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Monday, 22 December 2008

From Today's Papers - 22 Dec

PB 4 for Lt Cols is through as per news on NDTV at 2100hrs.

PM set to clear forces' demand over pay

NDTV Correspondent

Monday, December 22, 2008, (New Delhi)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to clear the demands of the armed forces on the sixth pay commission.

Officers of the Lieutenant Colonel rank will now get Rs 10,000 more than the present salary per month.

As per the new provisions, the three star officers will be at par with Director Generals of Police.

It also makes provisions for retiring jawans to continue to get pension equivalent to 70 per cent of their the last pay the draw.

However, the demand for pay parity between military and civilian officers has been rejected.

In October, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said that he had discussed the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A K Antony.

A ministerial committee, headed by Mukherjee, was set up to look into the armed forces' grievance about pay "anomalies".

The committee, which also included Antony and Chidambaram, was set up by the Prime Minister on September 25 in the wake of deep resentment in the armed forces, who complained that there were "anomalies" in the sixth pay commission recommendations and that it had lowered the status of their officers.

After the government notification was issued on August 29, the issues of "anomalies" in the pay for officers was first raised by Air chief Fali Homi Major in his letter in his capacity as acting Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).

Chiefs of Navy and Army too have been voicing their resentment.

From Lt Col (retd) Harbhajan Singh Cheema

It may not be to the liking of India and the world community but the power equation in Pakistan is getting increasingly clear. Mr. Nawaz Sharif’s statement on lone survivor’s nationality is a clear indication of this. The terrorist organizations plan their own strategy to destabilize the world. They are actively supported by the ISI in planning and execution of their operations. The military in Pakistan is with them not as masters but facilitators of the operations. President Zardari’s Government though would like to be seen in command has absolute no say in matters terrorism. Diplomatic route adopted by India and the world community lead by USA has so for not worked. Pakistan has shown total contempt and done precious little to deal with the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack. The world has to do much more to effectively rein in terrorists and bring the perpetrators of crime to justice. The military understands US predicament that they need Pakistan’s help to deal with Afghanistan situation. War also is no alternative for its destructive effect; hence diplomatic course is the only way which Pakistan military feels has its limitations. . Since the military is in command, the world has no choice but to deal with it. No amount of persuasion is likely to work. For the diplomacy to be effective a clear message has to go to the Pakistan that what ever the effect for the Pakistan’s disintegration their very existence as one nation will be under threat if they fail to cooperate with rest of the world. The country if declared a terrorist state will loose all help including military from the UN and the world. The country cannot do without help from the rest of the world. Muslim world too is distancing itself from Pakistan for their support to terrorism. China though has not been very forth right against Pakistan cannot go against the world. They too suffer from terrorism threat for borders have no meaning for them

Lt Col (retd) Harbhajan Singh Cheema. .

Ex-servicemen’s hunger strike continues

Staff Reporter

In support of their demand for “One Rank, One Pension”

NEW DELHI: A relay hunger strike under the banner of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) in support of their long-standing demand for grant of “One Rank, One Pension” entered its fifth day at Jantar Mantar here on Saturday. Two of the participants -- Jawan Suleman Khan and Naik Rekh Raj -- are on fast unto death at the protest venue.

Supported by 300 organisations of ex-Servicemen across the country, the indefinite hunger strike began on December 16, coinciding with the Vijay Diwas. Eleven ex-Servicemen, including retired officers, take part in the strike every day.

Besides, immediate implementation of “One Rank, One Pension”, their other major demands include constitution of an ex-Servicemen commission with necessary statutory powers and provision of giving them representation on all committees.

“Our demand for ‘One Rank, One Pension’ has long been pending. A Parliamentary Committee on Defence recommended grant of one-rank-one-pension in 2003, but it could not be implemented due to change of guard at the Centre. Even the Congress party, which heads the present coalition government at Centre, supported our demand in its manifesto. In 2002, Congress president Sonia Gandhi endorsed the demand speaking at a rally in Chandigarh and then President A.P.J Abdul Kalam also supported the demand while addressing both Houses of the Parliament. But it is distressing that the demand has now been rejected by the Government without giving any reason,” said IESM vice-chairman Major General (Retd.) Satbir Singh.

