Thursday, January 15, 2009

India-Pakistan Military Balance

By Air Marshall (Retd) Ayaz Khan of Pakistan Air Force

Unfortunately India and Pakistan had adversarial relations since sixty years. After the Mumbai carnage Pakistan is under threat of pre-emptive strikes. The Fourth Indo-Pakistan war could be triggered by another terrorist attack anywhere in India. This is a dangerous scenario.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars, and war drums for the fourth war are getting louder. It is in order therefore to comprehend Indian military capabilities, and Pakistan’s ability to defend itself.

Defense capability is an interplay of economic and military potential. Indian economy is booming and its GDP growth is in double digits. The global recession has impacted Indian economy, but its defense capability remains intact. Military power and capabilities are sustained by economic and industrial potential. Geography, demography, population, oil resources and reserves, industrial capability including defense production, dollar reserves, self-reliance, education, quality of manpower and leadership have a bearing on military power. Seven lakh Indian troops are tied down in Jammu and Kashmir. India has over one hundred billion dollar reserves. The West, Israel and Russia are India’s weapon suppliers.

Pakistan is an emerging democracy, which will take time to stabilize. Pakistan’s economy is in a poor state, and the industrial and agricultural sectors are badly affected by power outages. The seventeen billion dollar reserves left by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz have depleted to four billion and the PPP government has asked the IMF for a bailout. Pakistan has a robust defense industrial infrastructure, which has made the country self-sufficient in small and heavy arms. Pakistan is geographically linear, with north to south communications-roads and railways close to the international border, and at striking distance of the Indian Army. Pakistan’s lack of depth makes it vulnerable to thrusts by Indian armor and Rapid Action Divisions on narrow corridors.

The above Indian attributes are of advantage for a prolonged war, but for short battles, and pre-emptive strikes, and response, ready military capabilities, i.e. preparedness, deployment of forces, POL and weapon reserves, quality of fighting personnel, morale and motivation, and bold civil and military leadership are important requisites.

The 2.5 million Indian Army comprises 1,300,000 personnel in active service, 1,200,000 reserve troops, and 200,000 territorial force. The mission of the Indian military is: (1) "Safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of India, (2) Assist government agencies to cope with proxy wars, and internal threats and aid to civil power. The structure and strength of Indian armed forces do provide such a capability.The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force are structured into six commands, viz. Northern, Western, South Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Command. Eighty percent of troops and armor are under the Northern, Western and South Western Commands, i.e. in Jammu and Kashmir, and along Pakistan’s border. Indian Strike Corps are exercised for attacks in corridors from Southern Punjab, and Rajasthan and Thar deserts. The Indian Army has eighteen Corps with 34 Divisions including four Rapid Action Divisions, which would spearhead ground offensives.

The Pakistan Army has ten Corps and twenty-five divisions. Indian Army has eighteen Infantry, ten Mountain, three Armored, and two Artillery Divisions. Besides, it has five Infantry, one Parachute, thirteen Air Defense, and four Engineering Brigades, designated as independent formations. In addition, there are two Air Defense Groups, and fourteen Army Aviation Helicopter units. This is a sizable force, capable of launching major offensives from several fronts. The decentralized command structure will be an advantage, as compared to Pakistan’s centralized Army command organization.

The Pakistan Army has an active force of 620,000 well-trained personnel, with 528000 reservists, and 150000 para-military troops. Pakistan armed forces are the seventh largest in the world. Pakistan Army’s doctrine of "Offensive Defense" evolved by General Mirza Aslam Beg was put to test in 1989 in Exercise Zarb-e Momin. The doctrine is to launch a sizeable offensive into enemy territory rather than wait for enemy strikes or attacks.

In case of an Indian land offensive Pakistan Army and Air Force will respond with land and air offensives to gain and hold enemy territory. Before embarking on further offensive, gains shall be consolidated. In 1990 the Central Corps of Reserves was created to fight in the desert sectors, where enemy land offensives are expected. These dual capable formations trained for offensive and holding actions are fully mechanized.

The Pakistan Army has ten Corps including the newly formed Strategic Corps. The Army has twenty-six divisions (eight less than India). Two more divisions were raised as Corps reserves for V and XXXI Corps. The Army has two armored divisions, and ten independent armored brigades. Presently one hundred thousand troops are stationed on the Pak-Afghan border to fight terror. The Special Service Group – SSG - comprises two airborne Brigades, i.e. six battalions. Pakistan Army has 360 helicopters, over two thousand heavy guns, and 3000 APC’s. Its main anti-tank weapons are Tow, Tow Mk II, Bakter Shiken and FGM 148 ATGM. The Army Air Defense Command has S.A- 7 Grail, General Dynamics FIM-92 Stinger, GD FIM Red Eye, and ANZA Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III and HQ 2 B surface ti air missiles. Radar controlled Oerlikon is the standard Ack Ack weapon system.

The ballistic missile inventory of the Army is substantial. It comprises Ghauri III and Shaheen III IRB’S; medium range Ghauri I and II and Shaheen II, and short range Hatf I- B, Abdali, Ghaznavi, Shaheen I and M -11 missiles. All the ballistic missiles can carry nuclear warheads. Nuclear and conventional weapon capable Babur Cruise missile is the new addition to Pakistan’s strategic weapon inventory. The number of ballistic missiles and warheads are almost the same as those of India. So there is a parity in nuclear weapons, which is a deterrent.

The Indian armor is of Russian origin. Out of 2295 Indian Army’s Main Battle tanks, 2235 are of Russian origin. The main battle tanks are: 310 T-90-S Bishsma's (300 are on order), 1925 T-72M Ajeya’s.. The T-90 and the T-72 have 125 mm smooth barrel guns. T-72 though old is the backbone of Indian Armor Corp’s. 268 Ajeya’s have been upgraded with Israeli Elbit thermal imaging systems. 1000 T-72 MBT’s are awaiting up-gradation. There have been several instances of T-72's gun barrel bursting. 124 Indian made Arjun (heavy 56 ton) MBT are on order. Sixty Arjuns are in operational service. Arjun’s engine overheating problem has not been solved. Arjun has a 120 mm gun, but is unfit for desert operations.

The Pakistan Army is equally strong in armor, capable of giving a fitting response to any Indian military adventure. Main Battle tanks Al-Khalid and Al-Zarrar are the backbone of Pakistan armor Corps. Both are Pakistan made. Pakistan’s tank armory comprises: five hundred Al-Khalid MBT’s; 320 Al-Zarrar type 85 II MBT’s, 500 Al-Zarrar MBT’s; 450 79II AP (Chinese type 81 upgrade, and 570 T-80 UD MBT of Ukranian make. In addition, Pakistan has 880 Type 59, which were procured from China in 1970.This makes a total of three thousand six hundred and twenty tanks. All Pakistani MBTs except T-59s have 125 mm smooth barrel guns.

Indian armor offensives in Kashmir, Punjab, and Sindh would be effectively challenged by Pakistani armor and mechanized formations, depending on PAF’s ability to keep the skies over the battle areas clear of Indian Air Force. India’s modern air defense system has Israeli Arrow anti-missile missiles, and 90,000 surface to air missiles -SAMs.

India has one hundred nuclear armed ballistic missiles (Agni-1 and Agni II), and Brahmos the new supersonic cruise missile. The Indian Army is well trained, equipped and highly professional, and so is the Pakistan Army.

Air power is likely to play a key, if not a decisive, role in any future major or minor India-Pakistan armed conflict. The aim of Indian pre-emptive strikes will be the maximum destruction by surprise air attacks, combined with shock commando action. A possible scenario is intensive bombing of the target to be followed by attacks by armed helicopters and ground assault by heliborne commandos.

An overview of Indian Air Force and Pakistan Air Force will help comprehension of IAF’s offensive capabilities, and the defensive capabilities of Pakistan Air Force. Indian Air Force has 3000 aircraft including training, transport, helicopters and 800-1000 combat aircraft, which operate from sixty air bases, including the Farkhor airbase in Tajikistan. Six hundred IAF’s strike and air defense fighters are expected to be operational. Pakistan Air Force has 630 aircraft, which include 530 combat aircraft, with 400 operational at any time.

In 1996 India signed an agreement with Russia for the purchase of 90 Su 30 Mk-1 multi-role fighter-bombers. In 2004 a multi-billion license was signed for building additional 140. 240 Su30-Mk-1's were ordered, 120 are already in service. With a maximum speed of Mach 2.3 and range of 8000 Km with refueling and ability to carry tons of conventional munitions and nuclear weapons, it is a lethal and menacing weapon system for the strike and interception role. Other IAF’s advanced strike and combat aircraft are: 51 Mirage-2000 (of Kargil fame), 60 Mig-29's (for air defense), 250 old Mig-21's (110 have been refurbished with Israeli help), 47 Jaguars and 70 Mig-27's for ground attack. 220 LCA Teja’s under manufacture at HAL Bangalore will start entering service in 2010. IAF’s fighter pilots are well trained and have out shone American pilots during joint exercises.

Pakistan Air Force has 200 rebuilt Mirage- 3's (for night air defense) and Mirage-5's for the strike role. They can carry nuclear weapons. They have been upgraded with new weapon systems, radars, and avionics. Additionally, the PAF has 42 F-16's, 150 F-7's including 55 latest F-7 PG’s. Manufacture of 150 JF 17 Thunder fighters (jointly designed) is underway at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra. The JF-17 Thunder is a 4th generation fly by wire multi-role fighter aircraft. Eight are already in PAF service. An order has been placed with China for the purchase of 36 JF-10, a Mach 2.3 -5th generation multi-role fighter, comparable in performance to the Su-30 Mk-1 with the Indian Air Force.

PAF is on Red Alert, and is maintaining full vigil to intercept and destroy IAF intruders. During the recent air space violation, the IAF intruders were in the sights of PAF’s F-16's, but were allowed to escape unscathed to avoid a major diplomatic crisis.

PAF pilots and technicians are well-trained professionals, who will be able to prove their mettle in the future battle with India.

A comparison of Indian Navy and Pakistan Navy reveals that Pakistan Navy could inflict substantial damage on the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy has 16 submarines. Pakistan Navy has ten, some are brand new. Indian Navy has 27 war ships, Pakistan Navy has ten. Indian Aircraft Carrier Veerat will be a menace, and must be sunk by submarine or air attacks, if it attempts to block Pakistan’s sea lanes or ports.

It is hoped that better sense would prevail and India would desists from attacking Pakistan. If it does, the consequences will be horrible for both the countries.

Source: Pakistan Link

Here's a video report about Pakistan's weapons development:

Related Links:

India, Pakistan Comparison 2010

Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?

Pakistan's Space Capabilities

Global Firepower Comparison

Evaluation of Military Strengths--India vs. Pakistan

Only the Paranoid Survive

21st Century High-Tech Warfare

World Military Spending

Indian Attempts to Scuttle F-16s For Pakistan

Attrition Rates For IAF and PAF

Mockery of National Sovereignty


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Anonymous said...

America’s Joint Forces Command issued their annual “Joint Operating Environment” report, which projects future wars and other potential global threats. This year, the report pointed to two nations which may undergo a “rapid and sudden collapse.” One, unsurprisingly, was Pakistan: a near-bankrupt nation with spiraling inflation, a huge domestic insurgency problem and growing military tension with neighboring India. The other was Mexico.

Is Mexico really on the cusp of turning into a failed state? It seems hard to imagine but the report cautions that “the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels.”

Indeed, Mexican forces have been involved in violent clashes, largely linked to their war on drugs and the organized crime spawned by that war. The Mexican drug war has been escalating for years, backed heavily by the United States, and has turned into an outright shooting war between the military and the gangs. Still, it seems a stretch to put its problems on the same level as Pakistan’s.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's collapse has been predicted by many since 1947. Pakistan began life with extreme adversity, the trauma and financial crisis (caused by India's refusal to give Pakistan's share of the reserves held in India by the Brits) and survived. It has continued to defy such predictions. Pakistanis believe it is "Mumlakat Khuda-dad", a gift of God to the people of Pakistan and God will continue to protect it in spite of the efforts to undermine it by many, including India, the US, and the corrupt and inept Pakistani leaders.

Paraphrasing American humorist Mark Twain, the reports of Pakistan's collapse are highly exaggerated.

Anonymous said...

Thats exactly the problem with pakistan. The only two countries in the world created purely based on religion are pakistan and the other guess....(if ur smart enough u will know)!

Hence pakistan has continued to have a problem with its identity. It has no old age cultural heritage that it can call its own. It has to borrow that from India. Every law that its politicians enact or think about has to be reconciled with religion. This will continue to be a problem with the country's governance. So currently the closest that one can describe pakistan as is " A Theocratic Dictatorship".

When you grow up and realize that religion needs to be separated from governance then you will realize that you have only begun to form a nation. Then you will loose the inferiority complex and realize that India has no interest in invading or occupying pakistan. For India Pakistan will continue to be a migrainous headache.

The problem is that most pakistani people I talk to are happily oblivious of this fact.

Perhaps until then pakistan is doomed to teeter around what could be termed as a failed nation.

Indian Muslim -

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Muslim,

"Thats exactly the problem with pakistan. The only two countries in the world created purely based on religion are pakistan and the other guess....(if ur smart enough u will know)!"

I think the statement refelects a basic misunderstanding of the circumstances of the creation and visions of the founders of Pakistan and Israel. Having spent a significant amount of time in both Pakistan and Israel and learned their histories, I can knowledgably assert that both were created by their secular founders (Yes, Jinnah was secular and so were the Zionists) for Indian Muslims and European Jews. The founders of both Israel and Pakistan were vehemently opposed by Jewish and Muslim religious leaders.

Jinnah and Hertzl and their companions wanted a land for their people to flourish politically, economically and socially while maintaining their religious and national identities.

Israel's constitution and laws have remained essentially secular, even though Israel now has a large number of orthodox Jews who have been the main problem resisting any kind of peace and two-state solution with Palestinians. They lay a Bibilical claim to all of Palestine.

In Pakistan, the religious element has been far more assertive, radicalized ( and violent since the Afghan war of the 1980s) and makes it appear that they reflect the majority. In fact, the religious parties have never been able to muster much support in free, fair elections.

Unfortunately, Pakistanis and Israelis have allowed the corruption of the original visions of their founders. Both have become far more radicalized to their own detriment. The key difference in terms of geopolitics is that the all Israelis (including radicals) are friends with the great powers of the day (US and NATO)while radical Pakistanis challenge these hegemons.

Anonymous said...

Indian muslim, you need to visit pakistan and maybe also need to update your knowledge about history of partition.Dont pass these comments for the heck of it,beacuse you are bound to be heavily discriminated in HINDUSTAN (comprende!) one way or another and your future generations too.No matter how intense you show your patriotism.Peace bro.

Anonymous said...

I think the military air strike window is gone.There is NO decent asymmetry of forces for Indian armed forces to steamroll Pak.We can inflict better damage by doing nothing and let Pak Taliban do its job.The focus will be now on covert operation,targeted assassination as put with Israeli expert advise. Pak today has some substantial platforms to fight with and our Anti-Ballistic air-defence will only be fully operational by 2012. Only feasible and less risky option is a high altitude nuclear EMP strike on pak and followed by massive air strikes. I don't think our 70+ age leaders have the audacity for a surprise strike on Pak. Meanwhile, we will be taking more blasts in our stride until we get the overwhelming capability.sigh!

Anonymous said...

"Indian muslim, you need to visit pakistan and maybe also need to update your knowledge about history of partition.Dont pass these comments for the heck of it,beacuse you are bound to be heavily discriminated in HINDUSTAN (comprende!) one way or another and your future generations too.No matter how intense you show your patriotism.Peace bro."

Dear anon, it shows ur typical mentality to reign in people under the disguise of religion and carry out nasty plans....
let God bring peace and prosperity to both our countries and make them devoid of ppl with dubious ideas...

Ray Lightning said...

The Anonymous arguing against the Indian Muslim..

Why don't you visit India for a change and see what kind of treatment Muslims get ?

There is a reason Indian Muslims are proud. One of them has just won the golden globe for the best musician of the year.

Every Indian is proud of the accomplishment of his Muslim brothers. And every Indian is proud of the accomplishment of his Hindu brothers.


Pakistani Mullah-millitary enclave has been in bed with the USA for atleast 30 years. The sexual climax of this relationship has been reached during the reign of Zia-ul-Haq. Too bad the partners are filing for divorce.

Anonymous said...

I think I should have underlined the word OBLIVIOUS for the responders.

Jadev, I agree the time for strike window is gone. Covert operations and a intelligence driven strategy, combined with significant reinforcement of borders is the best option long term.

Indian Muslim

Riaz Haq said...

You said, "Pak today has some substantial platforms to fight with and our Anti-Ballistic air-defence will only be fully operational by 2012. Only feasible and less risky option is a high altitude nuclear EMP strike on pak and followed by massive air strikes."

It is not good assumption that Pakistan will stand still and not develop further capabilities to counter Indian threat until 2012.

Riaz Haq said...


You said, "Pakistani Mullah-millitary enclave has been in bed with the USA for atleast 30 years. The sexual climax of this relationship has been reached during the reign of Zia-ul-Haq. Too bad the partners are filing for divorce."

Pakistanis have admired American for their culture of innovation, their staunch opposition to Communism and support for personal freedoms Americans enjoy.

Successive Pakistani leaders have been in a marriage of convenience with the US. Some for their own survival, others for lack of other viable choices.

As far as the people are concerned, there has been a love-hate relationship going as far back as the 1965 when the US embargoed Pakistan during the war when Pakistan completely depended on arms from the US. That was a turning point, followed by a book by Gen Ayub Khan titled "Friends, Not Masters".

The 1965 embargo was a wake-up call for Pakistanis to move to self-reliance and get closer to the Chinese as the next emerging super-power. The Chinese have turned out to be far more reliable partners than the Americans. Hence the growing Pak-China relationship that augurs well for the future of both nations.

Pakistan has helped the Chinese learn more about Western weapons technology while the Chinese have helped Pakistan build a military-industrial base that churns out both small and large weapon systems for Pakistani military and exports. It has also helped spawn private defense companies in Pakistan specializing in various technologies.

Anonymous said...

Some of the commentators need to elaborate more on what they really mean, clarify more, its free, its not a telegram where you are charged for each letter: for example:
1)Ram said: let God bring peace and prosperity to both our countries and make them devoid of ppl with dubious ideas...
what dubious ideas, iam clueless??? what? did you comprehend whats the message in those comments

2)Jadev: said Only feasible and less risky option is a high altitude nuclear EMP strike on pak and followed by massive air strikes,
are you crazy Jadev, are you an extremist across the border, evil mentality. Is Pakistan wearing bangles?choorian etc bro

3)Ray lightning said: Every Indian is proud of the accomplishment of his Muslim brothers. And every Indian is proud of the accomplishment of his Hindu brothers.
ha haaa ha, Ray super lightning you need to get out of denial bro, what happened in GUJRAT??? have you forgotten that, and update your history and current affairs knowledge, I can recomend you some good unbiased resources, you are living in a state of denial and in a fairyland of your dreams far away from current reality in India, enjoy it while it lasts, your comments make no sense to me, thank god for Mr.Riaz as a moderator to reply your illogical comments.

4)Anonymous said...
I think I should have underlined the word OBLIVIOUS for the responders.Indian muslim
man you are a poor debater , you seem clueless what you want to say really.
Long live Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

IMF spending restrictions,bad economic and political(stability) conditions and Obama's new War on Terror funding proclaimed to be more audited it would serve to a great extent of Pak standing relatively still. Mumbai attack have a catalyst effect on procurement policy and all cues are that everything is being streamlined at a brisk pace. Another attack will draw an automatic response whoever is in govt, since nothing has changed on ground(as regard to crackdown). The cold-start doctrine capability will be completed in a few years.

Ray Lightning said...

Pakistanis have admired American for their culture of innovation, their staunch opposition to Communism and support for personal freedoms Americans enjoy.

Oops. More like Pakistanis have admired the no-questions-asked cheques that America has been writing for them in return to their help in American geopolitical objectives.

But coming to what you have said, may be Pakistan should emulate the list of personal freedoms that Americans enjoy. How about starting it with renaming the Islamic republic of Pakistan as the secular republic of Pakistan ?

The Chinese have turned out to be far more reliable partners than the Americans. Hence the growing Pak-China relationship that augurs well for the future of both nations.

It is only time when China starts dictating its own terms to Pakistan.

It is probably better for Pakistan to maintain an independent foreign policy instead of getting sold out to a major power. Pakistan is the 6th largest nation on the planet with respect to population, it probably deserves a stature of an independent power which maintains equidistance to other power blocks ?

Sovereignity doesn't mean playing second fiddle to either USA or to China.

Riaz Haq said...


"Sovereignity doesn't mean playing second fiddle to either USA or to China."

I said "partnership", not "playing second fiddle".

Is India playing "second fiddle" to US and Israel? Do you think India's sellout to US on Iran nukes is sucking up to the hated necons?

In today's world, it's better to be partners with China than India's choice of US and Israel, both with the lowest esteem in the world right now. Even the Europeans, closest allies of US, do not approve of the US and Israeli policies.

Anonymous said...

ray lightning quoted: Sovereignty doesn't mean playing second fiddle to either USA or to China.

Well India is doing exactly that, all that nuclear deal with USA wait and watch the dictation, infact it has already started. Be careful with China, it has already have set eyes and planned on more Indian land annexation as it did in 1962 Indo-china war, its just waiting for the right moment.Your 70 years politicians are smart, already intiating a hand of friendship to china, they know chinas might, so they are backing off.Infact India never dared after 1962 war to formally negotiate to get back its rightful land. Read history Ray boy/kiddo/puppo yar tung na kurr ok, many kingdoms got evaporated in the past when they did not accommodated the existing SUPER POWERS. I think Pakistan regardless of its flaws is doing fine so don't worry about its foreign policy, its much superior to India in many ways in the will to survive forever and be independent in the process.

