From Jessica Zhang in Washington and Christina Palmer in New Delhi
Indian army and the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) have made the working boundary along Pakistan and the Line of Control in the disputed Himalayan valley very hot and active for the past few months, after India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Kumar Doval laid down a new National Security Doctrine during last summers. The things started really heating up after Indian Premier along with his NSA visited the US in September last year and held detailed discussions with a re-hashed Indian Caucus at the Capitol Hill. After Modi and his team returned to India, a series of activity started emerging along its borders with Pakistan and on the LoC. Both Pakistani and the Indian sides kept blaming each other for the violations of the ceasefire with Indian media creating sort of war rooms at the newspaper offices and TV Channel studios. While the Pakistani army was engaged in a mega anti-terrorism operation in the areas bordering Afghanistan, country ‘s civilian leadership was neck-deep engaged in handling the extremely heated up political front, generated by two main rivals, Tahir-ul-Qadri, a head of a politico-religious group and Imran Khan, a former Cricketer and head of a main opposition party the PTI or the movement for justice party. Amidst all this, the government of Nawaz Sharif completely missed what the Indians were cooking up for Pakistan through their caucus at the Capitol Hill and the Prime Minister of Pakistan’s office put its entire focus with regard to the US for seeking a US endorsement for the support of the government at Islamabad and keep the threat of a military intervention at a bay. No effort was made to establish a strong Pakistan caucus at Capitol Hill to counter Indian lobby over there nor was the situation, arousing out of the heating of the border areas by the Indian army taking into any serious consideration. The situation of these the military clashes at the borders of nuclear arch rivals reached to the mega magnitude when by the end of the last year, Indian BSF killed two Pakistani border guards of Pakistan Rangers, after they were heading for a meeting with their Indian counterparts and that too on the invitation of the Indians. At this point, Pakistani government showed some concern over the issue, the Indian envoy was summoned by Pakistan’s Foreign Office, and a letter of explanation and protest was handed over to him to be delivered to New Delhi. However, nothing much was done from Islamabad in this regard as a follow up to this protest.
The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that the entire strategy of activating the LoC and the working boundary was conceived and implemented by Indian NSA Ajit Doval who worked very closely with the Indian caucus at Capitol Hill. Highly credible sources in the power corridors of Washington, who do not desired to be quoted, informed The Daily Mail that the Indian caucus at the Capitol Hill was re-hashed and revamped by Indian NSA and some new faces with more effectiveness were brought in to the caucus. The refreshed caucus was tasked by the Indian NSA to organize a strong resistance at the Capitol Hill for all financial aids of the US to Pakistan, especially the aid under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) that deals with comprehensive financial assistance for Pakistani Army that was at the front row of the global anti-terror war. The Indian caucus was tasked to concentrate on certain personalities for the purpose that could make a reasonable impact on this drive of Delhi. The names of Senator John McCain, who heads powerful Senate Armed Services Committee and Ashton Carter, who is now US Secretary of Defense and was even at that time a very powerful and influential defense analyst and strategist with a lot of say at Capitol Hill and the White House, were heard, mentioned by the Indians to their caucus, to specially focus on.
Some sources even claim of being and Indian hand in the removal of former Secretary Chuck Hagel and appointment of Carter in his place but these claims could not be verified through neutral and credible sources.
The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that the Indian caucus informed New Delhi that India needed to create some scene for its caucus to move further at the Capitol Hill as without any such strong development, it had become almost impossible to get Pakistan CSF grant blocked. The sources say that soon after Hegel was removed and Ashton replaced him, some seven, very important members of the Indian caucus were invited to a third country by the Indians and a new strategy was devised.
Indians, with the arrival of Carter on the helm of affairs at the Pentagon got over ambitious as he had played a very significant role in getting the US-India defense ties via DITI (the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative, a body designed to help smooth the flow of advanced American technology to India) during his days as US Undersecretary of defense. During the Bush administration, Carter was member of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s International Security Advisory Board and co-chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Policy Advisory Group. At that time, it was assumed that he had a certain corner for India, despite very close relations between his then President George Bush with the then Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraff. Carter and former CIA Director John M. Deutch co-chaired the Catastrophic Terrorism Study Group which urged greater attention to terrorism, at a time when the new era of ties between America’s CIA and India’s RAW was beginning for a honeymoon.
Sources say that the Indian caucus and the Indian NSA came up with the plan that if Pakistan army is provoked at the LoC and the working boundary, it will surely come up with a very strong and hostile reaction, using all the latest weapons and artillery and such a situation would give enough room to the Indian caucus at Capitol Hill, if strongly backed by powerful propaganda by Indian media and its External Affairs Ministry to convince Capitol Hill to help Pakistan’s CSF aid as Pakistan army was using the war weapons, purchased through the finances of the CSF, against India. Indian caucus informed Delhi financers that since the US had provided the assurance that no weapon, bought through CSF money by Pakistan army would ever be used against India. Although, in a media interview, former Pakistani army chief and ex-President General retired Musharraf has made it clear that any war scenario with India cannot prevent Pakistan army from using any weapon in Pakistan’s defense, yet it was agreed between the Indian caucus and the Delhi teams to use this clause of the CSF basics, against Pakistan to get this funding blocked.
The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that though the initial purpose of activating the LoC and the working boundary by the Indians was to rescue get Pakistan army attentions and energies divided and thus to provide a rescue to TTP terrorists that Pakistani security forces blame of having comprehensive Indian backing, yet after the arrival of Carter on the scene, it was decided to get double advantage out the same strategy. However, the Indians forget very continently that they had lost Carter’s overwhelming support when they refused to sign the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), two agreements that US law deems necessary for certain aspects of technology transfer.
On the other side, Pakistan’s new Army Chief General Raheel Sharif adopted a very sane methodology to handle the situation and did not let his commanders and troops to get diverted from the anti-terror operation, code named; Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Amidst all the hostilities by the Indian troops and BSF, no movement of troops was made towards border areas and just the pre-deployed troops were tasked to continue giving matching response to India hostilities with all the pre-available traditional resources that includes the orthodox machine guns, light armillary and mortar guns. No out of routine or special re-enforcement was made in shape of troops or weaponry. A special calm and patience was maintained.
Back here in New Delhi, things started to fade as completely to the dismay and expectations of Doval and Company, nothing could take place where they could have taken the issue of exchange of shelling or firing with Pakistan to an international complaint level. It was deemed in the Indian camp that General Sharif of the Pakistan army was a very aggressive commander and his reaction to such a provocation would be highly aggressive and sharp but it went the other way around as the ploy was very well detected by the Generals at the garrison city of Rawalpindi that headquarters country’s military leadership.
The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that with date of President Obama’s visit to India approaching swiftly and nothing going according to Delhi’s plan, Indian NSA went to practice a number of activities that could set the wind in India’s favor and killing of two Pakistani Rangers after inviting them for a field meeting was one of his desperate measures to get Pakistan army engaged with India on a higher scale to serve the purpose of the Indian caucus at Washington. When even this failed, a farcical terror boat drama was organized which also backfired very badly. And now, when the advance American team that visited India recently under Secretary of State John Kerry warned India of creating terror dramas like the terror boat one, before or during the US President’s visit to India, Indians have started propagating this warning has been given to Pakistan by the American while there seems to be absolutely no relevance.
International media community is very anxiously waiting as to what could be the next Indian move in this direction. Is it going to be before Obama reaching India, during his stay in India or after his departure? The answer is yet not known.
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