Operation Blue Tulsi: How India Approached Israel For Help Against Pakistan
- PPP government dismissed in 1996 because Rehman Malik, DG FIA and Asif Zardari promised Indians and Israelis access to Pakistan’s nuclear facilities!
- In 1994-95 Rehman Malik was working in tandem with this immediate boss Ghulam Asghar, head of the FIA, and under the auspices of Asif Ali Zardari, collecting information about Pakistan’s nuclear installations. Malik offered the Indians direct access to Kashmiri and Afghan fighters he would capture!
- In July 2001 Janes Information Group reported that RAW and Mossad were cooperating to infiltrate Pakistan to target important religious and military personalities, journalists, judges, lawyers and bureaucrats!
In the late eighties two junior intelligence officers one Pakistani other Indian faced each other on opposite sides of the law.
The Pakistani intelligence officer had caught the Indian agent on Pakistani soil with incriminating evidence.
Indian agent knew his life had come to an end. However, everything has a price. And his freedom was worth a little less than half a million rupees.
A few days later the Indian agent was sitting back at home, free as a bird. And life went on for several more years until the fateful year of 1994 when the two old “chaps” met again. This time officially. The Indian agent had climbed the ladder to an important post in the government. At this side of the border the junior Pakistani agent, against all odds had become one of the top bosses at Federal Investigation Agency. Of course, this was the infamous Rehman Malik.
The Indian side wanted Pakistani Government’s help in reducing cross-border terrorism. But Rehman Malik offered a lot more than mere reduction in “cross-border” activity.
He had been appointed as Additional Director FIA and yielded immense power in the country. Additionally he had become the right-hand-man of Asif Ali Zardari, stashing his looted money all over the world.
Malik offered the Indians direct access to the jihadists he would capture.
Somewhere along the line Israel also became a party to the deal and soon Mossad agents were carrying out investigations of the captured (ISI backed) jihadists on Pakistani soil. There were millions to be made from the deal and of course Rehman Malik was working in tandem with this immediate boss Ghulam Asghar, head of the FIA and under the auspices of Asif Ali Zardari.
ISI, Pakistan Military and top brass quietly kept a close watch. Although painful but capture of a few foot soldiers was bearable in the bigger national interest.
By 1995, in a little over a year the, Benazir Bhutto government had expelled 2000 Arab mujahideen of the Afghan-Soviet War and imprisoned a number of Pakistani mujahideen. More significantly, Benazir Bhutto on her official visit to the US in April 1995 met in secret with an Israeli delegation. On her return she faced stiff resistance from a segment of civilian and military bureaucracy. Her meetings with India and Israel had generated great suspicions. Just four months later she thwarted a coup attempt against her headed by Major General Zahirul Islam Abbasi. Director General of Military Intelligence Major General Ali Kuli Khan tipped-off General Abdul Waheed Kakar who immediately ordered Chief of General Staff Lt. General Jehangir Karamat to suppress the coup. A total of 36 army officers and 20 civilians were arrested from Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Then in November 1995 the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad was blown up in a car bomb. Al-Qaeda was quick to claim it. Although the real reasons of the handlers of the bombers remain hidden to this day, but in the following days a silent but significant event happened. General Abdul Waheed Kakar who was given an extension in his tenure declined it and Lt. General Jehangir Karamat was appointed as the Army Chief by the then President Farooq Leghari on 18 December, 1995.
Lt. General Jehangir Karamat was the senior most general at the time, therefore the least controversial within the military – something which the military desperately needed at the time. The other three generals who were in the position to become COAS were Lt. Gen Javed Ashraf Qazi, Lt. Gen Naseer Akhtar, and Lt Gen Mohammad Tariq.
Lt. Gen. Ghulam Muhammad Malik had already retired in October 1995. Maj. Gen. Naseem Rana was heading the ISI at the time, taking his charge in October 1995. Lt. Gen. Shujat Ali Khan was heading the ISI’s Internal Wing.
In the backdrop of these events in Pakistan, in March 1995 Israel’s Air Force chief had visited India with an entourage that included key Mossad officials. It was at this point that in a meeting Pakistan’s nuclear program was discussed. A year later Indian nuclear and missile program head Abdul Kalam had a “top secret” visit to Israel in June 1996.
