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Archive for category Defense

Polish contribution to PAF and its Air Transport Command S.M. Hali The News

In 1947, when Pakistan was created as an independent country, the new government asked the British Air Force command for pointing out the most experienced and trusted pilots who would be able to help establish the air force in Pakistan.

The British professionals recommended Polish officers, pilots and technicians, who had gained fame in the Battle of Britain. After the war, they were unable to return home, since it was under Soviet occupation. There was no place for them in the Royal Air Force either.

Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, who also had the portfolio of the Defence Minister, did not hesitate in accepting the British recommendation and offered them three-year contracts with high salaries. 30 Polish officers chose to join the Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF) as it was known then. (‘Royal’ was dropped on 23 March 1956 when Pakistan became a Republic). Thus, a small group of 30 Polish pilots, engineers and technicians led by Turowicz arrived in Pakistan in 1947.

RPAF made a humble beginning with two fighter and one transport squadrons, a negligible infrastructure, non-existent command structure, and almost nil maintenance facilities.

Within three weeks of independence, Indian hegemonic designs sparked off the first war between Pakistan and India. Pakistan’s young air arm was called upon to fly supply missions with one of the two war-weary Dakotas. Contending with the unpredictable weather, the difficult terrain, and the enemy fighters was an uphill task. The strength was replenished with two more Dakotas only as the skirmishes resumed the following winters.

It was in this milieu that Squadron Leader Wladyslaw Józef Marian Turowicz, who was only 39 years of age, together with his wife Zofia, and the Polish air and ground crew, set about helping establish RPAF. Turowicz and his team set up technical institutes in Karachi. He taught and revitalized the PAF Academy, where he worked as a chief scientist. His colleagues assisted him in imparting specialized technical training to RPAF technicians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zofia, Turowicz’s wife, also contributed to the PAF in her own way. She taught gliding to Shaheen Air Cadets in Karachi and Rawalpindi, and applied mathematics and particle physics at Karachi University.

In 1952, Turowicz was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander, in 1959, to the rank of Group Captain, and in 1960 he became an Air Commodore and an Assistant Chief of Air Staff in charge of PAF’s Maintenance Branch.

 

 

In 1965, the first major Indo-Pak War broke out. As veterans of World War II, Turowicz and his fellow Poles had sufficient experience in aerial combat. They flew the legendary F-86 Sabres and joined their Pakistani comrades in defending Lahore’s skies against the invading Indian planes. After the war ended, Turowicz and his colleagues were hailed as national heroes in Pakistan. Along with his comrade Squadron Leader Anotnii Zbigniew Jedryszek, Air Commodore Turowicz and other Polish pilots were awarded the Sitara-e-Pakistan. During a grand ceremony in Pakistan’s new capital Islamabad, then President (Field Marshal) Ayub Khan granted honorary citizenships to these Polish officers for their bravery and sincerity in helping Pakistan in its hour of need.

Turowicz was killed in a car crash on January 8, 1980. He was buried with full military honours. For his meritorious service, Turowicz was honoured with many awards including the Sitara-i-Pakistan, the Tamgha-i-Pakistan, the Sitara-i-Khidmat, the Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam, the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the Abdus Salam Award in Aeronautical Engineering and the ICTP Award in Space Physics. The Pakistan Air Force placed a memorial in honour of Air Commodore Turowicz at the PAF Museum while Suparco established the Wladyslaw Turowicz Space Complex in Lahore.

While the Polish pilots rendered yeoman services to the RPAF and later PAF fighter command and the technical services, some pilots and technicians joined the air transport command of the fledgling air force. Squadron Leader Wolanski commanded the prestigious No 6 Squadron, which is one of the oldest air force squadrons of the Subcontinent.

Squadron Leader Wolanski’s command extended from December 1948 to March 1949. Every Pakistani pilot knows him and his achievements. He supervised extensive and very daring night drop missions in the beleaguered Kashmir Valley using the intrepid but outdated Douglas Dakota DC-3 aircraft. Most of the sorties were conducted through the hubs of Risalpur and Peshawar. Under Squadron Leader Wolanski’s auspicious command, 437 air drop sorties were conducted at the challenging Bunji, Astor, Gilgit, Burzal and Skardu drop zones.

During his command, the Prime Minister and Defence Minister Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan visited the squadron and lauded its services to the nation, especially under the command of Squadron Leader Wolanski.

It is also a historic landmark that during the tenure of command of Squadron Leader Wolanski, Gilgit airfield was completed on 22 February 1949 and the bold Polish Squadron Commander landed the first aircraft on the tricky Gilgit airfield, which still remains treacherous and has claimed a number of aircraft accidents during landing.

