Liu Zongyi: GT investigates: Evidences, sources prove India 'supports terrorism' in Pakistan's Balochistan


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Liu Zongyi: GT investigates: Evidences, sources prove India 'supports terrorism' in Pakistan's Balochistan


Source: GT Published: 2024-01-22

There are 'solid bits of evidence' proving that India supports terrorist forces in some Pakistani areas like Balochistan province, providing them with money, weapons, and training, some sources close to the matter told the Global Times.

While continually suppressing some of its rivals and neighbors in the international community with the excuse of anti-terrorism, India has secretly funded terrorist forces in Pakistan, in various parts of the South Asian country, such as its separatist-plagued Balochistan, inciting local secessionists to undermine regional stability through terrorist attacks, they revealed.

Through looking into historical materials and related news reports from both Pakistani and Indian media sources, as well as speaking with sources and observers who are familiar with the situation in Balochistan, the Global Times found that India has a long history of backing terrorism in Pakistan.

'Concrete evidence'

In December 2023, a commander of the Baloch National Army (BNA) separatist militant group, who had surrendered himself to the Pakistani government, disclosed that India has been secretly supporting terrorist activities in Balochistan and financing separatist forces in the region.

According to Pakistani media sources, commander Sarfraz Ahmed Bungulzai made the announcement at a press conference in Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan. Bungulzai said that he thought his armed struggle was for Baloch rights, but later he realized that 'India is involved in all these conspiracies.'

Bungulzai mentioned a helicopter crash in 2022, in which six Pakistani army officials, including a general, were martyred. He said at the press conference that the secessionist group Baloch Raj Aajoi Sangar (BRAS) had taken responsibility for the incident at India's command.

'And after taking money from India, they shed the blood of their own Baloch,' said Bungulzai, according to Pakistani news website Dawn.

A Pakistani source told the Global Times that once again, it shone a light on India's behind-the-scenes villainy.

However, Chinese observers said the commander's surrender does not mean the collapse of the BNA, the group may have an impact on similar terrorist and separatist forces there.

Apart from the latest case pointing to India, a few years back, there was another case that indicated that India was probably supporting terrorism in Pakistan.

In March 2016, Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations released a confessional video statement of an Indian spy agent named Kulbhushan Yadav, who was reportedly arrested red-handed earlier that month while attempting to infiltrate Pakistan from the border area.

According to an article by the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), Yadav said in the video that he was a serving officer of the Indian Navy, and did intelligence gathering for Indian agencies under the cover name Hussein Mubarik Patel.

'I was picked up by RAW (the Research and Analysis Wing, India's alleged external intelligence agency) in 2013 end,' Yadav said. 'My purpose was to hold meetings with Baloch insurgents and carry out activities with their collaboration. These activities have been of [a] criminal nature, leading to the killing of or maiming of Pakistani citizens.'

Multiple instances have been highlighted by Pakistan's security authorities on some international forums, illustrating how the RAW funds elements in Pakistan to spread unrest, observer Ali Abbas Ramay, a journalist with the City News Network Pakistan, told the Global Times.

'Proof of India's involvement in creating the BLA has been presented, including Yadav's confessions,' Ramay said.

The clues of India's connection with terrorist forces in Pakistan could also be found in a few Indian media reports.

The Hindu, for instance, published an article in July 2019, stating 'It is established that BLA (Baloch Liberation Army) commanders, in the past, had sought medical treatment in India's hospitals, often under disguise or with fake identities.' Pakistan designated the BLA as a terrorist organization in 2006.

The Hindu article referred to BLA's militant commander who 'was based in Delhi for at least six months in 2017,' to receive 'extensive treatment for kidney-related ailments.' It is known that Baloch sardars 'maintained warm personal ties with various Indian political figures,' the article said.

Some of the related evidence has been made public. Many other concrete forms of evidence show that India backs terrorism in Pakistan, although they have not yet been released for a variety of reasons, said a source close to the situation in Balochistan.

'We have had the evidence long before,' the source told the Global Times. He said that he was '100 percent' sure that India has been funding the terrorist forces in Balochistan.

Double standard in fighting terrorism

Some Pakistani scholars believe that India has a long history of continuous interference in Pakistan's affairs.

