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India – World Leader in Arms race

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark-American think tanks, government officials and CIA have often accused Pakistan to be too India-fixated and have advised, even cajoled Pakistan to shift its forces from Indian border to the Afghan front to fight America’s losing war on terrorism.

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These anti-Pakistan lobbies often present India as a peace loving country, which has no designs and ill will towards Pakistan. These self-styled pundits as well as pro-Indian lobby in Pakistan should be ashamed of such a behavior and now think deep and hard about such a misguided discourse.

Here is why.

A report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) says that India accounted for 9% of all global weapons imports between 2006 and 2010. The study also shows that India has overtaken China to become the world’s largest importer of arms. As it was not enough, the report predicts that India will continue to be to the leading arms importer in the coming future, the report adds.

India’s present defense budget is a whopping $32.5 billion and it is looking to spend more than $50 billion over the next five years to modernize its armed forces, including a $10 billion deal to buy 126 new fighter jets. Last October, India announced that it would buy 250 to 300 advanced fifth-generation stealth fighter jets from Russia over the next 10 years. The deal, which could be worth up to $30 billion, is believed to be the largest in Indian records. Now it has decided to buy even more hardware by short-listing two European fighters and ruled out two US rivals for a key $11 billion military contract. (BBC News. 28 April 2011)

It is said by western experts that India’s increased spending on arms comes amid rising concerns about China’s growing power, and India’s traditional rivalry with neighboring Pakistan, with which is has fought three wars.

Well, we all know that India with all its weapons is no match for China. The billion-dollar question is this: Where will all these expensive and latest jetfighters be used? Not in Himalaya Mountains or in dogfights over Tibet.

Naturally, all this hardware would be used against Pakistan to fulfill the old Hindustani dream of Nehru, who, during the partition of British India and the independence of Pakistan very arrogantly remarked, “Let them have their Pakistan. It will come crawling back to Mother India in six months.”

India and China talk trade deals and friendship, but they are bitter rivals

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Like tectonic plates grinding up against each other in the Himalayas, China and India are locked into a rivalry that is going to set the global agenda for decades.

For three days this week, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited New Delhi, signed trade deals, dined with Indian politicians and spouted the rhetoric of friendship.

“China and India are partners for cooperation, not rivals in competition,” he told an Indian business conference, after a Chinese trade delegation signed 48 deals worth more than US$16-billion.

“There is enough space in the world for the development of China and India,” Mr. Wen insisted.

But beneath the polite diplomacy and mutual compliments, India and China remain wary of each other, locked in a volatile Cold War-style rivalry that is filled with conflict, mutual distrust and resentment.

As their economies grow, the world’s two most populous nations – home to two-fifths of the global population – are competing for energy resources, food and opportunities. They have conflicting global aspirations; a 4,000 kilometre-long disputed border, a history of war and a decades-old struggle for regional influence.

When Mr. Wen arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday, Chinese engineers in Tibet were blasting through the last part of a mountain tunnel to link the last isolated county in China to the mainland’s main highway system.

China celebrated the feat as a nation-building marvel and broadcast the event on national television.

Indian newscasts, however, noted the new tunnel, in a region bordering the disputed northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, will now enable China to rush troops to an area, which Beijing claims is really part of Tibet.

In almost the same breath, Indian experts also note China’s stranglehold on Tibet gives it control of most of the headwaters of India’s main rivers.

New Delhi has long feared China may one day dam and divert those waters to replenish its parched western provinces and China has talked recently of diverting up to 200 billion cubic metres of water annually to the Yellow River from the Brahmaputra River, which enters India at Arunachal Pradesh, before flowing on to Assam and into Bangladesh.

“Simmering tensions over territory, overlapping spheres of influence, resource scarcity and rival alliance relationships ensure that relations between the two rising Asian giants will be characterized more by competition and rivalry than cooperation for a long time to come,” warned Mohan Malik, a professor at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Honolulu.

“The main objective of China’s Asia policy is to prevent the rise of a peer competitor to challenge its status as the Asia-Pacific’s sole ‘Middle Kingdom’,” he said. “As an old Chinese saying goes, ‘One mountain cannot accommodate two tigers’.”