The Polish contribution to Pakistan Air Force is a matter of pride for the rank and file of this fighting force and speaks volumes for the bravery and enterprising skills of the pioneering Polish officers and men, who helped establish

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Pakistan, Turkey Tighten Ties With First Corvette Launch The PNS Babur is the first of four corvettes being built for the Pakistani Navy by Turkish shipbuilders.

The Turkish-made Pakistani frigate Babur launches earlier this month. (Turkish MoD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan, Turkey Tighten Ties With First Corvette Launch The PNS Babur is the first of four corvettes being built for the Pakistani Navy by Turkish shipbuilders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUCKLAND: The Aug. 15 launch of its new PNS Babur corvette from a Turkish shipyard marks a major step in a wide modernization effort underway for Pakistan’s Navy (PN).

Under a 2018 contract between Islamabad and Ankara, the PN will receive four new extra-large variants of the 99m-long, 2,000t Turkish Ada-class (MILGEM) corvettes, also known as the Jinnah-class. Babur — expected to be delivered and enter service with the PN in 2023 — is the first of two that are being built at Istanbul Shipyard, which already cut steel for its second ship on May 1, 2021.

The second pair are being built in Pakistan at the Karachi Shipbuilding and Engineering Work (KSEW) shipyard under a technology transfer agreement. KSEW cut steel for its first MILGEM corvette in Oct. 2020 and it is expected to be delivered in early 2024. Delivery for all four ships are due to be completed by 2025.

Details of the equipment on the MILGEM corvettes has not been disclosed, but it will have new anti-air, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons, sensors and C2 systems as well as the LM2500 gas turbine — making it one of Pakistan’s most modern vessels.

In its press release, the Turkish MoD announced that the construction of the ship represents a deepening of the ties between Turkey and Pakistan. It follows a two-day visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Islamabad in February, signifying a further strengthening of the bilateral relationship. The two Muslim countries have cooperated closely on counter-terrorism as well as defense technology. They routinely support each other on the international stage and are expected move beyond defense to enhance economic links in the future.

The corvette deal also highlights the coming of age of Turkish military shipbuilding, which has expanded dramatically over the past decade both domestically and as a growing presence on the export markets. It was announced in Dec. 2020 that Istanbul Shipyards has secured a contract from Ukraine worth just over $1 billion to deliver four MILGEM corvettes from 2026-28 to re-capitalize the Ukrainian Navy.

Pakistan has cast a wide net as it attempts a wholesale renewal of its naval power. The PN found it was limited in the contribution it could make to the international counter-piracy efforts that were established during the mid-2000s in the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa — Pakistan’s backyard — and as a result began a major modernization program.

The first step came with the introduction of the earlier Zulfiquar-class (F-22P) frigates built by China’s Hudong-Zhonghua and KSEW, which commissioned between 2008 and 2013. But the PN still needs to reinforce and replace its older ex-UK and US Navy frigates, as well as respond to the expansion of Indian naval power that followed the terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008 and Delhi’s own rivalry with Beijing in the Indian Ocean.

Islamabad is now under contract for four 134m-long Type 054A/P frigates from Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard, with the third launching earlier in the month — another military industrial tie to a key political partner.
The PN stated that the Chinese frigates will have the latest surface, subsurface and anti-air weapon systems and will also be fitted with “a range of electronic warfare, air and surface surveillance and acoustic sensors.”

This is expected to include a vertical launch system for surface-to-air missiles. The order for the four frigates was placed in 2017 and the first ship was launched in August 2020, with the second following in January 2021.

The MILGEM corvettes and Type 054 frigates will join the two Yarmook-class corvettes that entered PN service in 2020. The Yarmooks were built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in the Netherlands following an order in 2017.

The Yarmook-class corvettes are based on the company’s 91.3m-long 2,300t OPV 1900 design but are fitted with anti-air, anti-submarine, electronic warfare and point defense systems. Introduction of the Yarmook-class, with its medium helicopter and two rigid hull inflatable boats, has sparked a renaissance in the PN’s capabilities.

MILGEM CORVETTES

Milgem Class corvettes are being built for the Turkish Navy under the Turkish national warship programme known as Milgem. Eight corvettes and four F-100 Class frigates will be constructed under the programme. The new Milgem Class multimission corvettes feature stealth technologies and can perform search, rescue, patrol, observation and anti-submarine warfare operations.

The keel was laid for the first vessel, TCG Heybeliada (F-511), at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard in July 2005. Launched in September 2008, the vessel was scheduled to commission in early 2011. The second vessel in class, TCG Büyükada (F-512), was laid in September 2008. It is scheduled to be launched in October 2010 and commissioned in 2013.