Anonymous said...

Jadev said:The cold-start doctrine capability will be completed in a few years.

Sounds very sophisticated man, but its BS, are you an astronomer or something?

Ray Lightning said...

India is very careful with the USA. India is engaged in nuclear commerce with France and Russia to balance the tilt towards USA.

China is India's largest trading partner. European Union is also a huge trading partner with India.

India is walking a tight rope on maintaining an independent foreign policy, This is the advantage of being a democracy, because each faction prefers closer ties with a specific block and in the end they even out.

Pakistani foreign policy is still dictated by the military interests. For this reason, it is difficult for the country to maintain a neutral policy.

About China being preferable to the USA in today's world, you should be joking. USA has just elected Barack Obama as president. Chinese people have not yet elected a president for themselves.

China cannot dare to make another war of aggression against India. Firstly, India is nuclear armed and can defend for itself. Secondly, any such aggression will deeply disturb the power dynamics in the world and initiate a third world war with EU and USA being pulled in. So, China opts for the easier policy of instigating their cousins (pakistanis) against India.

Riaz Haq said...


I agree that China is not interested in war. It is entirely focused on strengthening its economy, an essential ingredient for political and military strength for an emerging superpower.

I have heard it said more than once by serious scholars that the growing and continuing gap between India's and Chinese growth rates would make India look more like Taiwan in comparison with China ten or twenty years from now.

But I think you are too hung up on the Obama election, and not paying much attention to the totality of China-US balance. Currently, the US economy is heavily reliant on China's estimated 2 trillion dollar worth of assets in the United States, including more than $500b in debt to the US government. Additionally, China is adding a 1 billion dollars a day to its reserves and using some of that to prop up the US economy. The US is becoming more and more dependent everyday on China's goodwill.

American economists and strategists are particularly concerned about the growing US dependence on China and its impact on future power balance.

Anonymous said...

Ray super said:This is the advantage of being a democracy, because each faction prefers closer ties with a specific block and in the end they even out.

which democracy you are talking about not even close to USA or European union.India run by poorly educated, corrupted politicians, heavily discriminating minorities.What kind of feudal democracy you have where just like Pakistan (Bhutto family) and out of the blues and in the past the name Gandhi means automatic selection to run the country, I bet nobody really voted for Rajivh, Sonia and their son who I heard also will be automatic selection .Selection of chief ministers like Modi, lallo guy, which literate Indian expressed their support for automatic selection.Its all BS, its same like Pakistan.With all your quote and quote democracy, its a huge drama, with Pakistanis past military leaders, maybe looks undemocratic, but we survived and facing a bully like India with all its might for 60 years cannot dictate us as with all pakistans drawbacks we are nuclear nation. India is andhon mein kana raja, far behind with its dinosaur technology and mega uncontrollable population explosion compared to Europe or even china.20 yrs from now Nuclear missile capability will be useless due to eventual development of un penetrable shield against ballistic missiles .I personally think India because of its population will suffers a lot in future.Your government selfishly exports all its major food production while its masses are going hungry as food prices are so high in your major cities .Please stop glorifying India, the outlook in west is not that great. I understand being a minority you are just in denial and trying to be patriotic, which is understandable.

Anonymous said...

You have lost the only strength you had .. Police office Kurkurey. Now COlonol Prohit will take you to your destiny (I hope not). I don't want any people to suffer..not at all.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
You have lost the only strength you had .. Police office Kurkurey. Now COlonol Prohit will take you to your destiny (I hope not). I don't want any people to suffer..not at all.


Riaz Haq said...

A supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by Russia and India failed to hit its target in a test previously reported as successful, Indian military scientists said Wednesday.The Defence Research and Development Organisation, which on Tuesday claimed the test of the BrahMos missile had been a ‘total success,’ said the missile had flown only in the general direction of its target.‘The missile performance was absolutely normal till the last phase, but it missed the target, though it maintained the direction,’ BrahMos project chief Sivathanu Pillai told the Press Trust of India.(Posted @ 19:50 PST)

ISLAMABAD - In Dec 2007, Pakistan said it had successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable cruise missile.

The locally developed Babur (Hatf 7) missile has a range of 700 kilometres (440 miles) and uses stealth technology, a defence ministry spokesman told AFP.

“The test will consolidate Pakistan’s strategic capability and strengthen national security,” the army said in a statement.

“The Babur, which has near stealth capabilities, is a low-flying, terrain-hugging missile with high manoeuvrability, pinpoint accuracy and radar-avoidance features,” it said.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous who said India is "Andhon mein Kana raja" - the nearest psychiatrist is only 4 miles way from you -thats the density of psychiatrists in this world.Unless you have any idea what reputaion your nation carries in this world.You have spent lot of time creating your false illusions about your nation by comparing it to India.Thank God we in India did not leave hyderabad in 1947 because of a stupid call for a religious nation.
Mr.Oversmart Anonymous-can you tell the world why a 97 percent muslim nation cannot even vote a democratic government that lasts for 5 years???What happened to so called "muslim unity"???Shall we call that lack of discipline in the society instead of blaming just few leaders who are also from that society?????
I wonder what kind of pride you have when you mention that rogue AQ khan who made the world unsafe by selling nuclear weapons??If 97 percent muslim population cannot even vote a government that last for 5 years and have stupid leaders like zardari or musharaff at helm of affairs-how can u laugh at 1 billion democracy.Dude you need to read news to update your 40 year old news.
What is taliban doing in 40 percent of your country territory???Did your fathers sell it to them or invite them in the name of religion to get slaughtered like animals in meat house? Can you compare life of muslim living in Pkistan to one in India??As Indian muslim-I can say we are safer.What do have to say to Mumbai attackers-just like Kargil -your leaders denied it.Dude you need some help to understand why your nation is looked down.Do not worry about Indian muslims-we have produced greater heroes than 16 million pakistanis have achieved so far.Dreaming and illusions will not save your country from failing at any cost-do not bet to lose your money man...When someone talks of stable pakistan or it is better than India-Indians may keep quiet but world will not stop laughing at you.Religion has created created a hordes of insane morons who cannot think of their mistakes!!!

Anonymous said...

TO: anonymous who said: Thank God we in India did not leave Hyderabad in 1947 because of a stupid call for a religious nation.

Boy you did really suffer in India, I pity your frustrations and self denial which do not all potray your peacefull heaven as you described, have you ever been to Pakistan or studied history of partition, to pass your opinions from the comfort of your shack? Either way I shouldn’t say but you are ditto copy of some Bollywood Muslim actors, which is aura of mega confusion who to side with and what culture to follow, just like king Akbar, which I can fully comprehend your stance as there will be consequences if you dont. What’s wrong in expressing and defending anybodys patriotism, because unfortunately now the situation of a country goes bad due to whatever reasons, you just expect its entire inhabitants comprising huge percentage of awesome humans should acknowledge their flaws and in the process just abandon their homeland and gift the beloved nation for approval from people like you.Every country has their flaws,just do not label the whole nation and refrain from stereotypic behavior. You will never understand my point, as you are forever stuck in bharut or HINDUSTAN. I Pray for your safety as I hope not there is ethnic cleansing in your peaceful city in future, just like gujrat.Dont worry Taliban will be eliminated who as you know were created by foreign nations in 1979. India has no choice, what ever axis it chooses, its bound to cooperate with USA and will tone down its rhetoric with pakistan and will even negotiate Kashmir, even the british envoy mentioned on his recent high profile visit to N delhi, just wait and see.Long live Pakistan, its guranteed by the heavenly forces to stay forever for many more centuries to come,purely due to the strong will to survive at all cost of its brave citizens, inspite of all the evil designs to wipe it out since the partition.PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!

Anonymous said...

To Ray saheb,

welcome to the new era of colonization of India, ''ubb ooonnt aayaa hae pahaar kae neechae'' read below:

India signed an inspections agreement with the UN atomic watchdog on Monday as part of a deal lifting a 34-year-old embargo on nuclear trade with New Delhi, AFP reports.

‘An agreement between the government of India and the IAEA for the 'Application of Safeguards to Civilian Nuclear Facilities' was signed today in Vienna by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and Ambassador Saurabh Kumar of India,’ the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

‘The safeguards agreement, which is the result of several rounds of consultations conducted between India and the IAEA since November 2007, was approved by the IAEA board of governors in August 2008,’ the statement said.

The agreement would enter into force once it had been ratified by New Delhi, the watchdog continued.

Up until now, India had allowed IAEA inspectors regular access to six nuclear reactors under safeguards agreements concluded between 1971 and 1994.

But under the new agreement, ‘additional reactors are expected to be under IAEA safeguards in the future.’ In all, New Delhi has agreed to open up 14 of its 22 declared civilian reactors to regular IAEA inspections by 2014.

The so-called safeguards agreement is a pre-condition for a US-led deal to allow nuclear nations to supply energy-hungry India with nuclear material and technology for civilian uses even though it refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

It was approved by consensus by the IAEA's board of governors in August.

In September, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which controls the export and sale of nuclear technology, agreed to make a special exemption for India, even though it refuses to sign the NPT, having developed atomic bombs in secret and conducted its first nuclear test in 1974.

The United States wanted a special waiver so it can share civilian nuclear technology with New Delhi.

Critics say the deal undermines international non-proliferation efforts and accuse the nuclear powers of pursuing commercial and political gains.

Dependent on oil imports, India is seeking to broaden its fuel sources to sustain its fast-growing economy. Nuclear power supplies around three percent of India's fuel needs but it aims to raise this to 25 percent by mid-century.

Indian Premier Manmohan Singh signed a landmark nuclear deal with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in December covering the building of four new nuclear energy reactors in India.

The United States and France are the other powers to have signed bilateral agreements with New Delhi but former Cold War ally Russia is as yet the only state actively involved in building reactors in India.

Anonymous said...

From Indian friend
All this discussion is in bad test. India and pack both are playing at the hands of so called big powers. They have to come to terms with reality. No country can win nuclear, low intensity or proxy war. Kashmir is a static problem. There is no AlterNet to accept status quo. India cannot grab pak occupied Kashmir neither pak can grab Indian Kashmir. Both nations need to concentrate on economic progress and prosperity of their people. Indian and Pakistani Muslims have different history than Arabic origin Muslims. Pakistan has capacity to guide Muslim world. It can be a force to development of world. Gentlemen, no point in rhetoric. That will destroy both nations. It is better to help each other. Muslims need to change their concepts of kafir and jihad and Hindus should have progressive approach to other religions. Both nations are filling the coffers of big power by purchasing arms from them. instead use this money for poor in Karachi and mumbai

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a dated but very interesting piece I saw written by Ahmed Faruqi:

Professor Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, has issued another edition of The Asian Conventional Military Balance, in which a special section is devoted to South Asia.

This reference work is widely consulted by policy-makers, diplomats and analysts who wish to understand the military capabilities of the various countries in the region. It has acquired a new salience, given the ongoing standoff between India and Pakistan. By looking at the data in the tables and graphs in the report, one gets the impression that India has an overwhelming military advantage over Pakistan.

It outspends Pakistan 6:1 in military expenditures, and can field an army that is twice as large as Pakistan’s. Its army can deploy three times as many artillery pieces as the Pakistan army, and its armoured formations contain 50 percent more main battle tanks than Pakistan’s. The Indian Air Force has a 2:1 size advantage over Pakistan’s. India’s helicopter inventories are five times as large as Pakistan’s, and its transport aircraft inventories are 10 times as large. The ratio of major naval combatants is 3:1. The Indian navy includes an aircraft carrier and eight guided-missile destroyers, while the Pakistan navy has none of these craft.

Such comparisons have led the hawks in New Delhi to infer that they can dictate their terms to Islamabad. This is wrong for many reasons. First, static comparisons of forces and equipment inventories can be misleading, since they do not represent important dimensions such as age and condition of the equipment.

As noted by Brian Cloughley, the Indian T-72s look impressive, but very few of them could survive on the battlefield. This fact was brought out vividly in the Gulf War, when the much older M60s of the US Marine Corps demolished the T-72s of the Republican Guard in a few hours. India’s Su-30s look good zooming and booming, but they have no air-to-air armament. The Indian navy’s new main surface combatants are pretty shiny — but they have no integral air defence systems because the designers have come up with yet another disaster.

Second, static ratios do not capture the availability of spares and ammunition, which can hinder or accelerate military operations. They obscure the crucial role of logistics in warfare. In his memoirs, General Norman Schwarzkopf calls logistics the “long pole” in the tent. So much rides on successful logistics that it has been said “experts discuss logistics while amateurs discuss strategy”.

Third, such ratios hide the central role that terrain and geography can play in determining a nation’s capability to project military power. The Indian army discovered the importance of this fact during the 1965 war when they were unable to vault a canal en route to Lahore. The importance of terrain was again brought out during the Kargil campaign in the spring of 1999 when the Indian army struggled for months to eliminate a foe that was highly motivated and had dug itself in at higher elevations.

Fourth, many of the data on force inventories are based on The Military Balance, published annually by the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London. This data are reported by the various countries to the institute through a survey, and are, therefore, subject to the usual biases associated with self-reporting of information. Very little exists by way of objective evaluation of the quality of these data.

Fifth, the fate of wars has often been decided by intangible factors such as the quality of generalship, the readiness of the troops and their morale and fighting spirit. In his military classic, On War, General Carl von Clausewitz laid out a “triad” of factors that have to be considered in any comparison of strength between nations: the will of the leader, the morale of the people and the quality of the army. Under today’s conditions, the quality of the “army” includes the ability to execute joint land-air-sea operations. It also needs to factor in the potential interaction between conventional and nuclear forces.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Brookings expert Stephen Cohen has noted that India would probably come out worse in a nuclear exchange with Pakistan, given the higher quality of Pakistan’s nuclear delivery systems and the prevailing wind direction in the subcontinent.

Finally, military force is only one element in determining a nation’s ability to project power and influence. Economic, political and diplomatic factors are every bit as vital in the final analysis, and need to be factored in. In his classic critique of the US military’s failures in the Vietnam War, On Strategy, Colonel Harry Saunders cites an apocryphal story that brings out this point.

Soon after Richard Nixon became President of the United States, he asked his staff to find out who would win the war. The staff in the Pentagon fed the force inventories of both sides into a computer model to simulate the outcome. It did not take long for the computer to crunch the numbers. It answered: “You won six years ago, in 1962.” This is not to say that force inventories are unimportant, but to recognize their limitations as predictors of combat effectiveness.

Of course, much of what has been said above applies equally to Pakistan and India. During the 1971 war, most analysts expected that the Pakistani garrison in East Pakistan would hold out for several months. Yet, under General Niazi’s inept command, they caved in within 13 days. On the western front, where there was approximate parity of forces, the much-awaited counter-offensive under General Tikka Khan failed to occur. The Pakistani army troops along India’s western border were highly trained and well-equipped. They had not been fighting a war of insurgency for the past nine months. But under the command of an effete president who fancied himself a soldier-statesman, they were reduced to an ineffective mass of people in uniform. Pakistan has much to learn from this sad episode in its history.

At the same time, India needs to reflect seriously on carrying on with its strategy of trying to bully Pakistan through shows of military might.

Riaz Haq said...

On CNN GPS show with Fareed Zakaria, Musharraf recently responded to a question about Indian threat to Pakistan as follows:

"Well, we have to be balanced in our approach. On the eastern border, if Pakistan -- Pakistan's existence and security is under threat, when a big force like India is maintaining.

Let me now come into the military figures. They have about 33 infantry divisions. Twenty-four are on Pakistan borders. They have three armored divisions, all three against Pakistan borders. They have three mechanized divisions, all three against Pakistan borders.

Being a force commander, what would you do, when this huge force is there ready to attack you, and when they are saying that we are going to come and attack Pakistan, and when the public and the media is demanding that Pakistan should be punished and go and attack them?"

Anonymous said...

""Here's a dated but very interesting piece I saw written by Ahmed Faruqi:

Professor Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, has issued another edition of The Asian Conventional Military Balance, in which a special section is devoted to South Asia.""

A few facts were so hideously distorted that it loses it's credibility.

First, Indian armed forces can never fully commit its all might against Pakistan, as it has to keep a substantial force to deter Chinese mischief in North-Eastern and Eastern border. The author should have counted this factor.

Second, In gulf war the T-72s were not demolished by M-60s, but M1A1 Abrams, and particularly the technology was what that won, not the tanks themselves, as T-72s of Iraq was sighted and killed even before Iraqi's themselves knew that they were under attack.

Third, Su-30MKI doesn't have A2A missiles? He needs to start reading from the basics rather than acting as chair-commander.

Fourth, Most new Indian ships are going to be fitted with Barak system, when many old ones have been fitted already. Trishul might have failed, but Barak is good, good enough to be selected by Israel too.

Fifth, although Both the countries have the limited handicap of logistics and spares, India is much more self-reliant regarding it's spares and other logistical stuff than that of Pakistan. India builds many of the weapons system under license-production; and India's primary military supplier russia has never balked or abandoned India - unlike the way Pakistan was by USA.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an excerpt from Chuck Yeager, the American pilot who was first in breaking the sound barrier:

Chuck Yeager and the Pakistan Air Force
An Excerpt from Yeager,
the Autobiography of General (Retd.) Chuck E. Yeager (USAF)

When we arrived in Pakistan in 1971, the political situation between the Pakistanis and Indians was really tense over Bangladesh, or East Pakistan, as it was known in those days, and Russia was backing India with tremendous amounts of new airplanes and tanks. The U.S. and China were
backing the Pakistanis. My job was military advisor to the Pakistani airforce, headed by Air Marshal Rahim Khan, who had been trained in Britain by the Royal Air Force, and was the first Pakistani pilot to exceed the speed of sound. He took me around to their different fighter groups and I met their pilots, who knew me and were really pleased that I was there.

They had about five hundred airplanes, more than half of them Sabres and 104 Starfighters, a few B-57 bombers, and about a hundred Chinese MiG-19s. 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. One of my first jobs there was to help them put U.S. Sidewinders on their Chinese MiGs, which were 1.6 Mach twin-engine airplanes that carried three thirty-millimeter canons. Our government furnished them with the rails for Sidewinders. They bought the missiles and all the checkout equipment that went with them, and it was one helluva interesting experience watching
their electricians wiring up American missiles on a Chinese MiG. I worked with their squadrons and helped them develop combat tactics. The Chinese MiG was one hundred percent Chinese-built and was made for only one hundred hours of flying before it had to be scrapped - a disposable fighter good for one hundred strikes. In fairness, it was an older
airplane in their inventory, and I guess they were just getting rid of them. They delivered spare parts, but it was a tough airplane to work on; the Pakistanis kept it flying for about 130 hours.

Copyright © 1985 by Yeager Inc

Riaz Haq said...

Chuck Yeager contd:

War broke out only a couple of months after we had arrived, in late November 1971, when India attacked East Pakistan. The battle lasted only three days before East Pakistan fell. India's intention was to annex East Pakistan and claim it for themselves. But the Pakistanis counter-attacked. Air Marshal Rahim Khan laid a strike on the four closest Indian air fields in the western part of India, and wiped out a lot of equipment. At that point, Indira Gandhi began moving her forces toward West Pakistan. China moved in a lot of equipment, while Russia backed the Indians all the way. So, it really became a kind of surrogate war - the Pakistanis, with U.S. training and equipment, versus the Indians, mostly Russian-trained, flying Soviet airplanes.
The Pakistanis whipped their [Indians'] asses in the sky.
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. I counted wrecks on Pakistani soil, documented them by serial number, identified the components such as engines, rocket
pods, and new equipment on newer planes like the Soviet SU-7
fighter-bomber and the MiG-21 J, their latest supersonic fighter. The Pakistani army would cart off these items for me, and when the war ended, it took two big American Air Force cargo lifters to carry all those parts back to the States for analysis by our intelligence division. I didn't get involved in the actual combat because that would've been too touchy, but I did fly around and pick up shot-down Indian pilots and take them back to prisoner-of-war camps for questioning. I interviewed them about the equipment they had been flying and the tactics their Soviet advisers taught them to use. I wore a uniform or flying suit all the time, and it was amusing when those Indians saw my name tag and asked, "Are you the Yeager who broke the sound barrier?" They couldn't believe I was in Pakistan or understand what I was doing there. I told them, "I'm the
American Defense Rep here. That's what I'm doing."

India flew numerous raids against the Pakistani air fields with brand new SU-7 bombers being escorted in with MiG 21s. On one of those raids, they clobbered my small Beech Queen Air that had U.S. Army markings and a big American flag painted on the tail. I had it parked at the Islamabad
airport, and I remember sitting on my front porch on the second day of the war, thinking that maybe I ought to move that airplane down to the Iranian border, out of range of the Indian bombers, when the damned air-raid siren went off, and a couple of Indian jets came streaking in overhead. A moment later, I saw a column of black smoke rising from the air field. My Beech Queen was totaled. It was the Indian way of giving Uncle Sam the finger.

Admin said...

" Anonymous said...

Some of the commentators need to elaborate more on what they really mean, clarify more, its free, its not a telegram where you are charged for each letter: for example:
1)Ram said: let God bring peace and prosperity to both our countries and make them devoid of ppl with dubious ideas...
what dubious ideas, iam clueless??? what? did you comprehend whats the message in those comments

2)Jadev: said Only feasible and less risky option is a high altitude nuclear EMP strike on pak and followed by massive air strikes,
are you crazy Jadev, are you an extremist across the border, evil mentality. Is Pakistan wearing bangles?choorian etc bro

3)Ray lightning said: Every Indian is proud of the accomplishment of his Muslim brothers. And every Indian is proud of the accomplishment of his Hindu brothers.
ha haaa ha, Ray super lightning you need to get out of denial bro, what happened in GUJRAT??? have you forgotten that, and update your history and current affairs knowledge, I can recomend you some good unbiased resources, you are living in a state of denial and in a fairyland of your dreams far away from current reality in India, enjoy it while it lasts, your comments make no sense to me, thank GOD for Mr.Riaz as a moderator to reply your illogical comments."

please write GOD in capital letters in the original talk.

