The arrest of the Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, in March, 2016 on charges of espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan, especially Balochistan and Karachi, has driven home Indian government’s hypocrisy on the issue of terrorism. India, in a knee-jerk fashion, has been in the habit of alleging the involvement of non-state actors from Pakistan whenever any terrorist attack takes place on its territory. Many a time the Indian accusations were made even before its officials had the time to investigate the matter. All the while the Indian government has behaved as if it is totally innocent of any involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan or other countries. But facts on the ground suggest otherwise. The arrest of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving officer of the Indian navy, in Pakistani Balochistan on charges of involvement in espionage and terrorism under the direct supervision of RAW gives the lie to Indian pretensions. It proves conclusively that whereas New Delhi has been making allegations of the involvement of non-state actors from Pakistan in terrorist activities in India, the Indian government itself has been directly engaged in sponsoring and funding terrorist attacks in various parts of Pakistan.

After thorough investigations, Kulbhushan was tried in a Pakistani military court and given death sentence because of the seriousness of the charges against him based on his confessional statement and other evidence available against him. He can appeal against the sentence through petitions to the Pakistan Chief of the Army Staff and the Supreme Court. In case his death sentence is confirmed by them, he can also submit a mercy petition to the President of Pakistan. A glimpse of the serious nature of the charges against him was provided by Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz at a press conference on 14 April. The Adviser pointed out that Kulbhushan was involved in IED (improvised explosive device) and grenade attacks in Gwadar and Turbat, attacks on the radar station and civilian boats in sea at Jiwani port, funding of terrorist and secessionist elements, explosion of gas pipelines and electricity pylons in Sibi and Sui, IED explosions in Quetta in 2015, attacks on Hazara community and Shia pilgrims travelling to Iran by road, and attacks on Frontier Corps, FWO and other law enforcement agencies in Turbat, Panjgur, Gwadar, Pasni and Jiwani in 2014-15. He was engaged in these terrorist activities under the direct supervision of RAW with the obvious aim of destabilizing Pakistan.

The arrest of Kulbhushan Jadhav red-handed in the commission of terrorist attacks in Pakistan is merely the latest concrete evidence of the Indian government’s direct complicity in the long list of such attacks in foreign countries. It is well-known that India trained and funded the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam who killed thousands of their fellow citizens in Sri Lanka. The continued civil war in Afghanistan has provided space to India to use various terrorist outfits for subversive and terrorist attacks in different areas of Pakistan. As stressed by Islamabad from time to time, India has taken full advantage of this opportunity. It has allegedly been financing terrorist activities in Pakistan through such organizations as the TTP, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and the Balochistan Liberation Army. All this is over and above the campaign of state terrorism that India has unleashed in the Indian occupied Kashmir against the freedom fighters who are struggling to get rid of the Indian military occupation. Since the martyrdom of Burhan Wani in July last year, over a hundred Kashmiris have laid down their lives and thousands other have been seriously injured because of the reign of terror let loose by the Indian forces.

The methodical manner in which India has been sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan to destabilise it, especially under the Modi-led BJP government, should not come as a total surprise to any keen observer of the Indian politics which has undergone a huge rightward shift since Modi’s election as the Prime Minister. Modi has been a lifelong member of RSS and is deeply committed to Hindutva or the revival of Hindu nationalism, which seeks to define the Indian culture exclusively in terms of Hindu values. Madhav Sadashiv Golwalker, the second RSS supreme leader, defined Hindutva as follows: “The non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and language, must learn and respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but of those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture”. Modi’s record as the chief minister of Gujrat state, which witnessed large scale massacre of Muslims in 2002, shows that he suffers from a deep-seated bias against the Muslims in general. So it would be naïve to expect that he would try to be friendly with a Muslim-majority Pakistan. This is especially so because of the Indian ambitions to establish its hegemony or domination in South Asia.

Reputable Indian and Western scholars have taken note of India’s hegemonic designs in South Asia. C. Raja Mohan, a well-known Indian security analyst, in his writings has referred to India’s determination to establish its “primacy” in South Asia and seek “a veto over the actions of outside powers” in the region. Similarly highly regarded scholars of international politics like Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger have referred to India’s hegemonic designs in South Asia in their latest books. So we should not entertain any doubts about the ultimate Indian strategic goal of establishing its hegemony in South Asia. India also views Pakistan as the most serious obstacle in the realization of this goal. Therefore, New Delhi’s attempts to destabilise Pakistan and weaken its will to stand up to the Indian drive for hegemony should be expected by us, especially under an Indian government led by Modi with a lifelong commitment to the RSS agenda.

The only question that remains to be answered is the strategy that India would adopt vis-à-vis Pakistan in pursuit of its hegemonic ambitions. Some clues about its strategy are provided by the advice given by Kautilya in Arthashastra written around 300 B.C. for the benefit of Chandragupta Maurya. The book is greatly admired by the present generation of Indian strategists as a guide to statecraft. Kautilya, inter alia, emphasised that contiguous states existed in a state of latent and permanent hostility. He recommended that a wise ruler should choose his allies from his neighbour’s neighbours so that the enemy can be squeezed from both sides. Kautilya also propounded the concept of “silent war” in which the ruler and his ministers—and, unknowingly, the people—acted publicly as if they were at peace with the opposite state, but all the while secret agents were busy assassinating important leaders in the other state, creating divisions among key ministers and classes, and spreading propaganda and disinformation with the ultimate objective of weakening and subjugating it. This is precisely what India is currently doing in Pakistan through the sponsorship of subversion and terrorist attacks with the help of secret agents.

The government and the people of Pakistan, therefore, cannot afford to lower their guard in the management of the relationship with India which will not miss any opportunity to bring us down on our knees. If we want to prosper as a nation with dignity and honour, we must strengthen political stability in the country, accelerate economic growth, and safeguard our cultural identity, while maintaining a credible security deterrent at the lowest level of forces and armaments. We should also remain watchful of Indian attempts to weaken us internally through terrorism and subversion, and to create strains in our relations with Iran and Afghanistan.