Wednesday, 17 December 2008
U.S. Proposes International Gang Rape of Somalia
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
For a downloadable MP3 copy of this Black Agenda Report commentary visit our archive page here.
“The Bush regime now seeks to turn Somalia into a ‘free fire zone’ in which any country in the world can shoot and bomb and kill at will.”
Having failed in deploying Ethiopia as its proxy in the war against Somalia, the United States now attempts to rally Europe and as many African stooges as it can muster to gang rape the Somalis into submission. Two years ago, the Americans encouraged Ethiopia to invade its neighbor, to overthrow a young Islamic government that had, miraculously, restored a semblance of peace and stability to Somalia after 15 years of chaos and rule by warlords. As could have been predicted, Ethiopian ground forces and American bombs and missiles combined to bring about the “worst humanitarian crisis” on the continent, forcing millions of Somalis from their homes and into the jaws of starvation. The Americans bankrolled the aggression, in a futile attempt to prop up a warlord-based puppet government that by early this month was in a state of total disintegration, with 80 percent of its soldiers and police having deserted. The Ethiopians, defeated by the Somali resistance, are eager to exit the hell they and the Americans have created in Somalia. That leaves only a small force from Uganda and Burundi to act as Washington’s proxies on the ground in Somalia, under the guise of the United Nations.
“The United States now attempts to rally Europe and as many African stooges as it can muster to gang rape the Somalis into submission.”
Uganda, especially, is Washington’s willing mercenary outpost in Africa, willing to accept any dirty assignment from the Americans. But Somalia is too big a mouthful to be bitten off by Washington’s African proxies, and the Islamists forces now represent Somali nationalism. Mogadishu, the ruined capital, is expected to be back in Islamic Somali hands, any day now. Desperate, in its last weeks in office, the Bush regime now seeks to turn Somalia into a “free fire zone” in which any country in the world can shoot and bomb and kill at will. George Bush invites the world’s military powers to form a posse to invade Somalia by air, land and sea, on the pretext of wiping out piracy. Yet the piracy that flows from Somalia’s onetime coastal fishing villages is mirrored in the lawlessness of foreign fishing fleets off Somalia’s shores and the industrial piracy of nations that treat Somalia’s waters as international dumping grounds for all manner of toxic wastes. The Americans imposed an imperial catch-22 on the Somali people, robbing them of their right to form their own government, then damning the Somalis for not accepting the rule of foreigners and foreign-backed warlords.
The clock is ticking on George Bush’s government, but Washington’s threat to Somalia will outlast Bush. Susan Rice, Bill Clinton’s former assistant secretary of state for Africa, will soon become Barack Obama’s United Nations Ambassador and de facto point person on Africa. Susan Rice is just as warlike as Condoleezza Rice when it comes to Somalia. While Condoleezza Rice and her bosses justify U.S. aggressions in the name of spreading “democracy,” Susan Rice urges American military interventions in Somalia and Sudan and elsewhere on “humanitarian” grounds.
For Somalia, an Obama presidency represents the “same old same old” – the same bombs, the same bullets, the same catastrophes, the same imperialism, with a slightly different vocabulary.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford.
FSB neutralizes Georgian intelligence network
MOSCOW, December 18 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Federal Security Service said it neutralized in 2008 the Georgian intelligence network, and arrested a Kherkeladze, one of its masterminds, who is deputy department director at the special foreign intelligence service of Georgia.
“An intelligence network of Georgian secret services in Russia has been detected and neutralized. One of its organizers – Georgian citizen Kherkeladze, who is deputy department director of the special foreign intelligence service of Georgia, has been arrested,” FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov said at a meeting with the directors of leading Russian media outlets on Thursday.
“Criminal cases were opened under Article 275 of Russia’s Criminal Code (“high treason”) against Russian citizens Bogdanov, Imerdishvili, Kushashvili, Khachidze and Khachirov, who had helped Georgian secret services in gathering intelligence on Russian military facilities and servicemen, law-enforcement personnel and secret services agents, as well as on representatives of government bodies,” Bortnikov said.
