Posts Tagged ‘Espionage’

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Behind India’s Bust Of A Pakistan Spy

April 29, 2010

Suman K. Chakrabarti and Omar Warraich

In this undated handout photo, Madhuri Gupta, 53, an Indian diplomat who worked as second secretary in the Indian high commission in Islamabad is seen

“At 53, she was bored, alone and attractive. Single, but definitely one step ahead to mingle.” That’s how the man who led the operation to bust Madhuri Gupta, the first Indian diplomat to be found spying for Pakistan, described her. For most of her two years in espionage, Gupta was a lone-wolf, conducting a classic spy operation from her base in Islamabad. Old-school “dead drops,” in which she passed off information without even meeting her Pakistani handlers, were her signature style. Yet it was a silly indiscretion — sending e-mails to her spy bosses from her office computer — that finally led to her arrest.

Gupta has not exactly been near the center of Indian decision-making, posted as a second secretary in the media section of India’s high commission in Pakistan’s capital, where her job had been to provide English and Hindi summaries of Pakistan’s Urdu-language newspapers. On April 22, the 53-year-old was summoned back to New Delhi ostensibly to help colleagues prepare for the ongoing South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) summit in Bhutan. After landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport, she was whisked away by officials of the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (IB), India’s internal intelligence agency, straight to an interrogation chamber in an undisclosed location. Twenty-four hours later, she was handed over to Delhi police, charged with treason and accessing confidential documents under India’s Official Secrets Act.

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Behind The Scenes: Agencies at War

January 16, 2009

Dan Qayyum | PakistanKaKhudaHafiz

Its an open secret that India is itching to replicate Israel’s actions in Gaza and ‘punish’ Pakistan for its alleged involvement in cross border terrorism. But first, India needs to turn Pakistan into a Gaza with US assistance; a weak state with no real military power or ability to defend its territory or its citizens. These dangerous plans are already under way, with the full support of Asif Zardari’s government.

In a recently published article in ‘Outlook India’ titled ‘Can India Emulate Israel’s Action in Gaza?‘, B. Raman not only lends his full support to Israel’s actions in Gaza citing its ‘right of self defence’, but also recommends that India retaliate by deniable covert actions inside Pakistani territory – in other words by carrying out terrorist attacks within Pakistan.

PAKISTAN-POLITICS-MUSHARRAF-OATHB. Raman is an ex IB and R&AW operative, who has served as advisor to a number of military and intelligence officials and now writes for prominent Indian publications. Acting as an advisor to the then chief of Research & Analysis Wing, Raman had recommended in 2001, amongst other things, carrying out ‘economic warfare’ through overt and covert means, bringing Pakistan’s economy down to its knees.

Noting that political, diplomatic and economic actions by themselves would not have the desired effect, he recommended these to be ‘simultaneously accompanied by hard-hitting covert actions‘ such as terrorist attacks.

For all his faults, Musharraf’s government has to be credited for keeping the Indian designs in check to some extent. Around 2005-6 when R&AW started aggressively using its bases in Afghanistan to carry out these ‘hard-hitting covert actions’ within Pakistan’s soil, Musharraf started confronting the US with evidence of the role played by Indian consulates in Afghanistan.

As Moin Ansari of RupeeNews notes:

Whereas India has officially declared 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, on ground they have 107 in which 20 intelligence units are burning their midnight oil to destabilise Pakistan. Many mercantile shops run by Indians have an intelligence office in the rear. Very young boys, mostly orphans, destitute or homeless are recruited. Recruits are mostly Afghans, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Caucasians. The latter being fair skinned and resembling Europeans are trained to hit targets in Europe or in USA to once again create a 9/11 like situation.

Reportedly, 10,000 ideologically motivated saboteurs and suicide bombers have been trained. Besides receiving military training, they have also been made to learn Pashto and customs of Pathans. They are regularly infiltrated into troubled spots of Pakistan. Posing as volunteers they join the rank and file of militants to fight the army. They are the ones who are destroying schools, CD shops, bridges and other installations and carrying out brutal beheading of captured personnel. CIA is assisting in providing intimate information about military road moves and military targets. The idea is to create chaos and confusion and also to defame the army and the real Taliban that have not come under their influence. They are also responsible for creating cleavages in the people of FATA and in disrupting peace deals. In Kurram Agency, Afghan officers and soldiers are actively involved in the sectarian conflict by way of providing arms and ammunition to Tori tribe. In Swat, Fazlullah-led militants are supplied with war munitions as well as fighters. USA has bared its teeth.

Likewise, dissident tribal chiefs in Baluchistan including late Akbar Bugti were also taken on board. The CIA helped in reincarnating BLA and providing all sorts of war munitions to Baloch militants belonging to Bugti, Marri and Mengal tribes and establishing over 60 Farari camps in Baluchistan.

The Indian and US led campaign to label ISI as a terrorist organistaion, or sponsors of global terrorism at the very least, picked up pace once the ISI started to expose and block the clandestine activities of CIA and RAW in Pakistan and especially after the assasination of Akbar Bugti, which had sent shockwaves through New Delhi and Langley, Virginia.

With Musharraf refusing to play ball, a regime change as well as the installation of a puppet government subservient to the US and India had become a necessity.

Since the regime change, we have seen unprecented levels of corruption and incompetence from the ‘elected representatives of the people’. The clandestine activities of CIA and RAW have taken off to new heights. Terrorist attacks now occur far more frequently scaring off not just foreign investors but local businessmen.

The economy has, as per R&AW’s 2001 directive, been brought to its knees through a carefully orchestrated artificial crises. The efforts to destabilize Pakistan using separatists as well as criminal terrorist outfits inserted through Aghanistan into Pakistan, have now intensified.

Contrary to popular view, a so called ‘Islamist’ takeover, or ‘Talibinisation’ of Pakistan is directly in the interest of both the US and India who have for years been raising alarms about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons ‘falling into the hands of extremists’ – giving them an excuse to destroy Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence.

Soldiers of the US Joint Special Operations Command carry out regular drills simulating US attacks on Pakistani nuclear facilities in case of an extremist or Taleban takeover, although the Americans admit not having a full account of locations where Pakistan’s nukes are stored.

On the media front, American and Indian analysts are now openly discussing ways of nuetralising Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities.

Attempts are being made to infiltrate Pakistan’s nuclear circle – a group of a few hundred scientists and other employees – by ‘recruiting’ key individuals with access to critical information, as well as placing those already on CIA’s payroll in important positions including the National Command Authority. A number of these attempts have been blocked by the Pakistani intelligence services in the last few months and necessary action has been taken to prevent senstive information from being passed onto the CIA and R&AW. No wonder the ISI doesn’t have a lot of admirers in India or the US.

The 26/11 attacks in Mumbai were designed to give the perfect opportunity for India to nail the ISI – Pakistan’s first line of defence – and leave Pakistan defenseless to a full onslaught from both sides. If it wasn’t for the botched handling of the whole affair by India, and more importantly the anticipation and preparedness of the Pakistani Armed Forces, India just may have got its wish.