Asif Haroon Raja
Pakistan was subjected to an international conspiracy in 1971. India supported by former Soviet Union hatched the gory plan of cutting Pakistan into two and creating Bangladesh. India had been working upon East Bengal since 1948 with the aim of subverting the Bengalis and poisoning their minds against people of West Pakistan through an orchestrated subversion plan. Mujibur Rahman was taken on board by India at Agartala in 1963 He came into prominence in 1964 after the death of Hussein Suhrawardy, particularly after he propagated his six-point plan that was crafted by India. He became India’s pawn and resorted to politics of violence and hatred. His secession plan was unearthed in 1968 and he and 22 other co-accused were put on trial but our politicians bailed him out and helped him in turning from a traitor into a hero.
Mujib aroused the emotions of the Bengalis and intensified hatred against West Pakistan under the magic of Bengali nationalism. RAW, established in 1968 launched the final phase. In order to prevent reinforcements from the western wing, air service passing over Indian Territory was severed by India after RAW carried out India’s Ganga airlines hijacking drama in January 1971 and blamed Pakistan.
Pak troops successfully quashed the province wide insurgency in less than two months and restored order but India under Indira Gandhi had decided not to miss the chance of the century as stated by Subramanian. Over 150,000 Mukti Bahini together with 9 regiments of East Bengal Regiments trained and equipped in 59 training camps in India were launched. Indian soldiers dressed in civvies accompanied the rebels. Thus, India laid the foundations of state sponsored cross border terrorism in South Asia. After nine months of Indian Army/BSF/RAW aided insurgency, Indian military jumped in to deliver the sledge hammer. SEATO, CENTO, Common Wealth of which Pakistan was a member as well as the UN and Muslim world quietly and helplessly watched a sovereign country getting bisected and did nothing to prevent the amputation of Pakistan’s eastern limb. No Caesar or Napoleon could have saved the truncation of Pakistan. The outcome could have been delayed but not changed.
After its grand success in East Pakistan, RAW was assigned new targets of Baluchistan and Sindh. It got a chance in 1973 and in connivance with KGB and KHAD, RAW assisted Baloch Student Organisation (BSO) and Baloch rebels from Afghan soil to wage armed insurgency which raged for next five years. During this time frame, RAW in league with GM Sayyed and some other Sindhi nationalists stoked Sindhu Desh movement in interior Sindh. Hanging of ZA Bhutto in April 1979 was exploited by RAW to inject hatred into the minds of Sindhis against the Army. RAW fully supported Al-Zulfiqar and trained its members in India throughout the 1980s till such time Murtaza Bhutto returned to Pakistan in 1994.
At the same time, RAW kept instigating Urdu speaking community in Karachi and supported All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organisation (APMSO). Covert support to the two communities fanned Old Sindhi-New Sindhi antagonism and sharpened rural-urban divide and ultimately led to creation of MQM. The MQM’s militant wing was trained by RAW in India and tasked to terrorise the Urdu speaking community in Karachi as well as media and other power centres and later in other parts of urban Sindh into submission and thus gain political power in Karachi through the barrel of gun. PML-N and PPP had to launch operations in 1992 and in 1995 to subdue MQM’s militancy but failed.
Once India became strategic partner of USA in 1991 and Pakistan was put under sanctions, India strove hard to get Pakistan declared a terrorist state on the charge that it was abetting terrorism in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK). Since the liberation movement in IOK in reaction to India’s policy of oppression and refusal to give the Kashmiris their right of self-determination was indigenous, the US could at best put Pakistan on the watch list of terror abetting countries. India having carried out its first nuclear explosion in 1874, carried out the next series of nuclear explosions in May 1998 to overawe and blackmail Pakistan. When Pakistan responded, its nuclear program became an eyesore for India, Israel and USA and Pakistan was marked as a target. Israel in concert with India made efforts to bomb Kahuta plant but Pakistan’s vigilance came in their way.