During 2008, our revolutionary process has had its ebbs and flows. Overall, we had significant progress, especially in the recuperation of sovereignty, with the nationalizations and the electoral victories in the great majority of governorships and mayoralties. The right-wing also had its successes, as it managed to retain and seize several strategic places. The process is not linear, but the revolution needs to move forward in a permanent manner or the hangover of a counterrevolution will raze the achievements obtained, including the crushing of the vanguard.
You can not build socialism in the bowels of capitalism. It requires qualitative leaps, in a timely manner and in accordance with the correlation of forces, to enable the break with capitalism and initiate a real transition to socialism. In capitalism there is no solution for the exploited masses; it undermines any economic, social or political conquest of the people, if they are not used to promote the deepening of the revolution, with the organization and mobilization of the workers, peasants and popular [sectors].
The social layer that administers the state, which still is bourgeois and carries the burdens of the past, is constantly exposed to the corrosiveness of bureaucracy and corruption. This generates contradictions with the workers and the people, causing disenchantment, fatigue and the withdrawal of more or less extensive sectors.
Fortunately, the Venezuelan revolution is still very strong and is unfolding in a very progressive Latin American scene, that in the context of the global crisis, places capitalism much more clearly as an exhausted model.
The development of all forms of People’s Power and the vivacity of the struggles, should be antidotes against the stagnation of the process and the reconciliation with the exploiter class, which opens dangerous gaps to the recuperation of their original power.
From the defeat of the reform to the battle for the constitutional amendment
In the course of 2008, we can distinguish several stages. The year began with the consequences of the constitutional reform referendum defeat. The struggle of the SIDOR workers and their nationalization marked a recuperation stage of the revolutionary offensive with a “wave” of nationalizations. The regional and municipal elections showed the strengths of the process in vast areas of the country but also its dangerous vulnerabilities. At the end of the year a new and crucial battle is approaching: the struggle to achieve the possibility of re-election of the leader of the Bolivarian revolution.
The defeat of the reform slowed the process
As we said, the beginning of 2008 was marked by the effects of the defeat of December 2, 2007 [constitutional reform referendum]. That denied the possibility of major changes, which in their great majority would have been very positive for the deepening of the process, to improve the living conditions and for a revolutionary governance.
But the necessary steps to advance the revolution in Venezuela do not depend solely on the reform of the Constitution and laws. It fundamentally depends on the organization and capacity of mobilization of the workers, together with the peasants and other popular or excluded sectors.
Above all, it depends on the political will to carry forward revolutionary action, with the effective participation of the people, outside the logic of capital and with increasing the transfer of effective power, instead of keeping it divided between the economic control of the bourgeoisie and the domain of the political-administrative bureaucracy.
Regarding the defeat of December 2, we said, at the time, that there converged a series of intertwined factors, including: delays in resolving the most pressing problems of the population; lack of timely action to control sabotage to the productive apparatus and supplies; impunity and weakness with conspiracy and media terrorism; and the absence of mechanisms that allow a real involvement and protagonism of the people in the introduction of changes…
At times it seemed that state policies were more directed towards coexistence and equilibrium with the bankers, with the large owners of the means of production or with the landowners, than towards the purpose of seizing control and putting it in the hands of the working people. The measures are taken with much delay or are half measures.
What happened on December 2 generated a fruitful discussion, critical of the predominance of reformism in the practical politics and accusative of the bureaucracy. But the conclusion that the government drew was that the people were not yet “ripe” for the changes proposed, when, in our view, those conditions were not only ripe but they began to rot. However, we remain on time and we must advance with determination.
One of the best signs of revolutionary vitality, in spite of what happened with the reform, was that at all times the formation of popular committees and communal councils continued, in an extensive and generalized manner, along the length and breadth of the country.
The struggle of SIDOR re-launched the revolutionary offensive
Before the triumph in SIDOR, the revolutionary process spent almost half a year in relative stagnation. During the management of the previous Labor Minister (José Ramón Rivero), the working class and the trade union movement experienced a recrudescence of compromises between employers and the bureaucratic establishment; collective agreements remained blocked in the public sector; division and parallel unionism was fomented; he abounded indolence [as an] official; and, also, there was the repression of some labor disputes.
This was the case with Sanitarios Maracay, a factory occupied under workers’ control; the official conduct favored the preservation of the capitalist status, instead of opting for the nationalization of the company, as was just raised by President Chavez, several months later.
