Monday, December 22, 2014

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

"India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan".  US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel should know what he's talking about when it comes to intelligence. He served on the US Senate Intelligence Committee before he became the Pentagon chief.

How does India "finance problems" in Pakistan? Here are some of the ways it does so:

1. India's intelligence agency RAW uses its long and deep ties with the Afghan Intelligence KhAD (Khadamat-e Aetela'at-e Dawlati, also known as the National Directorate) staffed by openly anti-Pakistan agents who are known to support the Pakistani Taliban (TTP).  There are reports that the current TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah is being protected by KhAD agents in Afghanistan. Last year, US troops snatched former TTP chief Hakimullah Mehusd's deputy Latifullah Mesud  from Afghan intelligence agents. Apparently, Latifullah had been traveling back and forth across the Pak-Afghan border to coordinate attacks inPakistan with the Afghan agents.

2.  Before writing and promoting an anti-Pakistan book in India, American analyst and author Christine Fair said this in 2009: "Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity! Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan". Prominent Pakistani Baloch insurgents like Brahamdagh Bugti are also being sheltered by the Afghan security and intelligence establishment along with RAW.

3.  Another 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."

There are signs that India has stepped up its covert war against Pakistan since the election of the Hindu Nationalist government of Prime Minister Modi. The first sign is the appointment of an anti-Pakistan hawk Ajit Doval as Modi's National Security Advisor. As a key part of his long service to India's intelligence establishment, Doval says he served as an undercover RAW agent in Pakistan for seven years.

Given all the circumstantial evidence of Indian support of Baloch insurgents' and TTP's war against Pakistan,  the Pakistani security and intelligence establishment can not rely on counterinsurgency operations like ZarbeAzb alone to stop the civilian carnage on Pakistani streets and schools. The overall counterinsurgency strategy must include serious efforts to cut off support and funding for the TTP and the Baloch insurgents from both domestic and external sources, and disruption of the Indian intelligence network operating against Pakistan from Afghanistan. It will require superior intelligence and significant counter-intelligence operations, as well as an effective narrative and powerful diplomatic offensive to put pressure on India to stop its covert war being waged on Pakistani soil.

Here's a video discussion on the subject of terrorism in Pakistan:

India's Role in Pakistan Terror; Pakistan's National Narrative: Quaid-e-Azam's Vision from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Here's US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talking about "India financing problems in Pakistan":


Here are video clips of Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval talking about his 7 years undercover for RAW in Pakistan:

I lived in Pakistan for 7 Years as Spy - Ajit... by zemtv

Here's Ajit Kumar Doval explaining India's "defensive offense" strategy against Pakistan: ((Key statement toward the end: Pay the (Taliban) terrorists 1.5 times the funding they are getting to buy them out. They are mercenaries)

How to tackle Pakistan by Ajit Doval [India... by emran-caan

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Political and Military Policy Response to Peshawar Attack

Taliban or RAW-liban?

Counter-insurgencyOperation ZarbeAzb

India's Abiding Hostility Toward Pakistan 

India's Israel Envy: Will Modi Attack Pakistan?

Who Killed Karkare?

CFR's View of the Taliban

India's Covert War in Pakistan

India and Balochistan

Obama's New Regional Strategy

Webchat On Obama's New Regional Strategy

Obama's Afghan Exit Strategy


Mayraj said...

Game playing in Balochistan. I actually on discussion/ admission of it in piece in Indian journal!

"This article published in India’s official “Defence Review” confirms that the creation of Bangladesh was the result of an Indian military operation and that the “Mukti Bahini” largely comprised Bengali soldiers from Indian army. India hopes to replicate that ‘success’ with a war all along the Indo-Pakistan frontier with the BLA beefed up with “volunteers” and Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent neutralised with the help of the USA. That should wake up the political strategists who think that trade and films would rid India of its imperial ambition to block/flood rivers and to balkanise Pakistan. The conclusion is very apt; there is no need to pretend and play “quest for peace” or find excuse for covert operations; the two countries have been at war for 65 years."
How to make Proxy War succeed in Baluchistan by Dr Amarjit Singh

According to the London Institute, the joint CIA/RAW/Russian operation (which now operates numerous secret training camps) has been a source of new wealth for poverty-stricken Balochistan. According to the Institute’s local informants, BLA militants are paid $200 ($300 for section chiefs). Evidence of this cash influx is seen in the flashy new SUV’s many BLA activists drive and the luxurious homes going up in Baloch cities – as well as in lavish local weddings, where dancing troupes of “eunuchs and cross-dressers” are raking in massive mounts of cash.
The CIA’s Strange Bedfellows in Pakistan

Sardars only rise up when someone is supporting them. last time it was KGB.
Balochistan is theater also where Jundullah is and apparently some former senior member of LEJ joined Jundulla-which focusses on Iran only!
Saudi Arabia funds Lashkar-e-Jhangvi

"By 2009, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or Pakistani Taliban, a coalition of militants operating out of the tribal areas of Pakistan, was carrying out lethal bombings throughout Pakistan; several former Lashkar-e-Jhangvi leaders had assumed important positions within its ranks. "
The Shiite Murders: Pakistan’s Army of Jhangvi

Is the U.S. Still Funding Iranian Suicide Bombers?
Iran Nabs Top NATO
Terrorist With Pakistan Help

"Jundullah is one of several groups that have been conducting bombings and other violent attacks against Iran’s Islamic regime with the aim of knocking it off balance.
In a July 7, 2008, article for The New Yorker magazine, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh quoted Robert Baer, a former CIA clandestine officer who worked in South Asia and the Middle East for nearly two decades, as saying that Jundullah was one of the militant groups in Iran benefiting from U.S. support."

Ganesh said...

So is this a direct admission that even in proxy wars Indians are far superior to Pakistanis. Seems like so, given your abject failure in causing trouble in India.

Tambi Dude said...

I expected something better from you. Pls do not disappoint us by writing like Zaid Hamid. Read these articles by well respected Pakistanis.

Riaz Haq said...

Ravi: "I expected something better from you. Pls do not disappoint us by writing like Zaid Hamid. Read these articles by well respected Pakistanis"

Please read your own highly respected diplomat Sashi Tharoor's description of India's Israel Envy.

Shubham said...

Riaz: Christine fair also said '"

Please stop this selective approach. If you wanted to write something on the covert operations between the two nations, you should also talk about where it all started.
I would like to end with a Tweet by Christine Fair: "To those Pakistanis who think "India" did the Peshawar actually deserve the lengthy tenure in narak you WILL get."

Riaz Haq said...

Shubham: "If you wanted to write something on the covert operations between the two nations, you should also talk about where it all started"

It was all started by India by RAW's own admission in East Pakistan where India soldiers took on the disguise of Mukti Bahini to break up Pakistan.

As to Christine Fair, the words I quoted are hers. She only changed her tune after a visit to India where she was attacked for those words.

She was most likely coached by her publishers who saw a lot more money from book sales in India, a much bigger market than Pakistan, if she says exactly what Indians want to hear rather than have her books trashed like others (such as Wendy Doniger's) who have spoken and written what they really thought about India or Hindus.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a 2009 speech by Stephen Cohen, a much more seasoned analyst than all the others like Fair and Haqqani mentioned in comments.

"The alphabet agencies—ISI, RAW, and so forth—are often the chosen instrument of state policy when there is a conventional (and now a nuclear) balance of power, and the diplomatic route seems barren."

As long as the diplomatic route remains shut (mainly by Modi recently), the covert proxy wars are likely to fill the gap.

Now listen to India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval talk about it. (Key statement toward the end: Pay the (Taliban) terrorists 1.5 times the funding they are getting to buy them out. They are mercenaries)

Shubham Singh Tomar said...

Riaz: "She only changed her tune after a visit to India where she was attacked for those words."
See this is the selective approach that I'm talking about. You shouldn't be making unverifiable arguments like these. She teaches at Georgetown and her target readership would be least affected by her writing anything anti-Indian. These are crème de la crème that you are talking about and not the ultra-patriots.

"It was all started by India by RAW's own admission in East Pakistan where India soldiers took on the disguise of Mukti Bahini to break up Pakistan." No, it started with Pak Amrmy's involvement in Kashmir and other insurgencies throughout 60-70s. Unfortunately, both sides do these things, Pakistan like many other things is just not good at it.
Regarding Wendy Doniger's ban in India, while I don't support it, a book like hers would not be taken very pleasently by any country had it been about their religion. I'm fine unless no one is issuing Fatwa for her head.

Piyush said...

If you heard his speech, he is saying that if India had gone on the offensive earlier, lives would not have been lost in Mumbai. Plus he is talking about a situation when India needs to "deal" with Taliban. He has made it clear in his speech that that situation has not arisen yet and that Pak makes the argument that if we don't deal with Taliban, you(India) will suffer too. He was talking about dealing with the Taliban "when the time came for it". Meaning when India is threatened by them. Right now, India is not threatened by the Taliban and therefore the question is moot.
Of course, he is wrong in thinking that groups like the Taliban can be "bought" at all, but that is for another time.

Riaz Haq said...

Piyush: "If you heard his speech, he is saying that if India had gone on the offensive earlier, lives would not have been lost in Mumbai. Plus he is talking about a situation when India needs to "deal" with Taliban..."

India had gone on the offensive earlier? Earlier when? Didn't India go on the offensive with covert war and then invasion of East Pakistan in 1971? India has never accepted the reality of Pakistan as obvious from its efforts from day 1 to bankrupt it by refusing to give Pakistan its share of reserves in 1947. And Nehru and Mountbatten describing Pakistan as just a nissen hut that would not last.

Doval is still saying the same thing when he says "Stable Pakistan is not India's interest".

Raza said...

I remember in Chowk days you used to interpret Taliban as a reaction to feudalism. Unfortunately the site is down, otherwise I would have show you the stuff you used to write. And now according to you, it is backed by India?

Riaz Haq said...