“We organised a day-long hunger strike at India Gate in May and also held rallies across the country in support of our demands. We called on senior political leaders, but no one listened to us. When pushed to the wall, we decided to go on an indefinite relay hunger strike to highlight our demands. We wanted to hold the strike at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, but the Government refused the permission,” said Mr. Singh.

Lamenting the alleged “apathetic” attitude of the government towards the demands of ex-Servicemen, Mr. Singh said: “If the demand for one-rank-one-pension is not met, it will adversely affect the quality of manpower in Defence services as veterans are the extension of the serving soldiers. To say the least, it is unjust, unfair and unethical. It is demoralising for the Defence personnel who are the strongest pillar of democracy and the last bastion of the nation.”

A delegation also called on former Defence Minister George Fernandes on Friday seeking his support.

Mumbai Heat
Pak fully prepared to defend itself: Qureshi

Islamabad, December 21
Pakistan today asserted that it was prepared to defend itself if any aggression or war was imposed on the country, even as Islamabad said it will be “irresponsible” to speculate on the Mumbai attacks before the results of the probe are out. “We do not want aggression or war and we want peace.

But if war is imposed on us, we have the capability and right to defend ourselves,” foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in Multan in reply to a question about the tensions between India and Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s defence and security is complete. Pakistan’s government and armed forces are alert. We have every right to defend the country,” he added.

Noting that it was in the interest of both Pakistan and India to defuse tensions instead of escalating the situation, Qureshi reiterated Islamabad's offer to cooperate with New Delhi to probe the terrorist attacks on India’s financial hub that killed over 180 people.

“We are ready for cooperation because this is in our interests. We have only one policy how to defend Pakistan's interests,” he said, adding that Pakistan condemned terrorism across the world.

“It is easy to talk emotionally, but at this time, the whole region needs to act with wisdom and not passion.” “Pakistan is still waiting for India to provide evidence about the Mumbai attacks and it will be irresponsible to comment or speculate on the incident before the results of the investigation are presented,” he said.

Wise people in India believe that the two countries should not suffer the agony of war because of few unwise elements, he said. War cannot offer any solution and the future of both countries cannot be put at stake due to such elements, Qureshi said.

India has blamed Pakistan-based elements, including the Lashker-e-Toiba terror group, for the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan is under mounting pressure from India and the US to crack down on these elements but has insisted that India has not yet shared any evidence regarding the attacks. Asked about India’s demand for handing over certain terrorists and criminals, Qureshi said Pakistan will operate “while remaining within our laws”.

“India has to decide on many things in accordance with its laws and parliament. The Pakistan government too has to move forward according to the country's laws.” — PTI

US toughens stance, says Mumbai attacks no ordinary event

Islamabad, December 21
In a tough message to Pakistan, the US has said it was not satisfied with what Islamabad had done so far for eradicating terrorism from its soil after the Mumbai attack, not an ordinary event that could be “swept under the carpet”.

The message was conveyed by top American officials to Pakistani national security adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani, who was summoned to Washington as the US government was “getting increasingly frustrated with what it viewed as Islamabad’s shifty and shifting position on the Mumbai attacks and their aftermath,” a Pakistani daily reported.

Durrani yesterday concluded his unannounced three-day US visit during which he met secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, his American counterpart Stephen Hadley and Pentagon officials.

In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice said on Wednesday that what Pakistan had done so far to catch those responsible for the Mumbai attacks was not enough.

She said her message to the Pakistani leadership was “ need to deal with the terrorism problem. And, it's not enough to say these are non-state actors. If they're operating from Pakistani territory, then they have to be dealt with.”

A senior diplomatic source familiar with the talks said: "The curt message that Durrani and the Pakistani team received from the Americans was: this is not 2002 and you cannot do what President (Pervez) Musharraf did after 9/11...In the past, you swept everything under the carpet while the problems were allowed to fester. No more.” The US officials “insisted that they had enough evidence to prove that Lashker-e-Toiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawah were involved in the Mumbai attacks and they wanted concrete action against all such groups”, the official said. The Pakistani embassy in Washington kept Durrani’s visit tightly under wraps and did not tell journalists about his arrival or the reason for his visit.

