Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?

Gung-ho members of India's middle class clamor for Israeli-style retaliation against jihadi training camps in Pakistan. But India can "do a Lebanon" only by risking nuclear war with its neighbor; and Indian intelligence agencies are too inept to imitate Mossad's policy of targeted killings, which have reaped for Israel an endless supply of dedicated and resourceful enemies.

The preceding words were written by Pankaj Mishra and published in the Guardian newspaper just a few months ago. Mishra is the author of Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond

Writing for the Guardian newspaper, Mr. Mishra further added, "In an article I wrote for the New York Times in 2003 I underlined the likely perils if the depressed and alienated minority of Muslims were to abandon their much-tested faith in the Indian political and legal system. Predictably Hindu nationalists, most of them resident in the UK and US, inundated my email inbox, accusing me of showing India in a bad light."

The growing admiration of the Jewish state and the urge to emulate Israel often find expression in the Indian media. Those who argue for "doing a Lebanon" in Pakistan have once again found growing support in India with the government and the media joining the chorus of accusations of Pakistan's complicity in Mumbai attacks. Saber rattling has also started with India's Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee not ruling out military strikes in Pakistan. President-elect Obama has come out in support of India's right "to protect themselves". Asked if India had the right to “take out” high-value targets inside Pakistan with or without the permission of Islamabad, as he espousing in regard to the U.S. under his presidency, he said: “I think that sovereign nations, obviously, have a right to protect themselves". This is the same kind of language that President Bush has often used in support of Israel's attacks on Palestinians and Lebanese.

Given the angry and vengeful public mood in India, the apparent green-light from Obama, and the elections only a few months away, would the Indian government be tempted to "do a Lebanon"? To examine such an Indian fantasy, let us look at South Asian reality.

Even though Pakistan's military is dwarfed in size by the Indian military, it is still a very large, well-equipped, well-trained and effective professional fighting force that has never hesitated in taking on India's conventionally superior might. Contrary to the Indian folklore of "defeating Pakistan" in several wars, India has not been able to score any decisive victories over Pakistani military except in Bangladesh war where Pakistanis, cut off from the Western wing of the country and surrounded by India, found themselves trapped by a ferocious Bengali insurgency supported by Indian government. Counter-insurgency is where most conventional armies of the world, including Pakistan's, are not very effective.

Pakistani military is definitely much larger in size and strength than the Lebanese military. In fact, it is the fourth or fifth largest military force in the world. On the other hand, Lebanon has never been a conventional military power. Lebanese military has never taken on the Israelis, leaving it to Hizbullah to do the the asymmetrical resistance using guerrilla tactics and outdated Katyusha rockets. Needless to say, the Israelis have failed to achieve their objectives in Lebanon in spite of the use of US-supplied high-tech weaponry and overwhelming force. Israelis have failed to gain the release of their dead and captured soldiers nor have they been able to stop Hizbullah or Hamas from carrying out attacks against Israelis.

If Indian leadership does decide to emulate the Israelis in Lebanon, they may be able to make some short-term tactical gains, getting the satisfaction of killing a few suspected "terrorists" along with many innocent civilians, and occupying a small chunk of Pakistani territory temporarily. But in the long run, they run the risk of a spectacular strategic failure leading to more and bigger terrorist attacks and possibly a nuclear conflagration in the South Asian region. Any reckless adventure by India will almost certainly relieve pressure on Al Qaeda and the Taleban in Pakistan's FATA region, strengthen support for Pakistan's military, weaken Pakistan's democracy and help in the emergence of a new, powerful, popularly supported Hizbullah style resistance group in South Asia.

Even if any credible evidence is found implicating Pakistanis in the Mumbai attacks, the Indian fantasy of "doing a Lebanon" is completely futile and misguided. Instead of military confrontation against each other, India and Pakistan must be persuaded to collaborate and together confront the terrorists who indiscriminately inflict pain and suffering on Indians, Pakistanis, Americans, Europeans and the rest of the world.


Anonymous said...

It is the intent of radical islam to use terror and coercion to spread hard core islam ( wahabi islam). Otherwise why did the terrorists go out of their way to capture and kill jews. It is the confluence of saudi money and wahabi islam and pakistan based terror groups that are destroying the fabric of decent human scoiety. when pakistan cannot even assert itself within its existing boundary. Pakistani's should realize to achieve peace and progress as a united nation, they have to address the root cause of radical islam. the political and military class in pakistan has been using kashmir to distract the general populace, because of their failures in providing a social system where every individual can grow and succeed. What do you say about the marriot bombing and red mosque seize ? isn't that radical islam affecting the paki society directly. that's what they mean when they say "chickens come home to roost"

Anonymous said...

Why can't we talk about love and peace? Why do we always have to talk about war or possibilities of war? One reason: India has never accepted Pakistan's existence and has occupied Kashmir by force (why doesn't UN react here against violations of UN resolutions). What happens is Kashmir is a blatant act of state-sponsored terrorism. And why is India (RAW) so active in Afghanistan. Indian has supported some regional separatist groups inside Pakistan. India, after UK, is apparently the new sidekick of USA and India is taking pride in that. Don't forget this that US will come roaring after India as it is doing against Osama and Taliban who were trained and supported by the US during the Afghan war.

As for war. Forget it. First of all, I think that people in both India and Pakistan are not at all happy with the idea of a war. Secondly, a war will have more repercussions (see what has happened as a result of war on terror in Afghanistan). Thirdly, in case of a war, it will turn hundreds of thoudsands of Pakistanis (if not millions)go against India. Terrorism will only rise not end.

If we want a peaceful resolution of terrorism (remember Pakisan is more affected by this), then we need to solve the problems. First, NATO should get out of Afghanistan. Second, Muslim countries should be allowed to have genuine democracies (not American supported puppets - be it civilian or military leaders). Third, West should stop imposing its culture on others. We are all different and everyone has a right to live peacefully by his or her faith. West is shifting resources strategically to change the mind-sets in the Muslim world. The obvious imapct is a reaction that often cannot be controlled.

This is getting long, so I will stop here. I think I have put my major thoughts across.

Anonymous said...

This is a good read:-


this one also:


This pretty much is a sample of what the world thinks of Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

Riaz, are you ashamed of your country yet? I had a chance to get a sample of the Pakistani media ...and i thought the Indian media was bad...hahaha

Constant references to "Hindu Zionism", and how this was engineered by the hindus, like how 9/11 was done by the cia. I hope this was not your mainstream news channel, and that Zaid Hamid, is not , like they said, a "defence expert"

He went on to say how Pakistan should side with their 'natural allies' , the Taliban, to fight the Indians in the east and the americans in the west.

Tell me, Riaz ? Do you share his point of view?

Anonymous said...

I personally do not think there is going to be a war though some covert brinkmanship on part of India is possible. People in both countries are tired of this war business... tonight we have on our campus a candlelight vigil for those who lost lives in India.
Some of my best professors were from India and knowing well that I was from Pakistan, they were very affectionate - now I have some of my best grad students from India... The point I am trying to make is that all humans want to better their lives and that is what matters the most.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Pakistan is affected by terrorism today but we must not forget that Pakistan is where terrorism was born and cultivated over the years. The whole world is acknowledging this fact today and the president on Larry king says "yes mistakes have been comitted in the past". Now when that part is finally owned up, there should be a willingness for the price to be paid for the past mistakes, one and the foremost of them is to at least pretend to stand firm against terrorism. Actually the president's first reaction of sending the ISI chief to India were too good to be true as it proved to be later to be the musing of a poor immature politician trying on the democratic garb & thinking he was actually in charge. The president's interview on Larry King live again and again refers to stateless actors - a phrase that the president has coined to have headroom to wriggle out of situation in which he certainly will be caught later. It will not be very difficult to see if these people really came from Pakistan. All this is not really needed. Actually Pakistani govt started with some uncahracterstic and seemingly positive comments when the mumbai incident began. It was sad to see that it soon died and there were usual impotent musings from the govt later asking for evidence and then even saying that we will try them in our courts. Well, you gotta be kidding and everyone knows that.