Admin said...

Mr. moderator please make sure that people write GOD in capital letters because in one of the posts anonymous have used small letters

" Anonymous said...

Some of the commentators need to elaborate more on what they really mean, clarify more, its free, its not a telegram where you are charged for each letter: for example:
1)Ram said: let God bring peace and prosperity to both our countries and make them devoid of ppl with dubious ideas...
what dubious ideas, iam clueless??? what? did you comprehend whats the message in those comments"

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a New York Times report about recent US assistance to Pakistan prior to the Waziristan operation:

During preparations this spring for the Pakistani campaigns in Swat and South Waziristan, President Obama personally intervened at the request of Pakistan’s top army general to speed the delivery of 10 Mi-17 troop transport helicopters. Senior Pentagon officials have also hurried spare parts for Cobra helicopter gunships, night vision goggles, body armor and eavesdropping equipment to the fight.

American military surveillance drones are feeding video images and target information to Pakistani ground commanders, and the Pentagon has quietly provided the Pakistani Air Force with high-resolution, infrared sensors for F-16 warplanes, which Pakistan is using to guide bomb attacks on militants’ strongholds in South Waziristan.

In addition, the number of American Special Forces soldiers and support personnel who are training and advising Pakistani Army and paramilitary troops has doubled in the past eight months, to as many as 150, an American adviser said. The Americans do not conduct combat operations.

The increasing American role in shoring up the Pakistani military’s counterinsurgency abilities comes as the Obama administration debates how much of a troop commitment to make in neighboring Afghanistan. It also takes place as Taliban attacks are spreading into Pakistani cities. It is unclear whether Pakistani authorities are using any of the sophisticated surveillance equipment to combat the urban terrorism.

Underscoring the complexity of the relationship between the allies, Pakistani officials are loath to publicize the aid because of the deep-seated anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. And they privately express frustration about the pace and types of aid, which totals about $1.5 billion this year.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report from Indian Express today:

Two days after he said women could be recruited as fighter pilots only if they did not become mothers till a certain age, Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal P K Barbora on Thursday took a swipe at the political class, saying politics over defence purchases impinged “very badly” on the country’s military requirements.

“As far as defence goes, we don’t even match up with Pakistan,” Barbora, while referring to Defence exports, told an aerospace seminar organised in New Delhi by the CII.

“The internal politics over the years is such that whatever defence requirements are cleared by the government, they are opposed by the opposition parties and the same happens when roles change and the opposition sits in government. That impinges very badly on our defence requirements.”

He asked the private defence industry to take note of the China example on reverse engineering of defence technologies. “Forget about ethics. China has done reverse engineering. Has anyone ever had the courage to ask China why are you doing it? No one cares a hoot. If you can’t do it yourself, you should know how to do reverse engineering.”

Engineer_Entrepreneur said...

Look you all people , each one of us must know that we all are humans ( before associating ourself to any religion or region). I feel instead of talking about history we work on the problem associated with our society at present and share the solution to make the World a better place to live and hope we have a sustainable existence. Both India and Pakistan has too many mouths to feed and economic disparity is large."Conflicts keep you unaware of basic needs of life".Whether Indian or Pakistani or Chinese (whatever you call yourself ) instead of enforcing some of your presumption

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting opinion by Irfan Hussain who is often praised and cited by Indians when he harshly criticizes Pakistan:

A year later (after Mumbai), perhaps we can look back on the attack with a greater degree of objectivity, and count the winners and the losers.

The real winners, of course, are militant groups, like the Lashkar-i-Taiba, and their shadowy backers in Pakistan. They have achieved what they set out to do: sabotage the peace talks between India and Pakistan. Although these negotiations had not achieved a breakthrough, they had greatly improved relations between India and Pakistan.

The second prize goes to the security establishments in both countries, although this is truer of Pakistan than it is of India where the military is firmly under civilian control. The reality is that soldiers and spies need enemies to justify their lavish budgets. Peace between traditional enemies means cuts in defence, and less toys for the boys.

Obviously, the biggest losers are the victims of the attack, and their friends and families. But the other big losers are the people of the subcontinent. Millions in the region will continue suffering, just because their leaders remain locked in a 60-year old conflict. And when there was a glimmer of hope of some kind of resolution, relations have plunged to a new low.

The militants’ victory is not restricted to poisoning bilateral relations between India and Pakistan: by hitting Mumbai, it has ensured that there will be no cooperation between the two countries in the war against extremism in the foreseeable future.

This is no small victory. The war being waged on the Pak-Afghan border is perhaps the most decisive conflict of our times, and its outcome will affect the region for years to come. In order to combat the Taliban and their various partners effectively, active cooperation between India and Pakistan is crucial.

After the Mumbai attack, India has refused to pursue peace talks, arguing that as long as Pakistan tolerates the presence of terrorist organisations on its soil, there can be no meaningful negotiations. Again and again, the Indian leadership and media have echoed the mantra of Pakistan ‘not doing enough’ against the planners of the Mumbai attack.

In several articles, I have argued that it is precisely because of the atrocity that peace talks need to be pursued with greater focus and political will. Does India really want to hand a major victory to the perpetrators of the attack?

I have also suggested that in order to reassure the Pakistani military that it has nothing to fear on its eastern border, India could easily withdraw one of its divisions deployed there. This would encourage Pakistan to transfer more troops to its northwest where the real battle against extremists is now going on.

They miss the point that one negotiates with one’s adversaries, not one’s friends. And they have the bizarre notion that peace is a reward for good behaviour, not a mutual need. The fact is that India needs peace just as much as Pakistan does. True, it is Pakistan that is currently being battered by an unrelenting wave of terrorism. But a Pakistan destabilised by extremist violence should be New Delhi’s worst nightmare.

Those who think a victorious Taliban would stop their mayhem on Pakistan’s eastern border are living in cloud-cuckoo land. These thugs have no respect for international boundaries, and have repeatedly declared their intention to ‘liberate’ Kashmir. Many of them also want to re-establish Muslim rule over India. These insane goals will ensure that terrorist groups will go on trying to hit Indian targets.

Riaz Haq said...

I found some interesting rankings of military strengths of various nations on

Here are rankings:

1. USA
2. China
3. Russia
4. India
5. UK
6. France
7. Germany
8. Brazil
9. Japan
10. Turkey
11. Israel
12. South Korea
13. Italy
14. Indonesia
15. Pakistan
16. Taiwan
17. Egypt
18. Iran
19. Mexico
20. North Korea

The site explains the rankings as follows:

Rank 1-10 Observations: The United States (GFP formula value of 0.184) remains the undisputed leader of our list thanks to their staying "active" in global hotspots, showcasing the world's largest navy and continuing to poor in gobs of money into defense. Our formula sees China edge out Russia but only by the slimmest of margins (0.238 versus 0.241 respectively) with an edge in available manpower and financial capital. France (0.636) and Germany (0.672) are relative equals for the most part but the GFP formula gives a slight edge to France thanks to an aircraft carrier and capable navy as well as a bump in defense spending. Brazil (0.756) is the most powerful South American country on the list thanks to available manpower and a capable navy. Japan (0.920) is a "sleeper" power that sneaks into the top ten with a good navy, strong logistical infrastructure and capital.

Rank 11-20 Observations: Our formula provides for a good disparity between North and South Korea, placing South well-ahead of the North thanks to better infrastructure and capital. Mexico's placement this high on the list is interesting to note - it scored a good balance across the board in all major categories. Israel finally gets a proper placement on this year's list - just out of the top ten - sporting a strong land army with equally strong training, modern equipment and recent combat experience.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some interesting arguments by Juan Cole about ranking militaries:

Figuring expenditures per GDP means that poor countries look more militaristic than they really are and rich countries look pacifist when they are anything but. The CIA listing of countries by military expenditure as a percentage of GDP puts powerhouses like Oman, Eritrea, Burundi, and the Maldives at the top of the world list. The US, which spends more on the military than the next 40 countries combined, comes in 27th on this list behind the countries just mentioned. Of what use is that? Doesn't it just tell us that many of the countries at the top of this list are poor and if they buy so much as a rusty artillery piece, it is a big part of their income? And by the way, if we figure it this way, Iran is 67 in the world. While the poster puts that between India and Vietnam, it is also between the Congo and Portugal. My original point, is that a country that spends $6 or $7 bn a year on military affairs doesn't amount to much of a military threat to the US, is not damaged by this rather silly argument.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting report in India Today about Indian Army's war readiness:

The Indian Army, one of the world's largest, has admitted it is far from being battle-ready. The force is 50 per cent short of attaining full capability.

The admission is part of the army's internal assessment report submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence. Headlines Today has exclusive access to the report.

The report says it will take around 20 years for the army to gain full defence preparedness. The infantry, artillery and the armoury would be fully ready for battle only by 2027. This means that in the event of a war in the next two decades, the country may prove to be a virtual sitting duck.

Going by the report, the force seems most vulnerable as far as combat helicopters are concerned. The report says the army has attained an abysmal 17 per cent capability in combat choppers. Full combat capability by helicopters would not be possible before 2027.

Another problem is the army's inability to develop a communication network. India will not have a real-time information sharing network before 2027. The current capability is just 24 per cent despite the country's stellar show in information technology.

What's really shocking is the shortage in fighting arms. The artillery has just 52 per cent of the total capability required to defend the country. The country will near 97 per cent capability in artillery only by 2027.

The infantry too is struggling at a 65 per cent capability. The infantry wants to replace its indigenous INSAS rifles, acquire night-fighting capabilities, new generation anti-tank missiles and rockets. Shields for nuclear, biological and chemical warfare too are not properly in place.

The picture isn't rosy for the mechanised and special forces units either, which are way behind their required defence preparedness.

Riaz Haq said...

The Pakistani air force says it has acquired the first of four Awacs surveillance aircraft from Sweden to boost its air defenses.

An air force statement said the Swedish Saab-2000 Awacs aircraft landed at one of the main operating bases on Tuesday.

The acquisition of the Awacs comes after arch-rival India bought its own Awacs systems from Israel in June.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says the Saab-2000 aircraft will boost the Pakistani military's early warning capabilities in the event of hostilities with India.

The aircraft can be used to provide information on all three spheres of military conflict - aerial, naval and land based.

Earlier this year, Pakistan
had voiced concern over the acquisition of Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft by India and said it would
counter the threat by inducting 500 American Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles.

Claiming that induction of AWACS by India would trigger a new arms race in the subcontinent, Pakistan's Air chief Air Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman said Islamabad would match this capability by acquiring its own AWACS by September this year. The delivery of these AWACs systems has finally begun.

The BBC correspondent says the Awacs planes and advanced F-16 fighter-bombers soon to arrive from the US will provide a qualitative edge to the Pakistan air force against its numerically superior adversary.

Pakistani military officials say the planes also have a greater range than similar aircraft in the Indian military and can be used as airborne command centers in case of a possible nuclear conflict.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report from India Today on India army-air force debate over cold start:

The army and air force are battling it out over how to beat Pakistan in a flash war if and when that happens.

The Indian Air Force is not convinced about its role in the army's "cold start doctrine" for a future Indo-Pak war.

The strategy envisages the air force providing "close air support", which calls for aerial bombing of ground targets to augment the fire power of the advancing troops.

The growing tension between the two services is evident in a statement of air vice-marshal (retd) Kapil Kak, deputy director of the air force's own Centre for Air Power Studies.

"There is no question of the air force fitting itself into a doctrine propounded by the army. That is a concept dead at inception," Kak said.

A senior army officer disputes the notion of a conceptual difference between the two services. "The air force is supposed to launch an offensive under the doctrine by hitting targets deep inside enemy territory," he said. But he admitted the air force was hesitant about 'close air support'. 'Cold Start' is a post-nuclearised doctrine that envisages a "limited war" in which the army intends to inflict substantial damage on Pakistan's armed forces without letting it cross the threshold where it could think of pressing the nuclear button.

The doctrine intends to accomplish the task before the international community led by the US and China could intercede to end hostilities. Kak said, "The air force has the primary task of achieving 'air dominance' by which Pakistan's air force is put out of action allowing the army to act at will."

But he sees little necessity for the air force to divert frontline fighter aircraft for augmenting the army's fire power, a task that, in his opinion, can be achieved by the army's own attack helicopters and multiple rocket launchers that now have a 100-km range.

But he agrees the two services should work according to a joint plan. It means the air force would launch 'battlefield air strikes' to neutralise threats on the ground based on an existing plan. But that would be different from an army commander calling for air support on the basis of a developing war scenario.

That is not the only problem facing the doctrine. In the past few weeks, many have expressed doubts about the army's ability to launch operations on the basis of the new doctrine.

There are also apprehensions about the army's incomplete deployment of forces, lack of mobility and unattended infrastructure development.

But senior officers say the army has identified the units, which would constitute the eight division-strong independent battle groups out of its three strike corps. These battle groups would comprise mechanised infantry, artillery and armour.

"The forces have exercised as constituted battle groups at least six times since 2004. Each of the identified unit knows where they will be deployed," a senior General said.

According to him, the time for deployment has been cut down to "days". "No longer will the movement of troops require three months like it did when Operation Parakram was launched after the attack on Parliament in 2001," he said.

The army also debunks the idea that the troops lack mobility. Some armed forces observers have said only 35 per cent of the army is mobile inside the country.

They have, thus, concluded that even less numbers would be mobile inside the enemy territory.

The army officials, however, pooh pooh the criticism claiming 100 per cent of the Indian troops are mobile.

Riaz Haq said...

let me share some more facts on 1965 war, as stated in Pradhan's book in Chapter 12 titled "Retreat to Beas".

"Briefly the origins of the controversy lay in the strategy discussion after the 1962 India-China conflict. Pakistan's acquisition of modern weapons from US had tilted the military balance in favor of Pakistan. There were two schools of thought for framing India's defence strategy in the Punjab. One school favored defending the border, while the second advocated a defence line along the Beas river (well inside Indian territory). Taking into account Pakistan's superiority in armor and firepower, the former felt that a major battle in the west of Beas would end in destruction of the Indian army and thereafter allow the enemy (Pakistani) forces to push to the gates of Delhi without much resistance. They believed that the defence potential of the Beas should be utilized to hold any Pakistani onslaught. It seems that (COAS) General Chaudhry was also inclined towards this view."

In chapter 10, titled "The Stupid Incident", it talks about how Lt. Col. Anant Singh and 126 of his men were taken prisoner, twenty were killed:

"Next morning when 2 Mahar troops approached the Khem Kharan distributary (taken by Pakistanis earlier), they were attacked by the PAF repeatedly. 2 Mahar fell back after suffering heavy casualties. Despite subsequent efforts, their attacks toward Khem Kharan failed. They lost 11 tanks, 4 JCOs and 83 jawans were wounded. Later, Brig Sidhu was brought down in rank for the failure of the attack."

Riaz Haq said...

As some of the hyperpatriotic Indians criticize Pakistan and belittle its JF-17 achievements, have they ever thought about what combat aircraft India has developed in the last decade or two? Tejas? Forced to wait for a local replacement for its MiG-21s that has been in development for over 20 years, and forced to abandon purchases because of political interference from within India, the IAF, on the turn of the century, has found itself restrained.

Heck, the IAF can't even maintain the Russian-made aircraft to keep its planes in service. Just last month, Air Vice Marshal Barbora of Indian Air Force acknowledged that "We do not even match up Pakistan as far defense goes."

I believe JF-17 is a great accomplishment of Pakistani engineers and programmers. While China has done the airframe and the hardware design, almost all of the million lines of code (mostly C++ code, not Ada used by Americans and many Europeans) and specialized avionics that make JF-17 so advanced has come from Pakistan. In fact, the reason for China working with Pakistan is because of US sanctions on export of sensitive technology to China.

A Regular Indian said...

I am a student in India with an interest in defense studies, especially in the context of emerging south Asian countries. This analysis has been a fairly comprehensive one.

However, the most impressive part was the careful articulation of military strengths, weaknesses and strategies in an objective manner. It is rare to find a piece of objective analysis, NOT motivated my jingoistic tendencies.

I would like congratulate Air Marshall (Retd) Ayaz Khan of Pakistan Air Force for successfully sidestepping any biases.

Both, India and Pakistan, are Asian mega-powers and have at their their disposal significant deterrence capabilities. Here, i concur with the opinion of Air Marshall Ayaz Haq. By engaging in a full fledged conflict, the two N-powers would be assuring each other of not total despair, mayhem and destruction.

Both the countries are often used and abused as pawns, by developed powers, in their elaborate chessboard. Taking offense to slightest of diplomatic posturing by the other but allowing the exploitation of "sovereignty" by the likes of US or China lacks logical sanction.

I sincerely hope that the benefits of peaceful engagement become more evident, visible and feasible to the policy makers of the region.

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 report in today's Daily Times of Pakistan:

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: The Indian military is ready to fight Pakistan and China simultaneously, a report in the India Daily said on Wednesday.

“India’s 1.13-million strong military is now planning to handle two major war fronts at the same time,” it said.

The paper said the Indian Army considered Pakistan and China “part of the same camp”, adding that India knew that the next war would be between India and “Pakistan + China”.

India would be indirectly supported by the US and Russia, “but the Indian Army will have to fight the two wars at the same time,” the paper said.

Mini giant war: The India Daily said the Indian military had been “training for a mini giant war” against the two nuclear powered nations at the same time.

It said China had “used Pakistan for a long time to keep India busy”, adding that the time had come for New Delhi to recognise the massive simultaneous threat from both the countries.

The paper quoted Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor as emphasising that India was ready for “the successful firming-up of the cold start strategy (to be able to go to war promptly) in the multiple fronts against multiple militias at the same time”.

“The plan is a full thrust assault into multiple anomies at the same time with massive Air Force superiority,” the India Daily said.

The paper said if attacked by Pakistan and China at the same time, India would launch self-contained and highly-mobile “battle groups’’ within 96 hours, adding that New Delhi planned to end the war decisively within the first 96 hours “forcing the other sides into a fast submission of ceasefire”. The paper said any real war would be between India and China, while Pakistan would be used by China to create adequate disturbance for the Indian military.

“That is the reason why Lt Gen AS Lamba of the Indian Army is so keen on a massive thrust into Rawalpindi to quiet Pakistanis within 48 hours of the start of assault,” the paper said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report talking about the threat of war over water sharing between India and Pakistan:

The sharing of river waters between India and Pakistan is a "sensitive issue" that has the potential for triggering a war between the two countries, an adviser to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.

Sardar Aseff Ali, who is also Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, made the remarks while speaking to the media after a seminar in Lahore yesterday.

He claimed India "will have to stop stealing Pakistan's water as the latter will not hesitate to wage war" over the issue.

Pakistan might seek international arbitration on the water issue by taking it up with the International Court of Justice or the UN Security Council if India tries to build any more dams that affect the country's share of waters, Ali said.

Pakistan can also back out of the Indus Waters Treaty and India will be responsible for the consequences, he said.

However, Ali also acknowledged that a solution to the problem cannot be found through sentimental rhetoric and the Indus Waters Treaty is the proper forum for resolving the issue.

Replying to a question on India's Baglihar dam, Ali said former President Pervez Musharraf was responsible for this project being built without any protest from Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Dr. Ishrat Husain, a former World Bank senior official and an ex governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, wrote an article captioned "India, Pakistan: a comparison" at the end of the first five decades of two nations' existence as independent states. To my knowledge, Dr. Hussain has not done an update of his article since it was first published. Although about three years too late, I have just published a new post titled "India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010" to attempt to present a comparison of the two South Asian nations after sixty years of independence.

Riaz Haq said...

Date Posted: 08-Jan-2010

Jane's Defence Weekly

Pakistan signs defence accords with South Korea and Qatar

Jon Grevatt Jane's Asia-Pacific Industry Reporter -Bangkok

The Pakistani government has approved the signing of two separate defence agreements with South Korea and Qatar, it was announced on 6 January.

The agreements, both of which are termed by Islamabad as memorandums of understanding (MoU), are designed to enhance defence co-operation between Pakistan and the two countries, a government statement said.

In addition, it said the MoU with South Korea will boost military personnel exchanges, while the pact with Qatar will expand collaboration in defence research activities. The latter MoU is also aimed at enhancing co-operation between Qatar's Centre for Strategic Studies and Pakistan's National Defence University.

Pakistan's agreement with South Korea is the continuation of a relationship that has seen the countries becoming closer defence trading partners over the past two years.

In November 2006, for example, Seoul-based Poongsan and the Pakistan Ordnance Factory signed a deal to co-produce 155 mm base-bleed DPICM k-310 artillery ammunition for Pakistan's armed forces and in June 2008 South Korea agreed to export parts for Pakistan's Cessna T-37 training aircraft.

While no such defence trade is known to have taken place between Pakistan and Qatar, the MoU conforms to a trend over the past three years that has seen Islamabad forge strong defence relations with predominantly Muslim nations.

Similar deals have been signed with Brunei, Jordan, Malaysia, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

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.

Riaz Haq said...

One out of every three illiterate adults in the world is an Indian, according to UNESCO.

One out very two hungry persons in the world is an Indian, according to World Food Program.

Almost one out two Indians live below the poverty line of $1.25 per day.

And yet, India spends $30 billion on defense, and just increased the defense budget by 32% this year.

