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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

From Today's Papers - 16 Dec 09





Reconciled, India focusing on nuclear disarmament
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 15
India is reconciled that it will never be accommodated in the NPT as a nuclear weapons state and has started advocating a broader treaty focusing on complete nuclear disarmament.

“We should not expect anybody agreeing to amending the NPT as it will open a pandora’s box…there are other countries also which would like to be included in NPT as nuclear weapons states,’’ high-level sources said here today. New Delhi is quite convinced that no one would agree to amending article 9 of the NPT to shift from 1968 to 1974 the date for having conducted a nuclear test.
The sources were commenting on a report of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND), which was released today. Former National Security Adviser (NSA) Brajesh Mishra was one of the 15 Commissioners of the commission, set up jointly by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his Japanese counterpart Fukuda in June 2008. Another India, Gen (Retd) V R Raghavan served on the Advisory Board of the commission. The commission members had visited India in October and held discussions with NSA M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.
The voluminous report of the commission admits the reality that India, Israel and Pakistan (the three elephants outside the room) would not join the NPT as nuclear weapons states nor would the NPT admit the three as nuclear weapons states. It advocates applying equivalent non-proliferation and disarmament obligations to the three.
However, New Delhi’s contention is that the report differentiated nuclear histories and records of all the nuclear armed states.
They observed that despite some positive elements, the report has missed an important opportunity to advance the debate on nuclear disarmament. It does not take some promising ideas on reducing the role of nuclear weapons, on building partnerships with non-NPT states and on multilateral negotiations on disarmament to their logical conclusion. The focus remains on what can be done to shore up the NPT in the run up to the 2010 conference on nuclear disarmament, the sources regretted.
On the disarmament process, the report advocates a staged approach without setting a final deadline. This has disappointed India which wants a timeline to be set up for complete dismantling of atomic weapons as outlined in the Rajiv Gandhi plan for complete nuclear disarmament.
In line with India’s position, the report advocates delegitimisation of nuclear weapons and suggests that the eight ‘nuclear armed states’ adopt a no-first use or modified no-first use policy. Just as India feels, the report endorses the idea of a nuclear weapons convention as the preferred instrument for nuclear disarmament and the conference on disarmament as the preferred forum for negotiations on nuclear disarmament. India does not agree with the idea of a unified platform for all non-NPT states as mentioned in the report. Its contention that civil nuclear agreements would lead to proliferation has also not gone down well with New Delhi.





New Delhi, December 15
The government today said it would strive to establish a National Security Guard (NSG) hub or an equivalent commando force in every state in due course to strengthen the national security apparatus.

Home Minister P Chidambaram told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that the government was trying to have these units soon, though it was a long-term plan in view of the constraints of manpower and training.The government has got four regional NSG hubs in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, which were operationalised before July 1 this year in the backdrop of the Mumbai terror strike on November 26 last year. — PTI





UN to cut staff by 40% in Pak on security concerns
Rezaul H Laskar/PTI / Islamabad December 15, 2009, 15:00 IST

The United Nations plans to reduce about 40 per cent of its staff in Pakistan by realigning their deployment due to growing security concerns in the wake of a wave of terrorist attacks across the country.

A significant number of UN staff, particularly foreign nationals, will be transferred to safer projects within Pakistan or sent abroad, sources said. The staff will be gradually reduced by realigning their deployment in projects, they said.

The move will ultimately lead to a reduction of about 40 per cent of the UN staff, sources said. The UN information centre in Islamabad said a decision had been made to reduce staff due to growing security concerns but made it clear that the move would not affect ongoing humanitarian projects.

UN spokesperson Ishrat Rizvi too confirmed the decision but did not say how many UN staff would be leaving Pakistan. Media reports said the world body decided to relocate its international staff members working on different projects following a series of meetings between senior UN and Pakistan government officials.

The reduction of staff will be done in two phases. In the first phase, all international staff members working on long and short-term projects in sensitive areas will be relocated to projects in safer locations. In the second phase, international staff members who cannot be relocated will leave Pakistan, the reports said.

