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Death sentence and final statement of Taher, and Ziaur Rahman

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Colonel Taher

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General Ziaur Rahman

Amin Ahmed Chowdhury, Bir Bikram

In 1976, although General Ziaur Rahman was the only rallying force, yet he like other Forces’ Chiefs of the Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force, was one of the three Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrators and not the Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA) as reported in the newspapers. It apparently looks like a minor mistake but it needs to be corrected because it has a bigger connotation. The then President Justice ASM Sayem was the CMLA, who as the President and CMLA as well, confirmed the death sentence of Col Taher. As an eminent jurist he could have at least resigned. He did not do so. The entire command structure of the Bangladesh Armed Forces were then shaken so much that almost all the commanders of the Armed Forces were of the opinion that if Taher remained alive they would not be able to command their troops; rather, they might be killed as it already happened with so many other officers. In that case they were ready to resign almost en-masse – let Ziaur Rahman and Taher command the Armed Forces.

The court proceedings and chargesheet of Taher Trial were not published. But Col Taher’s final statement was published in some of the newspapers. In that memorable statement, the immortal Taher frankly said that he wanted Zia to take over as the President and CMLA of the country which Zia politely refused and he (Zia) rather insisted that the government. must continue and let Justice Sayem continue as the President and CMLA. Tactfully, Zia ousted Khandker Mustaque who, with the support of 1st Bengal Lancers and 2nd Field Artillery Regiment wanted to remain as the President and CMLA of the country, dislodging Justice Sayem, the nominee of Gen Khaled Musharraf and Col Shaffat Jamil. The troops of Lancer and Artillery also wanted that Col. Farook and Col. Rashid be brought back from abroad and posted to their original battalions that is 1st Bengal Lancer and 2nd Field Artillery respectively.

Later on, in 1980 Gen. Zia dismissed Col Farook and Col. Rashid from the Army. That means Zia did not use Taher to capture power for himself but requested Col Taher to rescue him from the house arrest where Col Taher wanted to capture power by using the goodwill of Gen. Zia which Zia used to enjoy tremendously both among the troops and the civilian population. In fact, using the excuse of rescuing Zia from house arrest, Col Taher wanted to capture power by force. It was evident by his statement when he mentioned that his troops in the Radio Station were not allowing Zia and Mustaque to enter the Radio Station until Zia succumbed to the demands of the soldiers. Although Col Taher never liked Mustaque, yet he allowed Mustaque to deliver his speech for smooth transition of power to Justice Sayem so that Col Taher could be more assertive. Later on, Zia arrested Mustaque for his mischievous activities.

It was interesting to note that after August 15, especially during the first week of October, 1975, Col Taher fixed the date of his revolution on the night of 6/7 November, 1975 to commemorate the Bolshevic Revolution. To him to be at par with the Bolshevic Revolution was more important than any individual, be it Zia, Khaled Musharraf or Gen MAG Osmany. The November 03 1975 coup gave him a God-gifted opportunity to execute easily his dreamy revolution by motivating loyal troops on a common objective of getting Ziaur Rahman out of house arrest and thereby initiating the Bolshevic-type revolution. Obviously, he did not initiate the revolution immediately but on November 07, 1975, Col Taher was expecting immediate help from Mao Tse Tung of China — how it is anybody’s guess. Ultimately his brave innocent younger brothers Freedom Fighters Bahar, Bir Pratik and Belal, Bir Pratik made a desperate attempt to kidnap Samar Sen to use him as a bargaining chip for rescuing Taher from the gallows. Belal could escape death but on the spot Bahar was killed by on-duty police. These are historical facts.
Since 1974, Col Taher had been looking for an opportune moment to carry out hurricane raids to capture power. It was his dreamy idea which he used to propagate every now and then though nobody took it seriously. Once after August 15, 1975, Col Taher threatened the August coup leaders, by saying that they, posing as heroes, should not fly high because they just highjacked his plan and executed it before he himself could. He was ousted summarily from the Army because of his revolutionary ideas. Yet he used to feel that it was Gen. Khaled who was instrumental in removing him from the Army. Col Taher also said that he warned his troops not to kill/injure officers; yet he expected that while entering the Radio Station or the domain of Col Taher, Zia without hesitation should have endorsed what troops were demanding; otherwise troops might have become violent. He referred that Zia is a traitor — the other side of the coin of Khaled Musharraf. Why was Khaled’s name brought in? Perhaps because in the court proceedings, Khaled’s tragic death came in as because he was killed on the first hour of the so-called revolution allegedly by the soldiers loyal to Col Taher, who masterminded the so-called revolution. Was it his last minute justification of that cold-blooded brutal murder of Khaled Musharraf, a legendary war hero and a patriot of the highest order by the people who once served under Khaled so loyally and yet were motivated by the revolutionary ideas of Col Taher to carry out such a heinous crime? How a well-trained commissioned officer could instigate troops in chanting slogans “Sepoy Sepoy Bhai Bhai officerer roktao chai” (All sepoys are brothers and we want the blood of officers). Col Taher’s own brother was a corporal; yet he did not kill Col Taher whereas innocent officers of even 19 and 21 years of age or so, including young maiden medical officers and housewives were killed, along with senior officers.