Raza: "I remember in Chowk days you used to interpret Taliban as a reaction to feudalism. Unfortunately the site is down, otherwise I would have show you the stuff you used to write. And now according to you, it is backed by India?"

There's no inconsistency between what I said on Chowk and what I am saying now. Covert wars have always exploited local grievances to recruit foot soldiers.

Facts are facts. Your spin will not change them. The fact is that India is engaged in bloody covert war in Pakistan as part of its strategy clearly spelled out by Ajit Doval and acknowledged by others I have quoted in my post. One has to be truly blind not to see it.

Raza said...

Sir, I will read everything. Being a student of political science, I have to read everything with open mind. The problem is that you already have a conclusion in your head and you select evidence to support it. If TTP is Indian backed then what was Imran Khan doing with it? He was offering him Ministries a little while ago. Hafiz Saeed, Sameel ul Haq, all have connections with TTP and both these individuals are backed by establishment, a fact well known to everyone. So are you saying that Sameel Ul Haq and Hafiz Saeed are also backed by India?

Riaz Haq said...

Raza: "Sir, I will read everything. Being a student of political science, I have to read everything with open mind. The problem is that you already have a conclusion in your head and you select evidence to support it...."

Open minds are supposed to be open to evidence presented. Yours is not. If it were, you'd at least pay attention to your Indian friend Ajit Kumar Doval who's very explicit about his current strategy of choosing covert war via TTP in Pakistan over other much more risky options like going to full-scale war with Pakistan. As a student of political science, you can also learn something from a Stephen Cohen quote on India-Pakistan ties: "The alphabet agencies—ISI, RAW, and so forth—are often the chosen instrument of state policy when there is a conventional (and now a nuclear) balance of power, and the diplomatic route seems barren."

Ram said...

If RAW had half the capabilities Pakistan credits it for, Pak wouldn't have been around. No Indian I am aware of is proud of it. But hey no complaints about this false credit. Please keep it coming.

Tambi Dude said...

Vinod said...

"As to Christine Fair, the words I quoted are hers. She only changed her tune after a visit to India where she was attacked for those words.

She was most likely coached by her publishers who saw a lot more money from book sales in India, a much bigger market than Pakistan, if she says exactly what Indians want to hear "

So her highly researched book (based on Pakistani army's internal publications over 6 decades) is only a change of tune to please Indians?

Or as is more likely, someone is in denial?

"rather than have her books trashed like others (such as Wendy Doniger's) who have spoken and written what they really thought about India or Hindus."

If Wendy had written a fraction of that against Islam and your prophet, people would be blowing up on the streets or passing Fatwa on her head (like what happened in the case of the harmless Denish cartoons).

Here it was a legal challenge by an individual! Only someone totally blind to reality (and obsessed with India and Hinduism for some weird reasons) would make such claims.

Anonymous said...

Ram said...

If RAW had half the capabilities Pakistan credits it for, Pak wouldn't have been around. No Indian I am aware of is proud of it. But hey no complaints about this false credit. Please keep it coming. December 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

There is indeed a make-believe world in South Asia. Often I have heard it said that "India could over-run Pakistan in 3 days if it wanted to!". Since August 15, 1947 India has had 808 months multiplied by 30 days per month,equals 24240 days divided by 3 days of over-running Pakistan equals 8080 times it could run-over Pakistan. Yet, for some reason it hasn't over-run a square centimeter of Pakistan territory. All this nonsense keeps the weapons and palm-grease industry happy!

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Yet, for some reason it hasn't over-run a square centimeter of Pakistan territory"

So what was it India did in December 1971 in East Pakistan?

Riaz Haq said...

Vinod: "So her highly researched book (based on Pakistani army's internal publications over 6 decades) is only a change of tune to please Indians?"

In that "highly researched" book of hers, did Fair deny making her statements about RAW activities via consulates in Afghanistan and Iran that I have quoted?

Riaz Haq said...

CFR Intro on India's RAW:


India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has long faced allegations of meddling in its neighbors' affairs. Founded in 1968, primarily to counter China's influence, over time it has shifted its focus to India's other traditional rival, Pakistan. RAW and Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), have been engaged in covert operations against one other for over three decades. The ongoing dispute in Kashmir continues to fuel these clashes, but experts say Afghanistan may be emerging as the new battleground. Islamabad sees India's growing diplomatic initiatives in Afghanistan as a cover for RAW agents working to destabilize Pakistan. It accuses RAW of training and arming separatists in Pakistan's Balochistan Province along the Afghan border. RAW denies these charges, and in turn, accuses the ISI of the July 2008 bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul.

The History of RAW
Until 1968, the Intelligence Bureau (IB), which is responsible for India's internal intelligence, also handled external intelligence. But after India's miserable performance in a 1962 border war with China, the need for a separate external intelligence agency was clear. During that conflict, "our intelligence failed to detect Chinese build up for the attack," writes Maj. Gen. VK Singh, a retired army officer who did a stint in RAW, in his 2007 book, India's External Intelligence: Secrets of Research and Analysis Wing.

As a result, India established a dedicated external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing. Founded mainly to focus on China and Pakistan, over the last forty years the organization has expanded its mandate and is credited with greatly increasing India's influence abroad. Experts say RAW's powers and its role in India's foreign policy have varied under different prime ministers. RAW claims that it contributed to several foreign policy successes:

the creation of Bangladesh in 1971;

India's growing influence in Afghanistan;

the northeast state of Sikkim's accession to India in 1975;

the security of India's nuclear program;

the success of African liberation movements during the Cold War.

Riaz Haq said...

The CIA assisted in the creation of RAW, says South Asia expert Stephen P. Cohen of the Brookings Institution. However, India's intelligence relations with the CIA started even before the existence of RAW, note experts. After India's war with China in 1962, CIA instructors trained Establishment 22, a "covert organisation raised from among Tibetan refugees in India, to execute deep-penetration terror operations in China," wrote Swami.

Anonymous said...

Riaz Haq said...
Anon: "Yet, for some reason it hasn't over-run a square centimeter of Pakistan territory"
So what was it India did in December 1971 in East Pakistan?
December 24, 2014 at 7:56 AM
Riaz bhai, Yes I did not take E.Pakistan/Bangladesh into account.
India has not retained a sq. centimeter of that territory. There is no love lost between India and Bangladesh - for example,the latter exploded when India asked for its trucks to take a short-cut through its territory.
The is nothing to stop Bangladesh from (re)federating with Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

ISLAMABAD: Recently retired Indian Army chief General Vijay Kumar Singh has admitted that India sponsored bomb blasts in Pakistan and doled out money to the separatist elements in Balochistan, a disclosure downplayed by the Indian media so far.

Buying silence of Kashmiri leaders in Indian held Kashmir and phone tapping inside India were also part of the sensitive report.The ex-army chief reveals this in an inquiry report prepared by India’s DG military operations shining light on activities of an army unit raised after the Mumbai attacks.

VK Singh last month announced a political alliance with BJP leader Narendra Modi who was responsible for the massacre of the Muslims in Indian Gujarat.A portion of the explosive report indicting the former army chief of terrorist activities inside Pakistan was downplayed by the Indian media that largely used ‘neighboring country’ as a reference and instead highlighted its parts relating to his activities of phone-tapping inside India and buying silence of politicians in Indian-held Kashmir through loads of cash.

The dirty tricks sanctioned by the top Indian general were carried out by Tactical Support Division (TSD), an Indian army unit raised after Mumbai attacks on the directives of the Defence Minister and National Security Adviser Shev Shankar Menon in order to “perform a particular task to secure borders and internal situation in the country.”

TSD consisted of six officers, five JCOs and 30 men and operated out of an unmarked two-storeyed building within the Delhi Cantonment dubbed the ‘Butchery’, that was a refurbished slaughterhouse of colonial times, The India Today reported.

“The division was headed by Colonel Munishwar Nath Bakshi, a tall, flamboyant intelligence officer in his early 40s, better known by an unusual nickname, ‘Hunny’,” it said.As the inquiry body was set up to investigate, Col Bakshi, a confidante of Gen Singh, got himself admitted in a mental hospital pretending that he was under serious mental stress.

Former Army Chief VK Singh allegedly used TSD, a clandestine collective of handpicked military intelligence personnel, to settle scores on both sides of the contentious Line of Control (LOC) between Pakistan and India, reported The India Today, in its October 7 edition.

Between October and November 2011, India Today reported this month, TSD had claimed money “to try enrolling the secessionist chief in the province of a neighbouring country” and “Rs1.27 crore (Indian currency) to prevent transportation of weapons between neighbouring countries”. In early 2011, TSD claimed an unspecified amount for carrying out “eight low-intensity bomb blasts in a neighboring country”, according to this weekly Indian magazine.

The Hindustan Times earlier reported about the covert operation inside Pakistan by TSD and quoted its former official stating it was assigned to nab Hafiz Saeed of Jamaatud Dawah but didn’t mention TSD’s involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan as has been revealed through inquiry board.

Since there was no explicit mention of Pakistan, it didn’t emerge on the radar of Pakistani media. The News spoke to different journalistic sources in India privy to details who confirmed that it was about Pakistan.

India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, who headed a Board of Officers’ inquiry under the direct orders of Gen Bikram Singh, current army chief, to review the functioning of the TSD submitted the report in March this year to the Indian government. While report is not being publicised, however, TSD was closed in December 2012.

An RTI request filed for the copy of this report was also denied, stating that sharing this information was prejudicial to national security and can harmrelations with the neighbouring countries.

Riaz Haq said...

From The Hindu May 1, 2014:

Last week, prime ministerial front runner Narendra Modi made the first-ever public suggestion by any politician that he might authorise offensive covert operations against terrorists — one of the most fateful decisions facing India’s next government. Mr. Modi lashed out at Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s revelation of joint efforts by India and the United States to apprehend terrorism-linked ganglord Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar in Karachi. “Do these things happen through the medium of newspapers?” he asked. “Did the United States issue a press note before they killed Osama bin Laden?”

