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TTP Connections By Sajjad Shaukat

TTP Connections

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

In the recent past, new wave of terrorism in Pakistan’s province of Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa killed several innocent people, while various terrorist outfits such as the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) and the affiliated faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (TTP-JA also known as JuA) claimed responsibility for these brutal acts. TTP based in Afghanistan have its connections with ISIL and other terrorist organizations and affiliated terror groups, including Baloch separatist elements and is promoting the anti-Pakistan agenda of the foreign entities to destabilize Pakistan. These terror outfits are misguiding the general masses by misusing the concept of Jihad and provoking them for suicide assaults.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides other similar terror attacks, at least 15 innocent men, women and children were killed in and around 80 people were injured on February 13, 2016 when a suicide bomber struck outside the Punjab Assembly on the Mall Road (Charing Cross) in the eastern city of Lahore during a peaceful protest of the chemists and pharmacists against a new law.

 

The affiliated faction of the TTP, the TTP-JA or JuA took responsibility for the deadly suicide bombing in Lahore.

 

In this respect, the rebuttal of the Shuhada Foundation of Lal Masjid to the claim of TTP-JuA that Lahore Charing Cross attack was perpetrated to revenge the killing of Abdul Rasheed Ghazi is surprising; however, it depicts growing abhorrence for terrorists in our society. Every religious scholar of Pakistan condemned the TTP for this attack by the Shuhada Foundation, which also manages media campaign of Maulana Abdul Aziz, is a major upset for TTP. TTP attributes its genesis of Lal Masjid Operation and it often publishes articles and statements on this issue in its magazines to provoke general public. The outrage of people associated with Lal Masjid against TTP is, therefore, a major defeat of faulty narratives of terrorists in Pakistan.

 

Maulana Abdul Aziz is a person of dubious character and people under his influence are also not constant in their thinking. In the past, they have been supporting TTP’s terrorism in Pakistan and they allegedly expressed allegiance of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and DAISH. We hope they will adhere to their statement that leaders of TTP-JuA are agents of Indian RAW and they are killing innocent Muslims in their anti-Islam activities in Pakistan. Reportedly, the son of late Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, Haroon Rasheed Ghazi has also condemned TTP’s terrorism and has asked for a political settlement of issues in Pakistan. Such statements are positive omens and reflect that the space for violent extremist Jihadi narratives is even shrinking in religious groups.

 

The nexus of Al-Qaeda, DAISH, and TTP has killed 55 thousand innocent Muslims in their terrorist attacks in Pakistan so far in the name of Jihad. Militant leaders like Fazullah, Mohammad Khorasani and Ahsanullah Ahsan with their unholy hearts and evil minds defend their attacks like that of Army Public School of Peshawar and that of Bacha Khan University in which only little children and students were brutally massacred. Pakistan’s military and civil high officials strongly condemned the attack and recent terror attacks by pointing out their connections in Afghanistan.

It is notable that as part of the dual strategy, CIA, RAW, and Mossad are in connivance with the Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS) and other terrorist groups. With the latest capture of six NDS supported terrorists in Balochistan, the number of NDS backed terrorists arrested and killed by Pakistani intelligence agencies has crossed over 126. These external secret agencies are particularly supporting the TTP which is hiding in Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan. Reportedly, Mullah Fazlullah led TTP is behind the fresh wave of terror activities inside Pakistan, as the latter has also become the center of the Great Game owing to the ideal location of Balochistan. These intelligence agencies, especially Indian RAW is trying to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

 

After the recent terror assaults in Pakistan, a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that senior Afghan diplomats were summoned to the General Headquarters (Of army) over the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Pakistan and asked to ensure that immediate action was taken against the Pakistani terrorists living in safe havens in their country.

 

The army, which took the lead in dealing with Afghanistan over the terrorist sanctuaries there, had announced the closure of the border crossings with Afghanistan citing security reasons.

 

According to the statement of the DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor, on February 17, 2017, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa appealed to the nation to stay calm by saying, “our security forces shall not allow hostile powers to succeed…each drop of nation’s blood shall be avenged and avenged immediately…no more restraint for anyone.”

 

Gen. Javed Bajwa had called Gen John Nicholson, commander of the US’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan to protest continued acts of terrorism in Pakistan perpetrated from Afghanistan, saying that they were testing Pakistan’s policy of cross-border restraint.

 

Gen. Bajwa told Gen. Nicholson that recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan had been claimed by terrorist organizations whose leadership is hiding in Afghanistan, and asked him to play his role in “disconnecting this planning, direction, coordination and financial support”.

 

In a terse message, during the conversation with Nicholson, Gen. Bajwa also informed him of the list of 76 “most wanted” terrorists handed over to Afghan authorities earlier—operating from Afghan territory or hand them over to Pakistan for trying them over their involvement in terrorism.

 

Taking cognizance of the terror assaults, Pakistan Army targeted a training camp of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and militant hideouts located close to the Pak-Afghan border in areas adjacent to Mohmand and Khyber agencies.