The first two vessels were built at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command and remaining vessels will be constructed at private Turkish shipyards. Turkey-based STM has appointed by the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) to procure materials, services and systems for the project.

The Canadian Navy, Pakistani Navy, Ukrainian Navy and navies of South American countries have evinced interest in Milgem class warships.

The Milgem corvette has an overall length of 99m, a waterline length of 90.5m, a beam of 14.4m and a design draft of 3.6m. The displacement of the vessel is 2,000t. The ship can be fully operated at the sea state 5. It can accommodate 93 crew members, including the air crew.

Milgem corvette design

Milgem Project Office (MPO) designed and developed the vessel platform. Milgem’s design concept and mission profile is similar to the littoral combat ship (LCS-1) developed by Lockheed Martin. It features a steel hull and fragmentation resistant composite superstructure. The stealth hull design achieves low radar, magnetic, infrared and acoustic signatures.

Milgem corvette missions

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Pakistan & regional undercurrents   by Asif Haroon Raja

Pakistan & regional undercurrents  

Asif Haroon Raja

Global upheavals

 

 

Recent times have seen upheavals at the global, regional and domestic levels. At the global level, much against the expectations of a thaw in the strained relations between the US under Joe Biden and China-Russia, ego and arrogance have come in the way of the change. The US considers China to be the chief threat to its global monopoly since China’s rise has brought about a ‘tectonic’ shift in the global balance of power’. The world order has transitioned to a new power equation where the US and China are two poles with other centres of power adjusting to co-exist. Shifting power alliances and realignments currently underway portend a new power structure whose shape is yet to evolve. The pivot of geo-economics has shifted from the West to the East, where China in concert with Russia would play a key role. The Indo-Pacific policy of containment of China by the QUAD (USA, Japan, Australia, and India) is bound to fail. Similar will be the fate of the US desire to make India the policeman of South Asia through multiple defence pacts. Far-Right has gained strength in the western world while fascism and racism have heightened in the USA, Israel and India. The US policy of military adventurism has narrowed its circle of friends, while the policy of peace, friendship and shared dividends pursued by China has helped it in enhancing its influence and circle of friends.

Unresolved Palestinian issue

Gaza was once again viciously bombarded and the Al-Aqsa mosque desecrated by the Israeli forces in the holy month of Ramadan. During the 11-day slaughter and destruction, 265 Palestinians including 66 children were killed and hundreds wounded, while only 12 people were killed in Israel by the rockets fired by Hamas. The homemade rockets, however, for the first time dodged the invincible Iron Dom, which has become a cause of concern for Israel. Except for some token condemnations and protest marches, the Muslim world stood aloof. The two-state solution as envisaged in the Oslo Accord still remains a forlorn hope. 

Turbulence in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K)

Although the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K has been quietened after the secretive understanding arrived at between the DGMOs of the two arch-rivals, no breakthrough has been achieved at the state level. India is not prepared to restore the special status of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), or to lift the lockdown and stop persecuting the Kashmiris. The Modi regime has intensified its efforts to change the demography of IOK. Like the Palestinian issue, the Kashmir issue is the oldest unresolved dispute lying pending in the tray of the UN since 1948.

Cross border terrorism

Cross border terrorism against Pakistan by RAW-NDS from Afghan soil continues unceasingly. Apart from striking targets in Waziristan and Baluchistan, Johar Town in Lahore was also targeted by the combined nexus of RAW-NDS-CIA-Mossad to kill interned Hafiz Saeed who has always been viewed by India as a big threat to its security particularly in IOK because of his huge followings both sides of the LoC as well as in Punjab. Objectives were to get rid of this threat and also trigger religious Far Right backlash in Punjab. Within four days the whole network was rounded up and the masterminds identified by Punjab Police.  

Various anti-Pakistan terrorist groups like TTP, Jamaatul Ahrar Lashkar-e-Islam based in Afghanistan, Baloch rebel groups (BLA, BRA, BLF) and Sindh based separatist groups have been unified by these agencies to create trouble in provinces. At the same time, the PDM has been instigated to recommence rallies to foment political instability. The hybrid war is targeting the Pak Army and the ISI to tarnish their image.