What was the purpose of such senseless killings? Nobody knows except that as it happened in recent past in the Peelkhana carnage 06, 2009, probably systematically to deprive the country of its front-ranking military leadership cadres, creating a terrible vacuum and chaos in the command structure of the troops, making room for any third party to capture power so as to plunder the country’s wealth.

Under military law, insubordination is a graver offence – short of mutiny. Putting obstacle or not allowing any superior officer to discharge his official duties is a clear-cut offence. Section 32 of the Army Act refers to that. For committing such an offence of graver nature, a soldier (including an officer) can be punished with 14 years rigorous imprisonment (RI). Under Military Law, a soldier always includes any officer. A soldier can never be a trade union leader. It is forbidden. Even two brothers together cannot submit any complaint but individually. If that is jointly submitted, it is a cognizable offence. If one does this type of grave offence amounting to gross insubordination violating the service rules and regulations, how can that be condoned? If soldiers take arms at their own and defy command, it is a mutiny, punishable with death sentence. Section 31 of the Army Act refers to that. Under the Military Law, Sections 24-58 are the clauses that deal with military offences. All offences of civil nature comes under Section 59 of MBML to be read with the relevant sections of the Penal Code of civil law. In the Penal Code, Section 132 of Civil Law clearly defines abetting mutiny which Col Taher in his own statement said troops loyal to him, defying officers’ command in many places and killing officers including their wives or lady doctors, carried out a successful revolution or an armed revolt against the prevailing establishment. If such an offence is committed under the prevailing law (under that law Col Taher used to get his pension), it is punishable with death sentence. This is what Penal Code says – sections 131-135 refers to that. How to condone such offences if allegedly committed by Col Taher as he himself admitted? Some remedial measures or condoning the offence committed must have been there some where in the law book – but that is not to my knowledge.

The military law, that is the Acts of the Army, Navy and Air Force were introduced in the British Indian Armed Forces in 1911, duly approved. After the partition of 1947, the parliaments of India and Pakistan adapted the same law, as it is, including rules regulations and Cantonment Act 1924; so was the case in Bangladesh and with its parliament. Military law is part and parcel of the prevailing civil law of the country. And civil law is always supreme; Army Act Section 94 mentions this. Exerting concurrent jurisdiction, the civil law can prevail upon military law as far as civil offences are concerned. Why did not the then President of the country prevail upon the then military authority if they were influencing court proceedings? It is not very clear. And the then President, unlike Zia who might not bother about civil rights or fundamental of the citizens, was a Chief Justice and an eminent jurist of the country.

