Friday, July 10, 2020

India-Iran-Afghanistan Axis Against Pakistan?

A JIT (Joint Investigation Team) report recently released by Sindh government in Pakistan has revealed that the infamous Karachi gangster Uzair Baloch worked for Iranian intelligence. Apparently, Uzair Baloch was also in contact with Indian intelligence agents working in Iran, according to Indian media reports. Baloch's interrogation led to the discovery and arrest of Indian undercover agent Kulbhushan Jadhav in Balochistan shortly after Baloch's arrest. Kulbhushan Jadhav has confessed to orchestrating deadly terror attacks in Balochistan and Karachi.
He has said that India's RAW funneled money through Indian consulates in Jalalabad, Kandhar (Afghanistan) and  Zahidan (Iran) to BLA and TTP for terror attacks in Balochistan and Karachi. Targets of terror attacks included people, mosques, roads, port and Balochistan's Hazara Shia community.

L to R: Indian Prime Minister Modi, Iranian President Rouhani and Afghan President Ghani


Chabahar vs Gwadar:

Chabahar is a port being constructed by Indians in Iran. The stated goal of this project is to bypass Pakistan for India's trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia via Iran. Indian media have promoted Chabahar as a competitor to Gwadar Port which is a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).  Indian government is openly hostile to CPEC and declared support for Baloch insurgents.  The leaders of Afghanistan, India and Iran have held regular summit meetings to promote Chabahar port project.

4,000 Indians in Chabahar:

There are 4,000 Indians working in Chabahar, Iran, according to Indian journalist Karan Thapar. Some of them, like Kulbhushan Jadhav, work undercover for Indian intelligence agency RAW.  It is hard to believe that the Iranian intelligence is not aware of the presence of undercover Indian agents among the 4,000 Indians working in Chabahar. After all, Jadhav had two passports, one in his own name and another in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel. The Indian Express and Asian Age, both Indian publications, suggest that Jadhav had links with Uzair Baloch who has been convicted by for working for the Iranian intelligence in Pakistan.  Kulbhushan Jadhav has confessed to orchestrating deadly terror attacks in Balochistan and Karachi. He has said that India's RAW funneled money through Indian consulates in Jalalabad, Kandhar (Afghanistan) and  Zahidan (Iran) to BLA and TTP for terror attacks in Balochistan and Karachi. Targets of terror attacks included people, mosques, roads, port and Balochistan's Hazara Shia community.

Pakistan's Complaint to Iran:

Paskistan has complained to Iran about allowing Baloch insurgents to use Iranian territory to launch terrorist attacks in Pakistan after an attack  killed 14 people along Pakistan’s coast in 2019, according to Reuters.

“The training camps and logistical camps of this new alliance...are inside the Iranian border region,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad. Qureshi said he has spoken to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and conveyed to him the “anger of Pakistani nation”.

Karachi Stock Market Attack:

Four terrorists belonging to Baloch Liberation Army attacked the Pakistani stock exchange in Karachi on June 29, 2020, killing two guards and a policeman and wounding seven others before being shot dead. Pakistan believes that the attackers came from southeastern Afghanistan where they enjoy safe havens with the support of intelligence agencies like Afghan NDS and Indian RAW.

Qasem Soleimani:

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) commander General Qasem Soleimani who was assassinated by the United States in drone strike was particularly hostile toward Pakistan. In February, 2019, Soleimani threatened Pakistan. He boasted about Iran's "independent power and honor". Soleimani, known to be close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khanenai, reportedly had serious policy disagreement with the Rouhani government.  He said:

"I warn you not to test Iran and anyone who has tested Iran has received firm response. We are speaking to Pakistan with a friendly tone and we are telling that country not to allow their borders to become a source of insecurity for the neighboring countries..... Iran enjoys independent power and honor. Some countries have wealth, but no prowess. Trump tells the Al-Saud that if it hadn't been for the US support, Saudi Arabia would not have survived and Saudi Arabia's coalitions in the region have all ended in failure."

Soleimani's tone in this message to Pakistan is anything but "friendly".

Summary:

Recent release of Sindh government report reveals that Karachi gangster Uzair Baloch spied for Iran in Pakistan.  There are 4,000 Indians working in Chabahar, Iran, according to Indian journalist Karan Thapar. Some of them, like Kulbhushan Jadhav, work undercover for Indian intelligence agency RAW.  Chabahar is a port being constructed by Indians in Iran. The stated goal of this project is to bypass Pakistan for India's trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia via Iran. Indian media have promoted Chabahar as a competitor to Gwadar Port which is a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Indian Express and Asian Age, both Indian publications, suggest that Jadhav had links with Uzair Baloch.  Kulbhushan Jadhav has confessed to orchestrating deadly terror attacks in Balochistan and Karachi. He has said that India's RAW funneled money through Indian consulates in Jalalabad, Kandhar (Afghanistan) and  Zahidan (Iran) to BLA and TTP for terror attacks in Balochistan and Karachi. Targets of terror attacks included people, mosques, roads, port and Balochistan's Hazara Shia community.

Here's Kulbhushan Jadhav's confession video:

https://youtu.be/nVp62OinTeU




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

General Soleimani's Hardline Against Pakistan

Iran-Pakistan Ties

Iran's Chabahar and Pakistan's Gwadar Ports

Indian RAW Agent Kulbhushan Jhadav Used Chabahar

Iran-Saudi Conflict

Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Iran Nuclear Deal

1971 India-Pakistan War

Chabahar vs Gwadar Ports

Did America Contribute to the Rise of ISIS?

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

21 comments:

Terry A. said...

Iran may just “ talk big “ & threaten Pakistan ( Since Pakistan has close ties & has always been a staunch ally of Saudi Arabia & the USA ) …….in reality they are little or no threat at all to Pakistan - Many may forget ( or choose to ignore ?? )
That the PAF ( Pakistan Air Force ) is equipped and trained on very advanced fighter jets ( F14 , 15 , 16’s etc ) & our Pilots trained by the USA are 2nd to NONE !! Our fighter Pilots have proved their superiority during skirmishes with the Indian Air Force ( despite being Outnumbered in the # of MIG - Russian & other planes the IAF has ) and we can quite confidently be sure that IF any Air Wars start with Iran ……Pakistan will prevail……….Does anyone dispute this ?…….If yes then state your views -

Pakistan is also far ahead of Iran in Nuclear Armaments & Technology…….so Iran can try to threaten them all it wants ……. ?