The move is expected to affect several projects across Pakistan, particularly in the restive North West Frontier Province and tribal areas. 

Last month, the UN said it would pull out all but essential international staff from Pakistan’s northwest and tribal areas after Secretary General Ban Ki Moon declared a security level of "Phase IV" for the region. Under this provision, only emergency operations are carried out by the UN.

The office of the UN food agency in Islamabad was among targets struck by militants in a recent wave of bombings and suicide attacks across Pakistan. Five UN staff members, including an Iraqi national and two Pakistani women, were killed in a suicide attack on the World Food Programme office on October 5.





Continuing mistrust makes India, Pak dialogue difficult
by Major Gen (retd) Ashok K. Mehta
One year after Mumbai and seven dossiers later, the Pakistan threat quotient is still on the high side, given the stunning David Headley trail. An attack on India has been constrained by several factors, vitally the US hand, which could not prevent suicide terrorism against the Indian Embassy in Kabul.
After 9/11, non-state actors have removed the conventional firewall between intention and capabilities; and being unamenable to negotiation, dealing with them requires not just excellent human and technical intelligence but a swift and decisive response mechanism too.
In both these areas, India is still deficient which encourages jihadi terrorism to expand and prosper. Pakistan’s military and intelligence establishments combine the anonymity of their patronage of terrorist groups with their WMD capability for the denial of this strategic asset. Further, the government has begun blaming India for the internal mayhem to reduce its own culpability.
Yet, surprisingly Pakistan has not taken any credit at Track I or II levels for the unprecedented record in India of a year free from terrorist strikes. It has repeatedly called for the resumption of the composite dialogue, suspended since 26/11, saying terrorists should not be allowed to keep the peace process as hostage. This line does not wash in Delhi where the bottom line has been watered down to action against the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba’s seven plus their Amir, Hafiz Saeed.
Last month against this background, the German Friedrich Ebert Stiftung held in Singapore, its seventh round of India- Pakistan peace process to locate how best to revive the stalled dialogue. Here are some snapshots relating to Afghanistan and Pakistan (Af Pak)
The Pakistan expert on Afghanistan who has met Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar more times than anyone else said that both US and Pakistan had underestimated the Taliban they were fighting, due to poor intelligence. This is surprising as Gen Pervez Musharraf had recently claimed that the ISI has penetrated all the terrorist organizations in Pakistan and is particularly strong inside Afghanistan.
There are some straws in the wind that the tide may be turning, this expert said. The internet images of a young girl being flogged in Swat caused indignation and elicited widespread criticism in Pakistan.
The point was made that the Pakistan Taliban is very different from the Afghan Taliban: for the latter the priority is to get forces of occupation out of their land, while for the former, it is a tactical struggle for power.
Moreover, for the people of Balochistan, Swat and South Waziristan, Punjabi domination and the identification of Punjab with Pakistan has put into place a distrust of non-natives: and as many of those who want to impose shariah law in these regions in the guise of the Taliban are Uzbeks and non-Pakistani nationalities, a distrust of the Taliban elements is discernible in these three provinces.
In military terms, reliance on air power and heavy weapons by both countries had caused civilian casualties, displacement of civilians, destruction of property and infrastructure and alienation of the people. Both had resorted to peace accords when it was either not possible or unwise to fight the Taliban and its associates. Comparing the US-led Nato troop strength with the Soviet force levels in 1979 is untenable as only 65 per cent of the troops of the western alliance was engaged in actual combat.
The new US strategy will be people-friendly, protecting them rather than killing Taliban. Winning hearts and minds is basic to any counter-insurgency operation which the US military is reinventing in Afghanistan. India has used minimum force – almost never, air power and heavy artillery – towards bringing insurgents to the negotiating table. The carrot has been favoured over the stick. Pakistan has relied mainly on military means to quell insurgencies rather than the strategy of reconciliation and reintegration.
Reconciliation with the Taliban was unlikely to work as they believe they are winning. While 98 per cent of the Taliban are loyal to Mullah Omar, the use of private militias by the state would be fruitless. Mullah Omar will not annoy Islamabad as he needs sanctuaries in Pakistan. After 26/11 he said that were India to attack Pakistan the Taliban would stop the war in Afghanistan and join the Pakistan Army to defend the country.
There was disagreement between Indians and Pakistanis on the credentials of good and bad Taliban. For India there is no good Taliban – all are terrorists. Pakistan owes its strategic depth in Afghanistan and Kashmir to good Taliban though many Pakistanis felt that Kashmir is not the core issue any longer.
This is the first time the Pakistan Army, civilian government and civil society are on the same page in the war against terrorism. Still only 51 per cent continue to support the war but its ownership is not doubted as in the past.
There were few Pakistani takers for India-Pakistan cooperation rather than confrontation in Afghanistan. They are convinced that India was up to no good with its new-found generosity amounting to $1.2 b in developmental aid in Afghanistan and asked: where was India when Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan? The only dialogue Pakistan now wants is allaying its concerns over Indian activities circumscribing its interests in Afghanistan.
Surprisingly, a Pakistani delegate said that Islamabad must recognise that India as a regional power has a role to play in Afghanistan. Their respective agendas must be discussed to allay each others’ concerns. Ideally they should undertake joint projects in sectors like IT, communication, power, health, etc. Such was the mixed picture on cooperation in Afghanistan.
Compared to the broad consensus on such a dialogue last year, this is a negative development reflecting the erosion of CBMs post-Mumbai. Pakistan’s stand on not providing trade corridor for India to Afghanistan has also hardened despite the US-Pakistan-Afghanistan tripartite talks earlier this year where such a facility appeared feasible.
Finding common ground and common enemy for India to help Pakistan in its war against terrorism proved elusive. The Indian offer that Pakistan could relocate its troops from east to  west to intensify the army offensive against Taliban without fear of Delhi taking advantage was rejected on the grounds that after what happened in 1971 in East Pakistan, India could not be trusted. This too is a retrograde step signifying the total breakdown of trust. 
The suggestion by a Pakistani that Kashmir be put aside while helping stabilise Afghanistan was shot down by a fellow countryman as it contradicted Pakistan’s case that resolving Kashmir was key to its active cooperation on the Western front.
Given the suspicion and mistrust over Af-Pak and Pakistan’s reluctance to act against Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba’s seven plus Hafiz Saeed, early revival of composite dialogue was considered a remote possibility. But given the avalanche of suicide terrorism in Pakistan, India was asked to extend the hand of friendship and resume official dialogue.





