Monday, August 8, 2016

India's Role in Quetta Bombing: A Conspiracy Theory?

"How do you tackle Pakistan?.....We start working on Pakistan's vulnerabilities-- economic, internal security, political, isolating them internationally, it can be anything..... it can be defeating Pakistan's policies in Afghanistan...... You stop the terrorists by denying them weapons, funds and manpower. Deny them funds by countering with one-and-a-half times more funding. If they have 1200 crores give them 1800 crores and they are on our side...who are the Taliban fighting for? It's because they haven't got jobs or someone has misled them. The Taliban are mercenaries. So go for more of the covert thing (against Pakistan)..." Ajit Doval, India's National Security Advisor

Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province, has been hit by a major terrorist attack yet again with tragic consequences. At least 70 people, many of them lawyers, have been killed and scores more injured in a massive bomb bast at a hospital. The carnage has been met with shock and multiple claims of responsibility by various terrorist groups.

Balochistan government has accused India as the sponsor of this carnage. This charge has been dismissed by many, including Pakistan's liberal pundits, as just another "conspiracy theory".  Let's examine this in the light of the quote from India's National Security Advisor that I shared at the top of this piece.

What is Conspiracy Theory?

What is the origin of the term "conspiracy theory"? Who coined it and for what purpose? In April 1967, the CIA wrote a dispatch that coined the term “conspiracy theory” to attack anyone who challenged the "Official" narrative put out by the US government. The dispatch was marked “psych” – short for “psychological operations” or disinformation – and “CS” for the CIA’s “Clandestine Services” unit.

It's a testament to the power of the CIA disinformation ops that the term has gained such wide currency around the world.  It has become particularly popular among Pakistan's lazy liberal elite who use it as a substitute for serious research to get at the truth.

Pakistan Terror Fatalities Decline After Zarb e Azb Source: SATP 

Is India's Role in Balochistan Conspiracy Theory?

To answer this question, let us begin with a quote from former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who said: "India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan".

On what basis did Chuck Hagel make the statement about India's use of Afghan territory to attack Pakistan? Was he, too, just another victim of conspiracy theories? Off course not. Secretary Hagel had the benefit of intelligence briefings by the CIA given to him in multiple capacities: first as US Senate Intelligence committee member and then as US Defense Secretary.

Since Mr. Hagel made his statement, there has been further evidence of India's involvement in Balochistan with the recent arrest of Kulbhushan Yadv, a serving Indian Navy officer working under cover in Balochistan. Yadav has confessed to working with terrorists launching attacks in Pakistan.

US analyst Laura Rozen explained India-Taliban nexus as follows: "While the U.S. media has frequently reported on Pakistani ties to jihadi elements launching attacks in Afghanistan, it has less often mentioned that India supports insurgent forces attacking Pakistan, the former (US) intelligence official said. "The Indians are up to their necks in supporting the Taliban against the Pakistani government in Afghanistan and Pakistan," the former (US) intelligence official who served in both countries said. "The same anti-Pakistani forces in Afghanistan also shooting at American soldiers are getting support from India. India should close its diplomatic establishments in Afghanistan and get the Christ out of there."

Is India Using Iranian territory against Pakistan?

The arrest of Iran-based Indian agent Kulbhushan Yadav has also confirmed that India is using Chahbahar port project in Iran as cover for subversive actions in Pakistan.

The fact that India has used Iran to hurt Pakistan is not new. In 2009, American analyst and author Christine Fair said this: "Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity!"

History of Indian Covert Wars Against Pakistan:

What India is doing today to sponsor terror in Pakistan is not new. R.K. Yadav, a former intelligence officer in India's intelligence agency, has written an entire book titled "Mission R&AW" to document RAW's covert war against Pakistan. Yadav has detailed India's ties several Pakistani leaders including Khan Abul Wali Khan and Shaikh Mujib ur Rehman. He has confirmed the veracity of "Agartala Conspiracy" that was dismissed as a "conspiracy theory" back in 1960s. Yadav has documented how Indian Army and intelligence officers organized, equipped and trained Mukti Bahini before India invaded East Pakistan in 1971.


Indian involvement in sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan is not a "conspiracy theory". There is large and growing evidence of it.  Ex US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has talked about it. Several US analysts have detailed it. Kulbhushan Yadav, a serving Indian Navy Officer, arrested in Balochistan has confessed to it. Revelation of London Police documents linking MQM leader to Indian funding shows it. Statements made by Ajit Doval back in 2014 and his later appointment as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's lend credence to it. So does India's past behavior against Pakistan as acknowledged in "Mission R&AW", a book by ex RAW officer R.K. Yadav.

Next Steps:

Pakistan can not win its war against terrorism by just fighting the various terrorist groups including the Taliban militants and Baloch insurgents and their allies engaged in frequent large-scale carnage on Pakistani soil. These groups are merely tools of India's covert war machine. Pakistan must beef up its counter-intelligence efforts to defeat India's intelligence operations by infiltrating them. Pakistan must do everything possible to defeat India's covert war.

