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Archive for category Pakistan Army

Pakistan’s MIRVs prowess Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Pakistan Observer

Pakistan’s MIRVs prowess



Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal



THE sustainability and durability of sovereign defense necessitate perpetual contemplation of the making of modern strategy, the invention of the new weapons, and investment in the defense industry. Pakistan’s mastery in the multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) technology would be having a constructive contribution in its sovereign defense arrangement of the state.
Indeed, Ababeel ballistic missile invention and testing manifest that Pakistani military planners are cognizant of the fundamentals of the sovereign defense. Pakistan conducted successfully the first ever test of its new medium-range, surface-to-surface, ballistic missile Ababeel on January 24, 2017. The Ababeel missile is a new entry in Pakistan’s missile arsenal. It uses the MIRV to deliver multiple conventional and nuclear warheads. The MIRV is a very sophisticated missile technology. Except for a few technologically advanced nations (United States, Russian Federation and China) majority of ballistic missile capable states, lack MIRV capability. Though India did not conduct the test of a ballistic missile having MIRV features, yet it is capable of employing Agni-III and Agni-V for the MIRVs mission. Moreover, India’s Defence Research and Development Organization had already demonstrated India’s capability to introduce MIRVs in its missile arsenal. It had launched multiple satellites from one booster rocket.

The Ababeel missile has a maximum range of 1,367 miles and is capable of carrying multiple warheads. Photo courtesy of Pakistan’s Inter Service Public Relations





The MIRVs is an important force multiplier Vehicle because it provides an option to deliver multiple warheads with a single missile. Hence, it enables the striking power to engage multiple targets with a high level of precision with a few missiles. It simultaneously disrupts or destroys the radars of the adversary. It is very effective against the state, which deploys ballistic missile defense systems. It was rightly opined that: “If a state is worried about the survivability of its limited missile force and anticipates significant attrition of that force by the adversary, MIRVs provide multiple warheads with which to retaliate for every missile that does survive.” Precisely, it is a cost-effective weapon to defeat missile shield.
The Ababeel with a range of 2,200 kilometers — three times the distance between Islamabad and New Delhi — having the capacity to engage multiple targets and thereby it would be very lethal for the Indian defenses. Michael Krepon rightly pointed out that: “If New Delhi decides to absorb the costs of ballistic missile defenses for high-value targets, along with the radars to accompany BMD deployments, these expenses will be in vain.” In simple words, Ababeel is a dependable ballistic missile to neutralize India’s ballistic missile defense shield.
The development of MIRV manifests Islamabad’s steady progression from counter-value to counter-force targeting potential for the sake of credible full spectrum nuclear deterrence strategy. Ankit Panda pointed out: “a MIRVed Pakistani strategic capability may stand as a powerful deterrent to India’s retaliatory capabilities, freeing Pakistan up to use battlefield nuclear weapons as a war-terminating strategy without concerning itself with escalation to the strategic level.” Indeed, the MIRVed strategic capability would enhance the National Command Authority’s confidence in continuing the centralized command and control system of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons
In the parlance of strategic theories, an introduction of MIRVs would be having both stabilizing and destabilizing consequences. The general perception is that the MIRVs in Pakistani arsenal sustain the prevailing strategic parity with New Delhi, which the latter desires to destabilize. If history is a reliable guide, with the testing of Ababeel, India is likely to do so as well. India’s placing of MIRVs atop its ballistic missile would intensify the current costly arms race between the belligerent neighbors. In theory, an arms race is perilous for the strategic stability. Therefore, it’s imperative for both Islamabad and New Delhi to act rationally and negotiate bilateral strategic arms control treaty for the durability of strategic stability in the subcontinent.
Pakistan has been endeavoring to sustain the credibility of its deterrence strategy. Therefore, it is currently investing in ensuring the second-strike capability and also improving the penetrating potential of its nuclear-capable vehicles. The development of both Babur-3, submarine launched cruise missile and Ababeel would relieve Islamabad from “use-it-or-lose-it” dilemma. However, it would not be misread that Islamabad would alter its nuclear first use doctrine. The conventional asymmetry between India and Pakistan obliges the latter to retain its first use the nuclear option in its nuclear doctrine despite the progression in its second strike capability. To conclude, Islamabad’s vigilant defense planning not only withstands the strategic equilibrium between India and Pakistan but also ensures the sustainability of strategic stability in South Asia.
— The writer is Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
Email: jaspal_99@hotmail.com



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IHS Jane’s 360 DSA 2016: Pakistan bullish on JF-17 sales By Richard D Fisher Jr, Kuala Lumpur – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

A Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder at the 2015 Paris Air Show. Source: IHS/Patrick Allen

Despite a high-profile reversal for the JF-17 fighter in Malaysia last December, officials from the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) attending the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2016 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur remain optimistic about regional sales and offered details about the fighter co-developed with China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group.
In December 2015 Malaysia’s high commissioner to Pakistan said Malaysia was considering purchasing the JF-17 and might make a decision “very soon”. Malaysia’s defense minister denied this the following day.