 

In a similar message to Kabul, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz called Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar to call for strong action against JuA and terrorist’s sanctuaries in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Office of Pakistan said that Afghanistan had been asked to address concerns about the presence of terrorist groups on its soil, which are behind the latest wave of terrorism in the country.

 

It is notable that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, while addressing a press conference on February 17, this year claimed that the suspects involved in planning an

 

 

d carrying out the Feb 13 suicide bombing on a protest at Lahore’s Charing Cross belonged to Afghanistan. Sharif also announced the arrest of the facilitator of the attacker, Anwar-ul-Haq who he said belonged to Fata’s Bajaur Agency which neighbours Afghanistan. The suspect’s confessional statement was aired during the briefing. The suspect stated: “I was associated with Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and they trained me”, adding that he has visited Afghanistan around 15 to 20 times.

 

Nevertheless, TTP related terrorist groups and extremist religious leaders, having connections in Afghanistan are following the agenda of enemies against Islam and Pakistan with the aim to create fear and panic in the society to weaken the whole country. Therefore, all eminent religious scholars and Grand Muftis have already rejected the deviant ideology of terrorists and declared that unjustified killing of innocent people is entirely prohibited in Islam. All brutal acts of terrorists are aimed at discouraging general masses from challenging their existence and their radical religious views. Unity of whole Ulema (Religious scholars) of Pakistan has proved that people of Pakistan will never bow down in front of heinous crimes of terrorists and will win the war against terror.

 

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Racial profiling of Pashtuns by Brig. (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Racial profiling of Pashtuns

Asif Haroon Raja

Ali Wazir has posted a video clip on social media showing Punjab Police manhandling some persons. He has craftily given a twist to the story by projecting the Pashtuns living in Punjab as the victims. I am sure, he must have been handsomely rewarded by RAW or NDS for this villainous act which has raised the tempers of the Pashtun community. Imran Khan added fuel to fire by giving a color to anti-terrorism drive in Punjab as racial profiling of the Pashtuns. Opposition leader Khurshid Shah sprinkled more oil on the hurt feelings of Pashtuns. The Pashtun nationalists took to twitter to vent their anger. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly has passed a resolution demanding an immediate halt to anti-Pashtun campaign in Punjab and has warned of dire consequences if it is not stopped. Asfand Wali threatened to oust Punjabis from KP. Pamphlets are in circulation. Within no time, Afghan social media posted series of fake videos to paint Pashtuns as victims of Punjab vandalism. Altaf Hussain sitting in London also sung the same song. Liberal and progays Marvi Sarmad tweeted in favor of Pashtuns. The speed with which all of them have ganged up for a fake cause is quite intriguing. None bothered to see that the clip going viral on social media relates to a 15 years old incident in Baluchistan province and not Punjab, in which suspected Afghans were rounded up by the police. The clip seems to be cleverly doctored. Notorious Jibran Nasir is the main instigator behind racial profiling memo.

 

 

 

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Coming weeks are likely to witness the shrill exchange of hot words and accusations between the KP and Punjab governments, duly aggravated by social media, which is already working on someone else’s agenda. The purpose behind exacerbating ethnic feelings is to drive a wedge between the Punjabis and Pashtuns. The two communities have been at peace and enjoying most cordial relations in all the provinces and never picked up arms against each other. Pashtuns settled in Punjab do not wish to return to KP.  

The juvenile reaction of nationalist Pashtuns is a consequence of the nationwide operation Raddul Fasaad that was launched in the wake of a new wave of terrorism unleashed from the soil of Afghanistan in which targets were struck in all the four provinces and almost 200 people were killed. It was gathered that the handlers and facilitators in each incident were from inside Pakistan. The whole trail has been unearthed after arresting the accomplices. The security forces have no political axe to grind and go after terrorists only who have no religion or ethnic identity.    

The main objective of the operation is to destroy leftover hideouts/camps of terrorists both sides of the Durand Line, get hold of handlers, facilitators, carriers and financiers of terrorists, demolish sleeping cells and terrorists network in urban centres, choke funds and supplies by  further improving border management, and expedite implementation of 20 points of National Action Plan (NAP). This operation in which all the three services are taking part under a coordinated plan had been necessitated in the wake of dangerous agenda of enemies of Pakistan to destabilize, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan. For the achievement of their sinister goals, they have been making all out efforts through paid proxies and propaganda war to make Pakistan insecure and to make CPEC less attractive for outsiders.

India has all along been resorting to subversive activities in Pakistan to breed misgivings, disenchantment and hatred between smaller provinces and Punjab on the basis of socio-politico-economic grievances, stir up provincialism by encouraging fissiparous tendencies, stoke ethnicity and sectarianism, widen religious divides and sharpen political polarization and befriend 5th columnists and disgruntled elements. India helped by its moles in Pakistan has been playing its role in making power centres fight with each other and in spoiling civil-military relations.

The purpose behind subversion is to keep Pakistan perpetually politically unstable, economically weak and internationally isolated and discredited. A segment of Pakistani media, NGOs, and pseudo-intellectuals on the payroll of foreign powers have been instrumental in sensationalizing weak points and undermining strengths.