Anonymous said...

what is wrong with covert operation? I thought that is the official foreign policy of Pakistan, with mostly failures, most notable supporting Khalistan movement to avenge 1971.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "I thought that is the official foreign policy of Pakistan,..."

What makes you think India will succeed in its covert war against Pakistan? Did it succeed in Tibet (Establishment 22) and Sri Lanka (LTTE)?

Vinod said...

"In that "highly researched" book of hers, did Fair deny making her statements about RAW activities via consulates in Afghanistan and Iran that I have quoted?"

Mr. Riaz, putting any number of quotes won't take away from the fact that it is highly researched and that the research material is primarily from Pakistani army material. Things they say to each other.

It explains the behavior of Pakistani state very well. Why it does things that would seem irrational to others and that have not produced the results for it that it wanted.

Now, there is nothing I can do to take you out of your denial.

Nor do I wish to spend the effort. It is not my headache. If you think (or are forced to think) that being in denial serves you or your country well, please be my guest.

Pakistan doesn't concern me as long as there are no terrorists coming from there to blow up in my country. It matters less to me than does Eritrea. I have as much to do with Pakistan as you (or any Pakistani) has to do with India. And that is nil, nada, shunya, zero. We will find our destiny for our country and you will find yours. I hope there is nothing in common between the two.

Now, you talk about baloney like India not accepting Pakistan (it was Afghanistan that opposed your creation in UN), not releasing funds (when you had stared was in Kashmir already and wanted us to fund you for war with us!).

Anyway we understand where it is coming from. Basic reason is the negative identity and everything that flows from that. It leads to the kind of peculiar history and worldview that has been ingrained and that has led your country to the present state.

You are like North Korea in a way. The only value you bring is the nuisance value. Let's see how long this continues.

And what Mr. Doval said is a fact. That is possibly the only way for Pakistani generals to see the reality. There is no guarantee they would but being on the defensive won't serve India, it will only encourage the Jihadi generals as there is little price to pay. Loss of Bangladesh didn't change the strategy, we have to see what it takes.

Unfortunately the Jihadi generals will likely take down Pakistan than mend their ways.

Vinod said...

"What makes you think India will succeed in its covert war against Pakistan? Did it succeed in Tibet (Establishment 22) and Sri Lanka (LTTE)?"

You claim yourself that India already succeeded in Bangladesh. If it can happen once, it can happen again.

Though I personally wish it doesn't come to that...

Pakistan is a much more vulnerable state than China. There is no comparison.

Anonymous said...

Watch this video confession of Ajmal Kassab as aired on NDTV in India. Does he really sound like Pakistani Punjabi from Southern Punjab?

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's intelligence chief met Afghanistan's new president to discuss ways to boost coordination in fighting militant attacks in the region, an official said Monday, in a sign of improving ties between the often uneasy neighbors.

It was the third trip to Afghanistan in recent months for the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence chief, Razwan Akhtar, hinting at new cooperation between the countries that have long accused each other of harboring Islamist insurgents.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met Akhtar on Sunday, said Ghani spokesman Nazifullah Salarzai.

"In this meeting, both sides discussed ways to strengthen joint efforts against terrorism and extremism," Salarzai said. He declined to go into detail.

Ghani - unlike his predecessor Hamid Karzai who had difficult relations with Islamabad - made a state visit to Pakistan soon after being sworn into office last year, pledging to improve ties.

In the latest meeting, the sides agreed to coordinate against militant groups that fight against each government and exploit the porous border to flee military crackdowns.

Pakistan wants Afghanistan's help in stopping the Pakistani Taliban, which is under attack by the military in its stronghold of North Waziristan, from gaining shelter on Afghan territory.

Afghanistan for its part hopes Pakistan might use its influence to bring the exiled top leaders of the Afghan Taliban, who reportedly are in hiding in Pakistan, to the negotiation table to end the insurgents' 13-year-old war against the U.S.-backed government.

Adnan Khan said...

I am not taking sides in this debate. I simply wish to clarify one point the author of this post makes in an attempt to highlight how "evidence" can be manipulated in the service of a specific agenda. Christine Fair's quotation is taken completely out of context (for the complete debate in which she said this, see What she is in fact saying is that Pakistan's PERCEPTIONS, whether valid or not, need to be taken into consideration. She goes on to say the following:

"I am not trying to blow Indian activities in the region out of proportion, rather stressing the need to not dismiss the importance of Pakistani perceptions of those activities simply because one thinks they are exaggerated. These activities matter to some in the Pakistani elite and to a broader public that is fed a steady stream of information about them. Countless surveys demonstrate the Pakistani public's peculiar view of the region and their country's activities in it. Public opinion matters to the army, and it will not cooperate with the West's desires unless such cooperation enjoys support among Pakistanis at large. Coercive measures against the army -- which I tend to support to some extent -- are at odds with attempts to persuade Pakistanis of the real nature of the threats their government has brought upon them and the need for immediate action in response. Regarding the formation of perceptions, Pakistan's educational system is, of course, the font of these problems. Alas, Washington has focused entirely too many (wasted) resources on the so-called madrassah problem while failing to acknowledge the much larger problem of Pakistan's public schools, which educate some 70 percent of the student population. (Private schools of varying quality educate another 30 percent of full-time students, with madrassah enrollments largely a rounding error.) Attitudinal surveys of older children in religious, private, and public schools show very different views on militancy, violence, minority rights, and the conflict with India. Private-school students have the most reassuring worldviews, suggesting that those schools, the vast majority of which are not elite, are doing something right. Surely, market incentives could be bolstered to encourage private-school expansion and utilization."

The basic problem with Indo-Pak relations is not India or Pakistan but the rhetoric coming from both sides. It is steeped in half-truths and cynical manipulations of the facts. Please try to be honest with your arguments.

Riaz Haq said...

Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, has been sheltering a Pakistani rebel for several years, much to the annoyance of Pakistan's generals, US embassy cables show.

Brahamdagh Bugti, a leader of the nationalist insurgency in Balochistan province, emerges as a pawn in often stormy relations between Kabul and Islamabad that are spiced with intrigue and failed American efforts to broker a solution.

A stream of Pakistani demands for Bugti's return are stonewalled by Karzai; Bugti is accused of kidnapping a senior UN official; and the Islamabad CIA station chief is roped into an initiative to move Bugti to Ireland that turns out to be based on a false promise.

Bugti's case was a "neuralgic" one for Pakistani generals, Americans believed. The Bugtis are at the forefront of a rebellion that seeks greater economic and political autonomy for Balochistan, Pakistan's largest but least developed province.

The 20-something rebel fled Pakistan in 2006 after surviving a military assault that killed his grandfather, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. Since then Pakistani generals have frequently accused Kabul of secretly sheltering the young rebel.

In 2007, General Pervez Musharraf said Bugti was "enjoying freedom of movement to commute between Kabul and Kandahar, raising money and planning operations against Pakistani security forces".

When the US assistant secretary of state, Richard Boucher, said Karzai had promised that nobody would be allowed to use Afghan territory to attack Pakistan, Musharraf replied: "That's bullshit."

The controversy touches on one of the Pakistani military's core fears: that India could use Afghan-based proxy forces to foment upheaval in Pakistan.

In 2007 Musharraf said he had "ample proof" of Indian and Afghan support for Bugti; the prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, said Bugti had travelled to Delhi on a fake Afghan passport.

American analysis suggests the fear of Indian meddling helps explain Pakistan's support for militant proxies such as the Afghan Taliban; a view supported by a veiled threat Musharraf issued through a US diplomat. "If India wants to continue, let's see what our options will be," he reportedly said.

Karzai, meanwhile, has refused to bend to Pakistani demands to surrender Bugti, accusing Islamabad of using the issue to deflect attention from its support of the Taliban. "Fomenting uprising does not make one a terrorist," he said in one meeting before asking US officials to stop taking notes because the matter was "too sensitive".

In public, Afghan officials have consistently denied sheltering Bugti, but in a meeting with a senior UN official in February 2009, Karzai "finally admitted that Brahamdagh Bugti was in Kabul", the cables recorded.

The admission followed the kidnapping of a senior American UN official, John Solecki, in Balochistan. After Solecki was snatched from Quetta, Balochistan's capital, in early February, Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, told the US he had phone intercepts that proved Bugti had orchestrated the kidnapping.

On 15 February, the US asked the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, to call Karzai , urging him to speak with Bugti and have Solecki released. Karzai agreed, but said he doubted Bugti was involved. US officials later complained that Karzai was blocking American contact with the rebel.

Solecki was released on 4 April in Balochistan. Speaking to the Guardian by phone later that year, Bugti denied any role in the kidnapping, but admitted he was leading the fight against Pakistan's army.

"We want ownership of our own resources, our land, our coastal belt – nothing else," he said. "We want to solve this problem politically; nobody wants to use the gun. But because of what is happening the armed struggle is necessary." Bugti declined to say where he was speaking from.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex CIA Agent and chief Bin Laden hunter Michael Scheuer on ISI:

1. ISI is like all other intelligence services--like the Australian service or the American service.

2. ISI works for the interest of their country, not to help other countries.

3. The idea that ISI is a rogue organization is very popular--and even the Pakistanis promote it---but having worked with ISI for the better part of 20 years, I know the ISI is very disciplined and very able intelligence agency.

4. Pakistanis can not leave the area when we do. They have to try and stabilize Afghanistan with a favorable Islamic government so they can move their 100,000 troops from their western border to the eastern border with India which---whether they see as a bigger threat.

5. We (US) have created the mess and the Pakistanis have to sort it out. Our (US) problems in Afghanistan are of our own making.

