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World stunned at Indian Army Chief’s Statement

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By Makhdoom Babar

(Additional reporting by Ajay Mehta in New Delhi & Hina Kayani in Rawalpindi)

While the Indians celebrate 62nd Army Day, country’s Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, just after a couple of weeks of announcing a new war doctrine of Indian army to eliminate Pakistan and China in matter of hours even if it has to fight on simultaneous fronts, outrageously admitted Indian Army’s Armoured debacle and expressed concern about the force’s ‘night blindness’ in the area of Armoured Corps and mechanised infantry. ‘My major concern is that night blindness of the army is removed so we are able to fight in the night as in the day,’ Kapoor said at New Delhi Yesterday, an admission that stunned the world in the back drop of his two weeks old remarks. The situation also forced Indian Defence Minister Antony to chew his own buts as he had been endorsing and projecting General Kapoor’s announcement regarding the new war doctrine for Pakistan and China Earlier, when his attention was brought to the fact that the Indian Army’s tanks have a night vision capability of 20 percent, Pakistan’s have 80 percent while China has 100 percent, General Deepak Kapoor admitted this outrageous military debacle by saying: ‘You are right.’

‘Projects are already in the pipeline to ensure that we have the night vision capability that our adversaries have. It may take three-four years,’ Kapoor added. The lack of night vision capability of the Indian Army has affected its fighting capability during the night. The deficiency has been persistent since the Kargil conflict.

On a query about the obsolete artillery of the Indian Army, the army chief said that successive bans have delayed acquisition of new guns for long. ‘Artillery is a cause for concern. We need to have better guns. Trials for towed guns are underway. Because of bans the process got delayed. We are now acquiring (ultra light) guns through FMS (Foreign Military Sales) route (from the US),’ Kapoor added.

The Daily mail’s investigations into the matter reveal that despite a numerical strength of tanks over Pakistan, Indian army otherwise armoured and infantry capabilities are even below average if compared with Pakistan Army. According to these findings, Indian armoured corps comprises around 4, 059 tanks with a backup of 1, 133 as reserve while Pakistan Army’s Tank strength is 2,401 with a backup of 270 as reserves. However this numerical supremacy of Indian army is outraged with the fact that Indian armoured corps relies mainly on its Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun which emerged as a big failure while Pakistan Army’s armoured corps’ main strength has become Al-Khalid MBT which is a great success story, endorsed across the world. But the latest admission of Indian Army Chief about failure of its armoured corps to fight a battle in the night time is an additional and a rather huge disadvantage to the Indian Army and crystal clearly negates the claims of Indian Army Chief regarding smooth victory in case Indian army has to fight a war with Pakistan or China or even both at the same time.

The Daily Mail’s findings further disclose that India’s MBT Arjun is more flab than brawn. More a heavyweight than a performer. A potpourri really, with a French engine, and German seals fitted into an Indian hull and turret. And transporting this heavyweight is going to be another problem, which could limit its operational performance.
These findings further indicate that Arjun has indeed suffered throughout its development, from confusion and inexplicable delays and by imbalances between the Army, the DRDO and the bureaucracy. Pakistan by contrast, has drawn a lesson from the Indian experience and avoided the trap of over lasting her R&D’s indigenous know-how in the development of its MBT Al-Khalid.

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that Arjun mounts a 120mm rifled gun deadly in lethal power but wanting in accuracy. Its performance in various trails was reported to be anything but up to the mark. It is believed that during in March 1990, General V. N. Sharma, the then Army Chief of Staff and an armoured expert, was “quite wild” when only three of the five rounds hit the 5X5 meter target and no hit was scored against a moving target.

According to Major General M. L. Popli (retd.) of the Indian Army, Arjun’s production was basically planned as an ambitious project with complete indigenous components and assemblies but it was later revealed that the Arjun’s sub-systems were all imported except for the hull and the turret. The imported assemblies include all major sub-systems such as engine, transmission, track-suspension, gin and fire control. Our experts are of the view that their integration, “leaves much to be desired”. The auxiliary power unit from France did not perfectly fit in the tank, with the German seals not meeting the General Staff qualitative requirements of withstanding temperatures up to 150 degree Centigrade. The barely measured up to 120 degrees. Arjun is therefore quite a “fuss” with the French engine, with German seals fitted into the Indian hull and turret mounting a not very accurate 120mm gun.

Armoured experts say that another problem thrown up by the heavyweight is its transportation. Arjun could present a lot of problem for transportation by railways particularly through certain portions of the system. This imposes very serious limitations on the Arjun’s operational performance. In most of the field armies, the tank transporters and assault bridges are not usually designed to take such heavy weights. These aspects mostly highlight the engineering and operational problems.

According to The Daily Mail’s findings, global military analysts say that Pakistan adopted a step-by-step approach towards the manufacture of its MBT-2000 Khalid, and this is the single most important reason for having stolen a march over India. They are of the opinion that the Indian project was too ambitious, whereas Pakistan’s approach was more systematic comprising the following phases and that was why Pakistan Army got a well prepared MBT while the Indian Armoured Corps was equipped with huffing, overweight and inaccurate Tank system.

The Daily Mail findings indicate that clear technical and professional edges of Pakistan Army’s Armoured Corps over Indian Army’s Armoured Corp are valid reasons to make General kapoor a really apprehensive Chief of Indian Army. These findings indicate that Pakistan’s MBT-2000 Khalid mounts a 125mm gun with thermal image converter. Maximum efforts were devoted to getting the machine souped up as possible mainly to cut down weight. Just compare the 60 tons Arjun with the maximum 44 tons Al- khalid.