Anonymous said...

well my request to all my indian fellows-please dont comment on pakistani blogs.because it is of no use shouting loud when there is no listener..someone said india is new sidekick of u.s then wats pakistan after all these years of "friendship" with u.s?? i dont know and dont want to know either..plz we indians need to focus on our security mechanisms and other things..asking for pakistans cooperation is just...forget it.

Anonymous said...

Madeline Albright, the ex-US secretary of state, has called Pakistan ‘an international migraine’.

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a prominent (and very loud) minister under both Nawaz Sharif and Musharraf, openly boasted on TV of running a camp for Kashmiri fighters on his own land just outside Rawalpindi a few years ago. If such camps can be set up a few miles from army headquarters, what’s to stop them from operating in remote areas?

Anonymous said...

“Were one to map terrorism and weapons of mass destruction today, all roads would intersect in Pakistan,” and that “the focus of US policy should be to help Pakistan achieve political and economic stability”, the report said.

~ Dawn ~

Humanity is praying hard. "Please save us from Pakistan and Pakistanis".

Anonymous said...

Europe is also very concerned about Pakistan linked terrorists.


Anonymous said...

Although there is no match in number.But in retaliation Pakistan can strike on bigger targets.

Anonymous said...

Whole world knows what pakistan is - it is infact 'an army with an attached state'(The Economic Times, 5th Dec.2008, page no.12).Poor Pakistanis, dont know how would they bear with their migraine. Whether India can do a lebanon in pakistan or not, Pakistan and Pakistanis cannot withstand their own creation of terrorism; hope they realize it sooner than later - before they destruct themselves.

Anonymous said...

Views from Australia.


Anonymous said...

Another damning article on the Islamic republic of Pakistan and it faithful ISI.


Anonymous said...

comments FROM Farrooq Pittafis blogIndians please realize, its not pakistani govt, few radicals doin all this on both sides Indian officials talk about SURGICAL STRIKES, what happened to that massive Indian buildup in 2002 on Pakistani border I ask, NOTHING, so forget about that option, it is not 1971, Pakistan air force have planes that can reach many Indian cities and long range missiles just like India .Plus China and USA are definitely not interested in what you want.Lets forget this surgical strike option, same as 2002, when you withdrew eventually.Lets talk peace through dialogue, that’s the only way out. Think PEACE, maturity etc for sake of us and our future generations .Please do not blame the entire Pakistan for that quote unquote VIRTUAL Pakistani terrorists involvement.You never acted as mother Teresa to us in last 60 years, so don’t expect us to be suddenly saints to us.It will take sometime to build trusts between the 2 countries, and radicals from both sides will try hard to destroy this union of brotherhood if ever it happens.You guys talk about India as if it is a superpower like USA or other countries, I was amazed to hear that it took 10 hours for special units to reach Mumbai to stabilize the situation.What kind of Intelligence exists.Plus I was shocked, with all the Capital you guys talk that India has, what I saw was Mumbo police carrying those dinosaur era Rifles, no SWAT team unbelivable.Do any of you are intellectuals here, have you read history of partition, Indian land was a heaven with complete infrastructure built up by the British raaj, we got only Punjab, rest of the provinces were barren lands, nothing. But look at Pakistan now, what a difference and huge infrastructure. I give 100% credit to Pakistan armed forces that made us proud by defending our borders from a mega country like India who always had bad intentions of taking over our country .India was 100% involved in making Bangladesh.So how the trust will come and when, so wake up and smell the coffee, all of you.How can you stop these radicals, which exist both sides of the border, if USA with all its superior might could not control it, how can Pakistan do it overnight. How come you cannot control with your full strength your Kashmir and 13 separatist movements.Give evidence against these bad individuals, so they can be tried in Pakistan and if found guilty, hanged.Like minded educated people in both side of the border should think logical, lets fix both countries by building universities, cross cultural dialogues, trade etc as we are same breed and both side religions promote 100% brotherhood.But it will not happen overnight.All of you Indian nationals talking very highly of India, comparing to what country Haiti or better than Srilanka, don’t even compare your technology with USA or even Europe.You have same heavy duty corrupted individuals as Pakistan, filthy sewerage, garbage behind high rises, crowded yucky alleys with smell of human urine and miserable living conditions for citizens of both side of the border, just eat daal, fart eat curry and go home and make few more babies to create a population explosion. Many of you right now must be powerless and miserable in your lives by living in a 3rd world country but feel proud to vent all out on this sophisticated kind blog of farrukh, enjoy but what is you were saying is all crap away from REALITY as all of us have ZERO clue what’s going on right now, so wake up Indians.But all of you are still lucky to have this access to Internet as you are still better than a common Indian. I mean both countries are so far behind that we still have power outages and I feel bad we have such a big transportation problem, in this day and age majority of common people in other developed nations have a nice comfy car, and all of us ride motorcycle wow.It just amazes me how confident we talk, these westerners must really be laughing hard at us really with our sewerage mentality after all that education.Existence of Few billionaires in India does not solve the problem of a common man .Corrupt Politicians just like we have in Pakistan, hunger, preventable infectious diseases due to overflowing sewerage, a silent epidemic of AIDS.So slow down guys, all of you including Pakistanis sure are pathetically helpless in this unfolding drama of Brutality.Long live Pakistan, Pakistan Zindabad.

Riaz Haq said...

While I welcome differing opinions, civil discourse and candid commentary on many significant issues in South Asia, I have been truly shocked by the extreme bigotry expressed by some of of my readers in their comments. Some of it has been so vulgar and raw, I have had to reject it. Unfortunately, the bigotry has come from both Indians and Pakistanis, although my Indian readers have been far more unpleasant than my Pakistani readers.

I sincerely hope that we can deal with our emotions in a way that does not kill the civil dialog so essential for our mutual well being in a difficult neighborhood. I urge both my Pakistani and Indian readers to show more restraint and respect with each other. Together, we have a better chance of overcoming the scourge of terrorism and fundamentalism in both nations.

Anonymous said...

There is too much extreme nationalism and inflated ego among indians causing them to become detached from reality.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

A BBC Urdu service report filed on Friday supports India’s claims that Mohammad Ajmal Amir, the terrorist arrested in the course of last month’s Lashkar-e-Taiba terror attacks in Mumbai, was a Pakistani national.

In a first person account of his visit to the village of Faridkot, in the Dipalpur tehsil of Pakistan’s Okara district, reporter Ali Salman noted unusual activity in the form of a large number of people who local people said were intelligence officials.

“When I made enquiries about Amir’s residence,” Mr. Salman recorded, “I was directed to a house. The alleged officials in plainclothes came out when they saw a camera and microphone in my hand. I tried to talk to them,” Mr. Salman wrote, “but they walked away without saying anything.”

Inside the two-room house, Mr. Salman found a woman who identified herself as Mehraj Bibi, who said that she knew no one called Amir, and that none of her children was missing.

However, the Imam of Faridkot’s Central [Markazi] Mosque, Qari Naveed Akram, told the BBC that Amir the Butcher did indeed have two sons, one of whom was religious-minded [mazhabi rujhaan wala] and had not been in touch with his father for a while.”

Anonymous said...

Pakistani Journalist in BBC have now confirmed that Ajmal, the son of the Butcher in Faridkot.