The prevailing attitude was to brake the process. The workers of SIDOR in a lawsuit against the transnational Terniun, had to go on strike and demanded the re-nationalization of this basic industry that was privatized in the Fourth Republic. Initially they had to confront the former Minister and the Governor of the Bolivar State, who authorized the use of the police and the National Guard.
Then came the applauded decision of President Chavez to nationalize the steel plant and the commitment to end outsourcing; although at SIDOR the model of state capitalism is still maintained, it is still pending the advancement towards the implementation of new social relations of production, by worker and popular control. The case of SIDOR opened the floodgates for the nationalization of the cement industry, the sectors of fuel and domestic gas transport, as well as the announcement of the acquisition of the Bank of Venezuela (Santander).
It was a recuperation of the revolutionary pace, which was lost after the nationalization of CANTV, Electricity of Caracas, and the non-renewal of the concession to the private, coup-plotter channel RCTV.
The result of November 23 and the new battle for re-election
On November 23, the PSUV consolidated its dominance over four-fifths of the country in governorships and more so in the mayoralties, including those of states where it had lost its governorship. The volume of votes for chavismo recovered noticeably with respect to the referendum, although still not reaching the votes from the presidential [elections] nor the total that are registered in the PSUV.
There were sectors that expressed their discontent with the inefficient local management that are dedicated to the simple administration of capitalism. They did so with abstention or with the intent of a “punishment vote,” although the effect of any vote for the right-wing is always a punishment for the people themselves.
A clear and large majority manifested its will to continue with the Bolivarian revolution and [a] path towards socialism, as has proclaimed President Chavez. We have also defeated some traitors of the process such as [Governors Eduardo] Manuit and Acosta Carlez.
But the defeats suffered in the governorships of Zulia, Tachira, Carabobo, Miranda, and the Metropolitan Mayor of Caracas, although [the PSUV] winning the municipality of Libertador, represents the emergence of a dangerous reactionary enclave that exacerbates the threats. The fascist conduct displayed immediately by the right-wing, wanting to expel from the scope of their administrations the communal councils, the Barrio Adentro services and other missions, the UBV or UNEF [universities], is clear evidence of what they can do against the people. But they did not measure their forces well and the massive popular response did not take long, in defense of the most cherished social achievements of the revolution. Once again, the whip of the counterrevolution becomes a spur that obligates us to fight to defend and deepen the process, without yielding space and waiting for the opportunity to revoke their mandate.
Now, at the close of the year and without rest, there is a new battle; this time for the constitutional amendment to allow the crucial permanence of the leadership of the revolution, through the reelection of President Chavez.
This battle can only have meaning if it is to redouble the fight against the bureaucracy and corruption; if we advance the measures for the transition to socialism; if we complete the agrarian revolution; if we assume the domain of the state [in] finances, technology and foreign trade; if we prioritize the social debt and stop paying the corrupt foreign debt; if we establish worker and community control over the means of production and services towards there socialization; if we build a public system of communication in the hands of workers and communities incorporated in the People’s Power; if we establish communal governorships and give way to national bodies for the workers and peoples government; if we underpin the unity of all peoples in revolution…
Therefore, next year, we will ensure the reelection of Chavez with the constitutional amendment, and that it is also a year of campaigning against the bureaucracy and corruption, the year that breaks with capitalism, the year that advances decisively towards socialism. “¡Clean house and more revolution!”
[Translated by Gonzalo Villanueva with the authorization of the author.]
This article was originally published in the newspaper Marea Socialista Nº 15 and on its website www.mareasocialista.com.
Filed under: SubContinent
The Spy who knew Bangladesh better than its President
‘‘A foreign intelligence agency is the eyes and ears of the government. Its activities are the direct resultant of the policies of the government, without which any government would be left in a state of limbo’’ — R.N. Kao, the first RAW chief, who died on January 20.
The search for the man who would head RAW was a crucial one. Rameshwar Nath Kao, during his tenure with the IB, had been exposed to the world of intelligence and espionage, having worked in the field in the mid-sixties. Kao set up the structure, followed by K. Sankaran Nair who made it fully operational… It was possibly from a long list of names coined by DS Joshi, then Cabinet Secretary, that the title ‘‘Research and Analysis Wing’’ was selected.