US officials were dismayed by such statements as the one that said Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar had left the country after it had been officially announced that he was under house arrest, the source said. — PTI

Pessimism Growing among Pakistanis: Poll

Most Pakistanis have a dim view of their country's future and have no faith in the present government, an opinion poll says.

According to the poll by the US-based International Republican Institute, about 88 percent of Pakistanis feel their country is heading in the wrong direction and 59 percent fear that 2009 will be far worse, reported the Dawn newspaper Friday.

The survey claimed that there was a high degree of pessimism and discontent in Pakistan and a majority of the people have no faith in the present government. The survey was conducted Oct 15-30.

About 76 percent of the 3,500 respondents in the four provinces of Pakistan responded negatively when asked how the government performed on issues important to them. Only 21 percent answered positively.

About 67 percent said that democracy had made no difference to their wellbeing. These ratings are slightly worse than the sentiment in January 2008, shortly before the parliamentary elections of February.

The poll saw an increase in the number of people who felt less secure this year than they did last year, up from 15 percent in June to 78 percent in October.

The high of 85 percent occurred in January in the aftermath of the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The growing discontent has also taken a toll on the popularity of political leaders. The average popularity of leaders dropped to 22 percent this time from 43 percent recorded in a June poll.

Only Benazir and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif received more than 50 percent of support.

If there are elections next year, 32 percent will go for the Pakistan People's Party while 26 percent will back Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). About 30 percent were undecided.

‘Passage’ under IB fence sends BSF into tizzy
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Jaipur, December 21
The heightened vigil across the Indo-Pak border post the Mumbai terror attack stands exposed with the Jodhpur police claiming that a network of Tanzania, Pakistan and Indian smugglers has dug a passage under the fence at the border to smuggle heroin and other contraband.

The police claim has left many swollen faces in the BSF. The security force is under flak for the serious lapse which has come at a time when the vigil on border is expected to be in a heightened state.

A joint team of the police and the BSF was inspecting the spot to ascertain the claims. Though the reports initially said nine smugglers, 8 of whom have been arrested, had dug a tunnel under the fence, police officials today said a small space, enough for a person to crawl to the other side, has been created under the fence.

Meanwhile, BSF officials have denied the claims. An official said the police claims were wrong and a joint inspection was on to verify the facts. The official said it was impossible to dig a tunnel in loose sand.

IG Rajeev Dasot said they have arrested 8 persons, including three Tanzanian nationals, who were involved in the smuggling. The five locals belonged to Makhan Ke paar village in Barmer district.

Police said it is after 1994 that Tanzania nationals have been caught smuggling heroin. The police recovered 20 kg from the accused, who were . planning to take the booty to Europe and eventually to Canada. The entire group allegedly worked for international smuggler Abu Baquar, police said.

Pakistan national Hazi Ali had managed to cross the border with the booty, which was handed over to Mohd Illiyas in Makhan ke Paar village. Later, the police caught three Tanzanians in Jodhpur with the heroin. Their arrest revealed shocking lapses in security at border.

Malegaon blast case may conclude soon

Press Trust of India

Sunday, December 21, 2008, (Mumbai)

Investigation into the Malegaon blasts case is likely to be concluded soon with police saying they have gathered all the evidence to prove the role of the accused in the court.

"The investigation is at a conclusion stage. We are in a position to file the chargesheet within the stipulated time," Anti-Terrorist Squad head K P Raghuvanshi said.

"We have gathered sufficient evidence to prove the role of the culprits. The evidence includes physical, technical and other details," he said.

Though the Malegaon blasts case investigation took a back seat after the death of the then ATS chief Hemant Karkare, officials later stepped up the probe to bring the culprits to justice.

The ATS has arrested Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Srikant Purohit, priest Dayanand Pandey and seven others so far in the connection with the September blast.

The motorcycle, which was seized, is in the name of Pragya Singh. The conversation between her and her accomplices in connection with the blasts and a number of eyewitnesses were what the ATS has as evidence, ATS officials claimed.

