India’s misdoings in historical perspective
by Asif Haroon Raja
Pakistan’s Troubles in Formative Years
The security situation of Pakistan has remained turbulent right from its inception due to the meddlesome role of India. India has waged wars and employed indirect strategy to destabilize Pakistan. The reason behind India’s unending hostility is its belief in mythical Mahabharata and its desire to become the unchallenged power of South Asia. Pakistan’s refusal to accept India’s hegemony has kept the two archrivals locked up in never ending antagonism. India’s policy of belligerence against all the states of South Asia has kept the region socio-economically weak and backward.
Soon after the birth of Pakistan, India annexed two-thirds Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), which was to become part of Pakistan in accordance with the agreed upon formula of contiguity and demography. Kashmir became the bone of contention and has kept the two countries on a warpath. India also tried hard to detach the NWFP with the help of Khan Brothers and Baluchistan with the help of Sardars of Kalat and Makran. People of Pakistan had still not overcome the grief of demise of Quaid-e-Azam in Sept 1948, when they suffered another tragedy of murder of Liaqat Ali Khan in October 1951. His murder was masterminded by CIA after he refused to influence Iran not to nationalize its oil industry. Thereon, Pakistan was faced with leadership crisis and never came out of it.
On account of India’s expansionist and dangerous designs, Pakistan joined the western pacts in 1954 with a view to build its military and economy. Security concerns forced Pakistan to shed sizeable part of its budget for the defence of the country which was at the cost of socio-economic development of the less developed provinces.
The 1965 War
Taking advantage of its six times bigger size, and superiority in men and material, India invaded Pakistan on multiple fronts in Sept 1965 in order to destroy Pak armed forces but the grit and valor of Pak forces thwarted its nefarious designs. While the former USSR met all the defense needs of India, Pakistan military almost exhausted its reserve stocks since the US had cut off its military supplies including vital spare parts during the war. Pakistan had gained a definite edge at the conclusion of 17-day intense war and its performance was lauded by the world.
Crisis in East Pakistan
Learning a lesson that Pakistan cannot be defeated in a one-to-one contest, India decided to use Psy Ops as a weapon to win the next war. India concentrated its whole focus upon East Pakistan, situated 1000 miles away and its poverty stricken people were vulnerable to subversion. Indian agencies made use of the affluent Hindi Bengalis and educationists to inject hatred in the minds of the youth against West Pakistan. West Bengal culture was played up and East Pakistan projected as the colony of West Pakistan to build Bengali nationalism. During the one year election campaign in 1970, Bengalis were terrorized by the armed militia of Awami League, called Mukti Bahinis. As a consequence, Sheikh Mujib led Awami League swept the polls in the December 1970 elections.
When ZA Bhutto refused to attend the session called by Mujib on 03 March and he threatened that legs of political leaders of West Pakistan going to Dacca will be broken, Gen Yahya buckled under pressure and on 01 March he postponed the session without giving the fresh date. It made the Bengalis go berserk and from 2 Mach 1971 onward the militant Bengalis started killing and raping West Pakistanis, Biharis and pro-Pakistani Bengalis ruthlessly. When the ten days of negotiations between the two teams led by Gen Yahya and Mujib failed due to uncompromising stance of Mujib who wanted confederation, Yahya who was being heckled for keeping the troops in cotton wools, ordered the military action on March 25, 1971 to restore law and order. Mujib was arrested and locked up in Mianwali jail. Bhutto exclaimed, “Thank God Pakistan is saved”. The military action triggered a countrywide civil war, which was pacified and all the lost towns recaptured by end May. The insurgency however, kept simmering in rural areas.
While the Bengalis trained and armed in 59 training camps together with Indian soldiers dressed in civil clothes were pitched against the military in a nine-month insurgency in 1971, RAW and Indian media in collusion with western and Israeli media houses embarked upon a massive propaganda war to demonize Pakistani troops deployed in East Pakistan. They were painted as human eating, blood sucking monsters and rapists.
So vast was the scale and intensity of the propaganda that India succeeded in coloring the minds of the world and they believed in what Indian media and Indian diplomats stated. Indian narrative succeeded because Pakistan remained tightlipped during the bloodshed committed by the Mukti Bahini killing over 100,000 and raping hundreds of non-Bengalis and vandalizing their properties from 2 to 25 March. The reason to remain silent was that it wanted to avoid a backlash against the Bengalis in West Pakistan.
