Configuring Subversion Inside Pakistan: Ajit Doval and Kulbhushan Jadhav

Analysis By Sabtain Ahmed Dar


Sabtain Ahmed Dar is a Pakistan-based political analyst and a research fellow at the Department of Political Science, Punjab University. He specializes in Pakistan affairs and geopolitics, specifically the US strategy in the Middle East and South Asia. He writes the following exclusively for Fort Russ News and the Center for Syncretic Studies. 


Ajit Doval is India’s national security advisor under Modi’s administration since 2014. He is very close to Narendra Modi and he is known as Indian James Bond due to his invasive intelligence operations throughout his career as a spy master. If we talk about Operation Blue Star (1984), Hazratbal Shrine issue (1993), kidnapping of foreign tourists from Sri Nagar (1995) or the high jacking of Air India’s plane (1999) Ajit Doval had played a major role in every major operation.

As an Indian agent he had spent seven years in Pakistan and has been involved in schemes against Pakistan’s province of Baluchistan and Sindh since two decades. He is the founder of a military strategy commonly known as “Offensive / Defensive and Double Squeeze Strategy” or “Doval Doctrine” which aims to engage Pakistan by creating problems in the province of Baluchistan. According to the former Chief Minister of Baluchistan under Sharif administration Nawab Sanaullah Zahri, Ajit Davol is in contact with the Baloch separatists. Surprisingly, Kulbhushan Jadhav who was caught red handedly by Pakistan’s intelligence agency in March, 2016 from Baluchistan turned out to be the relative of Ajit Doval. According to 7th January, 2018 Times of Islamabad report, Jadhav joined Indian Navy in 1990 and following the attack on Indian parliament in 2001 he joined RAW. At that time Ajit Doval was the head of the Indian Intelligence Bureau, who sent Jadhav to Baluchistan for RAW’s schemes against Pakistan.

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If we talk about more on Jadhav past, he joined National Defense Academy in 1987 and became part of the Indian Navy in 1991. On December 13, 2001, when Indian Parliament was attacked, Jadhav decided to join RAW and he was temporarily shifted from the Navy to Indian intelligence agency. He was an employee of both the navy and RAW at the same time. Ajit Doval was the director of the Indian Intelligence Bureau during this time.

Ajit Doval sent Kulbhushan Jadhav to “India’s Baluchistan Wing”; where he learnt Persian and Balochi during his training of two years. He made a passport with a fake name of Hussein Mubarak Patel from the city of Pune in India and came to the famous Iranian port city of Chabahar and opened a cargo company. India established its intelligence base in Chabahar with permission of Iran and interestingly it makes sense why RAW chose to send Jadhav in Chabahar. There is only a 70 km distance by sea from Chabahar to Gwadar Port (a terminal point for CPEC). RAW could easily observe and target Chinese led economic corridor from Chabahar. India refused to join CPEC in 2017 and spawning an alternative way of zero-sum economic game against China by joining North-South corridor by engaging Afghanistan through Iran. India considers CPEC as a rival economic project in the context of Indian Geo-economic orientation and strategy.

Now an interesting question arises here; when we know that Jadhav could have went to Iran with his original name then why he chose a passport with a fake ID? The answer is even more interesting, according to June, 2016 DAWN’s report; “India actually wanted to hide the activities of Jadhav even from Iran with whom it is building a strategic partnership… and was using Chabahar as a base to halt the progress of CPEC. It must be a big reason to worry as it clearly shows true intentions of India and its implementation on Chanakya’s “Mandala theory of inter-state relations” on Iran. India is apparently using Iran for its hegemonic designs in the South and West Asia by not only paving a way for his overt and covert intervention in Afghanistan but also simultaneously destroy Pakistan’s relationship with Iran through its proxies. According to Indian strategic thought it is essential for India to gain strategic advantage over both Pakistan and Iran. Only through this balkanization of the West Asia will provide a chance to lay the foundations for Indian future aims of Holy land of Akhand Bharat.

Jadhav came to Karachi in 2004 and 2005, and here he also established his contacts and gradually made progress and became the head of Indian led operation against Pakistan. India has given him $ 4 million (this amount is around Rs. 41 billion in Pakistani rupees), Jadhav distributed this money to Baloch separatists and groups who created destabilization in Karachi. He was also in contact with Hyrbyair Marri, Brahmudagh Bugti (founder of Baloch Republican Party) and Aziz Baloch and use to give funds to former members of Motahida Qoumi Movement Party (MQM).

Pakistan’s intelligence agencies during the operations in Karachi and Baluchistan traced Jadhav. Later, they came to know that from Baluchistan’s separatist movements, the mafias of Karachi to the masterminds of suicide bombers in the country Jadhav was linked to each major units of hybrid war against Pakistan. Jadhav also used to go to India during this time and conveyed messages to his sub-operators from his Indian location. This affair later reached to a point where former COAS General Raheel Sharif and former DG ISI General Rizwan Akhtar during Sharif administration decided to capture him.