Here are some more recent comparative indicators in South Asia:


Population living under $1.25 a day - India: 41.6% Pakistan: 22.6% Source: UNDP

Underweight Children Under Five (in percent) Pakistan 38% India 46% Source: UNICEF

Life expectancy at birth (years), 2007 India: 63.4 Pakistan: 66.2 Source: HDR2009


Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2000 to 2007, male Pak istan: 80% India 87% Source: UNICEF

Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2000 to 2007, female Pak istan 60% India 77% Source: UNICEF


GDP per capita (US$), 2008 Pak:$1000-1022 India $1017-1100

Child Protection:

Child marriage under 15-years ; 1998–2007*, total Pak istan - 32% India - 47% Source: UNICEF

Under-5 mortality rate per 1000 live births (2007), Value Pakistan - 90 India 72 Source: UNICEF

Riaz Haq said...

In a presentation to Pakistani media, Gen Kayani reiterated his widely reported comments on the Pakistan Army’s view of the situation in Afghanistan and the way forward there.

History, unresolved issues, India’s military capability and its ‘Cold Start’ doctrine meant that Pakistan could not afford to let its guard down. Repeating a well-known formulation, Gen Kayani said: “We plan on adversaries’ capabilities, not intentions.”

The tough, matter-of-fact line on India was in stark contrast to that of Gen Kayani’s predecessor, Gen (retd) Musharraf, who tried hard to push for peace with India in his latter years in power.
The general was particularly keen to highlight the threat posed by India’s ‘Cold Start’ doctrine. Turing the traditional theory of war on its head, ‘Cold Start’ would permit the Indian Army to attack before mobilising, increasing the possibility of a “sudden spiral escalation”, according to Gen Kayani.

The Pakistan Army’s concerns about ‘Cold Start’ are well known, but Gen Kayani went as far as to put a timeline on its implementation: two years for India to achieve partial implementation and five years for full.

If true, the strategic impact could be of the highest order: defence analysts have speculated that ‘Cold Start’ may lead the Pakistan Army to lower its nuclear threshold as a way of deterring any punitive strikes or rapid capture of territory by the Indian armed forces.

Yet, Gen Kayani was also keen to point out that he did not have a one-dimensional view of security. Despite the fact that India’s defence budget is “seven times” that of Pakistan’s “there has to be a balance between development and military spending,” the general said.

He also pleaded that “peace and stability in South Asia should not be made hostage to a single terrorist act of a non-state actor”, a reference to the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Refusing to talk to Pakistan would send a bad signal on two counts: one, the non-state actors would know that they have the power to nudge India and Pakistan towards war; and two, within India it would become clear that relations with Pakistan could be suspended indefinitely.

The comments on India, though, came only later in an extended Power Point Presentation that covered everything from the operations in Swat and South Waziristan to the “way forward” in Afghanistan. Gen Kayani seemed relatively pleased with the reaction his presentation received when first unveiled at a meeting of chiefs of defence staff of Nato and its allied countries in Brussels late last month.

Emphasising what he termed the “fundamentals”, he claimed that until the Afghan government improved its credibility and governance record and until the Afghan population began to change its perception that Isaf is not winning, the Afghan government would not be able to establish its writ and the local Taliban would not be “weaned off”.

But on Afghanistan, too, India featured in Gen Kayani’s comments. Rejecting India’s reported interest in training the Afghan National Army and the country’s police force, Gen Kayani argued that Pakistan had a more legitimate expectation to do so.

Taken together, Gen Kayani’s comments suggest that the possibility of a thaw in relations between India and Pakistan any time soon is low.

Both India and Pakistan appear to have firmly lapsed into the old pattern of highlighting the differences between them and the threats they face from each other, while nominally leaving the door open to an improvement in relations if one side addresses the other’s concerns.

Unlike the past, though, the stakes appear to be higher because of the uncertain future of Afghanistan and a ‘nuclear overhang’ that may be affected by ‘Cold Start’.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting assessment of Gen Kiyani by analyst-columnist Farrukh Saleem published in the News:

Yes, he is complex, complicated and calculating - all in one. Yes, he has the capacity for abstract thought, cold rationality and coarse creativity - all in one. And, yet he inhales reconstituted tobacco. Yes, he uses a filter and a cigarette holder. Yes, he never takes deep puffs and, yes, he only consumes half a cigarette at a time. I am sure he must have calculated that every cigarette he smokes shortens his life by exactly 11 minutes. And, yet he smokes. I can tell you that he didn't smoke for the first 60 minutes and then went through five half-cigarettes in the following two hours. Cigarettes say a lot about the smoker who smokes them. He knows that some of the things that he is doing are wrong, but still won't give them up. He is hooked on a primary psychoactive chemical and he knows that he can stop but he doesn't.

Hearing what I heard, I can tell you that he is a firm believer in Environmental Determinism - the theory that your environment dictates, and determines, your defense policy. In essence, 6,384 tanks in the Indian Army can't cross the Himalayas into China so they must all be Pakistan-specific. Hearing what I heard I can tell you that he won't second-guess Indian Army's intentions and would keep Pakistan Army fully able and capable to respond to India's military capacity.

I hear that an American who wears four stars and a Bronze Star with Valor V on his chest once told him that Pakistan's nukes were under threat. Hearing what I heard, I can tell you that he must have told the American who wears four stars and a Bronze star with Valor V on his chest that nukes can only be under threat if they are vulnerable; but ours are not vulnerable so they can't be under threat. Please give this bullshit to the press but don't give it to me. After all, he is an ardent golfer and 'an ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody would put a flagstick on top'.

I can tell you that I came back both proud but with a painful realisation; proud knowing that our legions are being led by strategic minds and sad to have discovered the much too visible an intellectual gap between our top political brains in Islamabad and our strategic minds at work in Rawalpindi. And what does he think about our politicians? When it's breezy, hit it easy.

Could it be that the army rules not through the barrel of a gun but because of their intellectual superiority? Could it be that the army rules because our politicians have failed to institutionalise politics? Could it be that the army rules because our political parties do not transcend individual human intentions? Could it be that the army rules because it has structures, mechanisms of social order along with strategic thinking?

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts from WSJ story on US arms deals with India and Pakistan:

The U.S. has made billions of dollars in weapons deals with India, which is in the midst of a five-year, $50 billion push to modernize its military.

At the same time, American military aid to Pakistan stands to nearly double next year, allowing Islamabad to acquire more U.S.-made helicopters, night-vision goggles and other military equipment. The aid has made it easier for Pakistan to ramp up its fight against militants on the Afghan border, as the U.S. tries to convince Islamabad that its biggest security threat is within the country, not in India.

During a late January trip to Islamabad, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the U.S. would for the first time give Pakistan a dozen surveillance drones, a longstanding Pakistani request.
Washington's relationships with the two nations are very different. India, which is wealthier and larger than its neighbor, pays for weapons purchases with its own funds. Pakistan, by contrast, uses American grants to fund most of its arms purchases. A new U.S. counterinsurgency assistance fund for Pakistan is slated to increase from $700 million in fiscal year 2010 to $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2011.

"We do straight commercial deals with India, while Pakistan effectively uses the money we give them to buy our equipment," said a U.S. official who works with the two countries. "But we think that's ultimately in our national interest because it makes the Pakistanis more capable of dealing with their homegrown terrorists."

India is one of the largest buyers of foreign-made munitions, with a long shopping list which includes warships, fighter jets, tanks and other weapons. Its defense budget is $30 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, a 70% increase from five years ago. The country is preparing its military to deal with multiple potential threats, including conflict with Pakistan. Tensions have recently flared between India and China over territorial claims along their border. China defeated India in a short war in 1962.

"For 2010 and 2011, India could well be the most important market in the world for defense contractors looking to make foreign military sales," said Tom Captain, the vice chairman of Deloitte LLP's aerospace and defense practice.

Russia has been India's main source of military hardware for decades, supplying about 70% of equipment now in use. Moscow is working to keep that position, with talks ongoing to sell India 29 MiG-29K carrier-borne jet fighters, according to an Indian Defense Ministry spokesman.

The Obama administration is trying to persuade New Delhi to buy American jet fighters instead, a shift White House officials say would lead to closer military and political relations between India and the U.S. It would also be a bonanza for U.S. defense contractors, and has dispatched senior officials such as Mr. Gates to New Delhi to deliver the message that Washington hopes India will choose American defense firms for major purchases in the years ahead.

Shortly after a late January visit by Mr. Gates—on the same tour that took him to Islamabad—In late January, the administration signed off on India's request to purchase 145 U.S.-made howitzers, a $647 million deal.Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Mr. Gates's visit didn't affect the substance or timing of the howitzer purchase.

That came days after India formally expressed its intent to purchase 10 cargo transport aircraft from Boeing Co. in a deal analysts say could be worth more than $2 billion. Last year, India spent $2.1 billion on eight Boeing long-range Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft for the Indian navy.

Unknown said...


To me it seems clear that the military balance between Pakistan and India is close enuough in material to make the result of a fight in the short term heavily dependent on doctrine, morale and training. This in turn makes the result of a fight very unpredictable, though there is a high probability that it would be very ugly.

It is also true that India has to consider the possibility of an India versus China plus Pakistan war. India's best bet, in that fight, would be to try to attack Pakistan and knock it out before fighting China, rather like Germany versus France plus Russia in 1914.

It is worth noting that if China fought India, India might think that it has to attack Pakistan and knock it out before moving troops away from the border with Pakistan.

Do you think that a vaguely WWI style situation, where India, thinking that China is a threat to Arunachal Pradesh decides it has to attack Pakistan and defeat it before China can mobilize is a significant risk in the current situation? Such a war might look defensive to Indians, aggressive to Pakistanis and Chinese, and be very hard for Americans to understand.


Riaz Haq said...

Ray: "It is also true that India has to consider the possibility of an India versus China plus Pakistan war. India's best bet, in that fight, would be to try to attack Pakistan and knock it out before fighting China, rather like Germany versus France plus Russia in 1914"

Both General Kapoor and Gen Lamba of the Indian Army have recently talked about preps to take on both Pakistan and China simultaneously. Lamba has even boasted that India "could quiet Pakistanis within 48 hours of the start of the assault". ...

India has a numerical advantage over Pakistan in conventional terms, but if Pakistan feels it's on the edge of falling to a conventional push by India, the conventional warfare will almost certainly escalate quickly into a nuclear exchange, something that would be devastating to major urban centers in both India and Pakistan.

Prior to going nuclear, Pakistan also has the option of inflicting significant damage on the Indian military assets and its production and supply capacity by using its highly effective air force and its arsenal of ballistic missiles with conventional warheads to target India's military personnel, hardware, infrastructure and industrial base.

That nuclear balance appears to be the best guarantee against an all-out conventional war in South Asia.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

lets think abt peach and prosperity.
mainly to Pakistani leaders,
INdia is not interest in war with pakistan. and Pakistan better use funds fr education, enmployment, healthcare, business.
we all are human being. love ur religion and love other human beings.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent media reported comp between India and Pakistan military helicopters:

Specialized attack helicopters have proven useful in providing valuable ground support for infantry and armored vehicles. While they are slower and therefore more vulnerable to ground fire than jet aircraft, attack
helicopters can also easily liner in battlefield areas, so they can work much more closely with troops on the ground.


Pakistan's Army is in possession of a number of AH-1 Cobra gunships. A development of the venerable Bell UH-1 Huey transport helicopter, the AH-1 Cobra was first introduced in 1967 for the Vietnam War, it is the original purpose-built helicopter gunship. The Pakistanis use the AH-1S and F models of this proven design, which have seen use against insurgents in the Northwest Frontier since the 1980s.

Paradoxically, the older upgrade of the Cobra is the S model. The main improvement was putting in a 1,800 hp engine, and all subsequent upgrades were based on this model. The F version includes a laser range finder and infrared suppression on the engine and exhaust, making the helicopter much harder for IR-guided missiles (such as the Stinger) to track. These helicopters have a maximum speed of 172 mph, a range of 274 miles, a maximum climb rate of 1,620 ft/min, and a service ceiling of 12,200 feet. They come armed with a 3 barreled 20mm cannon, and can carry either 2.75" rocket pods or TOW anti-tank missiles on 4 external hard points.


The Indian Air Force uses the Russian-built Mi-25 and Mi-35 Hind helicopters. The Hind is a combination attack helicopter and light transport, derived from the Mi-8 transport helicopter. It is the most heavily used combat helicopter in the world, having seen action in at least 19 different conflicts.

The helicopter has two engines capable of delivering 2,200 hp each, a maximum speed of 208 mph, a range of 280 miles, and a service ceiling of 14,500 feet. The helicopter typically carries a multi-barrelled 12.7mm heavy
machine gun in the nose, but can carry a 23mm or 30mm cannon instead. It also usually comes with door-mounted machine guns. There are 6 external hard points that can carry a plethora of arms in a combined payload of up to 3,300lbs. This can include gun pods, anti-tank missiles, rockets, and heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles.

Result: INDIA! The AH-1F and S model of Cobras are a reliable design, and they are also smaller and more maneuverable than Hinds. This is not a small consideration, and should be by no means overlooked. However, they are also not the latest version of the AH-1 (that is the AH-1W Super Cobra), which means they are lacking in certain capabilities that the Hinds wield.

The Hinds have greater range and greater lift capacity, as well as a higher service ceiling. This means they can carry more ordinance further, higher, and hang around on the battlefield longer. The maximum service ceiling in particular makes the Hind more useful in places like Kashmir. They also have the ability to engage other helicopters with IR-guided missiles, something the AH-W Super Cobra can do, but not the AH-1F and S models.


Riaz Haq said...

The French government held up its 1.6 billion dollars sale of arms to Pakistan, under pressure from India, according to reports from India:

The military hardware was to be used for Pakistan's JF-17 combat aircraft. The sale of electronics and missiles, under the first part of a six billion euro deal, was signed with Islamabad.

Paris is said to be concerned over whether Pakistan would be able to pay-off the huge deal amount or not. And, also worried over the safety of the sophisticated technology.

However, experts are not willing to accept India would be able to exert pressue on France to hold the deal for long.

"I don't really know how much pressure India can really exert on France because in the past we have seen that America has tremendous influence on their policies," said Hamid Gul, former DG of ISI.

"Americans have supplied us already. They have committed to supply us 18 F-16 aircraft. Any aircraft that France can put out it can be outmatched by what the Americans can do."

"We have very good relations in this field with China and we have developed JF-17 Thunder. We don't see any immediate possibility of war. Therefore we have time in which we can develop technology," he added.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a recently published article on Indian missile defense:

A ballistic missile flight from Sargodha, Pakistan, could reach New Delhi in about 5-7 minutes. As such, Indian missile defense proponents envision the system working as follows: A technically complex and vast constellation of early warning sensors would detect the missile immediately after it is launched. This part of the system is already more or less in place; the Green Pine radar, which India purchased from Israel around 2002 and is situated about 200 kilometers north of New Delhi, can detect a missile 90 seconds after it has been launched--at least on a preliminary basis. The next step is to determine whether the signal picked up by the radar is that of an incoming missile or a false alarm.

Complicating matters is that India and Pakistan share a border, making for shorter ballistic missile flights. For example, the estimated total missile flight times are 8-13 minutes for ranges of 600-2,000 kilometers. The flight times can be even less if the missile is flown in a depressed trajectory.

Such a short time period places stringent conditions on procedures for evaluating and verifying warnings. There would be no time to consult or deliberate after receiving this warning. In other words, any response would have to be predetermined, presenting a significant likelihood of accidental nuclear war from false alarms.

Oddly, despite such potentially catastrophic consequences, in India the debate about missile defense has become a debate about India's burgeoning ties with Washington as a part of New Delhi's "Next Steps in Security Partnership"--a 2002 diplomatic initiative between the United States and India to expand their cooperation in civilian nuclear activities and civilian space programs, along with broadening their dialogue on missile defense to promote nonproliferation and to ease the transfer of advanced technologies to India.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's another commentary on India's missile defense by a blogger on Nuclear Dreams:

Pakistan is a stone’s throw away from the Indian border, and as Gopalaswamy in this essay and Mian and others in a more detailed 2003 Science and Global Security article explain, flight time for a missile to reach New Delhi from Pakistan would be about 4-7 mins. What would the Indian authorities do in such a short time? Detecting any such signal and confirming it as a true one would consume all the time needed for authorities to determine it as a hostile missile launch from Pakistan. The detection would be done by the Arrow system that India acquired from Israel that’s located about 200 kms from Delhi. But because of this very short flight time, there would be no time for further deliberation and any response would have to be a predetermined one.

As Mian and his colleagues state in their article, there are two forms which predetermined response could take; civil defense and/or retaliation. Retaliation if at all possible in such a short time would have to be very quick. Retaliation against nuclear-tipped missiles would be very difficult in the boost phase (right after the missile lifts off, which gives the defense about 90 seconds to destroy the missile) and extremely dangerous in the terminal phase (the phase before the missile hits the target during which its destruction could nonetheless cause great damage to the home territory). As both articles state, with such predetermined responses the threat of false alarms and nuclear conflict increases, an assertion borne out by several close calls during the Cold War even when the response time was much longer.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India report about Indian Air Force complaining about US arms for Pakistan:

: The US military aid to Pakistan is a matter of concern for India which has been conveyed to the Obama administration, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said on Tuesday.

"The aid being given to Pakistan
is a matter of concern to us definitely and we have made it known. We have not hidden anything," Naik said soon after taking over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staffs Committee here.

The US has been providing F-16 combat jets, air-to-air missiles and other equipment worth millions of dollars to Pakistan as military aid for fighting the Taliban terrorists on its soil. Pakistan is scheduled to get 18 of the Block 52 F-16s, Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigate by winter and is expected to receive Shadow Drones within a year.

Islamabad is also to receive equipment capable of converting 1,000 traditional munitions into "smart bombs" that can strike targets with precisions.

In the last three years, the US has provided 14 F-16s, five fast patrol boats, 115 self-propelled howitzer field artillery cannons, more than 450 vehicles, hundreds of night- vision goggles, day and night scopes, radios, protective vests and first aid items to Pakistan's security forces.

With this new arms aid, US counterinsurgency assistance fund for Pakistan is slated to increase to USD 1.2 billion in fiscal year 2011 from $700 million in the current fiscal.

India has asked the US to ensure that the weapons supplied to Pakistan to fight Taliban and extremists elements are not directed against this country.

Asked if the military aid issue could have any impact on the chances of the American companies in the fray to supply 126 combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force, Naik said, "As far as 126 multi-role combat aircraft deal is concerned, it will be a fair and square assessment... presently, there is no connection between the two."

He said the IAF was going ahead with the trials of the six companies offering their aircraft and "after that, we will sit down to finalise it (the award of the contract.)"

On reports that the IAF was developing its air fields in the Eastern sector to counter the Chinese threat, the IAF chief said the upgrade of infrastructure in the region was "long overdue" but was not "country specific." He added the air fields were being upgraded to operate the latest modern aircraft in the IAF inventory.

Asked if the recent test-firings of the Agni, Prithvi and Dhanush ballistic missiles were aimed at sending out a message, Naik said, "Whenever we have to give a message to anybody, we give it loud and clear. Whenever there is a message to be given, we will let you know."

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...

Here's a recent news report on Asian nukes from Times of India:

Pakistan is estimated to have more nuclear warheads than India and the two Asian neighbours along with China are increasing their arsenals and deploying weapons at more sites, two eminent American atomic experts have claimed.

While Pakistan is estimated to possess 70-90 nuclear weapons, India is believed to have 60-80, claims Robert S Norris and Hans M Kristensen in their latest article 'Nuclear Notebook: Worldwide deployments of nuclear weapons, 2009'.

The article published in the latest issue of 'Bulletin of the Atomic Science' claimed that Beijing, Islamabad and New Delhi are quantitatively and qualitatively increasing their arsenals and deploying weapons at more sites, yet the locations are difficult to pinpoint.

For example, no reliable public information exists on where Pakistan or India produces its nuclear weapons, it said.

"Whereas many of the Chinese bases are known, this is not the case in Pakistan and India, where we have found no credible information that identifies permanent nuclear weapons storage locations," they said.

"Pakistan's nuclear weapons are not believed to be fully operational under normal circumstances, India is thought to store its nuclear warheads and bombs in central storage locations rather than on bases with operational forces. But, since all three countries are expanding their arsenals, new bases and storage sites probably are under construction," the two nuclear experts said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an Indian report which disregards any Pakistani indigenous contribution to its missile programs and gives China and North Korea the entire credit, and says nothing about Agni being a copy of US Scout missile as detailed by Gary Milhollin of Wisconsin Project. This might be a good way for the Indians not to feel too sorry for themselves. But the fact is that Pakistan has made tremendous progress in its domestic scientific research capabilities and indigenous industrial manufacture. The Indians have more access to foreign help than Pakistan and yet their program lags behind Pakistan:

With active help from China and North Korea, Pakistan has surged well ahead of India in the missile arena. The only nuclear-capable ballistic missile in India's arsenal which can be said to be 100% operational as of now is the short-range Prithvi missile.

Though the 700-km Agni-I and 2,000-km-plus Agni-II ballistic missiles are being "inducted" into the armed forces, it will take "some time" for them to become "fully-operational in the numbers required".

Defence sources said the armed forces were still in the process of undertaking the "training trials" of Agni-I and Agni-II to give them the requisite capabilities to fire them on their own.

Of the two, the progress report of Agni-I, tested for the first time in January 2002 to plug the operational gap between Prithvi (150-350 km) and Agni-II missiles, is much better. The Army has already conducted two "user training trials", one in October 2007 and other in March 2008, of the Pakistan-specific Agni-I missile.

The fourth test of 3,500-km Agni-III, which will give India the strategic capability to hit targets deep inside China, is also on the anvil now. But Agni-III, tested successfully only twice in April 2007 and May 2008, will not be ready for induction before 2012.

Then, of course, design work on India's most ambitious strategic missile with near ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) capabilities, the 5,000-km range Agni-V, which incorporates a third composite stage in the two-stage Agni-III, is also in progress. "We should be ready to test Agni-V by 2010-2011," said an official.