Also as I have mentioned before India is surrounded on its Northern Borders with Pakistan & China……So India is going to be Ultra Cautious about any moves made against either or both countries in future -

Riaz Haq said...


Terry: "Iran may just “ talk big “ & threaten Pakistan ( Since Pakistan has close ties & has always been a staunch ally of Saudi Arabia & the USA ) …….in reality they are little or no threat at all to Pakistan"

Notwithstanding the usual lip service about being "brothers", the fact is that Iran and Pakistan have been at odds since the 1980s.

First over Afghanistan, then over Pakistan's relations with Gulf Arab countries where millions of Pakistanis earn a living and send home billions of US$.

Iran-Pakistan relationship is an important relationship that needs to be carefully managed with eyes and ears open.

https://www.riazhaq.com/2017/08/iran-pakistan-ties-friends-or-foes.html

Riaz Haq said...

https://youtu.be/nVp62OinTeU


Jadhav: "...while crossing over into Pakistan I travelled all the way from Chahbahar in a private Taxi along with Rakesh to the Iranian-Pakistan border near Sarawan. From wherein I crossed into Pakistan along with Baloch Sub Nationals and after about an hour or so I was apprehended by the Pakistani authorities in Pakistan...........Research and Analysis Wing through Mr Anil Kumar has been abetting and financing and sponsoring a lot of activities within Balochistan and Sindh. The entire Hundi and Hawala operations are undertaken from Delhi and Mumbai via Dubai into Pakistan and during one such important transaction was the 40,000 dollars which was transferred to Baloch sub Nationals via Dubai. Also the finances which are coming into Balochistan and Sindh for various anti-national activities are coming through consulates in Jalalabad and Kandhar and the Consulate in Zahidan. These are very important consulates which are used by Research and Analysis Wing to transfer dollars into the Balochistan movement. And one such instance was where I was directly involved and I was observing the transaction was when 40,000 Dollars were recently transferred from India via Dubai to one such Baloch National operative within Pakistan. Research and Analysis Wing and Mr Anil Kumar on behalf of RAW had been sponsoring regularly the various terrorist activities within Pakistan. Especially Hazara Muslims, Shia Muslims who move around on pilgrimage between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan were basically to be targeted and killed. They were already being done, it was being done but the level had to be raised to the very high level so that the movement completely stops. Then the targets on various workers of FWO who were conducting construction of various roads within Balochistan and the third major activity was the IED attacks which were being carried out by the Baloch sub nationals within Quetta, Turbat or various other cities of Balochistan.They were being directly sponsored by RAW. Mr Anil Kumar has been sponsoring sectarian violence across Sindh and Balochistan and also sponsoring various assassinations across this same region so that instability or some kind of fear is set into the mindsets of the people of Pakistan, and in one such process SSP Chaudhary was assassinated. This was a direct mention by Mr Anil Kumar to me. The various financing which subsequently happened for the TTP and various other Afghan anti Pakistani terrorist groups led to the attack by TTP on one of the Mehran Naval Bases in which a lot of damage was cost to the Pakistani Navy. Other sort of radar installation attack, the Sui pipeline gas attack, then attacks on civilian bus Stations where some I suppose Pakistani Nationals were being targeted by Sub Nationals and murdered and massacred so that a sort of disruption in the CPEC is done that was being funded and directly supported by Mr Anil Kumar. He wanted it to be raised to the next level so that complete disruption and complete stoppage of the Economic corridor between Gwadar and China is achieved. One of the operations which was being planned by RAW officials along with Baloch insurgents was a military style attack on Zahidan Pakistani consulate. The aim was to either attack it with a grenade or some kind of RPG or IED attack or then try to harm the consulate General or some kind of vicious attack on the Pakistani consulate in Zahidan.

Riaz Haq said...

#KulbhushanJadhav: #India's #RAW funneled money through #Indian consulates in #Jalalabad, #Kandhar & in Zahidan to #BLA & #TTP for #terror attacks in #Balochistan & #Karachi. Targets included people, mosques, roads, port & #Quetta's #Hazara #Shia community https://youtu.be/nVp62OinTeU

Suhail H. said...

Iran used to be closely allied to India for the physical onground destruction in Pakistan furthering India's strategy of "fighting" Pakistan by proxy means. Iranian initiative was led by the Iranian militant leader Qasim Sulaimani, maybe exceeding the policy limits set by the Ayatollah who was forced into heavy dependence on India for crude exports in the wake of American sanctions. With Modi's strong alliance with US and Qasim Sulaimani gone, Ayatollah found a substitute in China for survival, so the committed Iranian support to militancy ended, obviously China influencing the same. So Iran has now changed direction and provided the most open diplomatic support to Pakistani stance on Kashmir, along with Turkey. Afghan government is totally committed with India but with American withdrawal, Taliban will most likely take over thus ending the Afghan factor, In the regional alliances, India is losing its proxy fighters from Iran and Afghanistan, so destruction of Pakistan and creation of independent Sindh seems further off in the foreseeable future than in recent past.

Riaz Haq said...

Suhail: "Iranian initiative was led by the Iranian militant leader Qasim Sulaimani, maybe exceeding the policy limits set by the Ayatollah who was forced into heavy dependence on India for crude exports in the wake of American sanctions. With Modi's strong alliance with US and Qasim Sulaimani gone, Ayatollah found a substitute in China for survival, so the committed Iranian support to militancy ended, obviously China influencing the same."