6. Al Qaeda has grown from just one platform (Afghanistan in 2001) to six platforms now.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Haq,
Why does your story start only from 1971 to bolster the India against Pak theory? Why don't you factor in the animosity of Pakistan towards India since 1947 that manifested in 1965?
Bangladesh would not be possible only as an external initiative. You cannot take away the internal political backdrop and the Bengali frustration with the Major Pakistan's political discourse. While flanking India from two sides could be a brilliant strategic opportunity for Pakistan in future, it could not hold on to it because of internal bickering. As against what the Punjabi hegemons did, they should have had the foresight to go that extra mile to assuage the Bengali aspirations. When opportunity presented before India, it was only to be taken to neutralize the disadvantage forced upon it. So, please don't give the complete credit for Bangladesh to RAW but rather split the due with Bhutto and Yahya as well. An important signal for Pakistan from that event and the one that has been completely missed was the demise of two nation theory, but the generals have managed to keep the specter alive. Had the lesson been understood, we would not be discussing covert wars now.

Riaz Haq said...

Will #Afghanistan-#Pakistan spy collaboration blunt #India's RAW's covert war against Pakistan? via @Reuters

After years of antagonism and accusations, spy agencies in Pakistan and Afghanistan will now share information, the Pakistani military said, in another sign frosty relations between the neighbors may be gradually thawing.

Improved ties are key to tackling stubborn Taliban insurgencies on both sides of the border but there is a long legacy of suspicion to overcome.

The announcement that a memorandum of understanding between the two intelligence agencies had been signed was made late on Monday by Major General Asim Bajwa, the Pakistan military spokesman, on Twitter.

"MOU signed by ISI & NDS," the tweet read, referring to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security.

"Includes int sharing, complimentary and coordinated int ops on respective sides," it said, referring to intelligence and operations.


As violence in Afghanistan increased, Kabul and its NATO allies accused Pakistan of backing Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan in a bid to maintain influence. Pakistani denied the accusations but made little move against Taliban safe havens in northwest Pakistan.

In recent years, Pakistan began accusing Afghanistan of doing the same thing in revenge.

Two distinct but allied Taliban insurgencies developed, one in Pakistan and one in Afghanistan. Each is dedicated to overthrowing the government in its own country and establishing strict Islamic law. Each has bases across the border.

But since Ghani took office, he has made a concerted push to reassure Pakistan and minimize Indian influence. A plea for Indian arms was quietly put on hold. Six Afghan cadets were sent to train in Pakistan and the Afghan army chief addressed a Pakistani class of military graduates.

There have been no large joint operations between the two militaries and deep suspicions remain.

But U.S. drone strikes against Pakistani militants in Afghanistan have increased, and Pakistani forces have intensified an anti-Taliban offensive in their northwest.

Riaz Haq said...

Excepts from Mission R&AW by RK Yadav:


Page 21

" Wali Khan (son of Abul Ghaffar Khan) wanted moral, political and other support from Mrs. Indira Gandhi. R.N. Kao sent hs deputy Sankaran Nair to negotiate as the Indian representative. Since Pakistan embassy was keeping watch on the movements of Wali Khan, the rendezvous was shifted to Copenhagen in Sweden where Nair and another R&AW man of Indian mission I.S. Hassanwalia met Wali Khan. Subsequently all sorts of Indian Government till 1977 when Indira Gandhi lost election".

Agartala Conspiracy:

Page 197

"In view of the disclosures of S.K. Nair, it is evidently true that Mujib was implicated in the Agartala Consiracy case at the instance of Pakistan Government. However, it is also true that other accused in this case were certainly agents of Intelligence Bureau (IB) in India"

Fokker Hijacking in Srinagar:

Page 227:

There was an agent of R&AW-Hashim Qureshi in Srinagar.......R&AW persuaded Hashim Qureshi to work for them....A plan was devised that Qureshi would be allowed to hijack a plane of Indian Airlines rom Srinagar Airport to Lahore where he would demand the release of 36 members of Al-Fatah who were in jail in India in lieu of the passengers on the plane. He was directed not to give control of the plane to he Pakistani authorities until he was allowed to talk to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, who was the chief architect of instigating political turmoil in Pakistan at the time....After the plan was given final shaoe, on January 30, 1971, Hashim Qureshi along with another operative Ashraf Qureshi, his relative, was allowed to hijack a Fokker Friendship plane Ganga of Indian Airlines with 26 passengers on board, to take the plane to Lahore airport. R&AW allowed him to carry a grenade and a toy pistol inside the plane. Pakisani authorities at Lahore airport allowed the plane to land when they were informed that it had been hijacked by National Liberation Front activist militants of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. All India Radio soon made broadcast of this hijacking and the whole world was informed that the Pakistan Government was behind this hijacking. Qureshi, as directed by R&AW, demanded the release of 36 Al-Fatah members in custody of Indian Government....The incident overtly gave India the right opportunity which was planned by R.N. Kao, to cancel the flights of Pakistan over its territory which hampered the plans of Yahya Khan to send its troops by air o curb the political movement of Mujib in East Pakistan.

Mukti Bahini:

Page 231

Mukti Bahinin-Brain Child of R.N. Kao

Since the Indian Army was not prepared and well-equipped to r an immediate army actio at that point (March 1971), it was planned to raise and train a guerrilla outfit of the Bengali refugees of East Pakistan by R&AW which would harass the Pakistan Army till the Indian Army would be ready for the final assault to the liberation of East Pakistan. She (Indira Gandhi) then asked R.N. Kao, Chief of R&AW, to prepare all possible grounds for the army for its final assault when the clearance from General Maneckshaw was received for its readiness for the war.

Page 242

"..He (Kader Siddiqui) was the main operative of R&AW in the most vital areas of strategic operation around Dacca. He was serving Pakistani Army when his brother brought him back to East Pakistan to complete his interrupted education just prior to the crackdown of the Pakistan Army. Kader...."

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some questions for people who demand concrete proof of RAW's involvement in terrorism in Pakistan today:

What is the concrete evidence that Afzal Guru was an ISI agent and he carried out the Indian parliament attack? Even Indian Supreme Court acknowledged that Mohammed Afzal Guru is not a terrorist and that they have no direct evidence against him.
The thoroughness of the Indian probe can be judged by the court’s remarks. It pulled up the police for faking arrest memos and doctoring telephone conversations, and yet they chose to confirm his death sentence.

What is the concrete evidence that the man named Ajmal Kassab who was hanged in India was an ISI agent responsible for carrying out Mumbai attacks?

1. When you hear the soundtrack of the following confession video, does this man sound like a person born and raised in the town of Faridkot in Okara District of Pakistan's Punjab province? This question is particularly addressed to people of Pakistani Punjab who are familiar with the local accents.

2. Have you ever heard of a "jihadi" seeking "Bhagwan's forgiveness" (at 3:07 min in Dailymotion video clip below) as the man in the "confession video" does?

3. Were these two above questions raised during the trial by the defense attorney assigned to defend Kassab?

4. If you were on a jury called to hear evidence in this case, would you find the man in the video alleged to be "Ajmal Kassab" guilty beyond reasonable doubt?

How do you explain the following remarks in Ajit Doval's 2013 speech made at Sasatra University before he was appointed by PM Modi as his National Security Advisor:

"How do we tackle Pakistan..Use defensive offense..Change the engagement....Pakistan's vulnerability is many many times higher than India. Start working on the vulnerabilities of Pakistan: economic, internal political balance and internal security, isolate them internationally, defeat their policies in Afghanistan, make it difficult for them (Pakistanis) to manage their internal political stability ... Make it unaffordable for Pakistan....You may do one Mumbai, you lose Baluchistan....go for more of a covert thing"

How do you explain Indian Defense Minister Parrikar recent remarks: “If any country, why Pakistan, is planning something against my country, I will take proactive steps. Of course, not in the public domain. But what I have to do, I will do it. Whether it is diplomatic, whether it is pressure tactics or whether it is using the… woh usko bolte hain na Marathi mein kaante se kaanta nikaalte hain… Hindi mein bhi rahega… you have to neutralise terrorist through terrorist only.”

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt from US diplomatic cable from UAE leaked by Wikileak:

1. (S//NF) SUMMARY. On December 15-16, 2009, Treasury Department
Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of Intelligence and
Analysis Howard Mendelsohn, along with GRPO officers and Treasury
analysts, met with senior officials from the UAE's State Security
Department (SSD) and Dubai's General Department of State Security
(GDSS) to discuss suspected Taliban-related financial activity in
the UAE. Prior to these meetings, GRPO and Treasury passed to SSD
and GDSS detailed information on the financing of the Taliban and
other terrorist and extremist groups based in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. .....
4. (S//NF) Mendelsohn acknowledged the important steps the UAE has
taken to combat al-Qaida and the Taliban-to include sending troops
to Afghanistan-and highlighted the importance the USG places on
combating Taliban financing. He stated that the Taliban receives
significant money from narcotics trafficking and extortion, but
noted that the U.S. believes that the group also receives
significant funds from the Gulf, particularly from donors in Saudi
Arabia and the UAE. He further stated that the Taliban and Haqqani
Network are believed to earn money from UAE-based business
interests. Security officials from both SSD and GDSS agreed that
the Taliban and Haqqani Network are serious threats. Officials
from SSD added that Iran supports the Taliban with money and
weapons, helps the Taliban smuggle drugs, and facilitates the
movement of Taliban and al-Qaida members. SSD officials stated
that Iran's IRGC and navy are involved with these activities. GDSS
officials noted Iran's support to Taliban in Pakistan, adding that
GDSS believes that India also has supported Pakistani Taliban and
Pashtun separatists.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian analyst Krishna Kant explains how India's Hindu Nationalist BJP party has unwittingly helped Pakistan by going nuclear:

1. India’s hands and feet are, however, tied behind its back, thanks to nuclear tests by the previous NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The blasts burnished the macho image of the Bharatiya Janta Party but also allowed Pakistan to go nuclear, forever limiting India’s geostrategic options in the region.

2. History suggests that the threat of a nuclear attack is enough to deter powers from entering into a direct conflict with aggressors. This explains why United States is trying to contain North Korea rather than confront it for it cannot afford a nuclear missile attack on South Korea, Japan or worse on its own Western seaboard.