India’s penchant for falsehood

False narratives and stories are still being woven by India’s Chronicles which was busted by the Disinformation Lab in Brussels last year. The sole purpose of India’s media war is to disrepute Pakistan and its institutions. The latest cooked up story is the imaginary plot of some senior Pak Army officers to assassinate Gen Qamar Bajwa. It’s a clear indication that Indian military leadership is fearful of him and see him as a big threat to their sinister plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other woolly story circulated by Indian media is about the drone attacks on the Indian airbase in Jammu, which have been pinned on Pakistan. Logically the two bombs allegedly dropped on the airbase should have destroyed it including the warplanes and helicopters parked in the aprons and on the runway. Interestingly, the bombs could only make two small holes in one of the barracks and didn’t cause any human or material damage which itself speaks of the lunacy of the allegation made. The purpose was to deflect the attention of the world from its fiasco in Lahore where RAW was caught with its pants down, to create another sensation, hide its atrocities in IOK, and to win the sympathies of the world. It backfired since India once again failed to substantiate its accusations.

Yet another bizarre concoction that was floated by India was about the spy drone flying over Indian Embassy in Islamabad. For argument sake, even if it is accepted as true, what was so strange about the drone flying within its own territory? While levelling this wonky complaint, India forgot that its spy drones have been repeatedly crossing deep inside AJK to photograph our posts and deployments along the LoC and in depth, and every intruding drone was shot down. This year, three intrusions were carried out.           

India’s quandaries

The belligerence of Modi and his hawks against Pakistan have considerably mellowed down because of multiple factors. Its venture of integrating disputed IOK and promulgation of anti-Indian Muslim laws have backfired. The Sikh movement together with Kissan Tehriq and the Naxalite movement has become existential threats. Covid-19 has spun out of control and the daily death rate is the highest in the world. It has plummeted India’s rising economy into negative and BJP’s popularity has declined as gauged from the results of recent by-elections.  Seculars in India have joined hands with the minorities to confront BJP’s fascism and racism.

Externally, India has suffered several setbacks. India’s plan to annex Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) was disrupted by China by taking control of important heights across the LAC in the Himalayas from where the PLA dominates the lone supply route to the KKH and GB. It is now faced with a twin threat for the first time. While Afghanistan has slipped out of its hands, it has also lost Iran after its ouster from Chahbahar and railway projects.

Both the US and Israel are unhappy with India over its poor performance against China, and its failure to accomplish any of the objectives against Pakistan. More and more voices of criticism are now heard in the West after exposure of scandal of India’s Chronicles, Goswami WhatsApp chat, continued lockdown of Kashmiris since August 5, 2019, denial of basic rights and demographic change.

Other regional countries

Iran has snuggled away from India and has come into the loop of China after the latter signed a $480 billion long term agreement with Iran.

While there is a thaw in Pak-Iran relations, Saudi Arabia and UAE have restored old ties with Pakistan and the former plans to install an oil refinery at Gwadar.

Pakistan has got closer to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, some Central Asian States and is fast improving its relations with Russia and African countries.  

Situation in Afghanistan

The US has been forced to end the 20 years’ war in Afghanistan, which is a telling reminder of its failed policies. Pakistan played a pivotal role in bringing the Taliban and the US to the negotiating table and signing the historic Doha agreement as well as in starting an intra-Afghan dialogue to arrive at a political settlement. While Trump was keen to pull out occupying troops by May 1 this year, Biden, influenced by the spoilers of peace, had second thoughts and was inclined to extend the date of exit. In the face of a rise in attacks by the Taliban, he had to announce in April that the withdrawal would be completed by Sept 11. The bulk of US-NATO troops have already withdrawn, and 7 military bases including Bagram vacated and handed over to the ANSF. Reportedly, the withdrawal will be completed by end of August if not earlier, but the US intends to keep a small contingent of about 650 personnel in the Kabul military base for the protection of its diplomats in the US Embassy and probably for technical support to the ANA.

The Taliban will not accept the presence of a single foreign soldier and have also not welcomed Turkey’s offer of taking over the security of Kabul airport. Washington has requested Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to temporarily house around 9000 Afghan drivers, translators and workers employed in Bagram airbase and their families. The Biden administration has pledged to expedite immigration visas for the Afghans who worked with the US forces, but the visa seekers are desperate to fly to safe havens at the earliest. To support the shaky regime in Kabul and the vacillating ANSF which lacks the capacity to confront the Taliban, Biden promised financial assistance to the visiting Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah.

The US is also urgently in need of a military base outside Afghanistan, supposedly for counterterrorism against Al-Qaeda, Daesh and the Taliban. With the fizzling out of Ladakh as a base, the US persuaded Pakistan to provide a military base and besides promising some goodies, it used coercive tactics with the help of FATF and IMF but Pakistan firmly refused. Imran Khan stated that Pakistan is ready to cooperate with the US for peace and development of Afghanistan but not for war and conflict. Air corridor and land routes have been made available till the completion of the withdrawal of US-NATO troops. The three Central Asian states have also refused to provide military bases to the US because of Russian influence.

