An opinion piece written by Bharat Karnad – Professor of National Security Studies at the Center for Policy Research – for the Hindustan Time has openly admitted Indian support for terror-outfit Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan. Until today, such support was a matter of mere speculation, but this writing reinforces the ‘Ajit Doval Doctrine’ that called for exploiting fault-lines in Pakistan’s security landscape.
Karnad in his piece wrote:
“On the other issue, as a former head of the US Central Command Mattis appreciates Pakistan’s indispensability as base for military operations to bring the Taliban in Afghanistan to their knees. But Islamabad has insisted that India’s role in Afghanistan be restricted and complained about the Indian support for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) accused by Islamabad of terrorism in Pakistan. The RAW-TTP link was publicly revealed in April this year by its former commander, Ehsanullah Ehsan.
Mattis’ request that India moderate its support for TTP will put Delhi in a fix because TTP is useful as an Indian counterpart of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammad deployed by the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Jammu & Kashmir. Severing relations with TTP will mean India surrendering an active card in Pakistan and a role in Afghanistan as TTP additionally provides access to certain Afghan Taliban factions. This, together with the Abdul Ghani regime’s desire for India’s presence and the tested friendship with Abdul Rashid Dostum and his Tajik-dominated ‘Northern Alliance’, ensures that no solution for peace in Afghanistan can be cobbled together without India’s help.”
Ajit Doval had previously declared the TTP as a weakness of Pakistan and wanted to use the group against Pakistan. His doctrine also aims at dividing Pakistan’s military might in two directions in order to render it unable to wipe out the Taliban. When in 2015, Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Ajit Doval had rushed to Kabul and offered one million dollars in military aid to Afghanistan which Ashraf Ghani rejected. Also, Indian defense experts have constantly talked of “scaling up the offensive over Balochistan” to double up “Pakistan’s attrition and to make it pay for its interference in Jammu and Kashmir”.