"It was true that investigation hampered after the death of Karkare. The efforts he had put to catch the culprits with a strong evidence have prompted us to be more active and work on the case consistently. Now we are back on track," said an ATS official.

Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders had criticised Karkare for allegedly targeting the sadhvi and other accused, who were associated with right-wing organisations.

India steps up vigil along Rajasthan border

22 Dec 2008, 0302 hrs IST, Vimal Bhatia, TNN

JAISALMER: Even as India refused to take the military option off the table while asking Pakistan to rein in the terrorists, the Indian Army's and IAF's quick reaction teams (QRTs) were deployed along the borders in the Western Sector.

QRTs are also keeping a close watch on air space with the help of additional defence equipment. Security in and around defence air strips has been tightened.

These measures were taken following reports that Pakistan has deployed its forces along its border. IAF sources said security around places of strategic importance has been stepped up. They said more radars and QRTs have been deployed along the India-Pakistan border.

IAF had initiated these measures to strengthen its air defence to face any eventuality at a short notice. Additional hangars and runways have been prepared and all the radars have been put on high alert. Sources said tight radar surveillance is being maintained to keep a watch on any suspected movements along the border.

Air commandos have been deployed to ward off any possible retaliatory attack, they said, adding the entire border and its adjoining areas have been sanitised and the security situation reviewed. The commandos have also been deployed at borders (mainly at air-strips) in Jaisalmer, Uttarlai (Barmer) and Bhuj (Gujarat).

"Runways, hangars, main roads, ammunition stores and other sensitive places have been provided with additional cover. Sophisticated radars are installed at a few air bases and we are keeping watch on each and every cross-border activity," said an IAF personnel.

"Entry of unauthorised persons in defence areas has been prohibited and people's movement in the surrounding areas is being watched," he said.

Confirming extra deployment of Pakistan Rangers, DID, Rajasthan Frontier of BSF R C Sayani said, "We have inputs about Pakisan army officers frequently visiting the border areas."

Indian forces were on regular firing exercises at locations like Lathi Firing Range in Jaisalmer, Mahsan in Bikaner, Suratgarh and Ganganagar.

Tejas (LCA) Fighter Jet High-Altitude Trials at Leh Successful: DRDO

Daily News & Updates

India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has achieved a major milestone when its prototype landed at Leh air base in the high-altitude Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. "Tejas (LCA) programme reached a major milestone when the prototype vehicle PV-3 landed at Leh on December 13 this year at 1326 hours," Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials said here on Tuesday.

The event is seen as significant on many counts as Leh airfield is situated at an altitude of 10,600 feet and is one of the highest airfields in the world with a temperature variation ranging from plus 5 degrees Celsius to minus 20 degrees Celsius. The objective of the current phase of flight trials at Leh was to expose the on-board systems to the extreme low temperatures while making an assessment of the aircraft performance in the rarefied atmospheric conditions, DRDO officials said.

Two Tejas prototypes PV-3 and LSP-2 were involved in this important environmental test. The LSP-2 prototype powered by the latest IN20 engine with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) is in the Standard of Preparation (SOP) that would be cleared for induction into the IAF service soon. As per reports received from the trial location, the current phase of flight trial was progressing well with aircraft and systems performing well, as expected, officials said.

The aircraft were soaked overnight in cold weather, with temperature around minus 20 degrees Celsius and powered up next day for operation, officials said.


By Dr. Subhash Kapila

Introductory Observations

Mumbai 9/11 may never have taken place at all or could have been foreseen and anticipated by India’s policy establishment and the National Security Advisor, had both of them not grievously failed in their threat perceptions and threat assessments on Pakistan arising from the emergence of General Ashfaq Kiyani as Pakistan Army Chief and Asif Ali Zardari as President of Pakistan.

India’s Prime Minister, the policy establishment and the National Security Adviser continued to be weighed down till Mumbai 9/11 i.e. November 20, 2008 that with a civilian government in Pakistan since early 2008, Pakistan Government’s strategic formulations and policy inclinations towards India stood changed.

India’s policy establishment’s most grievious failure was not making a correct reading on the personalities of General Kiyani and President Zardari and what did their emergence at the helm of affairs in Pakistan portend for India.