The stark discrepancies between democratic India and authoritarian China were on display in New Delhi just two days before Mr. Wen arrived. In an effort to warn off Tibetan protesters preparing to demonstrate against Mr. Wen, a nervous Chinese ambassador, Zhang Yan, told reporters bilateral relations with India are “very fragile, very easy to be damaged and very difficult to repair.”

“They need special care in the information age,” he said. “To achieve this, the [Indian] government should provide guidance to the public to avoid a war of words.”

India’s Foreign Minister, Nirupama Rao, responded coolly but politely saying China has nothing to fear from India’s “vibrant and noisy democracy.”

Two events have permanently strained relations between Beijing and New Delhi – China’s 1950 invasion and occupation of Tibet and China’s defeat of India in a brief 1962 border war.

India now plays host to more than 120,000 Tibetan refugees, including the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising.

China brands the Dalai Lama a separatist and insists he is using his base in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala to fuel rebellion inside Tibet.

After riots broke out in Tibet in March 2009, China’s government-controlled news media were filled with anti-Indian rhetoric calling New Delhi “reckless and arrogant” and warning India not “to misjudge the situation as it did in 1962,” when China successfully staged a month-long war against India all along their Himalayan border.

India still lives in the shadow of that conflict, resenting her defeat and complaining China illegally occupies 26,500 square kilometres of Indian territory.

“The wounds of the 1962 Chinese invasion have been kept open by Beijing’s public and assertive claims to Indian territories,” said Brahma Chellaney of New Delhi’s Center for Policy Research. “China continues to occupy one-fifth of the original state of Jammu and Kashmir. Its recent claim over the entire Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and aggressive patrolling of the border region signify that China is not interested in maintaining the status quo.”

As a result, India has moved two army divisions close to its Himalayan border and built three new airstrips in the foothills.

“The India-China strategic dissonance is rooted not only in their contrasting political ideals and quiet rivalry but also in Beijing’s relentless pursuit of a classical, Sun Tzu-style balance-of-power strategy,” Prof. Chellaney said. “In order to avert the rise of a peer rival in Asia, China has sought to strategically tie down India south of the Himalayas.”

India has long resented China’s close ties to its traditional rival Pakistan, arming Pakistan’s military, helping Islamabad build nuclear weapons and promoting Pakistani claims to Indian territory.

But New Delhi has watched in frustration recently as China also increased its strategic assistance to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Burma [Myanmar] – countries India always regarded as part of its sphere of influence.

Nearly 90% of Chinese arms sales go to countries located in the Indian Ocean region. In addition, Beijing has helped build ports in Gwadar, Pakistan, and Humbantota, Sri Lanka, as well as in Burma and Bangladesh, in what analysts have called a “string of pearls” strategy to build naval bases and military listening posts across the Indian Ocean.

The Chinese-built Gwadar port and naval base, near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz and close to Pakistan’s border with Iran, is one of the world’s largest deep-water ports and could allow China to park submarines in India’s backyard.

It may also serve as the terminus for an energy pipeline taking oil from the Gulf region, through Pakistan, directly to China.

A similar pipeline is planned from a Chinese-built port on Burma’s Ramree Island to transport oil from Africa and the Middle East to the Chinese province of Yunnan.

“This effort to encircle India by sea with strategically positioned naval stations from Hainan in the east, to Gwadar in the west, and on land by promoting bogus Pakistani claims that undermine India’s territorial integrity, takes the ‘Great Game’ to a new and more dangerous level,” warned Jaswant Singh, India’s former defence and foreign affairs minister.

China’s rising economic and military power is driving formerly non-aligned India into seeking a loose alliance with the United States and its Asian partners (Japan, South Korea, Australia) to counterbalance Beijing.

But New Delhi has also sought to engage China, promoting its white-collar, services-led economic growth as a natural counterpoint to China’s blue-collar, manufacturing-driven economy.

Bilateral trade between the two Asian rivals has surged from a mere US$262-million in 1991 to an expected US$60-billion this year.

During Mr. Wen’s visit, the two countries set a bilateral trade target of US$100-billion-a-year by 2015.

But sharing their new wealth has also produced new tensions. China is India’s biggest trade partner. But that trade is skewed heavily in China’s favour, with China exporting almost twice as much to India as India sells to China.

Nearly 70% of India’s exports are low-cost raw materials compared with China’s more expensive manufactured goods.

