The founding fathers of Pakistan laid out the concept of Pakistan in clear, unambiguous terms; it would be a separate homeland for the Muslims of the (Indian) Subcontinent. This dream turned into reality on August 14, 1947 when the world witnessed a new country being carved out of India’s north-west. There was no ‘hidden agenda’ behind Pakistan’s establishment. On the contrary, our founding fathers were brave enough to propagate their ideas amidst a strict colonial regime and the Brahmin elite who voluntarily served as the Raj’s lickspittles.
Since India became a Hindu-majority country, hardcore Hindu radicals (Hindutva) occupied the actual seats of power behind-the-scenes. As soon as they seized control of a separate state, their pandits rejoiced in happiness, considering this an omen from the gods to reclaim the lost glory of “Akhand Bharat” (Greater India).
The story of Akhand Bharat is by and large known to all. It is basically a radical Indian (Hindu, to be precise) dream of controlling the territories from the western border of Afghanistan in the west, to Sri Lanka’s southernmost tip in the south, till the easternmost tip of Bangladesh to the east and Tibet in the north.
Keeping India’s desired control in context will help us examine it has been menacingly interfering in neighboring countries since its inception:
In 1971, East Pakistan broke away to become “Bangladesh”. Mukti Bahini, a splinter group of rebels headed by Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman massacred tens and thousands of Pakistanis and especially the ethnic Biharis; to this day, this community is highly persecuted in Bangladesh. The country was supported by India not for “independence”, as many falsely believe. India employed the legendary British “divide and rule” strategy to achieve the first objective: break away East Pakistan from its Western (mainland) unit. The second objective is under development, as India is already deeply involved in Bangladeshi politics. The country’s military and political setup is heavily influenced by whatever policy narratives New Delhi sets forth. Little wonder why Sheikh Hasina and her likes continue taunting Pakistan and re-living the days in which Pakistan was accused of killing Bangladeshis. A complete exposure of what truly happened in Bangladesh can be read in Qutbuddin Aziz’ monumental work “Blood and Tears”.
Bangladesh is a close ally of India as regards regional affairs. In recent years, it has started executing now-aged Jamaat-e-Islami leaders who were against the Indian support for Mukti Bahini. Dhaka wants to signal Islamabad its intentions very clearly and behind it are the same Brahmin elites who call the shots in the echelons of power at New Delhi.
A few examples can be read here:
Comment: India wishes to use Bangladesh as a cheap satellite and buffer state not only to keep China in check, but also keep a tab on Myanmar; New Delhi believes forces in Myanmar are providing support to Nagaland separatists its troubled northeast.
India has a long history of interfering in Myanmar’s affairs. The most recent example is the purported Special Forces raid against “miscreants” in Burmese territory (denied by Myanmar). Behaving exactly as an aggressive, assertive and hegemonic state would, India revealed its true ambitions by employing Special Forces for cross-border raids. Without realizing the consequences of such an initiative, India wants to signal regional countries that it is serious about becoming a “regional superpower”.
It is also ironic and hypocritical of New Delhi to have conducted a raid in Myanmar in such a way. Its erstwhile adversary China, which is accused by the West and India of being aggressive, actually signed a Non-Aggression Pact with India and Myanmar vowing never to violate their territorial sanctity of threaten their sovereignty. Compare that with what “Shining India” did and you have a façade of massive proportions; New Delhi’s “smiling diplomacy” is akin to the classic Hindi saying “Bagal mein chhuri, mu pe Ram Ram” (Talks for peace on the outside, wielding a knife inside). This is the modus operandi of Indian diplomacy.
A few examples of India’s interference in Myanmar can be read here:
In his 2010 book “Burma Or Myanmar?: The Struggle for National Identity“, author Lowell Dittmer writes about Indo-Burmese relations as follows:
“…India continues to be perceived in a questionable, if not negative, light within Burma’s dominant political culture, notwithstanding the cultural events, Bollywood movies, educational exchange programs and Buddhist pilgrimages New Delhi has promoted there. Distrust and suspicion of India’s long-term ambitions in the region also remain entrenched within the Burmese intellectual elite, including various exiled pro-democracy communities. Many pro-democracy Burmese activists, in fact, cannot come to terms with New Delhi’s new “velvet policy” toward the ruling junta. The image of a greedy (yet democratic) India wooing the Burmese military junta for its own national interests has angered many exiled pro-democracy activities who are upset about India’s apparent neglect of the Burmese democratic struggle. India faces both overt xenophobia and more subtle perceptions of opportunism throughout multiple layers of Burmese society“.
“…the geographical configuration of the still-unsecured border poses another powerful obstacle to India’s economic and strategic ambitions in Burma.”
Dittmer concludes Indo-Burmese ties in the following words: “More than a decade and half of strategic engagement with and courting of the Burmese military junta in Rangoon has not succeeded in fulfilling India’s foreign policy objectives in the region… In wider geopolitical terms, India’s setbacks in Burma may actually have helped stymie an open and threatening strategic rivalry between India and China – a potential “Great Game” – from taking shape in the region“.
Comment: It is worth noting that after the recent Indian raid in Myanmar, the military has become deeply angered with New Delhi’s aggressive ambitions. It is also worth noting that these attacks come conspicuously days after a delegation of Myanmar Air Force personnel toured Pakistan; reports are in circulation that Burmese military junta intend to purchase the JF-17 Thunder jet, jointly developed by Pakistan and China. India’s frustration seems to stem from what it views as the Burmese military’s growing tilt towards a China-dominated geostrategic nexus which, among other states, includes Pakistan.