Additionally, the Indian policy establishment and the National Security Adviser failed to read the contextual shady political dynamics in Pakistan under which General Kiyani and President Zardari were propelled into power in Pakistan.

Democracy was ushered in Pakistan under United States pressure, but the Pakistan Army while giving in to such pressures ensured that the Pakistan Army and its infamous ISI would continue to call the shots in Pakistan and especially on Pakistani strategies and policy formulations on India and Afghanistan.

Mumbai 9/11 was not an intelligence failure. Mumbai 9/11 was a failure of India’s policy establishment and its national security establishment at the apex level. It is the Prime Minister and the policy establishment under his control which has to provide the political component of the threat assessment on Pakistan based on which intelligence agencies need to be tasked and the Armed Forces make their operational plans.

India’s Prime Minister, the National Security Adviser, the Foreign Secretary, in fact the entire policy establishment, had they analytically viewed contemporary political developments in Pakistan, the civil-military dynamics in Pakistan and the utterances of Pak Army Chief, General Kiyani from May-June 2008 onwards and the strategies that unfolded since then in terms of anti-Indian activities, would have come to the conclusion that the façade of a civil government in Pakistan was no insurance against the continuance of the proxy war against India by the Pakistan Army.

Instead of adopting hard-line stances on Pakistan’s unleashing a continuous wave of terrorism attacks against India, especially in 2007-2008 the Indian Prime Minister and the policy establishment kept “smoking the peace pipe” on Pakistan. The National Security Adviser in a TV interview indicated that General Kiyani was a professional soldier who was unlikely to indulge in military adventurism against India. In fact the converse was true in terms of what followed.

Injecting a note of caution against such trends, this Author in one of this Papers quoted below (Paper 2828) had highlighted that:

"India’s security establishment at the apex level has been indulging in an unwarranted proliferation of statements extolling the Pakistan Army Chief, General Kayani and Zardari and that the PPP is India-friendly. Nothing can be further from the truth. Indian political leaders and its establishment must learn to be reticent when making observations on Pakistan. For in such summations there are dangers of Indian policy formulations being divorced from ground realities operating in Pakistan"

India’s policy establishment and the National Security Adviser went grievously wrong in its readings of Pakistan’s deliberate, well-planned, calculated and calibrated strategies which unfolded in 2008 with General Kiyani and later President Zardari in the driving seat in Pakistan. Pakistan’s proxy war in India in 2008 unfolded as under in a three prong strategy as follows:

Asymmetric Warfare against India intensified with an all India spread of terrorist strikes and suicide bombings.

Military Escalation by breaching the four year old ceasefire along the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir and resurgence of protracted border clashes on General Kiyani’s recasting military strategies.

Kashmir Secession activities hysterically fanned and violent turbulence in Kashmir Valley generated through Pakistan’s front line secession organizations on non-issues.

Totally oblivious to this three-pronged Pakistan campaign against India, the Indian Prime Minister his Cabinet colleagues and the policy establishment kept viewing the Pak-sponsored disruptive activities against India as a single-perspective incident rather than discerning and assessing that it was a calibrated three-prong strategy. More sadly all these dignitaries of India’s apex policy making level kept harping all along that such incidents were the handiwork of “those elements in Pakistan which wanted to disrupt/derail the Indo-Pak Peace Process”. It was forgotten that “these elements in Pakistan” were under the full control of the ISI and Pakistan Army headed by General Kiyani.

India’s electronic and print media also signally failed in highlighting the above mentioned three-pronged strategy masterminded by the Pakistan Army and its Chief. Post-Mumbai 9/11 some media periodicals have now come out with cover stories that General Kiyani and the Pakistan Army continue to call the shots in Pakistan and by inference should be held responsible for Mumbai 9/11. Why could this not have been foreseen earlier? Or were they waiting to compile inputs from other sources?

India consequently stood lulled that live dangers existed from the Pakistan Army and its intelligence establishment and that the proxy war was no longer confined to Kashmir but had spread its tentacles all over India.

