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Did India Carry Out Extra-Judicial Killings in Pakistan? Ex-RAW Chief Answers

© AP Photo / Channi AnandIndian army soldiers patrol at the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan border in Poonch, about 250 kilometers (156 miles) from Jammu, India, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2020.
Indian army soldiers patrol at the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan border in Poonch, about 250 kilometers (156 miles) from Jammu, India, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2020.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.04.2024
India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has made headlines in recent days, with a Western news report claiming that it conducted covert missions to eliminate terrorists in neighboring Pakistan. Sputnik India tries to find out the truth behind these allegations.
Pakistan's recent complaints about killings of terrorists residing inside its territory by unidentified gunmen are difficult to fathom, given its close association with anti-India militant groups, a former head of RAW has said.
The remarks of Amarjit Singh Dulat, who served as the agency’s chief from 1999 to 2000, came in the aftermath of a report published in the British newspaper The Guardian, which alleged that New Delhi plotted the murders of 20 anti-India terrorists in Pakistan.

What Are the British Publication’s Claims?

According to the media outlet, these killings have been carried out under Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's policy of eliminating terrorists wanted in India following an attack on Indian paramilitary forces in Kashmir's Pulwama in 2019.
The report cited unnamed Indian and Pakistani intelligence officials to back its claims against the Indian government, which it mentioned was implementing a policy of targeted killings of anti-India terrorists, including Khalistani militants living outside India.
Furthermore, it said that to carry out its objective of eliminating terrorists in Pakistan, the Indian spy agency recruited shooters in Pakistan through sleeper cells established in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country where India has a large expatriate population.
Among the prime targets of these alleged covert operations conducted under the supervision of RAW were terrorists belonging to militant organizations like the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT*) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM**).
The LeT and JeM have been blamed for carrying out some of the worst terrorist incidents in the history of India, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Previously, Canada accused the agents of the Indian government of having a role in the assassination of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar while the US stated that an Indian was behind the murder plot of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, an American-Canadian national, a proscribed militant in India.

India’s Spy Agency Disappointed by Allegations

However, former RAW chief Dulat dismissed these reports before calling them as Western media's figment of imagination because India's intelligence body doesn't operate like that.
"The RAW doesn't do such things and has never done these things. As far as the Americans are concerned, they had said something about an assassination plot for Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, and India had appointed a committee to look into it. In the end, we said that it was a non-state actor, who may have been involved. So the question is whether it's a state actor or non-state actor, it doesn't go down very well," he told Sputnik India on Wednesday.

"As far as Pakistan goes, they should be the last ones to complain because they have killed so many people in Kashmir. Although these Kashmiris are under the control of India, we have never tried to kill anybody in Kashmir. So Pakistan now complaining about extra-judicial killings on their soil is a bit difficult to stomach. What has happened there, I have no idea," Dulat added.

Earlier, India's External Affairs Ministry described the British publication's claims as "false and malicious anti-India propaganda."

Did RAW Change Under Modi?

Dulat also shared his views on the recent chatter regarding RAW on social media, wherein many Indians have claimed that the spy agency has changed for good under Modi following Defense Minister Rajnath Singh's statement, in which he emphasized that India would hunt down terrorists abroad if they harmed New Delhi's interests anywhere in the world.
"If any terrorist from a neighboring country tries to disturb India or carry out terrorist activities here, he will be given a fitting reply. If he escapes to Pakistan we will go to Pakistan and kill him there," Singh said in an interview earlier this month.
Dulat acknowledged that the national security organizations get support depending on the leader.
"I am sure Modiji is supportive of the intelligence agencies, there's no doubt about that," Dulat concluded.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses party supporters, standing next to his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah at their headquarters in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 23, 2019.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.04.2024
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