3. We face a similar situation on our western borders. The threat of a nuclear attack has forced us to raise our tolerance level towards Pakistan military transgressions, both on the border and inside the country. Just count the number and severity of cross-border terrorist attack that India has suffered since the 1999 nuclear tests.

4. After going nuclear, Pakistan’s defence spending decelerated and its share in GDP is expected to be decline to around 2.5% in the current fiscal year, slightly ahead of India’s 2%. This is releasing resources for Pakistan to invest in productive sectors such as infrastructure and social services, something they couldn’t do when they were competing with India to maintain parity in conventional weapons.

5. In this environment, a hard talk by (India's NSA) Mr (Ajit) Doval (India should stop punching “below its weight” and “punch proportionately” instead) followed by a high-decibel drama by the government on the National Security Advisor’s talk between the two countries seems nothing more than a show for the gallery. The audience may be applauding right now, but claps may turn to boos as the public realises the inconsistencies in the script and the pain it inflicts on the hero.

Riaz Haq said...

Top #Pakistani #Taliban Commander Khan Sayed Sajna Reported Killed in #American Drone Strike in #Afghanistan. #TTP

An American drone strike on Wednesday killed a senior commander of the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan, near the border with the North Waziristan region of Pakistan, according to Pakistani intelligence officials in the tribal belt.

The commander, Khan Sayed, also known as Sajna, led a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban.

The drone strike occurred in the Damma region in Khost Province, near Shahadianu Patala, a Pakistani town in North Waziristan, the Pakistani intelligence officials said. They said the strike had killed 12 other militants and wounded 20.

Another Pakistani intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, also reported that the commander had been killed in the strike.

The Pakistani officials’ claims have not yet been independently confirmed, partly because of the remoteness of the site and the restrictions on journalists’ access to the area. There was also no immediate comment from American officials, who do not typically comment publicly on drone strikes.

According to local elders, Taliban commanders were meeting to resolve the growing differences among the various Taliban offshoots when the drone strike took place.

“Sajna was a leading figure of the Pakistan Taliban,” said a senior Peshawar-based Pakistani military official who agreed to discuss the commander, a founding member of Tehrik-e-Taliban, the umbrella organization known as the Pakistani Taliban that was formed in 2007 and has been carrying out a bloody insurgency in Pakistan. “Both Pakistani security forces and Americans were after him for long time,” the military official added.

If the commander’s death is confirmed, “it would certainly be a big blow to the Taliban, both in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” said another Pakistani Taliban commander who gave an interview by phone on the condition that his name not be used.

In 2014, Sajna publicly rejected the Pakistani Taliban’s leader, Maulana Fazlullah, and said his faction would continue to fight on its own. The feud erupted after an American drone strike killed Mr. Fazlullah’s predecessor, Hakimullah Mehsud. Sajna said in a statement that he was leaving because “the present leadership has lost its path.”

The number of American drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal area has sharply declined in recent months. The Pakistani military has also recently developed its own drone, which is being used for both aerial surveillance and missile attacks.

Riaz Haq said...

Ajit Doval – The #India spy who spent 7 years in #Pakistan Under Cover as a #Muslim. #RAW #BJP #Modi …

Ever since the Narendra Modi government appointed Ajit Doval the National Security Advisor (NSA), various stories regarding this great Indian spy have been unfolding.
Doval, a highly decorated IPS officer of Kerala Cadre, who retired as Director Intelligence Bureau in 2005, has many interesting and daring stories credited to his stint with the Indian spy agency.

The current NSA, considered as James Bond of India, remained as an undercover agent in Pakistan for seven years posing as a Pakistani Muslim in Lahore.

The NSA has prepared a secret mission to bring India's most wanted man and terrorist Dawood Ibrahim back to India, according to reports.

For years Doval has advocated the improvement of internal security capacities and Defence in a practical manner. Unlike the past NSAs who preferred to look at external issues, Doval concentrates on building India`s internal capacities.

It is the National Security Advisor to whom intelligence agencies such as the Research and Analysis Wing and Intelligence Bureau report, rather than directly to the Prime Minister. Due to such vested powers NSA is a prominent and powerful office in the bureaucracy.

Riaz Haq said...

Times of India Editorial:

A year or so before Ajit Doval became national security adviser, he famously warned Pakistan that a repeat of the Mumbai 26/11attack could lead to Pakistan losing Balochistan. The Doval Doctrine – as it has now come to be known – involves what he calls a “defensive-offensive” strategy where India’s security establishment acquires a sub-conventional secondstrike capability, to be wielded as and when needed.
The Pakistan military establishment is aware that Balochistan is a natural weakness India could exploit with telling impact. In May last year, the Pakistan army’s media machinery all but accused India of fermenting secessionism there.
But here lies the twist. China – as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – sees the Balochistan port of Gwadar as an integral part of its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. Indeed, as former foreign secretary Shyam Saran recently wrote, Gwadar is significant precisely because it is where China’s Maritime Silk Route (“the Road”) meets its Eurasian landbased connectivity project (“the Belt”).
The geopolitical significance of Gwadar to China makes any Indian subconventional response in Balochistan exceedingly complicated. The reality is that the same Balochi rebels who want to secede from Pakistan have also opposed Chinese activities.
This was evident last March when Balochi rebels set fire to five oil tankers servicing a Chinese company. However, it is likely that unrest in that region, organic or manipulated, that hurts Chinese interests could be viewed by Beijing (or could be sold to them), as Indian provocation.
It is also inconceivable that China would sit idle if the separatists, allegedly backed by India, move from being a mere nuisance and acquire the potential to seriously jeopardise their prize – Gwadar – of the $46 billion CPEC investment. China could initiate and enhance its support for militants in the Indian northeast, or worse, encourage and abet Pakistan’s proxy warriors.
Meanwhile, an assertive US AsiaPacific re-balance in the region – in response to China’s naval activism in the South China Sea – is likely to ensure greater US control of the Malacca Strait in order to deter the Chinese from revising marine territorial borders.
China, therefore, seeks alternative routes for its energy supply and goods, which would connect the Strait of Hormuz to a port in the Arabian Sea, along with better land connectivity through the Eurasian landmass.
Even as these new realities reshape multiple arrangements in the region, the challenge for India is to ensure that Balochistan does not transform from being Pakistan’s quagmire to another thorn in the Sino-Indian relationship. India must wean China away from the Gwadar port, and CPEC in general, by offering credible alternatives.
India could fast track its commitment to the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) corridor and invite the Chinese to set up a land connectivity corridor from Kolkata to Gandhinagar, passing through Mumbai. It should also offer to partner with the Chinese to refurbish the NH-6 linking Kolkata to Mumbai.
Finally, it should get the Chinese on-board the Sagarmala initiative, and allow the Chinese to co-develop a port off the coast of Gujarat, which would link up with the Indian-Chinese land connectivity corridor running roughly parallel to the Tropic of Cancer. The financial model for this land initiative could be along the lines of what has been proposed for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor in collaboration with Japan, and implemented through the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in which India is the second-largest shareholder.

I think Pakistan currently has the upper hand in both corridor diplomacy and proxy wars in the region, particularly since 2014 when Pakistan Army started acting forcefully against India's proxies, the TTP and the Baloch insurgents.

I expect India to continue to counter Pakistan in both more forcefully as CPEC nears reality.

Riaz Haq said...

Sarfaraz Merchant breaks silence on evidence of #MQM-#India links. #Pakistan #Karachi #London …

Sarfaraz Merchant, one of the suspects in London money-laundering case also involving top leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), on Tuesday broke silence about party’s alleged links with India.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with Geo News, Merchant said the Scotland Yard in London had seized several lists of weapons during raids at the MQM chief’s residence as part of the money-laundering investigation.

Sarfaraz Merchant, a close friend of senior MQM leader Muhammad Anwar, said that the Scotland Yard told him the political party has been receiving Indian funding.

“I shared the official document about Indian funding to MQM with a senior political figure, who was previously associated with MQM and is presently holding a key position in Sindh government,” he said refusing to name anyone. He said this information was later leaked.

“I was shocked to find that an Indian company in Dubai was transferring money into MQM’s accounts,” he said while replying to a question.

“I have not been in talking terms with MQM leaders since then and have kept a distance from them.”

Merchant said that Muhammad Anwar used to travel to India on regular basis and once also asked him to come along but he refused.

Sarfaraz Merchant said the Scotland Yard has credible evidence of Indian funding to the MQM.

“Scotland Yard showed me a list of weapons, which carried the name and address of Altaf Hussain,” he said.

Merchant conceded that he lent 35,000 UK pounds to MQM during the general elections in 2013. He further said he gave a total amount of 250,000 to MQM on different occasion.

He said he would adopt a legal course to take his money back and would also talk to authorities concerned in Pakistan in this regard.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex #Karachi Mayor Mustafa Kamal says #MQM #AltafHusain #India's #RAW agents, unveils new political party. #Pakistan …

In a fiery tell-all press conference upon his return to Karachi, former city nazim Mustafa Kamal on Thursday announced a new party in a direct challenge to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Flanked by former fellow MQM colleague Anees Qaimkhani, this was the first media appearance by the two leaders after a prolonged absence from local political scene and rifts with the leadership of their former party, the MQM.

Addressing the media at the press conference in Karachi, Kamal lashed out sharply at MQM chief Altaf Hussain, with whom the former Karachi mayor has had a falling out since years since he left the party and moved to Dubai.

Before starting a presser which lasted for nearly two hours, Kamal told those present that the agenda of his press conference would be split into three parts, where he would outline why "I and Anees left the party. Second, why we have come back, and what we will do next.”

Kamal accused Altaf Hussain of insulting party workers several times in public meetings, especially once in May 2013 when he changed the party set up overnight.

He recalled that during his time in the MQM, the party's Rabita Committee would continuously be degraded and insulted by Altaf Hussain within weeks and months, but recently the situation had worsened so much that the Rabita Committee would now be insulted every few minutes.

What was first done in private settings was being done in public through media channels, he said.

He recalled how the MQM Rabita Committee was manhandled by people when the PTI secured 800,000 votes.