Devoid of any governmental inputs or information but by a simple analysis of Pakistan’s contemporary developments and placing them in the contextual mould of Pakistan’s civil-military dynamics, this Author’s South Asia Analysis Group Papers on Pakistan for the last two years were constantly analyzing the implications for India’s national security. More particularly were analysed the developments specific to General Kiyani and President Zardari and the unfolding of strategically destabilising events targeted against India from Pakistan.

Of the innumerable Papers written by this Author on the strategic implications for India of Pakistani developments three deserve special mention and selected excerpts stand quoted from them below:

“Pakistan Army Fires Strategic Broadsides at United States and India” dated 10 June 2008 (

“Pakistan Army Resumes Border Clashes: Political and Military Implications” dated 05 August 2008 (

“Pakistan: The Pakistan Army Still Controls Governance” dated 02 September 2008 (

With the excerpts quoted below highlighting the main theme of this Paper, the following aspects would then be examined:

India’s Policy Establishment’s Flawed Assessments on Pakistan: The Contributory Causes

India’s National Security Advisory Board Needs a Fresh Look

Pakistan Army Fires Strategic Broadsides at United States and India (10 June 2008)

The main thrust in this Paper was to analyse the strategic implications arising for USA and India from the assertions made by Pak Army Chief General Kiyani and Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff Committee, General Tariq Majeed.

General Kiyani had made two assertions that (1) Pak Army would neither “retrain nor regroup” its troops for the US war on terrorism (2) Pakistan will deploy the bulk of its troops on Pakistan’s borders with India and prepare for possible conflicts with traditional enemy India.

Analysing the “Strategic Implications of Pak COAS Assertions” for India it was highlighted that “Implicit in General Kiyani latest assertions are (1) Pakistan Army does not view or expect or would work for any normalization of relations with India (2) Pakistan Army would continue to impede any normalization process (3) Pakistan Army is still engaged in arms race with India with 80% of the US $ 10 billion aid diverted to purchase of advanced weapon systems to be used on the Indian front”.

Highlighted here were also the changed manifestations that occurred against India under General Kiyani namely “(1) Kashmir resurrected as a confrontational issue by Kiyani (2) Four years old ceasefire in Kashmir breached by Pakistan Army in Kashmir (3) Increased Jehadi infiltration in Kashmir (4) Major terrorism incidents in rest of India with traditional frequency (5) Targeted killings of Indians by Taliban in Afghanistan”.

With such a pattern, should it not have been clear to the Indian policy establishment what the Pakistan Army and the ISI under General Kiyani’s control were upto and moreso when General Kiyani had been the Director General of ISI till recently?

Clearly incorporated in this Paper was cautionary advice for this Government and its policy establishment more in terms of a wake-up call, as the following excerpts would indicate:

“The above trend can be expected to intensify. Pakistan Army was so far quiet on the frontiers with India because of Pak Army deployments on the Afghan frontier. With redeployments back to concentrations on the Indian frontiers, the Pakistan Army can be expected to intensify its proxy war against India.”

“The present Indian Government has to revise its strategic formulations and also revise its mythical over-investment and trust in Pakistan Army’s commitment to peace with India”.

More significantly in the concluding paragraph of the Paper, this Author stressed:

“India with no coercive capabilities against Pakistan because of lack of the will to use power in the past, has to be vigilant and pro-active in dealing with Pakistan Army transgressions. Any Pakistan Army military adventurism on the LOC in Kashmir or terrorism against India needs to be met with sharp ripostes.”

Pakistan Army Resumes Border Clashes: Political and Military Implications (05 August 2008)

The main theme projected in the Paper was that the “vested interests intent on derailing the Indo-Pak Peace Process” so nauseatingly parroted by Indian political leaders and the policy establishment was the Pakistan Army itself,. Further, that the resumption of serious border clashes “generate serious political and military implications for India and the policy establishment needs to study them in depth and fashion appropriate responses.”

This Paper by this Author and its contents seems retrospectively to have been most significant in relation to Mumbai 9/11 in terms of political implications for India. The rest of the contents including military implications can be assessed on this think tanks web site.

The “Political Implications for India” of resumption of border clashes need to be reproduced in full so as to provide a sense of their import and how true they have turned out to be in the wake of 9/11.

Five paragraphs under this head read as under:

“The border clashes by Pakistan created political implications for India at two levels, namely (1) Impact on Indian public opinion and (2) Indian Government's foreign policy responses to Pakistan”.