It was “top secret” because no one knew about it. As it turned out, everyone knew about it even before he left India. All the much publicized secrecy and visit of such a top level official achieved the aim and nearly nobody bothered with the entourage which included a manager from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – Alok Tiwari. The “top secret” meetings between Abdul Kalam and his Israeli counterparts were related to purchase of UAVs. However, in every single one of those “top secret” meetings Alok Tiwari was missing. With all the attention focused on Abdul Kalam and his “top secret” meetings no one noticed the odd thing.
Just a few days later, after coming back to India Tiwari accompanied Air Chief Marshal S. K. Sareen to Israel in July 1996. In fact this was his third trip. He had also visited Israel in April 1996 along with India’s first Defense Attaché to Israel.
The effect was immediate. In late July 1996 MQM organized a province-wide strike. Simultaneously a large bomb exploded at Lahore airport and a second at a Faisalabad railway station. On 14 August 1996, 12 SSP [an extremist religious group] activists were gunned down during an Independence Day Rally by unidentified gunmen. By end of August, Punjab had been engulfed in sectarian violence, Shias and Sunnis were being gunned down in broad daylight. The political and security situation worsened by the murder of Murtaza Bhutto and reinstatement of Manzoor Wattoo as Chief Minister of Punjab. The country seemed in a political and economic turmoil with violence erupting throughout the country. At the same time, out of the blue Ataullah Mengal returned from his self-imposed exile.
While everyone was busy with the current crisis a team of agents working directly under Rehman Malik were gathering information on Kahuta and A.Q. Khan. Beginning November 1996, ISI saw an increase in Indian troop movements, which finally sent alarm bells ringing through the echelons of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Suddenly, all the pieces fell in place and Ghulam Asghar and Rehman Malik’s shenanigans seemed a lot deeper than mere money grabbing tactics. By fourth of November a thick load of evidence had been gathered on Ghulam Asghar and Rehman Malik working with the consent of Asif Ali Zardari towards gathering information on the progress of Pakistan’s nuclear program.
On 5 November 1996, Farooq Leghari dissolved Benazir Bhutto’s government. At the other side of the border, this caused the immediate visit of Israeli naval chief Vice-Admiral Alex Tal to India. Back at home, Ghulam Asghar and Rehman Malik were imprisoned on undisclosed charges. Pakistan had narrowly escaped the storm that was brewing in its mists.
In February 1997, Indian Defense Secretary T. K. Banerji led a high level defense delegation to Israel to discuss the “exchange of technology” between the two countries. Other than the official purpose the most important topic was Pakistan’s nuclear program. By the end of the visit the two countries had decided to do “whatever” it takes to neutralize the threat.
In March next year the BJP won Indian elections and one of the immediate policies adopted was to tackle Pakistan’s nuclear issue by any means possible. With such enthusiastic approach the government even decided to take the most extreme measures if needed. In the following two months the official and diplomatic delegations between India and Israel came to a halt. There was a sudden rise however in the exchange of non-diplomatic delegations between the two countries. The last official visit was of Gen. Prakash Malik to Israel in March 1998, who was also the first serving Indian Chief of Army Staff to visit Israel since normalization.
In April 1998 two out-of-the ordinary incidents happened. Air India announced its discontinuation of Tel Aviv flight on 1 April 1998 and early April the Confederation of Indian Industries announced an unplanned “Study Mission” to Israel. This was the prelude to the second wave which officially started on 11 May 1998 when India exploded its nuclear bombs.
Night of 27-28 May 1998
Pakistan resisted testing its nuclear bombs for nearly two weeks until 27 May 1998. On 27 May 1998 in a top level meeting Lt. Gen. Naseem Rana, DG ISIP, briefed the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief on the increasing intelligence reports of possible Indian attack on Pakistan’s nuclear installations.
The panic this briefing created was nothing compared to the next two briefings.
The first report pertained to the sighting of an unidentified F-16 aircraft at the periphery of Pakistan’s airspace on 27 May 1998. Knowing India did not have F-16s, the obvious suggestion was the presence of Israeli Air Force jets in the area (especially with the reports of Indian COAS visiting Israel just a month earlier). And the second report coming just before 1:00 am on 28 May 1998 recorded unusual movements of Indian aircrafts just across the border which suggested India was preparing for preventive airstrikes against Pakistan. The seven nuclear tests of 28 May 1998 were an obvious response.