Qasim Suleimani was definitely a powerful anti-Pakistan force in Iran. But there have been terror attacks in Pakistan, apparently from the Iranian soil as recently as April 2019, according to Pakistan government.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-iran/pakistan-asks-iran-to-act-on-militants-behind-baluchistan-killings-idUSKCN1RW0EQ

But no one has destroyed Pakistan, particularly Karachi, more than its own politicians. Crime bosses in Karachi operated with impunity with the blessings of PPP and MQM.

http://www.pakalumni.com/m/blogpost?id=1119293%3ABlogPost%3A80600

Riaz Haq said...

#China-#Iran Deal: #India is a big loser. Chabahar port is India’s counter to the #Gwadar port in #Pakistan that is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative(BRI), if China invests heavily in Iran the Chabahar port could lose its relevance. #CPEC https://www.wionews.com/india-news/as-china-eyes-multi-billion-dollar-iran-deal-indias-chabahar-port-may-lose-relevance-313054 @wionews

Indian View:

China has struck a deal with America's enemy - Iran. It's a $400 billion economic and security strategic partnership deal.

As always, China is using its chequebook to have its way. It has bought Iran over for $400 billion dollars. It is a 25-year strategic accord with an 18-page agreement that weds Iran to China for a quarter of a century.

Once it is signed, Iran will open its doors for Chinese investment not just in one or two sectors but across the Iranian economy. The Chinese presence in Iran would expand in banking, telecommunications, ports and railways, also more than a dozen projects will go to Chinese companies.

Beijing hopes to get cheap oil in return. China will walk away with a steady supply of Iranian oil at a heavily discounted rate for 25 years and this is just one side of the story of the economic aspect.

The deal also has a military dimension. There will be reportedly joint training and exercises, joint research and weapons development, even intelligence sharing as part of the agreement.

The deal will fundamentally change Iran’s relationship with China. It will put Tehran in Beijing’s corner and India could see its influence diminish overtime.

The biggest threat is to the Chabahar port. It was seen as India’s counter to the Gwadar port in Pakistan that is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative(BRI), if China invests heavily in Iran the Chabahar port could lose its relevance.

However, it is hypothetical as of today. The Iran-China agreement reportedly has not been submitted for Parliament’s approval yet and hasn’t been made public. China hasn’t shared the details of the deal yet as well. The ministry of foreign affairs in Beijing was asked about it today and it didn’t share any information.

It is not yet clear if the top brass of the Communist Party has signed off on it but the details of the deal that have leaked are reportedly part of the “final version”. Iran is not hiding the fact that it is negotiating the agreement with China. On July 5, Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif indicated that the deal will happen and it will be presented before Iran's Parliament for approval.

The potential agreement is a big threat to India. Historically, India and Iran have enjoyed a close relationship. India was one of the biggest buyers of Iranian oil but New Delhi stopped buying oil from Iran in 2019 after the United States slapped sanctions against Iran and refused to grant any waivers to India.

Now, Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran has failed. China went under the nose of the Americans and managed to negotiate a deal with Tehran that could create more flashpoints in West Asia and even cost India its relationship with Iran.

Riaz Haq said...

Iran drops India from Chabahar rail project, cites funding delay


Four years after India's IRCON and Iran railway signed an MoU to build the Chabahar - Zahedan railway, Iran starts project on its own, cites funding delays from India. The development comes as China finalises a massive 25-year, $400 billion strategic partnership deal with Iran, which could cloud India’s plans.


https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/iran-drops-india-from-chabahar-rail-project-cites-funding-delay/article32072428.ece

Riaz Haq said...

Why is India losing Iran? Death of #IRGC’s General Qassem Suleimani, who frequently criticized #Pakistan and fostered #India’s interests in #Afghanistan and #Iran's #Chabahar port, has altered the Iran-India equation. #China #CPEC #BRI https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/why-india-is-distancing-itself-from-iran/article31272949.ece

A month after his (Soleimani's) death at Baghdad airport, Iran’s Ambassador to Islamabad, Syyed Muhammad Husseini, revived an old proposal to build an association of five nations to resolve problems of this region. Termed as the “ golden ring”, the proposed alliance, besides Iran also included Pakistan, Turkey, Russia and China.

------
Long before Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif criticised India for the “massacres of Muslims” during the Delhi riots, an act that attracted sharp rebuke from India’s foreign ministry, there were plenty of signs that the two countries had begun to move away from each other in different directions that were prompted by their respective foreign and domestic policy compulsions and now the coronavirus pandemic.

---


All these reasons and more are raising severe doubts about even the recent Indian foreign policy investments in Iran including on the Chabahar port. The big question is: Will India’s attempts to have an enduring land route to Afghanistan and Central Asia, by sidestepping Pakistan, through Chabahar survive the vicissitudes of recent times? In the past few months though, the Commerce Ministry has eased rules to speed up the project, but it continues at its own pace.

The Chabahar port
India’s existential anxieties about its creative foreign policy to side step Pakistan and rebuild ties with Iran through investing in Chabahar port have deepened ever since US signed an agreement with Islamic Republic of Afghanistan — as Taliban is called. The agreement will allow Washington to withdraw its troops that have been locked in a war for 19 years. Agreement with Taliban does not factor Indian interests and the shifting ground realities. It has been crafted by a desperate US to get out of Afghanistan before the US elections so that President Donald Trump could safely say that he fulfilled most of the electoral promises.

India has justifiable fears that the Taliban — a proxy of Pakistan — would not respect Indian interests or investments. After the agreement in Doha was signed, Taliban is expanding rapidly. Like it happened in the past, city after city may start falling. They may also unleash violence against Indian interests — the recent massacre of 25 Afghan Sikhs in a gurdwara is a case in point.

Taliban’s rise also could see the stifling of Chabahar port’s growth and the transit route to Afghanistan’s route 606 or Zaranj-Delaram road (built by India), which allows India’s ingress to garland highway and connects further to Central Asia. This could fit well with Pakistan’s plans that has been lobbying hard to prevent Chabahar from acquiring any commercial or strategic meaning.

There is a belief that the agreement with Taliban may not have taken place so soon if Iran’s Quds Force chief, Qassem Suleimani, had not been assassinated at the turn to the new year.

