South Asia Research and Analysis Studies

Former Indian army chief’s confession
Mohammad Jamil

The nation has been listening to the statements by Pakistani leaders and officials that foreign intelligence agencies have made inroads in political and militant organizations in Pakistan, and India has been operating from consulates in Afghanistan districts bordering Pakistan. Chuck Hagel in a speech had said: "India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border." Perceptibly, India's RAW, Israeli Mossad, Afghani­stan's National Directorate Service and CIA are behind sectarian and ethnic violence but Pakistan never named the country or organization when it said there was foreign hand behind violence. Our officialdom was puritanically keeping mum leaving one wondering what fear was holding it back from speaking out the truth, even as when the national territorial integrity was at so great a risk.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his way back home from the US said at London airport that external forces were involved in the terrorism campaign inside Pakistan, adding Pakistan believes that India is involved in direct and indirect funding of several separatist and religious groups operating in Pakistan. He confirmed having raised with Manmohan Singh the issue of Balochistan, where Pakistan suspects an Indian hand behind the Baloch militants. But now we have the truth from the horse's mouth. Now we have the confession by former Indian army chief V.K. Singh, which knocks the bottom out of Indian pretense establishing conclusively that India has insidious plans against Pakistan. Appearing in an Indian TV Channel, he revealed that Army gave money to those political figures in Indian Occupied Kashmir who helped the Indian federal government to maintain stability in the state, and facilitate in keeping its control in the region.
He confessed that during his tenure as Indian Army Chief, Minister of Agriculture Ghulam Hasan Mir was bribed. He did not name other ministers or political figures bribed by the army; he however stated that Indian Army had a mechanism to provide money to selected leaders in Jammu & Kashmir. Mean­while, National Conference demanded investigation by CBI or a judicial probe into the Secret Service funds scam involving former Indian Army Chief and Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir. An official who served Technical Services Division (TSD) told Indian daily Hindustan Times that intelligence unit set up by former army chief was invol­ved in sensitive covert operations in Pakistan, and was even on the trail of 26/11 mastermind as well as Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed. "Our main task was to combat the rising trend of state-sponsored terrorism by the ISI, and we had developed contacts across the Line of Control in a bid to infiltrate Hafiz Saeed's inner circle," he added.
The spook unit was set up after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks on a defence ministry directive asking for the creation of covert capability. Army documents reveal the senior-most officers signed off on the formation of this unit. File No A/106/TSD and 71018/MI show details of approvals by the DG MI, vice-chief and chief of army staff. The TSD was raised as a strategic force for preparing, planning and executing special operations inside countries of interest and to counter enemy efforts within the country by effective covert means. It was reportedly disbanded after allegations that it spied on defence ministry officials through off-the-air interceptors. There was also internecine conflict between army chiefs. The TSD used secret service funds to initiate a PIL against current army chief General Bikram Singh. As reported by Hindustan Times in October 2012, secret funds were paid to an NGO for filing Public-Interest Litigation (PIL), in a bid to stall Bikram Singh's appointment as chief.
Youth Empowerment Service (YES) had filed a PIL against Army Chief General Bikram Singh at the behest of Jammu and Kashmir Humanitarian Service Organization. According to the Army's inquiry, Jammu and Kashmir Humanitarian Service Organisation, whose founder, Hakikat Singh, a Shopian fruit trader, was given Rs 2.38 crore from secret service funds. National Conference leadership asserted that 2010 violence in the state was orchestrated by former Indian Army Chief who is responsible for the prevailing mess in the state. And secret service funds were also used to destabilise the Omar Abdullah government in IOK. The reports also emphasized that attempts were made to topple IOK Government during General VK Singh's tenure, as certain ministers in IOK State were also bribed by Indian Army. Sources reveal the TSD carried out several such operations within and outside the country - such as Op Rehbar 1, 2 and 3 (in Kashmir), Op Seven Sisters (Northeast) and Op Deep Strike (Pakistan).
Indian Military Intelligence Unit (TDS) has been illegally operating inside Pakistan, for which India owes an explanation to Pakistan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs must ask the Indian government to clarify its position and apologize to Pakistani public for putting their lives and property at risk. Pakistani media, patriotic and conscionable people believe that India is involved in acts of terrorism inside Pakistan. However, palmed-off elements continue their propaganda that only internal elements were responsible for terrorist acts in different parts of Pakistan. With the above evidence and revelations coming from the horse's mouth, one can say beyond any reasonable doubt that India was involved in conducting covert operations inside Pakistan. Indian government through the army uses money to win over Ministers and other notables in the state with a view to maintaining enforced calm in the valley. Pakistan should step up its efforts to expose India's malicious intent and should not shy away from telling the truth.