No aggressive Chinese posturing in Indian skies: IAF
IANS
SECURING INDIAN SKIES: Indian Air Force rejects fears of Chinese aggression.

Kolkata: There was no aggressive posturing from China and no apprehensions of air threats, a senior Indian Air Force (IAF) official said on Tuesday.

"I personally do not see any aggressive posture that we need to get hyper about. We are fully prepared to protect our skies," Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (Eastern Air Command) Air Marshal S K Bhan told reporters in Kolkata on the occasion of the EAC's golden jubilee year celebrations.

"No case of airspace violation by Chinese aircraft has been reported so far," said Bhan, adding he had already checked with the Army if there was any such incident.

Bhan said the EAC was planning to introduce more upgraded radar systems to enhance the capacity of IAF's air space operation and surveillance mechanism along the borders.

"We're also trying to make an airborne warning advance control system (AWACS) available with the IAF whenever necessary," he added.

He said that the IAF was developing advanced landing ground in north-east frontier area to carry out better air maintenance activities.

"We cannot have modern aircraft without modern air fields."

The AOC-in-C (EAC) stressed upon the upgradation of various airfields throughout the year.

Talking about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to carry out electronic surveillance in Maoist-infested areas, Bhan said if the West Bengal government places any request, the IAF will be willing to lend it to the state to carry out anti-Maoist operations.





Joint Army-CPO conference held
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 15
The annual Army-Central Police Organisations (CPO) Conference was held at Headquarters (Western Command), Chandimandir today. Apart from senior Army officers of the Western Command, the top brass from the Border Security Force (BSF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Border Wing Home Guards attended the conference.