Ignorance is bliss. In 1982, the Ministry of Defense published the military law book, titled Manual of Bangladesh Army Law. There is nothing called Army Law, but Army Act or Navy and Air Force Acts are there since the British days and together these make up the Military Law, known as Manual Of Bangladesh Military Law (MBML). Martial law originates from this nomenclature. If the Ministry of Defense does this type of silly mistake, then how is one going to establish rule of law and build traditional Armed Forces especially when we are so casual in military affairs and least bothered to take any appropriate measure? Rather we try to ignore all these silly mistakes which very often makes us a laughing stock in front of the whole world and in the process no wonder we start committing all sorts of faulty activities, creating anomalies everywhere. Let us say, for example, since1972-73 as the then JSD or Jatya Samajtrantik Dal started agitation in establishing ‘scientific socialism’ in a democratic environment which until today hardly anybody could explain what it is, because immediately they have been looking for, or switching over to, new cheap political slogans so that they could keep people busy coining the new slogans and quietly they could exploit the sentiments of innocent mass population of the country for gradually ascending onto power by any means. Similarly, within traditional Armed Forces in a democratic set-up and environment as per bright ideas of Col Taher, we started propagating about People’s Army, or say Productive Army, dismantling the existing traditional Armed Forces, so that soldiers start selling potatoes in the market and, as and when required, in the name of corruption, summarily officers get killed and in that process the Bangladesh Armed Forces are let to wither away.

(The writer, a retired Major General, is a valiant freedom fighter. In this write-up, he recollects the events that took place involving “immortal” Col. Taher and execution of his death sentence, providing, as he notes in his forwarding letter, “an objective analysis to get a factual picture”. He can be reached at e-mail: sejdach@gmail.com)

About the verdict on Colonel Taher trial

While giving the verdict on the legality of the punishment of Colonel Taher, the high-court bench of Justices Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Zakir Hossain declared that the whole trial process was illegal and it was in fact a cold blooded murder of Taher by Late president Ziaur Rahman.

What high-court did to come to this conclusion? They interviewed one shoddy journalist character Lawrence lifshultz, who is a political follower of Taher’s communist doctrine. Other interviewed are also 1. Political opponents of Ziaur Rahman’s political platform 2. Supporters of ruling party who took it as their prime job to destroy Zia’s image 3. Political followers of Colonel Taher. Even the judges who delivered the justice, are publicly known nemesis of Ziaur Rahman’s ideology and are former leaders of socialist political platform based on Taher’s doctrine. And this is probably the first court proceeding in Bangladesh history where an witness could simply deliver his opinion via e mail to a third person. There was no ‘balai’ of oath taking, cross examination etc.

Before we go further into what these two judges did and what their judgment means, lets see what Taher in fact did back in early 70s.

1. Taher revolted against the then Awami League government of Sheikh Mijibur Rahman and formed and led an armed force called ” Gonobahinee”. Thousands and thousands of Awami League activists, leaders as well as general people were killed by the armed force. Any literature describing Mujib era Bangladesh will give testimony of the atrocities of Taher’s Gonobahinee.

2. While all other sector commanders were being promoted in the army as Brigadier/ Major General and who in turn helped rebuild the army, Taher was sacked from Bangladesh army by Mujib Government. ( It is unclear what Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik had to say about this cold blooded sacking of ‘war hero’ Taher).

3. Many sources, well informed of the political military dynamics of 1975, say that it was Taher who was more likely to kill Mujib and there was an invisible race among Taher’s group and Faruq Rashids group in who would kill Mujib first. After hearing of the massacre of 15th August, most observers’ first suspicion was on Taher.

4. Taking the advantage of unstable situation of Bangladesh, Taher’s forces ( a select group of armed anti state forces including Taher’s brother Bahar) attacked Indian High Commission in Dhaka in an attempt to kill India’s high commissioner in Dhaka, Mr Samar Sen. Although Samar Sen survived with bullet wounds in his back, Police force guarding India’s high Commission shot and killed four members of Taher forces ( Including Taher brother Bahar).