It is essential to mention that Al-Khalid is equipped with 105mm gun with a more powerful engine, special armour for increased protection in the indigenously built laser range finder and thermal image sighting system to maximize the gun range even in the hours of acute darkness, enabling Pakistan Army’s armoured Corps to enjoy a complete technical and professional Supremacy of over Indian Armoured Corps; a fact that now worries Indian Army Chief the most. Further more, Al-Khalid MBT has an integrated fire control system for reducing engagement time and increasing accuracy, along with the automatic fire support system. This tank’s most lethal component, the penetrater ammunition called Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS), is also being indigenously produced. This project has been designated P-87. Currently, a series of such closely related projects to manufacture hull, turret, gun barrels and engines are in various stages of planning-execution. All these will finally merged into a tank manufacturing factory that will produce MBT-2000 Khalid.

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that despite the disgraceful admission of the Indian Army Chief regarding Indian Armoured Corps’ inability to combat a battle in the night, the Indian Army is already going through a very depressed and dejected phase and many of the missile systems, given to the Indian army have also emerged as seriously faulty and rather super-flops battle tools. These investigations indicate that many of the tests of Missile systems, carried out by Indian DRDO and declared officially as successful, have actually got a highly dubious result history.

The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that the failure in rapid succession of Astra missile system, a satellite launcher and a new ballistic missile have shown up the technological and budgetary difficulties faced by India’s space establishment, both civilian and military.

These investigations indicate that India’s intermediate-range ballistic missile “Agni III” that was launched by the secretive Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) failed soon after liftoff and crashed into the Bay of Bengal, less than 1,000 kilometers away from the launch site.

The failure of the Agni III was a very serious matter because it exposed the political limitations of India’s attempts, despite its ambitions, to pursue a military capability.

The surface-to-surface ballistic missile, designed to have a range of 3,500 kilometers, took off in a “fairly smooth” manner at the designated hour. But “a series of mishaps” occurred in its later flight path.

Earlier, India decided to postpone the missile test out of fear that a test could hamper US Congressional ratification of the India-US nuclear cooperation deal. Publicly, the then Indian Defense Minister cited “self-imposed restraint” to justify the postponement.

However, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US military, visited India and declared that “I do not see it [a test] as destabilizing” or upsetting the regional “military balance” since “other countries in this region” (read, Pakistan) have also tested missiles.Following this “facilitation” or clearance, and after indications of favorable votes in US Congressional committees on the nuclear deal, India’s stand changed. A week later, the DRDO announced it was ready to launch Agni-III.

This was the ninth missile in the Agni series (named after the Sanskrit word for “fire”) to have been tested. The first was tested in May 1989. The last test (Agni-II) took place in August 2004.

The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that unlike major powers including the US, Russia or China, which test the same missile 10 to 20 times before announcing that it is fully developed, India considers only three or four test flights to be enough for both producing and inducting new missiles and thus ended up with inaccurate results and the success story was announced in a hasty manner.

These investigations disclose that this was not the first time that the test of an Agni series missile failed. As earlier, some tests of the shorter range Agni-II (range 2,000 kilometers-plus) also proved unsuccessful. However what made the Agni-III’s failure significant was that unlike its shorter-range predecessors, it was a wholly new design, developed with the specific purpose of delivering a nuclear warhead.

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that Agni-I (range 700 to 800 kilometers) and Agni-II were both products of India’s space program and connected to its Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), itself launched in 1983. Originally, their design used a satellite space-launching rocket (SLV-3) as the first stage, on top of which was mounted the very short-range (150 to 250 kilometers) liquid fuel-propelled Prithvi missile.

The Agni-III’s brand new design, in which both stages use solid propellants, was to enable it to carry a payload weighing up to 1.5 tons and deliver it to targets as far away as Beijing and Shanghai. At present, India lacks an effective nuclear deterrent vis-a-vis China, based on a delivery vehicle carrying a nuclear warhead. Agni-III was meant to fill the void.

The causes of the failure of the test flight are not clear. Scientists at the DRDO, which designed and built the missile, have been quoted as saying that many new technologies were tried in the Agni-III, including rocket motors, “fault-tolerant” avionics and launch control and guidance systems. Some of these could have failed. Other reports attribute the mishap to problems with the propellant.”The DRDO isn’t the world’s most reliable weapons R&D agency,” Admiral L Ramdas, a former Chief of Staff of the Indian Navy, told The Daily Mail. “The Indian armed services’ experience with DRDO-made armaments has not been a happy one. Their reliability is often extremely poor. We often used to joke that one had to pray they would somehow work in the battlefield,” he added “The figure of the budget of DRDO is extremely high for a poor country like India, with a low rank of 127 among 175 countries of the world in the United Nations Human Development Index,” said Anil Chowdhary of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace. “Yet the DRDO has delivered very little.”

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that none of the three major projects assigned to the DRDO were completed on time or without huge cost-overruns. These include the development of a Main Battle Tank (MBT), a nuclear power plant for a submarine, and an advanced Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), all involving expenditures of hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The primary reason for these shocking instances of underperformance and inability is lack of public accountability and oversight of the DRDO,” says M V Ramana, an independent technical expert attached to the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development, Bangalore.

“The DRDO, like all of India’s defense and nuclear service establishments, is not subject to normal processes of audit. It has used ‘security’ as a smokescreen or shield and refused to be held to account,” he adds.