Here's a video discussion on the subject:

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Indian Agent Kubhushan Yadav's Confession

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Covert War in Pakistan?

Ex India Spy Documents Successful RAW Ops in Pakistan

London Police Document Confirms MQM-RAW Connection Testimony

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Ajit Doval Lecture on "How to Tackle Pakistan" 

Chabahar Port


Ahsan H. said...

I will not be surprised at all if
India is involved. The Taliban
have claimed responsibility for
the latest bombing in Quetta,
but that does not rule out India's
role in the attack.

Anonymous said...

Probably another Kulbhushan Yadav is operating in Blaochistan..

Jarrar B. said...

Agreed. But your post downplays role of TTP and its poisonous Takfeeri ideology which actually convinced a person to blow himself for the sake of Jihad and eternal reward.

Sometimes it's not easy to differentiate between instigator and beneficiary. To me it seems like a home grown militancy of whom India was the clear beneficiary. India did what beneficiaries do: provide cover. Thoughts?

Riaz Haq said...

Modi's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval's speech at Sastra University

How do we tackle Pakistan? Having nuclear threshold, having strategic weapon systems, missiles, strategic partnership with China...India having long border with

We engage the enemy in three modes:

Defensive mode--chowkidars, chaprasees. To defend.

Offensive Defense mode. We go to the place where the offense is coming.

Offense mode

Nuclear threshold is a difficulty only in offensive mode but not in defensive offense.

In defensive offense mode, we start working on Pakistan's vulnerabilities-- economic, internal security, political, isolating internationally, it can be anything, it can be exposing their terrorist activities, it can be defeating Pakistan's policies in Afghanistan,

You may do one Mumbai, you lose Balochistan.

In defensive offense, Pakistan has many times more vulnerabilities than India

Taliban cut off the heads of 23 Pakistani soldiers and sent to the Army Chief. 40,000 have been killed in three and half years.

...For smothering, you tackle Pakistan. Don't buy the argument that if Taliban are not stopped at the border, they will threaten India. Pakistan is not our well-wisher. ...Taliban will listen to the Deobandis much more. How do you stop terrorist organizations? You stop the terrorist by denying them weapons, funds and manpower. Deny them funds by countering with 1.5X more funding. if they have 1200 crores give them 1800 crores they are on our side...who are they fighting for? It's because they haven't got the job and someone has misled them. The Taliban are mercenaries. So go for more of the covert thing

Majumdar said...

Prof sb,

Since you take Doval at face value and insist that he is behind all the mischief in Pakiland, you must also accept his claim that Pakiland was behind terror attacks in Mumbai and elsewhere in India.


Anonymous said...

Do you watch Law and Order or CSI. What you have written above will be contemptuously dismissed as lack-of-evidence except showing the intent. You need to nail down a terrorist activity directly with an indian to prove their action. If not, admit the superiority of Hindus and keep sulking.

Sometime back, in an Indian TV show with Arnab Goswami, a Paki said that confessions in Indian and paki police stations can never be taken seriously. So why is Yadav's statement taken so seriously.

BTW congrats

Riaz Haq said...

Majumdar: "Since you take Doval at face value and insist that he is behind all the mischief in Pakiland, you must also accept his claim that Pakiland was behind terror attacks in Mumbai and elsewhere in India."

I am not going by Doval's words alone; I am looking at the totality of evidence from multiple sources that I have discussed in my post. Please read it in full.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Do you watch Law and Order or CSI. What you have written above will be contemptuously dismissed as lack-of-evidence except showing the intent."

It seems you don't understand the basic difference between ordinary crime-fighting and dealing with state-sponsored terrorist actions like the ones in Quetta and other parts of Pakistan.

The US experience shows that even organized crime like Mafias could not be fought with ordinary tools and criminal prosecutions. They had to enact racketeering laws to change the rules of evidence and make it easy to convict gangsters and to break up criminal gangs.

Dealing with state-sponsored terror is much more difficult than organized crime. You can convict a few individuals who pull the trigger but you can not get the masterminds without disrupting the intelligence operations sponsoring and supporting major acts of terror.

The US enacted Patriot Act to make it easy to convict a few terror suspects but they still had to go beyond it and create military tribunals at Guantanamo and still could not convict most of the suspects.

So it's still work in progress in how to deal with terrorism through the legal system:

Read this piece "We Need a National Security Court" By Andrew C. McCarthy and Alykhan Velshi

Jagga Singh said...

If India is able to do this so easily, especially after NAP and Zarb by the Army, means that the Army is not doing its job or they don't know what is going on. If all these RAW agents can penetrate Pakistan like knife through butter, reinforces the label that Pakistan gets. That is Pakistan is s weak failing state.

Riaz Haq said...

Jagga Singh: "If India is able to do this so easily, especially after NAP and Zarb by the Army, means that the Army is not doing its job or they don't know what is going on."