"Ajmal Amir Kasab, interrogated in custody after last month's attacks that killed 163 people, reportedly told Indian security officials that he came from a place called Faridkot in the Punjab province. His father was named as Mohammed Amir, married to a woman named Noor. During the past week, Pakistani sources have cast doubt on the authenticity of the leaked information, which has had a predictably explosive impact on relations between the two countries.

The Observer has obtained electoral lists for Faridkot showing 478 registered voters, including a Mohammed Amir, married to Noor Elahi. Amir's and Noor's national identity card numbers have also been obtained. At the address identified in the list, a man identifying himself as Sultan said he was the father-in-law of Mohammed Amir.

A villager, who cannot be named for his own protection, said the village was an active recruiting ground for the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. 'We know that boy [caught in Mumbai] is from Faridkot,' he said. 'We knew from the first night [of the attack]. They brainwash our youth about jihad, there are people who do it in this village. It is so wrong,' he added.

According to the villager and other locals, Ajmal has not lived in Faridkot for about four years but would return to see his family once a year and frequently talked of freeing Kashmir from Indian rule."


Anonymous said...

About the boy from Faridkot.


Riaz Haq said...

"They needed people on the ground who could guide them and provided the inside dope," said Shuja Nawaz, author of "Crossed Swords," which analyzes the role of Pakistan's military in the country's politics. "Otherwise, the Lashkar doesn't have the capacity to have cased the joints, to have made all these plans and get these people into the target area so effectively."

For more, visit: http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/12/04/mumbai.investigation/

Anonymous said...

I must say that India’s behavior can cause another war with Pakistan as they are continuously blaming Pakistan after Mumbai attacks, without any solid proof!

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story from Times of India around this post:

Can India
"do a Lebanon'' in Pakistan, asks Pakistani blogger Riaz Haq. Over the past week, Indians have been phrasing the same question
differently, with less unease and more vehemence. Rhetoric urging India to pick up the gun has been gaining in decibel.

Haq, whose profile says he is a US-educated business consultant, writes, "If Indian leadership does decide to emulate the Israelis in Lebanon, they may be able to make some short-term tactical gains, getting the satisfaction of killing a few suspected `terrorists' along with many innocent civilians, and occupying a small chunk of Pakistani territory temporarily. But in the long run, they run the risk of a spectacular strategic failure leading to more and bigger terrorist attacks and possibly a nuclear conflagration in the South Asian region. Any reckless adventure by India will almost certainly relieve pressure on Al Qaeda and the Taliban, strengthen support for Pakistan's military, weaken Pakistan's democracy and help in the emergence of a new, powerful, popularly supported Hizbullah style resistance group.''

Addressing a student assembly at KC College last Friday, former United Nations under-secretary general Shashi Tharoor walked the same line. "I have seen the anti-Pakistan sentiment in the country, even among some hotheads in the administration apart from the youth,'' he said. "But a war is out of the question.''

Thinking Indians agree that war is not the solution, and many have been deeply distressed by the naked jingoism on display. But many also understand and empathise with the resurgent hatred against our northwestern neighbour. "Anti-Pakistan sentiment is the expected fallout of the attacks,'' says peace advocate and Islamic scholar Zeenat Shaukat Ali. "While I am not for war, I do believe some sort of punishment or reparation is in order if it has been proved beyond doubt that the Pakistani government is involved. Pakistan should be made to pay, not financially, but through an embargo on trade perhaps. With war, India will be punished as much as Pakistan.''

An interface is definitely needed, but not the antagonistic kind insists Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and national creative director of O&M India. "India should realise that terror deriving from that country is not necessarily sponsored by its polity. Pakistan has gone through equal pain of terror-recall the Marriott
attack, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the Peshawar attack. My question to Pakistan is: Mr Zardari, you've lost your wife to terror-how do you plan to collaborate with us? This isn't the time to talk about different nationalities, but common problems both nationalities face and the future of human existence itself.''

While Pandey hopes for cooperation, his old classmate Tharoor has a tougher plan of action. "We have the goodwill of the US and other Western countries. India needs to tell the US to stop funding Pakistan until it destroys its terror camps. In India, the state has the army. In Pakistan, the army has the state. Musharraf's idea of freezing foreign bank accounts of terrorist groups in 24 hours, by which time they would have taken out their money, and banning an extremist organisation so that it regroups under a different name, should not be tolerated.''

Abhay Sardesai, editor of the magazine, Art India, agrees. "War followed by relative peace is the pattern India and Pakistan have followed since independence. And war, like always, will be an opportunity for Pakistan's army to flex its muscle and undermine its government.''


Anonymous said...

If india wants to become isreal than it means it wanst to become just like the biggest bucther in the world just like isreal. Yes there are some mistakes from pakistani side like trying to establish normal ties with india.
India is a country which can elect
terrorist organization child of RSS BJP for goverment, how it it evr be friend of any country. Thats foolish dream on on part of pakistani goverment. The only lesson it under stands look in its eyes say to them if your terrorist army continues to occupy kashmir hyderabad and gujrat that we would left no option but to attack indian trade routes stop it s exports. I hope these message is understood by paki high-ups.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an interesting related piece by Bennett Ramberg in Christian Science Monitor:

Unfortunately, the possibility of war may intensify in years to come if India ramps up its "Cold Start" military doctrine.

Cold Start transforms New Delhi's traditional focus on defense and lumbering mobilization of hundreds of thousands of troops to one that prizes nimble strikes against its neighbor within hours of crisis onset. The strategy assumes that occupation of limited Pakistani territory would be the bargaining chip to force Islamabad to heel. It also assumes that it could do this without crossing the nuclear threshold – not an easy feat where rivalries run deep.

India has war-gamed this strategy since 2004. Adoption still must overcome equipment and personnel deficiencies and interservice rivalries, but work continues.

Rather than intimidate Pakistan to constrain militants or suffer the consequences, Cold Start may do just the opposite by inadvertently putting militants in the driver's seat. Previously, terrorist provocations would be met with action only after deliberation and delay. Under Cold Start, response would be much more immediate, effectively empowering radicals to hold the subcontinent hostage to their crisis-initiating whims.

To avoid that outcome, the time has come for India to short circuit the most critical incendiary, the disputed area of Kashmir. Despite some recent Islamic militant clamor to dominate the entire subcontinent, Kashmir remains the eye of the Indo-Pakistani vortex.


Anonymous said...

I think the answer is not to do "A lebanon on pakistan' but to do 'A pakistan in Pakistan'.
India should also covertly train terrorists , send them into pakistan, bribe some pakis and blast vital targets and then deny that they are Indians.

Thats the only way India can manage this menace. because if india does a lebanon a war will break out and civilised people will loose to barbarians. So the answer is to do a 'Pakistan unto pakistan'.
Views welcome.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an CNN-IBN online poll result of its Indian audience:

Is Israel a role model for India when it comes to security?

Yes: 59 per cent

No: 41 per cent


This poll confirms my earlier post about India's middle class demanding India "do a Lebanon" in Pakistan.

Anonymous said...


Indian middle class is aware that pakistan will nto give the opportunity to india in creating a lebonan as they have created themself. swat being the islamic fundamentalist face of pakistan and the cities being the moderate and urban face of islam has already created lebonan. India can use its fund for better purpose rather than hitting a bundle of snakes who has already been wounded due to infight.

Riaz Haq said...

It is strange to see the growing admiration of Israel among the Hindu right-wing, in sharp contrast to RSS founder Madhav Golwalkar's support for Hitler and his genocide of Jews. This is how British Historian William Dalrypmle describes it:

Golwalkar looked for inspiration to the Nazi thinkers of 1930’s Germany. He believed an independent India should emulate Hitler's treatment of religious minorities, which he thoroughly approved of: "To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging of its Semitic Race, the Jews," he wrote admiringly in We soon after Kristallnacht. "Race pride at its highest has been manifested there. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures having differences going to the root to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by... The foreign races in Hindusthan [ie the Muslims] must adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no ideas but those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture[… and] may [only] stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing -- not even citizen’s rights."