For example, scholar M. Ikram Rabbani wrote in his book Comprehensive Pakistan Studies that the interference 'can be traced back to the times of independence from the British rule.'

In his book, Rabbani cited Subrahmaniyam, a former director of the then Indian Institute of Defence Studies, who said during a symposium in March 1971 that 'what India must realize that the breakup of Pakistan is in our interest and an opportunity which will never come again.'

Worse still, while supporting separatist groups to commit terrorist attacks in regions like Balochistan, India is good at taking the habitual tactic of a thief crying 'stop thief' in the international community, while slinging mad at Pakistan, Pakistani and Chinese observers noted.

India employs a consistent double standard toward terrorism, said Ye Hailin, deputy director of the National Institute of International Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 'If you look at India's media and think tank reports, you will find that their descriptions of the terrorist attacks in Balochistan are completely different from those of the situation in Kashmir,' Ye told the Global Times.

Ramay echoed Ye's words, saying the evidence of India's adoption of double standard in countering terrorism 'is evident.'

He pointed out that India has sought to tarnish Pakistan's image globally by leveling serious allegations of terrorism, aiming to deter investments and striving to include Pakistan in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist.

The blacklist contains countries that the FATF deems to be non-cooperative in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

'China firmly opposes double standard in counterterrorism,' noted Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning at a press conference on December 27, 2023, while responding to a question asking about its comments on then-recent media reports, which said that the surrendered BNA commander disclosed that India has been secretly supporting terrorist activities in Balochistan.

'Terrorism is humanity's common enemy,' Mao said. 'To support and use terrorist groups and let them thrive out of one's selfish interests at the expense of international and regional security benefits no one and will only backfire.'

Pakistani police officers and investigators examine a burned van after a blast at the entrance of the Confucius Institute at Karachi University on April 26, 2022. The Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the bombing. Photo: VCG

China-aid projects become targets of terror attacks

For years, China has been helping in economic development that has benefited local people through various investment and assistance projects across Pakistan.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), for instance, is a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by China. Launched in 2013, it connects Pakistan's southwest Gwadar Port with Kashi in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, contributing to Pakistan's infrastructure through energy, transport, and industrial cooperation.

China has been a true development partner to Pakistan through the CPEC and BRI projects, said Nouman Rashid, a media advisor of Pakistani media GNN News. 'No matter how many problems may come up or whichever Pakistani political party comes into power, these projects are of the people and for the people,' Rashid told the Global Times.

However, these projects became a target of some terrorist forces in Pakistan, who 'believe that if they can hurt the Chinese nationals in Pakistan through terrorism, the BRI and CPEC projects can be compromised,' Moiz Farooq, executive editor of Pakistan-based Daily Ittehad Medis Group, told the Global Times.

Some terrorist activities are supported by Pakistan's rivals who 'always intend to sabotage the friendship between China and Pakistan,' he added.

The suicide bombing which took place outside the University of Karachi's Confucius Institute on April 26, 2022, was a typical tragedy targeting Chinese nationals in Pakistan, which killed three Chinese nationals and a local driver. The BLA claimed responsibility for the bombing the following day, and warned of more deadly attacks on Chinese targets.

Trying to split and destabilize Pakistan is the main purpose behind India's backing of terrorism in regions like Balochistan, said Liu Zongyi, director of the Center for South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. 'And now there is another purpose: To obstruct and undermine the construction of the CPEC.'

Balochistan is a key region of the CPEC, Liu said. 'India supports separatism and terrorism in Balochistan and other regions in Pakistan, so as to weaken both Pakistan and China,' he told the Global Times. 'From the beginning, India has seen the CPEC as a geopolitical project that will hurt its so-called new opportunities in South Asia.'

To help maintain regional stability in some Pakistani areas, apart from the current anti-terrorism cooperation, China has made great efforts to support local economic and social development, and improve the living standards of the people there, trying hard to eliminate the root causes of terrorism and separatism at the source, Liu said.

'China's projects are most beneficial for the people of Balochistan,' noted Ramay. He mentioned that the Pakistan-China Friendship Hospital in Balochistan was recently completed, saying the hospital is 'a major project to improve access to quality medical services in the region.'

'Today, the [China-aided] New Gwadar International Airport, hospitals, and mega projects for clean water, have been completed, bringing relief to the people of Balochistan,' said Ramay.