It was presided over by Lieut-Gen MS Buttar, Chief of Staff, Western Command. The agenda included discussions on issues of mutual importance for enhancing cooperation and effectiveness between the Army and the CPOs.
During wars or times of national emergency, the Army and the CPOs are required to work together for a common purpose. The CPOs provide the requisite manpower and logistic support to complement defensive operations besides providing security cover to lines of communication and vital establishments.




Bee sting kills ex-Army officer 
Tribune News Service
Ambala, December 15
A retired Army officer died here yesterday after being stung by bees. He was playing golf when he was attacked by the bees at the Kharga Golf Course.

The deceased, identified as Col Satinder Singh Sandhu, was a resident of Defence Colony here and was an avid golfer. Yesterday around 5 pm while playing at the green, he was attacked by bees. Sandhu was rushed to the Military Hospital. According to doctors, he succumbed to a kind of shock caused due to the bee sting.
Doctors at the hospital said in such cases the patient was administered anti-allergic immediately. However, in this case they were not given much reaction time.
Terming the incident unfortunate, an Army spokesperson stated that such incidents were rare. However, the matter would be looked into, he added. 




Room for Nepal soldiers; tanks on table
SUJAN DUTTA
Chhatraman Singh Gurung

New Delhi, Dec. 15: Officer cadets from Nepal will get more seats in the Indian Military Academy, the recruitment of Nepalese Gorkhas in the Indian Army will be increased and New Delhi will consider supplying 50 phased-out tanks to Kathmandu, a senior defence ministry official said today.

The decisions followed talks Nepal’s visiting army chief, General Chhatraman Singh Gurung, held with security officials here.

India proposes to raise an additional battalion of Gorkhas that will increase the recruitment from Nepal from the current level of about 1,600 soldiers a year. But the move could rankle the Maoists in Nepal who have campaigned against the recruitment of Nepalese Gorkhas by foreign (Indian and British) armies.

There are seven Gorkha Rifles regiments in the Indian Army, each with five or six battalions of about 900 soldiers. Gorkhas from Nepal and India are recruited not only in these battalions but also in other regiments such as the special forces (parachute battalions).

Five years back, the number of Nepalese Gorkhas in the Indian Army was around 40,000. In an acknowledgement of their role, the Indian defence establishment has its largest pay and accounts office in Kathmandu to disburse pensions.

Recruitment of Nepalese Gorkhas was done in rallies in Dharan and Pokhran (in Nepal) till it was suspended in September 2006. The recruitment was resumed in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur last year. The Nepalese Gorkha quota is always oversubscribed. At the last rally this March, over 8,500 aspirants turned up.

Nepal’s army has also enquired if India can raise the supply of military hardware to the level prevalent nine years back. In 2005, India scaled down its military aid with the accession to power of King Gyanendra. But the actual reduction in military assistance had begun in 2001, with the Maoist insurgency intensifying in the Himalayan nation.

The scaling-down was done not only because of a cold turn in diplomatic relations but also because of fears that Indian weapons — such as the INSAS rifle, more than a lakh of which were supplied to the (erstwhile) Royal Nepal Army — would fill the Maoists’ arsenal (which turned out to be true).

Nepal has specifically asked if it can acquire 50 tanks from the Indian Army at discounted rates. These are Ajeya T-72 tanks that are being replaced with the Bhishma T-90 in the armoured regiments.

General Gurung, an alumnus of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehra Dun who attended the passing-out parade of officer cadets on Saturday, also held talks with the Indian Army’s director-general of military training. He said it was his wish to set up an institution like the IMA in Nepal.

At the academy, Gurung visited the room where he had stayed as a cadet. He also spent time in its archives searching for a photograph of himself with the late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, whom he described as his hero.

Gurung was honoured with the rank of General in the Indian Army by the President yesterday. He is slated to meet the external affairs minister, the foreign secretary and national security adviser tomorrow.

Gurung’s visit comes close on the heels of an India-Nepal defence cooperation committee meeting in Kathmandu last week.

The Indian Army looks at the demand of the Maoists for “integration” of their PLA troops in the Nepal Army ranks — under the country’s peace accord — with suspicion.