So, in effect, the missile report card is rather dismal at present. "Unlike Pakistan, our programme is indigenous. But a strategic missile needs to be tested 10 to 15 times, over a variety of flight envelopes and targets, before it can be said to be fully-operational. A missile cannot be dubbed ready just after three to four tests," said an expert.

Keeping this benchmark in mind, only Prithvi can be dubbed to be fully ready. Defence PSUs like Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Bharat Earth Movers Ltd and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd, in fact, are stepping up production of the different Prithvi variants.

Army, for instance, has orders worth Rs 1,500 crore for 75 Prithvi-I and 62 Prithvi-II missiles, while IAF has gone in for 63 Prithvi-II missiles for over Rs 900 crore.

Navy, in turn, has ordered Dhanush missiles, the naval version of Prithvi, with a 350 km strike range, for its "dual-tasked" warships, INS Subhadra and INS Suvarna.

India wants to gatecrash into the very exclusive club of `Big-Five' countries like Russia, US and China, which have both ICBMs (missiles with strike ranges over 5,500-km) and SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles), before 2015.

The SLBM quest is specifically crucial since it's the most effective and secure leg of the "nuclear weapon triad", with land-based missiles and aircraft capable of delivering nuclear bombs constituting the first two components.

The initial range of K-15 SLBM being developed by DRDO will, however, be limited to 750-km, far less than the over 5,000-km range SLBMs brandished by the `Big-5' countries.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is the Risk report detailing foreign help in India's nuclear program:

Western companies have supplied India's controversial nuclear program for more than three decades. All of India's plutonium-making reactors and heavy water production plants are based on foreign designs.

Supplied the Cirus reactor, which produced plutonium for India's 1974 nuclear weapon test
Supplied India's first two power reactors at Rajasthan, which India copied to build unsafeguarded reactors

Sold at least 130 tons of heavy water to a German broker who smuggled the material to India for use in unsafeguarded nuclear reactors

Helped build the unsafeguarded Baroda and Tuticorin heavy water plants
Helped build the unsafeguarded Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) at Kalpakkam; trained Indian engineers in France and sent French engineers to work in India

Supplied unsafeguarded Nangal and Talcher heavy water plants; sold teleperm process control system to Hazira heavy water plant
German firm was fined $800,000 by the U.S. for illegally re-exporting U.S.-origin beryllium
German broker arranged illicit sales of more than 200 tons of heavy water to India
Supplied natural lithium useful in making tritium to boost nuclear bombs
Sold zircalloy pipes which are used as reactor fuel cladding

More than 26 tons of Norwegian heavy water was diverted to India through Romania and Switzerland

Soviet Union/Russia
Secretly sold at least 80 tons of heavy water to run unsafeguarded reactors

Supplied specialized steel tube plates for heavy water reactors
Sold flash X-ray devices, which can be used for nuclear weapon development

Helped build the unsafeguarded Baroda and Tuticorin heavy water plants

United Kingdom
Supplied turbine generator designs used at several unsafeguarded reactors
Repaired damaged heavy water equipment at Madras reactor

United States
Supplied heavy water for Cirus reactor that made plutonium for India's first nuclear bomb

Riaz Haq said...

India's cryogenic rocket launch failed on April 15, according to the <a href=">BBC</a>:

<i>India's bid to launch an advanced communications satellite into orbit for the first time by using a cryogenic engine has failed, scientists say.

The rocket took off as planned but the phase powered by the new engine failed to perform and deviated from its path.

Cryogenic engines are rocket motors designed for fuels that have to be held at very low temperatures to be liquid. They would otherwise be gas.

Officials say that only five countries in the world have this technology.

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) Chairman K Radhakrishnan said that an investigation would now be held to find out what exactly went wrong.

Scientists say the mission failed because control of the two engines controlling the satellite was lost, resulting in loss of altitude and velocity.

Journalists at the scene of the launch said that scientists in the mission control area at Sriharikota in eastern India initially clapped and rejoiced after what appeared to be a successful launch - but their disappointment was apparent as the rocket deviated from its course.

India began developing cryogenic technology after Russia reneged on a deal to supply cryogenic engines in 1993 - following pressure from the United States, which believed India was using the technology to power missiles.

India hopes to emerge as a global player in the multi-billion dollar satellite launch market.</i>

Riaz Haq said...

India's claim of "indigenous" technology are false.

There is plenty of data from Wisconsin Project that shows how India has copied its missiles and nuclear reactors from western nations, particularly US and Canada.

For example, Abul Kalam directly copied Agni from the US Scout missile. Both look identical.

The first Indian reactor was a copy of Cirus and other Canadian reactors supplied to India.

India also got a lot of help from other nations, notably US, Canada, Germany and France in it quest for nuclear and missile technology.

Riaz Haq said...

On page 24 of the Non Proliferation Review Fall 1997, author Wyn Bowen writes as follows abut the Indian acquisition of Russian cryogenic engines as follows:

"The (George H.W. Bush)administration's most notable achievement was gaining the Soviet Union's adherence to MTCR in June 1990. Five months later, however,
the Russian Space Agency signed an
agreement to supply cryogenic
rocket engines and the associated
production technology to the Indian
Space Research Organisation
(ISRO). Although Moscow publicly
viewed the deal as consistent with
its pledge to adhere to the MTCR,
the administration perceived it as a
clear violation. This difference of
opinion resulted in the deterioration
of the administration’s missile nonproliferation
dialogue with Moscow.
Although Russia pledged its adherence
to the MTCR following the dissolution
of the Soviet Union,
Glavkosmos and Russia’s KB Salyut
design bureau continued with the deal
to supply the Salyut-designed cryogenic
technology to the Indian SLV
program. As a result, the U.S. administration
imposed sanctions on
the Russian and Indian entities and
subsequently linked Russia’s entry
into the satellite launch market, and
its participation in the international
space station, to the termination of
the ISRO deal.57 However, this approach
did not produce any concrete
results during the final months of the
Bush presidency, primarily because
of the strength of Russia’s military industrial
complex, which did not
want to jeopardize its freedom to
export space launch technology and
tactical missiles.58

Finally, it has emerged that
Russia continued transferring rocket
engine technology to India in 1993
after its agreements with the United
States to refrain from doing so. This
reportedly resulted in the completion
of 60 to 80 percent of the transfers
to India."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent posting on USAF website:

5/5/2010 - TUCSON, Ariz. (AFNS) -- Eight Pakistani air force pilots, each experienced in the F-16 Fighting Falcon's A and B models, recently learned to fly the newer C- and D-model aircraft at the 162nd Fighter Wing, the international F-16 training unit, and were honored at a graduation ceremony May 4 here.

Pakistan's air force officials soon will upgrade their 30-year-old fleet of F-16s and the pilots, charged with flying more capable fighters, are ready to handle the new technology after training with the Arizona Air National Guard.

The pilots are the first from their country to train in the United States since 1983, when the last class of Pakistani pilots trained at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

"This graduation is historic for U.S.-Pakistan relations," said Pakistani air force Wing Commander Ghazanfar Latif, a 12-year F-16A pilot. "For Pakistan, our air force is gaining capabilities that it has needed for the last decade; capabilities that are critical to ongoing operations in Pakistan's war on terror."

The new planes purchased by Pakistani government officials, Block 52 versions of the multirole fighter, are far more advanced than the older A-model versions and will allow pilots to conduct operations at night and greatly enhance their use of precision munitions.

The first four of the 18 planes purchased are scheduled for delivery June 26 to Shahbaz Air Base in Pakistan. The rest will be delivered on a staggered schedule throughout this year. In addition, Pakistan's existing F-16 fleet will undergo a mid-life update in 2011 designed to upgrade cockpits and avionics to match the F-16C/D.

In preparation for the June delivery, the eight pilots and their families will have spent 10 months in the United States navigating the upgrade-training pipeline. They spent two and half months reviewing military aviation terminology at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and seven months in flight training at Tucson International Airport. Since the C/D-models used for training in Tucson are Block 25 F-16s, they will next undergo two weeks of additional Block 52 instruction before returning to Pakistan.

"Even though they're flying Block 25s here, they will still be able to operate their block 52s back home," said Lt. Col. Kelly Parkinson, the 195th Fighter Squadron commander. "When they leave here they will get training from Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, on the differences. The two blocks fly the same; it's essentially the employment of weapons that makes the difference."

The bulk of the flight training in Tucson included a transition course from the F-16A/B to the F-16C/D, flight lead upgrade training and instructor pilot certification.

"We're training these eight pilots so they can return home and be instructors themselves and teach others to fly the new F-16s," Colonel Parkinson said.

"I think the training here is very well organized and tailored to our needs," Commander Latif said. "Also, the standards here are very high. This is going to make a big difference because we do not have the capability to make precision engagements at night with A models. Everybody understands that collateral damage is a big factor and the sensors on the C-model will help us carry out precision engagement and close-air support."

With so much to learn, the students flew a schedule of five flights per week. The average student tempo is closer to three per week.

"The radar, data link and other avionics help create the big picture of what is going on around you," Squadron Leader Yasir Malik said. "There's lots of information to process in the C model, so you have to prioritize all of the input you are getting. But these instructors know what they are doing, and they are good teachers."

Riaz Haq said...

Here is an interesting post by Dinesh Kumar today on his Asian Defense blog.

More than five decades after it began its quest for self-reliance by establishing a series of government-owned defence research and production units, India has been unable to indigenously develop, produce and export any major weapon system. It remains overwhelmingly dependent on foreign vendors for about 70 per cent of its defence requirement, especially for critical military products and high-end defence technology.

India’s defence ministry officially admits to attaining only 30 to 35 per cent self-reliance capability for its defence requirement. But even this figure is suspect given that India’s self-reliance mostly accrues from transfer of technology, license production and foreign consultancy despite considerable investment in time and money.

Although it would be unrealistic to expect any country to be cent percent self-reliant (even the most advanced countries are not), India has not been able to develop any core strength in defence technology to enable it to be placed on the world map, except arguably to a limited extent in missiles and warship design and production.

In contrast, the world’s major and middle-rung military powers, which possess a strong and well-established defence industry and military-industrial complex, are largely self-sufficient in some, if not all, critical cutting edge military technologies. In addition to being major producers of defence technology, these countries are also major exporters of defence equipment, which, in turn, serve as a source of influence in their foreign policy.

This is especially true of all five permanent members of the UN Security Council and also several advanced countries or middle-rung powers such as Israel, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. Even though China is a major importer of defence hardware – it is the second largest recipient (in US dollar value) and has signed the third highest number of transfer agreements of defence equipment among developing countries between 2000 and 2007 – yet at the same time it is self-sufficient in certain key military technologies and emerged as the fifth largest exporter of defence equipment to developing countries between 2000-2007.

In contrast, India’s modest record of producing and exporting weapon systems is evident from the fact that India’s defence annual exports averaged a meagre US$ 88 million between 2006-07 and 2008-09. Imports have also meant infrastructure and product support problems for an Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet that comprises 26 different types of fighter, transport and trainer aircraft and helicopters sourced from at least six different countries.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India report today comparing nuclear arsenals of the two South Asian neighbors:

LONDON: Pakistan has 60 nuclear warheads and with two new plutonium reactors nearing completion in Khusab, its weapons grade plutonium production will jump seven-fold, according to latest figures released by Swedish institute SIPRI.

"Our conservative estimates are that Pakistan has sixty warheads and could produce 100 nuclear weapons at short notice," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its latest annual report.

SIPRI also said that Islamabad was developing an air launched cruise missile Ra'ad and had also carried out four tests of its land launched sub-sonic cruise missile Babur. But said it was not clear whether these missiles would be developed to carry nuclear warheads.

The Swedish think-tank said that Pakistan's Khusab I reactor was giving the country 10 to 12 kgs of weapons grade plutonium.

Islamabad had earmarked 32 US supplied F-16 fighters along with short-range Ghaznavi I and Shaheen I missiles as the delivery systems for its nuclear weapons, it said.

SIPRI said while 400-km range Ghaznavi I and 1,200-km Shaheen I missiles were operational, Pakistan's other two potent missiles — medium range ballistic missile Ghauri I and Shaheen II were still in development stage.

In comparison India had also 60 to 70 nuclear warheads, the think-tank said.

New Delhi had only short-range surface to surface Prithvi I (with the range of up to 500 kms) and medium-range Agni I (upto 700 kms) missiles deployed as nuclear weapon delivery system, it said.

The Swedish institute said India's two other missiles Agni II (with the range of 1,200 kms) and Agni III (3,000 kms) were still under development, though Agni II had been handed over to the Army for user trial.

SIPRI also said that New Delhi was also developing a 1,000-km range sub-sonic cruise missile Nirbhay and had also test fired land-based version of the undersea missile K-15 which is being called Shourya.

It said that the deployment of warship-based Dhanush missile was underway.

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...

A BBC report on Pak defense budget hike:

Pakistan has announced it is to increase defence spending by 17% in the coming year, with analysts saying much of it will be used to combat militants.

In his budget speech to parliament, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said security forces should know they had the support of MPs.

Defence spending will rise to more than $5bn a year from next month.

Pakistani forces have carried out major offensives in the north-west over the past year.

However, there has also been a wave of deadly attacks by Islamic militants throughout the country.

"I think security is our topmost issue," said Mr Shaikh.

"We are facing a situation in which our armed forces, paramilitary forces and security forces are laying down their lives. They are bearing pain for the country and the people, I salute them. They should know from this house that we all stand by them."
Suicide attacks

In the past three years more than 3,400 people have been killed across Pakistan in bomb blasts and suicide attacks blamed on Taliban militants.

Last week more than 90 people were killed in co-ordinated attacks on two mosques of the minority Ahmadi Islamic sect in Lahore.

Pakistan, a vital ally for the US, has been heavily burdened by the cost of fighting Taliban insurgents along its Afghan border.

Mr Shaikh said government policies had reined in inflation - from 25% down to 13% - and brought economic stability.

"We are seeing the beginning of recovery," he said.

In 2008 Pakistan secured a $10bn loan package from the International Monetary Fund to keep its economy on track.

Analysts say the IMF is now putting pressure on Pakistan's financial institutions to make further reforms.

Riaz Haq said...

A Russian designed anti-ship missile called Sizzler is raising concerns for large warship safety, even the safety of aircraft carriers, of the US Navy in case conflict with Russia, China or Iran. India is also said to possess Sizzler missiles posing a threat to Pakistan Navy. Here are excerpts from an Economist magazine story "Peril on the sea":

"The Sizzler is the leading example of a growing class of supersonic cruise missiles designed by non-Western countries. Versions of it, and its competitors, can be launched from submarines, aircraft and vehicles. The Yakhont, a slightly slower Russian missile that also carries a heavy warhead, has been sold to countries including Indonesia and Vietnam. The BrahMos, a joint Indian and Russian upgrade of the Yakhont, comes even closer to matching the Sizzler’s effectiveness.

These non-Western supersonic missiles are changing defence thinking. To begin with, uncertainty about ship “survivability” is increasing as missiles proliferate, says Steve Zaloga, a missile expert at Teal Group, an aerospace consultancy in Fairfax, Virginia. China and India already have Sizzlers and countries that have indicated interest in, or bought, the Sizzler or versions of it include Algeria, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Some think Iran probably has Sizzlers too."

"Iran is one country gaining naval power without much in the way of sophisticated ships. It has large numbers of anti-ship missiles which can be launched from small, fast boats or batteries hidden ashore in buildings or trucks. Defence officials are troubled by the prospect of missiles that can be launched from civilian positions. A product designed by Concern Morinformsystem-AGAT, the Russian company behind the Sizzler, may heighten such fears. The firm now offers a four-missile launching package hidden inside a standard commercial shipping container. It could be transported on a ship, train or big lorry. Called the Club-K Container Missile System, it provides dangerous potential to rogue forces, says a Western arms-market consultant who has visited the manufacturer’s facilities in Russia."

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts from a piece by Shekhar Gupta of Indian Express that explodes the Indian mythical accounts of 1965 war:

" In India, the official history has followed close after the release of In the Line of Duty: A Soldier Remembers, the autobiography of Lt Gen Harbakhsh Singh, one of our tallest generals ever, professionally and physically, at 6-ft-2. As the western army commander during the 1965 war (there was no northern command then), he also led the operations in Kashmir and therefore controlled the entire war.

His revelations, read with his earlier War Despatches and now authenticated by the official history, are devastating. It is, for example, now confirmed that not only did Gen Chowdhury play a very small role in the entire campaign, he was so nervous as to be on the verge of losing half of Punjab to Pakistan, including the city of Amritsar. Harbakhsh describes, in clinical detail, how our own offensive in the Lahore sector had come unhinged. The general commanding the division on Ichchogil canal fled in panic, leaving his jeep, its wireless running and the briefcase containing sensitive documents that were then routinely read on Radio Pakistan during the war. Singh wanted to court martial him, Chowdhury let him get away with resignation.

But a bigger disaster struck a bit to the south where the other division cracked up in assault, just as it encountered a bit of resistance. Several infantry battalions, short on battle inoculation, deserted and Singh gives a hair-raising account – and confirmation of a long-debated rumour – that Chowdhury panicked so badly he ordered him to withdraw to a new defensive line behind the Beas, thereby conceding half of Punjab to Pakistan. Singh describes the conversation with Chowdhury at Ambala where he refused to carry out the order, asking his chief to either put it down in writing or visit the front and take charge of the battle. Chowdhury waffled even on that panicky decision, Singh’s artillery and some rag-tag armour lured the Pattons into soggy ground on a moonlit night and the result was the greatest escape to victory in our post-Independence military history. What was to be a spectacular Pakistani breakthrough right up
to Panipat became a great rout of its armour.

The official history confirms not just this but also another great failing of that war, the inability of the Indian Air Force to not only provide a decisive edge on the battlefield but to even match up to the Pakistanis. It did not participate in any of the big battles. Many of its attacks were casual, half-hearted, even suicidal, as the decision of opening the campaign with four Vampires, one of history’s first jets, made of plywood, to block the Pakistani advance in Chhamb. All four were shot, and IAF opened the campaign with a 0-4 deficit. Then followed a bizarre story of no communication between the army and the air force. The army apparently thought it could sort out the Pakistanis by itself. The air force thought it was fighting a war exclusively with the PAF."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Shekhar Gupta Part 2 on India's 1965 myths:

There was evidently too little communication between the army, air force and the political leadership. The IAF, for example, was told to stay back in the hangars in the eastern sector even when the PAF launched withering attacks on Kalaikunda and Bagdogra. Even after the disastrous Chhamb engagement, the IAF was so casual as to leave a whole bunch of frontline aircraft exposed at Pathankot, within minutes of flying time from PAF bases, and the result was another disaster in a raid at dusk. The Pakistanis seemed to have such a free run they even shot down the Dakota carrying the then chief minister of Gujarat, Balwant Rai Mehta, deep inside our territory, at night.

Many of us have read with great resentment and scepticism claims of writers like former PAF chief Air Marshall Asghar Khan (India-Pakistan War: The First Round) and British writer John Fricker who give Pakistan a TKO victory in the 1965 air war. Fricker, in particular, gave these claims international currency with his controversial article, ‘30 Seconds over Sargodha’, which described ‘‘how’’ a PAF pilot shot down four Indian Hunters in 30 seconds over the Sargodha airbase. These claims are highly inflated. But the fact remains that in 1965 the IAF failed to tilt the balance in any theatre of the war. Singh says the IAF was simply not prepared for war, physically or mentally. The IAF commanders from that period, including the then chief Arjan Singh, say the army never kept them in the loop. But the fact is that all of them, even the eastern and western command chiefs, were decorated after the war. There were no questions asked.

There weren’t any asked elsewhere either. Every single army general even remotely connected with the war effort was decorated, including the Strike Corps commander in the Sialkot sector who did not cover five miles in 15 days. Chowdhury himself was cast as some kind of a swadeshi Rommel, though he never got within shouting distance of the war. And even the then naval chief was decorated though his fleet remained firmly in harbour, failing to stir out even after the Pakistanis cockily pounded Dwarka.

The dangers in perpetuating mythologies built during a war into a kind of instant military history are obvious. It is impossible to first generously lionise and decorate people and to then hold them accountable for what they did wrong during a war. We obviously learnt some lessons from these in 1965 and the result was a decisive, premeditated campaign and victory in 1971. The key to that lightning campaign was total understanding between the army and the IAF. But if you look back on the way we once again rushed to hand out decorations post-Kargil and how closed we still are to the idea of finding out how on earth we let so many Pakistanis get so well entrenched on so much territory for so long, you wonder if the lessons of 1965 are so thoroughly forgotten that we are willing to make the same mistakes again.

Riaz Haq said...

Many Indian commentators on Pakistan appear to be the product of indoctrination of Indian society and education which is described by Shekhar Gupta as follows:

In a society where even the writing of ancient history is so politically contentious, it is difficult to expect a realistic appreciation of fairly recent wars. Culturally, we also confuse military science with soldierly heroism. We can spend all our time extolling our troops for the courage they showed in Kargil but avoid talking about what got them in such a near-impossible war in the first place. Even with our bigger wars, propaganda myths created in the course of the engagements are then perpetuated for decades. In the 22-day war in 1965, for example, as schoolchildren we were taught that the Pakistani pilots were so scared of the tiny Gnat that they fled the moment they spotted one. That it was because the then army chief, General J.N. Chowdhary, was such a world-famous hot-shot in tank warfare that the Pakistani armour came unstuck at Khem Karan and other graveyards of the Patton. That Lahore and Sialkot were almost sure to be in our bag if the war had gone on a few more days.

kamal jit kumar said...

dear mr haq,
glorifying china or usa will not help pakistan stand to the heights where india is standing now.
For we indians days of comparision with pakistan are over.It really is a foolish idea to compare a truly democratic and sovereign state of india with that of pakistan where there is censorship on all modes of public opinion. Mr.Haq you are quoting Mr.Shekhar Gupta just because he happens to be citizen of india where you are free to express yourself. Had he been in pakistan making such remarks against paki army, god knows what would have happened to him!.But then i think pakistani leaders have a purpose to project india as an enemy, to keep their people united against a common enemy. the truth is that pakistan can never match india, DEEP DOWN YOUR HEART YOU KNOW IT
hope you will allow my comments to appear at your blog

Riaz Haq said...

kjk: "For we indians days of comparision with pakistan are over.It really is a foolish idea to compare a truly democratic and sovereign state of india with that of pakistan where there is censorship on all modes of public opinion."