The Bangla Desh Operation possibly began a year before the actual operation was underway. Even when the world did get a whiff of it in the shape of the Mukti Bahani, many remained unaware of RAW’s involvement. By then Phase I of the operation was already completed. Phase II saw the Indian Armed Forces poised for the liberation of Bangla Desh. RAW, along with the Mukti Bahani, when they developed into a formidable force, provided information to the Indian forces.
Information collected by an IB foreign desk operative in London from a Pakistani diplomat indicated that the West Pakistanis were contemplating action against Bengali Muslims in Pakistan. By 1968 Indian operatives had already been in contact with the ‘‘pro-Mujib’’ faction. A meeting convened in Agartala during 1962-63, between the IB foreign desk operatives and the Mujib faction indicated to ‘‘Colonel’’ Menon (which in fact was Sankaran Nair’s non de guerre that the ‘group’ was eager to escalate their movement. ‘‘Colonel Menon’’ had warned them that in his opinion it was far too early for them to take any positive action. As Colonel Menon right put it….‘‘they jumped the gun.’’ But this was a total disaster.
A few months later, on January 6, 1968, the Pakistan government announced that 28 persons would be prosecuted for conspiring to bring about the secession of East Pakistan, with India’s help. Mujib was implicated 12 years later as an accused. By now the IB foreign desk (PAK) had moved to the new set-up at RAW. RAW cells were set up all along the border.
RAW sources in Karachi had indicated a movement of troops from Karachi harbour for Dacca. On March 3, a message sent out from Dacca to Calcutta by a RAW operative indicated that a major crackdown was imminent. As the report found its way to New Delhi, an urgent message was flashed — ‘‘…advise Menon…’ to bring in … our friends.’ Towards the end of April the genocide continued and drove 9.8 million into exile to India. The March 1969 RAW report had already spelt out the possibility of Pakistan resorting to a war with India… By the end of May, another RAW assessment sent to the Prime Minister spelt out the need of a ‘‘surgical intervention’’. RAW received the green signal and began mobilising its resources. The Mukti Fauj was known as the Mukti Bahani two months after its formation on the night of March 25, 1971.
General SHFJ Manekshaw, Chief of Army Staff, realised that the major question of India’s defence policy could not be dealt with in purely military terms. As Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, he pressed for political involvement of the Government. For the first time a political representative in the person of DP Dhar, designated as Chairman of the Planning Committee of the Ministry of External Affairs, was inducted into the war council. On the civil side, a secretariat committee was set up to take executive decisions, dealing with preparations for war and their execution. The committee consisted of the Secretaries of Defence, Home, Finance and Foreign Affairs, with Kao as Member Secretary.
With the go-ahead signal, RAW’s underground network in East Pakistan came alive. Every six weeks 2,000 guerrillas were being trained by RAW, capable of taking on the enemy in hit and run encounters.
After the war for liberation was over, Bangla Desh was estimated as a sovereign state with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as its head. RAW agents continued to keep an eye on developments in the newly born country. By the end of 1973, RAW reports began to indicate unrest in the country. Nair met Mujib and apprised him of the situation. Mujib, preoccupied with other events, that engulfed his country, shrugged off the warning.
Four months later, RAW agents received information of a meeting between Major Rashid, Major Farooq and Lt Col Usmani at Zia-ur-Rahman’s residence. The decision, among other things, had centred on the coup. During the three-hour meeting one of the participants had doodled on a scrap of paper, which had been carelessly thrown into the waste basket. The scrap had been collected from the rubbish pile by a clerk and passed on to the RAW operative. The information finally reached New Delhi.
Kao, convinced that a coup was in the offing, flew into Dacca, under cover of a pan exporter. After his arrival at Dacca, he was driven to a rendezvous arranged beforehand. Mujib is reported to have found the exercise highly dramatic and just could not understand why Kao could not have come to see him officially.
The Kao-Mujib meeting lasted one hour. Kao was unable to convince Mujib that a coup was brewing and that his life was threatened, in spite of being given the names of those suspected to have been involved.
Les than three months later, on the night of August 14, an army manoeuvre took place. The Bengal Lancers and the Bangla Desh Armoured Corps moved out of the cantonment to the capital’s half built airport. A few hours later, the same evening, 40 members of the Mujib household along wit Sheikh Mujib, lay dead. The killings lasted three minutes.