The Daily Mail’s investigations disclose that Pakistan, in sharp contrast, has always accorded high priority to its air defence management, with its multi-tier surveillance cover, air defence fighters, quick-reaction, short-range missiles and an integrated control and reporting system.

The Indian Armed Forces, however, continues to make do with its obsolete air defence systems, The IAF, for instance, has aging Pechora, Igla-1M and OSA-AK missile systems, and that, too, in woefully inadequate numbers. While Trishul was to replace its OSA-AK weapons system, Akash was meant as a substitute for Pechora.

The Daily Mail’s findings reveal further that But both the Trishul and Akash air defence missile systems, which are part of the original Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme launched as far back as 1983, have been dogged by development snags in their “command guidance and integrated Ramjet rocket propulsion” systems.

Trishul, for instance, has been tested over 80 times so far without coming anywhere near becoming operational. It was, in fact, virtually given up for dead in 2003 after around Rs 300 crore was spent on it, before being revived yet again.

Trishul’s repeated failure, in fact, forced the Indian Navy to go in for nine Israeli Barak anti-missile defence systems for its frontline warships, along with 200 Barak missiles, at a cost of Rs 1,510 crore during the 1999 Kargil conflict.

The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that India’s missile scientists are on record to have said that the country’s indigenous missile programme is flagging and needs foreign assistance to revive it.

The embarrassing admission came amid claims by Indian analysts that Pakistan’s missile programme had proved to be more robust and surefooted than India’s. The Mail Today, an Indian newspaper is on record to have quoted the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as announcing that it would scrap its 25-year Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) very soon.Talking about the Trishul surface-to-air missile that has now been termed a technology demonstrator, former Indian Naval Chief Sushil Kumar said:”It was a national embarrassment. DRDO made fake claims for 25 years. In the 1999 Kargil conflict, the Navy was vulnerable to attacks from Pakistan’s Harpoon.

“Finally the project was scrapped when the Navy went in for the Israeli Barak missiles. The Prithvi’s naval variant, Dhanush, is also flawed and ill-conceived, which is being inflicted on the Indian Navy. Former Air Chief S. P. Tyagi said:”Akash was to be ready at a certain time, but it wasn’t. I had to change everything to make up for the delay.” Both missiles were part of a programme to develop indigenous weapons, which began in July 1983, with plans for Agni, Prithvi, Trishul, Akash and Nag missiles.

The IGMDP, which was aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in missile development and production, comprises five core missile programmes; the strategic Agni ballistic missile; the tactical Prithvi ballistic missile; the Akash and Trishul surface-to-air missiles and the Nag anti-tank guided missile.

Indian newspaper, The Mail Today quotes S. Prahlada, Chief of the Control Research and Development, DRDO, as saying that development and production of most of the futuristic weapon systems would henceforth be undertaken with foreign collaboration.

With regard to the nuclear-capable Agni series, comprising I and II, the newspaper quoted army sources as saying while they had been tested five times each “a handful of tests are not enough to prove a missile’s worth”. There were different problems with other systems too.

“Pakistan has always been one step ahead of India in its missile programme,” the newspaper said, adding that Islamabad has “a much more robust missile force than India, one capable of launching nuclear weapons to any part in this country.” Unlike Indian missiles, which were declared “inducted” after a few tests, the Pakistani projectiles have always been thoroughly tested.

With this state of affairs in the direction of the missile systems, coupled the Armoured Corps’s inability to combat a night vision battle, one should must salute the Indian Military leadership to have come up with the announcement of evolving an innovative war doctrine to crush Pakistan as well as China and that too in hours’ time.

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India: power or downfall

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By Sajjad Shaukat

One of the major causes that led to the First World War was Emperor Wilhelm’s ambitions for the German Empire to be a world power. He believed in an uncompromising policy of ‘power or downfall’ which ultimately resulted in the ‘downfall’ of the empire. Similarly, it is the misfortune of South Asia that India has been trying to endanger the region’s peace by aspiring to become a ‘world power’, or at least a ‘regional power’, in wake of modern world trends like renunciation of war, peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development.

Over the years, India has not only been developing its conventional and nuclear arsenals, but is also obtaining latest weapons from the US, Russia and Israel in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In this context, presuming a peace-loving China as an enemy New Delhi often justifies arms accumulation, while in practice India has constantly deployed its forces along the Pakistani border. As regards Indian belligerent approach, it is the result of India’s shattered hope of intimidating other neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan which the former considers a continuous obstacle in the way of its designs.

Under the pretext of Talibinisation, the Indian secret agency, RAW, has well established its tentacles in Afghanistan, and has been running secret operations against Pakistan from its consulates located near the Pak-Afghan border. It has spent millions of dollars in Afghanistan to strengthen its grip in order to get strategic depth against Islamabad. Meanwhile, PM Gilani and FM Qureshi have repeatedly stated: “India supports terrorism in Pakistan, and its evidence will be shown to the western countries at the right occasion.” Indeed, this is in coordination with the statements of the ISPR spokesman Major General Athar Abbas who revealed that during the ongoing military operations huge cache of arms and ammunition had been captured while it was being shifted from Afghanistan.

Perhaps, frustrated in achieving its aims of becoming a world power, and a permanent seat in the UNSC, now the Indian rulers have started openly threatening nuclear powers like Pakistan and China. In this backdrop, the Indian Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, vocally revealed on December 29 that the Indian army “is now revising its five-year old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.” However in response to New Delhi’s threat, Pakistan’s JCSC chairman, General Tariq Majeed, stated: “The Indian army chief’s statement exhibits a lack of strategic acumen…[such a path could] fix India on a self-destructive mechanism.”