You comment shows you are either deliberately distorting reality, or just don't know any better.

In spite of all the hype, India remains a poor, third world country with the largest population of poor, hungry and illiterate people in the world, according to UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP data.

Indians live in such primitive conditions that two-thirds of them (vs one-third of Pakistanis) still defecate in the open, according to a joint UNICEF and WHO study.

A recent Oxford study on multi-dimensional poverty found that Indians are much worse off than Pakistanis and the poorest of poor Africans.

Pakistan has a thriving free press where strong critics like Pervez Hoodbhoy, Irfan Hussain, Ahmad Rashid, etc openly criticize Pakistani politicians, generals, and their policies and actions.

As a matter of fact, Pakistani critic of Pakistan are far harsher than the Indian critics of India.

Related Links:

Syeda Hamida of Indian Planning Commission Says India Worse Than Pakistan and Bangladesh

Global Hunger Index Report 2009

Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India

WRI Report on BOP Housing Market

Food, Clothing and Shelter For All

India's Family Health Survey

Hunger and Undernutrition Blog

Pakistan's Total Sanitation Campaign

Is India a Nutritional Weakling?

Asian Gains in World's Top Universities

South Asia Slipping in Human Development

What Does Democracy Deliver in Pakistan

Do South Asian Slums Offer Hope?

Anonymous said...

The Arjun tanks and Ghauri missiles neither feed our starving population nor solve the massive electricity shortage. Unfortunately Pakistan has become Chinese' arms market as much as India for Russians'! (in between, I don't really get a single clue, where US stand and whom are they trying to spoil next) Here in UK, I see Indians and Pakistanis moving close to each other (but with much caution, though). Whatever, I'm happy to see Pakistanis here call us "Hum log", same way do we. The thing is, we share so much of things in common - culture, colour, language, and also enmity. We are treated the same way (3rd class citizens) by these Westeners! But, we boast ourselves saying Arjun Tanks, Ghauri Missiles, IT, Infrastructure etc., Do we ever know the meaning of politeness, standing in queue, following traffic rules, or atleast giving seat to an handicap or a lady having an infant on her hand!!!???? Uff... We are nowhere near what the developed countries were 100 years back.

To my Pakistani brothers I would like to say one important thing - there is a dubious opinion among many of the Pakistanis that I've come across that Muslims are mistreated in India and its crazy to see them using words like genocide etc., etc.,; and the same way in India there is a popular perception that all Pakistanis are terrorists (am not kidding, u cud hear this from every other Indian!!!).. Everywhere in the world, there would always be a conflict in interest between two related communities. But, instead of looking at negatives, how many of of us here sincerely aim for building a better tomorrow??? NO ONE!!! Ultimately those who suffer are innocent people who got caught in between hardliners like most of here on the internet abusing each other.

We (Internet savvy) are the ones bringing down our own dignity in front of the world which has already gone miles ahead! As a civilized citizens with better opportunity to knowledge and exposure, than the most of our people in both the sides, WE (educated) should try to change it and cultivate a positive environment among our younger generation and insulate them from influenced by enmity. But, we don't do it, unfortunately.

When Pakistanis are so much interested in building friendship with some shittttt country (guess who!!) on other side of the world (applies to India as well), why the hell we are not ready to compliment each other and start working towards our betterment!

I know there will surely be some opposite view to mine - which would surely include words like Gujarat, Kashmir, bla bla... throwing the entire blame on India... But, I wouldn't really mind, coz I'm a proud citizen from a great country where a Sikh is the Prime Minister; a Christian is the supreme leader of the ruling party; a Muslim who was the best president of a country; a musician (AR Rahman) who has raised the standard of music in the country; a muslim who (Moh'd Azaruddin) was one of the most successful cricket captains! and above all my friend is a muslim from Mumbai who always strongly criticize me whenever I say anything negative about India (out of my frustration, sometimes)!

So, one of my many points is, Good or bad, our land has been partitioned, on the lines of religion - I have no regrets for it!!! But, it (religion) should no longer decide the future of our people. Else, we will still be used by China, Russia, US etc., to demonstrate their superior over other; and forever we will keep reading such "India-Pakistan Military Balance" (and then writing some 'brilliant' comments, based on that)!!!!

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...

It seems that in India, too, the Army is more honest and competent than the civilians. Here's a rediff report about rapid rebuilding of the collapsed footbridge at Commonwalth Games in Delhi:

It took seven years and Rs. 5 crore for a company to build a Foot Over Bridge (FOB) near the Jawaharlal Nehru [ Images ] Stadium, which then collapsed. The Indian Army [ Images ], which was called in to salvage the Delhi's [ Images ] pride and build a temporary FOB, has done the same job in four days flat and at a fraction of the original cost.

The Indian Army is now applying finishing touches to a Bailey Bridge, after a desperate Commonwealth Games [ Images ] Organising Committee and the Delhi government called them in to erect the temporary structure. The Bailey bridge will be used by spectators to reach the stadium after parking their cars at Safdarjung Airport.

Army officials said that the main structure had been erected by Monday evening, with three piers of varying heights under 20-feet each fixed to support the bridge. Jawans were seen hard at work on the steps going down to the stadium, which technically is the only work remaining to be done. The steps from the parking lot to the bridge had been put in place on Monday. The 12-feet floor of the bridge has also been put in place.

Security personnel from the Delhi police and the Army were seen guarding the worksite. Traffic police had also been deployed to control the traffic on the elevated Barapullah Nullah road to allow the army to carry on with their work.

Over 700 combat engineers from The Madras Engineer Group, informally known as the Madras Sappers (a regiment of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army) began work on the bridge on Saturday afternoon. The Indian Army and the Delhi government had said that the bridge, which has three piers and have four spans spread over 250 feet, was expected to be delivered in five days.

"We will conduct a mandatory security test before handing over the bridge.The only addition to a standard Bailey bridge is the insertion of three piers, which we did for safety," Commanding Officer, Colonel Dinesh Khanna told

The Bailey bridge is being built at the exact spot where its collapsed predecessor stood. The concrete pillars on either side of Barapullah Nallah road were not damaged when the earlier bridge collapsed and the Bailey bridge will use these pillars as its base, Khanna said.

A Bailey bridge is a temporary military structure used for relief operations like flood or collapsed bridges. All its components are made of metal and are portable. The newly constructed Bailey bridge will be able to accommodate more people than what was estimated of the collapsed bridge, Khanna said.

"The floor of the bridge is about 12-feet wide and can even accommodate vehicles. It will be able to take the weight of more spectators than the current estimates," Khanna added.

The decision to erect the temporary structure was taken after security agencies told civic agencies that the walking route from the parking to the stadium without the bridge would be about a kilometer long.

The 95 metre-long hanging foot-over bridge had collapsed on September 21, injuring 27 people. The bridge was being built along with another over bridge at the cost of Rs 10.5 crore by Chandigarh-based company PNR Infra, which has been blacklisted by the Delhi government.

Riaz Haq said...

India is buying 250-300 advanced Russian stealth fighter jets worth $30 billion, according to the BBC:

India will buy 250 to 300 advanced fifth-generation stealth fighter jets from Russia over the next 10 years, Defence Minister AK Antony has said.

Fifth-generation aircraft are invisible to radar, have advanced flight and weapons control systems and can cruise at supersonic speeds, officials say.

Mr Antony told a news conference in the Indian capital, Delhi, that Russia would also supply 45 transport planes.

India is a top buyer of Russian weapons and the two countries have strong ties.

"We have a 10-year programme and it is quite challenging (but) we have very good experience in military co-operation," news agency AFP quoted Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as saying at the conference.

The deal, which could be worth up to $30bn, is believed to be the richest in India's military history.

The agreement is expected to be signed when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits India in December, officials say.

This is potentially a huge deal, which could dramatically increase India's military capabilities, the BBC's defence and security correspondent Nick Childs says.

The two sides have been in talks for some time.

The fifth-generation stealth fighter is currently being developed in Russia and the prototype flew for the first time earlier this year.

At the moment the United States is the only country that has a fifth-generation stealth fighter actually in service.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani soldiers won top award for Cambrian Patrol Exercise held in Wales with participation from armies of India, Australia, Canada, United States and France among others, according to PakTribune report:

LONDON, UK—Beating hundreds of soldiers from major armies of the world, Pakistan Army has won the coveted Gold Award at the prestigious Cambrian Patrol Exercise held in Wales with participation from armies of India, Australia, Canada, United States and France among others.

750 soldiers from across the world descended on the Brecon Beacons in Wales to suffer through one of the toughest exercises ever devised. The Cambrian patrol tested the soldiering skills of the teams as they crossed some of the most arduous terrain one can imagine.

During the marches, the teams had to complete challenges including observation and reconnaissance of enemy forces, cold-river crossings in full kit without access to boats, first-aid and defensive shooting under attack.

The exercise is organized by the British Army [HQ 160 (W) Brigade on behalf of HQ 5 Div] with an aim to provide a challenging patrols exercise in order to develop operational capability. Cambrian Patrol is arduous and concentrates on leadership, teamwork, physical fitness and achieving the mission by drawing participants from foreign countries.

Here is the link to a video clip of the report from British Forces News:

Riaz Haq said...

The US has offered $2 billion military aid to Pakistan over next 5 years, according to Wall Street Journal:

The new military aid, which is contingent on congressional approval, is expected to amount to more than $2 billion over five years, would pay for equipment Pakistan can use for counterinsurgency and counterterror operations. U.S. officials say they hope the new aid could effectively eliminate Pakistan's objections that it doesn't have the equipment needed to launch more operations in tribal areas.

Department of Defense officials, including Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet on Wednesday with Pakistani Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani at the Pentagon.

In a recent report to Congress, the White House said it believed the Pakistani military was avoiding direct conflict with the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda forces for political reasons. Despite the U.S. calls for a crackdown on the Haqqani network, some Pakistani officials continue to support the group, viewing it as a longtime ally that has steadfastly opposed Indian involvement in Afghanistan.

Pakistan received about $1.9 billion in military assistance from the U.S. in fiscal 2010, which ended Sept. 30, including about $300 million in grants to buy U.S. defense equipment. The new package of defense equipment would average out to an additional $100 million a year in aid, although the size of the grants would start lower and grow over time.

By seeking assurances from Pakistan that the new equipment will be used only to combat militants in the border areas, the U.S. hopes to reassure India that it isn't trying to further boost the power of Pakistan's conventional military.

Officials from both the U.S. and Pakistan rejected the notion that the military assistance and talks were a quid pro quo, arguing that they are trying to build a partnership, not cut a deal.

U.S. officials, although they denied that the increased aid was part of an explicit deal to get Islamabad to mount a ground offensive in North Waziristan, said they hoped increased Pakistani military capabilities would translate into increased action on the ground.

Riaz Haq said...

New F-16s are arriving from US in Pakistan to modernize and strengthen PAF, according to Daily Times:

ISLAMABAD: Second batch of three F-16 C/D Block 52 aircraft arrived at the PAF Base, Shahbaz (Jacobabad) on Saturday, whereas two more would arrive during the next week. Brigadier General Michael Nagata, deputy commander, Office of Defence Representative in Pakistan handed over the aircraft on behalf of the US government to Air Marshal Muhammad Hasan, deputy chief of the Air Staff (Operations). Pakistan had signed a contract with the US government in 2005-06 for the acquisition of 18 F-16 C/D Block 52 aircraft. Under this arrangement, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) would receive these state-of-the-art aircraft from the US in staggered batches. In this connection, the first batch of three similar aircraft arrived in Pakistan in May 2010. The deliveries of the rest of the aircraft would be completed by December 2010. The F-16 C/D aircraft is a high tech fighter aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art avionics suite and latest weapons with Night Precision Attack capability. These aircraft are part of the bid by PAF to modernise and enhance its air defence capabilities. staff report

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt fom a NY Times story on Obama's India visit and internal US policy debates on India-Pakistan conflict:

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, is among those who have warned internally about the dangers of Cold Start, according to American and Indian officials. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Richard C. Holbrooke, the special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, share these fears.

The strategy calls for India to create fast-moving battle groups that could deliver a contained but sharp retaliatory ground strike inside Pakistan within three days of suffering a terrorist attack by militants based in Pakistan, yet not do enough damage to set off a nuclear confrontation.

Pakistani officials have repeatedly stressed to the United States that worries about Cold Start are at the root of their refusal to redeploy forces away from the border with India so that they can fight Islamic militants in the frontier region near Afghanistan. That point was made most recently during a visit to Washington last month by Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

The administration raised the issue of Cold Start last November when India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, visited Washington, Indian and American officials said. Indian officials told the United States that the strategy was not a government or military policy, and that India had no plans to attack Pakistan. Therefore, they added, it should have no place on Mr. Obama’s agenda in India. rip%20to%20india&st=cse

Riaz Haq said...

I am sure many Indians looking for Obama to bash Pakistan (as that British novice PM Cameron did) would be sorely disappointed by the following statements Obama made to Indian students at St. Xavier's College in Mumbai:

"We want nothing more than a stable, prosperous and peaceful Pakistan".

"It may be surprising to some of you to hear me say this, but I am absolutely convinced that the country that has the biggest stake in Pakistan's success is India."

Here's more from the Washington Post today:

Obama commemorated the Nov. 26, 2008, massacre (in Mumbai) on his arrival Saturday when he laid a white rose at a memorial to the victims and spoke at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and Tower, a main target of the attack. But he infuriated many Indians by not mentioning Pakistan in his tribute, reinforcing the impression here that Obama cares less about India's grievances than he does about defending a key partner in the Afghanistan war.

The issue will probably come up again Monday, Obama's final day in India, when he appears with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before the U.S. and Indian media and later addresses the Indian Parliament. Obama could well face questions over his position on Kashmir, a religiously mixed region in the subcontinent's northwest that both India and Pakistan claim.

How he portrays the U.S. interest in Pakistan, whose weak government is defending itself against its own Taliban insurgency, will probably determine whether his visit here succeeds in convincing Indians that he is serious when he says, as he did Sunday, that "the U.S.-India relationship will be indispensable in shaping the 21st century."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece by Eric Margolis on US-India ties titled "Welcome to India, Obama Sahib":

While the western media fulminates against Taliban’s or Iran’s treatment of women, a leading British medical journal reports an estimated 40,000 Indian women are burned alive each year by their in-laws to grab their dowries. Infanticide of female children is endemic. But few in the west seem to care.
India is a giant with feet of clay. A senior western diplomat in unhealthy Delhi told me that at any given time, half his staff is ill with serious maladies. India is plagued by grave health and environmental problems.
India is really two nations: modern, dynamic, high-tech urban India of about 100 million, and antique, timeless rural Mother India of 1.1 billion souls.
To China’s annoyance, President Obama proclaimed in Delhi that India should have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. India is becoming a great power and deserves a seat among the world’s big boys. But so do Germany, Japan, Turkey and Brazil.

India and its people, long disparaged by British racist jokes, are delighted to be called equals by the great powers. In fact, nuclear-armed India sees itself very much as regional hegemon of the entire Indian Ocean extending from East Africa to Australia.

The Bush administration’s deal with Delhi to sanctify and facilitate India’s nuclear weapons programs was thought at the time a clever move. But it dismayed the rest of the world, made a mockery of non-proliferation, and outraged the entire Muslim world, which has been blasting the US for hypocrisy by threatening war against Iran, which is under UN nuclear inspection, while playing nuclear footsie with India, which rejected all UN inspection.

India’s leaders are no fools and will not be easily pushed or bribed into a stronger anti-China and anti-Iran stance by Washington – Delhi maintains cool but correct relations with Beijing, but behind the wintry, trans-Himalayan smiles lies growing rivalry over Chinese-occupied Tibet, Indian-ruled Ladakh and Kashmir, their long, poorly demarcated Himalayan border (another gift of the British Empire), strategic Burma, and their intensifying nuclear and naval rivalry.

India claims China is trying to surround it, using Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Burma. The two Asian superpowers have been locked in a strategic and conventional arms race for a decade. In 1999, this writer postulated that the two giants would one day clash over their contested borders.

India will follow its own strategic and diplomatic interests – which are not synonymous with those of the United States.

Delhi has a long record of clever diplomacy that has isolated Pakistan and kept the world and UN out of the burning Kashmir problem, where 40,000–80,000 Kashmiris have died in a long independence struggle against Indian rule.

But the United States is now slowly being drawn into the dangerous Kashmir dispute – which triggered the 2008 terror bombing in Mumbai. Just look for example at the embarrassing revelations that one of the men involved in the 2008 Mumbai massacre was working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

The more Washington backs and arms India, the more its relations with China will deteriorate. Japan is also quietly building up India against China, to Beijing’s mounting anger.

The US could even be drawn into an India-China regional conflict. So caution is advised to US diplomats as they charge into the murky, tangled, poorly understood geopolitics of South and East Asia.

We also wonder if President Obama was briefed on India’s growing strategic arsenal.Delhi already has enough medium-ranged Agni-series missiles to cover potential foe China. Why then is Delhi spending billions to develop a reported 12,000 km ICBM whose only targets could be North America, Europe or Australia? ..

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 are a few excerpts from a Wall Street Journal story today on China's defense industry advances and exports:

Today, Russia's military bonanza is over, and China's is just beginning.

After decades of importing and reverse-engineering Russian arms, China has reached a tipping point: It now can produce many of its own advanced weapons—including high-tech fighter jets like the Su-27—and is on the verge of building an aircraft carrier.

Not only have Chinese engineers cloned the prized Su-27's avionics and radar but they are fitting it with the last piece in the technological puzzle, a Chinese jet engine.

In the past two years, Beijing hasn't placed a major order from Moscow.

Now, China is starting to export much of this weaponry, undercutting Russia in the developing world, and potentially altering the military balance in several of the world's flash points....

This epochal turnaround was palpable in the Russian pavilion at November's Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai. Russia used to be the star of this show, wowing visitors with its "Russian Knights" aerobatic team, showing off fighters, helicopters and cargo planes, and sealing multibillion dollar deals on the sidelines.

This year, it didn't bring a single real aircraft—only a handful of plastic miniatures, tended by a few dozen bored sales staff.

China, by contrast, laid on its biggest commercial display of military technology—almost all based on Russian know-how.

The star guests were the "Sherdils," a Pakistani aerobatic team flying fighter jets that are Russian in origin but are now being produced by Pakistan and China....

That has compounded Russian fears that China has reverse engineered an Su-33 prototype it acquired in 2001 from Ukraine, according to Russian defense experts.

At last year's Dubai Air Show, China demonstrated its L-15 trainer jet for the first time. In June, China made its debut at the Eurosatory arms fair in France.

In July, China demonstrated the JF-17—the fighter developed with Pakistan—for the first time overseas at the Farnborough Airshow in Britain.

China also had one of the biggest pavilions at an arms fair in Capetown in September.

"They're showing up at arms fairs they've never been to before," said Siemon T. Wezeman, an arms trade expert at SIPRI. "Whereas 15 years ago they had nothing really, now they're offering reasonable technology at a reasonable price."

China is generating particular interest among developing countries, especially with the relatively cheap JF-17 fighter with a Russian engine.

The Kremlin has approved the re-export of the engine to Pakistan, as it has no arms business there.

But it was enraged last year when Azerbaijan, an ex-Soviet republic, began talks on buying JF-17s, according to people familiar with the situation...

China's arms exports could have repercussions on regions in conflict around the world. Pakistan inducted its first squadron of Chinese-made fighter jets in February, potentially altering the military balance with India.

Other potential buyers of China's JF-17 fighter jet include Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Nigeria, Morocco and Turkey. In the past, China has also sold fighters to Sudan.

The potential customer of greatest concern to the U.S. is Iran, which purchased about $260 million of weapons from China between 2002-2009, according to Russia's Centre for Analysis of the Global Arms Trade.

In June, China backed U.N. sanctions on Iran, including an expanded arms embargo, but Tehran continues to seek Chinese fighters and other weaponry.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a piece from Aviation Week on Pakistan Air Force's recent acquisitions:

The Pakistani air force is gearing up for a major expansion of its JF-17 single-engine fighter force.

The service just began taking delivery of the first batch of Chengdu FC-1/JF-17s (now produced in Pakistan) this year, with about half of the 42 ordered now in place. With one squadron operational, service officials now plan to set up a second unit.

What’s more, the Pakistani government hopes to order a second batch of 50 fighters next year, says Air Commo.Junaid, who is involved in the JF-17 project. Pakistan is looking for enhanced features on the second batch, although the exact requirements have not been spelled out.

Both South African and French companies have shown interest in updating the JF-17’s avionics and weapons package. After looking at new candidates, the preferred option appears to be staying with Chinese suppliers, Pakistani officials suggest.

Despite the interest in enhancement, Junaid notes that the avionics package fielded on the baseline JF-17 has been one of the positive surprises. They have performed “better than expected,” he says, and pilot transition to the new aircraft has proceeded smoothly. And operations in the high mountain regions have not posed a problem, he asserts.

Fleet development is still at a relatively early stage, though. The focus so far has been on familiarizing pilots and maintenance crew with the new equipment. Preparations are underway to fully qualify crews for air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. Full operational capability is not far off, Junaid notes, adding that progress is much better than when the air force introduced its F-16A/B Block 15s in the early 1980s.

