India’s challenge


Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor inspects the guard of honour during the Army Day parade in New Delhi. –Reuters Photo/B Mathur

The statement by Indian army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor regarding his army’s capacity to fight a two-front war upset a lot of people in Pakistan. Both Pakistan’s army chief and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee rebutted such superfluous claims.

Pakistan’s military high command did not mince its words in dissuading its Indian counterparts from giving any thought to ‘military adventurism’, and highlighted the severe implications of this and of the Pakistan military’s capacity to respond.

Such exchanges represent the heightened tension between the two traditional rivals. For many political pundits the year 2010 does not bode well for bilateral ties. The tide of peace and amity has been reversed even though people thought that the peace process, started during Musharraf’s reign, was ‘irreversible’. At that time, one of the major reasons for hope on both sides was that a possible deal could be negotiated between an elected government in India and a military dictator in Pakistan, who, it was assumed, could carry his institution along in reaching out to New Delhi. Now things are back to square one with hawks on both sides intensifying tensions.

Kapoor’s statement and its response from Rawalpindi is not the last time that such an exchange will take place. Needless to say, such exchanges do not bode well for peace in the region.

The Indian army chief had spoken of a capability that India desires but does not possess at the moment. Taking on two neighbours militarily and ensuring a ceasefire on its conditions is New Delhi’s dream. But it does not have the capacity to translate this into reality. In fact, India does not even have the capability to successfully try out ‘cold start’, its strategy to allow the Indian military to strike specific targets inside Pakistan and pull back without incurring a high cost. The basic assumption is that if India targets terrorist training camps or headquarters in Pakistan and pulls out without holding Pakistan’s territory or annihilating its military, Rawalpindi will have no excuse to deploy nuclear weapons.

Theoretically, such an adventure is possible because it is based on another calculation that the Indian army will not waste time in regrouping but would already be regrouped to carry out a strike. Official sources believe that activating ‘cold start’ could mean Pakistan deploying nuclear weapons at forward positions or keeping them ready for use. Such a situation would result in India deploying its arsenal as well, making the atmosphere highly charged.

Thus far, the Indian strategy is not in place. It requires complete inter-services harmony and would essentially be a joint services operation which could only succeed if well simulated. So far, there is no indication that India has this capacity. There are internal problems in establishing a new force structure. The establishment of this would indicate that headway is being made in bringing necessary changes to the organisational structure.

So, should Pakistan just laugh off Kapoor’s statement? It would be wiser to understand the nuances of the statement which are more important than the actual content of what he said. It basically indicates the shifting of plates in terms of civil-military relations in India. This is not to suggest that the Indian military is getting ready for an internal coup or that it could take over politics or even wage a war on its own.

However, Kapoor’s statement is one of the many symbols of the growing significance of India’s military in the country’s security and foreign policy paradigm, particularly as far as Pakistan, China and the US are concerned. It is no longer the military of Nehru’s days that sat silently waiting for orders from Delhi as it saw the Chinese army creeping into areas India considered part of its territory.

The modern-day Indian military has access to the media and has managed to build a partnership with it to get its message across when it is in need of public pressure on the political government regarding a particular issue or policy. Furthermore, the military’s overall significance in military security decision-making has increased for a number of reasons.

First, the current lot of Indian politicians is comparatively less skilled to deal with security issues than their predecessors and so tend to seek advice from military officers on security issues. Second, given India’s desire to become a global player and its acquisition of modern technology to achieve this objective, the significance of the armed forces has increased. Third, India’s security partnership with the US has bolstered the Indian military’s significance. Finally, (as in Pakistan) senior commanders who retire from the service find jobs in think tanks. This has allowed them to influence the national security discourse in the country.

For instance, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry recently published a report on national security and terrorism proposing extreme measures. Thus, senior retired military officers and hawkish civilian experts drive the thinking of businessmen and traders who are key to peace in the region. This is indeed unfortunate and depicts a reduced capacity of the civilian sector in India to take on or oppose the military’s perspective.

From Pakistan’s perspective the important thing is that Indian politicians might find it difficult to go against their military’s opinion in case there is a crisis in the future. Not to forget the fact that both the Indian and Pakistani military have changed qualitatively as far as their class structure goes.

Greater indigenisation of the officer cadre and troops has meant larger numbers from the lower, lower middle and middle classes. One of the distinguishing features of these classes is their sympathy for socio-cultural traditions that have a significant religious flavor. Consequently, the men in uniform might view matters of war and peace differently.

