The News Intelligence Network
By Aslam Khan
ISLAMABAD: A sensational American report has confirmed the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s most powerful intelligence agency, was directly involved in the secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh, and is currently engaged in similar activities. RAW has a long history of activity in Bangladesh supporting both secular forces and the area’s Hindu minority, masterminding the break up of Pakistan in 1971, says the report made available to the News Intelligence Network (NIN) The report has been prepared by the innocent sounding Federation of American Scientists (FAS), a group which is however engaged in analysis and advocacy on science, technology and public policy concerning global security, especially about countries which have nuclear capability.
It is a privately funded non-profit policy organisation, whose Board of Sponsors includes 55 American Nobel laureates. FAS was originally founded as the Federation of Atomic Scientists in 1945 by members of the Manhattan Project, who produced the first atomic bomb. RAW is extensively engaged in disinformation campaigns, espionage, sabotage and terrorism against Pakistan and other neighboring countries, reveals the sensational secret report. It also gives details of the truly alarming involvement of RAW in terrorist activities in Pakistan. The report reveals the involvement of RAW in Bangladesh dating from the 1960s, when it promoted dissatisfaction against Pakistan in the then East Pakistan, including funding Mujibur Rahman’s general election in 1970 and providing training and arming to the Mukti Bahini. The report claims an estimated 35,000 RAW agents have entered Pakistan at various times between 1983-99, with 12,000 having worked in the past or working presently in Sindh, 10,000 in Punjab 8,000 in North West Frontier Province and 5,000 in Balochistan. “As many as 40 terrorist camps are currently operating at Rajasthan, East Punjab, [occupied] Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of India and are run by RAW’s Special Service Bureau [SSB],” the report reveals. The report further confirms that throughout the Afghan War, RAW was responsible for the planning and execution of terrorist activities in Pakistan to deter Islamabad from supporting the Afghan liberation movement against India’s ally, the Soviet Union.
“The assistance provided to RAW by the KGB enabled RAW to arrange terrorist attacks in Pakistani cities throughout the Afghan War,” the report says. “The defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan did not end the role of RAW in Pakistan, as it established training camps in East Punjab, [occupied] Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan where agents are trained for terrorist activities,” it reveals.
It further says that RAW has become “an effective instrument of India’s national power, and has assumed a significant role in formulating India’s domestic and foreign policies.” RAW, according to the report, has enjoyed the backing of successive Indian governments in these efforts. Working directly under the Prime Minister, the structure rank, pay and perks of the Research and Analysis Wing are kept secret from parliament.
“Current policy debates in India have generally failed to focus on the relative priority given by RAW to activities directed against India’s neighbours versus attention to domestic affairs to safeguard India’s security and territorial integrity,” the report says. It points out that RAW has had limited success in dealing with separatist movements in Manipur and Tripura in the northeast, Tamil Nadu in the south and Punjab and Kashmir in the northwestern part of the country.
RAW, it adds, has failed to neutralise freedom fighters in Kashmir and similar indigenous movements in Kerala, Karnataka and other places, along with economic and industrial espionage activities in New Delhi and Bombay. Giving a background of the intelligence agency, the American report says RAW was set up in 1968 “specifically targeted on Pakistan”.
Pakistan, the report says, has accused RAW of sponsoring sabotage in its Punjab province, where it has been supporting the Seraiki movement, “providing financial support to promote its activities in Pakistan and organising an International Seraiki Conference in Delhi in November December 1993”. It adds: “RAW has an extensive network of agents and anti-government elements within Pakistan, including dissident elements from various sectarian and ethnic groups of Sindh and Punjab.”
According to it, India is funding the current upsurge of terrorism in Pakistan “and has been behind the sectarian violence between Shias and Sunnis, which has resulted in thousands of deaths in the last few years.” Terrorist activities in Pakistan attributed to the clandestine activities of RAW in the report include:
A car bomb explosion in the Saddar area of Peshawar on 21 December 1995, which caused the death of 37 persons and injured over 50 others.
An explosion at Shaukat Khanum Hospital on 14 April 1996, claiming the lives of seven persons and injuries to over 34 others.
A bus traveling from Lahore to Sahiwal was blown up at Bhai Pheru on 28 April 1996, causing the deaths of 44 persons on the spot and injuring 30 others.
An explosion in a bus near the Sheikhupura Hospital killed nine persons and injured 29 others on 08 May 1996.
An explosion near Alam Chowk, Gujranwala on 10 June 1996 which killed three persons and injured 11 others.
A bomb exploded on a bus on GT Road near Kharian on 10 June 1996, killing 2 persons and injuring 10 others.
On 27 June 1996, an explosion opposite Madrassah Faizul Islam, Faizabad, Rawalpindi, killed 5 persons and injured over 50 others.
A bomb explosion in the Faisalabad Railway Station passenger lounge on 8 July 1996 killed 3 persons and injured 20 others.
Another startling claim made by the American report is that it was RAW that was behind the hijacking of an Indian airliner to Lahore in 1971, “attributed to the Kashmiris, to give a terrorist dimension to the Kashmiri national movement”.
The report continues: “During the course of its investigation the Jain Commission received testimony on the official Indian support to the various Sri Lankan Tamil armed groups in Tamil Nadu,” the report reveals. From 1981, RAW and the Intelligence Bureau, according to the report, established a network of as many as 30 training bases for these groups in India. Centres were also established at the high-security military installation of Chakrata, near Dehra Dun, and in the Ramakrishna Puram area of New Delhi.
The report says that RAW and the Ministry of External Affairs are provided Rs. 250 million annually as “discretionary grants” for foreign influence operations. “These funds have supported organisations fighting Sikh and Kashmiri separatists in the UK, Canada and the US,” it says.
It further reveals: “An Extensive network of Indian operatives is controlled by the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC whose covert activities include the infiltration of US long distance telephone carriers by Indian operatives, with access to all kinds of information, to blackmail relatives of US residents living in India”. Citing an example, it says that in 1996, an Indian diplomat was implicated in a scandal over illegal funding of political candidates in the US. Under US law foreign nationals are prohibited from contributing to federal elections.
The US District Court in Baltimore sentenced Lalit H. Gadhia, a naturalised US citizen of Indian origin, to three months imprisonment. Gadhia had confessed that he worked as a conduit between the Indian Embassy and various Indian-American organisations for funnelling campaign contributions to influence US lawmakers. Over US $46,000 from the Indian Embassy was distributed among 20 Congressional candidates. The source of the cash used by Gadhia was Devendra Singh, a RAW official assigned to the Indian Embassy in Washington, the report says. It adds that illicit campaign money received in 1995 went to Democratic candidates including US Senators Charles S Robb (D-VA), Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD) and US Representatives Benjamin L Cardin (D-MD) and Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) — (May 24, 1998).