Our Announcements

Not Found

Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

Archive for category India

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       

No Comments

‘Creation of Bangladesh: Myths Exploded’ by Dr. Junaid Ahmad

 

 

Unfortunately, either because of time limitation or some other reason only the role played by the West Pakistani politicians, civil servants and the army in the break up of Pakistan is highlighted. In reality, much more was involved. This may become evident from the following references from my book, East Pakistan Separation: Myth and Reality.
“In 1962 he (Mujibur Rahman) wrote a letter to Pandit Nehru that was delivered by a visiting Indian in which he proposed declaring independence and staging a rebellion with Indian help in the month of February 1963: (http://www.tripurainfo.com/Info/ArchiveD.aspx?WhatId=86; see also ‘India, Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh and Pakistan’ by Shashanka Banerjee). When Nehru failed to respond he contacted the chief minister of Tripura state and went across to see him.”
“In 2010, and on the anniversary of the withdrawal on 22nd. February 2011, surviving conspirator and Deputy Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament Shawkat Ali confessed to the parliament that the charges read out to them at the Agartala case trial were accurate, stating that they formed a Shangram Parishad under Sheikh Mujib for the secession of East Pakistan (‘Agartala Conspiracy Case Was Not False’, BDNews24.com. 23 February 2011).”
“The Indian Government became more actively involved with Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman and the movement for the separation of East Pakistan soon after the formation of their foreign intelligence service, Research and Analysis Wing as part of the Indian Intelligence Bureau in 1968. As Asoka Raina describes in his book, Inside RAW: The Story of India’s Secret Service, (Vikas, New Delhi, 1981, p. 48):

 

 

 

 

‘The Bangladesh Operation possibly began a year before the actual operation was underway Even when the world got a whiff of it in the shape of Mukti Bahini, many remained unaware of RAW’s involvement. By then Phase 1 of the operation was already complete. Phase II saw the Indian forces poised for the independence of Bangladesh. In order to present a clear synopsis of the events that brought RAW into the Bangladesh Ops, one must review the intelligence activities that started soon after the formation in 1968. But by then the Indian operatives had already been in contact with the ‘pro-Mujib’ faction. A meeting convened in Agartala during 1962a3 between the IB Foreign Desk operatives and the Mujib faction gave some clear indications of what was to follow.”

“Dr Kamal Hossain, a member of the Awami League High Command and the main constitutional adviser of Sheikh Mujib, in his book, ‘Bangladesh: Quest for Freedom and Justice ‘ ( pp. 89, 91.): ‘Therefore it was decided that the position to be taken should not be an explicit declaration of independence. In order to exert pressure on Yahya, specific demands should be made and the movement sustained in support of these demands, with independence as its ultimate goal. —–
Thus although independence was clearly set as a goal and in fact, it was a declaration of independence, Bangabandhu stopped short of a formal declaration as it was clear that the Army had mobilized and had conspicuously taken up positions at different vantage points in the city.”
“According to Sultan M. Khan, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary at the time, ‘the Soviet Union was determined to break up Pakistan and play a major role in the creation of Bangladesh. One only has to recall the observation of Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister, to the Pakistan Ambassador, Jamshed Marker in Moscow, sometime earlier: ‘The game is being played for high international stakes. It has nothing to do with you. You are the victim of an objective situation.’ (Memories & Reflections of a Pakistani Diplomat, The London Centre for Pakistan Studies, London WC1X 9DH, 1997, p. 380).”

 

 

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the Story of India’s Treachery. It’s relevant today because India is now facing 67 separatist movements and loss of Arunachal Pradesh to China. 

,

No Comments

Indo-Pakistan & Indo-China flare-up

Indo-Pakistan & Indo-China flare-up

Part-1

Asif Haroon Raja

Indo-Pakistan antagonism

India and Pakistan became independent countries in 1947 but India till to-date has not reconciled to Pakistan’s existence. Kashmir which was left behind by the outgoing British as an unfinished agenda of Partition has remained a bone of contention and has bedeviled their relations. India has been defying UN resolutions giving right of self-determination to the Kashmiris on one pretext or the other for the last 72 years. Each and every Pakistani leader extended a hand of friendship but was spurned by India.