The desire for a military base outside Afghanistan after losing the war and the stated purpose of counter-terrorism is ludicrous. Al-Qaeda and ISIS were CIA creations. Obama had made a declaration in 2012 that the Al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan had been effectively disrupted, dismantled and destroyed. Factually, the bulk of Al-Qaeda operatives had shifted to Arabian Peninsula in 2004 after the Bush administration opened the second front in Iraq in March 2003. More than 600 Al-Qaeda leaders and operatives were caught by Pak security forces and handed over to the CIA who were shifted to Gitmo. So, against which Al-Qaeda the new US administration want to carry out counter-terrorism?

As regards ISIS, after using it in Iraq and Syria, sizeable numbers of its fighters were airlifted in helicopters from the Middle East by CIA-RAW to Nangarhar in Afghanistan in 2014. After marrying them with Jamaatul Ahrar, an offshoot of TTP, they were pitched against the Taliban and also launched into Baluchistan and Karachi. After the Doha agreement, most of the attacks on civil targets were the doings of Daesh, but the spoilers blamed the Taliban to disrepute them and the peace agreement. Lastly, the US has no moral right to carry out counter-terrorism against the victorious Taliban with whom it has signed a peace agreement and the Taliban are restraining themselves from attacking the foreign targets.  

Having lost the war and forced to withdraw, and failing to acquire a military base, the only option left with the spoilers of peace is to resort to dirty tricks to keep war-torn Afghanistan simmering in the cauldron of instability and insecurity. India and the puppet regime in Kabul whose days are numbered are fully involved in the game of USA. This is the only way to lessen their pangs of shame and humiliation. They will make all-out efforts to create as many hurdles and problems for the Taliban to ensure that they fail in restoring peace and order in the country.

With this aim in mind, the losers are frenetically circulating frightening scenarios and painting the Taliban as man-eating beasts, once again on the verge of snatching power. They are scaring the regional countries that in case of takeover by the Taliban and establishment of Islamic Emirate, all hell will break loose and it will spell disaster for the people of Afghanistan and for its neighbours. Influenced by the propaganda, Russia, China, Central Asian States, Iran as well as Pakistan are keen that a broad-based Republic regime is established in Kabul and are uncomfortable with the idea of Islamic Emirate.   

While upholding this stance, seemingly they ignore certain historical facts and ground realities. Soon after toppling the Taliban regime led by Mulla Omar in Nov 2001, the US spent $ 3 billion to form a Northern Alliance heavy regime in Kabul led by President Hamid Karzai. It accommodated all the notorious warlords and drug barons. The puppet regime ruled at a stretch till Aug 2016, after which an unnatural unity regime of Ashraf Ghani-Dr. Abdullah was formed, in spite of their incompetence and corruption are still in power, and wants to remain in power in future as well. The two regimes completely failed to bring peace and prosperity to the country, which had remained peaceful, stable and crime-free during the 5-year rule of the Taliban.  The Taliban achieved this feat because of the imposition of the Islamic system based on justice.

Stability couldn’t be achieved by the US-installed regimes in spite of the US spending $ 1.5 trillion. Throughout the period of occupancy, the country saw bloodshed, death and destruction. The US never made sincere efforts to build Afghanistan, eliminate poverty and illiteracy, provide jobs and make the lives of the people comfortable. Peace talks with the Taliban in 2011 and the opening of a political office in Doha in 2013 were ruses to divide the Taliban movement and not to restore peace. Even after the Doha agreement in Feb 2019, the spoilers have been stoking instability in Afghanistan to find an excuse to delay the exit of occupying forces.

The US-NATO-ANA forces were not showering flowers on the Afghans during their longest war, but raining molten lava causing over 5 lacs civil casualties. About 5000 ill-clad, ill-equipped ragtag resistance forces were kept on the run for 20 years at a stretch. It was a nightmare for them and they tried to survive in hell. Pakistan which was forced to fight the US war suffered the most, but India as well as those in power drew maximum benefits from the US largesse.

With this background, what greater calamity can befall upon the Afghan Pashtuns in general and the Taliban in particular after the departure of occupying forces whose three generations have seen nothing but war? How will it become more unstable, lawless and insecure under the rule of the Taliban which has learnt lessons, gained maturity and experience, and know the pitfalls of a civil war?

In 1990, there were 7 Mujahideen groups of various ethnicities with no unity of command under one ruler. Conversely, the Taliban movement has remained united and focused, and it saw three Ameers, Mullah Omar, Mullah Mansour and incumbent Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada succeeding each other with no discord. Haqqanis under Sirajuddin remain loyal to the Ameer.