It is surprising to note that in more than seven states, India itself faces separatist movements which are the result of acute poverty and social injustices. Particularly, Maoist movement that has been raging in West Bengal, and has now expanded to other regions including Maharashtra. At present, it is a popular insurgency by the downtrodden who have massive support of the people for their ideology. On October 31 last year, the New York Times wrote: “India’s Maoist rebels are now present in 20 states and have killed more than 900 Indian security officers…India’s rapid economic growth has made it an emerging global power but also deepened stark inequalities in society.” Thus, by neglecting all these ground realties New Delhi has been advancing towards a self-destructive path.

Notably, USA’s dependence on Pakistan for war against terrorism and for close economic cooperation with China will roll back the Indian clandestine agenda which is part of its regional ambition against Islamabad and Beijing. Nonetheless, like the failed foreign policy of Emperor Wilhelm II, the Indian policy of ‘power or downfall’ is bound to result in a nuclear catastrophe in the region as ‘nuclearised’ Pakistan and China cannot ignore their defence, while their adversary is determined to act upon its aggressive designs.

The writer is a foreign affairs analyst.
Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

Growing differences between the Pakistani civil and military leadership with the US administration

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By Shireen M Mazari

On January 17, the supposedly reputable Sunday Times of Britain, published a story by Christina Lamb from Washington – known for her bashing of the Pakistani state – entitled “Elite US troops ready to combat nuclear hijacks”, which was premised on lies and half-truths, derived from sources already proven incorrect in the distant and not-so distant past. Lamb’s story goes that US troops are ready to snatch Pakistan’s nukes if militants get their hands on either fissile material or a nuke itself. The stale premise is that this could possibly be from within the country’s “security apparatus”. It is too bad the newspaper failed to verify its facts – something we in the Pakistani media are constantly being told to do!

Point by point Lamb has either presented or quoted outright lies or distorted facts.

First: She has cited a retired CIA source, who had worked in the US energy department intelligence unit, as declaring that Pakistan had the “highest density of extremists in the world”! Now how has this statistic been acquired? Was any research done? Where did the 9/11 hijackers come from? What do they mean by the term “extremist?” Are those who elect extreme right parties in Europe not “extremists” also? And so on.

Two: The same source is quoted as claiming that there have been attacks on army bases “which stored nuclear weapons” and a suspect source, Shaun Gregory, has been used to substantiate this baseless claim. Yes, army targets have been there but nowhere close to any nuclear base or site.

Three: Gregory had, a while back, written in a US military journal on counterterrorism, documenting three incidents connecting acts of terror in Pakistan to nuclear targets. None of these match the facts on the ground. The first incident was a November 2007 suicide attack on a PAF bus near the Sargodha air base, on the main road and not inside the base itself. This was cited as an attack on a nuclear site since this was a F-16 base and these planes are of course nuclear capable! What logic for a supposedly sound British academic. The second incident cited by Gregory was a December 2007 incident when a suicide bomber blew up at the Kamra air base – again because the F-16s are there so it was assumed the nukes were the targets! But the base is recessed far away from the main aeronautical complex at Kamra which was targeted and where there are neither F-16s nor nukes! The third incident Gregory had cited was the devastating attack at the gates of the POF complex at Wah. But the ignorance of both Gregory and Lamb is revealed by the fact that neither of them seem to know that the Wah complex focuses on conventional weapons especially tanks and APCs and not on missiles or warheads. One can take comfort in the fact that these writers do not know where the missiles and warheads are produced and assembled!

Four: Lamb then goes on to cite a “fourth” attack supposedly targeting our nukes which took place on the GT Road at the turning for Kamra! According to Lamb, even though the Pakistanis have denied that Kamra is a nuke base, Gregory asserts it is. Now how credible is Mr. Gregory? Well, suffice it to say that he has a personal axe to grind with the Pakistani state and that his so-called Pakistan Security Research Unit at Bradford is more on the net than on the ground and many questioned have been raised about the source of its funding, especially for those in the know who are aware of its origins!

As for Lamb’s assertion that last August a 6-man suicide team was arrested in Sargodha but there is some confusion as to whether this was the same group that included the 5 US citizens of Pakistani origin who were arrested much earlier than when the story of their arrest broke in the Pakistani media. Lamb cites the latter case as an additional one and then refers to the map of Chashma that they had. Now what she fails to mention, although as a journalist on Pakistan she should have known, is the fact that the reason the Pakistani authorities have refused to deport these 5 to the US is because they are suspected of working for the CIA – either to infiltrate the militants or to actually gather information on Chashma which the US has desperately been seeking out in connection with info regarding our nukes – and have still not gained much access on this count.

Five: Lamb then in a show of either feigned or genuine ignorance refers to the suicide attack at the gate of the Naval Housing Complex in E-8 as an attack on the “naval command centre.” The latter is not in sector-E-8 at all, which is only a naval residential colony!

Six: She sees the attack on GHQ also as a targeting specifically of our nukes although this would be like declaring that the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon was specifically to target US nukes! So 9/11 made US nukes and their command and control insecure and unsafe by this logic!

Seven: Then a really old issue is raised again – that of the scientist Bashir Mahmood, who was arrested in October 2001, after he had retired from being a power plant engineer in the nuclear power sector, for having met Osama Bin Laden and because he had set up a Muslim charity. Again what Lamb conveniently refuses to mention is that the man had been interrogated and the case had been closed. Certainly he had met OBL but so many CIA people had also been meeting OBL when they thought he could be set up to work for them, before 9/11 of course.