Islamabad has been resentful of General Suleimani and his visible proximity to India, which saw his frequent criticism of Pakistan’s use of terror as state policy. “We are telling that country (Pakistani) not to allow their borders to become a source of insecurity for the neighbouring countries; anyone who has made this plot for Pakistan is seeking to disintegrate that country,” Suleimani told an Iranian news agency. There was expectedly, great joy in Pakistani military establishment when Suleimani was killed.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex #Indian Official @NavtejSarna:"China’s influence will facilitate better relations between Iran and Pakistan, already evident in the conciliatory attitude shown by Pakistan to militant attacks from across the border in Balochistan" #Iran #Pakistan #China https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/neither-east-nor-west-only-china/story-1R51QEx2HRos1s2RKNIPbM.html

Chinese investment in ports and railways can hamper India’s plans to get access to Central Asia and beyond through Iran. The report that India will no longer be part of the Chabahar-Zahidan railway project foreshadows this scenario. Iran’s ambassador in Islamabad has spoken of a “golden ring” of China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey and of a western arm to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)+ that would link Gwadar and Chabahar to China by rail through Pakistan. Further, our own economic limitations and the shadow of US sanctions will make it difficult for Indian companies to compete in Iran, particularly if the hundred proposed projects are aligned to a Chinese economic paradigm.

is only cold comfort to India. China’s increased political and economic influence on Tehran can squeeze us on several fronts.

First, Tehran has watched our growing proximity to the US and Israel with a resentful sullenness. The cutting of oil imports and delays in project implementation have further shown the limits of the bilateral relationship; “civilisational links” can only take us only so far and no more. Iran’s pact with China will strengthen the perception that we are in “the other camp”. Given our energy dependence and large diaspora, great power rivalry would not be our preferred game in West Asia.

Second, China’s influence will facilitate better relations between Iran and Pakistan, already evident in the conciliatory attitude shown by Pakistan to militant attacks from across the border in Balochistan. The two could also narrow their differences on Afghanistan, with a direct impact on India’s interests.

Third, Chinese investment in ports and railways can hamper India’s plans to get access to Central Asia and beyond through Iran. The report that India will no longer be part of the Chabahar-Zahidan railway project foreshadows this scenario. Iran’s ambassador in Islamabad has spoken of a “golden ring” of China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey and of a western arm to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)+ that would link Gwadar and Chabahar to China by rail through Pakistan. Further, our own economic limitations and the shadow of US sanctions will make it difficult for Indian companies to compete in Iran, particularly if the hundred proposed projects are aligned to a Chinese economic paradigm.

Fourth, even if the Chinese do not get a major slice of Chabahar, they are keen to participate in the development of Bandar-e-Jask, the port outside the Straits of Hormuz. Iran envisages Jask as its main oil-loading point in the near future; it can then close the Straits without harming its own exports. In a worst-case scenario, Jask could become another Chinese dual-use port and with Gwadar and Djibouti threaten India’s energy and maritime security in the Arabian Sea.

All of this may not happen, but we cannot afford to wait for the Majlis to kill this deal, or for Joe Biden to become US president and wean Iran away from China. Our interests are immediate: A strong outreach to Iran with expedited work on Chabahar and its integration into the North-South Transport Corridor as well as a vigorous follow-up on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful 2015 Central Asian visit would be timely initiatives to consider.

Riaz Haq said...

ICRA Sees #India's Real #GDP Shrink By Almost Double Digits In FY21. Rating agency now expects FY21 GDP to contract by 9.5%, a sharp downward revision from earlier forecast of 5% decline. Why: Rising #Covid19 and local lockdowns. #Modi https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/icra-sees-india-real-gdp-contract-by-almost-double-digits-in-fy21 Via @Bloombergquint

ICRA Ltd. has sharply cut its forecast for the Indian economy in FY21, citing localised lockdowns and rising Covid-19 cases. Its forecast is now the most pessimistic among major institutional forecasters.

The rating agency now expects FY21 real GDP to contract by 9.5%, a sharp downward revision of its earlier forecast of a 5% contraction. The climbing Covid-19 infections have resulted in a spate of localised lockdowns in some states and cities, arresting the nascent recovery that had set in during May-June 2020, it said in a statement on Thursday.

“The Indian economy had started to recover from the troughs experienced in April 2020, when the lockdown was at its severest, and many sectors seemed to be adjusting to a new normal. However, the unabated rise in Covid-19 infections in the unlock phase and re-imposition of localised lockdowns in several states, appear to have interrupted this recovery,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA.

Given the severity of the pandemic and the duration of the safety measures that need to be employed, we now expect a deeper pace of GDP contraction in Q2 FY21 relative to our earlier forecast, ICRA said. The agency said the economic impact would also be more uneven, as different regions move in and out of lockdowns and persisting labour supply mismatches affect supply chains and consumption patterns.

India recorded nearly 32,000 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday with the total number of cases rising to 9.6 lakh.

As a result of the spreading infections, economists, who were earlier anticipating the economic recovery to begin in the second quarter and strengthen in the third quarter, are now revisiting that assumption.

The timeline for a firmer recovery out of the contractionary phase is now being pushed ahead to at least Q4 FY21 from Q3 FY21. This presumes that a vaccine will be widely available by then, which now appears necessary for discretionary consumption to recover in certain sectors such as travel, hospitality and recreation.
Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA
Also Read: Covid-19: Shape Of India’s Economic Recovery Goes From V To W-ish

ICRA expects the Indian economy to have contracted by 25% in Q1 FY2021. It now expects a shallower recovery in subsequent quarters than estimated earlier.

GDP is estimated to contract by 12.4% in Q2 FY21 as compared to a contraction of 2.1% estimated earlier.
GDP is estimated to contract by 2.3% in Q3 FY21, compared to an earlier estimate of GDP growth at 2.1%.
GDP forecast for Q4 FY21 too has been revised to a growth rate of 1.3% from 5% as per ICRA’s previous estimates.
The agency, however, does expect the rural economy to remain a bright spot. High frequency indicators in the rural economy such as kharif acreage and tractor sales continue to strengthen. “ICRA, thus, continues to expect agricultural gross value added to rise by 3.5-4.0% in FY21, supporting rural sentiment,” it said.