In parallel, the service has been taking delivery of the newest batch of Lockheed Martin F-16s in the Block 52 configuration. The last of these aircraft were delivered to the Shahbaz Air Base on Dec. 13. The air force has fielded 12 F-16Cs and six F-16Ds under the so-called Peace Drive I program.

The Pakistani air force argues that the precision strike features of the latest F-16s is bolstering operations in the contested border region with Afghanistan, such as South Waziristan, and the federally administered tribal areas.

The service also is awaiting completion of the ZDK-03 airborne early warning aircraft, which was rolled out last month at Hanzhong, China. The 2008 contract calls for delivery of four systems.

Meanwhile, fielding all the equipment is forcing the service to rethink its operational concepts, particularly regarding how to employ the various new tools in an integrated fashion, Junaid says.

Pakistan also continues to work on enhancing its unmanned aircraft inventory. It is already operating the Italian Selex Galileo Falco, but Italy has apparently been reluctant to allow the arming of that UAV. As a result, Pakistan is now acquiring armed CH-3s from China, which are still in development.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India report on Tejas operaional clearance today:

BANGALORE: After a tortuous journey of 27 years, with over 1,500 flight-tests and almost 3,000% jump in overall developmental costs, the much-touted but long-delayed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft has finally taken the first step towards induction as a supersonic fighter into IAF.

Amid much fanfare and back-slapping, defence minister A K Antony handed over the Tejas initial operational clearance (IOC) certificate to IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik at a ceremony here on Monday.

The IOC basically means that the largely homegrown fighter is now fully airworthy, in its initial configuration, to be flown by IAF pilots but not all weapon and other systems have been fully integrated into the platform. That will happen only by December 2012 when the single-engine, multi-role fighter gets the final operational clearance (FOC).

"Today is a historic day...A state-of-the-art indigenous combat aircraft will go a long way in enhancing national security,'' said Antony, showering praise on the entire LCA team led by Aeronautical Development Agency, Defence Research and Development Organisation and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

The euphoria was somewhat justified, given that the supersonic fighter has been built from scratch in a country with an extremely poor defence-industrial base and in the face of international sanctions for several years.

But there has to be a reality check, even if it seems harsh. Even Antony admitted that Tejas had reached just "the semi-final stage'' at this point. As was first reported by TOI earlier, the overall developmental cost of the Tejas project, including the naval variant and trainer, has zoomed up to Rs 17,269 crore from the initial Rs 560 crore earmarked for it in 1983. With each Tejas to cost around Rs 200 crore over and above this, India will end up spending well over Rs 25,000 crore on the programme.

Moreover, the real induction of the first 40 Tejas jets will begin only towards end-2013, with the first two squadrons becoming fully operational at the Sulur airbase (Tamil Nadu) by 2015 or so, a full three decades after the LCA project was first sanctioned to replace the ageing MiG-21s.

That's not all. The first test-flight of the Tejas Mark-II version, with more powerful American GE F-414 engines, will be possible only by December 2014, with its production beginning in June 2016. And even then, the Tejas will just be a medium to low-end fighter, not a high-end air dominance one.

ACM Naik, in fact, described Tejas as a "MiG-21 plus-plus'', and made it clear that it was not even a fourth-generation fighter at present but would be in the future, indicating it will primarily be used to plug the gap in numbers.

Consequently, India's frontline combat fighters will the 270 Russian-origin Sukhoi-30MKIs already being inducted for around $12 billion, the 126 new medium multi-role combat aircraft to be acquired in the $10.4 billion MMRCA project and the 250 to 300 fifth-generation fighter aircraft to be built with Russia in the gigantic $35 billion project.

Yes, there is no getting away from the critical fact that India has to be self-reliant in military hardware and software if it wants to emerge as a superpower on the global stage. But the Tejas saga puts serious question marks on the defence indigenisation model being followed.

The fighter, for instance, is still only around 60% indigenous despite being 27 years in the making. It, for example, is powered by American GE engines, with the indigenous Kaveri engine failing to pass muster despite Rs 2,839 crore being spent on it since 1989.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Washington Post report on "doubling of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal":

Pakistan's nuclear arsenal now totals more than 100 deployed weapons, a doubling of its stockpile over the past several years in one of the world's most unstable regions, according to estimates by non-government analysts.

Wary of upsetting Pakistan's always-fragile political balance, the White House rarely mentions the country's arsenal in public except to voice confidence in its strong internal safeguards, with warheads kept separate from delivery vehicles. But the level of U.S. concern was reflected during last month's White House war review, when Pakistan's nuclear security was set as one of two long-term strategy objectives there, along with the defeat of al-Qaeda, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A publicly released summary of the classified review document made no reference to the nuclear issue, and the White House deflected questions on grounds that it was an intelligence matter. This week, a spokesman said the administration would not respond to inquiries about the size of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor referred to Obama's assurance at last spring's Nuclear Security Summit that he felt "confident about Pakistan's security around its nuclear weapons program." Vietor noted that Obama hs encouraged "all nations" to support negotiations on the fissile cutoff treaty.

"The administration is always trying to keep people from talking about this knowledgeably," said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a leading analyst on the world's nuclear forces. "They're always trying to downplay" the numbers and insisting that "it's smaller than you think."

"It's hard to say how much the U.S. knows," said Hans M. Kristensen, director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists and author of the annual global nuclear weapons inventory published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. "Probably a fair amount. But it's a mixed bag - Pakistan is an ally, and they can't undercut it with a statement of concern in public."

Beyond intelligence on the ground, U.S. officials assess Pakistan's nuclear weapons program with the same tools used by the outside experts - satellite photos of nuclear-related installations, estimates of fissile-material production and weapons development, and publicly available statements and facts.

Four years ago, the Pakistani arsenal was estimated at 30 to 60 weapons.
Only three nuclear countries - Pakistan, India and Israel - have never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. India is estimated to have 60 to 100 weapons; numbers are even less precise for Israel's undeclared program, estimated at up to 200. North Korea, which has conducted nuclear tests and is believed to have produced enough fissile material for at least a half-dozen bombs, withdrew from the treaty in 2003.

Those figures make Pakistan the world's fifth largest nuclear power, ahead of "legal" powers France and Britain. The vast bulk of nuclear stockpiles are held by the United States and Russia, followed by China.
While continuing to produce of weapons-grade uranium at two sites, Pakistan has sharply increased its production of plutonium, allowing it to make lighter warheads for more mobile delivery systems. Its newest missile, the Shaheen II, has a range of 1,500 miles and is about to go into operational deployment, Kristensen said. Pakistan also has developed nuclear-capable land- and air-launched cruise missiles.

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 embarrassing story of India's "blue water" navy's incompetence:

Indian naval authorities say they hope to salvage a 3,000-tonne warship which ran aground on Monday after colliding with a merchant ship.

The INS Vindhyagiri collided with a Cyprus-flagged merchant vessel on Sunday in Mumbai and caught fire.

The incident has been described by critics as one of the navy's most embarrassing peacetime incidents.

About 400 passengers and crew who were on board the warship at the time of the collision had to rescued.

Some media reports say that the stricken ship sustained serious damage when it hit the seabed at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, but there has been no official acknowledgement of the damage.

At the time of the accident, the warship was returning from a "day at sea" for families of sailors and officers.

The navy says it has registered a case against the captain and crew members of the merchant vessel. They are accused of negligent navigation, causing injuries and endangering the lives and personal safety of others.

The navy says that it is also conducting an independent inquiry into the incident.

"It is very difficult to gauge the extent of damage at this point. But we will involve our technical agencies to salvage the ship. Firstly, it has to be made lighter by pumping the water and fuel out. Then we can carry out further operations," a navy spokesman said.

A coastguard spokesperson said that the possibility of an oil spill had been averted because the ship was in a tidal basin and river booms had been deployed to stop any movement of oil.

"There is no chance of any spillage spreading as the area is part of naval dockyard," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters' story on OECD raising alarm about cyber attacks:

Attacks on computer systems now have the potential to cause global catastrophe, but only in combination with another disaster, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report on Monday.

The study, part of a wider OECD project examining possible "Future Global Shocks" such as a failure of the world's financial system or a large-scale pandemic, said there were very few single "cyber events" that could cause a global shock.

Examples were a successful attack on one of the technical protocols on which the Internet depends, or a large solar flare that wiped out key communications components such as satellites.

But it said a combination of events such as coordinated cyber attacks, or a cyber incident occurring during another form of disaster, should be a serious concern for policy makers.

"In that eventuality, 'perfect storm' conditions could exist," said the report, written by Professor Peter Sommer of the London School of Economics and Dr Ian Brown of Britain's Oxford University.

Governments are increasingly emphasising the importance of cyber security.

The United States is preparing for cyber conflict and has launched its own military cyber command. Britain last October rated cyber attacks as one of the top external threats, promising to spend an extra 650 million pounds ($1 billion) on the issue.

Meanwhile, emerging nations such as China and Russia are believed to see it as an arena in which they can challenge the United States' conventional military dominance.

The Stuxnet computer worm -- which targets industrial systems and was widely believed to be a state attack on Iran's nuclear programme -- is seen as a sign of the increasing militarisation of cyberspace.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that the worm was a joint U.S.-Israeli effort and had been tested at Israel's Dimona nuclear plant.

The OECD study concluded that cyber attacks would be ubiquitous in future wars, and that cyber weaponry would be "increasingly deployed and with increasing effect by ideological activists of all persuasions and interests".

"There are significant and growing risks of localised misery and loss as a result of compromise of computer and telecommunications services," the report said.

But it concluded that a true "cyberwar", fought almost entirely through computer systems, was unlikely as many critical systems were well protected and the effects of attacks were difficult to predict, and so could backfire on the assailants.

Brown said adopting a largely military approach to cyber security was a mistake, as most targets in the critical national infrastructure, such as communications, energy, finance and transport, were in the private sector.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a WSJ piece by Amol Sharma justifying India's arms buildup:

At Mazagon Dock near the southern tip of Mumbai, hidden behind high concrete walls, hundreds of Indian workers are putting the finishing touches on the hulls of two 217-foot Scorpène-class attack submarines, the first of six slated to be built over the next few years.

Nearby, workers are adding to India's fleet of stealth frigates and guided-missile destroyers.At Mazagon Dock near the southern tip of Mumbai, hidden behind high concrete walls, hundreds of Indian workers are putting the finishing touches on the hulls of two 217-foot Scorpène-class attack submarines, the first of six slated to be built over the next few years.

Nearby, workers are adding to India's fleet of stealth frigates and guided-missile destroyers.

One big reason India is beefing up its arsenal: China.

"It goes without saying that India must be seriously concerned with the rise of China's strategic power, including its military and economic power," says Ashwani Kumar, member of parliament from India's ruling Congress party. "India has consistently opposed an arms race—but India will not be found wanting in taking all measures necessary for the effective safeguarding of its territorial integrity and national interests."

From the Arabian Sea to the Pacific Ocean, countries fearful of China's growing economic and military might—and worried that the U.S. will be less likely to intervene in the region—are hurtling into a new arms race.

In December, Japan overhauled its defense guidelines, laying plans to purchase five submarines, three destroyers, 12 fighters jets, 10 patrol planes and 39 helicopters. South Korea and Vietnam are adding subs. Arms imports are on the rise in Malaysia. The tiny city-state of Singapore, which plans to add two subs, is now among the world's top 10 arms importers. Australia plans to spend as much as $279 billion over the next 20 years on new subs, destroyers and fighter planes.

Together, these efforts amount to a simultaneous buildup of advanced weaponry in the Asia-Pacific region on a scale and at a speed not seen since the Cold War arms race between America and the Soviet Union.

The buildup is unfolding as the world's military balance appears to be shifting in tandem with its economic balance. China is beginning to build a military to match its powerful economy. This is happening as the U.S. and its staunchest allies, including Britain, are looking at flat or falling military spending—and as Russia is struggling to revive its armed forces in the post-Soviet era.

China is still far from challenging the U.S. for global military supremacy. But its recent actions have countries in the region planning for a much different future.

In Australia, a report published Monday by an influential defense think tank concludes that the China threat has sparked an "urgent need to refocus" military development "to offset and deter the rapidly expanding People's Liberation Army." The report by the Kokoda Foundation, prepared with input from senior defense officials, says Australia "cannot overlook the way that the scale, pattern and speed of the PLA's development is altering security in the Western Pacific."..

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune report on Aman 2011:

KARACHI: Pakistan Navy’s multinational exercise, Aman 2011, entered its sea phase on Friday when ships, helicopters, submarines and special forces sailed out to the Arabian Sea.

According to a press statement, all maritime platforms participating in the exercise are working in real-threat environment. Tactical manoeuvres, replenishment at sea, transfer of men and material from one ship to another, surface firing on pre-determined targets, countering air-to-surface and surface-to-surface threats, insertion of commandos on ships through helicopters and submarine warfare exercises were conducted during the drill. Search and rescue exercises were also rehearsed.

During the harbour phase earlier, participating countries discussed the planning and execution of exercises. Standard Operating Procedures were also discussed to be implemented during the sea phase. The sea phase will be followed by analysis.

Riaz Haq said...

India tops arms imports in the world, according to Bloomberg News:

India replaced China as the world’s top weapons importer, according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, as it aims to modernize its armed forces and project power through the region.

India received 9 percent of the volume of international arms transfers from 2006 to 2010, with 82 percent of that coming from Russia, Sipri said in a report released today. That topped China, South Korea and Pakistan, it said.

“The increases are substantial, and if you look at the Indian plans for the near future, they are massive,” Siemon Wezeman, a Sipri researcher who helped write the report, said in a telephone interview. “It’s worrying from the fact you are bringing a lot of weapons into an area that isn’t particularly stable, where you’ve got countries that have been at each other’s throats.”

India’s internal security threats and rivalries with Pakistan and China, the nuclear-armed neighbors with which it has border disputes, have driven the increase in expenditures, Wezeman said. The country’s plans to boost defense spending in the next decade to modernize the military have attracted U.S. and European firms banned from selling weapons to China.

The average volume of worldwide arms transfers in 2006-2010 was 24 percent higher than in 2001-2005, the report said. The Asia-Pacific region led the world, accounting for 43 percent of arms imports. It was followed by Europe at 21 percent, the Middle East at 17 percent and the Americas at 12 percent.
Economic Growth

India’s $1.3 trillion economy may expand by as much as 9.25 percent in the next financial year, the fastest pace since 2008, according to a Finance Ministry survey released last month. The World Bank estimates that more than three-quarters of India’s 1.2 billion people live on less than $2 a day.

Purchases by India of submarines, aircraft carriers and transport airplanes “can only be seen in the framework of regional ambitions,” Wezeman said.

India is seeking to buy 126 warplanes in the world’s biggest fighter-jet purchase in 15 years, according to the Indian Defense Ministry. Paris-based Dassault Aviation SA (AM), Chicago-based Boeing Co. (BA), Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), Sweden’s Saab AB (SAABB), Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. and European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co., based in Paris and Munich, are competing for the contract.

The outlays on weapons have allowed India to demand technology transfers as part of purchases, Sipri said. The U.S. and Europe have banned weapons sales to China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. U.S. military officials have questioned China’s motives in developing ballistic anti-ship missiles and radar-evading fighter jets.
‘Huge Market’

India is “in a position where they have this huge market at a time when exporters are in desperate need to find export markets,” Wezeman said.

The U.S. remains the world’s largest exporter of military equipment, accounting for 30 percent of arms deliveries between 2006 and 2010, the report said. The Defense Department is requesting $671 billion for the 2012 fiscal year starting Oct. 1, $37 billion less than this year’s request.

Stockholm-based Sipri, founded in 1966, conducts research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament, according to its website. A substantial part of its funding comes from the Swedish government, it said.

Riaz Haq said...

One of Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) historical squadrons which was until now equipped with Mirage aircraft has gone through a big change as new F-16 C/D Block 52+ aircraft were inducted. A ceremony for the 5th Squadron was held at the PAF’s base Shahbaz in Jacobadad. Many important guests attended like Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman.

The Squadron color was presented to the commander of the squadron during the ceremony and later on a formation of F-16 Block 52 and Mirage aircraft presented a fly-past. Gen Kayani praised the PAF for its efforts in the war against terrorism. Pakistan’s army has been battling terrorism since 2004 and since then a lot of operations have been conducted thanks to the support of the PAF.

Air Chief Marshal Suleman held a speech about the future development of the Air Force and how the first decade of the 21st century has seen PAF transform into a modern and fierce force. The focus of PAF is to back off form the traditional threat-based development and instead try to develop the enhancement of their capabilities. PAF has done a lot to cover all air-warfare areas and be able to overcome any challenges.

The induction of Block 52 F-16s, aerial re-fuellers, multi-layered air defence system and the air borne early warning the PAF has enhanced its capabilities to respond to any threats which the nation may face.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are recent 2011 updates on Pakistan's defense imports as reported by

March 1/11: Aviation Week reports that Pakistan is in negotiations with the U.S. to get more Lockheed Martin F-16s over and above the 63 currently in service (18 F-16C/D Block 52, 45 F-16A/B Blocck 15/OCU that will be upgraded). No numbers have been specified, by Pakistani officials see it as part of a dual-track strategy that will also include more spending on domestic projects like the JF-17 Thunder, to improve Pakistan’s own manufacturing capacity.

At present, PAF Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleman says that 4 F-16A/Bs went to the USA for technical verification inspections and upgrade kit development, and the 1st 3 F-16A/Bs are now undergoing the upgrade at Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). All of Pakistan’s F-16s are expected to be upgraded by 2013-2014. At present, no systems exist that would bridge the F-16 and JF-17 fleets, but Air Chief Marshall Suleman says that Pakistan intends to eventually field a supplementary datalink, which would work alongside the Link 16 systems carried by the F-16s.

The comments come as the Pakistani military is also discussing a deal to buy Chinese submarines as a supplement to their French Agosta-class boats, as an intended prelude to joint submarine development. These plans are all being made against a backdrop of a serious domestic insurgency and widespread flooding damage, which have combined to create over 1 million internal refugees, and threaten the government’s medium term ability to maintain control of the country. Even as the state is very obviously fraying in other ways.

Jan 20/11: Goodrich Corporation of Chelmsford, MA receives a $71.9 million contract for 5 DB-110 Pods, 2 datalink upgrades to existing pods, 2 fixed ground stations, 1 mobile ground station, and 4 ground station datalink receiver kits, plus initial spares, technical manuals, minimal initial engineering support for final in-country installation, integration, testing and a study for a potential fusion center. This supports Pakistani F-16 aircraft. At this time, $17.3 million has been committed by the ASC/WINK at Wright-Patterson Air Force, OH on behalf of their Foreign Military Sale client (FA8620-11-C-3006).

The DB-110 reconnaissance pod offers day and night capabilities, and has been ordered by a number of F-16 customers, including Egypt, Greece, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, and the UAE. DB-110s were not mentioned in the DSCA upgrade requests, but they are clearly part of that effort now. Reports indicate that installations began in June 2010; this is apparently a follow-on order. A Jan 12/11 US FedBizOpps solicitation for associated imagery analysis training is a useful reminder that buying the pods is not enough to field a useful capability. See also Aviation Week re: DB-110.

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...

Here are excerpts from a report on Pakistan Defence Website:

The first Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) frigate set sail for Pakistan on Monday. The frigate was acquired by Pakistan Navy from the United States. The ship is formerly known as the USS McINERNEY (FFG-8) and was commissioned in the Pakistan Navy as the PNS ALAMGIR (FFG-260) on August, 31, 2010 during a huge ceremony at the Mayport, Naval Station. The ceremony was attended by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani. After commissioning, the PNS ALAMGIR underwent modernization and refurbishment and the BAE System Shipyard in Jacksonville Florida. 18 officers and 218 CPO/ Sailors underwent a series of training sessions to be able to operate the ship.

The Ship Transfer and Assistance Team (STAT) contributed greatly in the training. The Pakistan Crew’s stay in the US, not only contributed to the better understanding on issues of mutual concern, but also strengthened the relations between the two nations. Captain Naveed Ashraf T.Bt TI(M) was announced as the first Commanding Officer of the PNS ALAMGIR.

The ship set sail for Pakistan on Monday, after the completion of the final trials and cre workup. The ship is scheduled to stop at Bermuda (UK), Azores (Portugal), Cadiz (Spain), Golcuk (Turkey), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Salalah (Oman) and would eventually reach Pakistan on 13 May 2011.

The PNS ALAMGIR will be a part of the 18th Frigate Squadron of the Pakistan Navy Fleet. Pakistan has become one of the important members of Global War on Terror (GWOT). Due to Pakistani government’s decision to fight terrorism, the Pakistan Navy joined the maritime coalition against terrorism which is led by the US. At the moment the Navy participates in the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP) which is one of the maritime components of the Global War on Terrorism. The CMCP encompasses operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The coalition forces work under the command of United States Naval Forces Central Command (US NAVCENT). The responsibility areas include the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea and Red Sea.

Despite the strong resource constraints, the Pakistan Navy has always been a number one participant in the CMCP. The Pakistan Navy was the first regional navy to form a part of the CMCP and has greatly contributed its assents to ensuring stability and peace in the region. The Pakistan Navy has so far contributed one frigate to Task Force 150 (TF-150) and a Type-21 frigate to Task Force 151 (TF-151).

The Pakistan Navy has commanded TF-150 f our times and is currently in charge of the TF-151 off the coast of Somalia, where they are countering piracy. Pakistan is also the first non-NATO country to command a Task Force.

The Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigates are being used by a lot of navies and their main strength is conducting Maritime Security Operations which have become the main concern of the nations. The PNS ALAMGIR is scheduled to augment Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Sea. Another of its goals is to support the Pakistan Navy Surface Fleet.