On November 3, a counter coup led by Brigadier Khaled Musharraf was followed by yet another counter coup that established General Zia-ur-Rahman in power. It was on General Zia’s subsequent goodwill visit to India that a formal meeting between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Bangla Desh President took place. Kao was also present. General Zia is reported to have remarked that ‘‘this man (referring to Kao) knows more about my country than I do.’’
(Edited excerpts from Inside RAW: The story of India’s Secret Service by Asoka Raina,New Delhi, 1981)
|Dec 18, 2008
Source: PakAlert – By Isha Khan
Pakistani policemen escort militants involved in bomb blasts in the southern Sindh province with the alleged backing of India’s intelligence agency R.A.W. in 2005. (Photo: Asif Hassan / AFP-Getty Images)
India’s intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R.A.W.), created in 1968, has assumed a significant status in the formulation of the country’s domestic and foreign policies, particularly the latter. Working directly under the prime minister, it has over the years become an effective instrument of India’s national power. In consonance with Kautilya’s precepts, R.A.W.’s espionage doctrine is based on the principle of waging a continuous series of battles of intrigues and secret wars. (Kautilya, or more popularly, Chânakya, was an ancient Indian political theorist.)
Since its creation, R.A.W. has been a vital, though unobtrusive, actor in the Indian policy-making apparatus. But it is the massive international dimensions of R.A.W. operations that merit a closer examination. To the credit of this organization, it has in a very short span of time mastered the art of spy warfare. Credit must go to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970’s gave it a changed and much more dynamic role. To suit her much publicized Indira Doctrine (India Doctrine), Gandhi specifically asked R.A.W. to create a powerful organ within the organization that could undertake covert operations in neighboring countries. It is this capability that makes R.A.W. a more fearsome agency than the superior K.G.B., C.I.A., M.I.6, B.N.D., or Mossad.
Its internal role is confined only to monitoring events that have a bearing on the external threat. R.A.W.’s boss works directly under the prime minister. An Additional secretary to the government of India, under the director of R.A.W., is responsible for the Office of Special Operations, intelligence collected from different countries, internal security (under the director general of security), the electronic/technical section, and general administration. The additional secretary as well as the director general of security is also under the director of R.A.W. The director of security has two important sections: the Aviation Research Center and the Special Services Bureau. The joint director has specified desks with different regional divisions/areas (countries): area one, Pakistan; area two, China and Southeast Asia; area three, the Middle East and Africa; and area four, other countries.
The Aviation Research Center (A.R.C.) is responsible for interception, monitoring and jamming of a target country’s communication systems. It has the most sophisticated electronic equipment and also a substantial number of aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art eavesdropping devices. A.R.C. was strengthened in mid-1987 by the addition of three new aircraft, all Gulf Stream-3s. These aircraft can reportedly fly at an altitude of 52,000 feet and have an operating range of 5,000 kilometers. A.R.C. also controls a number of radar stations located close to India’s borders. Its aircraft also carry out oblique reconnaissance, along the border with Bangladesh, China, Nepal, and Pakistan.
Having been given virtual carte blanche to conduct destabilization operations in neighboring countries inimical to India, R.A.W. seriously undertook restructuring of its organization accordingly. R.A.W. was given a list of seven countries—Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Maldives—that India considered its principal regional protagonists. It very soon systematically and brilliantly crafted covert operations in all these countries to coerce, destabilize, and subvert them in consonance with the foreign policy objectives of the Indian government.
R.A.W.’s operations against the regional countries were conducted with great professional skill and expertise. Central to the operations was the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It used and targeted political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness, and criminal elements within these states to foment subversion, terrorism, and sabotage. Having thus created conducive environments, R.A.W. stage-managed future events in these countries in such a way that military intervention appears a natural concomitant of the events. In most cases, R.A.W.’s hand remained hidden, but more often than not target countries soon began unearthing this “hidden hand.” A brief expose of R.A.W.’s operations in neighboring countries, “Open Secrets: India’s Intelligence Unveiled ” by M. K. Dhar (Manas Publications, New Delhi, 2005), revealed the full expanse of its regional ambitions to suit the India Doctrine.