The already tense and strained relations between the two arch rivals flared up after India blatantly abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of Indian Constitution on 5 August and made the disputed Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) integral part of India. Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh were declared as the two newly created Indian Union Territories.

What it implied was conversion of Line of Control (LoC) in J&K and Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh into permanent borders. Both Pakistan and China rejected India’s claim saying it is in complete disregard of the UN resolutions and international and bilateral agreements. New Delhi, however, hastened to state that the new arrangement didn’t affect the status of LAC with China.

Fascist and Hindutva loving Narendra Modi couldn’t have gambled to take this perilous step to annoy two nuclear powers in its immediate neighborhood without a wink from USA and Israel, both having their axes to grind. He had already taken on board Arab Gulf States.

Modi couldn’t have locked down 9 million Kashmiris in IOK for 10 months and subjected them to horrendous oppression without the support of his patrons. Promulgation of anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC law in December 2019 followed by new domicile law to change the demography of Muslim dominated IOK were part of the bigger design.

Megalomaniac Modi’s madness didn’t end here. India’s civil and military leaders started hurling threats of annexing Azad J&K (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). A new map was circulated showing AJK-GB part of India, and Aksai Chin in occupation of China, as part of Ladakh. Taking into account the Indian force level of 950,000 regular and paramilitary forces in IOK, the threats carried weight.

The chain of events taking place in quick succession following the subjugation of IOK were part of the overall game plan conceived by Indo-US-Israeli nexus to place India at a higher pedestal in the region.   

Reasons which impelled Modi to initiate risk-filled acts:

  • Pakistan couldn’t be denuclearized; conversely, it managed to keep its missile and nuclear programs safe and secure and further fortified them.
  • Plans to bleed, demoralize and exhaust Pak Army and paramilitary forces through massive covert war backfired and the Army emerged more strong and robust.
  • Billions of dollars spent on the proxies and propaganda war to destabilse and discredit Pakistan were washed out after Pak Army, Frontier Corps and Sindh Rangers managed to break the spine of foreign funded terrorist groups operating in FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and urban Sindh.
  • Fencing of western border and now the southern border on fast track by Pak Army have given a lethal blow to RAW-NDS sponsored cross border terrorism from Afghanistan and Iran.
  • Afghanistan where India has invested $ 3 billion so as to consolidate its influence and to pose a twin threat to Pakistan’s security has almost slipped out of its hands since Taliban’s return to power is a foregone conclusion.
  • Noting the ever rising fervor of freedom movement in IOK, it had become clear that sooner than latter Kashmir, which India had illegally annexed in October 1947, will breakaway. 700,000 occupation forces deployed in the Kashmir Valley since 1990 couldn’t extinguish the flame of liberty. This was exceedingly worrisome for Indian leadership.
  • Unlike the pliant regimes of PPP and PML-N that could be easily swayed or pressured by US and India, the incumbent regime led by Imran Khan is not pursuing an outright policy of appeasement, and is repeatedly naming Modi regime as fascist and racist regime which is anti-peace with expansionist designs.
  • CPEC which is the flagship project of China’s Belt-and-Road-Initiative (BRI) has shaken the global ambitions of USA, Israel and India wanting to dominate the world. CPEC has not only welded together China and Pakistan as iron brothers, but has opened avenues for China to become the leading economic power of the world and for Pakistan to become self-reliant. This is unacceptable to the Indo-US-Israel nexus.
  • The US is desperate to pullout from Afghanistan safely where it spent over $2 trillion without achieving any of its objectives. It is also keen to retain a toehold in the country, or else establish a military base in the near vicinity. Ladakh as a base fits the bill wherefrom it can easily monitor China, Iran, Pakistan and Middle East. The three strategic partners are nurturing this wish.
  • Failing to subdue Pakistan through bloody proxy war, low intensity conflict along the LoC, and water terrorism, and then failing to disrupt development of CPEC through acts of terrorism, or to spoil China-Pakistan relations through propaganda war, India schemed to absorb whole of J&K in two or three phases in line with Gen Bipen Rawat’s policy of limited war.
  • GB has more value for India since its seizure is the only other way out left to block CPEC, which originates from Kashgar in China and enters Pakistan at Khunjarab in GB. Another sour point for India is Pakistan’s plan to build Diamir-Bhasha dam in GB as part of CPEC project, which will be detrimental to India’s plan to make Pakistan water scarce. India has built 24 water storage dams on three rivers flowing into Pakistan from IOK.
  • Allowing USA and Israel to establish military bases in Ladakh and making it a strong military garrison will not only ward off threat from China to Ladakh, but Ladakh will also provide shortest and only route to India to approach GB, scuttle CPEC, and pave way for taking back Aksai Chin.
  • With GB in the bag of India, Pakistan-China contiguity will get dislocated.
  • Another possible reason of abrogating the special status of IOK was to provoke Pakistan to launch an offensive across the LoC, as it had provoked Gen Yahya to declare war against India on the western front on 3 December 1971, thereby allowing India to once again declare Pakistan an aggressor and itself a victim of aggression, and after gaining sympathies of the world, launch counter offensive in GB-AJK.
  • Last but not least, both the US and Israel have been baiting and goading India to lock horns with both Pakistan and China by playing upon boastful India’s penchant to become a global power. Both have been milking India by selling most expensive armaments.

