“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed”
Führer Adolf Hitler
The lineage of this term is drawn from maritime affairs where ships raise a false flag to disguise themselves and hide their original identity and intent. In this milieu, the concept of the false flag emanates from the domain of conspiracy theory wherein an operation is conducted by one party or government and made to appear as though it was sponsored by another party or government. These coercive techniques are carried out with the intent of deceiving the public or target audience, with regards to the perpetrators of false flag.
These operations could be a solitary happening or a succession of deceptive episodes towards materializing a long-term strategy, with a visualized plot to fabricate and falsely accuse or allege other governments to justify aggression against them. A number of these pseudo-operations have been conducted in past, few famous amongst them were Operation Himmler by Hitler, Operation Northwood by the U.S., and Lavon Affair executed by Israel.
False flag operations have been a part of statecraft since ancient times, though, the times have changed and no country, especially a democratic one, should resort to such an agenda. However, of late, we have seen a state infested with frenzied radical Hindutva dogma has not shied away from piloting such operations against other nations, particularly Pakistan. These operations were staged by so called, Tamil separatist movements or Royal Nepalese coup of 1960 or killing own people in Mumbai and soldiers in Pulwama and later, censuring and blaming other countries for the terrorism.
India is effectuating its vitriolic and contemptuous campaign by constructing a narrative in declaring Pakistan a hotbed of violence in the region. However, in doing so the Indian government itself is endangering the stability of South Asian region. As India is a country with diverse mix of cultures and religions, it has always been in desperate need of nation-building. To serve this aim, its far-right political parties and opposing forces established a perception of a common or fictitious adversary to unite its culturally despondent populace. India’s false flag operations are conducted in sync as a force to serve and augment nationalistic perception.
Indian accusations based on trivial reasons of tarnishing the image of Pakistan in the international arena are repeatedly rejected and proven wrong by Pakistan. This has been established and attested even in the Indian courts by the Indian judges (Judgement in Chittisinghpura Massacre 2000 ). Pakistan was accused of criminal violence of almost every minor or major act of terror in India, but the Indian government has failed to provide any substantial and credible evidence of Pakistani connection in these terror attacks. Indian government has even been a practitioner and perpetrator of false flag operations since long, with dubious history of executing such operations with impunity even in its own, restive areas.
On 20 Mar 2000, (Day of Bloodshed) mass killing of around thirty-five Sikhs took place in Anantnag, district of IOK. Initially Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Pakistan were accused of this bloodshed. However, Indian court noted that the entire massacre was staged to malign Pakistan. In 2017, Lt Gen (Retd) KS Gill, who was part of a CBI investigation team, confirmed that Indian army was involved in massacre. This massacre occurred during the visit of President Clinton to India and Pakistan. The purpose was to generate more U.S. pressure on Pakistan and to discredit Pakistan globally.
The Indian Parliament was attacked in December 2001. India referred this terrorist attack as a Pakistani plan and accused LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) without any investigations which resulted into a full-scale military stand-off at borders. The Indian Media had mentioned this attack as a breach of national security due to the negligence of concerned authorities. A former home Ministry Officer Mr. RVS Mani stated that members of investigating committee claimed that the Indian Parliament attack was orchestrated by the government. Mr. Satish Verma, a member of the Central Bureau of Investigation-SIT probe team, said that “Attack on the Indian parliament in 2000 and the Mumbai attacks in 2008 were set up with the objective of strengthening the counter-terrorism legislation and to get extra funds.
Another false flag operation of India was exposed by their own media and officers holding senior positions in public offices. Indian government led by PM Modi and RSS played a Pre-Election Subterfuge in the form of Pulwama attack. Pakistan had fore warned to the world about the probability of a momentous diversionary incident by the BJP government prior to Indian elections, to cover up governance failures, to neutralize political opponents, and to rally Hindu voters behind it by fooling the Indian population and voters.
“It’s easier to fool people, than to convince them that they have been fooled”
In this context, the Pulwama attack (14 Feb 2019) was orchestrated by the Hindu extremist group RSS and the government. In the wake of the Pulwama and Balokot subsequent botched attacks, the BJP government achieved its aim of patriotic mobilization and gained political mileage through its electoral strategy to raise the Pakistan ‘bogey’ in the attempt to galvanise voters’ support, while seeking to divert public attention from their domestic and foreign policy failures and other pressing problems of governance.
BJP government under the leadership of PM Modi who came into power riding a religiously sanctioned hysteria produced by politically motived violence, has after assuming power abrogated the article 370 and 35 A on 5 Aug 2019. The BJP-led government imposed unprecedented restrictions on free movement, besides imprisoning thousands of Kashmiris, including top political leaders, political workers, lawyers, civil society members and the youth. In March this year, India’s ministry of home affairs informed both houses of the Parliament that between 5 August, 2019 and February 2020, it arrested “7357 individuals” in IIJOK. On the contrary, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition for Civil Society, a prominent human rights body based in Srinagar, estimates that the government arrested over 13,000 Kashmiris during the last one year.
In order to divert global attention from its gross human rights abuses and genocidal activities in Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) as per the fascist agenda of New Delhi, Indian media has resorted to baseless and negative propaganda against Pakistan. Moreover, India has also been persistently exploiting opportunities for false flag operations and to portray itself as a victim of terrorism and conduct military action against Pakistan. Pakistan’s PM Khan realising this threat tweeted in May 2020, as “I am reiterating again that a false flag operation is imminent from India in order to divert world attention away from its ongoing genocide in IIOJK.”
It is the BJP leadership’s incurable obsession with Pakistan that impels them to invariably blame Pakistan for their own failings and shortcomings. This can simply be pronounced as an outcome of uncertainty and fear psychosis emanating from lack of confidence in their own capabilities to govern. It is also an outcome of past baggage, having nurtured and supported actors (Indian Army and RSS) of false flag operations as part of state policy. Such false flag operations are vivid reflection of a confused and regressive mind set of Indian government aimed at appropriating insinuations on Pakistan without facts or credible evidence. The world community needs to take stock of Indian machination which endangered the peace and stability of the region.