Waqas ur Rehman
Belligerent and estranged nations do play spy games against each other. The US and the USSR had played very interesting spy tactics during the height of the Cold War. These spy games were more about gaining information, rather than sabotaging or terrorizing to create ferment in the civil populace. However, looking at our regional scenario, one comes across accusations, assertions and actions which defy the basic rationale of the spy agencies. India is the master of this, and believes that anything to hurt Pakistan is fair enough to gain strategic advantage. Pakistan is in the grip of foreign spies playing havoc with its national security, especially disturbing law and order situation in Balochistan. Indian RAW has been cooperating with Afghan NDS and Israel’s Mossad to destabilize Balochistan.
Pakistani security agencies have captured and exposed an Indian naval officer, Kulbhushan Jhadav from Balochistan. He was working as a spy for Indian RAW in Balochistan under the cover name of Hussain Mubarik Patel. He was assigned the task of promoting unrest in Balochistan and Karachi. The unrest in Balochistan is directly linked to sabotaging the CPEC project, which is no less than Indian state-sponsored terrorism. He was actually operating from Chabahar (Iran) where he had established his jewelry business to conceal his activities. Jhadav also admitted that he was planning to attack the Gwadar Hotel where Chinese were staying, and where there was presence of a sectarian organization. The Iranian visa to the spy and his entry from Iran raised eyebrows in Pakistan. The PM Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had submitted a dossier to the office of the Secretary General of the United Nations on “Indian interference and support to terrorism in Balochistan, FATA and Karachi” on Oct 3, 2015. The dossier was handed over to the Chief of Staff Susana Malcorra by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr Maleeha Lodhi.
Another factor of sabotaging the CPEC project is Indian involvement in the development of Chabahar Port in Iran. India is planning to give a sea-land access to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan. India already pledged to build a container terminal and a multi-purpose cargo terminal on two berths at the Chabahar Port. There is also the report of India putting in $170 million for the development of Iran’s Chabahar port which is only 70 km away from Pakistan’s Gwadar port.
Recently, an unmanned drone from Iran, allegedly on a spying mission, has been shot down in Balochistan by a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) JF-17 Thunder fighter plane. The drone was flying deep inside Pakistani airspace. Iran’s army chief had warned regarding the militant safe havens in Pakistan and how Iran could take action against them following the death of 10 Iranian border guards at the hands of the terrorists. In the past, Iran supported the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, and there were reports of Iranian funding in Pakistan to garner support for the Northern Alliance. Similarly, Lyari gang war leader Uzair Baloch was taken into custody by the Pak Rangers for allegedly spying for Iran. He was charged with espionage (leakage of sensitive security information to foreign intelligence agencies) under the Pakistan Army Act of 1952 and the Official Secrets Act of 1923.
Six spies of Afghan NDS were arrested from Pishin area of Balochistan. They were involved in subversive activities in the province, including targeted killings. These spies made confessions that they were being paid Rs 80,000 per bombing and Rs 250,000 per assassination. Afghan NDS has been providing them with logistical and financial support. These operations were being run by three NDS generals i.e. General Naeem Baloch, General Momin and General Malik.
According to a report in the US-based Foreign Policy magazine, agents of Israel’s Mossad had posed as American CIA agents while recruiting members of the militant group Jundallah which is supposed to be fighting for Baloch community. The report sparked concerns in the White House that Israel’s program was putting Americans at risk. The Mossad activities could further jeopardize the already tense relationship of the US with Pakistan. Israel is also backing India in giving air to the separatist movement in Balochistan. On the other hand, the CIA also has an interest in keeping the strategically important Port of Gwadar out of China’s influence. Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor arrested in Lahore, had revealed that around 300 more CIA contractors were present in various parts of Pakistan working on different missions.
RAW, NDS and Mossad are jointly involved in terrorist activities in Balochistan. They are behind the funding and training of Baloch separatists and militants. They are also involved in giving air to sectarianism in Balochistan. NDS is a satellite organization of RAW. Baloch militants have been trained in various camps located at Kabul, Nimroz and Kandahar in Afghanistan by RAW in collaboration with NDS since 2006. RAW is providing arms and ammunition to Baloch militants for terrorist activities inside Pakistan. RAW is also involved in providing fake identity and travel documents to Baloch militants for moving out of Afghanistan to India, UAE and Western countries. It has been arranging visits of Baloch militants to India for training purposes. RAW arranged a visit of Riaz Gull Bugti (a leading militant commander of Brahamdagh Bugti) to India in September 2009, where he was trained by RAW for terrorist activities. In order to overcome the linguistic problems, RAW is also arranging Balochi language courses in India for Afghan intelligence operatives so that terrorist and spying activities could be intensified in Balochistan.
Wisdom dictates that our immediate neighbors refrain from fomenting instability in Balochistan. The regional countries should address and resolve the causes of tensions. It is the responsibility of Pakistan’s Foreign Office to raise the issue of foreign spying with Afghan and Indian governments. Pakistan wants to foster brotherly relations with Iran and Afghanistan, but if their spy agencies continued their subversive activities inside Pakistan, then it would create issues for the whole region. Pakistan had housed millions of Afghan refugees with utmost respect, and it deserves the same respect and dignity in return.