The tests confirmed once and for all that Pakistan is a nuclear power.
It seemed probable that BJP government had decided to explode its nuclear bombs in order to force Pakistan into testing its own devices—if it had any. After a delay of two weeks, doubts had started rising in nearly every analytical discourse that Pakistan did not have the nuclear capability or it would have responded. The Indian thinking was that this was the golden opportunity to take out Pakistan’s nuclear installations before Pakistan gets that capability. The important visit of Indian COAS to Israel in March 1998 – in the light of proceeding events – could only be regarding Israel’s support for the planned attack. But whatever the Indian reasons and aims for engaging Israel, the end result was Pakistan’s success in establishing itself as a nuclear power state. This Pakistani move has completely changed the Great Nuclear Game in the region.
Pakistan’s test firing of nuclear bombs was a shock for the rest of the world. No one expected, in the first place for Pakistan to have the capability and secondly to explode them even if it had the capability. For India and Israel, the two top-most interested parties in destroying Pakistan’s nuclear assets, this meant a complete overhaul of their strategy.
A year later the Indian National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra came to meet Ehud Barak in September 1999 and this time he was accompanied by a familiar face – Alok Tiwari. Within a year, Alok Tiwari and another security analyst finalized a document based on their discussions the preceding year.
In June 2000, L. K. Advani visited Israel where new deals related to Mossad and Shabak espionage and cooperation with RAW were finalized and as a result Israel was allowed to establish its own network to operate from in India. Also, L.K. Advani discussed Pakistan’s nuclear program and the chances of coordination between the two countries on a possible strike to denuclearize Pakistan. During the visit, Alok Tiwari’s report was also discussed.
By July 2000 a heavy deployment of Israeli agents in Indian Occupied Kashmir was reported. Near the end of 2000 Israel’s top intelligence officers were reported to have visited India and discussed amongst other issues, Kashmir and Pakistan’s nuclear assets. One of the meetings on the agenda was regarding the report Alok Tiwari had prepared which had gone through considerable changes in Israel. By the end of the visit the top spies of the two countries had agreed to cooperate on the operation detailed inside a thick volume titled, “Operation Blue Tulsi”.
Operation Blue Tulsi: The Preparations
We do not know what was written inside the report Operation Blue Tulsi. But we can ascertain some of it by the events it had led to beginning 2001.
Preparation for the mega Operation Blue Tulsi began fervently in early 2001. By mid 2001 eyebrows were being raised over RAW and Mossad’s cooperation and in July 2001 Janes Information Group reported that RAW and Mossad are cooperating to infiltrate Pakistan to target important religious and military personalities, journalists, judges, lawyers and bureaucrats. In addition, bombs would be exploded in trains, railway stations, bridges, bus stations, cinemas, hotels and mosques of rival Islamic sects to incite sectarianism. At the same time the Balochistan Liberation Army rose out of dead like a second incarnation and Balach Marri a Moscow graduate declares himself as the leader of BLA. Within weeks in Balochistan numerous training camps sprouted with each camp reported to be training up to a hundred militants. Agents from RAW, Mossad and CIA operating in Afghanistan started moving in.
In mid 2001 reports appeared that Special Operations Division of Mossad, also known as Metsada, specializing in assassinations and sabotage, has been based in India since May 2001 to train RAW operatives and Mossad and Shin Bet or Shabak were operating a number of teams in Indian Held Kashmir and were also operating a delicate spy network from Indian soil. In July 2001 RAW increased its budget for Indian consulates in Afghanistan by nearly 10 times.
Within days after 9/11, a story was leaked in the press that Pakistan is dismantling and spreading its nuclear assets to safer places implying that it would be much more difficult to pinpoint them and much more easier for extremists to get hold of. These news stories were shortly followed by another piece on 28 October 2001 which stated that Pentagon was looking into plans to dispatch an elite unit into the Pakistan to disarm its nuclear arsenal. The special unit which was trained to slip into foreign countries to ferret out and disarm nuclear weapons and operated under Pentagon control with CIA assistance and would be getting special help from Israel’s Sayeret Matkal also known as Unit 262.