Former NWFP was already in the grip of Pakhtun nationalism at the time of partition and Pakhtunistan stunt championed by Khan Brothers (associated with Indian Congress) and had the support of Kabul. The movement has still not died down since the likes of Asfandyar Wali and Mahmood Achakzai, helped by India and Afghanistan, carry forward this agenda. Billboards of ‘Greater Pakhtunistan’ were on display in KP during the last PPP rule. 

After successfully stoking Bengali nationalism and building hatred against West Pakistan in general and Punjab and Army in particular, India accomplished its mission of separating East Pakistan from the body of Pakistan in 1971.

RAW was next mandated to achieve similar results in Sindh and Baluchistan. Sindhi and Baloch nationalism were fueled in the two provinces to intensify hatred against Punjab and the Federation. RAW’s efforts gave birth to Sindhu Desh movement of Sindhi nationalists led by late GM Sayed in Sindh. Baloch insurgency led by Marris and Mengals in Baluchistan in the 1970s was a follow up of earlier rebellious tendencies of some Baloch Sardars and of Samad Achakzai in Baluchistan. Under the name of Baloch nationalism, settlers were targeted and forced to migrate. The Baloch insurgency was fully supported by KGB, RAW, and KHAD.

Having succeeded in subverting the Sindhis, RAW stimulated anti-Sindhi sentiments among the Urdu-speaking settlers in urban Sindh and pitted new Sindhis against old Sindhis, again on the basis of socio-economic grievances. Altaf Hussain established APSMO in 1978 and created MQM in 1984. RAW handed him the blueprint plan of Mujibur Rahman led Awami League, how to go about separating urban Sindh from rest of Pakistan and creating a new state for the Mohajirs. Altaf was glamorized and popularized among the Urdu speaking community as their hero. Besides blaming the Sindhis, Altaf and his disciples blamed the establishment and agencies for the woes of Mohajirs. This line was adopted to project the Mohajirs as victims and to hide fascist and terrorist activities of the MQM aimed at controlling Karachi and Hyderabad through terrorism. A stage came when the MQM militants indulged in bloody duels against the Sindhis and settlers from other ethnic communities in Karachi in the late 1980s. Three operations were launched in the 1990s to control MQM militancy.

After 9/11, FATA was created as a new conflict zone by RAW and its allied agencies to fan terrorism in Pakistan. TTP was created with an ostensible aim of demolishing the existing governing structure and replacing it with Sharia-based system and establishment of Islamic Emirate. The real aim was however to stoke chaos, pin down a sizeable portion of Army in the northwest, and destabilize the country. Despite launching several large size military operations such as Rah-e-Raast, Rah-e-Nijat and Zarb-e-Azb, and recapturing the entire space captured by the TTP and its affiliates, terrorism couldn’t be rooted out.

The reason is that Afghanistan that had been converted into a strategic launching pad for cross-border terrorism in Pakistan in 2002 is still fully operative. All the planners, executors and coordinators of covert war sit under one roof at Sehra Neward Intelligence Centre north of Kabul and their objectives against Pakistan remain unchanged. The other reason is the Pakistani power wielders providing protection and funds to the terrorists and the natural alignment of the religious right with the TTP and other so-called religiously motivated militant groups.

Former Army chief Gen Raheel was right in stating that terrorism cannot be rooted out unless financiers, handlers, and facilitators are taken to task and the nexus of financial terrorism, corruption and terrorism is broken. The military prong which achieved over 80% progress couldn’t achieve conclusive results because of the bases in Afghanistan and backing of terrorists by foreign patrons and local supporters.     

Baluchistan that was peaceful from 1979 to 2003, was made restive in 2004 and this time Bugtis were made to join the Marris and Mengals as well other Baloch nationalists to wage province-wide insurgency backed by RAW, NDS, CIA, MI-6, Mossad. Socio-economic deprivations were once again drummed up and Nawab Akbar Bugti was made into a hero to promote Baloch nationalism. Punjab was held responsible for the backwardness of the province. Mega development projects were objected to and the Army, FC and intelligence agencies demonized on the made-up allegations that they were responsible for the Baloch missing persons and mutilated bodies. Sectarianism was fanned by targeting Hazara community in Baluchistan.

In September 2001, Altaf residing in London since 1992, gave an undertaking to Tony Blair of MQM’s full support in the war on terror. From 2008 onward, the re-strengthened MQM undertook planned destabilization of Karachi, the economic hub of Pakistan, so as to further bleed Pakistan’s economy. A spate of target killings, kidnappings for ransom and extortion was unleashed and the daily score of target killers was 10-12. Altaf kept raising alarm bells about the threat of Taliban and Pashtun settlers to the peace of Karachi, which in actuality had been ruined by the Sindh ruling coalition of PPP, MQM, and ANP. Sindh had begun to die an economic death.

Karachi was stabilized after a targeted and intelligence based operation was launched by the Rangers equipped with police powers under Article 147 of the Constitution in September 2013. However, MQM which was mainly responsible for lawlessness made a hue and cry that the operation was not even-handed and was Mohajir focused. When the Rangers started nabbing the ones involved in financial terrorism and went after some in interior Sindh, the ruling PPP started creating impediments in the way of Rangers.