He also revealed that a time came when former Interior Minister Rehman Malik would dictate the press releases for MQM, adding that Malik had access to the MQM chief even more than MQM leaders.

'We have come to rebuild'

With tears in his eyes at one point, the emotional leader demanded to know why children of MQM workers continue to bury their fathers. He demanded to know what the agenda is behind all these sacrifices. “Is it to help fund Altaf Hussain's alcoholism, to finance their properties and wealth abroad?” he asked.

"We were a civilized community. We have now been reduced to RAW agents," he said. "What do you want us to see? More arrests? Torture? Martyrs? I agree you have to give sacrifices in movements. We are willing to sacrifice ourselves. But tell me what for?"

Kamal minced no words when claiming why he left the MQM after he realized that all his efforts and hard work was not for the benefit of the people but to fund the ills of one man.

“We have returned today because every child of Pakistan, every party, the establishment of Pakistan as well as the present and past government s know, that Altaf Hussain has links with the Indian intelligence agency RAW,” he alleged.

Also read: Former MQM leader confessed ‘Indian funding’ to London police

“When Dr. Imran Farooq was martyred, and the Scotland Yard started gathering evidence from his residence; they took away a truckload of evidence from his (Altaf’s) residence. For six or seven months, the investigators studied the evidence and documents that they had collected. Then they summoned the members in London, including Altaf Hussain who was interviewed for three days,” he said..

Mustafa Kamal claimed that during the Scotland Yard interviews, they were asked whether they were taking funds from India.

He added that all the individuals denied the allegations for at least 10-15 minutes and then the Scotland Yard began serving them documentary evidence proving all the allegations that they had just denied.

Kamal claimed Altaf was misleading the people of Pakistan that “since he has raised his voice against the establishment of Pakistan, he is being cornered and silenced”.

Riaz Haq said...

Are the two NSAs, Doval and Janjua, scripting the new #India-#Pakistan lexicon of peace? #Modi #Sharif via @htTweets …

They’re talking but not through the media — which they’ve used only to let their actions speak. It’s a relatively new experiment in Indo-Pak relations bedevilled historically by vituperative slugs. Gentle nudges seem to be working for now. The etymology of the new lexicon could be in the growing chemistry — and suggestions of trust — between the two national security advisers.
Their off-camera engagements have yielded results — including a terror alert last week to New Delhi from Islamabad. The optimism stems as much from other signals: Pakistan lodging an FIR on the Pathankot attack; its foreign minister saying a phone number the attackers used was traced to Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Bahavalpur base; the information that JeM chief Masood Azhar is in custody.
Against this backdrop has come a bigger straw in the wind— the hanging on February 29 of Mumtaz Qadri, a police commando who pumped bullets into West Punjab governor Salman Taseer for seeking reforms in the country’s blasphemy laws. Politically, the execution is a big deal for the Sharif brothers — Nawaz and Shahbaz — given its religious-political implications in their home province.
Qadri was deified after the 2011 killing by a rabid assortment of Mullahs and advocates. They feted and garlanded him for taking out the very person he was assigned to safeguard.


Imtiaz Gul of the Islamabad-based Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) underscored the need for an outcome-oriented dialogue to “disincentivise (sic) the theory of victimisation” in Kashmir the militants exploited for popular traction. He didn’t go into details. What’s well known is that Pakistan’s security forces aren’t untouched by the exponential rise of the religious middle-class in the Islamic Republic.
Even the army cannot but pay heed to internal feedback on its anti-terror campaign, said a Lahore-based commentator. The officers promoted to higher ranks now come from the deeply religious middle-class. From Islamabad’s standpoint, that makes advances on the political front with New Delhi ‘imperative’ to balance out action against anti-India jihadists.
So what’s doable in the immediate future? Cognizant though of our army’s position against withdrawing from strategic heights it occupies in Siachen, Pakistani experts consider the glacial confrontation ‘resolvable’ — what with a blueprint inherited from 1989 and revisited in Track-2 military to military engagements. “The psychological factor of an understanding on Siachen will be huge,” said former Pakistan high commissioner to India Aziz Ahmed Khan. But for that to happen the two sides have to develop an equally huge reservoir of trust!

Riaz Haq said...

Dispose of the notion that #India does not do covert operations (#terrorism) against #Pakistan. #RAW … via @thewire_in

Pakistan’s Dunya News channel said that Jadhav had been arrested from the Chaman area of Balochistan, that his address in Mumbai was No 502B Silver Oak, Powai, Hiranandani Gardens and that he had a passport no. L9630722, with a valid Iranian visa made out in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel. The channel said that Jadhav had joined RAW in 2013 and was initially based in Chabahar, the port in Iran which India is helping to develop.

The Indian Express has confirmed that Jadhav does indeed live where the Pakistani report says he does, is the son of a former police official in Mumbai, and is a businessman who had interests around the world, though it has not figured out what business he does.


The first big question is why a commander-level officer would be involved in a cross-border operation. His rank is the equivalent of a lieutenant colonel in the army, and officers of this rank run operations from a distance, they don’t participate in them.


What the Jadhav arrest has done is to bring to the public domain the covert war that India is fighting against Pakistan. We know a lot about the Pakistani war against India, but not so much about the Indian effort. It also opens up the possibility that this war, bitter though it may be, can also be fought with some rules – principally, that arrested agents are treated with dignity, not just by those who arrest them, but in their own home country after they return.

Spies who have served the country with great fortitude and suffered torture and long terms of imprisonment are left to rot when and if they manage to return home, usually after long spells of imprisonment. This is in stark contrast to the practices of countries like Russia, Israel, the US or Britain, which sticks by its men, and, in the right circumstances quietly arranges exchanges.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan releases cofessional video of #India spy Kulbhushan Yadav admitting to #RAW role in #Balochistan: Pakistan …

Pakistan on Tuesday released a video in which an arrested Indian spy is heard confessing New Delhi's alleged involvement in terrorist activities in Balochistan.

Kulbushan Yadav says in the video that he had been directing various activities in Karachi and Balochistan "at the behest of RAW", the Indian intelligence agency, and that he was still with the Indian Navy.

Yadav added that he had played a role in the deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi, Dawn reported.

The video was released at a press conference attended by Pakistan Army spokesman Lt Gen Asim Bajwa and Information Minister Pervez Rashid.

Terming Yadav's arrest a "big achievement", Bajwa said Yadav was directly handled by the RAW chief and Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

"His goal was to disrupt development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with Gwadar port as a special target," Bajwa said.

"This is nothing short of state-sponsored terrorism... There can be no clearer evidence of Indian interference in Pakistan."

Yadav is heard saying in the video that he was still a serving officer in the Indian Navy and would be due for retirement in 2022.

"By 2002, I commenced intelligence operations. In 2003, I established a small business in Chabahar in Iran.

"As I was able to achieve undetected existence and visits to Karachi in 2003 and 2004. Having done some basic assignments within India for RAW, I was picked up by RAW in 2013 end," Yadav said.

He said his purpose was to meet Baloch insurgents and carry out "activities with their collaboration".

Law enforcement agencies arrested Yadav in an intelligence-based raid in Balochistan's Chaman near the border with Afghanistan last week. He held a valid Indian visa.

India denied Yadav was an intelligence operative and said he was formerly from the navy. New Delhi also demanded consular access to Yadav, which has been denied.

Yadav was shifted to Islamabad for interrogation, during which an unnamed official said the spy revealed he had bought boats at the Iranian port in Chabahar in order to target Karachi and Gwadar ports, Dawn reported.

Riaz Haq said...

Since 2013, India's current National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has been talking about "Pakistan's vulnerabilities" to terrorism and India's ability to take advantage of it. The latest arrest of Indian agent Kulbhushan Yadav is confirmation of the Doval Doctrine against Pakistan in action.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan says it has arrested #Afghan intelligence agent in #Balochistan province. #NDS #RAW via @Reuters

Pakistan on Wednesday arrested a suspected Afghan spy believed to be behind assassinations and bombings in its Baluchistan province, security and government officials told Reuters.

The move comes two weeks after Pakistan detained another man it said was an Indian spy who illegally entered the country and was also captured in the mineral rich province.

"The arrested man is an Afghan national living in a rented house in Boghara area at the outskirts of Chaman town. Paramilitary forces raided the house on intelligence and detained him," Manzoor Ahmed spokesman for the paramilitary force said.

"He was working for Afghan spy agency National Directorate of Security (NDS)," Ahmed said. Initial interrogation pointed to an NDS role in killings and blasts in the Baluchistan cities of Chaman and Quetta.

The accused has not been identified and Afghan authorities did not immediately comment on the arrest.

Quetta, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan on Wednesday arrested a suspected Afghan spy believed to be behind assassinations and bombings in its Baluchistan province, security and government officials told Reuters.

The move comes two weeks after Pakistan detained another man it said was an Indian spy who illegally entered the country and was also captured in the mineral rich province.

"The arrested man is an Afghan national living in a rented house in Boghara area at the outskirts of Chaman town. Paramilitary forces raided the house on intelligence and detained him," Manzoor Ahmed spokesman for the paramilitary force said.

"He was working for Afghan spy agency National Directorate of Security (NDS)," Ahmed said. Initial interrogation pointed to an NDS role in killings and blasts in the Baluchistan cities of Chaman and Quetta.

The accused has not been identified and Afghan authorities did not immediately comment on the arrest.

"He was on the payroll of NDS," said Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, spokesman for the Baluchistan government.

Security forces also said they had seized a large arms and ammunition cache due to information gleaned from the Afghan.

Pakistan has uneasy relations with neighbor Afghanistan. Kabul has long accused Pakistan of sheltering the Afghan Taliban insurgency's leadership, a charge Islamabad denies.

For its part, Pakistan has demanded that Kabul do more to capture leaders of the separate Pakistani Taliban. They are believed to have sought refuge on Afghan soil after being dislodged in a Pakistani military operation from North Waziristan along the border.