9/11 gave a golden opportunity to India to sort out Pakistan once and for all. A comprehensive plan was chalked out by the Indo-US-Israel-UK nexus to initially befriend Pakistan so as to capture Afghanistan and then launch a massive covert war from Afghan soil to destabilize, secularize and denuclearize Pakistan. This was the second international conspiracy hatched to axe Pakistan, the scope and dimensions of which were much bigger than the first one.
Covert operations were to be beefed up with propaganda war/drone war/water terrorism and psychological operations to spread despondency, discredit premier institutions and defame nuclear program and force Pakistan to hand over the nukes. Sudden increase of Pak TV channels from one to 100 in 2003-04 was part of the plan to secularize the society, feed tutored perceptions among the public, open up settled issues to make them controversial and to disrepute Pak institutions.
India gave a final shape to its plan of first destabilizing as well as encircling Pakistan and then launching the military at an opportune time to balkanize it using the Cold Start doctrine. In this regard, India in collaboration with the US was to enhance its influence and military presence in Afghanistan, Central Asia, Iran and Indian Ocean and to isolate Pakistan as it had done in 1971. For covert operations, India set up 70 training camps and cultural centres, opened up four Pakistan specific Consulates and inducted 14 intelligence units in Afghanistan.
Gen Musharraf helped the conspirators to put their gory plan into action after capturing Afghanistan with the assistance of Pakistan. The latter had ditched Afghan Taliban with whom it enjoyed very friendly relations, and had provided air bases, seaport, air space and land supply routes to the ISAF, besides intelligence sharing and posting 70,000 troops along the western border. Worst was when we allowed the CIA and FBI a free hand throughout the length and breadth of the country including the air/seaports to nab runaway Al-Qaeda operatives and Taliban. Taking advantage of this unimpeded liberty, CIA established outposts in FATA and a secret outfit named “spider web”. This outfit gunned down over 400 tribal Maliks, notables and clerics loyal to Pakistan and created space for Pakistani Taliban that latter transformed into Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in December 2007. Sacks full of dollars, sophisticated arms, Tharoya telephone sets and vehicles were provided to them to win their loyalties.
Intelligence gathering in FATA was taken over by CIA and Joint Operating Centre (JOC) on the plea that the US had better means and expertise to disseminate information to combat troops. Pakistan was compelled to violate the 1947 treaty with tribals and dispatch troops to South Waziristan to flush out Al-Qaeda and their supporters. That way, flames of terrorism were cleverly pushed into FATA and from there to settled areas to urban centres of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and then to Punjab.
India as a state policy lumped all acts of terror taking place in India between 2001 and 2008 in the lap of Pakistan. Terror attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001, attacks on Samjhota Express in 2007, Mecca mosque in Hyderabad, mosque in Malegaon, Mumbai attacks in November 2008, attacks in Gurdaspur, Udhampur and more recently Pathankot airbase were either committed by Hindu terror groups or undertaken as false flag operations to prove to the world that Pakistan was abetting terrorism and India was victim of terrorism. Indian officials themselves disclosed the whole story. The ones uncovering Hindu terrorism were killed. Chief Inspector Hemant Karkare was killed during the Mumbai attacks while a Muslim investigating officer Tanzil Ahmed investigating Pathankot incident has also been gunned down and his wife critically injured. He had found out that the so-called attack that was deliberately lingered on for 4 days was a drama to malign Pakistan.
Indo-Pakistan peace treaty concluded in January 2004 was hyped as a big diplomatic triumph and a way forward for resolution of all core issues. However, in actuality it was a ruse to dupe Pak leadership and let it lower its guards. India quietened the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir only after Musharraf made a one-sided commitment that he will not allow Pak soil for use by terrorists against India, Kashmir and Afghanistan, banned six Jihadi groups involved in IOK freedom movement, and also allowed India to fence the entire length of LoC. These steps gave a severe blow to freedom movement in IOK. Having achieved all these which India couldn’t achieve by carrying out massive troop deployment for 10 months in 2002, RAW activated the western border and heated up FATA.