5. About his 7th November coup this is what Taher himself said to the court that tried him,

In the above statement Taher comes down hard upon Major General Khaled Mosharraf. He also probably acknowledge being involved in his killing when he says that ‘when these cowards was begging for their lives on bent knees?’ Who were begging for their lives to him?

6. About 7th November he clearly claims that he conducted the coup and overthrew a government. He says this in the following statement,

The same judiciary which is all gung ho in coming down upon Ziaur Rahman for grabbing power by martial law, the same court which keeps on declaring power takeover by coups illegal every other day and takes yet another bite at Ziaur Rahman, suddenly has a change of heart in exonerating Taher’s military takeover that ultimately put Ziaur Rahman in power.

7. Taher clearly states that he requested martial law and he wanted Zia to be CMLA of the martial law and Zia declines to be CMLA.


8. What Taher really wanted to do?

In the above statement made to the court, he explains that he wanted to dismantle the tradition armed forces of Bangladesh and created a revolutionary forces. How many of our new generation Taher followers know what Taher’s plans meant? Do Justices Manik and Zakir know of Khmer Rouge of Cambodia? Do they know the history what Pol Pot did to the country in the name of peoples’ army run revolution of production? ( If anyone disagrees with above, we sure can have a lengthy academic discussion on the meaning of scientific socialism.)

Or in more recent history, would Nepalese military dismantle to pave the way for the Maoists to take over as peoples’ army?

9. The violent coup/ communist indoctrinated uprising that Taher staged, caused the lives of at least sixty members of armed forces ( Officers and their family). Among those killed included war hero, war time K force leader Khaled Mosharraf, war hero Col ATM Haider, war hero Col Saiful Huda. All of them were killed at the then military garrison at Sher e Bangla Nagar. Sher e Bangla Nagar happened to be the HQ of the rebel forces led by Taher. None of these war heroes were killed in a matter of minutes. They were all arrested, kept in the garrison at least nearly a day before being killed. It is impossible to believe that Taher was not aware of these high profile killings by his forces. But for the sake of debate, if one agrees that Taher was not aware of those killings, can Taher absolve himself of the responsibility of the murder of Khaled Mosharraf and 60 other? On many occasions, he claimed that he staged the mutiny. How can the leader of a mutiny can be exempted of the atrocities caused by a mutiny? Judge Manik et el are so passionate about correcting history, what about trial of the killers of Khaled Mosharraf and sixty others? One name comes again and again in relation to murder of Khaled/ Haider. i.e. Captain Jalil. Did our high-court bothered to summon Captain Jalil and ask him some question?

10. Pilkhana is fresh in our memory. The atrocities committed by BDR sepoys are despicable. A massacre was committed, rapes, loots, arson were indiscriminate. Bodies were burnt and buried in mass graves. Is there any scope of letting the leader of these crimes go unpunished citing technicality of law or lack of law? When murders/ killings are committed, the state has every right to hand maximal punishment to the killers. If Taher can be exonerated for staging a Pilkhana style violent fatal uprising, then on what logic the state can punish Pilkhana uprising leaders? In other words, if Pilkhana mutiny leader DAD Touhid is punished for his crimes, why can Taher not be punished?

11. There is a propaganda that Taher’s was a secret trial. In fact it was exactly the opposite.

Even Col Taher spoke for hours after hours. He was seen frequently misbehaving with the judge of the court.

12. Using high judiciary for partisan point scoring and distorting history is one of the gravest crimes against the state one can think of. One can certainly allege that Judge Manik and Zakir are doing exactly the same thing and then shutting everyone’s mouth by scaring them of contempt of court.

[The Bangla excerpts are purely Taher’s side of the story as these are taken from the website of Taher Shongshod. On a side note, one of Judges of High Court, Justice Ruhul Kuddus Babu is still the general secretary of the Songshod. The judge delivering the verdict was a long time leader of the socialist party Taher helped form ]

Source : http://rumiahmed.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/the-crimes-of-col-taher-and-pilkhana-trial/

RAW : An Instrument of Indian Imperialism

Source : thepeoplesvoice.org

Isha Khan

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(RAW) headquarters New Delhi

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), created in 1968, has assumed a significant status in the formulation of India’s domestic and foreign policies, particularly the later. 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, RAW’s espionage doctrine is based on the principle of waging a continuous series of battles of intrigues and secret wars.