Gurung, like the Indian military establishment, is in favour of an “apolitical, professional army” — euphemisms designed to exclude the politically indoctrinated Maoists from infiltrating the ranks.

Maoist chief Prachanda and the former army chief, General Rookmangad Katuwal, fell out after differences. The showdown ultimately led to the exit of the Maoists from the government in Kathmandu earlier this year.

The delegations of the two armies have exchanged notes on security, with the Nepalese team of the view that the Maoists can present a military challenge yet again.




Pak paper blames India for Fonseka’s ouster

Did India manipulate Sri Lanka to remove its former army chief general Sarath Fonseka within days of defeating the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)?

If the Pakistani newspaper, The Nation, is to be believed then it took Prime Minister Manmohan Singh merely one late night telephone call to convince the Lankan political leadership that Fonseka had become too powerful after leading the Sri Lankan army (SLA) to victory against the LTTE and a military takeover of the civilian government was imminent.

The LTTE was defeated in May; In July, Fonseka was appointed as the chief of defence staff, which he himself had called "an appointment without power." From being the chief of a 2-lakh strong army, Fonseka had become ceremonial head without any operational head.

The Indian PM warned that intelligence reports indicated that democratic institutions in Sri Lanka were under threat from SLA. "SLA and General Fonseka have become too powerful. The situation is dangerous as it sometimes happened in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where military got control of democratic institutions," unnamed sources in Colombo revealed to The Nation, quoting a conversation between Singh and Sri Lankan leader. The telephone conversation took place in the intervening night between May 21 and 22.

The report goes on to add: "Above all, the Indian PM also advised the Sri Lankan political leadership that they must act swiftly and order changes in senior leadership of Armed forces. It is quite obvious that India was not happy with Sri Lanka's unprecedented victory that could lead to peace and domestic stability; thus denying India's leverage in Sri Lanka's internal affairs."

Fonseka, now the opposition's Presidential candidate against President Rajapaksa, had dismissed the Lanka government's fear of a coup in his resignation letter in November.

It was an attempt to tarnish the image of the SLA, Fonseka had remarked about the government's suspicion that he would stage a coup.

Whereas, the Lankan government denied that India had put any pressure to remove Fonseka.

"India has never pressured Sri Lanka to do any such thing. India and Sri Lanka have excellent relations.  No government source however reliable or highly placed could have said this because it is not a fact. If it was so, why did the President (Mahinda Rajapaksa) wait till July to appoint him (Fonseka) as CDS? And it was a promotion," Lalith Weeratunga, President Rajapaksa's secretary and Sri Lanka's top civil servant, told HT.




Indian Intrigue against Pakistan

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 11:59 pm

16th December is the day of tragic memory when Pakistan was dismembered and a new state of Bangladesh was created in 1971 as part of Indian intrigue which still continues. At present, New Delhi has been supporting separatism in Balochistan, Sindh, and insurgency in the Frontier Province in order to further weaken the federation of Pakistan.

India has a long-gone history of many centuries, based upon religious prejudice against the Muslims. In this respect, Indian intelligence agency, RAW which was founded in 1968, has assumed a significant status as invisible actor in formulation of India’s domestic, regional and global policies, particularly directed Pakistan.

Hindus give credit to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970s gave RAW a new role to suit her Indira Doctrine specifically asking it to undertake covert operations in neighboring countries, especially Pakistan which comprises majority of Muslims. RAW was given a green signal to mobilise all its resources by exploiting political turmoil in East Pakistan in 1971 which this agency had created through its agents who provided Bengalis with arms and ammunition for conducting guerrilla acts against the Pakistani defence forces.

As regards the separation of East Pakistan, Indian RAW had unleashed a well-organized plan of psychological warfare, creation of polarisation among the armed forces, propaganda by false allegations against West Pakistan, creation of differences between the political parties and religious sects of East and West Pakistan, control of media, manipulating linguistic, political and econmic disputes in order to keep maligned the Bengalis against Islamabad.