Such factors as mentioned above are difficult to quantify but have a greater bearing on military planning and decision-making than what one would imagine. Under the circumstances, any misadventure or misperception could cost heavily.

These are two neighbors who do not know or understand each other and this makes an accidental conflict or some other dangerous miscalculation possible. Perhaps it is time that the two rivals began to understand each other.

The writer is an independent strategic and political analyst.
ayesha.ibd@gmail.com

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Zardari says will liberate Kashmir from India


MUZAFFARABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday vowed to continue struggle for Kashmiris in getting their right of self-determination, saying that Kashmir will also be liberated from Indian occupation as the Pakistan was once achieved, reported ARY NEWS.

“Its my obligation to let the Kashmiris get their right of self determination so that they could decide their future themselves,” the President said in his address to joint session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and the Kashmir Council.

“Kashmir belongs to Pakistan. And my father came to Kashmir and fought for the independence of the valley from Indian occupation,” Zardari told the legislators and other dignitaries attended the special session of the assembly.

Zardari claimed that the democratic government of Pakistan has negotiated with India on equal basis to get a consensus on resolution of Kashmir dispute.

At the occasion, President also announced the establishment of a medical college, an engineering college and a technical education institute in AJK valley.

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RAW organizes seminar with aim to target Baluchistan


—‘Selected’ participants invited to discuss issue of Autonomy of Baluchis and Kashmiris n show set to be held mysteriously at Delhi’s India International Centre

From Christina Palmer

NEW DELHI—While a leading media group of Pakistan has signed an agreement with an Indian media group to promote peace between Pakistan and India with the title Aman Ki Aasha( the hope for peace), the Indian Intelligence Agency Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) is organizing a charade seminar at New Delhi’s India International Centre from January 10th to January 12th, 2009, reveal the findings of The Daily Mail.

These findings indicate that the seminar, titled ‘India-Pakistan Conference-A Road map towards peace” is being hosted by a RAW-run organization Focus on Global South, in a rather mysterious manner as a very few people have been informed about it and there has been no publicity about the event made by the organizers and even a very few people from amongst the Delhi-based local and foreign journalists have been informed and invited to the said seminar. The Investigations indicate further that even the official website of the India International Centre (IIC) does not indicate that the said seminar is amongst the event, listed to place on the said dates at IIC.

The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that though a reasonable number of participants have been invited from Pakistan to take part in the seminar but one particular segment of the seminar that targets Baluchistan province of Pakistan, titled “ Issue of Autonomy: Kashmir and Baluchistan”, is epically drafted by RAW to draw a comparison between the freedom movement in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the RAW sponsored separatists movements in Baluchistan province of Pakistan where RAW is super-actively engaged for years. For this part of the seminar, The Daily Mail’s findings indicate, no senior journalist or intellectual from Pakistan has been selected to speak but merely one nationalist journalist from Baluchistan who runs a separatism nationalists Online newspaper from Baluchistan and got his Journalism degrees from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai India and is known for toeing the RAW lines regarding Baluchistan has been invited from the Media side. The Baluchistani journalist, Siraj Malik has graduated from Asian College of Journalism at Chennai India while Chennai is known as the hub of RAW-run think tanks and it is an established fact that the RAW people keep nurturing the foreigners, linked to Indian education or research organizations.

The Daily Mail findings indicate that the overall Pakistanis, invited for the said RAW arranged seminar include former Information Minister (PPP) Ms. Sherry Rehman, former Law Minister (PPP) Iqbal Haider, Human Rights activists Aasma Jehangir, Baluchistani journalist Malik Siraj Akbar, Senator Hasil Khan Bazinjo, some Farooque Tarique of some Pakistan Labour Party, some economist Akbar Zaidi, defence analyst Ayesha Siddiqua, and women rights’ activists and theatre artist, Madeeha Gauhar, all known for having a very soft corner for India and having a very pro-India mindset. However the speakers for the main target and rather the nucleus of the seminar that would bee focusing on Baluchistan, the “selected” speakers from Pakistan include, Asma Jenagir, Malik Siraj Akbar and Senator Hasil Khan Bizenjo. While all the participants of the overall seminar from the Indian side are very well known for their staunch anti-Pakistan mindsets.