Indian intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, beginning in the early 1960’s. Its operatives were in touch with Sheikh Mujib for quite some time. Sheikh Mujib went to Agartala in 1965. The famous Agartala case was unearthed in 1967. In fact, the main purpose of raising R.A.W. in 1968 was to organize covert operations in Bangladesh. As early as 1968, R.A.W. was given a green light to begin mobilizing all its resources for the impending surgical intervention in erstwhile East Pakistan. When in July 1971 General Manekshaw told Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that the army would not be ready until December to intervene in Bangladesh, she quickly turned to R.A.W. for help. R.A.W. was ready. Its officers used Bengali refugees to set up the guerilla force Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, the Indian military sneaked deep into Bangladesh. The story of Mukti Bahini and R.A.W.’s role in its creation and training is now well known. R.A.W. never concealed its Bangladesh operations. (See Asoka Raina’s “Inside R.A.W.: the story of India’s Secret Service, Vikas Publishing House of New Delhi.)
The creation of Bangladesh was masterminded by R.A.W. in complicity with the K.G.B. under the covert clauses of the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (adopted as the 25-Year Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in 1972).
R.A.W. retained a keen interest in Bangladesh even after its independence. Subramaniam Swamy, Janata Dal member of Parliament, a close associate of Morarji Desai, said that Rameswar Nath Kao, former chief of R.A.W., and Shankaran Nair were upset about Sheikh Mujib’s assassination and chalked a plot to kill Gen. Ziaur Rahman. However, when Desai came to power in 1977 he was indignant at R.A.W.’s role in Bangladesh and ordered operations in Bangladesh to be called off; but by then R.A.W. had already gone too far. General Zia continued in power for quite some time but was assassinated after Indira Gandhi returned to power, though she denied involvement in his assassination (Weekly Sunday, Calcutta, Sept. 18, 1988).
R.A.W. was involved in training of Chakma tribes and Shanti Bahini, who carried out subversive activities in Bangladesh. It also unleashed a well-organized plan of psychological warfare, created polarization among the armed forces, propagated false allegations of the use of Bangladesh territory by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, created dissension among the political parties and religious sects, controlled the media, denied the use of river waters, and propped up a host of disputes in order to keep Bangladesh under constant political and socio-economic pressure (See “R.A.W. and Bangladesh” by Mohammad Zainal Abedin, November 1995, and “R.A.W. in Bangladesh: Portrait of an Aggressive Intelligence,” written and published by Abu Rushd, Dhaka).
Sikkim and Bhutan
Sikkim was the easiest and most docile prey for R.A.W. Indira Gandhi annexed the Kingdom of Sikkim in the mid-1970’s. The deposed King Chogyal Tenzig Wangehuck was closely followed by R.A.W.’s agents until his death in 1992.
Bhutan, like Nepal and Sikkim, is a land-locked country totally dependent on India. R.A.W. developed links with members of the royal family as well as top bureaucrats to implements its policies. It cultivated agents from among Nepalese settlers and put itself in a position to create difficulties for the government of Bhutan. In fact, the king of Bhutan has been reduced to the position of merely acquiescing to New Delhi’s decisions and goes by its dictates in the international arena.
Post-independence Sri Lanka, despite having a multi-sectoral population, was a peaceful country until 1971 and was following an independent foreign policy. During the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, despite heavy pressure from India, Sri Lanka allowed Pakistan’s civil and military aircraft and ships to stage through its air and seaports with unhindered refueling facilities. It had also permitted Israel to establish a nominal intelligence presence and permitted the installation of a high-powered transmitter by Voice of America, which was resented by India.
It was because of these “irritants” that Indira Gandhi planned to bring Sri Lanka into the fold of the so-called Indira Doctrine (India Doctrine). Kao was told by Gandhi to repeat their Bangladesh success. R.A.W. went looking for militants it could train to destabilize the regime. Camps were set up in Tamil Nadu and old R.A.W. guerrilla trainers were dug out of retirement. R.A.W. began arming the Tamil Tigers and training them at centers such as Gunda and Gorakhpur. As a sequel to this ploy, Sri Lanka was forced into the Indian power web when the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 was singed and the Indian Peacekeeping Force landed in Sri Lanka.