Nevertheless, PAC officials attending DSA remain optimistic about a future sale to Malaysia. Myanmar has been widely reported as the first JF-17 customer.

Indian Propaganda After Failure of LCA

PAC officials also countered recent negative reports about the JF-17 in Western media. They denied a JF-17 had broken up in flight due to faulty wing design, as had been reported earlier this year. According to press reports, India recently advanced criticism of the JF-17 to lobby against the JF-17’s sale to Sri Lanka.

Regarding future JF-17 development, on multiple occasions Pakistani officials have affirmed their commitment to the 8.7-ton-thrust Klimov RD-93 turbofan. However, officials speaking to IHS Jane’s at DSA 2016 said that for the goal of advancing aircraft performance, they were open to considering China’s 9-ton-thrust WS-13 or the 9.4-ton-thrust Klimov RD-33MK.

Russian industry sources at DSA 2016 noted that the WS-13 remains at an early stage of development and has an estimated service life of 2,000 hours compared with 4,000 hours for the RD-33MK.

PAC officials also confirmed that the new JF-17 refuelling probe design, recently seen in China, will be the configuration for the JF-17. These officials also noted that Pakistan has an anti-ship variant of the new China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC)-developed hypersonic CM-400 air-to-surface missile. They said a twin-seat JF-17 would begin test flights in late 2016 or early 2017.

Courtesy: IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

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Lt Gen Tariq Khan’s Superb Riposte to Professional Ranter Javaid Hashmi: A Nawaz Sharif’s Mian Mithu & Mole

From Lt Gen Tariq Khan:

Of late, a politician by the name of Javed Hashmi has taken it upon himself to accuse me of planning some sort of a coup in my time and day. He has been saying this in the past as well and I usually ignored his childish tirades on the grounds that having suffered a stroke he is probably mentally challenged and knows not what he says. His age was another factor. But his diatribe continues and even worse than before. Had it just been my person, I would allow this to fade away as most nonsense does but this involves a whole institution, belittles its leadership and defames it in the eyes of the people for no reason and as such needs a response. I have already asked the authorities concerned to deal with it officially and they have confirmed that they would.
It would suffice to state that a man involved in the Mehran Scandal and jailed for treason earlier in a similar case of defaming the Army through false allegations is standing true to habit and his personal character. Being of dubious moral standing he is passing judgment based on his own low standards. I would like to inform all that I do not know this man nor wish to know him in the future. I have never known any politician for that matter nor discussed anything with anyone in politics. Never visited a politicians house nor invited any to mine. I have never attended any celebration, ceremony, marriage or funeral with politicians in attendance. This is not because I think of politicians any lesser than myself but simply because my life, its conduct, and its meaning never needed me to engage with politicians. As such these stories that Javed Hashmi is coming up with are a figment of his own imagination and I am surprised that his mental handicap is being exploited by the media. It is an obvious case of downright false hood, childish accusations and manufactured narratives fed to a retard with intent to defame the Army. If this gentleman is of sound mental health then his accusations make him a liar lacking in self-respect. I would request for a government level inquiry into this matter to put this fellow’s rubbish to rest.
Please share this so that all know how Army bashing is done at the behest of some unscrupulous scoundrels.

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Duty on Eid-A Pakistani Soldier’s Story! BY Fahad Malik

Duty on Eid-A Pakistani Soldier’s story!







Fahad Malik










Everyone is preparing for Eid. Eid-ul-Azha is now very close. Muslims all around the world are gathering to Makkah, for their Hajj, those who are selected by God, to visit his home. And those who were away and those who were not invited to Makkah, all are planning to visit their families, and go back to their homes. But the luxury of spending their Eids with families is for all except Us! Yes, I am a soldier who is deployed at NWA in ZarbEAzb, and this is going to be my second Eid without my family and away from home.

                  I am married, Happily married indeed, and now we have a 2 year old son, though I didn’t see him from last 6 months. Married, two years ago, and I had just two Eids with my family. Two with Family, and two without family. Whenever, it is such an occasion, and I am not home, I just spend my day in reminding myself those days, those occasions I spent with my family in the comfort of my home. Kitchen was the favorite place for me, where my wife and my mother were busy in preparing Haleem, Kheer, and Kabab’s, Tikka’s in case of Bari Eid.