Aryan said...

funny to see a sunni muslim emphathizing with Jews, about supposed Hindu love for Hitler's final solution! Whats next, the induction of Hamas & Islamic jihad into Hinduism :-)

Secondly, Pankaj Mishra, is a known self hating hindu, there's plenty of Self hating paki-muslims too. Just read some of your english newspapers. Thats how macaulyites go, in India or in Pakistan. Just because their last name changes from Acharya to Ali, it doenst change their true God & Savior, i.e. Firangis.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some interesting excerpts from a piece by Anjum Niaz in Pakistan's Daily Dawn today:

‘If I were a Pakistani, I would worry… there are frightening times ahead,’ Seymour Hersh warned. ‘You guys are next after Iran,’ he told me when I asked about American designs on our nukes. ‘Your nuclear programme is the target.’ Well wired with intelligence sources, not just in the American CIA, but the Mossad in Israel, RAW in India and the ISI in Pakistan; the Pulitzer Prize winner operates via sources crawling around these intelligence agencies who have over the years gladly handed him classified information.

‘If Musharraf was to go down south (exit),’ Hersh said four years ago, ‘there’ll be a traffic jam! There’ll be the CIA, Mossad and RAW jumping in to grab your nuclear facilities. It will be a free-for-all. The ISI and the Pakhtoons are terribly concerned.’ Earlier, he alleged in a November 2001 New Yorker article that Al Qaida was founded at a 1988 meeting in Peshawar. He quoted a former Pakistani diplomat who said, ‘If you go through the officers’ list, almost all of the ISI regulars would say of the Taliban, ‘They are my boys.’’

I pressed on with my questions on Pakistan’s security issues vis-à-vis Iran and India. How would a nearly nuclear armed Iran react if India and Pakistan were to go to war? In his typical New York accent, he answered, ‘Iran is not making nuclear weapons. It’s Israel you should be worrying about. With 600 nukes bristling under its arm, Tel Aviv is the greatest threat to the regional security. Other than Pakistan, there’s no Muslim country with a bomb.’

Castigating the New York Times, Hersh continued, ‘I throw a challenge to the Times to do a critical piece on Israel’s foreign policy and how it influences America. We must separate ourselves from Israeli interests and stop Israel from confusing the issue.’

Except for two walkouts, the rest of the audience, a 1000-strong, clap and cheer when he speaks of Israeli lobbyists infiltrating the power corridors in America to successfully mind-control policy-makers.

‘Hezbollah is not a terrorist organisation nor is it threatening our security one iota! Why then are the NYT and Washington Post pursuing the Israeli storyline? Israeli agents have infiltrated the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in Vienna. ‘Muslims are not terrorists, as Israel alleges.’


Riaz Haq said...

How would Pakistan respond in the event of an Indian air strike? Here's a report on an interesting war game in Washington:

Early last year a group of Indian and Pakistan retired generals and strategic experts sat down for a war-gaming exercise in Washington. The question, predictably enough, was at what point during a conventional war, would the generals in Rawalpindi GDQ reach for the nuclear trigger.

In the event, the simulated war took on an unpredictable turn, which in some ways was more illuminating than the question of nuclear escalation, as columnist Ashok Malik writes in The Great Divide:India and Pakistan, a collection of essays by experts on both sides of the border.

The exercise begins with an Indian military strike on militant camps in Pakistani Kashmir, the most commonly envisaged scenario for the next India-Pakistan war. But the Pakistan response defies conventional logic . They don’t order a military push into Indian Punjab and Rajasthan, they don’t even attack Bombay High, the most valuable Indian oil asset in the Arabian Sea, and well within striking distance of the Pakistani Air Force.

Instead PAF planes fly all way to Bangalore, deep in the Indian south, to attack the campus of Infosys, the much celebrated Indian IT company.

Strange choice of target ? By all military logic it would seem so. It’s not like all of India would be crippled if Infosys were attacked, they don;’t run Indian IT infrastructure. Even the company itself might not suffer lasting damage. Its data would probably be stored in locations elsehwere too, and it wouldn’t take it long to rebuild the campus. Besides. the Pakistani planes would be almost certain to be shot down on their way back, if they managed to penetrate this far in on what seems like a suicide mission.

So why Bangalore, and Infosys? Malilk quotes a Pakistani participant as saying they chose the target because it is an “iconic symbol” of India’s IT prowess and economic surge. The idea was to strike at India’s economic growth and great power aspirations. A raid on the Infosys campus, visited by heads of states and corporate leaders, would underline the dangers of business in India and remind the world that for all its new-found success, it remained a nation of contradictions, and at heart, unstable.

Many people in the room were not convinced by the Pakistani choice. It still seemed more like an academic exercise than anything rooted in military reality. But in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks later that year, and in the light of renewed warnings this week by Israeli intelligence of another Mumbai-like attack coming in the next few weeks, it is clear that India’s vulnerability appears to be in economic, rather than purely military, targets.

Indeed last year when tensions rose following the Mumbai attack and there was talk of an Indian military response, it was Pakistan’s former chief of intelligence Hamid Gul who warned of Pakistan hitting back where it would hurt the most. India’s so-called Silicon Valley will go up in smoke, Gul is widely quoted to have told CNN, if the Indians sent troops to the border.

Riaz Haq said...

I have a feeling that this war game exercise in Washington by the former Indian and Pakistani generals was meant to confuse each other about the real war plans, which is what it did. With a significant ballistic missile arsenal that can be used to deliver conventional warheads over long distances accurately, why would the Pakistanis need to use aircraft and risk losing both the pilot and the aircraft deep inside enemy territory, and not hit the intended target?

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a interesting report in the News on polls conducted in India and Pakistan on relations between the two nations:

By Mohammad Malick

ISLAMABAD: The two nations have repeatedly gone to war in the past. Their governments continue sabre rattling and spewing bellicose rhetoric. But identical nationwide opinion surveys conducted by the Jang Group and the Times of India Group in India and Pakistan show that a majority of the billion and a half people of the sub-continent want to live as peaceful and friendly neighbours and share the same humane goals like any other civilised polity; economic prosperity for all, education for the youth, health for the needy, absence of violence and elimination of existential threats.

In Pakistan, 72 per cent of the respondents desired “peaceful and friendly relations with India” whereas 60 per cent Indians were hopeful of such an eventuality. This relative lesser percentage may be owing to the fact that presently 88 per cent of Indians consider Pakistan as a high/moderate threat to India’s well being. In contrast, 72 per cent Pakistanis perceive India as a high/moderate threat. The 88 per cent threat perception notwithstanding, it is heartening to note, however, that over 59 per cent of Indians think that a peaceful relationship would be established with Pakistan within their lifetime, an optimism shared by 64 percent Pakistanis.

While vested interests on both sides may have led the people to believe that every Pakistani wakes up paranoid with India and that every Indian goes to bed fretting over the next deadly Pakistani move, statistics show otherwise. Half the people polled in India thought about Pakistan “sometimes”, while only 16 per cent thought about us in a more focused manner. As for Pakistanis, 32 per cent appeared to be seriously concerned over the state of our bilateral relations. Hardly the figures for two peoples supposedly obsessed with each other’s ultimate annihilation, would not you agree?

Masadi said...

Israel is a colonial outpost in the Middle East (created in order to control the resource rich area through war generated dictatorships) that has been given a Jewish face for the purpose of maintainability in the area through solidarity building among Jews, by pitting them against Arabs. It has absolutely nothing to do with being a homeland for the Jews, except as manipulation. The same corporations that were helping Hitler eliminate the Jews later wholeheartedly supported the creation of Israel as if they had miraculously discovered God.