On 22 December 2001 C. Raja Mohan wrote, “There is a growing belief in New Delhi that the time has come to call Pakistan’s nuclear bluff. If it does not, India places itself in permanent vulnerability to cross-border terrorism from Pakistan … India is now confronted with the possibility that its restraint in the face of nuclear escalation is taken as a fundamental weakness. India must deal with the possible assessment in Pakistan that its nuclear capability has foreclosed all conventional military options.”
At the same time on the other side of the globe, Prof. Stephen P. Cohen was saying, “South Asia may have reached a point where the two countries (India and Pakistan) are really bent on hurting each other one way or another and it may be time to consider more unilateral, more forceful American steps – diplomatically and economically forceful – to get compliance from India and Pakistan separately on some vital concerns. Clearly, we may have reached a point where the peace process is simply too little, too late, and we may have to turn to other forms of diplomacy.”
These two writers one from US and the other from India very implicitly had voiced their respective governments’ policies towards Pakistan’s nuclear assets.
In December 2001 Indian PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, while addressing the parliament said, “the question was not whether there should be or should not be a war, [the question was] under what circumstances there will be war … and whether there will be a war.”
Of course the underlying message was, whether India should attack a nuclear armed country or a country which has lost its nuclear capabilities.
In December 2001 Benazir Bhutto while visiting India said in her interviews, “President, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, as an army general, had planned the Kargil invasion in Jammu and Kashmir while I was the Prime Minister.” Later she also said, “Pakistan army as an institution had brought back Osama bin Laden”.
This rhetoric of Benazir Bhutto was perfectly in line with the agreement signed by US and India in 2002.
Late in 2002 US and India signed an agreement on cooperation in disarming Pakistan’s nuclear assets and the two-player offensive team of Operation Blue Tulsi found a third partner in the form of CIA. As a result of this deal Abdullah Mehsud was freed from Guantanamo Bay and returned to Pakistan with millions of dollars in cash.
Benazir Bhutto’s statements in India were the major reason Pervez Musharraf’s declaration of Benazir Bhutto as a “security risk” during a chat with Pakistan’s leading editors and correspondents in April 2002. Pakistani security agencies already had a great deal of intelligence regarding Benazir Bhutto, Asif Zardari and Rehman Malik’s involvement with Mossad and India in 1995-96 and their collaboration against Pakistan’s nuclear assets.
In January 2002 under orders from L. K. Advani RAW and other intelligence agencies submitted a detailed report on military options for solving Kashmir issue and in case of a full-fledged war, for neutralizing Pakistan’s nuclear assets. One major outcome of the report was the creation of Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in March 2002 with the authority to conduct external operations supported by a huge budget.
Also, a Lawyers’ Struggle surfaced in October 2003 under the leadership of Hamid Ali Khan (now drowned under the infamous Lawyers’ Movement). The first prominent protest of the “struggle” was held on 15 October 2003 in which the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Hamid Ali Khan said, “Musharraf’s very presence within the army and holding of other important offices and Shaikh Riaz Ahmad’s continuation as chief justice after his retirement are undoubtedly illegal and unconstitutional … Let’s think collectively, move forward collectively and act collectively to outs usurper generals and judges (who had collaborated with Pervez Musharraf including Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry).
However, like a B-grade movie twist, four years later Iftikhar Chaudry becomes the hero to these same lawyers who wanted to oust him. Like a script from the past, this protest had followed a “Long March”. And the “struggle” then moved to other cities one by one.
At this point along with Hamid Ali Khan, Kazim Khan was at the forefront. Lacking the charisma and cunning of their successors, and because of the assassination of a major politician, and because of the shortage of “unlimited” billions of rupees at their disposal, this Lawyers’ Struggles has been confined to the dusty pages of history with their names ascribed against the words, “traitors”.
Also, there is no evidence to support that the assassination attempts on Pervez Musharraf were somehow related to the timing of the Lawyers’ Struggle. (See: Black Revolution: Pakistan’s Lawyers Movement: The Bush Administration’s Last Color Revolution).
By mid 2004, the government had ample evidence that BLA and some Baloch leaders were conspiring against the government, aided by foreign countries.