                  Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated in remembrance of the great sacrifice by Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH), but with the progression of time, the essence of that sacrifice seems to have gotten lost. Yes, we forgot what Sunnat-e-Ibrahimi was, but right now, keeping the debate of Qurabani-becoming-fashion aside, I am talking about the Sacrifices, we have forgotten. Yes, The sacrifice of staying away from your own family to keep the rest of the country safe. The sacrifice of staying in camouflage all the day, when the rest of the country is busy in wearing new dresses. The sacrifice of bearing hundreds of bullets on your chest, when the rest of the country is busy in eating chest pieces? Those who are sitting on borders, those like me who are sitting in the hard areas, in the operating areas, on the Eid days, why do people forget them? Why not a single word about them, who postpone their Eid Leaves just to stay on duty?

                  Neither your politicians, nor your parliamentarians, sacrifice their sleep for your safety. It’s a soldier, who stays awake, to let you sleep peacefully. It’s a soldier, who shows selfless duty on these national “holidays”, just to make your holiday safe! When I was at PMA, my drill sergeant taught me, that there is not a single holiday for a soldier. I always thought that he is joking. But now, when I am here in the open sun, where we have terrorists around, now I believe that there is literally not a single holiday for a soldier. There are hundreds of Us, who are here in ZarbEAzb, and on Line of control, and on borders, but no one remembers them. Those who risk their lives in the treacherous mountains away from their families, they are the unsung heroes! This Eid, do remember them!

-Fahad Malik

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Afghan endgame meshed in uncertainties

Afghan endgame meshed in uncertainties

Asif Haroon Raja

Almost thirteen years ago, the US led coalition forces started raining tons of molten from the air on October 7, 2001 on sovereign and peaceful Afghanistan. Its sin was that the ruling regime had allegedly sheltered the mastermind of 9/11 Osama bin Laden and had the temerity to refuse to hand him over without providing proof of his complicity in the crime. No Afghan was involved in the attacks on World Trade Centre and Pentagon. images-39Daisy cutters, cruise missiles, cluster bombs and other lethal ordnance were used abundantly to break the will of the Taliban fighters. Ground operation spearheaded by Indian-trained Northern Alliance was backed by carpet air/artillery bombing, tank fire and gunship helicopters.

While Tony Blair was the most vociferous supporter of war, Pakistan was coerced to ditch the Taliban and support the invasion. Month long air and ground bombing devastated the country. In order to save the country and its people from further ruination, ruling Taliban regime under Mullah Omar took a wise decision to carry out a tactical withdrawal and deal with the invaders at an opportune time. The calculated withdrawal was however trumpeted by the invaders as a complete victory.

In order to form a government of its choice in Kabul under string-puppet Hamid Karzai, the US doled out $1.2 billion to win over the loyalties of war criminals and warlords including ruthless Gen Rashid Dostum. The US kept pumping billions of dollars on propaganda war to demonize the Taliban, to sell its brand of democracy and constitution, win over the confidence of Afghans through development works, make the Karzai led regime functional and to train and equip non-Pashtun heavy ANSF, which could assist the ISAF in combating Taliban/al-Qaeda threat. Colossal amount was also spent to pay 80,000 security contractors and for the covert war against Pakistan.

In short, rather than taking Afghan Pashtuns on board as suggested by Pakistan, all possible means were employed to bring the resistance forces comprising Pashtuns down on their knees. This discriminatory act impelled overwhelming majority of Pashtuns residing on both sides of the Durand Line to gravitate towards the Taliban. Opening of another war front in Iraq in 2003 despite the international outcry was a big mistake. It gave a godsend opportunity to the Taliban to return to their strongholds in eastern and southern Afghanistan and start the guerrilla war.

When all efforts failed and the Taliban kept gaining strength despite all the odds against them, the US picked up Pakistan as a convenient scapegoat and held it squarely responsible for all its failings. Karzai lent strength to the indo-US propaganda war and blamed Pakistan that it was in league with the Taliban. Trusting India and distrusting Pakistan, which had helped the US winning the first Afghan war, was another blunder made by USA. George Bush kept wholly relying on US military prowess and didn’t pay any head to Pakistan’s advice of complimenting military prong with political prong.   

Once the initiative was lost by the US led occupation force in Afghanistan in September 2009 as a consequence to military debacles in Helmand and Nuristan despite the two troop surges, hurriedly vacating forward posts in eastern and southern Afghanistan, bunkering the troops in fortified military bases and restricting the war effort to airpower only, the US never made any worthwhile efforts to recover the 65% territory it lost and to regain its upper edge. Thereon it was a downhill journey. Replacement of Gen Stanley McChrystal with Gen David Petraeus in 2010 and subsequent changes made no difference. Instead of salvaging the situation, top commanders got involved in sex scandals. Fatal casualty and injury rates kept multiplying and surge in militant attacks kept mounting all over the country.