Listen to your own NSA Ajit Doval. It's what Doval describes as "defensive mode". As he explains it: "When you are in defensive mode, you throw 100 stones at me, I stop 90, 10 still hurt me"

So maybe Pakistan should switch to "defensive offense" mode that Doval is using to defeat him at his own game.

Riaz Haq said...

Jagga Singh: "If India is able to do this so easily, especially after NAP and Zarb by the Army, means that the Army is not doing its job or they don't know what is going on."

Listen to your own NSA Ajit Doval. It's what Doval describes as "defensive mode". As he explains it: "When you are in defensive mode, you throw 100 stones at me, I stop 90, 10 still hurt me"

So maybe Pakistan should switch to "defensive offense" mode that Doval is using to defeat him at his own game. It shouldn't be too difficult. India has a lot more and fiercer insurgencies and a lot of very unhappy ethnic, religious and caste minorities that could be used by Pakistan as proxies in its war with India.

Taimur K. said...

Both civilian and military leadership are wasting the time of the state by merely going for the foot soldiers. They are paid mercenaries at best and will be replaced by others.

This problem cannot be solved until and unless we go back to our policies of 80s. Well actually, more intense then 80s because during that time, we wanted to contain India while dealing with the Soviet invasion of Afghansitan. But this time, it is a matter of 60k Pakistanis lives lost in this wave of terrorism since 9/11. Unfortunate reality of the neighbour we live in, we cannot talk peice or aman ke asha non sense. We cannot have peace until and unless India is neck deep in it own mess. They shouldnt have any time or energy to think about Pakistan. Let America talk bullsh|t about Pakistan all they want to support their sugarbaby India. We should care less. Pakistan security and economic prosperity is supreme and this cannot be achived when we have a strong and carefree India breathing on our neck, terrorising our citizens and hurting our economic interests.

Yousuf H. said...

Thanks for sharing an excellent video of Ajit Doval at Sastra U.

1. Publically stated Indian State Policy by the NSA is to perpetrate terrorist incidents in Pakistan, and a detailed methodology has been laid out.

2. Two months ago, a serving Colonel level Indian Naval Officer is found to have illegally infiltrated into Pakistan. After he discloses he is a military officer, he is treated like an officer as per the Geneva Convention. He discloses that he is in Baluchistan to organize and finance terrorist actions.

3. Several other Indian agents such as Rakesh/Snober have been arrested in Baluchistan over the last few years.

4. Attention is riveted on the current Kashmir uprising and the brutal repression by Indian troops, till this incident dominates the airwaves.

Can one not suspect RAW even? 2+2+2

Riaz Haq said...

Threat to #Pakistan's security emanates from #India-managed #Afghan soil, Pak Army Generals told

Top military commanders believe that the terrorist threat is transforming because of a growing nexus between hostile actors in the neighbourhood and ‘facilitators’ within the country.

At a corps commanders’ conference held at the General Headquarters on Tuesday, the generals reviewed the threat perception and discussed measures for countering the imminent security challenges.

“Participants of the conference were given detailed briefings on ongoing military operations and overall external and internal security situation in the country with particular reference to counterterrorism domain,” the ISPR said in a statement.

The meeting, a monthly feature, gained added significance because of the terrorist attack in Quetta a day earlier, which left at least 70 people dead, and an upcoming high-level security meeting that is expected to take important decisions with regards to future direction of counterterrorism operations.

Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif told his commanders that the Quetta attack was an attempt to undermine the successes of operation Zarb-i-Azb, which is in its final phase.

He had said on Monday that the target of the attack was the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

“By adopting a whole of nation approach, the armed forces would not allow anyone to reverse our gains against terrorism,” the army chief added.

At the conference, the generals were told that threat was emanating from Afghan soil, which was being managed by Indian intelligence agencies. However, at the same time there was an acknowledgment that a network of ‘facilitators’ within the country provided an enabling environment for the external enemy.

It is unclear who the facilitators of the external enemy are — whether they are extremist and terrorist organisations operating within the country or other anti-state elements?

During his visit to Quetta after the suicide attack on Civil Hospital on Monday, Gen Raheel had ordered intensification of the already under way combing operations against terrorist groups and their sleeper cells. He further directed expansion in the scope and spread of the operations.

“The military and intelligence agencies have now been mandated to go after the terrorists anywhere in the country, … wherever there is a clue,” a security source said.

The commanders were told that the countrywide crackdown had begun to get hold of the facilitators. Furthermore, there was a recognition that civilian law enforcement agencies needed to be enabled to extend a helping hand in the fight against terrorism.

The ISPR said the commanders had been directed “to provide all necessary assistance to provincial LEAs in their capacity building through training, resourcing and planning so as to integrate them effectively in counterterrorism operations”.

There has been criticism that counterterrorism operations are being constrained because of inadequate involvement of the civilian LEAs in the provinces.