There is no doubt that one can note political, economic and social disparities almost in every Third World country. India itself contians these disparities on larger scale. In seven states of India, separatist movements are at work. But New Delhi which has not recognized the existence of Pakistan since partition, left no stone unturned in planting and exploiting differences between the people of East and West Pakistan.

RAW has a long history of sinister activities in the East Pakistan, backing secular areas of Hindu minority who had played an important role in motivating Bengali Muslims against West Pakistan. RAW’s well-paid agents had activated themselves in East Pakistan in the 1960’s so as to dismember Pakistan. For this aim, it took the responsibility of funding Mujib-ur-Rehmans’ general elections in 1970 and the members of the Awami Party. It colluded with the pro-Indian persons and had paid full attention in training and  arming the Mukti Bahnis. RAW, playing with the bloodshed of the Muslims, succeded in initiating a civil war in East Pakistan. Meanwhile, India welcomed the refugees from East Pakistan, providing them with every facility to provocate them against West Pakistn.

However, huge quantity of arms started entering East Pakisan along with the guidline of Indian army and RAW. In this connection, Asoka Raina in his book, ‘Inside RAW: The Story of India’s Secret Service’, reveals, “Indian intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan…its operatives were in touch with Sheikh Mujib as the possible ‘Father’ of a new nation-Bangladesh, who went to Agartala in 1965. The famous Agartala case was unearthed in 1967. In fact, the main purpose of raising RAW in 1968 was to organise covert operations in Bangladesh. Indian army officers and RAW officials used Bengali refugees to set up Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, Indian military sneaked deep into East Pakistan. The story of Mukti Bahini and RAW’s role in its creation and training is now well-known.”

Asoka further explained, “Indian sources including journalists have put on record how much RAW had established the network of a separatist movement through ‘cells’ within East Pakistan and military training camps in Indian territory adjoining East Pakistan…carring out acts of sabotage against communication lines so that Indian forces simply marched in at the ‘right’ time. RAW agents provided valuable information as well as acting as an advance guard for conducting unconventional guerrilla acts against the Pakistani defence forces.”

Nevertheless, India had played a key role in the debacle of Dhaka, which culminated in dismemberment of Pakistan. Even at present, Indian RAW which has been implementing Indian hidden agenda against other countries such as China, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan in order to maintain Indian dominace in the region has made Pakistanan—a special target to disintegrate or weaken it.

India has established more than 200 foreign offices and training camps in Afghanistan where RAW’s intelligence officials with the help of Khad are doing their utmost to destabilise Pakistan by sending weapons to the separatist elements in Balochistan and the insurgents of FATA regions. Very young boys including Afghans, training recruits are mostly from Central Asia, bordering Afghanistan. Thus more than 20,000 ideologically motivated terrorists are regularly being infiltrated into troubled spots of Pakistan. They join the Taliban militants to fight against Pakistan’s security forces. These miscreants also conducted a number of suicide attacks and bomb blasts in Pakistan, killing a number of innocent people and personnel of the security forces. In Kurram Agency, RAW’s Afghan agents have also been actively involved in the sectarian conflict. However, their aim is also to create unrest in our country.

It is mentionable that Pakistan’s prime minister, interior minister and foreign minister have repeatedly stated that they have concrete evidence of Indian involvement in the terrorist activities in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s army spokesman, Maj-Gen. Athar Abbas disclosed in wake of the military operation in South Waziristan that huge cache of arms and ammunition of the Indian origin, entering our country from Afghanistan was captured.

A few days ago, two containers loaded with Indian-made weapons were caught in Balochistan after entering into Chaman, bordering Afghanistan.

In this regard, in its editorial on December 7, 2008, The New York Times wrote, “India’s growing investment and intelligence network in Afghanistan is also feeding Islamabad’s insecurity and sense of encirclement”. On September 20, 2009, NATO commander, Gen. McChrystal admitted: “Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan including significant development efforts…is likely to exacerbate regional tensions.”