The RAW sponsored MQM in Karachi has got divided into four factions – MQM London, MQM Pakistan under Farooq Sattar, Pakistan Sar Zamin Party under Mustafa Kamal and MQM Haqiqi under Afaq. Its militant structure has been broken and Altaf is debarred from making speeches on phone to instigate violence. Altaf is now the most hated man in Pakistan and a red warrant for his arrest by Interpol has been issued. Ironically, he is now trying to portray himself as a friend of Pashtuns and is openly espousing the agenda of enemies to break Pakistan into pieces. He is equating Indian atrocities against Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir with Rangers operation in Karachi against Mohajirs. Like Mujib, he is threatening the government to stop operation Raddul Fasaad or else face annihilation of Army.  He is exhorting his followers to get ready for the final battle against the Army and is seeking another Gen Arora like General in India.   

PPP, MQM, and PTI demanded an operation in Punjab arguing that it was also prone to crime and terrorism. They quoted the presence of Punjabi Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Sipah Sahaba and Chotu gang in South Punjab. This demand was put in with an eye on elections in 2018, hoping that action against Punjabi militants will dilute the vote bank of PML-N in Punjab.

Punjab government expressed reluctance on the plea that law and order situation in Punjab was under control and developments works were proceeding smoothly.  It was owing to persistent demand of other provinces and the terror attack in Lahore on February 13th that it was decided to include Punjab in the ambit of operation Raddul Fasaad as well.

Some Inferences

As a result of RAW’s subversion, Pakistan had to face Sindhu Desh movement and MRD movement in interior Sindh, Mohajir movement in urban Sindh, Baloch separatist movement in Baluchistan, low-keyed Saraiki movement in southern Punjab, TTP insurgency in the northwest, and Balwaristan movement in Gilgit-Baltistan, each aspiring for a separate state outside the concept of Pakistan. Effective measures taken by the incumbent government, security forces and law enforcement agencies has taken the wind out of the sails of all the movements/insurgencies. 

Till 9/11, India was the support base for all the rebel groups/political parties in Pakistan. After the occupation of Afghanistan by the US in November 2001, Afghanistan has become the operational base. RAW has also been making use of Iranian territory for carrying out sabotage and subversion in Baluchistan and Karachi. Rajgarh and Ramgarh in Rajasthan continue to be used for dispatching supplies to the terrorists in Sindh, interior Baluchistan, and southern Punjab.

The proxies undertaking terrorism in Pakistan are the TTP, its breakaway faction Jamaat-al- Ahrar (JA), Lashkar-e-Islam, LeJ, Al-Alami, IMU and TTA based at Kunar, Nuristan and Nangarhar since 2009. RAW and NDS have outsourced terrorism and have circulated a menu-like price list to all these groups. Rupees 4 million is spent on a single suicide mission.

In Baluchistan, major proxies are BLA, BRA, BLF that used to operate from interior Baluchistan but now mostly operate from Spin Boldak and Lashkargah in Afghanistan. Their leaders espousing separatist agenda are housed by Britain, America, and Switzerland. A red warrant has been issued against Brahamdagh Bugti. Large numbers of Baloch fighters have voluntarily forsaken militancy and joined the mainstream thereby taking the steam out of the separatist movement. 

In Baluchistan, major proxies are BLA, BRA, BLF that used to operate from interior Baluchistan but now mostly operate from Spin Boldak and Lashkargah in Afghanistan. Their leaders espousing separatist agenda are housed by Britain, America, and Switzerland. A red warrant has been issued against Brahamdagh Bugti. Large numbers of Baloch fighters have voluntarily forsaken militancy and joined the mainstream thereby taking the steam out of the separatist movement. 

Baluchistan has weak border management and 95% of its territory is in control of ill-trained and corruption-prone Levies that are controlled by Sardars. Owing to over a dozen crossing points, it is more vulnerable to infiltration and requires concrete steps to prevent cross-border movement.  

Foreign agencies have been fishing in the camps of 3 million Afghan refugees residing in KP and Baluchistan since 1979 to find handlers and facilitators as well as saboteurs. They take full advantage of the porous western border with negligible border control mechanism. Apart from the socio-economic burden, unregistered among them have become a security hazard and has forced the government to expedite their return and also to verify them. Vested groups are however making hue and cry and making it into a political issue. Arrest and interrogation of suspected Afghan refugees are being mixed up with Pakhtun racialism.     

Daesh joined up with JA and TTP and has made Nangarhar as its base camp for fighting Afghan Taliban as well as striking targets and making inroads in Pakistan. Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, supervising the whole covert war against Pakistan had facilitated Daesh marriage with JA-TTP in 2015.

All bases of TTP and its affiliates have been busted in the northwest and so have the Farari camps in interior Baluchistan. Since the start of 2015, all acts of terror emanate from Afghanistan right under the nose of NATO and CIA.