RAW, ever since its creation, has always been a vital, though unobtrusive, actor in Indian policy-making apparatus. But it is the massive international dimensions of RAW operations that merit a closer examination. To the credit of this organization, it has in very short span of time mastered the art of spy warfare. Credit must go to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970s gave it a changed and much more dynamic role. To suit her much publicized Indira Doctrine, (actually India Doctrine) Mrs. Gandhi specifically asked RAW to create a powerful organ within the organization which could undertake covert operations in neighboring countries. It is this capability that makes RAW a more fearsome agency than its superior KGB, CIA, MI-6, BND and the Mossad.

Its internal role is confined only in monitoring events having bearing on the external threat. RAW’s boss works directly under the Prime Minister. An Additional Secretary to the Government of India, under the Director RAW, is responsible for the Office of Special Operations (OSO), 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 RAW. DG Security has two important sections: the Aviation Research Center (ARC) and the Special Services Bureau (SSB). The joint Director has specified desks with different regional divisions/areas (countries):

Area one. Pakistan: Area two, China and South East Asia: Area three, the Middle East and Africa: and Area four, other countries. Aviation Research Center (ARC) is responsible for interception, monitoring and jamming of 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. ARC was strengthened in mid-1987 by the addition of three new aircraft, the Gulf Stream-3. These aircraft can reportedly fly at an altitude of 52,000 ft and has an operating range of 5000 kms. ARC 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.

RAW having been given a virtual carte blanche to conduct destabilization operations in neighboring countries inimical to India to seriously undertook restructuring of its organization accordingly. RAW was given a list of seven countries (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Pakistan and Maldives) whom 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.

RAW’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 the conducive environments, RAW stage-managed future events in these countries in such a way that military intervention appears a natural concomitant of the events. In most cases, RAW’s hand remained hidden, but more often that not target countries soon began unearthing those “hidden hand”. A brief expose of RAW’s operations in neighboring countries would reveal the full expanse of its regional ambitions to suit India Doctrine ( Open Secrets : India’s Intelligence Unveiled by M K Dhar. Manas Publications, New Delhi, 2005).

Bangladesh

Indian intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh since early 1960s. 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 RAW in 1968 was to organise covert operations in Bangladesh. As early as in 1968, RAW was given a green signal to begin mobilising 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 till December to intervene in Bangladesh, she quickly turned to RAW for help. RAW was ready. Its officers used Bengali refugees to set up Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, Indian military sneaked deep into Bangladesh. The story of Mukti Bahini and RAW’s role in its creation and training is now well-known. RAW never concealed its Bangladesh operations.

Interested readers may have details in Asoka Raina’s Inside RAW: the Story of India’s Secret Service published by Vikas Publishing House of New Delhi.The creation of Bangladesh was masterminded by RAW in complicity with KGB under the covert clauses of Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation (adopted as 25-year Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation in 1972).

RAW retained a keen interest in Bangladesh even after its independence. Mr. Subramaniam Swamy, Janata Dal MP, a close associate of Morarji Desai said that Rameswar Nath Kao, former Chief of RAW, and Shankaran Nair upset about Sheikh Mujib’s assassination chalked a plot to kill General Ziaur Rahman. However, when Morarji Desai came into power in 1977 he was indignant at RAW’s role in Bangladesh and ordered operations in Bangladesh to be called off; but by then RAW had already gone too far. General Zia continued to be in power for quite some time but he was assassinated after Indira Gandhi returned to power, though she denied her involvement in his assassination( Weekly Sunday,Calcutta,18 September, 1988).