It is befuddling that Pakistan is toeing the US line to let the Ghani-Abdullah regime share power with the Taliban under a Republic despite having suffered the most in the US imposed war on terror due to the perverse role of ANA heavy regime in Kabul which is in collusion with India.                        

White House and the Pentagon once again tried to win over Pakistani leaders and officials. Given her long-term strategic interest as well as past experience, Pakistan cannot afford to even think of aligning herself with a power that is openly at loggerheads with China, Russia and Iran, and strategically aligned with India. Pakistan’s nuclear program and the CPEC are eyesores for the US. More than that, it will be a mortal sin to betray the people of Afghanistan once again. Only fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Moreover, it must not be forgotten that the U.S still has unfinished business in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s contrasting relations with the USA and China

Our Western friends never provided a security umbrella against expansionist India, and wasted our precious seven decades by making Pakistan run on a treadmill and obstructed its economic take-off. Pakistan-US relations overshadowed by mistrust and unequal partnership are still transactional in nature. The sword of the FATF hangs over the head in spite of Pakistan fulfilling 26 of its 27 points. Pakistan Foreign Minister rightly questioned whether the FATF is a technical forum or political? The IMF loan has become more burdensome after Saudi Arabia and UAE at the behest of the US took back their loans and facility of deferred oil payment.

Conversely, the spectrum of the Pakistan-China relationship spread over 70 years has become multifaceted. The CPEC which is the flagship of $ 1.3 trillion BRI has elevated the relationship to an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. The CPEC which is equally beneficial to both has bound China to help in safeguarding Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Successful completion of the CPEC by 2030 will realise the dream of Pakistanis for a prosperous, secure and self-reliant country.  

Domestic squabbling

Internally, the ruling PTI regime is up against formidable challenges. So far it has not been able to steady the dwindling economy or fulfil any of its lofty promises. Notwithstanding slight improvements made in the macro-economics, at the micro-level, no relief has been provided to the masses. Inflation and price hike are at a new high which has frustrated the people. Its lack of performance has diminished the charisma of Imran Khan as could be seen from the results in the by-elections in all the four provinces. It gave space to the PDM to push the government against the wall, but its disunity has given a welcome breather to the rulers who are also faced with internal cracks because of the emergence of a new group under Jahangir Tareen. This group has made the position of the PTI in Punjab and in the Centre tenuous.

Political polarization has blocked the government’s efforts to carry out essential reforms and it is left with no choice but to rule by presidential ordinances. Sharif family continues to pose a political threat since the PML-N vote bank in Punjab remains intact. The PPP under Bilawal in Sindh is exploiting the provincial autonomy under the 18th Amendment and has adopted a posture of non-cooperation. Bilawal and Sindh Chief Minister are flying to Washington to offer their good services if brought to power. Disturbing law and order in rural-urban Sindh and in Baluchistan where the foreign paid proxies have again stepped up terrorism, and negativism of social media are causes of consternation for the government.    

Covid-19 is another big challenge for the ruling regime which has slowed down its development and socio-economic programs. It handled the first and second waves of the pandemic intelligently and is handling the third wave skillfully. The fourth wave is reportedly round the corner. China has extended full support to tackle the disease and provided vaccines free of cost. Now Pakistan has started manufacturing the vaccines locally, which will speed up the vaccination campaign. But the majority of the people living in rural areas are averse to vaccination and see it as a ploy of Dajjali forces to depopulate the world.

What is encouraging is fast track construction of the hydel power projects including the Mohmand dam which would greatly help in ridding the nation from the curse of the IPPs and would provide cheap electricity and overcome water crisis. It will be very satisfying if the GDP rises to 3.8% to 4% as assured by the new Finance Minister. The graph of exports, revenue collection and remittances from the expatriates are on the increase.

Pakistan needs to learn from China and take concrete steps to eradicate corruption, crimes and poverty, to increase exports, improve governance, reform the state institutions, boost up agriculture and industry, and encourage the private sector.

The writer is retired Brig Gen, war veteran, he took part in the epic battle of Hilli, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, his sixth book is under publication, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC PESS. asifharoonraja@gmail.com       

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Indian warmongering & Pakistan’s enhanced deterrence By Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan

Indian warmongering & Pakistan’s enhanced deterrence

Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRIME Minister of Pakistan and the COAS General Qamar Bajwa have seriously highlighted constant “warmongering” and “imminent” martial “escalations” of India to the regional as well as international countries. Both leaders warned India for its “covert” designs and war preparedness against Pakistan and assured a “crushing” and “befitting” response in any case of aggression and violation of “territorial” and “national” sovereignty. In this time of need, the government of Pakistan has once again secured a firm “assurance” from its biggest “strategic” partner China during the closing ceremony of Pak-China Air Force Joint Drill “Shaheen IX” “The enemy of Pakistan is the enemy of China and attack on Pakistan is an attack on China”. It showed depth of Pak-China iron friendship to deter any external aggression and to maintain “equitable” regional peace and harmony. This announcement has destabilized Indian hegemonic dreams of strategic expansion.