Nonetheless, after the separation of East Pakistan, India is fully backing the Baloh separatists who have been waging a low-level insurgency by destroying gas-pipelines and eliminating Pakistani citizens from other parts of the country including targeted-killings. RAW’s agents are regularly helping them in conducting the subversive acts. Notably, On July 23, 2008, in an interview with the BBC, Brahmdagh Bugti, while replying to a question regarding the acquisition of arms, remarked that they “have the right to accept aid from India.”

In the recent past, by assassinating the Baloch nationalist leaders, Indian elements wanted to fulfill a number of clandestine aims. In Balochistan, people, openly, began to blame Pakistan’s intelligence agencies for the abduction and killing of these leaders. This is what the external plotters intended to achieve. Another aim was to gain the sympathies of general masses for Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) which has been fighting for secession of the province with the logistic support of RAW. One of the major purposes of this agency was not only to create a rift between the center and Balochistan, but also to give a greater impetus to the people of the province so as to intensify their separatist activities through acts of sabotage against the federation and Punjabis.

Besides, another CIA and Indian-supported separatist group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) is also working against the cordial relationship of Pakistan with China and Iran.

It is pertinent to note that Balochistan is replete with mineral resources. Its ideal geo-strategic location with Gwadar Deep Seaport alone could prove to be Pakistan’s key junction, linking the rest of the world with Central Asia.

However, besides separation of East Pakistan and perennial wave of suicide attacks in other regions, the largest province of Balochistan has become center of Indian intrigue. To avoid further disintegration, our politicians, armed forces and the general masses need a strong sense of unity in thwarting RAW’s sinister designs against the federation of Pakistan.





Rebuffing U.S., Pakistan Balks at Crackdown
By JANE PERLEZ

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Demands by the United States for Pakistan to crack down on the strongest Taliban warrior in Afghanistan, Siraj Haqqani, whose fighters pose the biggest threat to American forces, have been rebuffed by the Pakistani military, according to Pakistani military officials and diplomats.

The Obama administration wants Pakistan to turn on Mr. Haqqani, a longtime asset of Pakistan’s spy agency who uses the tribal area of North Waziristan as his sanctuary. But, the officials said, Pakistan views the entreaties as contrary to its interests in Afghanistan beyond the timetable of President Obama’s surge, which envisions reducing American forces beginning in mid-2011.

The demands, first made by senior American officials before President Obama’s Afghanistan speech and repeated many times since, were renewed in a written message delivered in recent days by the United States Embassy to the head of the Pakistani military, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, according to American officials. Gen. David H. Petraeus followed up on Monday during a visit to Islamabad.

The demands have been accompanied by strong suggestions that if the Pakistanis cannot take care of the problem, including dismantling the Taliban leadership based in Quetta, Pakistan, then the Americans will by resorting to broader and more frequent drone strikes in Pakistan.

But the Pakistani leadership has greeted the refrain with public silence and private anger, according to Pakistani officials and diplomats familiar with the conversations, illustrating the widening gulf between the allies over the Afghan war.

Former Pakistani military officers voice irritation with the Americans daily on television, part of a mounting grievance in Pakistan that the alliance with the United States is too costly to bear.

“It is really beginning to irk and anger us,” said a security official familiar with the deliberations at the senior levels of the Pakistani leadership.

The core reason for Pakistan’s imperviousness is its scant faith in the Obama troop surge, and what Pakistan sees as the need to position itself for a regional realignment in Afghanistan once American forces begin to leave.

It considers Mr. Haqqani and his control of large areas of Afghan territory vital to Pakistan in the jostling for influence that will pit Pakistan, India, Russia, China and Iran against one another in the post-American Afghan arena, the Pakistani officials said.

Pakistan is particularly eager to counter the growing influence of its archenemy, India, which is pouring $1.2 billion in aid into Afghanistan. “If America walks away, Pakistan is very worried that it will have India on its eastern border and India on its western border in Afghanistan,” said Tariq Fatemi, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States who is pro-American in his views.

For that reason, Mr. Fatemi said, the Pakistani Army is “very reluctant” to jettison Mr. Haqqani, Pakistan’s strong card in Afghanistan. Moreover, the Pakistanis do not want to alienate Mr. Haqqani because they consider him an important player in reconciliation efforts that they would like to see get under way in Afghanistan immediately, the officials said.