It is no coincidence India has initiated more anti-dumping complaints with the World Trade Organization against China than anyone else.

“A Sino-Indian rivalry in southern Asia and the northern Indian Ocean may well be a dominant feature of Asian geopolitics in the 21st century,” Prof. Malik said.

National Post

pgoodspeed@nationalpost.com

Alert: Russia Orders Troops To Prepare For War With US

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PAKALERT PRESS

Reports circulating in the Kremlin today state that Prime Minister Putin [photo top left] has ordered Russian military forces to prepare to confront American military forces in Afghanistan over what Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov warns is the”greatest threat to International peace and security”, Afghanistan’s thriving drug trade supported by the US and NATO.

Not being reported to the American people about the Afghanistan war is that it has nothing to do with their being protected from terrorists, but rather it involves the billions of dollars gained for many of the West’s top intelligence agencies (mainly the CIA) from the heroin produced in this region (90% of World’s total) that by 2001 the Taliban had virtually eliminated.

Immediately after the US invasion of Afghanistan in October, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) installed one of their main Afghan operatives, Hamid Karzai, as President, who then put into power his brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, who since then has increased heroin production to levels unseen in modern times and resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of Russian citizens

Viktor Ivanov, the head of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service, Russia’s National drug enforcement agency, told parliament in May that it was reasonable to “call the flow of Afghan opiates the second edition of opium wars.” Ivanov was referring to the 19th-century warbetween Britain and China sparked by exports of opium from British India to China.

Ivanov isn’t alone.

“I can name you a lot of politicians in Russia who said that the Americans specially arranged the situation in Afghanistan so that we would receive a lot of drugs, and this is the real aim of their occupation,” said Andrei Klimov, the deputy head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament. “I’m not sure this is true, but who knows.”

One person who definitely knew it was true was German President Horst Koehler, who after returning from Afghanistan last month linked the war with the defense of German economic interests because it was securing free trade routes for the West and had nothing to do whatsoever with terrorism. For his “outspokenness” President Koehler was forced to resign plunging an already battered Chancellor Merkel into even greater political turmoil.

Most shocking to understand about the CIA’s being the World’s largest drug trafficker is that it isn’t even kept secret anymore and has been embraced by their new President, Barack Obama, who has used billions of dollars earned through Afghan heroin deals to fund his sending US Special Forces teams to over 75 different Nations as well as building for them a new $100 million headquarters base in Afghanistan while his own citizens plunge deeper into poverty.

Important to note though is that Obama is far from being the first American President to embrace the drug trade as nearly all of his predecessors were likewise involved in starting and maintaining wars to keep the billions earned from this most despicable of crimes preying on the weakest people in their society, mainly the poor and people of colour.

For those few reporters seeking to inform the American people about this crime the hard and brutal lesson learned from the late Gary Webb’s blacklisting and suiciding by US intelligence agents after his revealing the CIA’s involvement in the drug trade presents a chilling example of what these monsters will do to protect themselves and their right to poison anyone they so choose.

Interesting to note too is that according to the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organized crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352 Billion of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.

Though the American people still ignore the crimes being perpetrated by their so called leaders, the lessons of their own history should not be lost upon them, especially when viewed in the light of the use of drug and alcohol laws used for mass imprisonment while at the same time instituting around them a draconian tyrannical society where all their freedoms will be stripped from them.

And for those American’s thinking that their life couldn’t get any worse? They couldn’t be more mistaken! For just this past week Obama’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released what they call a “staff discussion draft” of “potential policy recommendations to support the reinvention of journalism” wherein they called for doctrine of “proprietary facts” that would outlaw anyone writing or reporting on anything that happens unless they use the “facts” provided to them by the government.

But than again, and as the history of these American’s seems to show, with their massive government debt about to eclipse their Gross National Product (GDP) for the first time in history, their once vital Gulf of Mexico region succumbing to the World’s worst oil spill catastrophe, and their NASA scientists now warning that the “awakening” Sun may destroy everything anyway, maybe they truly can’t be told the truth and must be treated like the children they act like.