After achieving 80% results through indirect strategy of subversion and propaganda, India employed the military instrument against the fatigued and marooned Pak forces with overwhelming superiority of 16:1 to over run East Pakistan and create Bangladesh. Even though Indian military had severed Pakistan’s eastern limb, Pakistan military was held responsible for the breakup and since then it has been denigrated on the fake charges that it had killed 3 million Bengalis and raped 300,000 Bengali women during 9-month insurgency. These cockeyed accusations have still not been erased.
Recommencement of Subversion by India
Much against its hope that the truncated Pakistan would accept Indian hegemony particularly after it embarked upon massive force modernization program with the help of its patron Soviet Union and becoming a nuclear power in 1974, Pakistan refused to get over awed and laid the foundation stone of its nuclear program in 1976. It impelled India to once again indulge in subversive activities in smaller provinces of Pakistan that nurtured grievances against the state.
Pakhtunistan stunt in the NWP backed by Kabul and Delhi and promoted by the ANP kept festering. Baluchistan became restive due to Baloch insurgency in the 1970s. RAW fomented ethnicity in rural Sindh. MRD movement in rural Sindh in 1983 led by the PPP was supported by India. Emergence of MQM in 1984 militarized Karachi and led to New Sindhis and old Sindhis clash resulting in rural-urban divide and making Sindh a wounded province. Sindhu Desh movement was kept alive by GM Sayed and JSQM. Two operations had to be launched in 1992 and in 1995 to quell RAW aided MQM militancy in Karachi-Hyderabad, and Dacoit Raj patronized by the Waderas and Sindhi political leaders in rural Sindh.
Religious sectarianism in Punjab in the 1990s ignited by Saudi Arabia and Iran and duly exploited by India was controlled in 1998. The Sindhi nationalists and ANP leaders at the behest of India obstructed the construction of Kalabagh dam which had become essential to meet the water needs of the country. It led to severe energy crisis and made Pakistan dependent upon the IPPs run expensive thermal power. India started building dams over three rivers flowing into Pakistan to accentuate water scarcity.
Pakistan after getting involved in the ten-year Afghan war from 1979 to 1989, had to face cultures of Kalashnikov, drugs and religious extremism, as well as Al-Zulfiqar’s terrorism and RAW-KGB-KHAD covert war. It bore the burden of 4 million Afghan refugees and suffered economic hardships on account of American sanctions which remained enforced till 2001. These insalubrious circumstances nosedived Pakistan’s economy that had remained stronger than other South Asian States till 1992, and made it debt ridden.
Destabilization Plan after 9/11
After 9/11, India in collusion with Afghanistan, the US and Israel have been systematically destabilizing Pakistan through gigantic covert war using Afghan soil and also strategically encircling and isolating Pakistan. FATA in the northwest and Baluchistan in the southwest were chosen as initial battlegrounds to inject terrorism. After forcing Pakistan to induct regular troops in FATA to oust Al-Qaeda, which was in violation of 1948 agreement, the tribesmen of South Waziristan picked up arms. Similar tactics were used in Baluchistan where the army had to step in to combat Bugti-Marri-Mengal tribes led insurgency. Proxies were created by foreign agencies based in Kabul for the two restive regions and they were funded, equipped and trained to conduct sabotage and subversion.
Pakistan was handcuffed and disallowed to indulge in proxy war against India by tailoring the terrorism laws in such a way that even genuine freedom movements as well as countries supporting such movements were put in the category of terrorism and subjected to sanctions.
Objectives. Terrorism was used as a weapon to destabilize, denuclearize, de-Islamize and balkanize Pakistan with the help of proxies. For this purpose, RAW established 66 training camps in Afghanistan and 21 in India. Brainwashing cells were created to indoctrinate the militants. Ajit Doval ‘Defensive Offence Doctrine-2014’ envisaged undertaking clandestine operations. Modi openly announced his support to the Baloch separatists.
Mission to the Proxies
Initial mission given to the proxies was to gain sway over the two rural regions by scaring away the civil administration, paramilitary forces, killing pro-Pakistan elements, to bleed the security forces and to create insecurity. In Baluchistan, the Chinese engineers working in Gwadar, the settlers, Hazaras, security forces, check posts, military and civil buses, trains, gas pipelines, power transmissions were assigned as the targets. Other objectives were to pin down maximum regular forces in the two widely apart zones, make the lines of communications insecure and to defame the Army by propagating that it is a mercenary army fighting for dollars. Covert war was supplemented by hybrid war, water terrorism and drone war.