“Needless to say that Indian public opinion already reflects the following (1) Pakistan Army and the ISI under its control is responsible for the wave of terrorist incidents and suicide bombings all over India (2) Indo-Pak Peace Process ardently desired by the peoples of both countries would always be thwarted by the Pakistan Army and ISI (3) Peace with Pakistan is not possible until the United States puts Pakistan Army in its rightful place strategically and politically under firm civilian control (5) Indian Governments need to adopt harder policies to deal with Pakistan Army military adventurism.”

“To this when are added the resumption of widespread border clashes, increase in turbulence by separatists in Kashmir Valley and unrestrained suicide bombings any Indian Government would be placed in a piquant situation where it cannot ignore vehement public opinion for strong actions against Pakistan and the Pakistan Army in particular.”

“In terms of foreign policy implications, India’s policy establishment cannot divorce itself from prevailing public opinion. India’s policy establishment would have no political excuses to continue with the Indo-Pak Peace Process, however laudable the objectives may be.”

“India’s foreign policy in relation to Pakistan may be forced to revert back to the old position of “no dialogue unless border clashes, terrorism and suicide bombings cease.”

Post-Mumbai 9/11 events have placed the Government in a piquant situation and the wheel has turned a full circle, where the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has now been forced to assert and repeat that there will be no dialogue with Pakistan until terrorism against India ceases.

Once again this Author is tempted to reproduce the concluding paragraph of his Papers. In this paper it read:

“India’s political leadership should not be taken in by rhetoric of Pakistan’s political leaders. In formulating India’s policy towards Pakistan the determining factor should be Pakistan Army’s attitudes and demonstrated actions”.

Pakistan: The Pakistan Army Still Controls Governance (02 September 2008)

This Paper was written about a week prior to election of Zardari as President. The aim of this Paper was to dispel the misperceptions that had abounded in India’s policy establishment and as if on cue by the Indian media that Zardari was ‘India friendly’ and things would change for the better.

It was conveniently forgotten that Zardari did not emerge as President of Pakistan on his personal strengths or political convictions or an electoral platform of better Indo-Pak relations as former PM Nawaz Sharif had achieved a landslide victory.

Zardari had emerged as President of Pakistan as an instrument of the Pakistan Army to continue Pak Army control of Pakistan’s governance.

One would like to reproduce only three excerpts from this detailed Paper to support how underserved high expectations were raised in India on Zardari.

“The certain election of Asif Ali Zardari, of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) widower of Benazir Bhutto as President of Pakistan next week is a strong pointer to the fact that the Pakistan Army while formally divested of direct control of Pakistan’s governance will however now rule by proxy through Zardari. He is their preferred choice. Through him the Pakistan Army will control Pakistan's governance.”

“Pakistan’s return to democracy after a torturous gap of nine years seems to be destined once again to be short-lived. Zardari in his eagerness to be elected as President of Pakistan to secure his personal future and fortunes has walked into a trap set by the Pakistan Army. By jettisoning his political coalition with former PM Nawaz Sharif he has emerged as a willing tool of Pakistan Army’s divisive politics to ensure their hold on Pakistan’s governance.”

“In the current end-game in Pakistan, does one see on the horizon, the emergence of General Kiyani as the next ruler of Pakistan after giving Zardari his moment of glory?”

The relationship between General Kiyani and President Zardai is a “politically collusive” relationship and the Indian policy establishment should not have expected any independent stances from President Zardari, to India’s advantage.

India’s Policy Establishment’s Flawed Assessments on Pakistan: The Contributory Causes

One incorporated lengthy excerpts from the Author's earlier Papers, only to highlight that if any ordinary Indian citizen without access to any official inputs could arrive at logical assessments on Pakistan, there is no earthly reason why India’s policy establishment with all the wide network of institutional support at their command come to similar conclusions on the Pakistani threat and the analysis of their unfolding disruptive strategies in 2008.

If India’s policy establishment had come to similar conclusions, then what actions were taken to pre-empt the series of terrorist bombings and attack at important places in India?

