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Amid heart-wrenching scenes in Myanmar showing the plight of Rohingya Muslims, a story is making rounds of Pakistani connections to the crisis. According to the story that was republished by a publication in Thailand, the recent wave of violence in Myanmar was started by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) with the connivance of Pakistani based militants.

Despite the short lived euphoria of BRICS, Pakistan and China are taking big strides together much to the chagrin of Delhi and its ally, Washington

Reportedly, Indian and Bangladeshi intelligence officials have intercepted three phone calls between Hafiz Tohar (ARSA) and two other people. After giving details of Tohar’s alleged connections with Pakistan, the article named the two people whom he was in contact with. Allegedly Hafiz Tohar was in contact with Brigadier Ashfaq and Major Salamat of the ISI.

Read more: “Plight of Myanmars Rohingya’s: Destabilizing Muslim Governments?”

According to the story, Brigadier Ashfaq is the head of the agency’s eastern operations. In this capacity, he is working on a plan to topple the government of Bangladesh in concert with ex-premier, Ms. Khalida Zia, whom he is alleged to have met in London.

GVS talked to the Moscow-based analyst, Andrew Korybko on the issue. He said that India wants to further endorse Trump’s viewpoint that Pakistan harbors terrorists in the region and beyond

The news story has given out details of the phone call between Brigadier Ashfaq and Hafiz Tohar. In the first call which was made on 23rd August, Brigadier Ashfaq allegedly instructed Tohar: “Kala Admi detay hi hamla ho” to which Tohar said:”Jo Hukam par hamla 24 ki raat say phalay nhi hoga.”

The Brigadier was alluding to Kofi Annan who was set to present his report regarding the situation in Rakhine province. While giving his reasons for the delay, Tohar, he again received a call from the Brigadier asking him to attack because the report will be out in a matter of minutes.

Read more: Violence escalates in Myanmar: Will Rohingya Muslims continue to face persecution?

At a time when India has openly batted for Kyi’s stance on the issue, putting the brunt on Pakistan can serve many purposes

The crux of the story as narrated by anonymous intelligence sources is that Pakistan and IS are tutoring the ARSA not only to subvert the government of Suu Kyi but also to stoke up trouble in India’s east in a bid to divert attention from Kashmir.

Why this disinformation?

Though this story has come out of the blue and does not entail much substance, the timings are rather important. At a time when India has openly batted for Kyi’s stance on the issue, putting the brunt on Pakistan can serve many purposes. But first, it is important to understand that given the perception developed regarding Pakistan, India finds it easy to target that country. Since India’s narrative has been stamped by the US and that of Pakistan rejected, India finds it feasible to attribute this crisis to Pakistan too.

Read more: Persecution of Rohingya Muslims: Will ASEAN countries find a solution?

Pakistan and IS are tutoring the ARSA not only to subvert the government of Suu Kyi but also to stoke up trouble in India’s east in a bid to divert attention from Kashmir

GVS talked to the Moscow-based analyst, Andrew Korybko on the issue. He said that India wants to further endorse Trump’s viewpoint that Pakistan harbors terrorists in the region and beyond. He also felt that the BJP will use the ISI bogeyman to justify its open support to Myanmar, something which is being criticized by many quarters.

However, Andrew saw this in the larger canvass of China’s silk route. He said: “India wants to create the artificial perception that Pakistan is sabotaging one of China’s Silk Road, hoping that this can sow distrust between Beijing and Islamabad and ultimately undermine CPEC.”

Read more: Is there a Muslim-Buddhist conflict brewing in South East Asia?

After giving details of  Tohar’s alleged connections with Pakistan, the article named the two people whom he was in contact with

Despite the short lived euphoria of BRICS, Pakistan and China are taking big strides together much to the chagrin of Delhi and its ally, Washington. The timings and the fact that the crisis endangers oil and gas pipelines of China in Myanmar, this explanation sounds quite logical and reasonable.

This disinformation campaign is dangerous and well-timed.

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