By ASIF HAROON RAJA
RAW had been created by India in 1968 with the sole aim of destabilizing East Pakistan, subverting its leadership and taking it in its total control and creating suitable conditions for the intervention of Indian armed forces. After forcibly severing eastern wing of Pakistan and making it an independent country in December 1971, RAW started meddling into internal affairs of truncated Pakistan and worked on provinces which were economically less developed and had grievances. It first worked in real earnest in rural Sindh where the poor segment was being exploited by Waderas and where there was sizeable presence of affluent Hindus who had influence over Sindhis. GM Sayyed provided RAW a toehold and other Sindhi nationalist parties aspiring for Sindhudesh were taken on board.
Once RAW made sufficient progress in rural Sindh it then shifted its emphasis toward urban Sindh with focus on Karachi with the help of newly established MQM. Grievances of Urdu speaking community against Sindhis and latter against former were fomented by RAW. Antagonism between old and new Sindhis was stirred up to create rural-urban divide. Among the MQM, some toyed with the idea of Jinnahpur and started working on Mujib’s model to control Karachi through terrorism for which it created a militant wing.
In the Frontier Province, Indian leaders maintained their contacts with the help of NAP that was aligned with Congress and had espoused Pakhtunistan. The party that was banned by Bhutto in 1973 was renamed as ANP in 1978, but it maintained its contacts with India. The nationalist political leaders of Sindh and Frontier gave a commitment to India that come what may they would not allow Kala Bagh dam to be constructed.
RAW made its inroads in Balochistan during 1973 Baloch insurgency via Afghanistan. In concert with KGB and KHAD, it started subverting the people in Balochistan and the trio actively supported Baloch insurgency which raged till 1978. India got aligned with Soviet Union and Afghan regime in 1980 and the intelligence agencies of the three countries together with Al-Zulfiqar, a militant wing of PPP, carried out intensive acts of sabotage and subversion against Pakistan till the defeat of USSR in 1989. In late 1980s, RAW established link with a group in southern Punjab, which was instigated to seek establishment of Saraikistan.
India’s covert activities received a big boost after 9/11 since the US, Israel and western world ganged up against Muslim world and India was promised all out support to defang nuclear Pakistan. It became easier for RAW agents to increase its presence in various parts of Pakistan since the latter having become an ally of USA had opened its doors for its intelligence agencies. CIA after consolidating its position in targeted regions facilitated entry of RAW agents as well. Indo-Pak peace treaty in 2004 opened further vistas for India to befriend desired audiences and to promote Indian culture particularly in Lahore, the heartland of Punjab. Inroads in print and electronic media enabled the US, India and Israel to build perceptions of choice and to defame Pak institutions. Balwaristan movement seeking independence of Gilgit is RAW creation and so is TTP in FATA. Phenomenon of target killings in Karachi from 2008 onward, which provoked the PPP and ANP to establish militant wings to counter MQM’s vandalism to control port city, had the backing of RAW. 3500 people died in senseless target killings.
Having spread its tentacles all over Pakistan, India is now in an advantageous position to heat up any of the trouble spots suiting its design of covert war and that too without any fear of retaliation from Pakistan inside India because of Pakistan’s policy of appeasement. Pakistan has been put on the defensive because of sustained propaganda war by Indo-US-Western nexus. In the aftermath of Mumbai carnage, both India and USA threatened that Pakistan will be held accountable in case of any future act of terror taking place in India. Pakistan has become so cautious that it is not even supporting Kashmiri freedom fighters seeking right of self determination.
RAW is deeply involved in Balochistan, FATA, southern Punjab and Karachi. This time it is helped by USA, Britain, Israel, Germany and Afghanistan. Its nine years sustained efforts have resulted in transforming Baloch insurgency into a separatist movement. The rebellious Baloch Sardars and nationalist leaders initially voiced political and economic grievances and demanded provincial autonomy and greater share in mineral resources of the province. Once most of their demands were met and mega projects launched to address the inequities, they started demanding independence of Balochistan. Those demanding separation are not more than 3%, while the rest of Baloch people are highly patriotic.
In FATA, TTP is aligned with Afghan Taliban and has an agenda of imposing Shariah in FATA. Since some militant groups in North and South Waziristan are pro-Pakistan and anti-US, and that none seek independence from Pakistan, hence the US and western world keep jabbing Pakistan to kill anti-US Pashtuns. At the same time, TTP is pricked to continue with its militancy and prevent normalization of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where stunt of Pakhtunistan has not died down.
The stance of USA in Balochistan is quite the opposite. Here even slightest retaliatory action by the paramilitary forces is drummed up as violation of human rights. It is falsely claimed that the Army has undertaken a military operation and that intelligence agencies are involved in kidnappings of Baloch dissidents. Baloch rebellious groups like BLA, BRA and BLF trained and equipped in Afghanistan are involved in sabotage activities and in target killings of non-locals, Hazaras and pro-government Baloch. They are terrorizing peaceful citizens and poisoning the minds of the Baloch youths against non-locals, central government, Punjab, Army and ISI. They are told that despite their province being the largest and rich in resources, it is most under developed. Blueprint is the same as was practiced in erstwhile East Pakistan. Tabling of a bill by three US Congress members is an attempt to internationalize Balochistan issue.
Notwithstanding grant of MFN status to India and to make India part of Afghan Trade Transit to boost mutual trade, it must not be forgotten that India has not stopped its covert war against Pakistan to destabilize and denuclearize Pakistan and to detach Balochistan. India has yet not closed its training camps and Pakistan specific consulates in Afghanistan, nor stopped its support to Baloch dissidents. RAW is a notorious rogue outfit, which is chiefly responsible for disturbing the peace of all neighbors including Afghanistan. Indian leadership instead of bridling its insidious activities impishly blames ISI, which is not exploiting insurgencies in 19 states of India.
Indian leaders are trying to become overly friendly since its chief benefactor USA itself has got entangled in host of problems and is set to quit Afghanistan. We know how cleverly India had deceived Pakistan by signing peace treaty in 2004 and promised to solve all core issues through composite dialogue, but used the period of friendship to promote RAW’s secret war to undermine Pakistan and to build dams over three rivers to choke Pakistan. Last seven years have been nightmarish for Pakistan.
Should we again be misled into believing that this time India is genuinely interested in peace and friendship? If so, what is the basis of optimism? What practical steps India have taken to allay our legitimate fears, or to resolve outstanding issue of Kashmir, which bedevil Indo-Pak relations? Or our leaders have simply got mesmerized by preachers of RAW sponsored Aman ki Asha? For 64 years Pakistan has been ceding ground to win the friendship of India but couldn’t change the mindset of Brahman rulers. If India is genuinely interested in friendship with Pakistan, it must prove it by actions and not by deceptive and hypocritical sweet talk.
The writer is a retired Brig and a defence analyst. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org