The Daily Mail’s finding indicate that through the particular segment of the seminar that relates to Baluchistan, RAW plans to draw parallels between the freedom movement in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the RAW funded separatists’ drives in Baluchistan.n however, surprisingly the organizers have neither invited anyone from among the officials of Pakistan government or Delhi-based Pak diplomats nor have they opted to invite anyone from amongst the Baluchi tribes that confront the militant and rebellion Sardars like Bugtis Marris etc.

The Daily Mail’s findings also reveal that the said scheduled seminar is not the first of its kind to promote the separatism in Baluchistan as in past, many foreign intelligence organizations have been indulging in such exercises. These finding indicate that RAW, in connivance with the British and Israeli intelligence agencies, has been organizing many such forums to benefit the separatist movements in Baluchistan. According to these findings, different foreign agencies including India’s RAW have remained actively involved in the formation of different militant and separatist outfits like Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), Baluchistan Rights Movement (BRM) etc. these foreign agencies have been continuously using such outfits in Baluchistan and have been patronizing them. The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that apart from the funding and provision of arms and ammunition to the militants in Baluchistan, these foreign intelligence agencies have been organizing media and intellectual support programmers for these organizations.

These findings reveal that in one of such endeavors,on 27th June 2006, when Pakistani security forces were gaining immense success in restoring peace and disarming the militants in Baluchistan and hundreds of mercenaries started surrendering to the government authorities, a UK based , so called think tank Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) organizes a highly confusing seminar on Baluchistan, titeled ‘Baluchistan at the crossroads’. Surprisingly, the FPC organized the said seminar with open collaboration of Baluchistan Rights Movement (BRM), which is merely an extension of BLA, an outfit that has been banned and declared as a terror organization, not only by Pakistan government but also by the government of England while the FPC organized the seminar at no where else but right at the committee room number 16 of the House of Commons. To add to it, and make the credentials of the said seminar even dubious, the organizers neither invited anyone from among the officials of Pakistan government or UK-based Pak diplomats nor did they bother to invite anyone from amongst the Baluchi tribes that confront the militant and rebellion Sardars like Bugtis, Marris etc, just the way it is happening at New Delhi in this latest episode. However there was a comprehensive representation from the three Militant tribes and leaders and workers of BLA and BRM. It is learnt that that a Board member of FPC, a British politician and a fomer member of British Parliament, Stephen Twigg was the main spirit behind the holding of this seminar.

The UK Seminar. The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that in the said seminar, chaired by Hugh Barnes of FPC Mehran Baluch, an active member of BLA and a senior activist of Baluchistan Rights Movement, Mr. Sanaullah Baloch, whose, close association with warlords of Baluchistan and millatnt outfits like BLA are known to everyone, Dr. Naseer Dashti another associate of Bugti and Marri and BLA, Fredric Grare of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace etc expressed their views and analysis about situation in Baluchistan. All the participants of the said seminar blamed Pakistan government for usurping the human rights in Baluchistan and treating the people of Baluchistan like animals. They also declared Baluchistan to be a separate state and accused Pakistan of illegally occupying it. They one-sidedly accused Pakistan government and people of Punjab in particular for usurping all rights of people of Baluchistan and portrayed militant Sardars like Bugti and Marri as heroes of Baluchis people. Fredric Grare blamed Pakistani media being in control in Pakistan Army while member of European Parliament from Poland Ryszrd Czarnecki went on to claim that Baluchistan was not a part of Pakistan and a “Punjabi Army” was ruling them he also went on to say that Pakistan came into existence through a restrictive voting. So in other words, the seminar was merely an attempt to malign Pakistan, Pakistan government and Pakistan Army and media as well. All attempts were made to lay the fundaments for the separation of Baluchistan from Pakistan and to encourage the separatists and militant activists in Baluchistan while the seminar concluded with pledge from the chair to hold more sessions on similar debate in near future. A similar conclusion is expected when the Delhi seminar’s episode regarding Baluchistan would end as the Chairman of the said segment former Indian Judge Rajendra Sacchar is expected to come up with similar conclusions, as desired by RAW and the government at New Delhi.

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Tough Kayani Warns Proponents Of ‘Adventurism’


Pakistan can fire missiles at only 10 minutes’ notice on all Indian cities: General. Kayani

The Chief of Army Staff, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said on Friday that peace and stability in South Asia (and beyond) was the logical and fundamental principle underlining the security paradigm of Pakistan. Addressing senior officers at the General Headquarters here, Gen Kayani said that the army was alive to the full spectrum of threat that continued to exist both in conventional and unconventional domains.