It was a daunting task on the part of ISI to capture Jadhav, as he was not an ordinary spy. He was not only a field operator but also the head of India’s operation against Pakistan. If we talk about the contemporary history of global espionage the arrest of Indian spy master Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies is one of the greatest success stories. It took almost two years for ISI to bring Jadhav back to Pakistan. During this period, ISI’s field operators infiltrated Baloch separatists and gradually by the time these operatives came directly into contact with Hussein Jadhav. These ISI operatives presented a “foolproof” plan to kidnap and murder an important personality in Pakistan. The plan was so mesmerizing for Jadhav that he decided to come to Pakistan. On March 3, 2016, he crossed Iran’s border and entered in Baluchistan where he was arrested by Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies.  There were only two options for Jadhav; 1: stick to Hussein Mubarak Patel identity and suffer the torture 2: confess about his active position in the India Army and according to law avail immunities as a prisoner of war. He later confessed that he was an active Indian military officer thus Pakistan was compelled to give him the status and immunities of prisoner of war.

Jadhav handed over all his contacts to Pakistan. It was reported that four hundred people were arrested from various parts of the country. Heavy arms and weapon storage in the hide-outs were recovered. Above all, anti-state elements in the Mutahida Qoumi Movement (MQM) and People’s Aman Committee (PAC) were also exposed. Jadhav used to take orders from thirteen major RAW officials; these officials also came into the notice of Pakistan. During the investigation, Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies called these Indian officials through Jadhav and their conversations were also recorded. As a result, other local criminals who were working hand in glove with Jadhav also confessed about the operations against Pakistan. Pakistan Army, under the Army Act of 1923, awarded death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav on April 11th, 2017.

The news of Jadhav’s death sentence came as a shock to Indian officials and they knew instantly that they are caught into a deep diplomatic trouble. State sponsored terrorism in any other country under the agreement of UN Security Council 1373 is a heinous crime. India knew Pakistan will take these documented confessions and evidence to the Security Council after which, it will be difficult for India to respond. Also the families of Pakistani victims who were martyred during the Indian led operations against Pakistan can also go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to sue India. India will have to recognize Jadhav as an employee of Indian government to fight his case at the international level. This step will result in more diplomatic problems for India. RAW comes under the Indian cabinet division and it is likely that members of Lok Sabha or anyone in the opposition will raise serious questions. As a result of this an expected audit of this four hundred million dollar which was used by Jadhav in Chabahar against Pakistan will provide enough evidence to prove India at the international level as a state who sponsors terrorism. In India, another critical chapter of scrutiny is likely to open and people will serious questions that under which law Ajit Doval made his relative as a head of “Pakistan Operation” and allowed him to spend four hundred million dollars? And above all why RAW has established its intelligence wing in Chabahar? The Indian Government will have to answer all these questions and if they did it will make Pakistan’s case more strong in front of the international community. The world will be convinced to believe that India is not only deliberately spreading terrorism inside Pakistan but also plotting to balkanize Pakistan.

Conclusion: Anarchy is inevitable if Pakistan loses Iran to India

Peace in Karachi today, division of MQM into three factions and the fall of People’s Aman Committee is the result of Jadhav’s arrest. It was the information provided by Jadhav which resulted into peace in Karachi and gradually we are seeing peace in Baluchistan as well. It is important to mention here that there is still a possibility that few of Jadhav’s workers are still at large in Baluchistan and in Iran. The attacks on Iranian and Pakistani forces are aimed at creating confusions and divide between the two Muslim countries. Firstly, Pakistan need to understand that if Pakistan loses Iran to India it will spawn anarchy based on sectarian lines which will result into havoc for both Iran and Pakistan. Both the military establishments of Pakistan and Iran should work hand in glove to root out Indian covert operations in the region.

The main problem currently lies in the dialogue between Iran and Pakistan not only at the diplomatic level but also at the military level in the context of intelligence sharing. Pakistan’s foreign ministry needs to understand that they need to find a strategy where they can balance Iran and Saudi Arabia simultaneously. As long as Pakistan fails to balance Iran and Saudi Arabia through diplomatic intelligence it will provide a chance to India to capitalize on this disequilibrium. India through its diplomatic strategy coupled with asymmetric war is aiming to checkmate Iran and Pakistan through a single move on the chessboard. And it only takes a false flag to create such disruption. There is a dire need of a deep analysis on all these developments as both Iran and Pakistan are allies of each other. Lastly “it is important to understand that during the time of hybrid war… unilateral actions on the part of two allies against a common threat will only result into more anarchy between the two or perhaps a suicide”.

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