4th Generation Hybrid War
After massive propaganda war in 1971, India once again launched 4th generation hybrid war on a much bigger scale to demonize Pakistan and its premier institutions. Purpose was to paint Pakistan as the villain of peace, nuclear proliferator and abettor of terrorism and to get Pakistan declared a terrorist state. This narrative was built from the time of an engineered terror attack on Indian Parliament in New Delhi on Dec 13, 2001, the blame of which was pinned on Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) allegedly facilitated by the ISI. India declared it as its 9/11 and carried out biggest troop mobilization. For next ten months, the two militaries remained in eyeball-to-eyeball contact and finally India withdrew its forces sheepishly in October 2002.
From that time onwards, all the terror attacks that took place in India or in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) were put in the basket of JeM, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the ISI. These included attacks on mosques in Malegaon and Hyderabad, Dargah in Uch Sharif and Samjhota Express in which majority of victims were Muslims. The puppet regime of Karzai in Kabul soon joined the chorus and blamed Pakistan for all the attacks in Afghanistan. The US led west bolstered the false narrative. The climax came when Pakistan was blamed for the attacks in Mumbai on Nov 26, 2008 and India once again mobilized its strike formations and cancelled the composite dialogue between the two neighbors. Since then, India’s hostility kept scaling new heights.
To give credence to its falsehood and make it’s cooked up stories look true, RAW organized a huge network of 750 fake local media outlets, 550 fake online websites including Times of Geneva, EP Today, 4NewsAgency, European Union Org for Pakistan Minorities and several others in 2005. It operated under the banner of ‘India Chronicles’ headquartered in Delhi and run by Srivastava Group. It operated under the identity of a dead man Prof Sohn who died in 2005.
These fake websites manufactured stories and fraudulent news which were disseminated to other countries including the parliamentarians of EU and the members of the UN. India’s largest news agency Asian News International (ANI) played a key role in disseminating fake news and stories within India and to 116 countries. To influence Europe, a fake media outlet ‘EU Chronicles’ was established in Brussels with counterfeit journalists. It invited EU parliamentarians and other notables, took their interviews, made them write op-eds and put words into their mouths. Their interviews and op-eds in distorted form including fake ones were then published in fake websites and disseminated around the globe.
Ten defunct UN accredited NGOs were resurrected in Brussels and Geneva and were required to influence the EU and the UNHCR. They were provided floor at the UN to lobby against Pakistan by fabricating incidents of human rights violations. They organized meetings, protests, poster campaigns. Visits of EU parliamentarians were arranged to IOK by RAW and Srivastava Group. RAW has spent over $ 100 million on this fake network whose sole objectives are to lend credibility to the bogus narratives of India, to discredit Pakistan, and to hide crimes of India against humanity.
Purpose of this clandestine outfit was to poison the minds of the Indians against Pakistan, influence the minds of Europeans and the UN, sow hatred against Pakistan, garner support of the EU, and the UN and to tarnish the image of Pakistan. Furthermore, to depict India as a victim of terrorism, build a smoke screen in order to cover up massive human rights abuses and state terrorism of India in IOK and against Indian minorities. For this, the propaganda war was upgraded to 5th generation war. This group played a big role in convincing the US administration, Congress and the US think tanks that the CPEC is a big threat to the western interests.
Net Result. It was a result of 15 years massive disinformation campaign clothed in lies, deceit, fabrications and rhetoric of Indian leaders, Indian media and the Srivastava Group that the peace loving Pakistan was wickedly transformed and presented to the world as a breeding ground of terrorism, a nursery of terrorism and the most dangerous country in the world which is in collusion with terrorists and it abets terrorism in India, IOK and Afghanistan. India’s psy ops were so effective that the world accepted its narratives and closed its eyes to the blatant Indian human rights violations and brutalities against the Kashmiris and the Indian minorities and never censured it. No change occurred in their perceptions after the fascist BJP regime led by Narendra Modi took over power.
The world bodies refused to listen to Pakistan’s pleadings that it had suffered and sacrificed the most in the US imposed war on terror, it was the only country which had comprehensively defeated terrorism which no other county could do, and that it was the biggest victim of Indian sponsored terrorism.
Modi’s Jingoism and Fascism
Relations of the two archrivals hit rock bottom once the fascist and racist regime of Narendra Modi took over in June 2014. Since its takeover, Modi has been pursuing the RSS agenda of Hindutva and has left no breathing space for other religious minorities in India. The Indian military has not only been constantly bolstering its defence capabilities but has also kept the Line of Control (LoC) and the working boundary in J&K on the boil through low intensity conflict (LIC).
All sorts of ground weapons have been employed to cause damage to both military posts as well as civilians living close to the LoC. This madness which has caused civilian fatalities and injuries is in complete violation of 2003 ceasefire agreement. Hybrid war and water terrorism were also stepped up. Series of false flag operations were enacted in Udhampur, Pathankot and Uri.