He said that Pakistan Army stood committed and prepared to respond to any existing, potential or emerging threat. An army supported by 170 million people, with faith in Allah, is a formidable force to be reckoned with. “Proponents of conventional application of military forces, in a nuclear overhang, are chartering an adventurous and dangerous path, the consequences of which could be both unintended and uncontrollable,” he said.

He said Pakistan was not oblivious to the unprecedented acquisition of sophisticated military hardware, synergised with an offensive military doctrine. However, as a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan army would contribute to strategic stability and strategic restraint as per the stated policy of the government.

He said peace and stability in South Asia was the logical and fundamental principle underlining the security calculus of Pakistan.
The recent statement by Indian Army Chief Gen Kapoor about the two-front war strategy on which India was at present working, targeting China and Pakistan, had sent shock-waves among those aspiring for peace and stability in the region.

Commenting on Gen Kayani’s observation, a defense analyst observed that India had to be reminded from time to time that Pakistan was a nuclear power, fully capable of deterring any external aggression.

He pointed out that Pakistan could fire missiles at only 10 minutes’ notice on all Indian cities.

Pakistan is the fourth country in the world possessing cruise missiles which are considered to be capable of accurately hitting targets in India.

The maximum range of Indian missiles is 1500 kilometers while Pakistan’s Shaheen has a range of 3500 kilometers.

DAWN

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WARNING To India: Dont Tempt Us


By: Faisal Awan
The writer is a member of editorial team of pakistanfirst.com

With too many Bollywood characters punctuating tiers of Lok Saba it seems like Bollywood action movie theme and mind set has inculcated in the hierarchy of the Indian Army to hilarious limits as well. The precedence of such mindset was exhibited by none other than its Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, when he claimed “Indian army is ready to battle Pakistan and China at the same time”. This statement was further bolstered by Lt-General A S Lamba that “India within 48 hours of the start of assault can enter Pakistan”. The Indian Think Tanks and Indian Army are missing the cue that thrusting a war on Pakistan and entering Pakistan is by no means a Hindi Bollywood version of Adolf Hitler taking over Austria and Czechoslovakia or a Bollywood Remix version of “The Guns of Navarone”.

Indian government and army needs to understand that their unyielding greed for bloodshed and hegemony will back fire just like it did in September 1965, when General Joyanto Nath Chaudhri confidently and boastfully told his officers that he would like to have his evening drink at Lahore Gymkhana. What history witnessed then in the next 2-3 weeks was none other than a consummate squashing of their army chief’s wishful dream.

The drunken leadership of the Indian Army is trampling the tolerance of Pakistani people and is coquetting with fire. Indian government and its army’s multifaceted exploitation of Pakistan’s desire to peace must not be considered its weakness. The warmongers are forgetting that nothing is too big to cross for the resolute, tenacious and unyielding nation which the world calls The Pakistanis. But if these buffoons are under the impression that they will enter Pakistan in 48 hours, ironically giving themselves 24 hours more than General Joyanto Nath Chaudhri, then this will be the last mistake they will be making. The fate of General Joyanto Nath Chaudhri and his yes men should not be forgotten. If we can teach a lesson in 1965, then make no mistake about it that we are now a Nuclear Power and our enemies will be hung in the streets of their own country by Pakistani Army Jawans without any concession of their ranks in Indian Army.

The Indian authorities should strive to refrain themselves from such assertions which has historically caused nothing but utter embarrassment and disgrace to its country. The Pakistan army, Pakistani youth and the Pakistani nation has the resilience and audacity to slap a response to any aggression towards ideological and geographical boundaries of its Pak Sarzameen.

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Aman ke Asha – A Cornerstone of the new Indian Cold Start Strategy?


Ahmed Shahid

Just one day after the Indian army chief, Deepak Kapoor, gave out a statement promoting going to war with Pakistan and China at the same time (with him painting a picture of New Delhi annihilating Pakistan within few hours of war), the Indian media in collaboration with Pakistani media hit off the new year, with a campaign tagged “Aman ke Asha”. The last time we engaged Indians on such an Asha was in ending up having Indian Jets in our skies for possible strikes and war – and all without evidence. We remember the “Das Kadam Pakistan Khatam” styled pathetic videos shown on the same Indian media singing Aman Kay Geet now. So, we wonder what the “Asha” is all about this time. The plan apparently as always, is to move towards another round of Confidence Building Measures – CBMs, with Pakistan. The question however is, is it really worth it? We shall leave the answer to the reader after reading on.