The US/British trained non-Pashtun heavy ANSF could not match the grit of the Taliban hell-bent to push out the occupying forces, topple US installed unpopular, inefficient and corrupt regime of Hamid Karzai and to regain power. In the backdrop of fast deteriorating security situation and having understood that it was impossible to win the war, Obama took the hard decision in December 2010 to bid farewell to Afghanistan by December 2014 and forgo the high-flying dreams he and his predecessor had nurtured. He took this decision in spite of serious reservations of the US military, which egoistically insisted that it had the will and capacity to turn sure defeat into victory.

In order to show to the world that the US military had not lost heart, Gen Petraeus planned a major offensive in Kandahar in April 2011 but kept postponing it on the plea that until Pak Army cleared North Waziristan of the presence of Haqqani network (HN) and al-Qaeda, it will not be possible for him to undertake the risk. Pakistan refrained because of its multiple compulsions. To punish Pakistan for not ceding to its demand, operation ‘Get Osama’ was executed in May 2011, followed by activation of western border with the help of runaway Fazlullah.

Spectacular attacks by Taliban on most sensitive targets inside Kabul in September 2011 shook the security apparatus in Afghanistan and in sheer frustration Admiral Mike Mullen put the blame on Pakistan saying HN was the ‘veritable’ arm of ISI. In revenge, NATO launched a brutal attack on Salala Post in November 2011 forcing Pakistan to suspend military ties with Washington, close Shamsi airbase and block NATO supply routes. Worsening ties with Pakistan made the drawdown cumbersome. 

The US woes kept increasing in the following years despite restoration of ties with Pakistan and opening of supply lines in July 2012. While secret parleys between the US and Taliban for a possible political settlement stalled because of bungling of the US over prisoner swap deal in 2012, the US military was confronted with other menaces of in-house green-over-blue attacks, surge in suicide cases and PTSD cases. Waning economy and home pressure to end the futile war were other worrisome reasons to ‘turn the page’ on America’s longest war initiated by George W. Bush led neo-cons. Karzai after serving US interests faithfully became irksome and started creating trouble for the US.

2014 has proved more calamitous for the US. The Taliban have gained ascendency over 80% of Afghan territory and are so far not in any mood to negotiate a political settlement with the US despite the successful prisoner swap over on June 1, 2014. Presidential election on which the US had pinned lot of hopes has also gone awry owing to Abdullah Abdullah’s allegation that Karzai was fraudulently trying to make Ashraf Ghani win the race. Offensive launched by the Taliban in Helmand on June 19 has posed a serious challenge to the ANA. It has so far not been able to evict 800 attackers holding on to Barekzai and Bostanzai in Sangin District. Further reinforcements in far-flung Helmand will render Kabul vulnerable to HN attacks.

Although the longest war in the US history is at last winding up, endgame of Afghan venture is meshed in uncertainties. Ambitious dreams of the imperialist powers lay in tatters since nothing has proceeded in accordance with the chalked out plan and laid down objectives. While the Soviet forces managed to skip out of Afghanistan under the umbrella of Geneva Accord, no arrangement has so far been made to ensure smooth and safe exit of ISAF troops. Of the 150,000 ISAF troops, less than 33000 soldiers are now desperately looking forward to fly back home in one piece. 12000 soldiers forming part of residual force which is required to stay back till 2016 would be the unhappiest.   

Pakistan policy makers have no clue what shape Afghanistan will take in the aftermath of pullout of foreign troops in next six months. Many neighbors and distant neighbors of Afghanistan would like to fill the power vacuum in Afghanistan. In this, India, Iran, China, Russia and Pakistan are likely contenders for space. Barring Pakistan, all other competitors particularly India and Iran have an edge because of their closeness with current Northern Alliance heavy regime. The US, Israel and western powers would also back India and Iran and bolster ANSF to prevent the Taliban from recapturing power.

On the other hand, although Pakistan has a soft corner for Taliban because of multiple reasons, there is no strategic relationship between the two. In the ensuing power struggle, civil war becomes a probability. If so, outside powers will fuel bloody internecine war in which Afghanistan and Pakistan would again be the biggest losers. Much talked of strategic grouping of India, Afghanistan and Iran backed by Israel and USA and development of alternative economic corridor linking Chahbahar with Central Asia are the emerging possibilities having serious ramifications for Pakistan.

The writer is a retired Brig/war veteran, defence analyst/columnist/historian, Director MEASAC Research Centre, Director Board of Governors Thinkers Forum Pakistan, member Executive Council PESS. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

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