India calculatedly upped the ante

With these considerations in view, India first carried out a false flag operation in Pathankot on 14 February 2019, in which 40 Indian CRPF soldiers were sacrificed. India backed by USA and some European nations promptly blamed Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Pakistan. Purpose was to garner Hindu votes for Modi’s re-election in May 2019 by fomenting war hysteria against Pakistan, defaming Kashmiri freedom struggle, preparing grounds for blacklisting Pakistan by FATF, and above all creating justification for launching a surgical strike.

On 22 February, twelve Indian Mirage-2000 took part in the air intrusion on an imaginary hideout of JeM in Balakot to avenge the deaths of Indian soldiers. Vigilance and forceful chase by PAF jets forced the intruders to fly back in panic and hastily drop 3 Israeli supplied Spike missiles in a deserted hillock causing no damage.

Pakistan’s befitting response

Although Indian mission was a complete failure, PAF gave a befitting response on the night of 26 February. The attacking jets locked three high value targets (Command HQ, Brigade HQ, ammunition dump) deep inside IOK, but under the policy of restraint, hit vacant areas in close vicinity of intended targets. Gen Rawat survived by the skin of his teeth, but a loud message was conveyed not to mess with nuclear Pakistan.

These strikes were followed by an air duel on 27th morning in which PAF jets struck down one Su-30 flown by Israeli pilot and one MiG-21 flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan of IAF and captured the latter after he ejected. Another Indian helicopter with its crew was downed by panicky Indian air defence.

Pakistan also responded to India’s plan to strike 8 targets inside Pakistan by Brahmo cruise missiles by deploying its missiles to hit 16 Indian cities. It took the heat out of Indian jingoism and temporarily broke the escalating cycle of violence.

Amalgamation of IOK by India

Notwithstanding the series of humiliating setbacks suffered by India, Modi’s re-election once again pumped him up to implement his fascist agenda which he couldn’t accomplish in his first term.

What encouraged ultra-supremacist Modi to change the status of IOK, maintain aggressive posture along the LoC in J&K, to continue brutally oppressing Kashmiris in IOK in contravention of 4th Geneva Convention, refuse to lift curfew in spite of the Covid-19 and mounting world pressure was his hope that he will be able to deflate the spirits of freedom fighters in 4-6 months by killing Kashmiri leaders, putting young boys in torture cells, raping women, jailing all political leaders, closing down their shops and businesses, and disrupting phones, TV and internet.

