“We fought for Bangladesh’s ‘swabhimaan’ (honor)... alongside Mukti Jodhas

(Mukti Bahani)... for Bangladesh.”

–Narindra Modi, Indian Prime Minister

Address at the University of Dhaka

7th June 2015

Once again, in the contentious history of the post-colonial subcontinent, has an Indian Premiere unabashedly admitted to interfering in the affairs of Pakistan. From Indira Gandhi’s boast, “We have taken the revenge of a thousand years [...] we have drowned the two-nation theory in the Bay of Bengal”, to Modi’s dramatic proclamation, there is simply no room for doubt about India’s consistent and covert involvement, leading to the disintegration of Pakistan.

The remarks are part of a series of controversial comments pouring in from India since the launch of the CPEC project, which has India on pins and needles, and have stirred up a storm in political circles on both sides of the border.

The controversial raillery began with the statement by the Indian Defense Minister, “We have to neutralize terrorists through terrorists only. Why can’t we do it? We should do it. Why does my soldier have to do it? Kaante se kaanta nikalta hai (You remove a thorn with a thorn).” Parrikar’s remarks came in the wake of the open denunciation of Indian intelligence involvement in terrorist activities inside the country at a time when it is deeply committed to the war against violent extremism. Pakistan’s officials, including the PM’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, as well as – and perhaps for the first time in such a categorical manner - the Corps Commanders Conference in early May, have openly castigated RAW activities in Pakistan.

Mr Parrikar’s statement acquires an especially aggressive character when it is viewed in the context of the series of allegations that have come from India in recent weeks. In a speech February 2014, the now National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, referred to using a ‘terrorism strategy’ against Pakistan, where India ‘buys’ terrorist elements to be used against the latter as part of its defensive-offence strategy.

Since then, the stream of accusations has escalated, clearly illustrating the Indian strategy of proactive aggression towards Pakistan. Doval’s statement was followed by that of the Indian Defence Minister, after which the National Security Advisor once again made headlines for complacently stating that India shares a 106-km-long non-contagious border with Afghanistan - insinuating that the area of Gilgit-Baltistan was legally a part on India and occupied by Pakistan illegally, during his Rustamji Memorial Lecture on ‘Challenges of Securing Our Borders’.

The verbal onslaught does not stop there. Speaking at a security conference in Singapore, the Indian Minister of State for Defence, Rao Inderjit Singh, alleged the Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sryia) militants could very likely ‘buy a nuclear weapon’ from its contacts in Pakistan. The Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, also added her two-penny bit during a press conference on June 1st, where she stated there were no plans to engage with Pakistan, as ‘talks cannot be held in the shadow of violence and terrorism’.

Controversy raised its ugly head again during the Indian PM’s recent visit to China, where he raised the issue of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) “very strongly” and termed the project “unacceptable”. It is also noteworthy that following the announcement of the CPEC, the Indian government summoned the Chinese envoy to be appraised of details and express their disapproval. The Indian envoy in Beijing also raised the issue.

Furthermore, during Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh, in his address to Dhaka University, he once again blamed Pakistan for spreading terrorism in India. This strategically aggressive and provocative posture that has recently been taken up by India appears to have peaked with the statement by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the Junior Minister for Information and Broadcasting on June 10th, where he categorically stated that based on intelligence: “We will carry out surgical strikes at the place and time of our own choosing.”

It is evident that India has resorted to a systematic campaign of defamation and provocation towards Pakistan – a campaign that has gained momentum since the announcement of the CPEC, as well as Chinese support for engagement with Pakistan on the NSG membership issue. Such statements are a blatant attempt to not only destabilize the precarious strategic balance of the region, but to hold Pakistan back from progress and development.

And yet, as is often the case when it comes to relations between these two neighbors, proactive Indian aggression is overshadowed anew in international media by the Indian-sponsored propaganda against Pakistan, perpetually characterizing Pakistan as the ‘black sheep’ of South Asia.

Unlike the baseless smear campaign by India, the allegations of Indian intelligence involvement in aiding terrorism and its perpetrators in Pakistan are founded in fact, and have even been owned by various officials in India time and again. The current Indian aggressive posture becomes even more hypocritical in light of the nuclear deals between India and the US, and more recently India and Canada.

The Sharm-el-Sheikh joint statement in July 2009, for example, saw the Indian premier admitting to Indian interference and role in inciting terrorism in Pakistan, particularly in Baluchistan. Similarly, an India Today report published in September 2013, revealed that Technical Support Division (TDS) had spent crores of rupees to carry out covert operations to finance bombings and secession movements in the neighboring countries (including Pakistan). Then in April 2010, a serving Indian Army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit, was discovered to be an active member of the Hindutva brigade of the extremist group Abhinav Bharat, responsible for the bombings on Pakistan-bound Samjhota Express.

Ironically, despite the Pakistan-bashing, the majority of terrorist incidents inside India have been committed by their own extremist organizations. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief, Swami Aseemanand, confessed during investigation that he, along with other Hindu activists, was involved in the Malegon, Samjhota Express, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid bombings.

The geo-political scenario that is developing as a result of the Indian arms build-up and provocative demeanor is a blatant attempt to overthrow the precarious strategic balance of the region. Sanity can only prevail if the Indian aggression is approached with calm and dignity. Pakistan cannot and will not stand for any breach of its sovereignty in any shape of form, but we must refuse to get sucked into the spiral of malicious designs that hope to see a weakened Pakistan.