This colonial outpost's creation is historically linked to WASPS (the British colonials and later the U.S. power elite). Giving this outpost a Jewish face has served two functions for these elite:

1. Maintainability through Jewish population solidarity for perpetual war against the Arabs, something that an Arab outpost like Kuwait or the UAE could not have achieved because the underlying population would have rebelled, bringing to naught any Arab based colonial outpost that was created.

2. Scapegoating the Jews so that the blow-back of such inhumane policies written in Washington and translated into fact by the Israeli elite are seen by Arabs as being "caused by the Jews", which will have grave consequences for the Jewish population in the long run given how the Arabs are being victimized in the most barbaric and inhumane manner by these elite, now for over half a century.

The conflict has more to do with the political economy of the current world system dominated by the U.S. and not religion per se. However, if a real religious face to the conflict is to be located (given the religious preferences of the perpetrators and victims), the following is the most accurate picture:

A war started and perpetuated by the WASPS (White Anglo Saxon Protestant Christians), scapegoating the Jews and victimizing the Muslims.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Indian newspaper report about Indian war prep against China and Pakistan:

Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor emphasizes that India is ready for a “the successful firming-up of the cold start strategy (to be able to go to war promptly) in the multiple fronts against multiple different militias at the same time.”

The plan is a full thrust assault into multiple anomies at the same time with massive Air Force superiority. If attacked by Pakistan and china at the same time, India will launch self-contained and highly-mobile `battle groups'', with Russian-origin T-90S tanks and upgraded T-72 M1 tanks at their core, adequately backed by far superior air cover and artillery fire assaults, for rapid thrusts into enemy territory within 96 hours.

India plans to end the war decisively within the first 96 hours forcing the other sides into a fast submission of ceasefire.

People’s Liberation Army is aware of the capacities of Indian Army and Air Force. It will be exactly opposite of 1962 war. That is why they are busy building massive infrastructure in the Indian border areas especially in Aksai Chin and Tibet.

The real war in that scenario will be between India and China while Pakistan will be used by China to create adequate disturbance for Indian Military.

That is the reason why Lt-General A S Lamba of Indian Army is so keen a massive thrust into Rawalpindi to quiet Pakistanis within 48 hours of the start of assault.

India’s biggest advantage is the its software capabilities in integrating signal intelligence with ground intelligence. India will use algorithmic seek and scan technology to counter the Chinese threats in the North and possible Pakistani nuclear threat in the West.

India is focused on integrating its Navy, Army and Air Force into an integrated command and Control system completely controlled and dominated by the superior software algorithms that can prove deadly in the war front.

Raj Aujla said...

It always surprises me that even these days when the internet can enlighten an individual in a relatively short time, people still prefer to speculate about the circumstances of an event.

Lets be clear that Islam is a relatively recent inclusion to the world faiths. Long before Islam, greater India had been influenced by Hinduism, Jainism and Buddism. The areas now occupied by Pakistan and Afghanistan were also included in this greater India. Based on this historic fact, Pakistan should never have been created. However, the wishes of citizens should always be addressed and it is in that regard that I think the founding fathers of the two nations lacked resolve and vision. These founding fathers placed less emphasis on people's desires and more on their ego. For instance, concerns raised by the Muslims, the Sikhs and any other groups should have been addressed in a way that India was to remain a country for all. A country where goodwill ruled over all else. We are children of the same mother!; no matter how you dress it you can not alter that fact. It shames me that countries which had been shaped by the likes of Ashoka and Akbar are openly discussing the eventual misery of millions. Now that there are two countries; people should work toward transparent borders and accept to coexist. It is easy to be confrontational; it takes greater courage and resolve to bring about peace. We need to take pride in our civilization!

Now, the question of Kashmir. Kashmir was to decide its fate itself; however, Kashmiris were robbed of that opportunity when AZK (disguised instrument of Pakistani forces)decided to take Kashmir by force. Their plan was thwarted thanks to the advise of Lord Mountbatten. We need to sit down and think what actually happened and who is to blame. From my view point, Pakistan should not have initiated that invasion into Kashmir; just because Kashmir had a Muslim majority does not make it an Islamic state. I live in Canada; I am sure an area with Sikh majority will not be allowed to align itself with Punjab in India!!

So let the commonsense prevail and live in peace and harmony and bring your nations much needed prosperity. Then discuss 100 years from now and decide the fate of Kashmir when rationality would hopefully be the guiding star.

Riaz Haq said...

In addition to the kind of conventional warfare fought in 1965 and 1971, any future India-Pakistan war is likely to have two new components of cyber war and missiles war.

Cyber War:

The potential cyber component will have a dramatic impact which could reverberate across the globe as the computers used in South Asia for outsourced work from the United States and Europe come under crippling attacks from hackers on both sides. Here is how Robert X. Cringeley describes it in a June 2009 blog post captioned "Collateral Damage":

"Forget for the moment about data incursions within the DC beltway, what happens when Pakistan takes down the Internet in India? Here we have technologically sophisticated regional rivals who have gone to war periodically for six decades. There will be more wars between these two. And to think that Pakistan or India are incapable or unlikely to take such action against the Internet is simply naive. The next time these two nations fight YOU KNOW there will be a cyber component to that war.

And with what effect on the U.S.? It will go far beyond nuking customer support for nearly every bank and PC company, though that’s sure to happen. A strategic component of any such attack would be to hobble tech services in both economies by destroying source code repositories. And an interesting aspect of destroying such repositories — in Third World countries OR in the U.S. — is that the logical bet is to destroy them all without regard to what they contain, which for the most part negates any effort to obscure those contents."

Missile War:

In a Dec 2008-Jan 2009 series of articles for UPI Asia, Hari Sud, an NRI Indian from Toronto, Canada, laid out very optimistic, wishful scenario of how an Indian attack on Pakistan would play out. Sud's scenarios include Israel's direct attack on Pakistani nukes, US help for both India and Israel, and much heavier losses inflicted on Pakistan than on India, resulting in near-total destruction of Pakistan's nukes, and major cities of Islamabad and Karachi, while Delhi and Mumbai escape unscathed.

Sud has scripted the war as any chauvinistic Indian would wish it to be, and it can be summed up as follows: Israelis are perfect, Indians are a close second, and Pakistanis can't even shoot straight.

In the end, Sud's carefully crafted script fulfills his fantasy of bringing Pakistan to its knees, begging for peace!

Needless to say, Sud's wishful thinking was set aside in New Delhi, saner minds prevailed in India, and India decided to back off and pursue diplomacy instead. But Sud's writings give a pretty good insight into the aggressive Indians' minds, and point to the probability of a serious miscalculation by Delhi.

Here are the links to Hari Sud's dreamy forecasts:

1. India ready to avenge Mumbai carnage

2. Israel Joins India

3. Losses and Gains

4. The Missile War

5. Pakistan Seeks Peace

Riaz Haq said...

Let's see potential India-Pak conflict from a historical perspective:

With the special exception of 1971( where Indira exploited the political follies by Bhutto and Mujib and RAW infiltrated the Awami League), Indian military has not scored any clear victories over Pakistan.

Even in 1971, Pakistanis inflicted heavy damage on Indian military.

"This airforce(the PAF), is second to none"
"The air war lasted two weeks and the Pakistanis scored a
three-to-one kill ratio, knocking out 102 Russian-made Indian jets and losing thirty-four airplanes of their own. I'm certain about the figures because I went out several times a day in a chopper and counted the wrecks below." "They were really good, aggressive dogfighters and proficient in gunnery and air combat tactics. I was damned impressed. Those guys just lived and breathed flying. "

(General (Retd.) Chuck Yeager (USAF) , Book: Yeager, the

In 1965, Pakistanis really whipped India's rear end.