All in all, clearly this story has been planted and Lamb used, once again to put forward lies and factual distortions to drum up a scare about Pakistan’s nuclear assets. Is it also a mere coincidence that the story has come in the wake of the growing differences between the Pakistani civil and military leadership with the US administration? It is unfortunate that a paper like The Sunday Times failed to verify the contents of the story first.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

January 18, 2010 at 11:17 am

Quest for Peace – Aman ki Asha

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INDIA NEVER WITHOUT A MASK

A Mask for indiaIt is befuddling to see two faces of India; one face breathing fire and yearning to annihilate Pakistan, and the other singing melodious tunes of peace and friendship. One year before, Indian civil and military leaders were indulging in high pitch saber rattling.

Their strike formations had moved up into battle locations and fighter jets had scrambled to strike targets in AJK and Muredke. Indian media and public were up in arms beating war drums. Divorcing sanity and rationalism, Indian leadership accused Pakistan of its involvement in Mumbai attacks and charge-sheeted it without any shred of evidence. They had refused to listen to any explanation and spurned offer of joint investigation. Whatever one-sided evidence was provided to Pakistan was flimsy and fabricated. They got irritated when lies got exposed but USA and UK covered up their concoctions by fully backing them up and putting the entire blame on Pakistan. Their bellicosity has not died down to this date and they are still bent upon trying to coercively impose their will on Pakistan.

On 29 December, Indian army Chief Deepak Kapoor stoked embers of war for the second time in quick succession. No sooner this uncalled for jingoistic statement was made another equally puzzling move was made under the caption of Aman ki Asha (desire for peace). A seminar was organised in New Delhi jointly sponsored by India Times and Jang Group from 10-12 January to promote peace between two arch rivals. Notwithstanding the harmless and well-meaning title, timings of the same were rather odd since it does not fit into the vitiated atmosphere deliberately stoked by India. It is persistently inflating its defence budget and its armed forces are getting laced with latest art-of-weapons and its nuclear program is being radically expanded and upgraded. Added to it are its offensive designs and covert operations against Pakistan. It is in no mood to resolve disputes and ease tensions.

From the time India signed peace treaty with Pakistan in January 2004 and promised to resolve all disputes through composite dialogue, India has not moved an inch towards resolution of any dispute. Major disputes are Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, dams on rivers and water. Past master in foot dragging and making false promises, India kept buying time and under the garb of friendship deceived Pakistan by stabbing it in the back. Its intelligence agencies have been indulging in sabotage and subversion and supporting disruptive forces in Pakistan and making several regions turbulent. Even when RAW’s involvement in Balochistan, FATA and Swat came to light our leaders preferred to remain quiet so as not to antagonize India.

Taking our policy of appeasement as a sign of weakness, RAW and Mossad in consultation with CIA cooked up Mumbai drama. Indian political leaders and media upped the ante and held Pakistan squarely responsible for the carnage without a shred of evidence. Their mentors in USA and UK lent credence to their false claims. The incident planned in a shoddy manner backfired and prestige of shining India got badly bruised. Indian public termed it as an intelligence failure. Intelligence agencies, Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Mumbai security apparatus as well as Army were censured since a band of ten terrorists managed to breach the cordon and held the port city hostage for over 72 hours. Response of security forces was simply pathetic, resulting in lots of fatalities including foreigners and loss of face.

When Pakistan did not get over awed and held its ground firmly on diplomatic and military planes coolly, maturely and boldly, it nonplussed plot makers in India. As the dust settled down and glaring loopholes in the wicked plan started to prop up, it further perplexed them. It irritated them to find Pakistan objecting to their fake pieces of evidence and got panicky when their lies got exposed. Not knowing what to do, they were left with no other option but to keep crying as victims of terrorism and stubbornly clinging on to their ridiculous stance that India would not renew dialogue unless Pakistan acted upon its silly demands of punishing the culprits and dismantling terrorist networks. While expecting a lot from Pakistan, India refuse to admit that it is involved in subversive activities, well knowing that Pakistan has collected heap of evidence.

Hosts of steps taken by Pakistan were disregarded and like USA, it also started to stupidly sing the mantra of ‘do more’. This piggish stance has become all the more necessary to hide their embarrassment since Ajmal Kasab, the lone witness on which the whole case was cleverly spun by Indian agencies has begun to unravel truths while recoding his statement in the law court. He has categorically denied having killed anyone on 26/11 and revealed that he was kidnapped and put in jail much before the incident and on the day of occurrence he was taken to the site, shot and injured. Involvement of local terrorists aided by elements within Indian army and RAW in Samjhota Express and Malegaon acts of terror has already been proven.

In the backdrop of demonstrated Indian bellicosity, Aman ki Asha came as a surprise and left many in Pakistan gaping in wonder as to what to believe and what not to believe. Pro-Indian elements within Pakistan have however hailed the initiative. They have been ignoring Indian clandestine operations together with jingoism and have projected Indo-US theme that religious extremists and not India is the existential threat to security of Pakistan. They laugh and mock those who say that war on terror is US war and not our war. They also ignored Gen Kapoor’s offensive statements but jumped with excitement at the proposed seminar on Aman ki Asha and lauded the idea profusely. In their series of write ups they have projected it as a breakthrough and a step in the right direction towards Indo-Pak détente. None bothered to contemplate that no Indian leader has brought any change in his tone and hawkish style, or taken any confidence building measures (CBM) to ease up tension. List of invitees was prepared from among them.

