By Sajjad Shaukat
The doctrine of the Indian secret agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is based on the principle of waging continuous secret battles through its agents. Since its creation in 1968, RAW has assumed a significant status in formulation of Indian foreign policy.
While waging their secret battles, RAW’s agents have their presence in almost all regional countries, implementing various tactics of psychological warfare. In this context, M. K Dhar in his book, “Open Secrets, India’s Intelligence Unveiled” points out, “RAW’s operations against the regional countries are conducted with great professional skill and expertise, which include the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It has used propaganda, political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness and criminal elements to foment subversion and terrorism to weaken these states in conssonance with Indian regional ambitions.” However, application of these nefarios designs vary from country to country as RAW’s secret batlles in the following countries proves.
Sikkimwas the easiest prey for RAW and India annexed it in mid-1970s. The King of Bhutan has been reduced to the nominal position by acting upon Indian dictates.
Under a well-orchestrated plan of RAW, on November 30 1988, 400 well-trained mercenaries infiltrated and stormed the capital of Maldives. Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi reacted promptly by sending about 1600 combat troops who flushed out the attackers from the streets. In this way, Maldives was totally brought under Indian influence.
Sri Lanka offers an unprecedented example of incursion by RAW’s agents as violence kept on going in the country for a long time. In this regard, Jain Commission revealed that since 1981, RAW established 30 training bases in India for clandestine support to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), some of whom were already on the payroll of this agency. In the recent past, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa that rights and safety of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka should be upheld.
For many years, India has openly been meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs by contriving internal strife through RAW in order to destabilize the successive governments and prop up puppet regimes. In 2001, RAW had played a key role in the massacre of nine members of the Royal family of Nepal, when the former King tried to drift away from Indian hold.
In the recent past, Indian-backed monarchy in Nepal was abolished after a long struggle of the Maoists who won the elections in April 2008.Now Nepal’s leadership has forsaken India and has tilted towards China whom New Delhi considers its strategic rival in Asia. But despite the victory of the Maoists, Nepali Congress and the former had been unable to reach a deal on power-sharing. Availing the opportunity, RAW’s agents who were well-penetrated in Nepali Congress and various government departments have been manipulating the situation so as to create lawlessness to bring Nepal back to Indian influence.
In the recent past, RAW-supported Tibetans in Nepal have held protests against China’s rule over Tibet. In this regard, on March 10, 2008 when anti-government protests by Buddhist monks had erupted in Tibet, flaring in nearby provinces.Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet who has lived in exile in India along with his 120,000 followers has been tacitly encouraged by RAW’s secret warriors—enabling him to mobilize armed groups and international support to create instability in Tibetan regions of China.
As regardsBagladesh, surprisingly, RAW had also created insurgency force: The Shanti Bahini (Fighters for Peace). The agency has been involved in training rebels of Chakma tribes (Hindu and Buddhists tribesmen)and Shanti Bahini to carry out subversive activities in Bangladesh.
In August 17, 2005, RAW’s elusive masterminds rocked various districts of Bangladesh with 370 explosions.Indian security agencies and media advised the central government to force Khaleda Zia to clamp down on Islamic fundamentalist outfits. A study of the post-blast behaviour of New Delhi indicated that those blasts were conducted by Indian intelligence agency, RAW to destablize a pro-China Bangladesh.
So far as Pakistan is concerned, the country has become a special target of RAW’s secret battles. In this connection, fundamentalist Hindus give credit to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970s gave RAW a new role to suit her Indira Doctrine specifically asking it to undertake covert operations in Pakistan. RAW mobilised all its resources by exploiting political turmoil in East Pakistan in 1971 which it had created through its agents. Nevertheless, its intrigues culminated in the dismembermet of Pakistan.
At present, New Delhi has established more than 200 foreign offices and training camps in Afghanistan where RAW’s intelligence officials with the help of Khad and tactical support of CIA are doing their utmost to weaken Pakistan by sending weapons to the separatist elements in Balochistan and particularly to the insurgents of FATA regions. In Wakhan, a religious Madrassa of the Indian Muslim clerics is functioning under the patronage of RAW and Mossad. Very young boys including Afghans, recruits are mostly from Central Asia, bordering Afghanistan. Thus more than 20,000 ideologically motivated terrorists are intermittently being infiltrated into troubled spots of Pakistan. Posing as volunteers, they join the Taliban militants to fight against Pakistan’s security forces. These miscreants also conducted a number of suicide attacks, bomb blasts and targeted killings in Pakistan, killing a number of innocent persons and personnel of the security forces. In Kurram Agency, RAW’s Afghan agents were also actively involved in the sectarian conflict. However, their main plot is to create chaos in our country.
Even in Afghanistan, acting upon the old policy of divide and rule, it is owing to the tactics of RAW that Muslims are killing the Muslims either they belong to Afghan forces or Taliban.
The campaign of RAW’s battles sharpens as violence takes some other dimensions in case of Kashmir. As regards the current phase of Indian state terrorism, it began on August 12, 2008 when Indian forces killed Hurriyat Conference leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz in the occupied Kashmir. At present, indefinite curfews, crackdowns and killings by the Indian security forces keep on going against the non-violent mass uprising of Kashmiris. More than 1000 innocent people have been killed by the Indian forces so far. Nevertheless, since 1989, Indian military troops backed by RAW’s clandestine moves have been using all inhuman methods of ethnic cleansing to disturb the majority population of the Kashmiris.
In the recent years, hundreds of unidentified graves with at least 2000 bodies have been discovered in the Indian-held Kashmir. These Kashmiris were tortured to death by RAW.
One of the important roles of RAW is to thwart Sino-Pak strategic relations. In this context, fast growing economic power of China coupled with her rising strategic relationship with the Third World has irked the eyes of Americans and Indians. Owing to this jealousy, support of the US to India for a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council and US-India nuclear agreement are part of American desire to make India a major power to counterbalance China in Asia.
Nevertheless, Beijing and Islamabad cannot neglect their common defence when their adversaries are following a covert strategy. In this respect, Pakistanand China have signed a number of agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse sectors including energy, telecommunication, trade and space technology. China also agreed to supply nuclear reactors to Pakistan.
China will also be able to use the Karakoram Highway and ports of Gwadar (which links C. Asia) and Karachi for transporting its goods to the Middle East and Africa.
It is mentionable that on April 18, 2008, Foreign Minister Shah MehmoodQureshi had openly claimed that “some external forces were trying to weaken Pak-China strategic ties by creating misunderstandings.”
Nonetheless, in New Delhi, it does not matter who is at the helm of affairs, policy of manipulation and subversion in neighbouring states through RAW’s secret battles in order to extend Indian regional hegemony, continues unabated.
Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.