On 13August 2004, the Chief Minister of Baluchistan, Jam Muhammad Yousaf is quoted by The Herald (Sep 2004-Karachi) as saying: “Indian secret services (RAW) are maintaining 40 terrorist camps all over the Baloch territory”.
While this was happening on the ground, there was talk of ‘peace talks’ with the terrorists everywhere. People like Jan Muhammad Jamali became a laughing stock of the media because he dared to suggest that there were foreign agents operating in Balochistan. Unfortunately, many in the Pakistani media ridiculed these statements then.
In any case, it was already too late then. The preparations for the Operation Blue Tulsi were nearly complete and the Government of Pakistan had wasted all opportunities for stopping the inevitable.
Operation Blue Tulsi: Start
Jan. 1, 2005 was the starting date. The local agents got the signal and the operation started with the ominous rape of a female doctor in Sui on 2 January 2005.
As expected the incident created headlines all around and culprits not being found created a widespread indignation. This was shortly followed by the firing of hundreds of small rockets at gas installation in Sui on 7 January 2005 which put a hole in the supply of gas to the rest of the country for an entire week.
2005 was a busy year with terrorists claiming to represent Pakistani Baloch citizens continuously creating havoc in Balochistan and adjacent areas and ended with the assassination attempts on Musharraf in December.
After President Gen. Pervez Musharraf escaped a rocket attack on his life in December 2005 and the Inspector General Frontier Corps survived an assassination attempt, Navtej Sarna, the Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman said, “The Government of India has been watching with concern the spiraling violence in Balochistan and the heavy military action, including the use of helicopter gunships and jet fighters by the Government of Pakistan to quell it … We hope the Government of Pakistan will exercise restraint and take recourse to peaceful discussions to address the grievances of the people of Balochistan”.
The Indian Government had realized that the two assassination attempts would surely result in backfire on the Indian assets in Balochistan, which it needed to safeguard for its final aim, especially Akbar Bugti. Just as suspected, the Government of Pakistan intensified its operation against the terrorist militants claiming to represent Pakistani Baloch citizens.
In April 2006 the Government of Balochistan in exile is set up with its offices in Jerusalem under one Azaad Khan Baloch.
In a laughingly stupid mistake, Azaad Khan Baloch who claims to represent Pakistani Balochis decided to spell his name according to Hindi transliteration with a double “a” in Az”aa”d, rather than a single “a” as used in Pakistan, i.e. Azad.
What is more probable is that whoever this Azad [or the Hindi Azaad] Khan Baloch is, he is definitely not a Pakistani Baloch.
Meanwhile in Balochistan the government operation against Akbar Bugti intensified. Bugti took shelter in the rugged mountain range and coordinated the activities of his militants from there. Ultimately the military found him and during the process of capture Akbar Bugti died because of cave-roof collapse on 26 August 2006.
This proved a minor setback in the overall plans. However, beginning 2007 events in the country took a completely different turn. Starting March 2007, every incident occurring in the country was tied to the aim of ousting Pervez Musharraf, including the much profitable Lawyers’ Movement. Intelligence agencies were having a field-day bringing in pile after pile of reports proving the involvement of CIA, RAW, Mossad and MI6 towards Musharraf’s ouster. True to some extent but contrary to most analyses at the time, the ouster of Pervez Musharraf was just one milestone towards the main goal.
The efforts of the Pakistani counterespionage effort went into controlling the situation to secure Musharraf, while in the backdrop, silently the wheels kept turning. While Punjab, Sind, Balochistan were burning Swat was sitting quietly unnoticed and out of radar. Within a period of a few months, the numbers of ‘Pakistani Taliban’ in Swat surged and just their ammunition and their military hardware did. Some of this hardware was more advanced to what the Pakistani soldiers used.
A portion of this military hardware ended up in the ill-fated Lal Masjid. While intelligence and military were busy keeping Musharraf’s seat safe in Pakistan, a new political game started in the UAE.
Rehman Malik enthusiastically started pursuing the goal of National Reconciliation Ordinance. He became instrumental in the final deal between Benazir Bhutto, US and Pervez Musharraf and NRO.