Pakistan Army managed to dismantle TTP major bases in Swat, Bajaur and South Waziristan and retake 17 out of 18 administrative units in 2009-10. Tons of arms, ammunition and explosives, mostly Indian origin, were recovered. Uncircumcised RAW Hindu agents disguised as Khateebs were arrested. TTP was rebuilt and regrouped in North Waziristan (NW) in 2011 by its patrons. Gradually, over 50 militant groups including Punjabi Taliban were brought under the umbrella of TTP and its tentacles (sleeping cells) were spread all over Pakistan. Likewise CIA/Blackwater/RAW also established their network. High value targets like Mehran naval base destroying three PC-3 Orion, Kamra airbase targeting AWACs parked in hangers, sensitive military installations couldn’t have been undertaken without active foreign collaboration.
Flames of terrorism were lit in Baluchistan with the help of Bugtis, Marris and Mengals in 2004. On a lame excuse of rape of non-Baloch woman in Dera Bugti, armed insurgency was first launched in interior Baluchistan and then all over the province. Besides the settlers and Shia community, gas pipelines, electric grid stations/pylons and railway line were often targeted. After the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti in August 2006 who led the insurgency, and wrongly implicating the Army for his death, he was turned into a Baloch hero and thus insurgency shaped into a separatist movement. The fugitive Baloch leaders sheltered in Afghanistan, Geneva, London and Washington were extended full support by the conspirators. Own media eulogized the separatist leaders and drummed up issues of missing persons/mutilated bodies to denigrate Frontier Corps and agencies.
Having sufficiently destablised FATA and Baluchistan and pinned down over 150,000 troops in the northwest, Musharraf who refused to cross the red lines was elbowed out with the help of lawyers’ movement and dream team led by infamous Zardari brought on centre stage in 2008. While the new rulers plundered the nation with both hands, MQM made Karachi restive to bleed the economic lifeline of Pakistan. Spree of target killings, extortion, kidnappings for ransom, money laundering, land grabbing peaked and the port city began to die an economic death. All State enterprises were systematically ruined as a result of poor governance, record breaking corruption and policy of nepotism. In the PPP-MQM-ANP-JUI-F five years rule, the country became bankrupt, heavily debt ridden and a failing state. MQM funded by RAW became a monster. But for the resilience of the people and the buoyant role of Army and ISI which stood like a rock against foreign sponsored attacks, the conspirators might have succeeded in their evil designs to cause irreparable harm to Pakistan.
To the good fortune of Pakistan, the US led forces failed to defeat Taliban in Afghanistan and much to the chagrin of India had to quit in December 2014 without achieving any of the stated or hidden objectives except for destroying Afghanistan and causing grievous human losses to people of Pakistan (60,000 fatalities) and $107 billion economic loss. Pakistan is intact and so is its strategic assets. Pak military has also managed to defeat and destroy the foreign supported TTP and its affiliates after clearing their last bastion in NW. But for the presence of fugitives Fazlullah and Khalid Khurasani based in Kunar and Nangarhar respectively, terrorism in northwest would have been completely eliminated. These elements backed by RAW and Afghan NDS are continuing to launch random terrorist attacks on soft targets in Pakistan. Last one was on Gulshan Park in Lahore, which was claimed by Jamaat-e-Ahrar. Efforts are in hand to improve border management, seal the routes and nab the facilitators. Another positive development is Pakistan’s improved economic health and stature, getting out of energy crisis and construction of multi-dimensional $46 billion CPEC.
Although the security situation of Baluchistan and Karachi has been vastly improved, it has come as a rude shock to Pakistan that RAW is also using Iranian soil to destabilize these two regions. This has been revealed by Indian serving naval officer Commander Kalbhushan Yadav (cover name Mubarak) arrested from Baluchistan last month. He has confessed that he at the behest of RAW has been carrying out acts of sabotage and subversion and stoking sectarianism in Baluchistan and Karachi since 2003 and has used Chahbahar as his base of operation and he had a network. He had been providing funds and arms to BLA, BRA, BLF as well as MQM and had been assigned a special task of disrupting CPEC and targeting Gawadar Port. He was in direct communication with RAW chief. It must not be forgotten that in middle of last year, a special desk was set up by RAW in New Delhi under the express directions of notorious Indian National Security adviser Ajit Doval Singh with the mandate to scuttle CPEC at all cost.