19640909rk said...

Riaz bhai, people do not die for money- they die for an ideology.

Riaz Haq said...

19640909rk: " people do not die for money- they die for an ideology"

Yes, but they don't know that their handlers send them to their deaths for money. And Ajit Doval pays the handlers who are in it for themselves. Here's how he put it in the video I shared: "If they have 1200 crores give them 1800 crores and they are on our side...who are the Taliban fighting for? It's because they haven't got jobs or someone has misled them. The Taliban are mercenaries. So go for more of the covert thing (against Pakistan)..."

MesquiteIce said...

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif said Burhan Wani was a freedom fighter. By the same logic are these people freedom fighters.

In my view, in present day scenario, giving any legitimacy to terrorists will only embolden them. I think the Baluchis think PM sharif will support them also like he supported Burhan wani. The Pakistani PM should have asked kashmiris and all muslim ummah to drop weapons. Instead he chose to make the same mistake that the US did by supporting rebels against Syria and Russia and creating the ISIS and Al qaida respectively.

Let us condemn violence in all its forms. It will only harm humanity.

Riaz Haq said...

MesquiteIce: "Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif said Burhan Wani was a freedom fighter. By the same logic are these people freedom fighters"

Who do Indians believe Bhagat Singh was a freedom fighter and a hero? Because he was fighting foreign occupation by the Brits.

Similarly, Burhan Wani was fighting what vast majority of Kashmiris and the world agree is a foreign occupation by 700,000 Indian soldiers.

Indian founding father PM Nehru never claimed Kashmir to be an integral part of India. Nehru committed to the Kashmiris that they will get to decide whether they want to be with India.

The World does not accept Kashmir to as an integral part of India. The world does recognize Balochistan as a part of Pakistan. Just look at any world map drawn outside India.

Indian occupation is therefore illegal and immoral. And the Kashmiris have every right to resist it.

Riaz Haq said...

Big drop in Pakistani civilian deaths from terrorism since start of Zarb e Azb Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal

Riaz Haq said...

A Proxy War Between #India And #Pakistan In #Afghanistan as Ajit Doval meets US Commander Gen Nicholson via @forbes

Important but overlooked news this week: the U.S. command in Afghanistan has asked India to step up military aid to Afghan forces. India provided four attack helicopters to the Afghan military in Dec. 2015; the U.S. and the Afghans want more, as well as spare parts for Russian-made military equipment, to be used in part against the Islamist network built up by Pakistan called the Haqqanis.

Every aspect of this cries: “Proxy War.” To New Delhi came General John Nicholson, a four-star general serving as the commander in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. When I was in Afghanistan in 2011 while serving on the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, I met Nicholson’s predecessor, and saw his immense scope of military and diplomatic responsibility. Who met with Nicholson: India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, and Defense Secretary G. Mohan Kumar. This is a joint war command for deciding India’s course in the proxy war.

Second, a very ingenious opening wartime mode of supply has been arranged. The Afghan Air Force still uses MI-25 Russian attack copters (among others), because many of their air and ground crews trained on copters inherited in the 1980s from the puppet Russian regime, for which parts are scarce. As General Nicholson said: “The Afghans have asked for more of these helicopters. There is an immediate need for more. When these aircraft come in, they immediately get into the fight.” Note twice the term “immediate.” When the U.S. military commander in charge, the four-star general, says “immediate” twice, he is telling his troops that their butts will be in a sling unless it gets done yesterday, if not earlier.

General Nicholson went on: “We are building the Afghan Air Forces as a critical component of security. That [the Afghan air force] is built on several airframes. Some are older Russian models integrating newer ones. We need more aircraft, and we are looking at how we can meet that need.”

Nicholson also said that military training by India to thousands of Afghan security personnel had helped that country in significantly enhancing its military capability, which is in tune with the objective of NATO and the U.S. I saw the problem, going to Kandahar in 2011 to review training there being done by the U.S.-paid contractor Dyncorp. A large part of the Afghan recruits are, bluntly, illiterate. Training has to be elementary and complete. Do not get me wrong, the Afghan trainees are brave, great armed police and soldiers. Often they have excellent fighting spirit, they know guns like we know cars, and frequently they lost close relatives in fighting that has gone on nonstop since the Soviets took over in the 1970s. But they need an enormous amount of training. It looks like India is shouldering some of that key part of the proxy war.

Riaz Haq said...

#India PM Narendra #Modi brings up #Pakistan's #Balochistan in his #IndependenceDayIndia speech in #Delhi The Hindu

Diplomats say the Prime Minister’s decision to raise the topic in his Independence Day speech was an ‘unprecedented’ move

In a significant shift in policy on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a reference to the Baloch freedom struggle in his Independence Day speech, saying the people in the conflicted Pakistani state of Balochistan, as also in Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, had reached out to him. Pakistan responded by saying the statement “confirmed” India’s role there.