Indian rocket launch flops

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BANGALORE: Indian space engineers lost contact with a rocket showcasing new indigenously built booster technology on Thursday soon after launch, in a major blow to the country’s space ambitions. The launch of the first India-made rocket powered by cryogenic motors, a complex technology mastered by just five countries, failed soon after lift-off from India’s space centre at Sriharikota in southeast Andhra Pradesh state. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Radhakrishnan told reporters that the rocket began tumbling soon after launch “indicating the controllability was lost”. Cryogenic boosters use super-cooled liquid fuel and the technology has only been successfully developed by the US, Russia, France, Japan and China. India had previously imported seven cryogenic engines from Russia, using five of them to launch heavy satellites over the last decade. The technology is intended to launch heavier satellites into high orbits, about 36,000 kilometres (22,000 miles) from the earth, ISRO has said.

China, India leaders to set up hotline

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China and India agreed to set up a top level hotline on Wednesday, sealing a “cordial” Beijing visit by India’s foreign minister that consolidated an improvement in ties between the sometimes fractious neighbors.


China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (R) shakes hands with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna at Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing April 7, 2010.

Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna began his four-day visit on Monday — scant months after tempers flared over reports of border incursions and a row over the Dalai Lama’s visit to the disputed frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh.

But Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters the trip had gone well, and both sides were pleased with the new mechanism connecting the Chinese and Indian Prime Ministers, which could help prevent dangerous flare-ups in future.

“These have been cordial, useful, constructive and wide-ranging discussions,” she told a news conference in Beijing.

“The agreement to establish a hotline is an important confidence building measure and it opens up a direct channel of communication between the two leaders.”

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the relationship had reached a “new phase of mature and stable development” in a meeting with Krishna in the Chinese leadership’s Zhongnanhai compound.

“History shows that friendship between neighbors and common development are in the interests of both countries, of Asia and of the world,” Wen added.

Plans for a hotline were made by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a summit last year of the BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China, Rao said.

That group will meet again next week in Brasilia, for the second leaders summit, and both China and India highlighted the importance and benefit of cooperation on international issues.

“What came across during these discussions was that this relationship between the two countries has more than just a bilateral dimension, it has a global impact, and that a long-term strategic view is required of this relationship,” Rao said.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said the two countries worked together well on major global issues including combating the financial crisis and tackling climate change, according to the foreign ministry’s account of the meeting with Krishna, posted on its website (www.fmprc.gov.cn)

“China attaches great importance to bilateral ties and is willing to work hard with India for new developments, taking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as a turning point,” Yang said.

SECURITY CONCERNS

Regional security, particularly in volatile Afghanistan, and the threat of terrorism were among other key issues discussed in the meeting, said Rao, herself a former ambassador to Beijing.

“Foreign Minister Yang said that both China and India should stay in touch on these issues and remain in regular contact… particularly on Afghanistan,” said Rao.

Krishna was visiting just a couple of weeks after Afghan President Hamid Karzai came to Beijing to ask China to use its diplomatic clout with neighboring Pakistan to help rein in a growing insurgency. His government has good ties with Delhi.

The foreign ministers did not discuss a recently released report that a cyber-espionage group apparently based in southwest China stole documents from the Indian Defense Ministry and emails from the Dalai Lama’s office, Rao said.

The report by Canadian researchers said the spy network was likely run by individuals with connections to the Chinese criminal underworld. Information might have been passed to branches of the Chinese government, it added.

Beijing has repeatedly and strongly denied it condones hacking in any way, pointing out that its ministries and companies are also frequently targeted.

The Red Corridor: The Maoist Threat To India’s Existence

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Zainulabedin Ameer | PKKH

India, lauded as the largest democracy in the world, comprises a range of ethnic communities. These are held together, feebly, behind the garb of democracy, which has the world believe that all is well at home. For Indians, the harsh reality is that the long concealed fractures are now beginning to show up as large as the Grand Canyon; long term oppression through history that has been horribly justified through hierarchical order [particularly the caste system] cannot endure. The downtrodden are rising and have been doing much more than making their presence known. Amid the havoc that the Maoists have been wreaking, the Indian leadership has been putting up a bold front. However, few statements have come through that are alarming, and they actually highlight how worried India ought to be. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself has admitted that the Maoists pose “the single biggest internal security threat to the country.” This is despite the fact that his government has been relentlessly blaming Pakistan for everything that happens on Indian soil. The time for covering up their own mess was over a long time ago, and, the Indian leadership, which has been re-elected, ought to focus on its domestic threats. India’s current regime may have been the sole victors of the General Election of 2009, but they are compelled to accept a competing force on another front; Maoist rebels have also shown that they hold considerable sway in many districts of the country that now form what is known as ‘The Red Corridor.’

