record of killing 733 militants during the last three years.

Read more: US satellite images expose Indian surgical strike claims

Both Samant Goel and Arvind Kumar are “trusted aides” of Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Goel, who will assume charge of RAW on 29th June, while Kumar will assume his position as Director of the IB on 30th June.

Sharing the news on his official Twitter handle, Baloch Geo-strategist Jan Achakzai, observed, “With new hardliner RAW Chief, brace for more attacks in Balochistan, revival of assets like the TTP, ISIS in Afghanistan-border region, more incursions by BLA/BRASS from across Iran, and with US winding up, increased attacks on #NATO forces in Afghanistan.”