Afghan unity government which is a puppet in the hands of Washington and Delhi has adopted a hostile posture against Pakistan. It is averse to border management since it will prevent cross-border terrorism and also expose its oft-repeated claim that instability in Afghanistan is owing to terrorism springing from Pakistan. It has taken no step to dismantle safe havens of TTP and JA, and to close down Pakistan specific India consulates filled with RAW officers, or to rein in NDS.

For the first time, Pakistan has changed its defensive posture to offensive defence and has struck JA and TTP terror camps across the western border with precision. Western border has been closed. Pakistan has handed over a list of 76 most wanted terrorists belonging to these banned groups to Kabul for their extradition.

 An equally aggressive posture has been adopted along the LoC in Kashmir, which India has intentionally kept on the boil to distract the attention of the world from its atrocities in occupied Kashmir, which is slipping out of its hands. Gen Qamar Bajwa has given a loud message that he means business.    

Safety of the CPEC and Gwadar seaport has been ensured by deploying a division size force, while the Marine Force of Navy has been mandated to guard the coastline, exclusive economic zone and the sea lanes in the Arabian Sea.   

Frustrated by the failure of multiple covert efforts including pitting Deobandis against Barelivis, the enemies of Pakistan have devised a new plan to trigger Pashtun-Punjabi ethnic war to fail Operation Raddul Fasaad.

Punjab government will have to ensure evenhandedness in the ongoing operation in Punjab to allay the fears that Pashtuns are being racially profiled. At the same time, leaders of smaller provinces should also behave responsibly and avoid pouring scorn on Punjab for petty political gains.

Ongoing efforts to denigrate and topple the elected federal and Punjab governments will serve the interests of enemies only and will do no service to the country. What is needed is unity of federating units and a joint strategy to eliminate the scourge of extremism and terrorism.

There is a direct linkage between the terrorists and terror financing. This financing has a direct linkage with Mega Corruption lorded over by the politicians, particularly in Sindh who are raping the economic hub of the country like parasites. The police, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary in Sindh are playing the role of facilitators. Their thorough politicization has blunted the system of accountability.

No effort is in hand to reform the police, bureaucracy and criminal justice system. Till these flaws are doctored, NAP implemented in real earnest, the operational base of Afghanistan neutralized, and the border is effectively guarded, the military prong at its own will not be able to root out terrorism.

Lastly, law enforcement agencies will have to further polish the systems of investigation, intelligence gathering and sharing mechanism and rapid response system to achieve tangible results.     

The writer is a retired Brigadier, a war veteran, a defence analyst, a columnist, an author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, and is the Director of Measac Research Centre. Email: asifharoonraja@gmail.com  

 

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A Eulogy of RAW By CFR

 

This is a typical article published by CFR  an Indian and Zionist top heavy pro-India Think Tank in Washington. Subconscious bias, Islamophobic bigotry, and pro-India tilt is self-evident in this subtle propaganda.
A EULOGY OF RAW

HOW JEWS & HINDUS OF CFR INFLUENCE US POLICY ON PAKISTAN THRU POLICY BACKGROUNDERS 

Introduction

 

 

 

 

 

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India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has long faced allegations of meddling in its neighbors’ affairs. It has shifted its focus to India’s other traditional rival, Pakistan. RAW and Pakistan’s spy agency ISI. Founded in 1968, primarily to counter China’s influence, over time 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 growingdiplomatic 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.

Founded in 1968, primarily to counter China’s influence, the agency has shifted its focus over time to India’s other traditional rival, Pakistan.

RAW’s first leader, Rameshwar Nath Kao, led the agency until he retired in 1977. Many experts, including officers who worked with him, credit Kao with RAW’s initial successes: India’s triumph in the 1971 war with Pakistan, and India’s covert assistance to the African National Congress’s anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. “To a large extent, it was Kao who raised RAW to the level of India’s premier intelligence agency, with agents in virtually every major embassy and high commission,” writes Singh. But the organization has been criticized for its lack of coordination with domestic intelligence and security agencies, weak analytical capabilities, and complete lack of transparency.

The Structure and Function of RAW

Not much is known regarding the structure of RAW, say experts. The organization started with 250 people and about $400,000. It has since expanded to several thousand personnel, but its staffing and budget remain secret. However, an estimate by the U.S.-based Federation of American Scientists suggests that in 2000, RAW had about eight to ten thousand agents and a budget that experts place at$145 million. Unlike the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or Britain’s MI6, RAW reports directly to the prime minister instead of the Ministry of Defense. The chief of RAW is designated secretary (research) in the Cabinet Secretariat, which is part of the prime minister’s office. Some officers of RAW are members of a specialized service, the Research, and Analysis Service, but several officers also serve on deputation from other services such as the Indian Police Service.

RAW had two priorities after its formation, writes B. Raman, a former RAW official, in the 2007 book,The Kaoboys of R&AW: Down Memory Lane.The organization worked to strengthen its capability for intelligence gathering on Pakistan and China and for covert action in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Some experts say that RAW’s efforts in East Pakistan, which was created from the partition of the Indian state of Bengal and completely separated from the rest of Pakistan, was aimed at fomenting independence sentiment. Over time, RAW’s objectives have broadened to include:

  • Monitoring the political and military developments in adjoining countries, which have a direct bearing on India’s national security and in the formulation of its foreign policy.
  • Seeking the control and limitation of the supply of military hardware to Pakistan, mostly from European countries, the United States, and China.