On its part, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), being custodian of Pakistan’s skies, has now showcased extended production of the most advanced variant of JF-17 Thunder Block-III, a 4.5 generation aircraft with far more advanced technology than Indian Air Force Rafael jets. The PAF’s announcement has serious regional repercussions. It will further strengthen and enhance Pakistan’s air defence, tactical and operational preparedness and, above all, much needed martial diversity and maneuverability in the days to come. It will equalize Indian so called Air Force supremacy or obsession of Rafael war jet. Most recently, the Pakistan Air Force has received 14 state-of-the-art indigenously developed dual seat JF-17B Thunder Block-II fighter jets to the air force which further consolidated national deterrence. The handing over ceremony was held in Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra graced by Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and newly appointed Chinese Ambassador H E Nong Rong along with high officials of Chinese Aviation authorities and industry.

While addressing the ceremony, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan termed the inclusion of JF-17 Thunder Block-II as “significant” milestone achieved in the national history of Pakistan. He labelled it one of the most tested battles aircraft having modern avionics and electronics much superior than Indian borrowed French Rafael war jets. He assured that JF-17 Block-III will create PAF supremacy over IAF. He also announced “serial” production of PAF’s most advanced 4.5 generation JF-17 Thunder Block-III jets. He appreciated tireless efforts of the members of Aircraft Manufacturing Factory (AMF) and the PAC involvement in the development of the advanced generation of the dual seater JF-17B Thunder and Block-III jets versions. He rightly pinpointed constant onslaught of COVID-19 in the completion of JF-17 Block-II and delay of JF-17 Thunder Block-III during 2020. The Air Chief Marshal highly appreciated valuable contribution of PAC Kamra in developing the JF-17 Thunder Block-II despite all odds during 2020. He hailed joint working and unfading commitment of the PAC and Chinese engineers, technicians and designers for timely completion of the JF-17 Thunder Block-II. He commended the entire team and PAC leadership including PAC Managing Director (AMF) for their concerted efforts to meet the project deadlines. He rightly termed the PAC the “backbone” of PAF operationalization and channelization which also displayed their capabilities to meet challenges with limited resources at the optimum level.
The Air Chief also thanked the Ministry of Defence Production and Chinese Aviation industry for their continuous support. He was of the opinion that dual seater of JF-17 Thunder Block-II and the production of its extended Block-III mark the achievement of a significant milestone as it will play an important role on the rapidly changing geostrategic dimensions of the region and beyond. He assured that JF-17 Thunder Block-III would be a state-of-the-art war jet to cope with any external aggression from IAF in the days to come. He said that development of further progress of the JF-17 Thunders would not be possible without the help of Chinese experts, technicians, designers and planners which has definitely further solidified Pak-China defence cooperation and, of course, iron friendship. To conclude he highly appreciated befitting, active, positive and productive role of the mass media in the projection of the CPEC and development of the JF-17 Thunder. He advised the mass media to continue their positive role in this regard. He resolved that PAF has already vividly reflected its capabilities having every ready response against any aggression of the enemy with a crushing magnitude.
On his part, PAC Chairman Air Marshal Syed Nauman Ali briefed the participants about the JF-17 Thunder Block-II and start of production of its Block-III. He termed it shining symbol of cooperation between Pakistan and China. He highlighted diversified but integrated rich expertise of PAC technicians and experts in the timely completion of the said project against all odds. He appreciated Chinese experts’ positive and contributory role in the development of the JF-17 Thunder Block-II. He thanked extraordinary support of the Chinese Aviation Industry and its associated sectors for the further development of PAC in terms of innovations, modern technologies and, above all, exchange programmes. He resolved that PAC would stand committed to fulfil the sacred duty of augmenting fighting force and strengthen to defend the country’s aerial sovereignty.
On his part the newly appointed Chinese Ambassador H.E. Nong Rong highly appreciated achievements of the PAC in terms of JF-17 Thunder Block-II and defence cooperation. He termed it a perfect model of Pak-China Friendship due to which Pakistan is now self-sufficient to produce modern war jets in the country. He upheld that inclusion of latest version of JF-17 Thunder 17 will further strengthen the PAF capabilities and start of production of its futuristic version Block-III would bring paradigm shift in the region. Most recently, Pakistan Navy Air Defence Units have also demonstrated their combat readiness through live firing of surface to air missiles (SAMs) which showcased its modern persuasion of the Pakistan Navy.
Interestingly, Chinese media has also reported supply of 50 Wing Loong-II armed drones to Pakistan which would be nightmare for Indian ground formations in high altitude areas as Indian military does not have the ability to respond to the modern weaponry. The Wing Loong-II armed drone has the ability to decimate the enemy defences and conventional armour due to which Indian ground formations would be unable to parry an attack by a large number of armed drones. Being a prominent regional expert of China I foresee that in case of any Indian aggression the PAF would be front line of national defence in which patriotic spirits, unmatched human capital and last but not the least ever readiness of the PAF and armed forces of Pakistan would play a vital role.
—The writer is Director, Geopolitics/Economics Member Board of Experts, CGSS.