Tales of India’s clandestine support for the Tamil Tiger terrorists (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or “LTTE” for short) were an open secret. Almost every lay student of security studies knew what geopolitical stakes India has in controlling Sri Lanka. New Delhi’s hegemonic maritime initiatives to literally make the Indian Ocean an “Indian” Ocean are known by and large to Beijing, Islamabad, Colombo and Rangoon. One Sri Lankan newspaper actually labelled the LTTE as “India’s Taliban”.
Scores of civilians and military personnel were killed during all these years before the insurgency was put down with the assistance of friendly countries, most notably Pakistan. Reading the following articles will help readers get a better picture of New Delhi’s terrorism in the small island country of Sri Lanka:
Comment: India is increasingly disturbed with the access of Chinese submarines to Sri Lankan ports. It fears a strong Chinese naval presence in the region along with frequent goodwill visits by Pakistani naval vessels.
It is common knowledge among Pakistanis that India is fueling unrest in restive Balochistan province, the crime and terror-infested metropolis of Karachi and also across Pakistan. Military officials and state officials have time and again raised voices against New Delhi’s aggressive destabilization tactics. In politics, India is found complicit supporting a sub-nationalist Pashtun party in KPK (which dreams of a “Pashtunistan”) and an ethnic political party in Karachi (which wants a separate “Jinnahpur” province). Most notably, India has been sponsoring separatist Baloch leaders in self-exile such as Hybyair Marri, Mehran Marri and Brahamdagh Bugti. It also supports separatist movements in Gilgit-Baltistan such for an independent “Balawaristan”. A prominent lobbyist sponsored by New Delhi from the region is Senge Hasnan Sering, a self-proclaimed freedom fighter for Gilgit-Baltistan in Washington D.C. In Sindh too, India continues to fund sub-nationalist, separatist movements such as the Jeay Sindh Mutahhida Mahaz or JSMM (led by Shafi Burfat, in self-exile at Kabul) and the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz or JSQM. The JSMM is foremost in demanding an independent “Sindhudesh”.
Reading some of the articles below will give a brief summary of India’s interference/involvement in Pakistan:
How to make proxy war succeed in Balochistan (an Indian perspective from Dr. Amarjit Singh)
Independent Sindhudesh and Balochistan is the need of time (Indian perspectives)
A Federation of Balochistan, India and Sindhu Desh (an Indian perspective)
‘Don’t make LoC permanent, we want to be in India’ (quoting Senge Sering)
‘Gilgit Baltistan would prefer India to Pakistan’ (quoting Senge Sering)
‘Harbiyar Marri, Brahamdagh Bugti Indian spies’ (quoting a Pakistani political party)
India has long been using Afghanistan and its majority Tajik-controlled setup to wield influence against forging of better ties with Pakistan. Historically, India’s intelligence agency RAW had trained earlier formations of Afghan intelligence such as “KHAD” and “RAMA”; presently, the refined NDS is an American creation. India uses several of its consulates and its embassy to damage Pakistan’s interests in the region.
Reading the articles below provide some insight into this:
‘RAW is training 600 Balochis in Afghanistan’ (quoting a senior Pakistani senator, then aide to General Pervez Musharraf)
‘Delhi running terror camps in Afghanistan’ (quoting a former federal minister of Pakistan)
New Delhi has been accused of deep meddling in the country’s politics and tiring effortlessly to wield influence over the country’s military. The following articles help shed light on this assertion:
Comment: Following the tragic earthquake in Nepal which killed thousands of people, Nepali citizens were also furious over India’s attempts to exploit the disaster as a global PR stunt. Details can be read here:
The tiny state of Bhutan is heavily dependent on Indian aid and military support. Several Indian military officers have often been deployed on key positions in the Bhutanese military for training and other instructional appointments. India considers Bhutan a satellite state, just like Nepal and Bangladesh.
Some noteworthy reads:
India has been covertly supporting the Dalai Lama and the Tibet “resistance” against integration with mainland China. In this regard, they have assistance with US intelligence as well.
The following articles shed light on this issue:
The official website of ‘Friends of Tibet’ which advocates for an independent Tibet. Its office is in Mumbai, India.
Maldives is a Muslim-majority island state to India’s south which has also witnessed repeated interference (political and military) from New Delhi’s hegemons.
Some insightful articles are as follows:
The few examples listed above are of countries immediately or nearly neighboring India. They have suffered repeated intervention by India in the political and military spheres. New Delhi aspires to become a regional superpower and subjugate/overpower “weaker” states in its immediate neighborhood. It plans to achieve these objectives using foreign-sponsored political subversion, military intervention through conventional/special forces and creating tantrums in regional bodies such as SAARC and globally through the UN.
The current Hindutva government of Narendra Modi, with his equally hawkish and warmongering ministers, is a danger for regional peace and prosperity. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it has never interfered in other countries’ interests. This is because Pakistan was created as a homeland for Indian Muslims and not as an aggressive country, unlike India which has become the most dreaded hegemon in Asia.
Renowned blogger Riaz Haq’s article ‘BJP makes “Akhand Bharat” part of Indian school textbooks’ makes for a very interesting read.
Pakistan never had any expansionist aims and ambitions. Unlike India, it has never toppled elected regimes or conducted military raids on foreign soils. It leaves little to ask who the hegemon in Asia is.
Sooner or later, countries affected by India will have to unite together to counter India’s ambitions of realizing an “Akhand Bharat”.