Aman ki Asha is not meant to promote peace but to once again harm Pakistan through guile and deceit. It has been conceived and sponsored by RAW with devious motives. Real motive behind it is to sidestep real issues of conflict and once again indulge in nonsensical CBMs. It is an effort to hoodwink world comity and to again take Pakistan for a ride. India has somehow come to the conclusion that as a result of Indo-US-Israel-UK eight-year collective efforts, Pakistan has been sufficiently weakened from within and is now in dire strait. In their view the Islamists imbued with warrior spirit who remain ever ready to shed last drop of their blood to defend Pakistan have been antagonized and marginalized while sizeable numbers of soldiers pushed into the quicksand of war on terror for times to come. They feel that time is ripe to dictate terms either through military coercion or through peace mantra and extract maximum concessions. They want peace to be imposed on Indian terms which they perceive will be readily accepted by Pakistan. Pro-Indian lobbies particularly among ultra liberals in Pakistan will actively pursue their agenda.

If India is really interested in peace, it will have to first undo some of the blatant wrongs it inflicted upon Pakistan. It must immediately put an end to its intrusive and meddlesome activities in Pakistan, it should abide by Indus Basin Treaty of 1960 and stop stealing water and building dams on rivers flowing into Pakistan, abide by Indo-Pak agreement on Siachen inked in 1989, resolve Sir Creek issue on which already lot of ground has been covered, stop its vile propaganda against Pakistan, develop relations on the basis of trust, friendship, respect and equality. Above all, longstanding Kashmir dispute which is the main bone of contention should be resolved in accordance with UN Resolutions and pledges of Nehru.

Brig A Haroon Raja

Naked US doublespeak

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JALEES HAZIR

To the drone attacks and the illegal activities of US diplomats, our friend and ally has decided to add the insulting screening of Pakistani citizens at its airports. This is yet another step that underlines the naked US double-speak on Pakistan. More troublesome, however, has been the government’s acceptance of such shoddy treatment so far and that too with thanks. Apparently, the government’s subservient attitude is beginning to change. The coming days will tell us how real this newfound sense of dignity is and how far it goes?

Addressing Parliament last week, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani finally articulated in no uncertain terms the feeling of being short-changed at the hands of the United States. He said that his government was not interested in US aid at the cost of Pakistan’s dignity and sovereignty. The Parliament’s Committee on National Security has also recommended a review of the government’s slavish US policy. Given the sensitivity of a large majority of Pakistanis regarding the role of the US in their country, it is important that the government translates these words into action and come up with a policy that elevates Pakistan from the status of being a client state.

Obviously, the US administration views things differently. The day after the prime minister’s address, the US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke is reported to have expressed his undiplomatic anger in a meeting with the Pakistani politicians in Islamabad, complaining that they did not appreciate the American government for all the wonderful things it was doing for the development of their country. He was not happy that the politicians belonging to various political parties had chosen to criticise the US for the drone attacks and a number of other issues. The envoy did not give any assurance regarding the concerns expressed by the people’s representatives and in fact bluntly told them that the drone attacks would continue, the strip-searches would continue and a free-trade pact would not be possible. The message was that the politicians should not make any noises about these matters since the US administration was giving dollars for development.

When the Kerry-Lugar Bill was being debated in the country, in the media as well as Parliament, those opposing the bill had actually pointed at this cost of accepting the meagre money. Even if one were not to get into a discussion on how foreign aid actually disrupts rather than aid the development of a country, or the conditionalities attached, this simple aspect of accepting aid from the US should have been enough to reject it. After all, the donor would want something in return. And given the bloated arrogance of the US and its dangerous designs in the region, our government should have realised that it would be expected to pay a heavy price by accepting the dubious US aid. Holbrooke’s recent assertion says it better than anything else.

The logic is that since the US is giving us some million dollars, we should all shut up and not complain about innocent Pakistani citizens being killed by drone strikes that are remote-controlled from Langley, Virginia. Since the US will help us dig some tube wells, we should allow Americans to go around freely in our cities and countryside, armed with illegal weapons and riding cars with fake number plates. Since the US has promised to finance electricity generation in Pakistan using some of the dirtiest technologies for producing electricity from coal, being fast discarded the world over, we should accept it as our master and dance to its every jarring tune. Clearly, this is bad logic.

Some friends absolve the so-called sole superpower of any wrongdoing and say that we should be taking our government to task for all that is wrong. After all, they say, the US would do what is in its national interest. It is the Pakistan government that should be watching out for the interests of its citizens, and our wrath should be reserved for those calling the shots in the smelly corridors of power in Islamabad. They do have a point there, but things are not so simple.

It is true that ultimately it is the Pakistan government that is responsible for what goes on in Pakistan and for defining our foreign policy. It is also obvious that if you tie up the management of the country’s econ-omy with dole coming from US-controlled international financial institutions, and your country’s development to what the US throws in, you leave little room for an independent policy in any other domain. It is a matter of grave concern and an indicator of the poverty of vision on part of the much-hailed and much-saved democratic government that it decided to go down a road that is now well known for taking you to hell.