Courtesy –Pakistan Observer

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Pakistan’s Victory in 1965 War

Pakistan won 65 War with national unity, heroic battlefield performances: Brig. Mahmood

Senior defence analyst and former Secretary Security Fata, Brigadier (Retd), Mahmood Shah said here Tuesday that Pakistan won the 1965 War against India due to national unity and heroic battlefield performance of the armed forces

PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 1st Sep, 2020 ):Senior defence analyst and former Secretary Security FATA (now KPK province), Brigadier (Retd), Mahmood Shah said here Tuesday that Pakistan won the 1965 War against India due to national unity and heroic battlefield performance of the armed forces.

Talking to APP, he said 6th September was being celebrated as defence day of Pakistan every year with national enthusiasm as on this day in 1965, India had attacked Pakistan in darkness, which was repulsed by our valiant armed forces with support of the nation.

He said the day reminds us of the matchless sacrifices rendered by our armed forces and unprecedented unity demonstrated by the nation that repulsed the enemy attack and safeguarded the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the homeland.

He said the whole nation along with their valiant military forces stood up when India attacked Pakistan in darkness on September 6, 1965 without a warning or a declaration of war.

He said India’s attack was a complete violation of UN charter, all international laws, conventions and bilateral peace agreements.

Brigadier Mahmood Shah recalled that the enemy had launched attacks on West Pakistan on a wide front, from Sialkot, Lahore to Kasur aimed at to disperse Pakistani forces to achieve its nefarious objectives. But India completely failed in its aims.

He said although we were outnumbered by the Indian forces that comprises armored, artillery and infantry divisions backed by Indian Air Force, yet Pakistani forces had successfully repulsed all attacks of the Indian ground forces with unprecedented chivalry and indomitable courage.

He said the invaders appeared to have been under the impression that they would not meet much opposition in securing their nefarious objectives including occupation of the historic city of Lahore.

He said the promise, which an Indian general made to his officers that he would meet them at Lahore Gymkhana Club, had been thwarted by Pakistan armed forces.

He said Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed (Nishan-i-Haider) fought bravely and defended the strategic BRB canal near Lahore for five days before he embraced shahadat when he was hit by a shell of the enemy tank on 10th September 1965.

 

Brig Mahmood Shah said officers and Jawans of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force besides our artillery fought bravely and defeated the enemy in the 1965 War.

He recalled that most of the Indian officers of 1965 war had served with Pakistani commanders during the second World War before partition and we knew about their so called fighting abilities and wars skills that helped our forces to foil their evil designs in the 1965 War.

During the War, Pakistan had occupied about 1,617 square miles of Indian territory and we were in strong position to occupy Delhi as well if the war had continued for few more days as morale of the enemy troops were completely shattered after repeated defeats on all fronts, he recalled.

He said Squadron Leader Muhammad Mahmood Alam shot down two enemy hunter aircraft and damaged three others on 6th September and destroyed five more enemy hunter aircraft in less than a minute on 7th September, which was unprecedented in the history of Pakistan Air Force.

He said the motivational songs of the legendary Madam Noor Jehan such as “Ay Watan ke Sajelay Jawano” and “Rang Laye Ga Shaheedo ka Laho” aired by Radio Pakistan had infused the spirit of patriotism and national fervor amongst Pakistanis regardless to their ethnicity, religion, caste, colour or political affiliation during the 1965 War.

He said on February 27, 2019, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighting jets shot down two Indian warplanes inside the Line of Control, one crashed in Azad Kashmir while the other in Indian Illegally Occupied Jummu and Kashmir besides, capturing the Indian pilot, which proved the high-level of preparedness, professionalism and strength of PAF.

He said the February 27 successful action of PAF had clearly testified that Pakistan armed forces were fully capable to give a befitting response to India, in case of any misadventure by it in the future.

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