“Today from the ramparts of Red Fort, I want to greet and express my thanks to some people. In the last few days, people of Balochistan, Gilgit, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have thanked me, have expressed gratitude, and expressed good wishes for me. The people who are living far away, whom I have never seen, never met — such people have expressed appreciation for Prime Minister of India, for 125 crore countrymen,” Mr. Modi said.

The reference comes a few days after the Prime Minister vowed to take up atrocities by the Pakistani government in these three areas on the international stage, when he spoke to an all-party delegation about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, government officials say Mr. Modi had received many messages on social media from Baloch groups and Kashmiris around the world and in Pakistan thanking him for his support.

In sharp contrast
Repeating the charge against Pakistan on its support to terror groups in Kashmir, Mr. Modi accused the Pakistan government of glorifying terrorists, saying the Sharif government’s actions came in sharp contrast to India’s empathy with Pakistanis over terror attacks there, as after the Peshawar school massacre of 2014. “On the other side, terrorism is being glorified. When innocent people are killed in terrorist attacks, there are celebrations. How governments are formed through inspiration of terrorism. The world will understand this difference clearly,” he said.

Within hours, Pakistan’s government responded to the Prime Minister’s comments on Balochistan. “PM Modi’s reference to Balochistan, which is an integral part of Pakistan, only proves Pakistan’s contention that India through intelligence agency RAW has been fomenting terrorism in Balochistan,” Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said on Monday.

Riaz Haq said...

What explains #Modi government kicking up a row over #China #Pakistan Economic Corridor (#CPEC) now? … via @scroll_in

By MK Bhadrakumar

The big question is: How do the Chinese assess the Modi government’s proclivity to count the trees instead of seeing the woods? Do they sense this might be a matter of conscious choice?

What rankles most in the Indian mind is China’s relations with Pakistan. The Modi government demands that China should suspend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on the plea that Gilgit, Baltistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir are Indian territories.

In reality, though, we have a classic situation where it is entirely up to India to raise dust (or not to raise dust). It is even baffling how economic development of those neglected regions would hurt Indian interests. After all, the people inhabiting those regions are also Indians, isn’t it?

The sensible thing would have been to let the Chinese loosen their purse strings to develop our territories that happen to be inside Pakistan temporarily so that when we finally make them part of Akhand Bharat, they won’t be the impoverished terrorist-infested swathes of land that they are today.

Frankly, India is taking an illogical stance. The Modi government estimates that Economic Corridor is “India-centric”, whereas, it is a strategic initiative by China in self-interest.

China has a good reputation for putting money only where the mouth is – and $46 billion is a lot of money. The Chinese motivations are not difficult to comprehend.

The Economic Corridor boils down to project exports by Chinese industry, which is saddled with excess capacity.
Two it opens up efficient communication links with markets in the Gulf and Africa.
It fuels the economy of Xinjiang.
It mitigates to some extent China’s “Malacca Dilemma” – the fact that 80% of China’s oil imports have to pass through the strait en-route from West Asia and Angola.
It creates leverage to balance the traditional American dominance over Pakistan.
Indeed, finally, it cannot be overlooked that One Belt One Road Initiative has a geopolitical dimension insofar as it counters the US’ strategy to encircle China and "contain" it.
Conceivably, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will galvanise Pakistan’s economy. Now, isn’t that a nice thing to happen if it prods our western neighbour to understand that getting rich is the smart thing to do?

If China succeeds in transforming Pakistan as a modern middle-income economy like Turkey or Malaysia, it can only strengthen regional security. But then, a paradox arises: If Pakistan does not collapse as a “failing state” and instead becomes a more prosperous country than India, what happens to Akhand Bharat?

The smart thing would have been to offer to the Chinese an economic corridor through our territory. It is advantageous to be a transit country.

Riaz Haq said...

PM #Modi of #India sends warning shot to #China, #Pakistan on #CPEC, territory spat. #Gilgit #Kashmir #Balochistan …

From the sandstone walls of the 17th-century Red Fort in India's capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a warning shot this week to his counterparts in Islamabad and Beijing.

Modi's reference to disputed territories on Monday during his annual Independence Day speech -- his most high-profile appearance of the year -- signaled that India would become more aggressive in asserting its claims to Pakistan-controlled areas of Kashmir. The region is a key transit point in the $45 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor known as CPEC that will give Beijing access to the Arabian Sea through the port of Gwadar.

"This is a recalibration" after Modi's overtures to Pakistan and China failed to yield results, says Harsh V. Pant, a professor of international relations at King's College London. It's also a message to China: "You may be investing a lot in Pakistan, and think that CPEC is a done deal, but without India's approval you might find it difficult to follow through."

A more vocal India threatens to raise tensions in a region rife with deep-seated historical animosity that has made South Asia one of the world's least economically interconnected regions. Various insurgents and militant groups threaten both China's investments in Pakistan and progress in India-controlled Kashmir, where recent violence has killed about 60 people.