The other reason which comforted him was the raised troop level to 9,50,000, enabling Indian Northern Command (INC) to enforce lockdown with impunity, maintain defensive balance and have sufficient forces for offensives in GB and AJK at an opportune time.

While snatching the special status of IOK, Modi either discounted the Chinese factor, or was assured by his benefactors that China would not react due to its contracting economy for the first time in last 40 years, brewing tension in South China Sea, USA backed Taiwan reiterating its independent status, trade war with USA, the US recognizing Tibet as independent state, Trump blaming China for spreading Covid-19, and threatening to cut all ties, CIA sponsored protests of liberals in Hong Kong (HK) funded by National Endowment for Democracy based in Washington, and Trump’s pledge to revoke special status of HK in reaction to new extradition bill for criminals promulgated by Beijing.

 

 

Map Courtesy:Pakistan Defence

 

 

What emboldened Modi to absorb IOK was Pakistan’s frail economic conditions together with internal political polarization. He saw it as an opportunity to exploit and seize the moment. 

The other possibility that cannot be ruled out is that in case current corona pandemic is US inspired and was China centric, it would have been assumed by the trio that China would be too engrossed in fighting the virus and will have little heart for any external adventure.

The US having declared China as its number one enemy is otherwise clamoring to emasculate China by stunting its economic and military growth through pampered India bloated as a counterweight to China and pivot of Indo-Pacific region.

With Ladakh under its belt, it became easier for Indian INC to execute a military operation in GB and annex if not whole, at least part of it through which CPEC passes. There would be still enough forces to undertake one main and two auxiliary efforts in AJK.

Indian military had stepped into Siachin Glacier in 1984 with an eye on GB and to monitor Karakorum Highway. RAW has been using that platform to stir political trouble in GB with the help of Balwaristan movement.

To undertake an offensive in GB, Indian military speeded up construction of 260 km long road along Shyok River to connect it with Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) near Karakorum Pass in last October under the plea that it was well inside the LAC. DBO, situated 8 miles away from Karakorum Pass was upgraded from a company-size post into a brigade-size military garrison with an airbase in 2019. This is what alarmed and spurred China to defeat India’s dangerous designs before it was too late.  

To be continued

Author

Brig.Gen(Retd)Asif Haroon Raja

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, former Defence Attaché’ and Dean of Corps of Military Attaches’ in Cairo, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Center, Member CWC PESS and of Veterans Think Tank, and Member Council TJP. asifharoonraja@gmail.com  

 

To be continued

 

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, former Defence Attaché’ and Dean of Corps of Military Attaches’ in Cairo, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Center, Member CWC PESS and of Veterans Think Tank, and Member Council TJP. asifharoonraja@gmail.com  

 

 

, , ,

No Comments

Modi,Jaishankar & Ajit Doval- The Gang That Could Not Shoot Straight

Jaishankar & Ajit Doval rewarded for failures?: New ‘normal’ in new India

Pulwama, Pathankot, plight of Kulbhushan Jadhav would have counted as failures of the NSA. Similarly, as Foreign Secretary Jaishankar seemed out of the loop on most crucial issues

 

Ajit Doval – His Arrogance Catches Up With Karma-With Pride Cometh Shame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy: Social Media
Photo courtesy: Social Media

Reward for failure is the new normal in Naya Bharat. Unemployment in terms of sheer number of jobless people is at the highest in the history of independent India. GDP growth – a fudge in the eyes of several Nobel Prize winning economists since it was massaged in 2014 to inflate it – has plummeted to the lowest level in five years. The list of non-achievement is endless. Yet the political party that has governed over such a shambles has been handsomely re-elected. Falsehood, an exaggerated security threat engendering jingoism, reigns. The hitherto exemplary common sense of the common man has evaporated and been replaced by revolting communal considerations.

The poison started being injected into India’s body politic with the RSS surreptitiously taking advantage of the Jan Sangh being a component of the 1977-79 Janata Party administration. It gathered momentum, with Hindutva being unashamedly unveiled by Lal Krishna Advani, catapulting the BJP from two to 182 seats in the Lok Sabha in a decade. More importantly, six years of a BJP-led NDA government administered a heavier dose of the toxin to students who graduated into voting for Narendra Modi in 2014. And then came the heaviest portion of the venom under an unbridled absolute majority regime of effectively the RSS.