The IMF and World Bank are famous for peddling recipes for disasters that trap those they claim to help in debilitating debt. They destroy indigenous economies with their crafty jargon-laden economic spells and craft worthless pieces that fit into their scheme of a global sweat-house. It is difficult to believe that those running the government were not aware of what happens when you allow these dubious institutions to run your economy. Similarly, how the US uses its aid money to further its dirty corporate-driven global agenda is no secret either. If today Pakistanis are being asked to cough up more and more for utilities and tolerate the lawlessness perpetrated by the US on its territory, it is because of the choices that our government made and it should be taken to task for it.

Still, it does not absolve the US of its menacing role not only in Pakistan but all over the world. One has to be blind, deaf and dumb not to see it rampaging the globe in its hunger for capturing more and more resources, starting wars and subverting governments abroad and hypnotising its citizens with its clever doublespeak and falsehood.

The writer is a freelance columnist.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

January 18, 2010 at 11:15 am

The insidious Indian propaganda

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By Dr S.m. Rahman

The internet has become a vehicle to fan preposterous propaganda by the agencies in India, in order to promote ‘Hindutva’ sensibility to raise scare and trepidation among the Hindus that Pakistan in collusion with Bangladesh and Indian Muslim are now planning for a second partition of the subcontinent to carve our a much bigger chunk of territory out of India, which they have named as ‘Mughalstan’ that will comprise Pakistan, Bangladesh, including all of North and Eastern India. The so-called Mughal Muslim state will merge Pakistan and Bangladesh through a large corridor of land running across the Indo-Gangetic plain – the heartland of India. Jinnah’s Pakistan was envisaged to have the whole of Bengal and the Punjab – besides a corridor which could provide land links between the ‘west’ and the former ‘East Pakistan’. The moth-eaten Pakistan was accepted only ‘temporarily’ as Jinnah thought it expedient to accept what was made available, under the exigencies of the circumstances, but the idea of ‘Greater Pakistan’ was shelved for an appropriate time, as a necessary outcome of the partition, which the Hindu India had to reconcile with.

For propaganda message to appear credible a source had to be identified. It was deemed expedient to select Bangladesh, where this idea of Mughalstan was conceived and covertly planned at Jahangirnagar University, jointly supported by the ISI of Pakistan and DGFI (Director General Forces Intelligence of Bangladesh). In propaganda parlance, this is called ‘Black Propaganda source’, which is based on total distortion as the real originators are operating from somewhere else. It is for our intelligence agencies to find out as to from where such “hate propaganda” is being disseminated. They have also concocted an organisation called Mughalstan Research Institute (MRI) at Jahangirnagar University. The objectives of the propaganda are focused on the following themes so that Indian Hindus see the so-called vicious game the Muslims are playing to further divide Bharat, and that they are not content with the creation of Pakistan – an Islamic Republic and Bangladesh though apparently ‘secular’ nourishes deep Islamic ethos:

Ø The Punjabis pronounce Mughalstan, i.e. what is against the usual Urdu pronunciation Mughalistan. This is to establish that the ISI (Punjabi dominated organisation of Pakistan) is the contributor of the name. Such little details are meant to establish the credibility.

Ø The Islamic jihadis in India are being funded and organised by the Muslim countries, like Saudi Arabia and others.

Ø Osama bin Laden is behind the concept of ‘Greater Pakistan’ to liberate the Muslims of India from the domination of Hindus. The Mumbai bombings of 1993 was led by Karachi-based Dawood Ibrahim (a fugitive who is very much wanted by India for the crimes he committed), besides Jamat-i-Islami, Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, Jaish-i-Muhammad and Hizbul mujahideen all are involved in planning a greater Islamic country in the subcontinent. The Indian mujahideen are also involved and the students of Islamic Movement in India (SIMI) are partners in this mission.

Ø Hindus are declared enemies by Lashkar-i-Tayyaba and Jaish-i-Muhammad, and besides liberating Kashmir they have vowed to hoist the Islamic flag atop the historic Red Fort after capturing Delhi and the rest of India.

Ø Establishment of an Islamic caliphate is the objective of SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) and as such they have launched jihad in the Indian States, as secularism, democracy and nationalism – the keystone of the Indian statehood, are antithetical to Islam. The Indian mujahideen have claimed responsibility for bombings in Lucknow, Vanarsi and Faizabad, Banglore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and New Delhi in 2007 and 2008. Their role models are Muhammad Bin Qasim, Muhammad Ghouri and Mahmood Ghaznavi. They consider ‘Hindu blood’ as the cheapest of all mankind, and taunt Hindu history as full of subjugation and humiliation.

Ø Muslims population is steadily rising in the UP state, as it has risen to 18 percent and in Bihar 17 percent. A vast number of mosques are disproportionately growing through excessive funding by Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Ø Muslim Banghbhoomi comprises various districts along the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bangladesh borders. Bangladesh is craving for Taliban type militants and madrassas are teaching that the Muslims are the best in the world and that the non-Muslims are “to be converted, beaten, killed and their women are to be raped as maal-e-ghaneemat.” Atrocities against Hindus in Bangladesh can be seen from the fact that there is no single woman between the ages of 7 to 70, who has not been raped.

Ø Bangladeshis have succeeded in infiltrating into Maripur, Mizoram, Meghalaya. Arunchal Pradesh and Tripura. In other words, they are responsible for fanning fissiparous trends in many of the states of India.