ANOTHER SMOOTH OPERATOR BEHIND THIS OPERATION WAS HUSAIN HAQQANI WHO INCREASED HIS VALUE BY TRANSFORMING HIMSELF INTO A CONDUIT BETWEEN MRS. BHUTTO AND THE WASHINGTON ESTABLISHMENT. MR. HAQQANI CONVINCED HER OF MAKING PRO-AMERICAN STATEMENTS IN PUBLIC IN ORDER TO CONVINCE WASHINGTON THAT SHE MUST BE BROUGHT BACK TO POWER IN ISLAMABAD].
Since Benazir Bhutto did not have much to lose without NRO she was never very interested in this controversial piece of legislation. That was the reason two options were thrown at Musharraf, i.e. either eliminate the two-term condition or introduce NRO. Rehman Malik on the other hand, was vehemently pursuing NRO, as of the three (Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto and Rehman Malik) the Government of Pakistan only had clear evidence against Rehman Malik and it was enough to put him in jail for life (i.e. involvement in espionage and working with Mossad and RAW). However, at that point no one knew the real motivations of Rehman Malik other than that he was working to get the path clear for Benazir’s return. Amazingly, the FBI also was putting its weight behind NRO rather than eliminate the two term condition. If US really wanted to see Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minister of Pakistan logic says Washington would have lobbied for striking down that law that prevented Bhutto from assuming office for a third term. It needs to be noted here that Rehman Malik had also tried to do a similar deal in 2005, which never materialized. This time it did.
Near the end of 2007, the intelligence and the military were convinced that a conspiracy had been hatched in the country with the sole aim of removing Musharraf from power.
The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto, simultaneous riots throughout the country, terrorist activities occurring in every province, all of this had considerable similarities to the Bush Administration-backed Color Revolutions. In order to keep Musharraf in power the government kept giving into one demand after the other. As a result Rehman Malik becomes head of Interior Ministry, Yusuf Raza Gilani becomes the Prime Minister of Pakistan and sweeping changes are made in the security and intelligence community. Still, the government saw the war finally over when in one move Gilani puts ISI under the Interior Minister on 27 July 2008. Until that time ISI and the top brass had thought all Rehman Malik wanted was to get rid of extremist elements from ISI and Pakistan’s establishment.
It was the end of July 2008 when the alarm bells started ringing again in the high echelons of power in Pakistan. The intelligence machinery went into extra high gear and after millions of dollars later it came back with a name: Operation Blue Tulsi.
Operation Blue Tulsi: the Revelation
The establishment only now realized the full extent of the operation which they had been witnessing since the beginning of 2000. More worryingly, the current operation had eerily similar modus operandi to the 1995-96 debacle – which hardened the resolve of the nation to strengthen the security of its nuclear assets – just that this time the plan to take them out was vastly more sophisticated and bigger in size. In matter of hours the priorities changed. Keeping Pervez Musharraf in power suddenly paled in comparison to the real threat. As the agencies reopened recent reports, reading them in the light of the newest findings helped in seeing all the pieces fall in place. It was a disastrous lapse on behalf of the multibillion dollar strong organizations. Overnight a report was prepared and the summary was sent to President Pervez Musharraf next morning.
In 1995-96, India came up with a plan to destroy Pakistan’s nuclear facilities before Pakistan developed a nuclear capability. The plan was prepared by a RAW agent Alok Tiwari (who had recently been compromised). At that time Mossad was already active in Pakistan and once it heard about the project for the elimination of Pakistan’s nuclear facilities it jumped in by first tweaking the project and then using its assets in Pakistan. Somewhere in early 1996 the operation was given the go-ahead. At that point FIA Director General Ghulam Asghar and his ADG Rehman Malik in a deal with India and Israel were hunting down Pakistan based Kashmiri and Arab militants. These two men proved to be the front line in the operation and when contacted by Indian agents fully agreed to supply all the necessary information regarding Kahuta and A. Q. Khan’s operations. Towards mid 1996 demonstrations and chaos erupted throughout the country. The aim was to destabilize the country enough that when the two men confirmed to their contacts Pakistan did not have any nuclear capabilities India would go-ahead with all out assault. General Jehangir Karamat who was already wary of the two chaps and Asif Ali Zardari’s complicity took immediate action and Benazir Bhutto’s government was dissolved. The trio of Asghar and Malik and Zardari had already come into military’s radar the year before when they tried to lure General Abdul Wahed Kakar.