RAW was involved in training of Chakma tribals and Shanti Bahini who carry out subversive activities in Bangladesh. It has also unleashed a well-organized plan of psychological warfare, creation of polarisation among the armed forces, propaganda by false allegations of use of Bangladesh territory by ISI, creation of dissension’s among the political parties and religious sects, control of media, denial of river waters, and propping up a host of disputes in order to keep Bangladesh under a constant political and socio-economic pressure ( ” RAW and Bangladesh” by Mohammad Zainal Abedin, November 1995, RAW 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 RAW. Indira Gandhi annexed the Kingdom of Sikkim in mid-1970s, to be an integral part of India. The deposed King Chogyal Tenzig Wangehuck was closely followed by RAW’s agents until his death in 1992.

Bhutan, like Nepal and Sikkim, is a land-locked country, totally dependent on India. RAW has developed links with members of the royal family as well as top bureaucrats to implements its policies. It has cultivated its agents amongst Nepalese settlers and is 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 into New Delhi’s decisions and go by its dictates in the international arena.

Sri Lanka

Post- independence Sri Lanka, inspire of having a multi-sectoral population was a peaceful country till 1971 and was following independent foreign policy. During 1971 Indo-Pakistan war despite of heavy pressure from India, Sri Lanka allowed Pakistan’s civil and military aircraft and ships to stage through its air and sea ports with unhindered re-fueling facilities. It also had permitted Israel to establish a nominal presence of its intelligence training set up. It permitted the installation of high powered transmitter by Voice of America (VOA) on its territory, which was resented by India.

It was because of these ‘irritants’ in the Indo-Sri Lanka relations that Mrs 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. RAW went looking for militants it could train to destabilize the regime. Camps were set up in Tamil Nadu and old RAW guerrillas trainers were dug out of retirement. RAW 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 Indian power-web when Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 was singed and Indian Peace-Keeping-Force (IPKF) landed in Sri Lanka.

The Ministry of External Affairs was also upset at RAW’s role in Sri Lanka as they felt that RAW was still continuing negotiations with the Tamil Tiger leader Parabhakran in contravention to the Indian government’s foreign policy. According to R Swaminathan, (former Special Secretary of RAW) it was this outfit which was used as the intermediary between Rajib Gandhi and Tamil leader Parabhakaran. The former Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, J.N. Dixit even accused RAW of having given Rs. five corore to the LTTE. At a later stage, RAW built up the EPRLF and ENDLF to fight against the LTTE which turned the situation in Sri Lanka highly volatile and uncertain later on.

Maldives

Under a well-orchestrated RAW plan, on November 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 as hostages. At the Presidential Palace, the small contingent of loyal national guards offered stiff resistance, which enabled President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to shift to a safe place from where he issued urgent appeals for help from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Britain and the United States.

The Indian Prime Ministe Rajiv Gandhi reacted promptly and about 1600 combat troops belonging to 50 Independent Para-Brigade in conjunction with Indian Naval units landed at Male under the code-name Operation Cactus. A number of IAF transport aircraft, escorted by fighters, were used for landing personnel, heavy equipment and supplies. Within hours of landing, the Indian troops flushed out the attackers form the streets and hideouts. Some of them surrendered to Indian troops, and many were captured by Indian Naval units while trying to escape along 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 the Operation Cactus and complimented the armed forces for a good job done.

The Indian Defense Minister while addressing IAF personnel at Bangalore claimed that the country’s prestige has gone high because of the peace-keeping role played by the Indian forces in Maldives. The International Community in general and the South Asian states in particular, however, viewed with suspicious the over-all concept and motives of the operation. The western media described it as a display of newly-acquired military muscle by India and its growing role as a regional police. Although the apparent identification of the two Maldivian nationals could be a sufficient reason, at its face value, to link it with the previous such attempts by the mercenaries, yet other converging factors, indicative of involvement of external hand, could hardly be ignored.

Sailing of the mercenaries from Manar and Kankasanturai in Sri Lanka, which were in complete control of IPKF, and the timing and speed of the Indian intervention proved their involvement beyond any doubt.