The message, therefore, is loud and clear that Hindus must rise to stop this grandiose plan of the Muslims. Mughalstan is not a question of “If” or “but”, but “when”, unless we, “Hindus” stand up to counter the treacherous plan. Undoubtedly, all this implicitly carries a message of coercive policies against the Indian Muslims, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The ostensible purpose of the propaganda is to malign both Bangladesh and Pakistan. The whole propaganda is motivated by a typical Kautalian sensibility to use deception, duplicity and deceit to fan hatred against the Muslims. It is also aimed at frustrating all the attempts to bring peace and cooperation between Pakistan and India through much dramatically publicised Aman Ki Aasha. One should interpret the outlandish proclamation by the Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor that India was capable of defeating both Pakistan and China within 96 hours. Stereotyping Muslims justifies all actions to destabilise Pakistan and even to launch a war if necessary.

The hate against Muslims is a combined strategy of the US, Israel and India. Thus, the so-called War on Terror has a covert design to suppress the Islamic resurgence and undermine its identity through a well-orchestrated plan. Pakistan should not dismiss it as a ‘whimsical idea’. There’s a method in the madness. They have killed around 90,000 Muslims in Kashmir alone notwithstanding regular communal riots like the one in Gujrat, where Muslims were cut into pieces like vegetables. Besides Muslims, Sikhs have been killed to the tune of 250,000 in the operation against the Golden Temple. A significant number of Christians have also been slaughtered only in Orissa. Dalits are being most brutally treated at the hands of Hindus, and yet the propaganda is to whitewash the Hindu propensity for violence.

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was indeed a man of great foresight. He saw through the game, the Hindus were playing that they were the true inheritors of the British Empire and everyone else was to be left high and dry.

Unfortunately, the rest of the world is uncritically accepting the Indian propaganda that it is a vibrant democracy, quite oblivious of the reality that India is notoriously following its apartheid repressive policy against its religious minorities. They are covertly planning to destabilise through subversion in Balochistan, tribal areas and extending it to Punjab and Karachi.

George Orwell said very rightly: “In time of universal deceit, telling to truth is a revolutionary act.” The truth must be heeded to and our countrymen must rise against Indian machinations.

The writer is secretary general, FRIENDS.
Email: friendsfoundation@live.co.uk

France moves closer to banning full Muslim veil

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Critics argue proposed move would be violation of basic rights


Faiza Silmi, a 32-year-old Moroccan, walks in a Le Mesnil-Saint-Denis, France, on Tuesday. Silmi was refused French citizenship for what authorities said was her failure to assimilate into French culture.

LA VERRIERE, France – The man she married is French, her four children were born in France and she speaks French with only a trace of her native Arabic tongue. Faiza Silmi contends her clothes – a head-to-toe robe and filmy tissue covering her face – are the reason France has denied her citizenship in her adopted land.

The 32-year-old Moroccan may soon be facing an even fiercer blow. A top French lawmaker submitted a draft law this week that would ban such Islamic dress anywhere in public, a measure that would set a European precedent and trap thousands of women between their religious convictions and the law of the land.

“They say I’m too attached to my religion,” Silmi told The Associated Press at an empty restaurant near her home southwest of Paris, her large eyes peering from a slit in her veil. “Lots of Christians live in Morocco and we don’t make them wear scarves.”

Unlike Muslim headscarves, full-body, face-covering robes are a rare sight in the streets of France, home to an estimated 5 million Muslims, the largest such population in western Europe. France’s main Muslim leaders have declared that Islam does not require women to cover their faces with niqabs or burqas.

In a country whose national emblem is Marianne, a bare-chested woman, there is deepening concern over the all-encompassing garb, often black or brown and worn with gloves, attire typical in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. Here, it is widely viewed as a gateway to radical Islam, an attack on gender equality and other French values, and a gnawing away at the nation’s secular foundation.

‘Not welcome’

President Nicolas Sarkozy opened the door to a possible ban in June, telling a parliament session in Versailles that such dress “is not welcome” in France. A parliamentary panel set to work in July on a six-month mission gathering information on the garments.

On Tuesday, the head of Sarkozy’s conservative UMP party in parliament’s lower house, Jean-Francois Cope, jumped the gun before the panel’s report was finished, and filed draft legislation on a ban. “No one may, in spaces open to the public and on public streets, wear a garment or an accessory that has the effect of hiding the face,” the draft text reads.

The document cites public security concerns, thus includes all face-covering clothes, in a bid to head off challenges from those who might claim such a law would violate constitutional rules on individual rights – a major concern along with how such a law would be enforced. It foresees fines for those who break the law.

The initiative, unlikely to go to debate before spring, would be the second time France targets Muslim dress. A 2004 law born in acrimony bans Muslim headscarves and other “ostentatious” religious symbols in the classrooms of French public schools. Sarkozy’s party dominates parliament and the president reiterated Wednesday his wish for a law on full veils, though it’s too early to say whether it will pass.

Tension

Europe’s growing Muslim population has bred tension across the continent. Wariness is pervasive since deadly attacks in Madrid in 2004 and in London in 2005 by Islamic radicals living in Europe. And some non-Muslims sense a threat by a foreign culture to their way of life. It took only four minarets on Switzerland’s 200 mosques to push the Swiss to vote “no” to minarets in a November referendum.

However, France, which wants an Islam tailored to the West, would be the only western European country to target the all-enveloping robes and niqabs, the cloth hiding the lower face. “We’re going to become the laughing stock of democracies” should France ban the clothing, said Raphael Liogier, a sociology professor who runs the Observatory of the Religious in Aix-en-Provence.

He is among critics who say a ban would be a violation of basic rights and “transgression of the fundamental principles of our republic.”

Written by rohitkumarsviews

January 18, 2010 at 8:05 am