While India is more likely to redouble efforts on developing transport links with Iran and Afghanistan than sabotage China-Pakistan projects, the saber-rattling may deal a setback to investor confidence in the region, according to Michael Kugelman, senior associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.

"The bottom line is that in a volatile region like South Asia, you don't need actual aggressive actions to cause economic consequences," he said. "Mere threats can have a very real effect on the economic state of play as well."

In a bold rhetorical move on Monday, Modi overtly referred to the region of Balochistan, a resource-rich, insurgency-riven Pakistani province that is home to the strategic deep-water port of Gwadar. He also mentioned Gilgit, a Pakistan-administered region that borders China and Afghanistan -- the northernmost edge of the planned economic corridor.

"I want to express my gratitude to some people -- the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir -- for the way they whole-heartedly thanked me, the way they expressed gratitude to me, the way they conveyed their goodwill to me recently," Modi said in his speech.

The mention of Balochistan was particularly provocative. Pakistan has long accused India of backing rebels in the region, a charge governments in New Delhi routinely denied even while they blamed Pakistan for backing militants in Kashmir. While Pakistan condemns Indian security forces in Kashmir, human rights groups have expressed concern about disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Balochistan by Pakistan's military, intelligence and paramilitary forces.

Modi's comments prove Pakistan's contention that Indian intelligence agencies are "fomenting terrorism in Balochistan," Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday. It also said the remarks were meant to divert attention from protests in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, where dozens of protesters have been killed in the past month.

Riaz Haq said...

I bet Allama Iqbal was very prescient. He was referring to MQM's Altaf Husain when he wrote: Jaafar az Bangal Sadiq az Dakan/ Nange e Millat Nange Deen Nange Watan.

Riaz Haq said...

#China Warns #India: Hands Off #Balochistan. #CPEC #Pakistan

Beijing has broken its silence over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on Balochistan with an influential think tank maintaining that “China will have to get involved if India intervenes in Balochistan.”

This sharp response given through an interview to IANS has already elicited a statement from the Congress party that has urged PM Modi to officially ask China what this involvement means.

In an interview to India’s IANS, Hu Shisheng, the director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), said that India’s growing ties with the United States, and its new position on the South China Sea were ringing alarm bells in Beijing.

“The latest concern for China is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from the Red Fort in which he referred to the issues like Kashmir (occupied by Pakistan) and Balochistan,” Hu said.

“It could be regarded as a watershed moment in India’s policy towards Pakistan. ” he added.

Hu said China fears India may use “anti-government” elements in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan where Beijing is building the $46 billion CPEC -- a key to the success of its ambitious One Road One Belt project.

“There is concern that India may take the same approach, which is believed by the Indian side Pakistan is taking, asymmetrically using anti-government factors in Pakistan,” Hu said according to IANS.

“If this kind of plot causes damage to the CPEC, China will have to get involved,” he said, referring to the alleged involvement of India in backing separatists in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

PM Modi’s decision to put the spotlights on Balochistan, with India now openly embracing what was earlier at best a covert program, was expected to elicit a China response by foreign policy experts here. More so as the CPEC is a prestigious program for China, connecting Xinjiang with the Gwadar port in Balochistan. This corridor passes through PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. India has consistently refused to join or support China’s One Belt, One Road program from the outset.

Hu told IANS, “This will not help Pakistan to become a normal country. And it will also further disturb India-China relations.”

Hu in fact spelt out the Chinese position on India’s relations with the US saying earlier they were not so concerned but the growing relations under PM Modi were sending an “alarming signal to China. It is a concern for China.”

He said it was imperative for India to resist the pressure being exerted by the US and Japan to counter China several issues said that earlier China was not particularly worried about growing India-US relations but now was concerned” Hu pointed out. He said this specifically on the increase in defence, technology and trade ties, referring alo to the Logistics Agreement being signed by India and the US.

“We also know that the US and Japan, as well as Australia, are very keen on getting India in their camp. They are also exerting pressure”he added.“They are also luring India by giving high-technology deals and advanced military weapons. It is up to India whether India can resist this kind of temptation.”

On India’s stand on the South China Sea, Hu added.“In the past, India’s stand on the South China Sea was impartial. Indian is getting more and more involved. This attitude is another concern for China.”

“Our problem is with the US. We can see India is becoming more vocal in issuing joint statements with the US and Japan on the South China Sea,” he added.

Riaz Haq said...

All #India Radio to start programmes in #Balochi language. #Pakistan #Modi via The Economic Times

Public broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) is planning to focus on its news service in Baluchi language, a move which comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged concerns about the condition of people in Balochistan in Pakistan.

Senior officials said that while AIR has a service in Baluchi, which commenced in 1974, the broadcaster is now looking to augment the news bulletin component.

"The All India Radio (AIR) already has a service in Baluchi language which air ..

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Riaz Haq said...