Nepal

Ever since the partition of the sub-continent India has been openly meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs by contriving internal strife and conflicts through RAW to destabilize the successive legitimate governments and prop up puppet regimes which would be more amenable Indian machinations. Armed insurrections were sponsored and abetted by RAW and later requests for military assistance to control these 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 the Indian dictates and impinging on Indian hegemonic designs in the region. In fact, under the garb of the so-called democratization measures, the Maoists were actively encouraged to collect arms to 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 the RAW itself. It was an active replay of the Indian performance in Sri Lanka and Maldives a few years earlier. RAW is particularly aiding the people of the Indian-origin and has been providing them with arms and ammunition. RAW has also infiltrated the ethnic Nepali refugees who have been extradited by Bhutan and have taken refuge in the eastern Nepal. RAW can exploit its links with these refugees in either that are against the Indian interest. Besides the Nepalese economy is totally controlled by the Indian money lenders, financiers and business mafia ( RAW’s Machination In South Asia by Shastra Dutta Pant, Kathmandu, 2003).

Afghanistan

Since December 1979, throughout Afghan War, KGB, KHAD (WAD) (former Afghan intelligence outfit) and RAW stepped up their efforts to concentrate on influencing and covert exploitation of the tribes on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. There was intimate co-ordination between the three intelligence agencies not only in Afghanistan but in destabilization of Pakistan through subversion and sabotage plan related to Afghan refugees and mujahideen, the tribal belt and inside Pakistan. They jointly organized spotting and recruitment of hostile tribesmen and their training in guerrilla warfare, infiltration, subversion, sabotage and establishment of saboteur force/terrorist organizations in the pro-Afghan tribes of Pakistan in order to carry out bomb explosions in Afghan refugee camps in NWFP and Baluchistan to threaten and pressurize 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 for pressurizing Pakistan to change its policies on Afghanistan.

Pakistan

Pakistan’s size, strength and potential have always overawed the Indians. It, therefore, always considers her main opponent in her expansionist doctrine. India’s animosity towards Pakistan is psychologically and ideologically deep-rooted and unassailable. India’s war with Pakistan in 1965 over Kashmir and in 1971 which resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh are just two examples.

Raw considers Sindh as Pakistan’s soft under-belly. It has, therefore, made it the prime target for sabotage and subversion. RAW has enrolled and extensive network of agents and anti-government elements, and is convinced that with a little push restless Sindh will revolt. Taking fullest advantage of the agitation in Sindh in 1983 and the ethnic riots, which have continued till today, RAW has deeply penetrated and cultivated dissidents and secessionists, thereby creating hard-liners unlikely to allow peace to return to Sindh. Raw is also involved similarly in Balochistan.

RAW is also being blamed for confusing the ground situation is Kashmir so as to keep the world attention away from the gross human rights violations by India in India occupied Kashmir. ISI being almost 20 years older than RAW and having acquired much higher standard of efficiency in its functioning , has become the prime target of RAW’s designs, ISI is considered to be a stumbling block in RAW’s operations, and has, therefore, been made a target of all kinds of massive misinformation and propaganda campaign. The tirade against ISI continues unabated. The idea is to keep ISI on the defensive by fictionalising and alleging its hand is supporting Kashmiri Mujahideen and Sikhs in Punjab. RAW’S fixation against ISI has taken the shape of ISI-phobia, as in India everyone traces down the origin of all happenings and shortcomings to the ISI . Be it an abduction at Banglaore or a student’s kidnapping at Cochin, be it a bank robbery at Calcutta or a financial scandal in Bombay, be it a bomb blast at Bombay or Bangladesh, they find an ISI hand in it ( RAW :Global and Regional Ambitions” Edited by Rashid Ahmad Khan and Muhammad Saleem, Published by Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Asia Printers, slamabad, 2005).

RAW over the years has admirably fulfilled its tasks of destabilising target states through unbridled export of terrorism. The India Doctrine spelt out a difficult and onerous role for RAW. It goes to its credit that it has accomplished its assigned objectives due to the endemic weakness in the state apparatus of those nations and failure of their leaders.

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