The claim that intelligence agencies did not provide inputs stands contested earlier in the Paper. Political component of the Pakistan threat assessment has to be provided by the Prime Minister, the National Security Advisor and the Foreign Secretary.

In the absence of any credible evidence of their having provided the necessary directives for tasking of intelligence agencies, one needs to examine the contributory causes for the flawed assessments of the Pakistan threat by India’s policy establishment.

These contributory causes can be summed up as arising from:

Indian policy establishment’s mistaken perception that a civilian government in Pakistan would usher in peace. Also an over-investment in Pakistani Army Chief’s peaceful credentials. Peace at any cost had become an over-riding fixation of the Indian establishment for reasons more political than strategic.

India’s policy establishment and the National Security Advisor were overwhelmingly committed from July 2005 to somehow get the Indo-US Nuclear Deal through This obsession left the vital issues of the emerging Pakistan threats virtually unattended.

More significantly, the Indian policy establishment and the National Security Advisor tended to view Pakistan’s ruling combine through the United States prism of American security interests rather than through the prism of cold, hard-headed Indian national security interests. Hence the landatory statements welcoming General Kiyani elevation as Chief and Zardari on President.

India’s policy establishment seemed to have blindly followed United States projected assessments on General Kiyani and President Zardari. It was over looked that they were placed at the helm in Pakistan to serve US strategic requirements in Afghanistan. On the contrary, India should have expected otherwise as with their strategic indispensability to USA, they stood released from any constraints to behave responsibly towards India.

Even if some in the policy establishment tended to advocate hard line policies towards Pakistan, they stood discouraged by the views of their political masters in terms of captive vote-bank politics, irrespective of the havoc being inflicted by the Pakistan Army/ISI sponsored terrorism on India.

The end results of such a gross misreading of the Pakistan’s Kiyani-Zardari combine were the horrific events of Mumbai 9/11.

India’s National Security Advisory Board Needs a Fresh Look

India’s National Security Advisory Board which ordinarily should provide the National Security Advisor with both institutional and non-institutional assessments on Pakistani emerging disruptive strategies against India, seems to have signally failed in its task.

The present structuring, composition and functioning of the National Security Advisory Board inspires no confidences in India’s strategic community. This body seems to have degenerated into a repository of the Governments favored former diplomats, military officers and now an over heavy representation of non-security experts on the plea that today it is comprehensive national security that matters.

This body’s constitution and composition needs a fresh look in the context of the fact that such a body today should single- mindedly focus on the external and internal threats to India generated by Pakistan and China.

Other organs can look after energy security and environmental security and other exotic national security applications.

Contextually speaking in relation to the 'war of terror' underway on India and a likely worsening of relations with China, it would be more advisable to have a National Security Advisor with an Army background.

The 'war of terror' against India is no longer a law and order challenge as pointed in my writings earlier but an externally sponsored war-like situation where an armed conflict could develop overnight. The National Security Advisor post is not an appointment requiring political- perspectives/ law and order capability but an appointment calling for national security-strategic vision capability which only an Army background can provide.

Concluding Observations

Mumbai 7/11 in a short span of 72 hours, when a handful of Pakistani terrorists held the mighty Indian Republic to ransom, brought to the fore, all that was wrong in India’s political governance and India’s national security management.

In its wake while the intelligence agencies and the police were heavily criticized, no one cared to ponder as to where the original sin lay.

In terms of national security management, like India’s political mis-governance, the onus of the original sin lay with India’s political leadership and India’s policy establishment. Both combined failed in their readings of the emerging political landscape in Pakistan which heavily suggested that the new civilian government was only a façade and that it would continue to take orders from the Pakistan Army. The Pakistan Army and the ISI continued to be in charge and this time more dangerously in the person of Pakistan Army Chief General Kiyani who combined in his person the obsessive mindset of Pakistani Army Chiefs to destabilize India combined with all the ‘dirty tricks’ trade of having been Director General of ISI, till recently.

General Kiyani may be Washington’s man, but it was wrong for India’s policy establishment to construe him by extension as New Delhi’s man too.

(The author is an International Relations and Strategic Affairs analyst. He is the Consultant, Strategic Affairs with South Asia Analysis Group.

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