Let’s see how India aka Bharat is really doing to fulfill this time its Aman Ki Asha. As far as the world is concerned, an intention for peace must be supported by some steps. Even when Obama chose to promote peace, mostly with Russia, he took some decisions in refraining from installing missile shields in the world and announced cutting down of US nuclear arsenal. This is not exactly the standard, yet however, can churn some example for Bharat. With its colossal plans of spending a hundred billion dollars on acquiring state of the art weaponry from all over the world in the next two to five years, we really doubt the Indian plans for peace. What’s interesting to us is not really what the Indian masses think about peace, it’s what the Indian leaders are saying on record and what the Indian media is propagating to constantly keep the hype of war alive with Pakistan. We have not forgotten what Indian analysts such as Bharat Verma write about Pakistan and the solutions he gives for peace. Nor have we forgotten what Indian leaders said after the fall of Dhaka: We have taken revenge of a thousand years with Pakistan. Have we forgotten what Narsima Rao said about breaking and destroying Pakistan, only promoting it as its enemy? Or have we forgotten what happened with Babri Masjid and the tribunal verdict on that? Looking at the events now, the world doesn’t seem any different place. We still have the Indian army chief giving out occasional statements promoting war with Pakistan, threatening it and destroying it. Is this how Aman ke Asha will see its logical end? We don’t know what Bharat really means this time, but what we do know is that you cannot convince the world with singing songs of peace and happiness at one side, and taking up arms and threats on the other hand. If anything, it reminds us of the infamous Chankya and his teachings.

We are not sure under what delusional these people are. But what happens on the ground tells a very different tale. Pakistan is fighting a war at fronts it doesn’t even know. We have American mercenary blackwaters going in Pakistan unchecked with weapons. We have American B-52s flying on FATA under the big hand of friendship. We have India doing exercises with Israel and we know where this all is headed eventually. Bharat has never accepted the state of Pakistan deep down and we know it more every time Indian leaders say it out loud. We know what Bharat is up to with Americans, Israelis and the team. The message is clear and loud: The media may be writing so and there may be some conceding but the masses of Pakistan and its youth is aware and well aware of protecting Pakistan, the stronghold of Islam, the bastion of Islam. We will not bow down to aggression or be taken for a fool or deceived. Very closely, we watch you and your designs and we shall know when you are sincere and when you are not, and you are not. Where you do gather few under the name of peace, we watch at guard of our nation and our country.

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India’s Envy: Wants ‘POF-EYE’ type weapon to combat terror


December 31, 2009

Times of India

After Pakistan Ordinance Factory (POF) succesfully unveiled its ‘POF-EYE CornerShot’ at IDEAS-2008 last year, India has launched its own hunt for a similar weapon. Currently Pakistan and Israel are the only two countries who manufacture the CornerShot gun.

NEW DELHI: Having learnt lessons from the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the Army has launched a global hunt for suitable weapon systems `for shooting around the corner’ for its troops involved in counter-terrorism operations.

These `cornershot’ rifles and pistols, with detachable high-resolution video cameras and monitors mounted on them, will help Army special forces like the Para-SF units to effectively tackle terrorists in urban warfare scenarios.

“Such close-quarter combat weapons will help our commandos to observe and engage targets from behind a corner — for instance, while storming a building or a room — without exposing themselves to direct fire from terrorists,” said an officer.

“American, Israeli, Pakistani and a few other forces already use such weapons… The front parts of their barrels, mounted with video cameras, can swivel 60 to 70 degree on either side to scan and direct fire around corners,” he added.

Floating the Request for Information (RFI), the Army’s weapons and equipment directorate wants armament companies to submit their proposals by January 30. This comes soon after elite counter-terror force National Security Guards launched the process to acquire cornershot weapons as well as wall surveillance radars to monitor what is the situation inside a room without actually entering it.

“Such new-generation equipment is very effective in neutralising terrorists in situations like 26/11, where commandos had to clear the five-star hotels in room-to-room flushing out operations,” said the officer.

The Army’s RFI specifies the cornershot weapons must be able to `engage targets effectively beyond 200 metres’ and have day/night vision capability.

While the exact number of the weapons to be acquired is yet to be finalised, officers said transfer of technology to manufacture them indigenously was being sought since “a large quantity” was required.

“The weapon systems should also have image downloading and transmission capability so that the enemy can be located and information shared with other troops to enable the commandos to take the best positions to engage the targets,” said an officer.

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