Pakistan last month said it had detained a spy from regional arch rival India in Baluchistan who had illegally entered from Iran. It later released a videotaped confession by the man.

India has confirmed that the man was a former Indian navy official but denied he was a spy.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts on Sardar Akbar Bugti from Economist Magazine in 2006:

To reach the cave Mr Bugti calls home, your correspondent trekked for a week through scorched valleys and moonlit hills, circumventing army pickets. Though half-crippled by thrombosis, Mr Bugti, who claims to have killed his first man at the age of twelve, was in good spirits. “It is better to die quickly in the mountain than slowly in bed,” he said, surrounded by a silent crowd of Bugti gunmen. A fan of Nietzsche and Genghis Khan, he speaks perfect English and delights in punctiliously-pronounced discourses on the love-life of camels and wreaking horrible revenge on his foes. “What is better than seeing your enemies driven before you and then taking their women to bed?” he says.

While Bugti tribesmen harry the army, a mysterious outfit, the Baluchistan Liberation Army, which the government says is also run by the sardars, is attacking policemen and soldiers across the province. Both groups are believed to have received assistance from India, across the nearby porous border with Afghanistan. In the past few years, 400 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the conflict, as well as several hundred people in army attacks. Pakistan's Human Rights Commission has documented government atrocities, including a massacre of 12 civilians in January.

Mr Bugti has a dreadful history of oppressing his people, yet the grievances he claims to be fighting for are real. Moreover, Pakistanis see the conflict as an extension of an even more unpopular campaign General Musharraf is waging against Pushtun Islamic fundamentalists in the northern tribal areas. In the past two years, for no obvious gain, over 600 soldiers have been killed there—including six on June 26th in a suicide bomb attack in North Waziristan tribal agency.

General Musharraf is believed to be sincere in wanting to bring greater prosperity to Baluchistan—and to make it the hub of Pakistan's energy sector. Yet he seems convinced that to end its insurgency, he has only to crush the bothersome sardars. In that, though, he is wrong.

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...

Has #Pakistan’s #ISI funded insurgents in North-East #India? #RAW #Assam #Bangladesh #Kashmir … via @scroll_in

Faith Unity Discipline: The ISI of Pakistan by Hein Kiessling

In 1990, via the Pakistan embassy in Dhaka, the NSCN and ULFA developed contacts with the ISI. As far back as the 1960s, undivided Pakistan had supplied weapons for the Naga fighters. However, the turbulent developments in East Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh in 1971 led to a temporary halt in this weapons pipeline. Relations were never completely broken off, however, and in the 1980s they were revitalised.

In January 1991, with the help of the ISI, several high-ranking ULFA leaders travelled to Pakistan to sign a training agreement for ULFA cadres. In the same year, two six-member ULFA groups arrived in Islamabad for training; a third 10-member group followed in 1993. The ISI’s auxiliary support for operations of this kind covered more than just the training courses in Pakistan. Well in advance, new identities and fake passports had to be procured, travel routes determined and the financing of the whole operation had to be secured. In this way, the Pakistan embassy in Dhaka became an important ISI station, the hub of its operations in North-East India.

In the ISI directorate in Islamabad, they must have been content with the results of the first training courses for ULFA fighters, since they continued through the 1990s and were extended to include other underground groups. The Indian security forces at one point arrested and interrogated a member of the NLFT, who revealed that between 1997 and 1998 some of their top brass had gone for training with the ISI in Pakistan. The detainee mentioned the names of NLFT leaders, thereby uncovering the whole structure of task distribution and kinship within the top echelons of the group.

Parallel to the Muslim resistance in Kashmir, other Islamist organisations in North-East India were also increasingly active in the 1990s. The main militant Islamist resistance groups in North-East India were: Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam, Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam, Islamic Liberation Army of Assam, United Muslim Liberation Front of Assam, United Reformation Protest of Assam, People’s United Liberation Front, Muslim Volunteer Force, Adam Sena Islamic Sevak Sangh, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Harkat-ul Jihad.

The ISI was always ready to help their friends in North-East India procure weapons. In Thailand, after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia from the 1980s onwards, light weapons and light machine guns awaited prospective buyers, so new supply opportunities opened up. Thus in 1991 the ISI provided weapons from Thailand to a group of 240 NSCN members.

Small boats brought the cargo to Cox’s Bazaar, a port in Bangladesh, which became the hub for weapon supplies in the region. Consequently, two more deliveries were made. In week-long treks the NSCN and ULFA fighters themselves fetched weapons from Bangladesh and brought them back to their bases. On the land route there was the ever-present danger of interception by the Indian Border Security Force, the police in the individual states and by Army units. In fact the fourth delivery was ambushed and the group involved was mostly wiped out. They then switched to longer and more difficult routes, in an attempt to make their delivery paths more secure.

In the initial years of the new arms supply channel, the ISI was obliged to procure and finance the weapons. According to a prominent Naga fighter imprisoned by the Indians, in the 1990s he received three instalments totalling $1.7 million from the ISI for weapon purchases. Later on, the rebels often funded the purchase themselves. Bank robberies, tax extortions, black- mail and the drug trade supplied the means; thus terror began to be self-financing. Such weapons supply routes were running throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium, with Bangladesh as the main trans-shipment point.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Modi Quietly Okays #Balochistan Specialist's Appointment as Next #RAW Chief to Wage #Terror in #Pakistan …

From Indian Defense News dated Dec 5, 2016

Special Director of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) A K Dhasmana is likely to be appointed as the next chief of the country’s external intelligence agency. The 1981-batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IPS officer’s domain of expertise is considered to be Balochistan, counter-terrorism and Islamic affairs. He also has a vast experience on Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has served in key capitals, including London and Frankfurt and has also handled SAARC and Europe desks. The post of the RAW chief is falling vacant on January 31, 2017, with the incumbent retiring after a two-year stint. The RAW chief has a fixed tenure of two years unless the government extends the service length or the appointee. Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Special Director A K Dhasmana is likely to be appointed as the next chief of the country’s external intelligence agency.


Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Special Director A K Dhasmana is likely to be appointed as the next chief of the country’s external intelligence agency. He is considered to be an expert in Balochistan affairs.

In his Independence Day speech this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, “I want to express my gratitude to the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK for the way they whole-heartedly thanked me.... People of a distant land I haven’t even seen....When they thank the Indian PM, it’s an honour for the 125 crore people of the country...”

Implicit in the statement was a veiled threat to the Pak political and military leadership that India too can needle them for the state-sponsored atrocities in these areas held by Islamabad and target that country’s unity and integrity. The PM’s statement came in the backdrop of brazen Pak stance to dedicate its Independence Day to freedom of Kashmir and stoking violence in J&K following Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani’s death. This was the first time an Indian PM raised the Balochistan issue.
Dhasmana is also known to enjoy National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s confidence. He will replace present RAW chief Rajinder Khanna.

India has been pussyfooting on human rights violations in Balochistan though Pakistan has been exploiting the ‘K’ word to the hilt at different international fora.
Officials close to Dhasmana said he is a go-getter and has an extensive network in the region. Through his vast experience and elaborate asset base in the region, he was able to stall the construction of Gwadar port by about six years, a senior agency said.

Meanwhile, the race for the top post in another key covert agency Intelligence Bureau (IB) is also gaining pace with the tenure of current Director Dineshwar Sharma ending on December 31. Three contenders—Special Directors SK Sinha and Rajiv Jain and Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatray Palsalgikar—are in the fray.

Riaz Haq said...

General David Petraeus, former CIA director and commander of US troops in Afghanistan, has said there is no evidence of Pakistan playing a double game and supporting terrorists in Afghanistan. Petraeus' remarks are now particularly significant given the fact that he is on a short list of President-Elect Donald Trump's nominees for Secretary of State. He was answering a question posed to him at a presentation at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British security think tank based in London.

Here's part of Gen Petraeus' response: "I looked very very hard then (as US commander in Afghanistan) and again as CIA director at the nature of the relationship between the various (militant) groups in FATA and Baluchistan and the Pakistan Army and the ISI and I was never convinced of what certain journalists have alleged (about ISI support of militant groups in FATA).... I have talked to them (journalists) asked them what their sources are and I have not been able to come to grips with that based on what I know from these different positions (as US commander and CIA director)".

Riaz Haq said...

Chuck Hagel’s Indian Problem
Said allied nation is funding attacks on Pakistan in Afghanistan in previously unreleased 2011 speech

Secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel suggested in a previously unreleased 2011 speech that India has “for many years” sponsored terrorist activities against Pakistan in Afghanistan.

“India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan” in Afghanistan, Hagel said during a 2011 address regarding Afghanistan at Oklahoma’s Cameron University, according to video of the speech obtained by the Free Beacon.

The controversial comments mark a departure from established United States policy in the region and could increase tensions between the Obama administration and India should the Senate confirm Hagel on Tuesday, according to experts.


Hagel’s 2011 remarks at Cameron University were released to the Free Beacon under the Oklahoma Open Records Act. The university had initially stated that Hagel would have to personally authorize the speech’s release, though no authorization was ultimately granted.

Riaz Haq said...

This #Pakistan Spy Ring Exclusively Recruits #Hindu Boys With Saffron Links. #BJP #India #ISI

On November 12 last year, Jammu and Kashmir police nabbed two people — Dadu and Satvinder Singh — in RS Pura for allegedly spying on military installations. There seemed to be nothing extraordinary about it. After all, 22 other Pakistani spies had been caught in 2016.
But as intelligence agencies began looking at the source of their funds, they stumbled upon a unique, self-sustaining model of finance, based on a telecom fraud, the likes of which they had not encountered in any spy case earlier.
The extent of the fraud that fuelled ISI’s spy network, and possibly its terror cells in India, has been calculated to be over Rs 30,000 crore.
This model, unlike direct hawala routes that spies and terrorist organisations were known to thrive on earlier, generates money from Indian victims who are conned by ISI’s Indian recruits, using Indian telecom services and Indian banks.

