A28 WHAT IS PAKISTAN UP TO India Abroad May 22, 2015
It is not the first time that the Pakistan army has accused the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency, of fomenting trouble in
Propaganda against India and its security
forces have been a staple ingredient of the
Pakistan army’s proxy war against India for
over three decades now. What is, however,
different this time is the timing and the
possible reasons for such an outburst.
The central premise of the allegations is
that R&AW is behind much of the terrorist
attacks taking place in Pakistan, especially
those happening in Balochistan and the
These allegations have since been magnified many times over by the ISI’s media
wing through a clever media management
strategy exploiting all available media platforms.
It is obvious that the Pakistan army is up
to no good. India should be cautious of
what lies behind this seemingly sudden
provocation. Of the several reasons for this
mudslinging at India, the following are
noteworthy and are being listed in order of
Propaganda has been an important tool
in Pakistan’s asymmetric warfare against
The Pakistan army prepares the ground
for a major attack against India and its
assets by raising the pitch of allegations to
whip up public support at home, to create a
cloak of denial as well a perverse justifica-
tion for any such acts. This has been the
case in the past, including the Mumbai
attacks of 2008.
Part of this plan is to revive terrorism in
Kashmir. All the anti-India groups like the
Lashkar-e-Tayiba, the Jaish-e-Mohammad,
the Hizb-ul Mujahideen and others have
been activated with terrorist camps and
launching pads in place. Recent events in
the Kashmir valley show that a season of
protests and violence is on. Sporadic
attacks against the security forces and the
Amarnath pilgrimage are on this agenda.
This is a clever ploy to spoil Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China by
creating a distraction, thereby steering the
agenda of discussions to issues where both
New Delhi and Beijing have a starkly different position. For instance, the increasing
Chinese presence in Pakistan occupied
Kashmir and the possibility of a larger
Chinese presence in Pakistan and
Afghanistan. The Chinese could very well
be on board with the Pakistani plan.
This in preparation for a major military
offensive against the Mohajir Quami
Movement in Karachi and elsewhere in
Sindh. There is already a major operation
going against the Baloch people in which
innocent men, women and children have
The MQM, a party of Mohajirs (those
who came from India after Partition), has
been a sore point with the army as well as
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan
In fact, Sharif, in collaboration with the
ISI, had earlier engineered a split within
the MQM and carried out a brutal suppression of the Altaf Hussain faction. The
MQM recently has been questioning the
army’s role in curbing terrorism, a stand
which has the made it an enemy in the eyes
of the generals.
Along with the MQM, the army wants to
put down another rebellion happening
elsewhere in Sindh. For a few years, the
army has been quietly quelling a slow but
steady rise of dissent among Sindhi youth.
Like in Balochistan, the army has adopted the brutal ‘kill and dump’ policy. Several
Sindhi young men, mostly from the
University of Sindh, have been kidnapped
by the ISI and their whereabouts have
remained unknown since then.
The Pakistan Human Rights Commission
and other human rights organisations have
documented these disappearances.
This is undoubtedly a move to scuttle any
possible rapprochement with India.
It is no less important for the Pakistan
army that such allegations distract and
mislead public attention from the army’s
colossal failure to contain terrorist groups
which it promised to pursue till the end
after the December 2014 Peshawar attack.
For all the allegations, the Pakistan army
has not come out with any convincing evi-
dence of India’s role in Balochistan or else-
where. The Pakistan leadership have been
raising these allegations with their patrons
in Washington, DC and Beijing for some
time and are reported to have passed on
several files of evidence against India.
It is strange that the media-savvy
Pakistan army has chosen to keep this a
tightly-held secret which, in fact, should
have been other way round.
In 2009, the Pakistan army had chosen
to go public with similar allegations
against India and had held a press conference to make the evidence public.
Incriminating photographs of Indian-made ammunition used by Baloch rebels
were handed over to the media with details
of the connivance.
The Pakistani media splashed it with
abandoned glee only to be proved wrong by
a blogger within hours. The blogger established that the ammunition shown by the
Pakistan army to be of Indian-origin was in
The blog carried the same photographs
released by the Pakistan army but with cutouts showing Chinese inscriptions. That
put an end to the Pakistani campaign.
Wilson John is a Senior Fellow
at the Observer Research Foundation,
‘All the anti-India groups like Le T,
Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen
have been activated with terrorist camps and
launching pads in place,’ says Wilson John.
An Indian soldier stationed near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.