Five years later, Alok Tiwari submited an updated version of his older report. Israel was again consulted and this time L. K. Advani vehemently pursued it. Towards the end of 2000 a delegation of top Mossad officials visited India and the combined operation titled Operation Blue Tulsi was finalized and put into operation which had only one aim: Destroy Pakistan’s nuclear assets followed by its Balkanization.
1. Resurrect Baloch insurgency. Pakistan was fine with it, as it had thirty years of experience dealing with it, starting with the Afghan-Soviet War
2. Buy officials in military, bureaucracy, politics and law. ISI was fine with this too, as it had sixty years of experience in dealing with traitors.
3. Plant agents in top positions in Pakistani Taliban, FATA and NWFP. A shocker for everyone.
Taliban were assisted by ISI and the agency had no contingency for enemy agents in top positions in this group. The best option they came up with was to buy back the agents with more money and as a result they were deceived time and again. Top on the list, Baitullah Mehsud. The twenty million dollars he got in suitcases was one of the stupidest moves in the world espionage history and ISI top brass to this day are vengefully pursuing him.
1. Friendly political government. Asif Zardari in place, Aslam Raisani in Balochistan (though first choice Akbar Bugti unfortunately dead, MQM’s omnipresence in Sindh, Fazlur Rehman and ANP in NWFP)
2. Friendly judiciary. Iftikhar Chaudhry, Munir A. Malik, Atizaz Ahsan
3. Friendly secretaries. ??
4. Friendly Civil Society. Ansar Burney, Asma Jehangir
5. Friendly Generals. ??
6. Unrest in NWFP and immediate threat of Taliban taking control of Islamabad. Back in 2002, the US had agreed with India that if ever Pakistan appeared destabilized or falling into the hands of extremists, it would help India in taking out Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. That moment is embodied in the theme song that the Pakistani media is unfortunately repeating, “Taliban are coming to Islamabad”.
By August 2008 the operation was too deep rooted and it was clear if attention was diverted towards saving Musharraf there was more than a probability of losing our nuclear edge through espionage. With Musharraf gone, ISI estimated a window of opportunity of 18 to 20 months before either Taliban or Asif Zardari with his shenanigans destabilized Pakistan. In the greater interest Musharraf decided to step down peacefully.
Operation Blue Tulsi: In Operation
Musharraf stepped down and Asif Ali Zardari took over, but by then the order had been sent and the agents in Swat Valley and FATA who had been preparing for the day for the last eight years launched an all out assault on the military with a single aim of destabilizing Pakistan. In the eventful month of December 2007 Baitullah Mehsud had already announced officially the formation of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. Although right after the victory of PPP, Baitullah Mehsud had negotiated peace with the government which led to the great debacle of him receiving US$ 20 million. By August 2008 he was again involved with the military in a full head-on battle. ISI and the military by this time had realized the foremost importance of ridding the Taliban off foreign agents and assets by any means and costs.
At one end Pakistan military still is trying to safeguard its own assets while tracing out and eliminating foreign agents, while at the other end US is trying its best to safeguard its prime asset of Baitullah Meshud who had taken over after the death of Abullah Mehsud. Until very recently, there had been not a single drone attack on Baitullah Mehsud, while ISI aligned Taliban had been bombed repeatedly, as a result of which many have turned their backs against Pakistan. Only in the recent months four drone attacks on Baitullah Mehsud’s territory have been reported.
Operation Blue Tulsi and Future
Currently the entire country is gripped by the ongoing operations of military against the Taliban. The media which once championed itself as the sympathizers of the Taliban and were chanting “Taliban are coming to Islamabad” have suddenly changed their tone, especially after being declared by the Taliban as kafirs and thus “killable”.
The economy is in doldrums and corruption is rampantly high but the top brass knows Pakistan is first and for Pakistan nuclear assets come first. Thus, until the country is cleansed of all the foreign agents in FATA and Taliban, the military and intelligence have only one goal, to stop Operation Blue Tulsi at this stage, making sure it never goes into Phase TWO – attacking and destroying Pakistan’s nuclear assets.