We have been hearing a lot lately about RAW’s intentions against Pakistan and their fury over CPEC which has been termed as a ‘game changer’ for the region. Supposedly, there are 35,000 RAW agents on the loose in Pakistan, though our intelligence agencies have not been able to arrest a single one. We have been told that RAW is responsible for terrorism, though the actual terrorists who have been arrested in connection continue to be either run-of-the-mill extremists or educated middle-class jihadis. Each time, though, the stakes keep getting made higher. Now, the stakes have been taken to a truly terrifying level with claims that India is considering arming assets in Pakistan with “small nuclear devices”. However, the source of this latest claim makes it even more terrifying that it seems.
This latest statement was allegedly made by a high ranking Indian intelligence officer and was reported by Cynthia Hall writing from Damascus. In case you are unfamiliar with this journalist, don’t feel too bad. She is a complete bloody mystery. Nobody has ever heard of her, and nobody can find any information about her anywhere. Despite the fact that she has never apparently written a report for any publication before, she somehow managed to travel into Syria and get an interview with high level intelligence officers who were more than happy to reveal to this strange woman some nuclear secrets and India’s strategic plans to violate international law. If you haven’t seen the article, I will post it below. The only known existence is this online picture that is shared on social media, so I can’t give you any link.
As you can see, the important points are carefully highlighted in case you only have a few seconds to read before you email this to your friends and relatives giving them the dire warning.
In case you can’t tell from my tone, I am mostly being sarcastic. This is an obvious piece of very poorly made propaganda, and I will continue to support that position until Cynthia Hall herself comes forward and explains what she was doing in Syria and how she had such incredible access to Indian intelligence.
There is one thing that I am not being sarcastic about, though, and that is that this piece of propaganda is terrifying to me. Not because I believe that India is going to give terrorists “small nuclear devices”, but because I worry about what it means when propaganda escalates into the nuclear zone.
It would make no sense for India to give proxies small nuclear weapons to use against Pakistan. The first response would obviously be a nuclear retaliation, which would mean that India was acting suicidally. India’s paranoia may have brought it to a point where they are arresting small birds, but there’s no evidence that they have become crazy enough to invite a nuclear war. But that doesn’t mean that some jihadi couldn’t get his hands on a nuke, and it’s actually another recent propaganda that is what really scares me.
Islamic State recently released an article by John Cantile, a real journalist who has been a hostage of the jihadi militants, that says that ISIS is working on getting a nuke from inside Pakistan.
“Let me throw a hypothetical operation onto the table,” the article continues. “The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilāyah in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region.”
It admits that such a scenario is “far-fetched” but warns: “It’s the sum of all fears for Western intelligence agencies and it’s infinitely more possible today than it was just one year ago.
“Far-fetched” may be as good as we can hope for, but then the timing of the piece by Cynthia Hall is worrisome because it reminds me of another strange bit of information that came out earlier this year. I am referring to the statement of former DG-ISI Asad Durrani to al Jazeera that Pakistan probably harboured Osama bin Laden.
At the time, this was dismissed as the attempt of an old man to get his name in the spot light decades after he had left his service. Then came Seymour Hersh’s article, which was also dismissed as misinformed. Then came more sources, and suddenly some things were getting a little harder to put back in the jar. I wrote at the time:
“It’s not hard to assume that he had already been contacted by the American reporter and knew that the story was going to break. It’s also not hard to believe that he was then activated to “manage” these revelations, making sure that they showed the ISI in the best possible light.”
Could it be that this “Cynthia Hall” report is meant to “get ahead of the story” also? Only this time it appears that there is no reporter. So whose story is it trying to get ahead of? Reading the ISIS claim of trying to get a nuke in Pakistan the first time I did not take it seriously. Of course they want you think that. Then I worried why would fake stories trying to point the finger at India for giving a nuke to terrorists be suddenly circulating just as ISIS is claiming to have a lead on a Pakistani nuke? Is it just the latest in the heated rhetoric against India coming out of the government and Army? Or is it an attempt to “manage” the perception in case something unspeakable happens?
Of course, it could also be that this is just some hyper-nationalist kid’s horribly misguided attempt to put India on its back foot. If so, he should be ashamed. Whatever your feelings about India, nuclear war is nothing to joke about. Still, I pray that this is the case.