The Red Corridor is a wide area in India’s East; it stretches along much of its coast while covering many districts inland that meet central Indian states such as Utter Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, etc. This region has witnessed more than 4000 people losing their lives in a span of less than a decade thanks to the vicious Maoist attacks.

For a movement that holds as much control as the Maoist movement does, it is quite perceivable that it has its ideology firmly rooted in the desire of its people; they wish to break the shackles that have confined and marginalized them for decades. Indeed, this Maoist movement, which is now better known domestically as the Naxal revolution, was initiated as a red peasant uprising around May, 1967. This revolution earned its name because it began at a village in West Bengal, which is known as Naxal Bari. Apparently, this movement was a response to feudalism.

The Naxal revolution was initiated in the form of a protest that could have gone by relatively unnoticed. With injustice and oppression of peasants being a normal practice, there was enough fuel to keep the movement going. It is alleged that communism had something to do with galvanizing this movement; it is believed that the peasants have been manipulated by individuals with foreign ideology.

Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal are believed to be the two main communist revolutionaries who have spurred the Maoist movement in India. Their aim is to usurp control through a typical agrarian-based movement. Moreover, these revolutionaries consider communist China to be their inspiration, and graffiti on Kolkata walls stand testimony to this bold and brazen statement.

Perhaps more disturbing than the statements made within India by the Maoist revolutionary leaders are those that are made from beyond its borders; Radio Peking extolled the Naxal Bari uprising, and referred to it as Spring Thunder.

The Naxal peasant uprising became increasingly organized after the establishment of Communist party of by Charu Majumdar in 1969. From this point onwards, the mission appeared to become bold; the ideology began to spread to other parts of the country. However, this initial success was contained when the police killed Charu Majumdar in 1972 while he was in their custody. Without their leader, the rebels became dormant for a while. This was the time for action on the part of the Indian leadership; they could have made an attempt to win over the peasants by considering their demands and bringing justice to them. However, that opportunity was squandered, and by the late 1970s, the Naxal movement had once again gained momentum; it spread as far as Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab, as a fragmented effort, but was effective. Two of the most significant factions were the Peoples War Group that was based in the villages in Andhra Pradesh, and, the Maoist Centre, which was based in the jungles of Bihar. It is these two factions that merged in 2004 to intensify the Maoist movement.

At present, the Maoist movement now operates in more than 220 districts across twenty states of India. This is a shocking fact because of the significance it holds; the Maoists have the ability to strike at targets across 40 % of India. Their main strike zone is known as the Red Corridor, which is an area covering 92,000 sqkms. The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) claims that 20,000 armed Maoists are active out of a total of 50,000 that operate under different organizations.

Regardless of how many armed militants are present, the people in India would want stiff and sustained efforts by the Indian leadership to maintain security. However, India’s feeble response to the Maoist movement, operation ‘Green hunt’, has had little success. This operation was met with a backlash in Bengal and Bihar. As a result of little thought put into the strategy to deal with their apparently largest domestic threat, many Indians have perished.

It is evident that any military action has to be accompanied by a follow-up plan by state governments in terms of appeasing the restive people in the troubled areas; concerned authorities must address the needs of those being denied their rights. While this is a rough outline of what ought to be done, the Maoists remain resolved to take control of India.

With such glaring threats in the face of Indian authorities, they ought to re-think their role as a major country in South Asia. Precisely, what they should do is get their act together and deal with their domestic disputes instead of interfering in Pakistan’s Frontier and Baluchistan provinces. This should have been the realization many years ago. However, they have sustained their efforts in the form of insurgent plans carried out by the completely Un-Islamic Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [TTP]. The Indian Research and Analysis Wing [R.A.W] has spent a great deal of its resources running this organization along with other western clandestine intelligence agencies; in a combined effort, they have tried to make the TTP look like an offshoot of the Afghan Taliban. Indeed, there is magnanimous difference between the two, and their game-plan has been exposed along with their ‘Cold Start’ Fourth Generation Warfare Strategy. They have made a spectacle of themselves, and continue to do so, while back home their very existence at stake.

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.