Zeeshan Munir |
On 3rd March 2016, Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving commander in the Indian Navy working for RAW, was arrested from Baluchistan. His arrest legitimized Pakistan’s stance of Indian involvement in its internal affairs. The apprehension of a spy, who happens to be a senior military officer, was indeed an unprecedented success for the Pakistan’s intelligence agencies with some even comparing it to the capture of American U2 pilot, Gary Powers, by the Soviets.
Amidst the Panama verdict resulting in political turmoil and the civil-military divide after the Dawn Leaks notification, the visit of Mr. Jindal has once again brought the matter of external involvement in destabilizing Pakistan to the forefront.
However, for some unknown reasons, the Pakistani leadership was slow to capitalize on this accomplishment. Neither the Prime Minister nor the Foreign Office issued any tangible statement condemning Indian involvement in terrorism inside Pakistan.
Now the recent controversial visit by Indian steel magnate Sajjan Jindal to Pakistan, at a time, when the relationship between the two neighbors is sour in the wake of Jadhav’s death sentence have raised voluminous questions. Sushma Swaraj, the Indian External Affairs Minister’s statement that “her government would go out of the way” to save Jadhav is being corroborated with this visit with many considering it as part of backdoor diplomacy to secure the release of the notorious Indian spy.
Amidst the Panama verdict resulting in political turmoil and the civil-military divide after the Dawn leaks notification, the visit of Mr. Jindal has once again brought the matter of external involvement in destabilizing Pakistan to the forefront.
RAW-NDS nexus in Baluchistan
Since the inception of NDS, RAW has closely cooperated with it and now even oversees much of its operations. This close coordination allowed India to open several consulates across the entire length of Durand line. It is through these consulates that India oversees its subversive activities inside Pakistan, particularly in FATA and Baluchistan.
On May 26, 2016, Baluchistan’s Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti announced the arrest of six NDS spies from Pishin and condemned the role of NDS in sabotaging the CPEC project and spreading terrorism. Mr. Jadhav also exposed the modus operandi of RAW in Pakistan. He uncovered the role of India in supporting banned outfits like BLA, BLF, and BRA in collaboration with NDS.
Iran has always denied carrying out spy operations inside Pakistan but the facts suggest otherwise. It is no secret that Iran views the CPEC project as a threat to its own Chabahar port project.
Information gained from various sources and intercepts of communication between enemy spy agencies indicate that RAW and NDS have divided Pakistan into various zones with each being catered by the two separately. However, it is Baluchistan, where both agencies have developed an understanding to assist each other. There can be many reasons for that, the chief being sabotaging CPEC project which when completed will make Pakistan an economic power and a trade hub.
The role of Iran: there are no permanent interests?
Kulbhushan Jadhav used Chabahar as a base for his spy operations. Pakistani intelligence agencies lured Kulbhushan Jadhav out of Chabahar and into Pakistan where he was arrested. Moreover, Mullah Mansoor, the late Afghan Taliban leader who was killed in a drone strike in Baluchistan also traveled from Iran to Pakistan. Finally, Suri gangster Uzair Baloch has been slated to be working for Iranian spy agencies by Pakistani officials who subsequently have referred his case to military court.
Iran has always denied carrying out spy operations inside Pakistan but the facts suggest otherwise. It is no secret that Iran views the CPEC project as a threat to its own Chabahar port project. Its cooperation with India is also well known. Proofs of Iranian involvement in training young Pakistani Shiites and sending them to Syria have already been provided to Iran.
Pakistan still considers Iran a friend but the proxy war waged by foreign agencies in Baluchistan and appointment of Gen. Raheel Sharif as the head of Islamic Military Alliance headquartered in Riyadh will damage this feeble relationship.
Tectonic revelations of Ehsan Ullah Ehsan
Ehsanullah Ehsan has revealed the extent of Indian involvement in terrorism in FATA. Ehsan divulged that the TTP commander and ISIS chief Umer Khalid Khorasani got medical treatment in India after sustaining injuries in terror attacks inside Afghanistan. He also confessed that he had links with RAW and claimed that TTP is on Indian payroll.
Pakistan has so far lost well over 70,000 civilians and billions of dollars in Pakistan’s war against terrorism.
These momentous disclosures have exposed Indian involvement in yet another theater of war in Pakistan. One can easily compare this Indian involvement in FATA to that in the then East Pakistan where it trained and armed Bengalis, known as Mukti Bahinis, to fight against the Pakistani military.
Pakistan has so far lost well over 70,000 civilians and billions of dollars in Pakistan’s war against terrorism. If Ehsanullah Ehsan allegations are true, it can easily be deduced that India has waged an undeclared war against Pakistan in which it has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Yet instead of discussing these monumentally serious allegations against Indian activity the liberal ‘literati tapka’ is busy asking sideline questions over whether his interview should have been shown or not.
Possible repercussions of Jadhav’s death sentence
The revelations made by Kulbhushan Jadhav and now Ehsanullah Ehsan have revealed the extent of Indian involvement in terrorism inside Pakistan. The dirty war being waged by India inside Pakistan can easily make anyone speculate that India can go to any extent to secure his release.
At the same time, speculation is rife that the retired Pakistani colonel abducted from Nepal is in custody of RAW. Some Indian analysts have hinted that the abducted Pakistani former colonel could be used for a swap with the former Indian naval officer. Indian government officials have even hinted to the declaration of Baluchistan as an independent state if Pakistan carries out Jadhav’s death sentence.
In addition to these threats, Pakistan should also bear itself for possible escalation along the LOC and terrorist attacks conducted by Indian terror proxies inside Pakistan.
Pakistan’s response to clandestine operations
Pakistan’s intelligence agencies have conducted a number of successful counterintelligence operations. The arrest of Commander Kulbhusah Jadhav in 2016 led to the disclosure of various sleeper cells across the entire length of Pakistan which were clamped down upon. Intelligence operatives have also uncovered various NDS sleeper cells leading to the arrest of many Afghan intelligence operatives.
Operation Radd ul Fasaad is a serious effort involving intelligence borne surgical actions to capture or kill terrorists and foreign agents in Pakistan. Coordination between various security agencies inside Pakistan has increased but more efforts need to be undertaken to overcome the threats posed by foreign spy agencies. All this is central to eliminating the menace of terrorism for the nefarious network of spies facilitates, trains, and gives much-needed succor to militant outfits operating against Pakistan.
Zeeshan Munir is a senior research associate at Center for Strategic and Contemporary Research, Islamabad. He has a deep interest in global affairs and international humanitarian law. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.