Because Mr. Haqqani shelters Qaeda leaders and operatives in North Waziristan, Washington is opposed to including Mr. Haqqani among the possible reconcilable Taliban, at least for the moment, a Western diplomat said.

In his reply to the Americans, General Kayani stressed a short-term argument, according to two Pakistani officials familiar with the response.

Pakistan currently has its hands full fighting the Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan and other places, and it is beyond its capacity to open another front against the Afghan Taliban, the officials said of General Kayani’s response. The offensive has had the secondary effect of constraining the Haqqani network in North Waziristan and driving some of its commanders and fighters across the border to Afghanistan, senior American military officials in Afghanistan said.

But implicit in General Kayani’s reply was the fact that the homegrown Pakistani Taliban represent the real threat to Pakistan. General Kayani argued that they are the ones carrying out attacks against security installations and civilian markets in Pakistan’s cities and must be the army’s top priority, the officials said.

For his part, Mr. Haqqani fights in Afghanistan, and is considered more of an asset than a threat by the Pakistanis. But he is the most potent force fighting the United States, American and Pakistani officials agree.

He has subcommanders threaded throughout eastern and southern Afghanistan. His fighters control Paktika, Paktia and Khost Provinces in Afghanistan, which lie close to North Waziristan. His men are also strong in Ghazni, Logar and Wardak Provinces, the officials said.

Because Mr. Haqqani now spends so much time in Afghanistan — about three weeks of every month, according to a Pakistani security official — if the Americans want to eliminate him, their troops should have ample opportunity to capture him, Pakistani security officials argue.

As a son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, a leading mujahedeen fighter against the Soviets who is now aged and apparently confined to bed, Siraj Haqqani is keeper of a formidable lineage and history.

In the early 1970s, the father attended a well-known madrasa, Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqaniya in the Pakistani town of Akora Khattack in North-West Frontier Province.

In the 1980s, Jalaluddin Haqqani received money and arms from the C.I.A. routed through Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, to fight the Soviets, according to Ahmed Rashid, an expert on the Afghan Taliban and the author of “Descent Into Chaos.”

In the 1990s, when the Taliban ran Afghanistan, Jalaluddin Haqqani served as governor of Paktia Province.

The relationship between the Haqqanis and Osama bin Laden dates back to the war against the Soviets in the 1980s, according to Kamran Bokhari, the South Asia director for Stratfor, a geopolitical risk analysis company.

When the Taliban government collapsed at the end of 2001 and Qaeda operatives fled from Tora Bora to Pakistan, the Haqqanis relocated their command structure to North Waziristan and welcomed Al Qaeda, Mr. Bokhari said.

The biggest gift of the Pakistanis to the Haqqanis was the use of North Waziristan as their fief, he said.

The Pakistani Army did not appear to be assisting the Haqqanis with training or equipment, he said. More than 20 members of the Haqqani family were killed in a drone attack in North Waziristan last year, showing the limits of how far the Pakistanis could protect them, Mr. Bokhari said.

Today, Siraj Haqqani has anywhere from 4,000 to 12,000 Taliban under his command. He is technically a member of the Afghan Taliban leadership based in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province.

That leadership is headed by Mullah Omar, the former leader of the Taliban regime. But Mr. Haqqani operates fairly independently of them inside Afghanistan.

He funds his operations in part through kidnappings and other illicit activities. The Haqqani network held David Rohde, a correspondent for The New York Times, for seven months, seeking ransom until he escaped in June.

Siraj Haqqani maintains an uneasy relationship with the Pakistani Taliban, said Maulana Yousaf Shah, the administrator of the madrasa at Akora Khattack.

Mr. Haqqani believed the chief jihadi objective should be forcing the foreigners out of Afghanistan, and he had tried but failed to redirect the Pakistani Taliban to fight in Afghanistan as well, he said.

Ismail Khan contributed reporting from Peshawar, Pakistan; Pir Zubair Shah from Islamabad; and Eric Schmitt from Kabul, Afghanistan.







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