Now the new external affairs minister is Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. In theory, an appointment of a domain specialist is not an unwelcome departure from unequipped politicians presiding over foreign policy. In fact, there can be no doubt that a career diplomat’s insight and knowledge of India’s international affairs would be far more extensive than a generalist.

Jaishankar’s father was Krishnaswamy Subhahmanyam, who was an institution as director of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses. He advocated realpolitik in contrast idealism in external relations and a policy of credible nuclear deterrence. The son, after graduating from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University, studied nuclear diplomacy at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Upon entering the Indian Foreign Service, he was generally identified as one of the bright boys of the establishment and tipped as a future foreign secretary.

He was overlooked for the top job when his batchmate Sujatha Singh was preferred to him; but was schemingly eased into the post after Narendra Modi abruptly terminated Singh’s tenure. There was never much debate in informed circles that Jaishankar was the more eligible of the two to steward the service. Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was said to have wanted him; but was prevailed upon to consider the fact that Sujatha fared better than Jaishankar in the entrance examination and to deny her would also expose his government to a charge of gender discrimination. It was the treatment meted out to Singh though that rankled in the diplomatic community.

It is a legitimate ambition to aspire to be foreign secretary. Indeed, it is deemed to be a political master’s prerogative to ring changes. But signs of displeasure among Indian diplomats, past and present, erupted when he was granted a year’s extension after his two-year term.

The most respected civil servant is he or she who doesn’t accept in a post-retirement handshake. It is worse if such a person transpires to have been a closet activist for a political party while a bureaucrat. There is no evidence to substantiate Jaishankar was the latter. But his record as foreign secretary was not exactly luminous; yet he has been elevated to the position of EAM.

Under his watch as foreign secretary, India markedly tilted towards the United States, thereby departing from its successful policy of equidistance from super powers. And it persevered with this policy even with an unreliable Donald Trump. Not even during the period of unipolarity in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and before the rise of China did India kow-tow to Washington. The net result is, this annoyed Russia, historically India’s trusted partner. And when India tried to appease Moscow by ordering missile systems, a malicious Trump hit back with punitive measures. In effect, the Jaishankar doctrine has gone up in flames.

Under his vigilance, tension with China rose alarmingly – arguably a consequence of India’s US policy – resulting in a face-off at Doklam. He also took his eye off the ball on the Maldives situation. The degeneration in ties with Pakistan and Nepal was not of his creation. But the question is, did he advise against Modi’s misadventures strenuously enough?

On Modi’s first visit to Beijing, Jaishankar told the press no concession on visas was on the cards. Within hours he was contradicted. Two days before Modi’s meeting with President Francoise Hollande in 2015, Jaishankar maintained a discussion on the Rafale deal was not on the table, that Dassault and HAL were close to concluding an agreement. These are incredible instances of a foreign secretary being kept out of the loop.

Besides, who is responsible for Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav’s predicament in Pakistan? Whose bright idea was it to permit the Pakistani army’s Inter-Services Intelligence wing to visit the sensitive military base at Pathankot? Terrorism has been rampant whether in Kashmir or Madhya Pradesh. Yet Ajit Doval as National Security Adviser has been upgraded to cabinet rank.

Reference

No Comments

Indian liberalism is a historical myth that must be countered if we want to understand our society

Indian liberalism is a historical myth that must be countered if we want to understand our society

We continue to believe that what is happening today is simply an aberration and long to return to a past that did not exist.

Mar 09, 2020 · 06:30 am

Sanjay Srivastava

The last few years have been particularly noticeable for remembering dead and ageing parents. Not just any common garden variety ones, of course, but a very specific kind. These are the parents who, apparently, bequeathed a tolerant, liberal and non-majoritarian India to their children. They embraced religious diversity, resisted various forms of bigotry and promoted the values of constitutional morality. They instilled in their progeny the importance of imagining a post-colonial republic where differences of class, caste, religion and ethnicity would be unequivocally erased.