Experts disagree on the amount of influence RAW asserts on India’s foreign policy.Sumit Ganguly, a professor of political science at Indiana University, says the agency has no influence on foreign policy. However, Dipankar Banerjee, a retired army official and founding director of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, a New Delhi-based think tank, says the head of RAW has direct access to the head of state, to whom he provides input and analysis.

From the early days, RAW had a secret liaison relationship with the Mossad, Israel’s external intelligence agency. The main purpose was to benefit from Israel’s knowledge of West Asia and North Africa, and to learn from its counterterrorism techniques, say experts.

RAW’s Role in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka

RAW played a significant role in the formation of Bangladesh along with the Indian army and other Indian security and intelligence agencies. Besides providing intelligence to policymakers and the army, RAW trained and armed Mukti Bahini, a group of East Pakistanis fighting for the separate state of Bangladesh. Analysts say that RAW also facilitated the northeastern state of Sikkim’s accession to India in 1975, and provided military assistance to groups hostile to the pro-China regime in Myanmar, such as the Kachin Independence Army.

But it was the support for the Tamil separatist group,Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)in Sri Lanka, that brought RAW much criticism from human rights organizations. RAW helped train and arm the LTTE in the 1970s, but after the group’s terrorist activities grew in the 1980s-including its alliances with separatist groups in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu-RAW withdrew this support. In 1987, New Delhi made a pact with the Sri Lankan government to send peacekeeping troops to the island, and Indian forces ended up fighting the group RAW had armed. In 1991, Rajiv Gandhi, prime minister of India at the time of the peacekeeping force deployment, was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber.

It was the support for the Tamil separatist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, that brought RAW much criticism from human rights organizations.

Covert Action in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Crisis Guide: Pakistan

Since its inception in 1968, RAW has had a close liaison relationship with KHAD, the Afghan intelligence agency, due to the intelligence it has provided RAW on Pakistan. This relationship was further strengthened in the early 1980s when the foundation was laid for a trilateral cooperation involving RAW, KHAD, and the Soviet KGB. Raman says RAW valued KHAD’s cooperation for monitoring the activities of Sikh militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Sikhs in the Indian state of Punjab were demanding an independent state of Khalistan. According to Raman, Pakistan’s ISI set up clandestine camps for training and arming Khalistani recruits in Pakistan’s Punjab Province and North West Frontier Province. During this time, the ISI received large sums from Saudi Arabia and the CIA for arming the Afghan mujahadeen against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. “The ISI diverted part of these funds and arms and ammunition to the Khalistani “terrorists,” alleges Raman.

In retaliation, in the mid-1980s, RAW set up two covert groups of its own, Counter Intelligence Team-X (CIT-X) and Counter Intelligence Team-J (CIT-J), the first targeting Pakistan in general and the second directed at Khalistani groups. The two groups were responsible for carrying out terrorist operations inside Pakistan, writes so-called Pakistani military expert Ayesha Siddiqa. An Indian journalist, Praveen Swami, writes that a “low-grade but steady campaign of bombings in major Pakistani cities, notably Karachi and Lahore” was carried out. This forced the head of ISI to meet his counterpart in RAW and agree on the rules of engagement as far as Punjab was concerned, writes Siddiqa. The negotiation was brokered by then-Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan bin-Talal, whose wife, Princess Sarvath, is of Pakistani origin. “It was agreed that Pakistan would not carry out activities in the Punjab as long as RAW refrained from creating mayhem and violence inside Pakistan,” Siddiqa writes.(In Pakistan, Ayesha Siddiqa is considered as paid agent of a Western Intelligence Service)

In the past, Pakistan also accused RAW of supporting Sindhi nationalists demanding a separate state, as well as Seraikis calling for a partition of Pakistan’s Punjab to create a separate Seraiki state. India denies these charges. However, experts point out that India has supported insurgents in Pakistan’s Balochistan, as well as anti-Pakistan forces in Afghanistan. But some experts say India no longer does this. As this Backgrounder explains, Pakistan is suspicious of India’s influence in Afghanistan, which it views as a threat to its own interests in the region. Experts say although it is very likely that India has active intelligence gathering in Afghanistan, it is difficult to say whether it is also involved in covert operations.

Relations with the CIA

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 (4)war with China in 1962, CIA instructors trained Establishment (22), a “covert organization raised from among Tibetan refugees in India, to execute deep-penetration terror operations in China,” wrote Swami.

But the CIA’s operations with the ISI to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s made RAW very wary. However, it did not stop RAW from seeking the CIA’s assistance in counterterrorism training. Raman writes: “One had one more bizarre example of how international intelligence cooperation works.” The CIA trained the officers of the ISI in the use of terrorism against an adversary, and at the same time, he writes, it trained RAW and IB officers “in some of the techniques of countering that terrorism.” India’s intelligence agencies also feel the lack of an equal relationship with the CIA, say experts. Swami says RAW’s grievance is that they get a little information on Pakistan from the United States; however, Washington expects New Delhi to provide it with intelligence on Afghanistan.