The Ministry of External Affairs was upset at R.A.W.’s role in Sri Lanka as they felt that R.A.W. was continuing negotiations with Tamil Tiger leader Parabhakaran in contravention to the Indian government’s foreign policy. According to R. Swaminathan, (former special secretary of R.A.W.) it was this outfit that was used as the intermediary between Rajib Gandhi and Tamil leader Parabhakaran. Former Indian high commissioner in Sri Lanka J. N. Dixit even accused R.A.W. of having given 10 million rupees to the L.T.T.E. (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). At a later stage, R.A.W. built up the E.P.R.L.F. (Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front) and E.N.D.L.F. (Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front) to fight against the L.T.T.E., which made the situation in Sri Lanka highly volatile and uncertain later on.
Under a well-orchestrated R.A.W. plan, on Nov. 30, 1988, a 300- to 400-strong well-trained force of mercenaries armed with automatic weapons, initially said to be of unknown origin, infiltrated in boats and stormed the capital of Maldives. They resorted to indiscriminate shooting and took high-level government officials hostage. At the Presidential Palace, the small contingent of loyal national guards offered stiff resistance, which enabled President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to move to a safe place where he issued urgent appeals for help from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Britain, and the United States.
Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi reacted promptly and about 1,600 combat troops belonging to the 50th Independent Para-Brigade in conjunction with Indian naval units landed at Male, the capital of Maldives, under the code name Operation Cactus. A number of Indian air force transport aircraft, escorted by fighters, were used for landing personnel, heavy equipment, and supplies. Within hours of landing, Indian troops flushed out the attackers from the streets and hideouts. Some of them surrendered to Indian troops, and many were captured by Indian naval units while trying to escape with their hostages in a Maldivian ship, Progress Light. Most of the 30 hostages, including Ahmed Majtaba, Maldives’ minister of transport, were released. The Indian government announced the success of Operation Cactus and complimented the armed forces for a good job done.
The Indian defense minister, while addressing air force personnel at Bangalore, claimed that the country’s prestige had been raised because of the peace-keeping role played by Indian forces in Maldives. The international community in general and South Asian states in particular, however, viewed with suspicion the over-all concept and motives of the operation. The Western media described it as a display by India of its newly acquired military muscle and its growing role as a regional police force. Although the apparent identification of two Maldivian nationals among the mercenaries, at face value, link it with previous such attempts, other converging factors indicative of external involvement could hardly be ignored. That the mercenaries sailed from Manar and Kankasanturai in Sri Lanka, which were in complete control of the Indian Peacekeeping Force, and the timing and speed of India’s intervention proved its involvement beyond any doubt.
Since the partition of the subcontinent, India has openly meddled in Nepal’s internal affairs by contriving internal strife and conflicts through R.A.W. to destabilize the successive legitimate governments and prop up puppet regimes that would be more amenable to Indian machinations. Armed insurrections were sponsored and abetted by R.A.W. and later requests for military assistance to control these conflicts were managed through pro-India leaders. India has been aiding and inciting the Nepalese dissidents to collaborate with the Nepali Congress. For this they were supplied arms whenever the king or the Nepalese government appeared to be drifting away from India’s dictates and impinging on India’s hegemonic designs in the region. In fact, under the garb of the so-called democratization measures, the Maoists were actively encouraged to collect arms and resort to open rebellion against the legitimate Nepalese governments. The contrived rebellions provided India an opportunity to intervene militarily in Nepal, ostensibly to control the insurrections, which were masterminded by R.A.W. itself. It was an active replay of the Indian performance in Sri Lanka and Maldives a few years earlier. R.A.W. is particularly aiding the people of Indian origin and has been providing them with arms and ammunition. R.A.W. has also infiltrated the ethnic Nepali refugees who have been extradited by Bhutan and taken refuge in eastern Nepal. R.A.W. can exploit its links with these refugees whenever either country goes against Indian interests. Besides, the Nepalese economy is totally controlled by Indian moneylenders, financiers, and business mafia. (See “R.A.W.’s Machinations in South Asia” by Shastra Dutta Pant, Kathmandu, 2003.)
