Clandestine operations of R&AW and National Directorate of Security (NDS) are too irksome for the Afghan population when Pakistan translates its inner pain into military, trade and economic action.
by Musa Khan Jalalzai
(November 23, 2017, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Pakistan faces numerous economic, military and political challenges, each of which has a bearing on the security situation in the country. Most part of these challenges has been exacerbated by the US war on terrorism, and Indian involvement in Afghanistan. The fall of Taliban regime in 2001 opened up a new chapter of security and economic cooperation between Afghanistan and India. India signed strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan in 2011 to support stabilization efforts in the country, while thousands Afghans who studied in India advocate its policies inside their country. Indian security and military presence, and its exploitation of Afghan friendship by establishing unnecessary chain of consulates across the country prompted Pakistan’s security concern. The RAW’s relationship with Pakistan’s opposition groups, and its financial support to their operations inside the country, forced Pakistani establishment to adopt inflexible policy towards Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s security perceptions have already been largely influenced by its relationship with Afghanistan and India. Moreover, in Baluchistan, the country is fighting an imposed intelligence war by neighbouring states that causes financial and political disadvantages. Clandestine operations of RAW and National Directorate of Security (NDS) are too irksome for the Afghan population when Pakistan translates its inner pain into military, trade and economic action. However, the extension of its intelligence operations over a large area across the country raises many questions including the large-scale recruitment of young men and women in its secret training camps.
In Afghanistan, even major political parties do not support the Unity Government’s policy of free hand to Indian intelligence operation in Pakistan. This flawed policy divided Afghan society on ethnic lines, which furnished opportunity to Indian agencies to provide funds and weapons to TTP and ISIS groups. From foreign office to interior and defence ministries, RAW has appointed its own trained cronies to further rub salt on the wounds of Pakistan, and make conflagrate persisting security situation across the Durand Line. Now the country is working with these trained experts to keep Afghan policy hostile towards neighbouring states and exploit instability in Afghanistan. The RAW intimacy and close partnership with Daesh through the NDS in the words of some Afghan field commanders that this complicity of CIA and RAW is advantageous to their interests in Afghanistan.
With this way of economic and security cooperation with Afghanistan, India could not succeed in winning the mind and heart of Afghans who view its intelligence operations with suspicion and scorn. Civil society, media and intellectual forums in Afghanistan don’t like this quandary and entanglement. They view the involvement of Indian Intelligence agencies (RAW, IB, MI) in the internal affairs of the country with funny-feeling and cynicism that RAW’s connection and correspondence with TTP, BLA and Daesh (ISIS) is the principal cause of instability in Afghanistan. The irony is that in all but nine out of 34 provinces in the country, Indian intelligence (RAW) has established terror training camps, in which Pakistani Taliban and Baloch nationals are being recruited to carryout terrorist attacks inside Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa provinces. These attacks that killed thousands women and children caused misunderstanding between Afghan and Pakistani Pashtuns and supported their petition and argument that the country of their forefathers kills its own children. Majority of Afghan intellectuals and politicians consider this controversial presence of India in Afghanistan as a failure of diplomatic and political approach of Afghanistan and the US towards Pakistan.
The diplomatically covered military training networks of RAW in various Afghan provinces also raised serious questions about its future plans. In these training camps, according to sources within the interior and defence ministries, the CEPEC Disruption Commando Force (CDCF) is also up-skilled and prepared for future economic war against China and Pakistan. Recently, Indian intelligence experts, retired military commander and two former RAW Chiefs visited these training camps. India has been allocating all but $1b budget for its intelligence operations inside Afghanistan and Pakistan, and $500m for the CEPEC Disruption Commando Force (CDCP) operations. India’s future intensions can be judged from Mr. Modi’s independent day speech, which has become the latest security concern for China and Pakistan.
However, on 14 November 2017, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat alleged that Indian intelligence agencies had established a cell in 2015 dedicated to sabotage China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPEC) project. “RAW established a new cell with a special allocation of over $500 million in 2015 to sabotage CEPEC projects in Pakistan……India’s indirect interference in Pakistan’s is manifested in sponsoring Tehreek-I-Taliban-Pakistan, Baloch and other sub-nationalist outfits and many other terrorist groups,” he added. Speaking about India’s growing aggression towards Pakistan, General Zubair said: “I believe India continues to engage Pakistan through an asymmetric strategy and ploys”.
Before his statement, Defence Secretary had also expressed the same apprehensions in his statement last year by warning that Indian intelligence agency RAW had established special cell to sabotage CEPEC. “RAW and Afghan NDS have launched joint secret operations against Pakistan by using three Indian consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif….The three consulates in Afghanistan are providing weapons, money, training and other logistical support to agents for subversive activities in FATA, Baluchistan and Karachi”, Gen Khattak said. Pakistan’s frustration can be realized from its inner pain, which puff up in different forms. Being an American ally in war against terrorism in Afghanistan, the country leadership has not been able to establish a good relationship with Afghanistan since 2001. The lack of Pakistan’s constructive and positive diplomatic approach towards Afghanistan prompted many crises. Afghans also understand that Pakistan pursues its own agenda in Afghanistan in ways the country purveys funds and sanctuaries on its soil. Its support to Haqqani networks, which prolonged the Afghan war and causes catastrophe. Waves of sectarianism, radicalization, and its support to Kashmiri Mujahedeen also caused political resentment inside Afghanistan. Last week, a member of Pakistani diplomatic crops, Nayyar Iqbal Rana was killed by gunmen in Jalalabad. In July 2017, two officials of Pakistani consulate went missing in Jalalabad. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Jajua warned that Indian agency RAW was using Afghan soil to disrupt CPEC efforts in Pakistan.
( The writer is author of Afghan Intelligence Crisis, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org )