Despite the revised GDP forecasts, ICRA said it doesn’t see significant fiscal support due to the revenue pressures being faced by various levels of government.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian subversion in Pakistan a lost cause
Indian support to proxies in Pakistan’s neighborhood stands exposed and the world is well aware of that

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2254705/indian-subversion-in-pakistan-a-lost-cause


The below-mentioned statements of Indian political leaders substantiate Pakistan’s apprehensions about India’s involvement in terrorism in Pakistan. They also confirm that India plans and initiates subversive propaganda apart from state sponsored terrorism:

= Modi in his Independence Day address of 15 Aug 2016 has boasted that people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Azad Kashmir had thanked him a lot in past few days.

= Late Manohar Parrikar, then Indian Defence Minister, had said that India will use terrorism to counter terrorism from other countries pointing towards Pakistan.

= More recently, the Republic TV mouthpiece, Major Gaurav Arya, talked of his links to the BLA and other terrorist organisations operating in Balochistan.

Nowadays, the Indian media is giving a lot of space to so-called Pakistani dissidents to advance its agenda of subversion against Pakistan.

Why we call it a lost cause? There are three major factors: Afghanistan’s changing situation; Indian periphery waking up to Indian state-sponsored terrorism and political interference; and more recent, the Ladakh blunder.

Taking help from our previously published articles in newspapers, we would like to elaborate these three factors:

After 9/11, India found an expanding space in Pakistan’s neighborhood to apply all strands of Chankaya’s Mandala theory through a sophisticated hybrid war. The South Block head-honchos thought that a nuclear Pakistan could be finally eroded by their proxies in Afghanistan and the game started in earnest through expanding operations of RAW in collaboration with hostile intelligence agencies operating from Afghan soil. The target was simple: keep Durand Line on fire by sowing seeds of hate and animosity between Afghanistan and Pakistan and strategically suffocate Pakistan to an extent that it becomes an unviable state. No wonder India recently unleashed the ethno fascists or fake sub-nationalists to create an illusion of instability in FATA.

India took a lot of pain and effort to develop and invest in building a terror network along with some hostile intelligence agencies in Afghanistan and the Iran. Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav (the top RAW gun and the Bluebird) used both Afghan and Iranian soils to foment terror in Pakistan. Indian support to defunct terror entities like the BLA and the BRA and chaos generators like fake sub-nationalists of FATA are no more hidden from the eyes of the world.

A retired Indian Major General Harsha Kakar while writing in The Statesman with the title, “Who is responsible for Afghanistan Mess” talked of growing anxiety in the Indian Establishment, where he criticize President Trump for the decision to pull out of Afghanistan and urged the military hawks in Washington to continue the war, just because it favours Indian nefarious designs. The General was almost comic when he compared Afghan withdrawal with the Vietnam war and tried to arouse the ghost of Saigon. The reality, of course, is different: the Indian Miltablishment and RAW, after playing a long and dirty game in Afghanistan, feels its investment in drowning in Kabul River.

Indeed there are geopolitical consequences for India: It sees the threat of busting of the terror network of RAW in a number of consulates used to keep destabilising Pakistan; something similar to what happened in Sri Lanka, when LTTE Generalissimo Prabharkaran was killed and a trove of RAW’s terror network to support LTTE was discovered from the Mulailtivu Forests and Jaffna Peninsula. The façade of Indian investment and development in Afghanistan has started crumbling as more stories about how Indian military and RAW directly took part in military operations against Taliban fighters are emerging. No wonder Indian CDS, Bipin Rawat pointed out the need for talking to the Taliban during Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian subversion in Pakistan a lost cause
Indian support to proxies in Pakistan’s neighborhood stands exposed and the world is well aware of that

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2254705/indian-subversion-in-pakistan-a-lost-cause


The below-mentioned statements of Indian political leaders substantiate Pakistan’s apprehensions about India’s involvement in terrorism in Pakistan. They also confirm that India plans and initiates subversive propaganda apart from state sponsored terrorism:

= Modi in his Independence Day address of 15 Aug 2016 has boasted that people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Azad Kashmir had thanked him a lot in past few days.

= Late Manohar Parrikar, then Indian Defence Minister, had said that India will use terrorism to counter terrorism from other countries pointing towards Pakistan.

= More recently, the Republic TV mouthpiece, Major Gaurav Arya, talked of his links to the BLA and other terrorist organisations operating in Balochistan.

Nowadays, the Indian media is giving a lot of space to so-called Pakistani dissidents to advance its agenda of subversion against Pakistan.

Why we call it a lost cause? There are three major factors: Afghanistan’s changing situation; Indian periphery waking up to Indian state-sponsored terrorism and political interference; and more recent, the Ladakh blunder.

Taking help from our previously published articles in newspapers, we would like to elaborate these three factors:

After 9/11, India found an expanding space in Pakistan’s neighborhood to apply all strands of Chankaya’s Mandala theory through a sophisticated hybrid war. The South Block head-honchos thought that a nuclear Pakistan could be finally eroded by their proxies in Afghanistan and the game started in earnest through expanding operations of RAW in collaboration with hostile intelligence agencies operating from Afghan soil. The target was simple: keep Durand Line on fire by sowing seeds of hate and animosity between Afghanistan and Pakistan and strategically suffocate Pakistan to an extent that it becomes an unviable state. No wonder India recently unleashed the ethno fascists or fake sub-nationalists to create an illusion of instability in FATA.

India took a lot of pain and effort to develop and invest in building a terror network along with some hostile intelligence agencies in Afghanistan and the Iran. Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav (the top RAW gun and the Bluebird) used both Afghan and Iranian soils to foment terror in Pakistan. Indian support to defunct terror entities like the BLA and the BRA and chaos generators like fake sub-nationalists of FATA are no more hidden from the eyes of the world.