"Pakistan claims to have destroyed something like 1/3rd the Indian Air Force, and foreign observers, who are in a position to know say that Pakistani pilots have claimed even higher kills than this; but the Pakistani Air Force are being scrupulously honest in evaluating these claims. They are crediting Pakistan Air Force only those killings that can be checked from other sources."

Roy Meloni,
American Broadcasting Corporation
September 15, 1965.

1965 War, the Inside Story by R.D. Pradhan:

In Chapter 8 titled "Of Cowardice and Panic", the author describes the cowardice of Maj. Gen. Niranjan Prasad, the Indian general commanding officer in Lahore sector. When the general was fired upon by Pakistani forces, he "ran away". "On learning that, Lt. Gen. Harbakash Singh and the corps commander drove in a Jonga to the battlefront. Army commander found that the enemy (PAF) air attack had created a havoc on G.T. Road. (Indian) Vehicles were burning and several vehicles of 15 Division abandoned on the road, the drivers having run away, leaving some of the engines still running. Maj. Gen. Niranjan Prasad was hiding in a recently irrigated sugar cane field. As described by Harabakash Singh: "He (Prasad) came out to receive us, with his boots covered with wet mud. He had no head cover, nor was he wearing any badges of his rank. He had stubble on his face, not having shaved." Seeing him in such a stage, Harbakhash Singh asked him: "Whether he was the General Officer commanding a division or a coolie? Why had he removed badges of rank and not shaved? Niranjan Prasad had no answer."

Anonymous said...

Mr. Haq,

I often read your blogs with quite a bit of interest as you obviously are an intelligent and articulate man.
However, I fail to understand your obsession with proving how superior Pakistan is to India! If it is that great a country, you would be living there, not in the US!
India over the past few decades has been trying hard to develop itself into a large and successful economy. We face several challenges (thank you very much for reminding us now and then)but we are determined to overcome them and make ourselves count on the world stage. Most Indians would want nothing better than to forget about Pakistan and get on with their own lives.
I wish for a change that most Pakistanis think the same way...

Riaz Haq said...

The following is an assessment of India and Pakistan nukes by Arms Control website:

Three states—India, Israel, and Pakistan—never joined the NPT and are known to possess nuclear weapons. Claiming its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes, India first tested a nuclear explosive device in 1974. That test spurred Pakistan to ramp up work on its secret nuclear weapons program. India and Pakistan both publicly demonstrated their nuclear weapon capabilities with a round of tit-for-tat nuclear tests in May 1998. Israel has not publicly conducted a nuclear test, does not admit to or deny having nuclear weapons, and states that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Nevertheless, Israel is universally believed to possess nuclear arms. The following arsenal estimates are based on the amount of fissile material—highly enriched uranium and plutonium—that each of the states is estimated to have produced. Fissile material is the key element for making nuclear weapons. India and Israel are believed to use plutonium in their weapons, while Pakistan is thought to use highly enriched uranium.

India: Up to 100 nuclear warheads.
Israel: Between 75 to 200 nuclear warheads.
Pakistan: Between 70 to 90 nuclear warheads.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a news report in the Indian Express on Pakistan receiving US howitzers:

India’s artillery modernisation has been stuck due to scam scares ever since the Bofors scandal but Pakistan has gone ahead, equipping its army with the latest guns that now threaten to give it an edge over the Indian Army.

While India has not received even a single new artillery gun in the last two decades, Pakistan recently received a batch of 67 self-propelled artillery guns from the US using War against Terror funds granted by Washington.

Latest United Nations data reveal that delivery of the M-109 A5 self-propelled artillery guns took place last year. The guns were transferred under the US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme that was granted to Pakistan for the fight against militant groups on its border with Afghanistan.

Experts say these M-109 A5 155 mm howitzers give Pakistan a definite conventional edge over the Indian Army that is years away from induction of similar systems. The most modern guns in the Indian Army are the Bofors that were procured in the 1980s.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from recent media report on Wikileaks revelations about India's "Cold Start" doctrine:

Timothy Roemer said that the implementation of India Army's 'Cold Start' doctrine, which lacks consensus in India and has not been fully embraced by the Manmohan Singh government, is likely to yield "mixed results" if put to use under present circumstances, the cable said.

"The Indian Army's 'Cold Start' doctrine is a mixture of myth and reality. It has never been and may never be put to use on a battlefield because of substantial and serious resource constraints, but it is a developed operational attack plan announced in 2004 and intended to be taken off the shelf and implemented within a 72-hour period during a crisis. Cold Start is not a plan for a comprehensive invasion and occupation of Pakistan," said the US cable, dated February 16 and signed off by Roemer.

"Instead, it calls for a rapid, time and distance-limited penetration into Pakistani territory with the goal of quickly punishing Pakistan, possibly in response to a Pakistan-linked terrorist attack in India, without threatening the survival of the Pakistani state or provoking a nuclear response," it said.

"It was announced by the BJP-led government in 2004, but the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has not publicly embraced 'Cold Start' and the government's uncertainty over Pakistani nuclear restraint may inhibit future implementation by any government," it said, adding that if the Indian government were to implement 'Cold Start' given present Indian military capabilities, it is the collective judgment of the US mission that India would encounter mixed results.

"The government failed to implement 'Cold Start' in the wake of the audacious November 2008 Pakistan-linked terror attack in Mumbai, which calls into question the willingness of the government to implement 'Cold Start' in any form and thus roll the nuclear dice.

"At the same time, the existence of the plan reassures the Indian public and may provide some limited deterrent effect on Pakistan," the cable said.

"We think that the November 2008 Pakistan-linked terror attack in Mumbai and its immediate aftermath provide insight into Indian and Pakistani thinking on Cold Start.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters report of wikileaks on India's Cold Start:

The Cold Start is a much vaunted doctrine to rebuff any Pakistani aggression by a massive military attack across the border within 72 hours of any attack from its neighbour.

After India and the U.S. were spared any serious embarrassment in the first two days of WikiLeak’s staggered release of secret U.S. cables, save an outspoken remark from Hillary Clinton about India’s inflated global ambitions, the secret cable from U.S. Ambassador Tim Roemer states that it is unlikely that India would ever enact the planned retribution strategy, and the chances of success would be questionable if so, in a cutting critique of New Delhi’s military might.

The February 16, 2010 cable from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, classified by Roemer and released by WikiLeaks, describes India’s ‘Cold Start Doctrine’ as “a mixture of myth and reality.”

“The GOI (Government of India) refrained from implementing Cold Start even after an attack as audacious and bloody as the Mumbai attack, which calls into serious question the GOI’s willingness to actually adopt the Cold Start option,” Roemer states.

But in perhaps the most damning of remarks regarding its effectiveness, even purely as a deterrent, Roemer states that Pakistan appears to be unfazed by Cold Start’s potential application:

“The Pakistanis have known about Cold Start since 2004, but this knowledge does not seem to have prompted them to prevent terror attacks against India to extent such attacks could be controlled. This fact calls into question Cold Start’s ability to deter Pakistani mischief inside India. Even more so, it calls into question the degree of sincerity of fear over Cold Start as expressed by Pakistani military leaders to USG (United States Government) officials.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times story raising the usual alarm about Pakistan's nuclear weapons:

But the most recent estimates, according to officials and outsiders familiar with the American assessments, suggest that the number of deployed weapons now ranges from the mid-90s to more than 110. When Mr. Obama came to office, his aides were told that the arsenal “was in the mid-to-high 70s,” according to one official who had been briefed at the time, though estimates ranged from 60 to 90.

White House officials share the assessment that the increase in actual weapons has been what one termed “slow and steady.”

