Military’s top brass accused the Indian intelligence agency RAW on Tuesday of supporting terrorism in Pakistan. An ISPR statement on a meeting of the Corps Commanders held at the General Headquarters said: “The Conference also took serious notice of RAW’s involvement in whipping up terrorism in Pakistan.”
RAW has quite often been blamed by law-enforcement agencies for being involved in subversive activities in Pakistan, but it’s unusual for a corps commanders’ conference to directly point fingers at the hostile intelligence outfit.
It’s the second time in three weeks that the military leadership has raised the issue of activities of foreign governments and intelligence agencies in Pakistan. Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif had during a visit to Quetta on April 15 warned “foreign governments and intelligence agencies” against their involvement in the insurgency in Balochistan, but on that occasion he did not explicitly name RAW. In private conversations military officers say that besides Balochistan, RAW’s footprints have been found in Fata and Karachi. Confessional statements of some criminals they had arrested recently, they said, point towards RAW’s growing activities. To support their claim they also refer to a statement made by Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval almost a year ago about the Indian strategy to weaken Pakistan by promoting terrorism and separatism.
The ISPR statement did not mention specific instances of RAW’s involvement or the groups through which it had been operating, except for broadly accusing it of “whipping up terrorism”. Despite consistently pointing out RAW’s hand behind terrorism in the country, Pakistani authorities have traditionally been uncommunicative about proofs. Indian backing of insurgency in Balochistan got a mention in a Pakistan-India joint statement issued after a meeting of their prime ministers in Sharm-el-Sheikh in 2009, but Islamabad failed to follow up that diplomatic achievement with concrete proofs. Earlier this year, however, the government decided to take a tougher approach towards India and forcefully raise its concerns over alleged Indian involvement in acts of terrorism in the country. The change had been forced by Delhi’s continued terrorism allegations for building a narrative that India was a victim of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.