A retired Indian Major General Harsha Kakar while writing in The Statesman with the title, “Who is responsible for Afghanistan Mess” talked of growing anxiety in the Indian Establishment, where he criticize President Trump for the decision to pull out of Afghanistan and urged the military hawks in Washington to continue the war, just because it favours Indian nefarious designs. The General was almost comic when he compared Afghan withdrawal with the Vietnam war and tried to arouse the ghost of Saigon. The reality, of course, is different: the Indian Miltablishment and RAW, after playing a long and dirty game in Afghanistan, feels its investment in drowning in Kabul River.

Indeed there are geopolitical consequences for India: It sees the threat of busting of the terror network of RAW in a number of consulates used to keep destabilising Pakistan; something similar to what happened in Sri Lanka, when LTTE Generalissimo Prabharkaran was killed and a trove of RAW’s terror network to support LTTE was discovered from the Mulailtivu Forests and Jaffna Peninsula. The façade of Indian investment and development in Afghanistan has started crumbling as more stories about how Indian military and RAW directly took part in military operations against Taliban fighters are emerging. No wonder Indian CDS, Bipin Rawat pointed out the need for talking to the Taliban during Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi.

Riaz Haq said...

#Iran's purported $400 Billion #China "secret deal" is in fact #Teheran floating a trial ballon: "This is something that has been stirred up by the Iranians and turned into a political problem," Mr Hua told The Straits Times. #UnitedStates #Geopolitics https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/irans-purported-us400-billion-secret-deal-with-china-needs-to-be-viewed-in-context

BEIJING - Against a backdrop of worsening bilateral relations with the United States, news emerged earlier this month of a purported secret deal between China and Iran that would offer some US$400 billion (S$555 billion) of Chinese investments in the Islamic Republic over 25 years.

While it sparked concerns that the deal could re-calibrate geopolitics and pose a potential strategic challenge to the US, analysts say this is essentially the fleshing out of a prior agreement from 2016, and needs to should be viewed as Teheran floating a trial balloon.

Riaz Haq said...

#India to face tougher world. #Pakistan-#China nexus has only deepened with #BRI, #CPEC. Two-front threat is real possibility. Political elites in neighboring capitals are now open to undermining India. #Bangladesh #Nepal #Bhutan #SriLanka #Modi #Hindutva https://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/india-must-get-ready-for-a-tougher-world/story-dJ2EjOpW1j5KiHQ8nren3N.html

For close to a decade-and-a-half, broadly between 2000 and 2015, India was lucky in having a conducive international environment for its growth and ambitions. It was not just luck though. A series of Indian leaders and bureaucrats ensured that the country was able to shape this international environment, within its limited powers, in its favour.

Think back. The end of the 1990s, under the remarkably far-sighted leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saw India conduct nuclear tests. This invited international sanctions. But it also opened the doors for substantive dialogue with the international community, particularly the United States (US), about the underlying logic of the relationship between the two countries. The Strobe Talbot-Jaswant Singh dialogue, Bill Clinton’s visit to India, Vajpayee calling India and the US natural partners, and the two countries moving ahead with the next steps in the strategic partnership, fundamentally altered the texture of the relationship. Manmohan Singh ably took the baton, signing the defence framework agreement and, of course, the nuclear deal — over which he staked his government. Narendra Modi too carried forward this legacy, letting go of the hurt that the US visa ban on him must have caused, introducing a new diplomatic style at Madison Square, getting Barack Obama as chief guest for Republic Day, and remaining invested in the relationship with Donald Trump. The US, despite its differences with India, is now a steady partner.

But while this partnership has deepened, a lot else has changed.

In the early 2000s, under Vajpayee and Singh, there was an effort to engage with China productively. There was hope that a solution to the border dispute could be found. India recognised Chinese sensitivities on Tibet; China recognised India’s claim over Sikkim. The economic linkages were deepening. The prevailing narrative was of China’s peaceful rise, and a strong view emerged that the two countries could grow together. In the neighbourhood, even thoughtful diplomats argued that India and China could cooperate on projects. There was room for cooperation on global issues — from reform of international institutions to the climate crisis. PM Modi too wished to give this framework a chance, which is what his Ahmedabad invitation to Xi Jinping represented. China, many believed, was not a friend, but it need not be an adversary either. This was a view that many revised with the rise of Xi, but others held on to it — in hindsight, unwisely so.

The neighbourhood was suddenly looking more favourable in the 2000s too. India had embraced the idea of South Asian regionalism and connectivity. It had facilitated a historic peace deal in Nepal, bringing an end to a decade-long war, ensuring the entry of the Maoists into peaceful politics. And there was enormous goodwill among both the Nepali people and the Kathmandu leadership for Delhi — which gave Indian diplomats enormous leverage. In Sri Lanka, India had, quietly, helped the government bring an end to the civil war, but here, it was through military means and an outright defeat of the Tamil Tigers — some believed that this would erode Indian leverage, but it did give points to Delhi in Colombo. Bhutan remained Delhi’s closest friend, but now within the modern framework of a new treaty, as the country turned semi-democratic. In Bangladesh, after a turbulent transition, Sheikh Hasina returned, with an explicit platform of deepening ties with India, leading to the most-friendly dispensation in Dhaka in decades.

Riaz Haq said...

#Bangladesh PM refusing to meet #Indian envoy to #Dhaka despite repeated requests over 2 months. Hasina has ordered slow-down of all #India funded project while #Chinese funded projects are fast-tracked in BD. #Modi's #Hindutva rhetoric is affecting ties.
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sheikh-hasina-failed-to-meet-indian-envoy-despite-requests-dhaka-daily/article32187068.ece

All Indian projects in Bangladesh have slowed down since the re-election of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2019.
A prominent newspaper of Bangladesh has said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina did not meet India’s High Commissioner despite repeated requests for a meeting in the last four months.
Bhorer Kagoj, a prominent daily, has reported that all Indian projects have slowed down since the re-election of Prime Minister Hasina in 2019 with Chinese infrastructure projects receiving more support from Dhaka.
“Despite India's concern, Bangladesh has given the contract of building an airport terminal in Sylhet to a Chinese company. Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das tried for four months to get an appointment with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh but did not get it. Bangladesh has not even sent a note of appreciation to India in response to Indian assistance for the COVID-19 pandemic”, said the newspaper's editor Shyamal Dutta in an article on the recent tilt of Dhaka towards Pakistan and China.