But the bigger worry is the production of nuclear materials. Based on the latest estimates of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, an outside group that estimates worldwide nuclear production, experts say Pakistan has now produced enough material for 40 to 100 additional weapons, including a new class of plutonium bombs. If those estimates are correct — and some government officials regard them as high — it would put Pakistan on a par with long-established nuclear powers.

“If not now, Pakistan will soon have the fifth largest nuclear arsenal in the world, surpassing the United Kingdom,” said Bruce Riedel, a former C.I.A. officer and the author of “Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of Global Jihad.”

“And judging by the new nuclear reactors that are coming online and the pace of production, Pakistan is on a course to be the fourth largest nuclear weapons state in the world, ahead of France,” he said. The United States, Russia and China are the three largest nuclear weapons states.
“People are getting unduly concerned about the size of our stockpile,” said the officer, who was not authorized to speak publicly. “What we have is a credible, minimum nuclear deterrent. It’s a bare minimum.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an assessment of PAF capabilities by an IAF leader as reported by Indian Express:

Terming US arms aid to Pakistan as a challenge, India on Friday said the latest F-16s, missiles and munition being supplied to Pakistan Air Force (PAF) could "reduce the technological gap" with the IAF.

"It (US arms aid) is certainly a challenge, no doubt about that," IAF's Western Air Command chief Air Marshal N A K Browne told a press conference here.

"Earlier the difference of assets was a certain amount. But their acquisitions have seen to have reduced (the gap) between the PAF and IAF in terms of capability of their aircraft, Beyond Visual Range missile systems, day and night operations and precision guided munitions," Browne said.

He was replying to questions on the US arms aid to Pakistan including F-16s purportedly for counter-terrorism operations along its Afghanistan border.

"There are things actually that tend to reduce the gap. Pakistan is catching up with the IAF, which has always had an edge in terms of its size and platforms. But I don't think so (that PAF would match the IAF in the future)," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Abbottabad and PNS Mehran are giving pause to Indian security establishment to think how they would deal with similar situation. Here's an Indian blogger Sudip Mukherjee:

1. What If India Is Attacked In Operation Geronimo Style?

Josy Joseph Times Of India Article
If someone were to sneak in and carry out a special forces raid, like the Americans did in Abbottabad to take out Osama bin Laden, the Indian response may not be very different from that of Pakistan, sources in the security establishment said.
In the wake of such a disappointing realization, the government has begun discussing ways to improve India's response mechanisms, including designating 'first responders' for such eventualities.

The Abbottabad raid is now under intense scrutiny by the security establishment at the highest levels, and by individual organizations such as intelligence agencies and the military. Each of them is studying it from their own perspective, but collectively their inputs "would help improve Indian security architecture", a senior official said.

Government at the highest levels is "seized of the reality" that Indian security response would not be very different from that of Pakistan, and is setting in motion reviews at various levels to improve its response mechanisms, a senior official involved in the exercise told. While the overall architecture of defence against intrusions is known, such as the role of IAF and Army, there are still huge gaps. What is not clear is "who would respond how and when if an Abbottabad-like intrusion" were to happen, he said.

Another official pointed out that the details of response of various agencies as soon as first shots were fired in Abbottabad are of great value to the security establishment. While the Kakul Military Academy and other security installations tightened their own security as soon as the gunshots rang out from the Abbottabad compound, there was no designated agency that was meant to reach the particular spot to take on the "intruder", the official said. Josy Joseph Times Of India Article
If someone were to sneak in and carry out a special forces raid, like the Americans did in Abbottabad to take out Osama bin Laden, the Indian response may not be very different from that of Pakistan, sources in the security establishment said.
In the wake of such a disappointing realization, the government has begun discussing ways to improve India's response mechanisms, including designating 'first responders' for such eventualities.

The Abbottabad raid is now under intense scrutiny by the security establishment at the highest levels, and by individual organizations such as intelligence agencies and the military. Each of them is studying it from their own perspective, but collectively their inputs "would help improve Indian security architecture", a senior official said.

2. India Prepares To Pre-empt Terror Attack On Its Air bases

'The (May 22) terror attack on Pakistan Navy air base at Mehran in Karachi was a wake-up call. In light of the incident, we are taking measures to improve security at all air bases across the country on top priority,' the Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, told reporters here on the margins of a conference here.

As the world's fourth largest air force after the US, Russia and China, the IAF has 60 operational air bases across the country under seven commands, with 170,000 personnel and 1,600 aircraft of different types, including fighters, transports and helicopters.

Riaz Haq said...

There was an article in Forbes magazine issue of March 4, 2002, by Steve Forbes titled "India, Meet Austria-Hungary" which compared India with the now defunct Austria-Hungary. Here is an excerpt from the text of that article:

Influential elements in India's government and military are still itching to go to war with Pakistan, even though Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has taken considerable political risks by moving against Pakistani-based-and-trained anti-India terrorist groups. Sure, Musharraf made a truculent speech condemning India's ``occupation'' of Kashmir, but that was rhetorical cover for cracking down on those groups. Washington should send New Delhi some history books for these hotheads; there is no human activity more prone to unintended consequences than warfare. As cooler heads in the Indian government well know, history is riddled with examples of parties that initiated hostilities in the belief that conflict would resolutely resolve outstanding issues.

Pericles of Athens thought he could deal with rival Sparta once and for all when he triggered the Peloponnesian War; instead his city-state was undermined and Greek civilization devastated.

Similarly, Hannibal brilliantly attacked Rome; he ended up not only losing the conflict but also setting off a train of events that ultimately led to the total destruction of Carthage. Prussia smashed France in 1870, annexing critical French territory for security reasons, but that sowed the seeds for the First World War. At the end of World War I the victorious Allies thought they had dealt decisively with German military power. Israel crushed its Arab foes in 1967, but long-term peace did not follow.

India is not a homogeneous state. Neither was the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It attacked Serbia in the summer of 1914 in the hopes of destroying this irritating state after Serbia had committed a spectacular terrorist act against the Hapsburg monarchy. The empire ended up splintering, and the Hapsburgs lost their throne. And on it goes.

Getting back to the present, do Indian war hawks believe China will stand idly by as India tried to reduce Pakistan to vassal-state status? Do they think Arab states and Iran won't fund Muslim guerrilla movements in Pakistan, as well as in India itself? Where does New Delhi think its oil comes from (about 70%, mainly from the Middle East)? Does India think the U.S. will stand by impotently if it starts a war that unleashes nuclear weapons?

Riaz Haq said...

Hindustan Times says India had deployed nuclear-capable missiles on its western border and refused to budge under US pressure to hold any talks with Pakistan after the 2001 attack on its Parliament by terrorists from across the border, says former top American diplomat Condoleezza Rice.

And what added
to the tension in the White House's Situation Room in December 2001 was the sharp differences between the Pentagon and CIA about the ground realities in South Asia, she writes in her memoir 'No Higher Honor' that is set to hit the stands next week.

While CIA was informing the White House that India was on its way to war, the Pentagon was concluding that it was not the case, Rice, who then was National Security Adviser to president George W Bush, said.

In fact, Rice writes that CIA was speaking the language of Pakistan, which wanted the entire world to believe, in particular the US, that India was ready to attack them.

"The CIA believed that armed conflict was unavoidable because India had already decided to 'punish' Pakistan. That is likely the view that Islamabad held and wanted us to hold too.

"The fact is that after years of isolation from India, a country that had viewed the United States with suspicion for decades, the CIA was heavily reliant on Pakistani sources in 2001," Rice says in her book.

During the eight years of the Bush administration, Rice served as both the National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. "Looking at the same events unfolding on the ground, the Pentagon and the CIA gave very different assessments of the likelihood of war," she said.