Investigators looking into the Pakistani spy ring case have unearthed the involvement of people with remarkably different backgrounds.
From Gulshan Kumar, who worked with the NATO on complex military technology in Afghanistan, to Balram Singh, a young boy from a far flung village in Madhya Pradesh who flaunted his association with the Bajrang Dal did not even complete his matriculation.
But there is one thing that has surprised intelligence officers.
Though the involvement of Hindus working for Pakistani spies or working as their facilitators has been established before, intelligence officers have never found a network of financers to foreign intelligence comprising almost exclusively of Hindus.

Some of them, who’ve been identified and arrested in this case, were card-carrying members of BJP and RSS affiliates like the Bajrang Dal. Many others didn’t hold official memberships but were closely associated with mainstream and fringe Hindu groups.
These were the people who worked directly with Pakistani handlers to fund ISI spies and possibly sleeper cells of terror groups.
And that is not all. Anti-terrorist squads of more than one state are also probing links of the arrested people to Naxals extremists from Bihar and Chhattisgarh. A secret note prepared exclusively by the ATS for the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh has highlighted the background of Manoj Mandal, the latest one arrest in the case from the ‘Naxal-affected’ region of Jamui in Bihar.
A senior ATS officer in Madhya Pradesh, who was part of the team that monitored and carried out most of the arrests made in this case, says investigations have unearthed a network which is way greater than anything they’ve ever seen or handled.

Riaz Haq said...

#London transport authority apologizes to #Pakistan over #Balochistan ads

the TFL said it would remove the #FreeBalochistan adverts, promoted by the World Balochistan Organisation, from buses in London on the grounds that it did not meet with their advertising policy. In the November 14 letter to the Pakistan High Commission in London, made public by the WBO, the TFL cited their policy on not carrying adverts on matters of “public controversy and sensitivity”. Previously, the TFL had ordered the removal of Free Balochistan adverts on the side of black cabs. They also ordered the removal of billboards as part of the same campaign that were on the TFL’s estate.

Taxis that had carried the adverts had been issued with “unfit” notices, and would only be able to carry passengers again once the taxis were inspected by the TFL testing centres, the letter promises. The TFL also apologised for the failure that resulted in the adverts not being brought to their attention before they were put up, as well as the delay in replying to two letters sent from the Deputy High Commissioner for Pakistan in London, following which action was taken.

Riaz Haq said...

#Switzerland denies asylum to #Pakistan’s most wanted man: Brahamdagh Bugti. #Balochistan … @swissinfo_en

Brahumdagh Bugti, the leader of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) who is currently in exile in Geneva, has been denied political asylum by the Swiss authorities. He has been campaigning for the independence of the province of Balochistan from Pakistan.
The decision was communicated to Bugti by his lawyer Carlo Sommaruga on Wednesday.
"The decision mentioned allegations that my party had links to guerrilla fighters waging armed struggle against Pakistan. These allegations were made by Pakistan and another country which is most likely to be China," Bugti told
He added that he will ask the authorities to review their decision and if necessary approach the European Court of Human Rights. The 34-year-old had applied for asylum to India last year after becoming frustrated by the slow Swiss response and the resulting travel restrictions that prevented him from leaving the country.
Asked for comment, the State Secretariat for Migration told by email that “we cannot give information on specific cases as we are bound by regulations concerning the protection of personal data”.

The BRP is banned in Pakistan and the government has named Bugti “one of the most wanted, known Baloch separatists” according to US embassy cablesexternal link published by WikiLeaks.
Since his arrival in Switzerland, Bugti and his supporters have actively campaigned for Baloch independence, much to the irritation of Pakistan. A publicity banner on a Geneva bus recently attracted the ire of Pakistan’s government, which summoned the Swiss ambassador over the incident.
Bugti’s asylum rejection appears to indicate a change in Switzerland’s stance on the Balochistan issue. A week ago, Bugti’s UK-based brother-in-law Mehran Marri, was stopped at Zurich airport and told that an entry ban was in force against him.
"The Swiss government is not pushing me out but making me uncomfortable and frustrated so that I leave voluntarily," says Bugti.

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s secret war against #Pakistan. by Praveen Swami #KulbhushanJadhav #Balochistan #RAW #ajitdoval

he implications of the questions raised by the Kulbhushan Jadhav case go far beyond Jadhav’s fate. It is time India reflects seriously on its expanding programme of covert action and its long-term consequences. By PRAVEEN SWAMI
FOR six hours, the hired car had driven through a forest of shadows, cast by the mountains of Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province—for generations, a refuge for smugglers, insurgents and spies. Heading towards Saravan, a town of 50,000 some 20 kilometres from the border with Pakistan, the car was carrying a businessman from Mumbai to a meeting. The men he wanted to meet were waiting, but there were others, too: like every spy story, this one ended in betrayal.

India knows something of what happened next: Kulbhushan Jadhav is now on death row, awaiting execution, after a hurried trial by a military court in Pakistan which found him guilty of espionage.


Ever since 2013, India has secretly built up a covert action programme against Pakistan, seeking to retaliate against jehadists and deter their sponsors in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate. Led by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, and now by Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW) Anil Dhasmana, the programme has registered unprecedented success, hitting hard against organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Muhammad. But the story of the man on death row illustrates that this secret war is not risk-free. Lapses in tradecraft and judgment, inevitable parts of any human enterprise, can inflict harm far greater than the good they seek to secure.


the Kulbhushan Jadhav case ought to raise questions about whether India’s intelligence bosses are devoting the kind of granular attention that the issue requires to insulate the country from the potential risks. The questions over Jadhav’s passports, the opacity of his business operations and, most important, the lack of transparency about his connection to the Indian Navy, have all made it difficult for the government of India to dissociate itself from his cause—the usual, necessary fate of the spy. It is also not clear why, if he is indeed a spy, he was not withdrawn after Uzair Baluch’s arrest, an elementary precaution.

Perhaps more importantly, there ought to be a serious political debate cutting across party lines on the possible consequences of covert action.


Precedents do exist to resolve situations like this. Gary Powers, the pilot of a CIA espionage flight shot down over the Soviet Union in May 1960—and reviled by his colleagues for not committing suicide—was eventually exchanged for the legendary KGB spy Vilyam Genrikhovich Fisher.

In both New Delhi and Islamabad, there are rumours the two capitals are working on just such a deal—possibly involving former ISI officer Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Zahir Habib, alleged to have been kidnapped by India—or a wider deal, which could see the release of multiple espionage convicts.

Both countries have much to gain from a dispassionate conversation on the case—on the norms that ought to govern covert activity of the one against the other, and on the inexorable consequences of the secret war Pakistan has long run.

For that, the Kulbhushan Jadhav case needs to be elevated above prime-time ranting and opened up for rational discussion.

Riaz Haq said...

How #India secretly armed #Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance. #Indian Ambassador to #Tajikistan Bharath Raj Muthu Kumar coordinated it through NA chief spy Amrullah Saleh who later headed #Afghan intelligence NDS and has good relations with #RAW.

India must not commit the error of placing Indian troops on Afghan soil, says the diplomat who coordinated New Delhi’s secret military assistance to Ahmad Shah Massoud, the military commander of the Northern Alliance, who fought the Taliban and U.S. forces till his assassination in 2001.

For four years, between 1996 and 2000, till he left the Tajik capital Dushanbe to take up his new posting, Ambassador Bharath Raj Muthu Kumar coordinated military and medical assistance that India was secretly giving to Massoud and his forces.

It all began, says Mr. Muthu Kumar, exactly a week after September 26, 1996, when the Taliban, backed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), took over Kabul, shot former President Najibullah dead, castrated him, and hung his body from a lamp post. Just hours before, Indian Embassy staff had scrambled into the last plane out of a country that had begun its descent into hell.

Amrullah Saleh, who looked after Kabul’s interests in the Tajik capital, called Mr. Muthu Kumar to inform him that the “Commander” would like to meet him.

“Commander” was a reference to Massoud, the Lion of Panjshir, who made his name guerrilla-fighting the Soviets when they occupied Afghanistan for 10 years. The Indian ambassador sought instructions from New Delhi on what was to be done. The response: “Listen carefully, report back faithfully, and play it by ear.”

Over chai and dry fruits
Massoud maintained a house on Karamova Ulitse in Dushanbe. He had his own staff and Mohammed Saleh Registani looked after the affairs of his house. It was here that the Indian ambassador regularly began meeting Ahmed Shah Massoud, discussing, over endless chai and dry fruits, the bewilderingly shifting fortunes of the battles in Afghanistan where money was enough to swing fighters. The Commander did not speak English and Amrullah, who would later go on to become Intelligence Chief, interpreted for him. The Indian ambassador subsequently had his number two in the mission, Dr S.A. Qureshi on hand for interpretation.

At the first meeting, the Commander had dramatically thrown his trademark cap down on the table, and declared, that was all the space he required — the circumference of his headgear — to stand and fight for his country. He put it simply: “I need India’s support.” He then set out a list of items he needed.

What is in it for us? Delhi queried. Mr. Muthu Kumar explained, “He is battling someone we should be battling. When Massoud fights the Taliban, he fights Pakistan.”

Expanding list
The Commander’s wish list kept growing, and when once, New Delhi agreed to send only a fraction of the requirement, Mr. Muthu Kumar sent a message explaining Massoud’s predicament with an Ajit joke: “We have thrown him in liquid oxygen: the liquid won’t let him live and the oxygen won’t allow him to die.”

Jaswant Singh, a former soldier, and then BJP leader, who had become External Affairs Minister, read the cables the first thing. He directly called Mr. Muthu Kumar and gave him a message to deliver to the Commander: “Please assure him that he will have his requirements.”

Short of sending heavy equipment, India provided extensive assistance to the Northern Alliance — uniforms, ordnance, mortars, small armaments, refurbished Kalashnikovs seized in Kashmir, combat and winter clothes, packaged food, medicines, and funds through his brother in London, Wali Massoud. Assistance would be delivered circuitously with the help of other countries who helped this outreach.