Anti-#Pakistan hawk & ex spy Ajit Doval shaping #India's aggressive foreign policy under #Modi #BJP via @business

He spent seven years undercover in Pakistan, recruited rebels as informants in disputed Kashmir, and once disguised himself as a rickshaw driver to infiltrate a militant group inside India’s holiest Sikh temple. Now some consider Ajit Doval the most powerful person in India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi picked Doval as his National Security Advisor, a position that holds more sway than the ministers of defense and foreign affairs. It puts Doval in charge of talks with arch-rival Pakistan. He visits arms manufacturers to discuss strategic capabilities, and orchestrates the response to militant attacks, liaising daily with Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, the nation’s top diplomat.
Since Doval took the job, he has supported a nationalist agenda while adopting a tougher line against hostile neighbors. That has growing economic ramifications as China funds a $45 billion trade corridor through Pakistan that bypasses India and as both China and India eye resource-rich neighbors in central Asia like Afghanistan.

“Every strategic issue in this region involves security in a way that it doesn’t in other regions,” says R. K. Sawhney, a former director general of military intelligence who’s known Doval for nearly two decades. “As the profile of the country grows, the profile of the national security advisor grows.”
Short, trim and bespectacled, Doval shuns the limelight and rarely appears in public. His office said he wasn’t available for an interview. Six people who have known him personally for years—some of whom requested not to be identified because he dislikes publicity—said Doval is overseeing India’s most delicate diplomatic issues.
Shortly after taking office, Modi sent Doval as his special envoy to Afghanistan and brought him on his first foreign trip to Bhutan. He’s also special representative in charge of talks with China over a disputed border, a task made more difficult as China plans to invest millions into transportation links through Kashmir, an area claimed by both India and Pakistan.
In December, Doval flew to Bangkok for a secret meeting with his Pakistani counterpart in an effort to restart peace talks between the two nuclear-armed nations.

Calls for Doval’s replacement intensified after Home Minister Rajnath Singh suffered a politically embarrassing trip to Pakistan in August that Doval pulled out of at the last minute, according to press reports. A spokesman for the prime minister's office declined to answer questions about Doval.
“The best experts on how to deal with terrorism, how to think about diplomacy and foreign affairs—they are not being consulted,” opposition politician Rahul Gandhi, son of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, said in January. Doval’s job is “strategy, not tactics.”
No government website carries Doval’s profile. A biography provided during a lecture he gave in August 2015 in Mumbai stated he was born in 1945 in Garhwal, in a northern region now called Uttarakhand, and graduated with a master’s degree in economics from the University of Agra in 1967 before joining the police force.

In 1972, he moved to the Intelligence Bureau, where he spent three decades, including stints in the restive regions of India’s northeast, Jammu and Kashmir, and the U.K. Doval is fluent in Urdu, the main language used in Pakistan. He told an audience in November 2014 he had lived in Pakistan for seven years, getting plastic surgery to remove signs his ears had been pierced—an indication of his Hindu roots.
“I haven’t seen anyone else at his level who would continue to come into the field,” said S.S. Virk, former director general of police in Punjab who was shot during the Golden Temple operation and says Doval visited him at the hospital. “He was an outstanding operator.”

Riaz Haq said...

Anti-#Pakistan hawk & ex spy Ajit Doval shaping #India's aggressive foreign policy under #Modi #BJP via @business

Those who know him describe him as a heavy smoker with an almost insatiable thirst for knowledge, taking guests at his home in Noida near New Delhi for drinks in a library in the basement lined from floor to ceiling with hundreds of books.
After retiring from the Intelligence Bureau, Doval founded the Vivekananda International Foundation in 2009. In its red sandstone and concrete headquarters in a tony district of Delhi, Doval has courted foreign diplomats and high-ranking defense officials, striking hawkish, nationalist views that resonated with Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.

“Doval wields more influence than previous national security advisers in part because of his credibility and experience in intelligence and security matters,” said Sameer Patil, who served in the prime minister’s national security council secretariat under the previous Congress government. Patil said it was long rumored that Doval advised Modi even before he was elected prime minister in 2014.
In papers published during that time, Doval argued for a more assertive foreign policy and a beefed up military. He warned of India’s “eroding maritime preeminence" in the Indian Ocean, of Pakistan’s attempts to influence Afghanistan and the Taliban, and said China’s development was "not an assured peaceful rise."
“India has a mindset that, where it hits, it punches below its weight,” he said at the August 2015 lecture. “We have to increase our weight and punch proportionately.”

Riaz Haq said...

Barhumdagh's cousin, Shahzain, grandson of Akbar Bugti, backs #Pakistan, ready to fight #India. … via @IndianExpress

In a sign of internal rivalry in the Baloch separatist movement, Brahumdagh Bugti’s cousin has said he would fight for Pakistan in the event of a war with India. Shahzain Bugti, a grandson of slain Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, has said that if war breaks out with India he and his tribal warriors would fight against Indian troops along with the Pakistan Army.

