Untangling the longest information war in history- Operation Tupac carried out by Pakistan’s ISI against India over the last five decades. The prelude to this operation goes back to the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the momentous year of South Asia after 1947.
Pakistani army in cahoots with the radical Jamaat-e-Islami orchestrated one of the largest genocides on the land that later became Bangladesh after India defeated Pakistan.
It was after which the Pak establishment decided to convert the entire nation into a weapon – with the sole objective of dismembering India. The idea was initially seeded by Jamaat, & was later taken forward by the Pakistani army and then Pak President who later institutionalised Operation Tupac- bleed India through thousand cuts.
The plan was strategized to create militancy insurgency in India, exploit borders of India with its neighbour countries to set up anti-India camps, utilize spy networks & install sleeper cells in India.
First Decade of Operation Tupac (1970s)
The role of ISI was rather clear, starting with implementing cross-border terrorism to foment insurgency in India. It was during this time Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (UK) was formed. Several other key orgs to mushroom during this time were the ICNA, Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), while Jammu & Kashmir Students Islamic Organization was formed in the 1970s, merged with Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing).
In the US several orgs also popped such as Sound Vision led by Abdul Malik Mujahid, Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in North America (APPNA), & players like Ghulam Nabi Fai & Md Ayyub Thakur were groomed.
Second Decade of Operation Tupac (1980-the 90s)
In this decade, much heed was paid to breeding several terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen. Parallelly, fronts in the US & UK such as Sound Vision (1988), World Kashmir Freedom Movement (1990), & Kashmir American Council (1990) were formed.
This phase showed the geographical shift of organizational setting up spree by the Jamaat-ISI nexus in the west in its pursuit.
Third Phase: 2010-Present
In the era of social media, the information war became handier, & apart from lobbying & cultivating individuals like Ghulam Nabi Fai, the options became more feasible. However, two prominent events took place to explain the context of this phase:
- The Indian Govt cancelled the FCRA registrations of 18,868 NGOs between 2011-17.
- The Senate report of Pakistan in 2016 envisaged anti-India lobbying & studying India’s several fault lines & exploit them. Subsequently, several orgs & experts started mushrooming in India.
White experts with no prior take on the Indian subcontinent suddenly became experts on India. The luminaries include Audrey Truschke, CJ Werleman, Danielle Khan, Haley Duschinski, Andrew Korybko, Helene Sejlert, & so on.
In the second instance Muzammil Thakur revived his father’s companies in 2016, Equality Labs &The Polis Project were set up in 2016 to talk about Hindutva.
And the trigger for 3rd orgs formation year was in 2019 when the Indian govt revoked articled 370 in J&K. Orgs such as Americans for Kashmir; Stand With Kashmir; Friends of Kashmir; and Free Kashmir.
The objective of these orgs was to create narratives such as Islamophobia, Hindutva, Fascism, & Genocide. All these fronts were some way or the other connected to the same core- Jamaat.
After cultivating fronts & faces, was the time to adopt new models to perpetuate their operations i.e., fundraisers in the name of crisis/ human rights. The original idea was borrowed from Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and several of such fronts were raising funds indirectly linked to the MB- LaunchGood.
The funds raised are in the name of Kashmiris & Palestinians.
A similar case was that of IMANA which raised funds during the COVID crisis in India without having shown transparency in financials.
The Ultimate Game
The ultimate game comprises pushing the pro-Pak agenda & which happens by naturally suppressing the Indian interests. Groups such as Kashmir Action Network, Chinar Consulting, IAMC, PAK PAC, Fenton Communications, Holland & Knight were lobbied to target the Indian interests abroad.
All these sums up the longest, 50-year-old game that has been succeeding in creating narratives of Islamophobia, Hindutva, fascism, & now genocide is only to launch a much bigger campaign- Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS movement) to hurt India’s economy.
Creating artificial conflicts between regions, languages, castes, & religions is how this campaign will succeed.
Once seeded, the narrative war would create its economy – which would sustain on further abusing India’s image.