Riaz Haq said...

#UN says thousands of anti-Pakistan militants in #Afghanistan. #Pakistan being attacked by #terrorists, particularly linked to the #TTP or Jamaat-ul-Ahrar or Lashkar-e-Islam, as well as those with the Baluchistan Liberation Army (#BLA). https://news.yahoo.com/un-says-thousands-anti-pakistan-102605170.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=tw via @YahooNews

A U.N. report says more than 6,000 Pakistani insurgents are hiding in Afghanistan, most belonging to the outlawed Pakistani Taliban group responsible for attacking Pakistani military and civilian targets.

The report released this week said the group, known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), has linked up with the Afghan-based affiliate of the Islamic State group. Some of TTP's members have even joined the IS affiliate, which has its headquarters in eastern Afghanistan.

The Afghan government did not respond Sunday to requests by The Associated Press for comment.

The report said IS in Afghanistan, known as IS in Khorasan province, has been hit hard by Afghan security forces as well as U.S. and NATO forces, and even on occasion by the Afghan Taliban. The report was prepared by the U.N. analytical and sanctions monitoring team, which tracks terrorist groups around the world.

The report estimated the membership of IS in Afghanistan at 2,200, and while its leadership has been depleted, IS still counts among its leaders a Syrian national Abu Said Mohammad al-Khorasani. The report also said the monitoring team had received information that two senior Islamic State commanders, Abu Qutaibah and Abu Hajar al-Iraqi, had recently arrived in Afghanistan from the Middle East.

“Although in territorial retreat, (the Islamic State) remains capable of carrying out high-profile attacks in various parts of the country, including Kabul. It also aims to attract Taliban fighters who oppose the agreement with the United States,” the report said, referring to a U.S. peace deal signed with the Taliban in February.

That deal was struck to allow the U.S. to end its 19-year involvement in Afghanistan, and calls on the Taliban to guarantee its territory will not be used by terrorist groups. The deal is also expected to guarantee the Taliban's all-out participation in the fight against IS.

The second and perhaps most critical part of the agreement calls for talks between the Taliban and Kabul's political leadership.

Late Saturday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying its peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was again shuttling through the region seeking to jump start those negotiations, which have been repeatedly postponed as both sides squabble over a prisoner release program.

The U.S.-backed deal calls for the Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners and the Taliban to free 1,000 government and military personnel as a so-called good will gesture ahead of talks. Until now the government is refusing to release nearly 600 Taliban prisoners it calls high-profile criminals and has offered to free alternatives. The Taliban have refused.

“The parties are closer than ever to the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, the key next step to ending Afghanistan’s 40-year long war," said the U.S. State Department statement. “Although significant progress has been made on prisoner exchanges, the issue requires additional effort to fully resolve.”

The Taliban's political spokesman earlier this week said it was ready to hold talks with Kabul's political leaders after the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha at the end of the month, providing the prisoner release is completed.

A big worry for Pakistan is the presence in Afghanistan of militants, particularly linked to the TTP or Jamaat-ul-Ahrar or Lashkar-e-Islam, as well as those with the Baluchistan Liberation Army, which has taken responsibility for high-profile attacks this month in the southern Sindh province as well as in southwestern Baluchistan Province. Several Pakistan military personnel have been killed this month in southwestern Baluchistan province in battle with insurgents.

Riaz Haq said...

#Bangladesh-#Pakistan ties: #ImranKhan-#Hasina Talks Stir Unease in #Delhi. #India suspects #China's role https://www.deccanherald.com/national/pakistan-bangladesh-ties-imran-hasina-talk-stirs-unease-in-india-mea-suspects-chinas-role-865664.html @deccanherald

A phone call between the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and Bangladesh earlier this week stirred unease in New Delhi, which suspected China's hidden hand behind the rare outreach.


Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan called up his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on July 22. A Bangladesh government spokesperson in Dhaka said that Hasina briefed Khan about the Covid-19 pandemic and the flood situation in her country in resp...

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s #RAW recruited 3 warlords in #Afghanistan, including Ahmad Shah Masood, says 'RAW: A History of India’s Covert Operations' by investigative journalist Yatish Yadav. He doesn’t disclose the names of 2 other warlords still in #Afghan politics

https://www.deccanherald.com/national/raw-had-recruited-three-warlords-in-afghanistan-says-book-868599.html

At least three RAW spies involved in covert action in Afghanistan have claimed that Afghan armed forces were "demoralised and divided, remained practically inactive" during the Soviet army’s December 1979 invasion, the book, which will be released on Monday said.


The book also claims that the US knew about the Indian activities in Afghanistan and the Americans launched propaganda against the RAW with stories appearing with Washington dateline, which said that the US supply of arms was a "sort of punishment" to India for failing to oppose the Soviet Union on Afghan soil and the Soviet-Vietnam interference in Cambodia.

RAW also feared, the book said, that the Taliban would not waste time in killing former President of Afghanistan Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai once they gained dominance in the war. An Indian spy recalled the message the RAW sent to Najibullah,
who was staying at the UN mission in Kabul, to leave the country but he refused outrightly. Another effort was made through a reluctant Massoud, but Najibullah rejected the offer once again, arguing that the Taliban may not attack him.

Riaz Haq said...

Iran recruited #Karachi gangster Uzair Baloch hurts #Pakistan-#Iran ties. "They don't simply try to penetrate typical networks that surround singular theological interests, for instance the Shia community. Iranians have historically used criminal networks" https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/pakistan-iran-gangster-uzair-baloch-spy-diplomacy

Earlier this month, a special investigations team in Pakistan revealed that a much-feared Karachi gangster had confessed to spying for Iran.