Shahzain, a cousin of Geneva-based Brahumdagh who has sought asylum in India, said at the annual convention of the Jamhoori Watan Party which was formed by his grandfather that the Bugti tribe would always stand in defence of Pakistan.
“Brahumdagh can stay in India or Geneva that is his personal decision. But as far as I or the party is concerned we will always follow the dictates of Nawab Akbar Bugti,” Shahzain said.
He said his grandfather had opted for Pakistan at the time of Partition and his party would remain loyal to this ideology.
“Nawab Akbar Bugti was always with Pakistan and in the past also our tribesmen fought for Pakistan. Nothing has changed. Our ideology is the same. Even today if India goes to war with Pakistan we will defend the Pakistani borders,” he said.
Ever since nationalist leader Akbar Bugti was killed in a military operation in August, 2006, there has been a war of succession between three of his grandsons including Shahzain and Brahumdagh who are both claimants to the title of the tribe’s chieftainship, and have refused to recognise Aali Bugti as his successor.
Akbar Bugti had decided to nominate Brahumdagh as his successor during his lifetime but met with resistance from several tribal elders.
He had informally appointed Brahumdagh as his political successor and Mir Aali as his tribal successor. Brahumdagh, who has been living in Switzerland, on Tuesday approached the Indian Embassy in Geneva seeking political asylum in India. His application was received by the Home Ministry in New Delhi which is examining it.
The troubled Balochistan province has been in the eye of a storm since Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the atrocities and human rights violations being committed in the province. India has also raised the Balochistan issue at the UN.
On Saturday, several hundred tribesmen also held a demonstration against India insisting they would fight side by side with the Pakistan military if war breaks out.

Riaz Haq said...

#Quetta college carnage: It’s nothing else but tit for tat. #India #Afghanistan #Pakistan #TTP #QuettaTerrorAttack

By Imtiaz Gul

Regardless of how you look at it, central to terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan are known instruments of destabilisation and instability i.e. TTP, IS/Daesh, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. They are the handy pawns in the proxy war that is currently underway in the region.

The only plausible explanation for such termination missions is a tit for tat strategy born out of the perception that Pakistan needs to do more to neutralise and uproot the Haqqani Network.

Until Pakistan is seen doing so, its security apparatus is likely to remain under attack – both by the international players as well as by their instruments of terror and instability.

Army chief arrives in Quetta following deadly attack

The deadly terrorist raid on the New Sariab Police Training College near Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochsitan province, does not come as a surprise. The attack has so far claimed the lives of 61 security personnel, by far the largest in terms of fatalities among those carried out against Pakistan’s security apparatus.

It has been in the offing in view of the excessive bleeding of the number of unusual fatalities among the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) since early this year.

The Quetta attack is reminiscent of two attacks within six months (March /October 2009) at the Police Academy at Manawan outside Lahore; typical fidayeen (suicide) termination missions with the objective of inflicting as much damage as possible.

The latest blood-spilling can be interpreted in two ways; it’s a strike either by the Pakistani or Uzbek proponents of Daesh i.e. Lashkare Jhangvi or different splinters of the TTP. Or it is a tit for tat, reprisal attack by all those who see Pakistan’s security establishment as the patron and harbourer of the Haqqani Network, which is seen as the major source of unusual attrition within the ANSF; a staggering 3,500 losses until August this year, including nearly 2,000 in July and August alone. Sine early this month, the ANSF losses in Helmand alone have been over 150 with fighting raging in a number of districts and provinces around Helmand.

In pictures: Militants storm police training centre in Quetta

The top US commander in Afghanistan John Nicholson, however, places the blame on both sides.

“It’s still a very pours border region and we do see insurgents moving both ways across the border, some from Afghanistan to Pakistan and then of course the Haqqanis and the Taliban moving from Pakistan into Afghanistan,” said Nicholson, when asked about Pakistan’s border.

When asked whether the Afghan government had any plan to secure the border, Nicholson offered this explanation:

“The Afghan border police are present along the border but the numbers of border posts probably need to increase, the coordination procedures between the Afghans and the Pakistanis (need to improve). We are working on a bilateral basis and we are going to continue to work improve this over the next year.”

General Nicholson resonates a largely realistic ground situation, with both Kabul and Islamabad apparently helpless in preempting and preventing attacks of this kind.

61 killed, at least 165 injured as militants storm police training centre in Quetta

What is clear though is that the Haqqani Network remains central to the Afghan-American narrative as much as the Indian narrative on the Lashkare Taiba/Jamaatud Dawa. Islamabad has given the Haqqanis, similar to the Afghan Taliban, shelter in Pakistan’s western tribal region. As a result, many American soldiers have been killed by the network.

In 2011, the Haqqanis attacked the US Embassy in Kabul. The network was also blamed for the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people – and since it hit India, it was “perfectly alright” with Pakistani intelligence, the Forbes Magazine wrote in August this year.