Since December 1979, throughout the Afghan War, the K.G.B., K.H.A.D. (W.A.D.) (a former Afghan intelligence outfit), and R.A.W. stepped up their efforts to concentrate on influencing and covertly exploiting the tribes on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. There was intimate coordination between the three intelligence agencies not only in Afghanistan but also in Pakistan, where destabilization was sought through a subversion and sabotage plan related to Afghan refugees and mujahideen in the tribal belt and inside Pakistan. They jointly organized spotting and recruitment of hostile tribesmen and trained them in guerrilla warfare, infiltration, subversion, sabotage, and the establishment of saboteur forces/terrorist organizations in the pro-Afghan tribes of Pakistan in order to carry out bombings in Afghan refugee camps in the Northwest Frontier province (NWFP) and Baluchistan to threaten and pressure them to return to Afghanistan. They also carried out bomb blasts in populated areas deep inside Pakistan to create panic and hatred in the minds of locals against Afghan refugee mujahideen to pressure Pakistan to change its policies on Afghanistan.
R.A.W. considers Sindh province to be Pakistan’s soft underbelly. It has made it the prime target for sabotage and subversion. R.A.W. has enrolled an extensive network of agents and antigovernment elements and is convinced that with a little push restless Sindh will revolt. Taking full advantage of the agitation in Sindh in 1983, and the periodic ethnic riots, which have continued to today, R.A.W. has deeply penetrated Sindh and cultivated dissidents and secessionists, thereby creating hard-liners unlikely to allow peace to return to Sindh. R.A.W. is also similarly involved in Baluchistan.
R.A.W. is also being blamed for confusing the ground situation is Kashmir so as to keep the world’s attention away from the gross human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (I.S.I.), being almost 20 years older than R.A.W. and having acquired a much higher standard of efficiency in its functioning, has become the prime target of R.A.W.’s designs. The I.S.I. is considered to be a stumbling block in R.A.W.’s operations and has been made a target of massive misinformation and propaganda campaigns. The tirade against I.S.I. continues unabated. The idea is to keep I.S.I. on the defensive by alleging that it has had a hand in supporting the Kashmiri mujahideen and the Sikhs in Punjab. R.A.W.’s fixation on I.S.I. has taken the shape of I.S.I.-phobia, as in India everyone traces the origin of all happenings and shortcomings to the I.S.I. Whenever and wherever there is a kidnapping, a bank robbery, a financial scandal, a bomb blast, or what have you, the I.S.I. is deemed to have had a hand in it. (See “R.A.W.: Global and Regional Ambitions” edited by Rashid Ahmad Khan and Muhammad Saleem, Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Asia Printers, Islamabad, 2005).
In summary, R.A.W. over the years has admirably fulfilled its tasks of destabilizing target states through the unbridled export of terrorism. The Indira Doctrine spelt out a difficult and onerous role for R.A.W. It goes to its credit that it has accomplished its assigned objectives due to the endemic weakness in the state apparatus of these nations and the failures of their leaders.
Alevi leaders have condemned a series of arson attacks against mosques that started last week in İstanbul and expressed concern that the fires could be the work of foreign powers trying to play off Alevis and Sunnis in Turkey against each other.
Eight mosques were set on fire this past week on İstanbul’s Asian side by unidentified perpetrators. Seven of the mosques suffered minor damage, while the Medine Mosque in Kadıköy was destroyed completely in a fire on Saturday. The police have set up a special team to track down the attackers.
World Ehli Beyt Foundation President Fermani Altun said Turkey had seen similar situations before, recalling past incidents in the Anatolian cities of Maraş and Çorum. He also called on people not to be tricked into conflict.
Selahattin Özgündüz, the leader of Turkey’s Jafari Shiites, called on citizens from all segments of society to be careful and not fall into a “trap.” He stressed: “Imperialists who would like to keep alive a certain ethnic conflict are also trying to start a sectarian conflict. The same hands throwing Molotov cocktails at mosques will soon attack the cemevis [Alevi places of worship]. For this reason, our citizens of every religion should be very careful. We are together on this boat.” Muharrem Ercan, the chairman of the Karacahmet Sultan Dergah Cemevi, said: “The individuals who are doing this are directed by foreign powers. They are provocateurs in the games others play in Turkey. As an Alevi spiritual elder, I call on the entire Alevi and Islamic community not to fall into this trap.”