Strategic maneuvers and shadow conflicts: An in-depth examination of RAW's suspected operations in Pakistan

11:57 AM May 06, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

The rising tensions between India and Pakistan have reached a critical point, especially following recent claims that Indian secret services are involved in targeted killings in Pakistan. This situation is a significant moment for the relations between the two countries and has major implications for the stability of the region. Additionally, there’s a noticeable shift in India’s approach to counterterrorism and intelligence strategies, as shown by the suspected targeted killings in Pakistan, which marks a change in how the two nations interact.


These developments, along with the diplomatic reactions from both countries, emphasize how fragile peace is in the region and point to the possibility of further destabilizing an already tense relationship. The ongoing exchange of accusations intensifies tensions and shifts focus away from possible diplomatic solutions and conflict resolution.

Critical Insight 1: It’s highly probable that Indian intelligence agencies have carried out specific assassinations in Pakistan, targeting people they see as threats to their national security.

● Interviews with intelligence officials from India and Pakistan indicate that after 2019, India’s foreign intelligence agency,known as Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)might have begun executing targeted assassinations.

● On September 8, 2023, Muhammad Riaz was killed in Kashmir. India described Riaz as a leading figure in Lashkar-e-Taiba, an armed group based in Pakistan.


● On April 5, the Indian Defense Minister declared that anyone who causes trouble in India and then escapes to Pakistan would be targeted for elimination.

Critical Insight 2 : India’s use of targeted killings against those associated with anti-India activities suggests a significant shift in its counterterrorism and intelligence tactics.

● Prime Minister Modi has been positioning India as a rising global force, emphasizing the development of India’s military strength. This approach mirrors the tactics of countries like Israel, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, which have carried out extrajudicial killings despite international laws.

● The 2019 Pulwama attack, which resulted in the deaths of 40 Indian soldiers, marked a significant shift in India’s stance, leading to a more assertive approach towards those it views as threats.

● Reports suggest that Indian intelligence has been involved in planning assassinations beyond its borders, including targeting Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who resides in the United States. This indicates a broader strategy that goes beyond conventional counterterrorism measures.

● On June 18, 2023, it’s alleged that India’s intelligence agency, RAW, carried out the assassination of Sikh separatist leader Nijjar in Canada, an action that prompted criticism from Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. This incident reflects a rising trend in India’s use of targeted killings around the world. However, the validity of this point is under further scrutiny following the recent arrest of three individuals on May 3.

Critical Insight 3: The accusations and the ensuing responses from both countries could potentially worsen the already tense relations between India and Pakistan.

● The delicate cease-fire in Kashmir highlights the unstable nature of relations between India and Pakistan. Any claims of targeted killings could potentially escalate tensions, threatening the fragile peace in the region.

● India’s Foreign Minister has refuted these allegations, labeling them as anti-India propaganda and accusing Pakistan of being a hub for terrorism, organized crime, and illicit activities.

● On April 4, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar remarked that India has seen improved relations with all its neighbors, except for China and Pakistan.

● On April 6, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded by saying that India’s apparent willingness to conduct extrajudicial killings and label Pakistani citizens as terrorists is essentially an acknowledgment of guilt. They added that such actions jeopardize peace in the region.

Analytical Summary : We hold medium confidence that recent accusations against India’s secret services, specifically RAW, for carrying out targeted killings in Pakistan are heightening tensions between the two already strained nations, potentially worsening their unstable relationship. Our assessment is supported by a mix of local and international news, statements from government officials, and insights from experts, as reported by Grey Dynamics, a US-based investigative media outlet.

Additionally, we acknowledge that territorial disputes and security needs heavily influence the security policies of both nations. Should this assessment prove incorrect, we would anticipate a significant move towards diplomatic interactions.The detailed nature of the allegations and the responses from both governments, alongside India’s denials and Pakistan’s rebuttals, indicate a troubling pattern of behavior. Increased openness about the strategic goals of both India and Pakistan might help clear up the situation.Moreover, the ongoing situation characterized by mutual accusations and escalating security tensions highlights a crucial juncture in Indo-Pakistani relations, carrying major consequences for the stability of the region, as analyzed by Grey Dynamics.

Girish Linganna
Defence & Aerospace Analyst
Mobile +91 9845099196

(The author Girish Linganna of this article is a Defence, Aerospace & Political Analyst based in Bengaluru. He is also Director of ADD Engineering Components, India, Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of ADD Engineering GmbH, Germany. You can reach out to him at:


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.