"The Defence Department, relying largely on reporting and analysis from the Defence Intelligence Agency, viewed preparations as steps similar to those that any military (including our own) would take given the circumstances. In the Pentagon's view, a build-up was not necessarily evidence of a formal decision to launch an attack," Rice writes.

Rice said that the President and the National Security Council (NSC) Principals were frustrated with the ups and downs of the assessment over the next three days. "The Defence Department and the CIA remained very far apart," she said.
"Colin (Powell, the then Secretary of State) and Jack Straw, the British Foreign Minister, organised a brilliant diplomatic campaign that could be summed up as dispatching as many foreign visitors to Pakistan and India as possible.

"We reasoned that the two wouldn't go to war with high-ranking foreigners in the region. Every time they accepted a visit, we breathed a sigh of relief. We needed to buy time," Rice writes, recollecting the events of those days.

But the situation continued to deteriorate, she said, adding that by December 23 there were reports of troop movements as well as a disturbing one that India was preparing to move short-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to the Indian-Pakistani border.

"We reviewed the list of dignitaries who had been deployed to the region, searching for possible intermediaries through whom we could send messages to the adversaries, and agreed to reconvene the next day," Rice said.

Given the volatility of the situation in South Asia, Rice said she cancelled her Christmas vacation at her aunt's house in Norfolk Virginia and rushed to Washington the next day.

"By December 27 the reports were confirmed: India had, indeed moved nuclear-capable missiles to the border. Colin called Jaswant Singh, the Indian Minister of External Affairs, and asked that the two countries sit down and talk. The suggestion was flatly rejected," Rice writes.


Hopewins said...

^^"What If India Is Attacked In Operation Geronimo Style?"


The ONLY reason for Operation Geronimo was the fact that the US considered our Pakistani Security Establishment to be complicit in aiding & abetting of a most-wanted terrorist.

Very few countries, except perhaps for Cuba, North Korea and Iran, would be in this position vis-a-vis the international community.

If an internationally-wanted foreign-terrorist was hiding in India and the US had knowledge of this, they would just inform their counterparts and India would immediately arrest and deport any such person.

So the Geronimo-type operations are not necessary in India or the vast majority of other normal countries.

The only countries where these types of covert operations remain a necessity would be Cuba, Iran, North-Korea and, yes, our very own Pakistan.

In fact, you can be sure that the US will perform more Geronimo-type in our country in the near future.

What are your thoughts on this?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "The only countries where these types of covert operations remain a necessity would be Cuba, Iran, North-Korea and, yes, our very own Pakistan....In fact, you can be sure that the US will perform more Geronimo-type in our country in the near future....What are your thoughts on this?"

You clearly have a very limited imagination if you think the object of "these types of operations" is only to kill the likes of Osama Bin Laden.

The fact is that such special operations are not new. Earlier examples of similar surprise operations include Pearl Harbor, 911, and Mumbai 2008.

Anonymous said...

When Pakistan testing ICBM.When Pakistan will be having Missile shield system? Naval base with a harbor and a runway Naval Station with air craft carrier war ships? how much Pakistani missiles effective to cross these missile rocket shields?

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "When Pakistan testing ICBM.When Pakistan will be having Missile shield system? Naval base with a harbor and a runway Naval Station with air craft carrier war ships? how much Pakistani missiles effective to cross these missile rocket shields? "

Pakistan doesn't need ICBMs to deter India.

As to the Indian missile shield, it ca be easily pierced by barrages of low-flying, terrain-hugging Babar cruise missiles or a volley of multiple Shaheen and Ghauri ballistic missiles.

Hopewins said...

^^^RH: "Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?"
"..Indian missile shield...can be easily pierced by barrages of low-flying, terrain-hugging Babar cruise missiles or a volley of multiple Shaheen and Ghauri ballistic missiles.."


Dr. Haq,

India cannot "do a Lebanon" in Pakistan. Firstly, they do not have the capability-differential advantage that Israel had, and secondly, even if they did, the West/China will never stand for it.

The only reason they got away with 1971 was because they had strong (pre-arranged) support from the USSR. Russia today is neither a power nor an unconditional supporter of India. So unlike 1971, India would find itself isolated and castigated if it tried to cross the border these days.

And they know this. They know this very well.

The only reason Indian officials threaten Pakistan with war is because they know this will cause the Pakistan Army Top Brass to ask for increased defence spending.

And this is exactly what they want-- to do "a Reagan" on Pakistan by applying his "let's bankrupt the bastards" approach.

Can they do this? Can India do "a Reagan" on Pakistan? Can India "bankrupt" us as Reagan did the Soviets without firing a shot?

I am afraid they can. But only if we fall into their trap. We must be wiser than the Soviets were. Or else we might also go the way of the USSR.

Something to think about.

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts of an MIT doctoral thesis by Christopher Clary on future India-Pakistan conflict:

Conventional wisdom suggests that India has gained sufficient conventional superiority to fight and win a limited war, but the reality is that India is unlikely to be able to both achieve its political aims and prevent dangerous escalation.

While India is developing limited options, my analysis suggests India's military advantage over Pakistan is much less substantial than is commonly believed.
Most analyses do not account adequately for how difficult it would be for the navy to have a substantial impact in a short period of time. Establishing even a partial blockade takes time, and it takes even more time for that blockade to cause shortages on land that are noticeable. As the British strategist Julian Corbett noted in 1911, "it is almost impossible that a war can be decided by naval action alone. Unaided, naval pressure can only work by a process of exhaustion. Its effects must always be slow…."7 Meanwhile, over the last decade, Pakistan has increased its ability to resist a blockade. In addition to the main commercial port of Karachi, Pakistan has opened up new ports further west in Ormara and Gwadar and built road infrastructure to distribute goods from those ports to Pakistan's heartland. To close off these ports to neutral shipping could prove particularly difficult since Gwadar and the edge of Pakistani waters are very close to the Gulf of Oman, host to the international shipping lanes for vessels exiting the Persian Gulf. A loose blockade far from shore would minimize risks from Pakistan's land-based countermeasures but also increase risks of creating a political incident with neutral vessels.
The air balance between India and Pakistan is also thought to heavily favor the larger and more technologically sophisticated Indian Air Force. While India has a qualitative and quantitative advantage, the air capabilities gap narrowed rather than widened in the last decade. The Pakistan Air Force has undergone substantial modernization since 2001, when Pakistan exited from a decade of US-imposed sanctions. With purchases from US, European, and Chinese vendors, Pakistan has both dramatically increased the number of modern fighter aircraft with beyond-visual-range capability as well as new airborne early warning and control aircraft. Meanwhile, India's fighter modernization effort has been languid over the last decade. India's largest fighter procurement effort—the purchase of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft—began in 2001 and has been slowed considerably by cumbersome defense procurement rules designed to avoid the appearance of corruption.
The ground forces balance has received the most attention from outside observers, in large part because the Indian Army has publicized its efforts at doctrinal innovation, most often referred to under the "Cold Start" moniker. However, India's ground superiority is unlikely to be sufficient to achieve a quick victory.
The net result of this analysis is to conclude that India's limited military options against Pakistan are risky and uncertain. Pakistan has options to respond to limited Indian moves, making counter-escalation likely. At least in the near-term, Pakistan appears to have configured its forces in such a way as to deny India "victory on the cheap." Therefore, India might well have to fight a full-scale war that could destroy large segments of Pakistan's army to achieve its political aims, which would approach Pakistan's stated nuclear redlines. Such a conclusion should induce caution among Indian political elites who are considering military options to punish or coerce Pakistan in a future crisis. ...


Hopewins said...

^^RH: "Can they do this? Can India do "a Reagan" on Pakistan? Can India "bankrupt" us as Reagan did the Soviets without firing a shot?"