Another engineered attack in Pulwama on February 14, 2019 was made into an excuse to create war hysteria and to carry out an air intrusion across the LoC in Balakot on February 22, which proved abortive. Although Pakistan gave a befitting response on February 26-27, India in line with its chalked out plan abrogated the special status of disputed J&K on August 5, 2019 and converted it into two Indian Union Territories. These offensive prongs were further reinforced by threatening statements of launching surgical strikes on alleged militant camps in AJK and limited war in a specific area, and to break Pakistan into four parts.
In February 2019, the two nuclear powers had come very close to 4th round due to extreme bellicosity of megalomaniac India. Reason behind India’s xenophobia and insanity is full support of the US and Israel.
Objectives behind India’s Belligerence
Indian objectives behind these multi-dimensional aggressive acts is to frighten and overawe Pakistan and force it to forget Kashmir, disable nuclear program, abandon the project of CPEC, accept Indian hegemony and become a client state of India. Its belligerent acts are also designed to distract the attention of the world comity from its massive human rights violations in IOK, where the 8 million Muslim Kashmiris are still under lockdown. The other motive is to weaken and demoralize Pak security forces, and once they reach the exhaustion point, launch Cold Start Doctrine in chosen area at the conventional level under the nuclear overhang. It seems that India has been assured by its chief patron USA that Pakistan will not be allowed to use its nukes. FATF is another tool to keep Pakistan under the leash. India, Israel and the US are strategic partners with common objectives of disabling Pakistan’s nuclear program and scuttling the CPEC.
Pakistan’s Defensive Stance
Fearing to be declared a terrorist state, successive regimes in Islamabad adopted a defensive, apologetic and reactive posture. The government didn’t come out of its defensive mode even after it was revealed by Indian officials that Mumbai attacks were an in-house affair. Chief Inspector Hemant Karkare who caught a Hindu terrorist group led by serving Lt Col Purohit revealed that all the acts of terror that had taken place in India from 2001 to 2008 for which Pakistan was blamed was in actuality executed by this group. Karkare was killed on account of exposing the real culprits. A fake Hindu saint Aseemanad reconfirmed it.
Five books, four by Indian authors and one by a German gave out the whole details of the RAW engineered drama on 26/11. Pakistan still preferred to remain mum and didn’t pick up courage to challenge the Indian fake narrative. Pakistan took no advantage of the comprehensive details provided by Indian RAW agent Kulbushan Yadhav who was arrested in March 2016 about RAW’s terrorist network in Baluchistan and Karachi; and TTP’s leader Ehsanullah Ehsan who had voluntarily surrendered in 2017, giving details of the terrorism of TTP backed by NDS and RAW. These two birds in hand were enough to nail down India.
Pak Military’s Role. The Pak military stunned the world by defeating terrorism which no other military including the US could do and earned accolades. It also fought the LIC along the LoC tenaciously but remained handicapped to fire artillery/mortar shells indiscriminately like the Indians on account of Muslim inhabited villages across the LoC. The military faced following handicaps:
- It fought the war on terror with one hand tied.
- Mala fide ‘Do More’ mantra was aimed at bleeding Pak security forces, but Pakistan obeyed the US dictates pliantly.
- Kashmir focused Jihadi groups who formed the backbone of the Kashmiri freedom movement in IOK were banned and their funds frozen to appease India.
- India was thus given a free hand to indulge in covert war without fear of retaliation.
- Policy of appeasement restrained Pakistan from constructing a counter narrative to put the record straight that it is India and not Pakistan which indulges in terrorism.
- No narrative was built to counter the false narrative of Indo-US-Afghan nexus which heaped Pakistan with unsubstantiated accusations.
- Segment of Pak media was purchased by foreign powers and used as their mouthpiece to discredit premier institutions including the Army and ISI.
- Close Support Fund was reduced and then cut off.
- Brainwashed and misled elements in Pakistan towed foreign agenda to undermine huge sacrifices of security forces by holding them responsible for terrorism.
- PPP and PML-N regimes were seen as security risks due to their secret hobnobbing with archenemy India.
- Due to defensive foreign and diplomatic policy, Pak military couldn’t exploit host of internal vulnerabilities of India.
- Pakistan treated the US, NATO, India and Afghanistan as coalition partners but in reality they treated Pakistan as a target and played a double game.
- The terrorist groups which the Pak security forces were asked to fight were aided by so-called friends.
- The military was restrained from destroying the attacking drones that were used extensively during Obama’s regime.
