By M D NALAPAT
ISI is activating its India-specific modules to create mayhem once the National Register of Citizens is made public.
Now that the Pakistan military has succeeded in ensuring that a candidate of its choice has been selected as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, the ISI is gearing up to intensify the ongoing global campaign against efforts by the Sarbananda Sonowal government in Guwahati to identify the millions of illegal migrants in Assam. The identification will be done through the preparation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which will eliminate those illegally present within the state. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of Bengal has adopted the opposite strategy, that of apparently welcoming such migrants into her state on the ground of human rights, including Rohingyas, thereby becoming a heroine to the many agencies funnelling illegal migrants into India on a daily basis. Assam CM Sonowal’s efforts to weed out illegal migrants from genuine citizens are not based on religion, but on origin. However, Assam’s NRC is being characterised in a focused way as being directed solely against a particular community. Several NGOs in India—some of whom are acting from genuinely altruistic, if misguided, motives—have been petitioning the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and other consequential entities to stop work on the NRC, arguing that it is intended to “send Muslims to prison camps for life” and to create conditions for “mass murder, genocide, mass rape” and other human rights violations. The objective is to ensure that every individual now present in Assam be declared a bona fide citizen of India and be given voting and other rights on an immediate basis. A collateral effect of the campaign has been to impact the global image of the world’s most populous democracy.
Meanwhile, around 6 million more individuals in Bangladesh and Myanmar have been identified by the ISI as being “suitable for early entry to India” in view of their dedication to Wahhabism. Among these, the Pakistan army expects to recruit large numbers of extremists in order to intensify their covert campaign to ensure through riots, chaos and terrorism that India does not ever take off into a high growth trajectory, but follows Pakistan in becoming a divided society. Once the clamour in the US erupted last month over the separation by the Donald Trump administration of children from their parents, several of the groups promoting automatic citizenship to illegal migrants into India have been alleging that “children are being forcibly separated from their parents by (Indian) authorities”, and even that “they are being sold as juvenile sex slaves”. The absence of any evidence that such fake atrocities are taking place has not dimmed the decibel level of the “Instant Citizenship” campaign.
There has been a visible concentration of effort by the present UN Human Rights Commissioner on issues concerning a single community, with relative silence on the situation of minorities in Pakistan, with forced conversions of the few remaining Hindus and Christians, or the brutal treatment being given by Wahhabi fanatics in Bangladesh to hapless Hindus in much the same way as took place during 1989-91 in Kashmir. A special effort has been launched by ISI proxies since 2015 to ensure that as many media outlets as possible carry false reports on India, while ignoring the situation in Pakistan and Bangladesh. However, there are also several campaigners who are working entirely independent of the ISI, but are active for reasons of personal conviction. A noted crusader for the right of migrants to settle in India, Harsh Mander, has several times warned international agencies and tribunals that “detention centres are being prepared for lakhs of innocent people” because of religious reasons. He recently resigned as Special Monitor from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) because the agency refused to act on the basis of unsubstantiated information and wild allegations against authorities in India, but instead demanded proof of the many charges made by Mander. Others are asking why Harsh Mander has been silent not only on the situation in India’s neighbourhood, but in Europe, where the Roma as well as Muslim refugees are suffering discrimination on a scale unprecedented since the 1939-45 war across the world and its aftermath. Mander’s silence on Europe is disturbing those who wish to see the same standards applied across the board, rather than selectively. It is claimed by those familiar with his activities that former bureaucrat Harsh Mander “has an obsession with the Narendra Modi government and wants to discredit it globally”, although there is no evidence to back the oft-repeated claim that he is serving as a catspaw for the Congress party in its campaign against the Modi government. This effort acquired a new edge after Rahul Gandhi took over as Congress president.
A particular focus of the ISI is to try and send in hundreds of thousands of more Rohingyas into India via Assam and Bengal. In the latter state they get a much warmer welcome, thanks to the policy adopted by the Bengal government of welcoming rather than discouraging migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh. Several of the representations and news reports being sent to global agencies (including by the ISI-funded campaign to ensure immediate citizenship to all illegal immigrants) give particular attention to the Rohingyas, whom they wish to see resettled in India on a mass scale. False reports with morphed images have been circulated by ISI fronts purporting to show rapes and massacres of members of the minority community in Assam since Sonowal took over as the Chief Minister, the intention being to portray Assam as a “cauldron of hate”. The Delhi Press Club was the venue for a report by the Students Islamic Organisation of India made public on 23 June 2018. This alleged that “over three million will face deletion from the National Register of Citizens” purely on grounds of faith. Among those who have jumped on the Instant Citizenship bandwagon is S.R. Darapuri (former IGP, Uttar Pradesh), who released alarming figures about the situation in Assam on 13 July 2018. It must be added that several of those active in the Instant Citizenship campaign are unaware of the ISI’s involvement in parallel movements working with the same objective as themselves. Both Mander and Darapuri are sincere citizens who have somewhere along the line begun to believe that their government is unreliable and even dangerous. Darapuri in particular has a record of working in defence of the rights of the underprivileged even while he was in service, and before he became a leading supporter of the “Instant Citizenship” campaign, effectively on behalf of illegal migrants.
Meanwhile, the ISI is activating its growing number of India-specific modules to create violence and mayhem not only in Assam, but in nearby states once the NRC gets completed and made public. The intention is to inflame the situation on communal grounds so as to create mindsets calling for a fresh partition of what is left of India after the partition of 1947. This is despite the fact that almost as many Bangladeshi Hindus as Muslims will be left out of the NRC in Assam because their entry was illegal. Fake news is being deliberately manufactured to generate fears and tensions such that they may explode into violence, as a consequence of which it is expected that Government of India will instruct the Assam government to scrap the NRC, and regularise the flood of illegal immigrants the way more than 13 million have already found refuge, many in Bengal but in other states as well. The ISI operation to sabotage the NRC is hitting high gear, and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will, as a consequence, find it increasingly difficult to implement the pledge of his party to ensure that the NRC gets completed soon so that genuine citizens get separated from illegal settlers of whatever faith through proper identity papers.