Uzair Baloch, the leader of the Peoples' Aman Committee (PAC) group, reportedly fessed up to spying for Iranian intelligence agencies in 2014.

The Sindh province's Home Department released a report on 6 July detailing allegations that Baloch had provided "secret information and sketches regarding army installations and officials to foreign agents".

But why are these revelations coming out now? And what does the case reveal about the complicated relations between Tehran and Islamabad?

A Joint Interrogation Team (JIT) composed of intelligence officers and law enforcement officials has brought charges against Baloch, who was detained in April 2017, for 55 crimes including extortion, drug trafficking, kidnapping and espionage.

The PAC was in 2008 nominally founded as a support group for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the centre-left political party that has ruled Pakistan for much of its post-independence history. Notorious gangster Sardar Abdul Baloch aka Rehman Dakait, its principle founder, was killed in a police encounter in 2009. Following Dakait's death, Uzair Baloch took over the
leadership role.

Baloch's violent and illegal activities in Karachi, the biggest metropolis in Pakistan, led to a severe crackdown on organised crime, subsequently pushing the interior ministry to ban the PAC in 2011 under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Amid a military and police crackdown, Baloch fled to Iran in 2013, thanks to Iranian residency documents he obtained in 2006 via a relative, the JIT report read.

According to the same report, once Baloch settled in Iran after leaving Karachi, he was in contact with a man named Hajji Nasir, who arranged to have him move to Tehran.

While Nasir reportedly offered to help Baloch move to the Iranian capital and grant him free accommodation, it was only later that he shared that he was on good terms with Iranian intelligence agencies and could arrange a meeting.

It was then that Baloch "shared information about certain army installations and armed officials," according to the JIT report.

There is much confusion regarding Baloch's arrest. In 2014 Interpol arrested Baloch in Dubai, then the military in Pakistan announced that he was in custody in 2016. As his trial was held at a closed military court, therefore, no details have been shared publicly regarding specific details of the information shared with the Iranian intelligence agencies.

The Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in Islamabad has not responded to Middle East Eye's repeated requests for comment. The Iranian consul-general in Karachi meanwhile declined to comment on the case.

Philip Smyth, a fellow at The Washington Institute think-tank, told Middle East Eye that the collaboration of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) with Baloch was part of a broader strategy of recruitment of criminal gang leaders.

"They don't simply try to penetrate typical networks that surround singular theological interests, for instance the Shia [Muslim] community. Iranians have historically used criminal networks," Smyth said, pointing to documents made public by WikiLeaks alleging Iran tried to recruit Mexican criminal syndicate Los Zetas to assassinate a Saudi diplomat in the US in 2011.

Riaz Haq said...

Hamid Ansari, ex VP of #India & ex ambassador in #Tehran, accused of failing to protect #India #intelligence #RAW's undercover operatives in #Iran in 4 major incidents of kidnapping by SAVAK (aka Sazman-e Ettela’at va Amniat-e Melli-e Iran) agents.
https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/ex-raw-officers-want-pm-act-hamid-ansaris-anti-national-acts


Former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) officers had sought an inquiry against former Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari for what they have called “damaging R&AW operations” while he was posted as Ambassador in Tehran, Iran. They now hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will get into the truth of the entire matter. These officers, who were posted in Tehran during Ansari’s tenure, had first approached the PM in August 2017. Ansari was posted in Tehran from 1990-1992.

One of the officers, N.K. Sood, who retired from the agency in 2010, told The Sunday Guardian that Ansari even went to the extent of recommending the closing down of R&AW stations in Iran.


Sood listed multiple instances which showed that Ansari, during his tenure in Tehran, did not fulfill his duty as was expected from him.

In May 1991, one Indian official, Sandeep Kapoor, was kidnapped from the Tehran airport, ostensibly by SAVAK. When the issue was brought before Ansari, he played it down despite the R&AW station chief—who was in Dubai when the incident took place, but flew back considering the emergency situation—briefing him personally on the matter. “Ansari did not take any steps to trace Kapoor, but sent a confidential report to the MEA that Kapoor was missing and that his activities were suspected in Iran as he was said to be involved with some local woman. He deliberately failed to mention that R&AW had reported about involvement of SAVAK in this case,” Sood said.

Three days later, an anonymous phone call to the Indian Embassy informed the receiver that Kapoor is lying at a particular place on the road side. He was drugged, the effects of which lasted for several years. Despite R&AW’s advise to report and lodge a protest with the Iranian foreign office, Ansari did not take any action.

In August 1991, R&AW was keeping eyes on Kashmiri youths who were regularly visiting Qom, a religious center of Iran, and were taking arms training. Despite the old R&AW staff advising him not to do so, the new station chief of R&AW told Ansari about his operation. “Ansari gave the name of the officer who was handling this operation, D.B. Mathur, to the Iranian Foreign office, who passed it to SAVAK, and Mathur was picked up by them on a morning while coming to the Indian embassy. By the evening, it was clear that he has been picked up by SAVAK,” Sood recalled.

This incident has also been mentioned in the letter that has been shared with Prime Minister Modi. When Ansari refused to take any concrete action, apart from registering a missing report about Mathur with the Iranian Foreign office and sharing it with Delhi without mentioning that he was likely to be picked by SAVAK, the R&AW officers, on the second day, through a scene out of a spy movie, managed to inform Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Delhi, who then told this to P.V. Narasimha Rao, the then Prime Minister, which led to the release of Mathur from Evin prison, where he was kept, on the fourth day of his kidnapping, but he was given 72 hours to leave the country. Once inside the Indian Embassy, Mathur disclosed what had happened to him and how the SAVAK was already aware of the identity of Sood and the station chief, which the letter says can be attributed to Ansari sharing it with the Iranian Foreign Office.

These officers believe and are extremely hopeful that PM Modi will order a thorough probe into this issue, which damaged India’s strategic capabilities deeply.

The Sunday Guardian also reached out to the office of V.P. Ansari through emails, seeking his response on the charges leveled by the R&AW officers. However, no response was received till the time of the story going to press.