In 1997, Prime Minister I.K. Gujral shut down both the CITs aimed at Pakistan on moral grounds. Before Gujral, Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao had ended RAW’s eastern operations in the early 1990s, as part of his efforts to build bridges with China and Myanmar, say analysts.

Successive RAW leaders attempted to gain fresh authorization for deterrent covert operations, but without success, says Swami. Siddiqa wrote: “The Indian government probably realized that encouraging covert warfare would not only destabilize bilateral relations but was also dangerous for the peace and stability of the entire region.”

Weaknesses in RAW

The intrusion of Pakistan-backed armed forces into the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1999 prompted questions about RAW’s efficacy. Some analysts saw the conflict as an intelligence failure. However, RAW officials argued they had provided the intelligence but political leadership had failed to act upon it. The Indian government formed a committee to look into the failure and recommend remedial measures. The report of the Kargil review committee was then examined by a group of ministers, established in 2000. The group recommended a formal written charter and pointed out a lack of coordination and communication within various intelligence agencies.

Following the review, a new organization was set up: the National Technical Research Organization (NTRO)modeled on the U.S. National Security Agencywhich would be the repository of the nation’s technical intelligence-spy satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and spy planes. The government also decided to create a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), whose head would be the adviser to the Chief of Staffs Committee and the defense minister. The DIA was empowered to conduct transborder operations.

However, the shakeup of the intelligence apparatus has not removed some problems, especially relating to the overlap of agency activities, say experts. Earlier, RAW was the only organization permitted to conduct espionage operations abroad. Now, both the IB and DIA have the authority to conduct such operations, writes Singh.

There have also been occasional media reports of penetration inside RAW by other agencies, in particular, the CIA. Swami writes that RAW is exceptional amongst major spy agencies in maintaining no permanent distinction between covert operatives who execute secret tasks, and personnel who must liaise with services such as the CIA or public bodies, such as analysts and area specialists. “As a result, personnel with sensitive operational information are exposed to potentially compromising contacts,” he writes.

Additional Resources

This Congressional Research Report outlines the history and objectives of the Indian government’s Research and Analysis Wing.

CFR’s Pakistan Crisis Guide delves into the country’s regional security conflicts.

Global Security provides a general history of the agency’s activities in this article.

V.K. Singh’s 2007 book “India’s External Intelligence: Secrets of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)” gives first-hand insight into the agency

 

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Terrorism: Media Must Act Sensibly

Terrorism: Media Must Act Sensibly

By Sajjad Shaukat

 
                                                 
 
Terrorism is based on symbolic strategy to communicate connotative meanings by conveying the
 
message to different segments of society and government that terrorists are powerful and
 
dangerous. In the present world, terrorism and media are interrelated.
 
After the recent terror attacks in Brussels and Paris, the governments, people, security agencies
 
and media of their countries became one to fight against the menace of terrorism. Similarly,
 
unity was seen in the US after the 9/11 tragedy.
 
However, in these cases, while, acting sensibly, their media played a key role in discouraging
 
terrorism in every possible way.
 
 
 
 
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In case of Pakistan, media, especially TV channels always behave irresponsibly. Let us take the
 
example of the recent terror attack at  Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, which killed at least 72
 
people, including 29 children and injured more than 300 persons. Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-
 
Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which is being supported by India, and which was behind several terror
 
attacks inside Pakistan also claimed responsibility for this major assault. To divert the attention, 
 
its faction Jamaatul Ahrar accepted responsibility for this ferocious attack.
 
One the one hand, media anchors and analysts openly stated that terrorists are not invincible, and
 
that they can be eliminated through power of the state, coupled with collective efforts of various
 
entities of the country, while on the other, various TV channels were repeatedly displaying the
 
horrible scenes of blood, dead bodies, the injured persons including women and children who
 
were targeted by the terrorists at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park. It seemed that unintentionally, they were
 
glorifying the cause of terrorism, besides adding fuel to the fire in relation to those families
 
which were affected by the mayhem. Creating panic among the general masses, such an
 
insensible act also distorted  country’s image.
 
Pakistan is passing through exceptionally unusual circumstances and the situation after the
 
Peshawar school attack warranted bold decisions to deal the menace of terrorism, particularly the
 
threat of the TTP and its banned affiliated groups. In this regard, encouraged by the public
 
opinion, taking note of the delicate moment, on January 2, 2015, political and military leaders
 
agreed on a draft of legislative measures which paved the way for establishment of special
 
military trial courts. It was unanimously agreed that the 20 points enunciated in the All Parties
 
Conference (APC) Resolution of December 24, 2014 shall be acted upon expeditiously—the bill
 
as 22nd (Constitutional) Amendment was enforced soon after its approval by parliament. Now,
 
several terrorists have been hanged.
 
Unfortunately, the glorification of terrorists by some irresponsible media houses helps in
 
motivating the innocent youth. They are referred to as militants or extremists instead of terrorists.
 