In media articles and social media outpourings, these parents – narrators of a tryst with destiny – are sorely missed. Over the past six years, everything that the immediate ancestors dreamt of has been, apparently, upturned. In around half a decade, centuries of Indian tolerance – the aforementioned parents being its clearest exemplars – has been wiped out.

The romance of Indian liberalism, fed by the ever-nourishing rivers of historical myth-making of recent origin, needs to be countered if we are ever to undertake the task of taking a good hard look at ourselves – and our parents. Liberal ancestor worship does not serve us well. It certainly does not allow for an understanding of the nature of Indian society either over the longue durèe or in the recent past.

The good Muslim syndrome

The most fundamental aspect of our recent past is that our parents were not particularly committed to the values of religious tolerance that they are frequently credited with as a pre-Modi phenomenon. Their relationship with their Muslim co-citizens was premised on a specific set of circumstances.

Firstly, it had to do with Muslims “knowing their place”. Muslims were to act as mascots of Hindu India’s tolerant culture, rather than exercise an identity that might assert equality with members of the majority community. This was the condition of Hindu contextualism where “secular India” was deeply rooted in the values and public symbolism of Hinduism. Our public functions began (and still begin) with lighting lamps, ships were launched by breaking coconuts and we sang (and now sing with greater fervour) Sanskrit hymns at various national occasions as if these were areligious markers of post-colonial identity.

That is the world our parents grew up in and subscribed to: the “good Muslim” was the one who knew his or her place in a society marked by Hindu contextualism. Even Nehru, perhaps one of the very few who might have understood the meaning of genuine multiculturalism, was not able to counter these tendencies.

Eliding caste

Secondly, there was no India of our parent’s generation that seriously engaged with the caste question. Rather, if we have now come to believe that our parents decried casteism – and that its resurgence is linked to the break-down of their culture of liberalism – this is an entirely spurious view, nurtured by a very Indian culture of filial obligation.

Men and women of an earlier generation – the first and second generation of post-Independence parents – were as deeply casteist as their apparent antithetical contemporary counterparts. What was true of the earlier generation was that – like the Left parties – they pronounced that “in their circles” caste was not a problem.

There is a very common refrain among many now in their seventies and eighties that as school-going students, they had no idea about the caste of their fellow students. This does not, of course, prove that India of the 1950s and ’60s was not marked by caste hierarchies. Rather that in our parents’ generation, there was no occasion for encountering it as those among whom they moved were uniformly upper-caste. The comforts of caste-homogenous social circles ensured that there was no necessity of thinking about caste as a problem. This might only have been the case if different castes encountered each other in the same social milieu.

A soft bigotry

The fact of the matter is that neither was our parents’ time one of a golden age of tolerance and constitutional morality nor is it the case that we have now – in a space of six years! – dramatically changed. The first perspective is misplaced filial obligation and the second is a simplistic understanding of social and cultural change.

Our parents practised bigotry of a quiet sort, one that did not require the loud proclamations that are the norm now. Muslims and the lower castes knew their place and the structures of social and economic authority were not under threat. This does not necessarily translate into a tolerant generation. Rather, it was a generation whose attitudes towards religion and caste was never really tested.

The loud bigotry of our times is no great break from the past in terms of a dramatic change in attitudes – is it really possible that such changes can take place in such few years? Rather, it is the crumbling of the veneer of tolerance against those who once knew their place but no longer wish to accept that position.

The great problem with all this is that we continue to believe that what is happening today is simply an aberration and that we will, when the nightmare is over, return to the Utopia that was once ours. However, it isn’t possible to return to the past that was never there. It will only lead to an even darker future. And, filial affection is no antidote for it.

Courtesy -@Scroll.in

 

Support our journalism bysubscribing to Scroll+. We welcome your comments atletters@scroll.in.

 


 

, , , ,

No Comments