- The military had to dislocate the Memo scandal of Oct 2011 framed by Hussain Haqqani at the behest of Zardari to undermine the Army.
- The ISI has been disallowed to use its long arm to counter India’s terrorism.
India’s Brutal Face Exposed
Pakistan was censured and punished for uncommitted sins. After suffering for 18 years and losing 83000 lives and financial loss of $ 126 billion, for the first time the civil and military leadership exposed the misdoings of RAW against Pakistan and provided irrefutable evidence to prove its involvement in state terrorism. Dr. Moeed Yousaf, the adviser to the PM Imran Khan in his interview with Indian anchor Karan Thapar bluntly brought out that India has deployed proxy terrorist outfits to destabilize Pakistan and to disrupt CPEC.
In a joint press conference by the Foreign Minister Qureshi and the DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, it was disclosed that India is organizing, directing and supporting terror outfits across Pakistan and has been using its embassies and consulates in neighboring countries. India doled out Rs 22 billion to the anti-Pakistan proxies active in FATA, KP, Swat, Baluchistan and Karachi, bulk of which (Rs 18.57 billion) was spent in Baluchistan. It was mentioned that Indian govt has allocated $ 500 million (Rs 80 billion) to the special cell in New Delhi established under the direct supervision of Modi to disrupt CPEC. The details of 700 strong militia with $ 60 million funds at its disposal to undertake terrorism in Baluchistan, and funding to MQM leader Altaf Husain were also given.
The dossier give details of the RAW sponsored major terror attacks in Pakistan. Indian Embassy in Kabul and four Indian Consulates in Afghanistan are coordinating all the terror activities. Pakistan ambassador to the UN Akram Munir called on the UN Secretary General, and handed him the over 100 pages dossier containing concrete evidence of India’s deep rooted involvement in terrorism in Pakistan and told him to prevail upon India to desist from such activities. Copies of the same were also given to the UNSC members, EU and the OIC.
The world has been blindly believing the fake narrative of India, which is devoid of evidence. Not a single allegation could be substantiated with concrete proof, and whatever proofs provided were fictitious since the accusations were based on a concocted story. Neither any safe haven or a training camp or a proxy in Pakistan could be pinpointed by India or USA. All the Jihadi groups in Pakistan including Jamaatud Dawa have been banned and the leaders convicted and jailed. The dossier prepared by Pakistan contains hard evidence which is undisputable and India has not been able to challenge it.
It contains the details of training camps, brainwashing cells, how funds and weapons were transferred and money laundered, instructors, handlers, photos, audio clips of taped conversations between RAW officials and their assets, confessions of arrested terrorists, debriefings of suspects, and intercepts.
Discovery of India’s huge fake media network by an NGO namely Disinformation Lab at Brussels has nailed India. Part of Srivastava network was discovered by the EU Disinformation Lab last year. It has now unearthed the whole network. Let us see the response of the world power centres how they will react to the startling revelation of RAW sponsored Srivastava Group and its misdoings. It is to be seen how the UN and P-5 members would respond after studying the dossier furnished by Pakistan, which leaves no doubt about India’s massive involvement in terrorism in Pakistan and its linkages with the ISIS. Logically the world should have been outraged over these despicable exposures and India ostracized and put under sanctions and RAW blacklisted after declaring it a rogue outfit.
So far the world powers and the UN are quiet and have refrained from expressing their concerns. Imagine the scale of uproar had so much of proofs of terrorism and disinformation come to surface against Pakistan! The only reason behind brazen silence of world powers could be their complicity with India which is a rogue power, a compulsive liar, a bully and a terrorist state. Interests of the US and the western nations are aligned with India. So nothing much is expected and India’s version would be accepted that it has nothing to do with Srivastava Group.
The writer is retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence analyst, international columnist, author of 5 books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC PESS & Veterans Think Tank. [email protected]
Brig. General Asif Haroon Raja a Member Board of Advisors Opinion Maker is Staff College and Armed Forces WarCoursequalified holds MSc war studies degree; a second generation officer, he fought the epic battle of Hilli in northwest East Bengal during 1971 war, in which Maj M. Akram received Nishan-e-Haider posthumously.
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 lingual and speaks English, Pashto and Punjabi fluently.
He is author of books titled ‘Battle of Hilli’, ‘1948, 1965 & 1971 Kashmir Battles and Freedom Struggle’, ‘Muhammad bin Qasim to Gen Musharraf’, Roots of 1971 Tragedy’; has written a number of motivational pamphlets. Draft of his next book ‘Tangled Knot of Kashmir’ is ready.
He is a defense analyst and columnist and writes articles on security, defense and political matters for numerous international/national publications.