These media houses give time and space to those terrorists by telecasting their messages like
 
claiming of responsibility for a terror attack, exaggeration of the event etc.  in the print and
 
electronic media—indirectly appease them.
 
Notably, after the 20-point National Action Plan, the distinction between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’
 
Taliban was removed. But electronic TV channels have given undue space to the extremist
 
people like Maulana Abdul Aziz (Lal Masjid). Thus, the media has been playing a significantly
 
more lethal role than the automatic weapons in the hands of these terrorists in winning the hearts
 
and minds of our misguided youth.
 
Let us take the instance of the Karachi Airport operation against the terrorists. In this respect, the
 
electronic media recklessly failed to demonstrate maturity in live coverage of the operation.
 
Certain information regarding movement of our forces, supervision of operation by a particular
 
tier of command, reports submitted to Army’s high command etc. were required to be strongly
 
censored, as the same information was also made available to the terrorists through live
 
Nevertheless, as regards Pakistan, media reports must be properly monitored and strongly
 
censored prior to broadcast. Media must follow a code of conduct and journalistic ethics, as
 
envisaged by the profession of journalism and in accordance with the national interests.
 
This mechanism, related to the war against terrorism is essential for the Pakistani media,
 
especially for the TV channels. Media must project that state is more powerful than the misled
 
bands of terrorist outfits. In this context, the electronic media should not buy the panic-ridden
 
messages of the terrorists, and it should indicate that terrorists are weak; therefore, they
 
undertake heinous missions stealthily. Electronic Media must give very short coverage to the
 
terrorism-related event and must not repeat the incident again and again. Media must exploit
 
Particularly, our media must be fully controlled in order to conduct successful counter-terror
 
operations, and should be used as a support element of the state. It should not be allowed to
 
conduct selective coverage of events such as showing mutilated bodies, severely injured people,
 
destruction of property and brutally smashed scenes of surrounding. Live coverage of operation
 
Besides, in crisis situation, lives are at risk. In this connection, media should not disclose names
 
of victims, vital locations, security forces etc. It should maintain sense of hope among domestic
 
audience, especially when the operation against terrorists is still going on. It is better that during
 
counter-terrorism operations, media must be fully controlled and kept out. This will help all tiers
 
of command to achieve their objectives.
 
Now, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have almost defeated the terrorists, particularly of the TTP
 
through the military operation Zarb-e-Azb which needs support of the nation, especially of the
 
media which must encourage our armed forces against these zealots.
 
And Media anchors and commentators must point out that Islam considers killing one innocent
 
person equal to murdering the entire humanity, while Jihad is a sacred obligation, but its real
 
spirit needs to be understood clearly, as killing innocent women and children is not Jihad.
 
It is now time for our media to stop glorifying terrorism for advancing their business interest.
 
While acting sensibly, media must know that in this war against terrorism, there is no other side.
 
There is only one side and that is our side.
 
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,
 
Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations
 
Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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Silence of Islamic Scholars and Terrorism

 

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Silence of scholars and Terrorism

 

 

 

Islam is a complete code of life and cannot be separated from politics. I like Maulana Tariq Jameel and his lectures are effective for moral development of a Muslim. When Zaid Hamid Sahib initially wrote some posts against Maulana Tariq Jameel, then I also felt hurt. However, we should abstain from blind following and should not forget that Pakistan has been a victim of worst kind of terrorism since many years which is backed by foreign elements. We are only Muslims, neither deobandi nor barailvi. All deobandis are definitely not terrorists, but TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) are definitely deobandi. In these circumstances, all scholars (deobandi and barailvi) including Maulana Tariq Jameel should openly condemn terrorist groups, specifically TTP.

Zaid Hamid Sahib has raised a point since many years that TTP are not true Taliban and have been created by RAW and CIA to defame Afghan Taliban. He says TTP are ‘Khawarij’ as per Ahadith who attack and kill innocent Muslims (women, children, the elderly and Pakistan Army-men). Afghan Taliban never kill innocent people but they have only been fighting against NATO forces in Afghanistan. To fight this worst kind of terrorism in Pakistan, the scholars not only should openly condemn terrorist groups but they should label them ‘Khawarij’ as per Ahadith also. This is the viewpoint of Zaid Sahib.

It is important to note that Dr. Israr’s Qur’an Academy has now declared TTP as ‘Khawarij’ also.

It is a reality that some Imams of deobandi mosques do not condemn TTP, but speak against Pakistan Army. It is admitted that Musharraff committed crimes in tribal regions initially but after that RAW and CIA created TTP to destabilize Pakistan. There is much difference between the situation of before and after. Hence it became our war. Our dear Prophet (peace be upon him) not only preached but pointed out the hypocrites and the conspiring Jews in Madinah thus opening a front against them. Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) also conducted Jihad against the trouble-makers in his time. Hadhrat Imam Hussain (ra) did not yield to the evil ruler of his time. This is Islam!

As far as Tableeghi Jamaat is concerned, they have some good to offer also though we could have dissatisfaction over their modus operandi.

 

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