With this background, one fails to understand why our leaders get deceived again and again and are always eager to fall into the waiting arms of Indian leaders who are known for carrying a dagger under their arm pit. It must now be clearly understood by our rulers that India has not reconciled to the existence of Pakistan and will only tolerate it if it agrees to forget Kashmir and accept India’s hegemony in the region. Politically stable, economically prosperous and militarily strong Pakistan is unacceptable to India. India is encircling Pakistan, constructing dozens of dams over the three rivers flowing in from IOK in order to make our fertile lands barren and make Pakistan water scarce. It is feverishly building up its conventional and unconventional capabilities and 75% of its defence forces are poised against Pakistan. It is not prepared to settle Kashmir issue or even Siachin, Sir Creek and water issues. So under what logic and rationality we hope to build even-handed friendly relations based on trust and mutual respect with India and that too when it is being ruled by extremist Modi who is a staunch supporter of Hindutva, is anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan and is now busy winning over Muslim countries to isolate Pakistan.
It must never be forgotten that the sinister agenda against Pakistan remain unchanged and the international conspiracy has not been wrapped up. Having failed in its objectives, the conspirators have now diverted their entire energies toward creating a cleavage between civil-military relations and to provoke Army chief to seize power. Panama leaks is part of the scheme to degrade the PM and force him to resign. Foreign paid media has become super active and has forgotten Indian spy Yadav. Whatever grand achievements have been accomplished are a result of civil and military remaining on one page.
So the big question is, why so much of hullabaloo against the sitting government which irrespective of its weaknesses has produced pleasing results in less than three years. All economic indicators are improving and destroyed state corporations made functional. Inflation is within limits, currency is steady and there is no price hike. CPEC has the potential to change the complexion of all regions of Pakistan.
Have we forgotten the fate of all military rulers including Ayub Khan who had given so much to Pakistan? Gen Raheel is now being glamorized, but already a segment is criticizing him. If he makes the mistake of taking over, his fate will be no different than his predecessors. It will become easy for adversaries to demonise Pakistan under military rule and to punish it as had been done in 1971. Change of regime at this critical stage will jeopardise ongoing development works including CPEC. Will PML-N which is strongest in Punjab take the third time premature ouster lying down? What about other political parties desperate to get into the corridors of power? Is there any political party capable of curing all the afflictions of Pakistan? Will they let Gen Raheel to rule minus them? Mix of the two has always spoiled the broth.
Hence will it not be prudent to let this government complete its tenure and the Army should keep pushing it to take the operations in restive areas to their logical conclusion rather than pulling it down. The opposition should behave responsibly and play a constructive role by pressing the government to carryout electoral reforms, judicial reforms, police reforms and take action on all the 20 points of National Action Plan and charter an independent foreign policy which is in best interest of the nation, rather than trying to unseat it. There is a dire need to remain ever vigilant, keep quislings and media under watch, get united and put our house in order.
The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran/defence analyst/columnist/author of five books; Director Measac Research Centre, Director Board of Governors Thinkers Forum Pakistan. He delivers talks in seminars, takes part in TV talk email@example.com
Brig. General Asif Haroon Raja is on the board of advisors for Opinion Maker. He holds an MSc war studies degree. A second-generation officer, he fought the epic battle of Hilli in northwest East Bengal during 1971 war,
He served as Directing Staff Command & Staff College, Defence Attaché Egypt, and Sudan and Dean of Corps of Military Attaches in Cairo. He commanded the heaviest brigade in Kashmir. He is tri-lingual and speaks English, Pashto, and Punjabi fluently.
Currently, he is a defense analyst and columnist and writes articles on security, defense, and political matters for numerous international/national publications. He is chairman at the Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, & Member CWC PESS & Veterans Think Tank
He is also the author of many books; ‘Battle of Hilli’, ‘1948, 1965 & 1971 Kashmir Battles and Freedom Struggle’, ‘Muhammad bin Qasim to Gen Musharraf’, and Roots of 1971 Tragedy’. His latest book is ‘Tangled knot of Kashmir : Indo-Pakistan antagonism: vol. 1 and vol. 2″
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