The Platform

Photo illustration by John Lyman

In what is surely to put a further strain on relations between India and Pakistan, India is accused of launching various cloak-and-dagger missions in Pakistan.

India has long been recognized as a pivotal security player within South Asia. However, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has brought to light disturbing allegations that stand to tarnish India’s reputation. According to Pakistan, India’s intelligence agencies have overstepped their bounds, engaging in unauthorized activities beyond their borders.

In a detailed statement, Pakistan outlined a series of calculated attempts against Pakistani citizens. Allegedly, India’s agencies orchestrated these acts through proxies within local criminal rings. The modus operandi reportedly involved the indoctrination of assassins via digital platforms, with the promise of substantial financial rewards. Pakistani authorities have exposed and apprehended the accused, who now face prosecution.

These assertions exacerbate existing tensions, with Pakistan accusing India of orchestrating a wide-reaching assassination campaign targeting its political adversaries. This spotlight on India’s intelligence activities underscores a potential deviation from their historical focus—specifically, the alleged targeting of groups associated with the longstanding Kashmir conflict. The controversial killing of a devout Pakistani outside a Sialkot mosque, purportedly by a network directed by ethnic Hindu handlers from a third country, implies a grim turn in India’s strategy: the silencing of dissent through international covert operations.

The weight of Pakistan’s claims is supported by evidence that demands international scrutiny and verification. If India’s intelligence agencies are indeed involved in extraterritorial acts of terror, it raises significant concerns regarding breaches of international law and regional stability.

A dense fog of suspicion and allegation blankets the already fraught Indo-Pak border. Disclosures and subsequent international investigations have directed an ominous beam on a potential covert agenda: an Indian undertaking of targeted assassinations extending from Kashmir’s contested valleys to global cities. The murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, the poisoning of Avtar Singh Khanda in the UK, and a U.S. indictment alleging an assassination plot against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun are cases in point.

Central to this web is India’s enigmatic intelligence apparatus. Leaked documents, verified by investigative efforts in Canada and Pakistan, outline a concerning narrative. The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) stands accused of collusion with nefarious elements to instigate a slew of targeted killings—silencing critics beyond its geographical confines.

The alleged victims vary but are linked by their involvement with India’s internal turmoil, from Kashmiri insurgents to Sikh separatists. These incidents have incited global censure and lend credence to Pakistan’s appeals for accountability.

International media have begun to reflect on these concerns, with outlets like Foreign Policy and Global Times elucidating India’s apparent disdain for dissent and linking it to terror-related episodes in Balochistan.

For Pakistan, this surge in global focus offers a beacon of hope to challenge what they view as blatant violations of international statutes and human rights by India. The purported extrajudicial killings represent more than targeted aggression—they symbolize defiance of international laws and norms.

India’s purported covert actions cast a long shadow over its diplomatic relations, particularly with Western allies. Traditionally aligned with the U.S. and Europe based on mutual values and strategic interests, India now risks fracturing these partnerships if the allegations prove accurate.

The West, a self-proclaimed defender of human rights and international law, is now faced with a quandary: overlook India’s alleged transgressions or confront a pivotal ally. This predicament could lead to significant geopolitical shifts. The U.S., contending with China’s ascendancy, values a steadfast India. Europe, enticed by India’s economic prospects, must balance engagement with ethical consistency.

Should these allegations of Indian overreach be substantiated, the repercussions could extend beyond regional dynamics, potentially isolating India and undermining its ambitions for leadership.

The path forward requires a decisive choice: persist with clandestine activities at the risk of global alienation or embrace transparency, fostering trust and cooperation. The resolution of this dilemma is crucial not only for India’s international standing but also for South Asian stability.

The imperative is undeniable—an impartial international inquiry is essential to ascertain the facts and ensure accountability. Adherence to international law and human rights must prevail over political interests. Dialogue, not secrecy and violence, should guide the future of this pivotal region.

Iqra Awan is a student of International Relations at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.