The PNS ALAMGIR has been named after Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir who was the sixth Muslim Ruler of Great Mughal Empire and is known to be one of the most fierce and experienced warriors, who protected his territories and was the Empire’s leader for nearly 50 years. Thanks to him the influence of the Mughal Empire was spread to the entire Indian Sub-continent.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's how India and Pakistan stack up as arms importers, as reported by SIPRI:

"India is the world's largest arms importer," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said as it released its latest report on trends in the international arms trade.

"India received nine percent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82 percent of Indian arms imports," it said.

Its arms imports jumped 21 percent from the previous five-year-period with 71 percent of its orders being for aircraft.

India's arms purchases were driven by several factors, said Siemon Wezeman of SIPRI'S Arms Transfers Programme.

"The most often cited relate to rivalries with Pakistan and China as well as internal security challenges," he wrote.

China and South Korea held joint second place on the list of global arms imports, each with six percent, followed by Pakistan, on five percent.

Aircraft accounted for 45 percent of Pakistan's arms imports, which had bought warplanes from both China and the United States. Pakistan's arms imports were up 128 percent on the previous five-year period, SIPRI noted.

Greece rounded off the top-five list arms importers, with four percent of global imports.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News story on how Pakistan plans to counter India's ABMs:

ISLAMABAD - In response to India's pursuit of missile defenses, Pakistan has expanded its countermeasure efforts, primarily through development of maneuvering re-entry vehicles. The Army Strategic Forces Command, which controls Pakistan's ballistic missiles, has since at least 2004 said it wanted to develop such warheads; analysts now believe these are in service.

Mansoor Ahmed, lecturer at the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University, said that in addition to maneuverable warheads, multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) may be developed to stay ahead of India's "multilayered ballistic-missile defense system" and potential future countermeasures.

"This, coupled with submarine-launched, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, would ensure the survivability of its nuclear deterrent and enhance the effectiveness of its missile force that can beat any Indian defenses," he said.
He (Harsh Pant) further explained, "A missile defense system would help India blunt Pakistan's 'first use' nuclear force posture that had led Pakistan to believe that it had inhibited India from launching a conventional attack against it for fear of its escalation to the nuclear level. With a missile defense system in place, India would be able to restore the status quo ante, thereby making a conventional military option against Pakistan potent again."Such a missile defense system and a second-strike capability "would enhance the uncertainties of India's potential adversaries, regardless of the degree of effectiveness of missile interception, and would act as a disincentive to their resort to nuclear weapons," he said.

Asked whether Pakistan's countermeasures would be effective against such ABM systems, Pant replied, "most definitely."

He said, "According to various reports, Pakistan has been developing MIRV capability for the Shaheen-II ballistic missiles and [the] Shaheen-III missile is under development."
"Although the current capability of Pakistani missiles is built around radar seekers, the integration of re-entry vehicles would make these extremely potent and defeat the anti-ballistic missile defense systems. This would be especially true of Indian aircraft carriers that would become extremely vulnerable," he said.
Analysts have for years speculated that the Navy will equip its submarines with a variant of the Babur cruise missile armed with a nuclear warhead. However, whether a cruise-missile-based arm of the nuclear triad at sea would be effective and survivable in the face of Indian air defenses is uncertain.
When this was put to analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank, he said the interception of cruise missiles is not so simple."I think Babur will form the sea-based arm of the Pakistani nuclear deterrent" he said, "but the problem in targeting subsonic cruise missiles is that they are harder to detect due to their lower radar cross-signature, low-level navigation, and use of waypoints to circumvent more secure and heavily defended areas."

"By the time you detect them, there is not much time left to vector aircraft for interception."

However, Shabbir conceded it would be possible for an airborne interceptor to shoot down a missile like Babur. "An aircraft already on [patrol] might be lucky to pick it up on its own radar well in advance [if looking in the correct direction], or vectored to it by ground-based radar."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from an Indian website "South Asia Defense and Strategy Review" on the threats to Indian Navy from Pakistani missiles:

Pakistan’s arsenal of a variety of advance ballistic and cruise missiles merits attention. Reports suggest that Pakistan is developing MIRV capability for the Shaheen-II ballistic missiles and Shaheen-III missile is under development. Although the current capability of Pakistani missiles is built around radar seekers and the GPS updates provide enormously accurate CEP, the integration of ‘re-entry vehicle’ would make these extremely potent and defeat the anti-ballistic missile defence systems. In the Indian context, there is as yet no sea based anti ballistic missile system and this gap in their defence can make the Indian aircraft carriers highly vulnerable. The Indian navy may have integrated the anti ship missile threat from surface , sub surface and air platforms of the Pakistan Navy, a salvo of DF-21 or Shaheen-II / III ballistic missiles poses an ‘existential threat’ and could be worth the attention it merits. In essence, the ASBM threat necessitates an equal priority as acquisition of aircraft carriers.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent report from on Pakistan's cluster bomb capability:

Pakistan states that it has “never used cluster munitions in any conflict to date.”

Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) produces and offers for export M483A1 155mm artillery projectiles containing 88 M42/M46 dual purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) grenades. The South Korean company Poongsan entered into a licensed production agreement with POF in November 2004 to co-produce K-310 155mm extended-range DPICM projectiles in Pakistan at Wah Cantonment. While the ammunition is being produced for Pakistan’s army, the two firms have said they will also co-market the projectiles to export customers. The Pakistani army took delivery of the first production lots in April 2008.

Jane’s Information Group reports that the Pakistan Air Weapons Center produces the Programmable Submunitions Dispenser (PSD-1), which is similar to the United States Rockeye cluster bomb, and dispenses 225 anti-armor submunitions. Jane’s states that the Pakistan National Development Complex produces and markets the Hijara Top-Attack Submunitions Dispenser (TSD-1) cluster bomb. It lists Pakistan’s Air Force as possessing BL-755 cluster bombs. The US transferred to Pakistan 200 Rockeye cluster bombs at some point between 1970 and 1995.

India has recently acquired 500 cluster bombs from the US, according to media reports.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story of Pakistan's successful short range missile (Hatf 9 or Nasr) test to counter India's "cold start" threat, as reported by The Hindu:

Pakistan on Tuesday claimed to have successfully conducted the first flight test of the newly developed Short Range Surface-to-Surface Multi Tube Ballistic Missile `Hatf IX’ (NASR). Viewed by some strategic analysts as Pakistan’s answer to India’s Cold Start Doctrine, NASR has a range of 60 km and ``shoot-and-scoot’’ nuclear delivery capability.

Announcing the test, the Inter Services Public Relations said the quick response system of NASR addresses the need to deter evolving threats. Addressing the gathering at the undisclosed site of the test, Director General of the Strategic Plans Division Khalid Ahmed Kidwai said the successful flight marked an important milestone in consolidating Pakistan’s strategic deterrence capability at all levels of the threat spectrum.

Further, Lt. Gen (retd) Kidwai pointed out that in the hierarchy of military operations, the NASR Weapon System provided Pakistan with short range missile capability in addition to the already available medium and long range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in its inventory.

Welcoming the test, security analyst, Shireen Mazari, said in a statement that now Pakistan has acquired tactical nuclear capability with a low yield that can be used in the battlefield. ``It will act as a deterrent against use of mechanised conventional land forces. This was essential in the wake of India’s adventurist war-fighting doctrine formulations which envisaged the use of rapid deployment of armed brigades and divisions in surprise and rapid attacks.’’

Referring to India’s Cold Start Doctrine, Ms. Mazari added: ``India has always felt that Pakistan had a loophole in terms of lacking short range battlefield nuclear weapons, which it could exploit on the assumption that it made little sense for Pakistan to respond to such conventional attacks with strategic nuclear weapons. With NASR, Pakistan has plugged that loophole. Indian dreams of a limited war against Pakistan through its Cold Start strategy have been laid to rest. This will allow for a reassertion of a stable nuclear deterrence in the region.’’

Riaz Haq said...

Reports by Reuters news agency suggest that US is offering to sell drones to Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The United States will provide Pakistan with 85 small "Raven" drone aircraft, a U.S. military official told Reuters, a key step to addressing Islamabad's calls for access to U.S. drone technology.

The official, speaking on Thursday on condition of anonymity, declined to disclose the cost of the non-lethal, short-range surveillance aircraft, which are manufactured by the U.S.-based AeroVironment Inc.

A company spokesman said the Raven is used by U.S. allies including Italy, Spain and Norway and is one of the most widely utilized unmanned aircraft in the world.

The disclosure is another sign of growing U.S. military assistance to Pakistan, a crucial if often tense ally in the U.S. fight against al Qaeda and insurgents attacking U.S. forces in neighboring Afghanistan.
The Raven, according to the company website, has a wingspan of just 1.4 meters (4.5 feet) and a weight of 1.9 kilos (4.2 pounds). It can deliver real-time color or infrared imagery, giving troops on the ground an edge on the battlefield.

A senior U.S. defense official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Raven drone order is separate from U.S. plans to offer Pakistan much larger, longer-range surveillance drones, a proposition put forward by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates during a visit to Pakistan in January 2010.

That offer delighted Islamabad at the time but Pakistani officials say those talks have been held up over complaints about the cost proposed by Washington and a slow timeline for delivery.

The defense official suggested those talks were nearing conclusion.

"We're in final discussions about which one they really want. They think they want the Shadow," the senior defense official said.

Gates had originally offered Pakistan 12 Shadow drones, manufactured by AAI Corporation, a unit of Textron Systems.

They are not the weaponized versions being used by the CIA to track and kill al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in Pakistan but are used strictly for surveillance and intelligence gathering.

Riaz Haq said...

Growing Space Focus in Sino-Indian Rivalry, November 12, 2010, By Global Intelligence Report Analysts:

ANALYSIS: Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Masood Khan, signed a loan agreement with the government-owned Export-Import Bank of China on 9 October to finance the ground control apparatus for a new ‘Paksat-1R’ communications satellite, to be launched on 14 August 2011. This bilateral effort to ensure technical interchange illustrates space as a growing area of contestation in regional strategic developments.

Chinese Space Outreach: This satellite project builds upon a substantial history of China serving as a reliable supplier of sensitive military technology to Pakistan. China launched Pakistan’s first indigenous satellite, Badr-A, in 1990 from Xichang Launch Center in Sichuan. The operation of this satellite gave Pakistani scientists practical understanding of telemetry, orbital patterns, surveillance, and Chinese launch platforms.

The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), headquartered in Beijing, was established in 2005 to improve Chinese multilateral space collaboration. APSCO members include Bangladesh, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, and Thailand. International technical cooperation enables Beijing to encourage interoperability with Chinese rocket technology and obtain a greater share of the international commercial launch market.

Achievements in civilian space programs can have great relevance to military projects. Civilian and military rockets utilize similar propulsion, positioning, and control technologies. Space cooperation can therefore serve dual purposes, and support Chinese strategic as well as commercial aims in placing Chinese assistance at the heart of rocket programs of potential allies.

Chinese Strategic Developments: A core aim of Chinese strategic planning is to improve its utilization of space-borne assets. Chinese Air Force Commander General Xu Qilang commented in November 2009 that “as far as the revolution in military affairs is concerned, the competition between military forces is moving towards outer space…this is a historical inevitability and cannot be turned back”.

China’s determination to hold the option of denying the use of space-based capabilities to other states was illuminated in its successful test of an anti-satellite weapon in January 2007, eliminating an old Chinese weather satellite. Building upon this experience, Beijing conducted its first ballistic missile defense (BMD) test on 11 January 2010.

China is developing a geospatial positioning Compass Navigation Satellite System (CNSS), equivalent to the American GPS and Russian GLONASS systems. This will further improve military targeting and location abilities, while offering civilians a satellite positioning service that heralds Chinese technical acumen. Beijing also seeks to launch a manned space lab by 2020.

Indian Capabilities: New Delhi shares the recognition by Beijing of the importance of a wide range of space capabilities as an indispensable element of a robust defense. India’s ‘Phase 1′ BMD system incorporates the Prithvi Air Defense missile for high-altitude elimination of adversary missiles, and an Advanced Air Defense system for low-altitude interception. Supportive radar technology for this system has been sourced from Israel.

This system has been successfully tested and is moving toward active service. An improved ‘PDV’ interceptor is in development to replace the Prithvi Air Defense missile. The ‘Phase 1′ system is designed to target missiles with a maximum range of 2,000km, such as the Pakistani Shaheen-2 and Ghauri missiles. A ‘Phase 2′ system is planned for missiles with a range greater than 2,000km, implicitly those of Chinese origin.
American Leverage: The Indian Space Research Organisation is working with NASA on lunar exploration tasks. Indian diplomats are seeking for Washington to lift remaining restrictions ......

Riaz Haq said...

A familiar refrain from many readers of this blog is that "Pakistanis (especially the educated) use India as their yardstick..."

Here's a recent Times of India headline:

Pakistanis happier than Indians: Gallup survey

Does the above headline suggests that "Indians (especially the educated) use Pakistan as their yardstick"?

Here are a few more Indian news headlines to ponder:

1. Pakistan ahead of India on human development indices: UN report

2. Doing business? India lags behind Pakistan!

3. India trails Pakistan, Bangladesh in sanitation

4. India worse than Pakistan, Bangladesh on nourishment

5. India is worse than Pakistan on gender equality

Riaz Haq said...

It is alleged that Pakistan learned from the American BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile that crashed in Pakistani territory during a US attack on Bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998. Now there are reports of US helicopter stealth tech in Pakistani hands after the Abbottabad raid:

Despite the crash of one of the U.S.'s Black Hawk stealth helicopters, the aircraft which had previously been a well-kept secret may have been key to the success of the raid that led to Osama bin Laden’s death.

One of the helicopters was blown apart during the assault, but photographs of the tail section that remained in Pakistan show modifications to quiet noise and reduce chances of radar detection.

The New York Times reports that people in the helicopter industry said the rear section looked nothing like the tail of a regular Black Hawk helicopter. They said it looked like the Black Hawk had added some of the features of the proposed stealth helicopter Comanche, which was canceled by the Pentagon in 2004.

Another reported that the downed helicopter had five or six blades in its tail rotor, as opposed to the usual four in a Black Hawk. That may have permitted operators to slow the rotor speed and reduce the familiar chop-chop sound made by most helicopters.

Daniel Goure, a defense specialist at the Lexington Institute think tank, said the helicopter crash may have been caused by the unusual aerodynamics which came from the aircraft's modifications.

"It could be much more difficult to fly at slow speed and landing than you would expect from a typical Black Hawk," Goure said to the Huffington Post.

It had been thought that the Navy SEAL teams in the attack had used modified MH-60 Black Hawk or Sea Hawk helicopters in the raid of the compound.

Mail Online reports the Black Hawk has a crew of three or four and can carry 11 soldiers prepared for combat. It first began flying in 1978.

It has been alleged that during the killing of bin Laden, the SEALS involved were able to use the Air Force's secretive RQ-170 pilot-less drone, which has been known as 'The Beast of Kandahar'.

Rachit said...

Sir, you are too biased about your comparisons between India and Pakistan. Actually I don't care about what Pakistan is capable of, but going through your posts somehow makes me feel that Pakistanis give too much attention to these things.

Agree that in India too people have their focus on Pakistan but that does not hold as a competitor but as a hindrance. It is China that we treat as our competitor.

There is much misunderstanding in Pakistan that Indian Muslims are badly treated in their country. May I ask you is this why so much religious extremism exists in Pakistan? I dare not think otherwise, for this is the reality.

You say "Pakistanis consider Pakistan to be God's gift." I'd first like to know the reason behind Pakistan's creation. The very reasons put forward are contradictory.

On the one hand, Jinnah put forward the Two-Nation Theory to divide Hindus and Muslims into separate homelands. Unfortunately for his supporters his vision proved to be a massive failure as India is home to a Muslim population comparable to Paksitan's, but Pakistan's Hindu population is equivalent to nought.

Yet Jinnah's upporters claim that Jinnah was a secular man and that he had declared of Pakistan to be a secular nation!!!

I am confused Sir, what the hell went wrong with this man? I am still struggling to know what compelled the creation of Pakistan, in which Pakistanis take such pride that makes them realise God, as your comment tagged above hints at!

I am not anti-Pakistan, but there has to be sense while we negotiate between ourselves and all sense seems to have been lost when it comes to Pakistanis discussing their homeland. There is sudden surge in emotions and relgious feelings. I am sorry if I hurt your sentiments but I hope you'll address my problems so that a healthy interaction is carried forward.

Rachit, from New Delhi(India)

JF-17 said...

Mr. Haq an excellent post!

What are your views on JF-17 and other weapons Pakistan is developing to reduce its dependance on west?

Riaz Haq said...

JF17: "What are your views on JF-17 and other weapons Pakistan is developing to reduce its dependance on west?"

Please read my post "Pakistan's Defense Industry Going High Tech".

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Counterpunch Op Ed by Yasmin Qureshi on "Militarization of India":

India is today the world's largest importer of arms. These include fighter jet planes, missiles and radar systems for strategic partnerships and geo-political power. India is also investing in security and surveillance to combat foreign threats and resistance from its own people in places like the Kashmir valley, and the North East and tribal regions of Central India. This provides tremendous opportunity for multi-national corporations to sell and invest in India, a country marching ahead as an economic and military power.

A report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's (SIPRI) March 14, 2011 revealed that India received 9 per cent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006–10. The international consultancy firm KPMG estimates that India will sign military contracts worth $112 billion by 2016.

This year India increased annual defense spending by about 11.6 percent to $36 billion in order to modernize the armed forces to counter the military inflation and strategic threats posed by China's rapidly expanding military capabilities..

In sharp contrast, allocation for agri culture and allied activities was reduced by 2 percent and allocation of non-plan expenditures on all social services declined by 14 percent from approximately $7.8 billion in 2009-10 to $6.6 billion for 2010-11. The World Bank estimates that 80% of India's population lives on less than $2 a day, comparable to sub-Saharan Africa.

Corporate Diplomacy to Secure Arms Deals

With assistance from their governments, arms corporations in countries such as Russia, US, France, Britain, Sweden and Israel are competing to procure million and billion dollar deals with India.

Last year India saw an unprecedented series of diplomatic visits from head of states of nuclear and defense powers. Notably chief executives of major nuclear and defense corporations had escorted the head of states on their visits. British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to India in July was followed by US President Obama's in November and by French President Nicolas Sarkozy's in December.

A $779 million contract was signed for 57 BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers for the Indian military during Cameron's visit. Engine maker Rolls-Royce clinched a $280 million deal to supply engines for the jet trainers for the Indian air force and navy. Seven agreements in key areas such as defense, space and nuclear energy were signed during Sarkozy's visit.

US President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's visits in 2010 were also about strengthening economic and strategic partnerships. Twenty deals totaling nearly $10 billion dollars in U.S. exports were signed during the President's visit. Following that visit, the US reformed its export control regime and removed key Indian defense and civil space entities from U.S. restricted lists to help boost high technology exports and allow for enhanced defense and space cooperation with India.

The close nexus of corporations and governments is evident from the resignation of Timothy J. Roemer as US Ambassador to India on April 28, 2011, soon after the announcement that two US corporations, Boeing and Lockheed Martin had lost the race for procuring a $10 billion contract to supply 126 fighter jets to the Indian Air Force. The US is still hopeful a four billion dollar sale of C17 aircraft will be finalized soon. French company Dassault's Rafale and the Typhoon from the Eurofighter consortium (representing Germany and Spain, Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Finmeccanica) have been shortlisted.

Riaz Haq said...

India and Pakistan have added 20-30 nuclear warheads in their arsenal in the past one year, a global think tank said on Tuesday, according to Times of India:

In its latest yearbook, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said the neighbours are continuing to develop new ballistic and cruise missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

In 2010, the Indian nuclear arsenal had 60-80 nukes but they have increased to 80-110 warheads. On the same pattern, the Pakistani side also increased its warheads from 70-90 to 90-110 warheads in the same period, SIPRI said in a release.

"India and Pakistan continue to develop new ballistic and cruise missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons. They are also expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes," it said.

India, Pakistan and six other countries -- the US, the UK, Russia, France, China and Israel -- possess more than 20,500 nuclear weapons, a drop of more than 2000 since 2009.

More than 5000 of these weapons are deployed and ready for use, including nearly 2000 that are kept in a state of high operational alert.

India carried out its first nuclear test in 1974 in Pokhran and followed up again in 1998 at the same place. Soon after the 1998 tests, India declared a 'no-first use' policy of nuclear weapons and has been developing a credible nuclear response capability in view of it.

It has already developed a triad of nuclear delivery systems with the development of land, sea and air-based weapon systems.

Riaz Haq said...

In addition to the growing number of nuclear warheads, Pakistan has also expanded its missiles capability with the addition to ground-launched and air-launched cruise missiles, tactical nukes, and MIRVs to overwhelm the missile shield India is building with the help of Israel which in turn gets technology from the US.

Pakistan's ingenuously built Khushab plutonium reactors are rapidly expanding the plutonium-based miniaturized nukes for a wide range of capabilities to deter external threats...particularly from India which suffers from an acute case of Israel-envy and America envy.

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...

India's IBN Live calls "MV Suez fiaso a PR disaster for India":

New Delhi: It's likely to be three days before the Indian sailors of the MV Suez released last week by Somali pirates after a $2 million ransom was paid come home.

But the Suez saga has been a series of mis-steps. India failed to negotiate the sailors' release, failed to protect them once they were free, and failed to bring them home. And it culminated with a row with the Pakistani govt. Why did India get it so wrong?

"We have already registered our protest with the government of Pakistan," said Foreign Minister SM Krishna.

The protest over and PNS Babur's alleged aggression registered, it’s time to assess India’s own response to the hostage crisis.

India failed to organise the ransom from private parties. The Navy and the government were silent for days even as sailors pleaded for help through the media.

INS Godavari was despatched only after PNS Babur had begun escorting MV Suez. India allowed a full 24 hours to elapse before rejecting Pakistani allegations of aggression by INS Godavari.

The botched up response is despite a naval warship patrolling the Gulf of Aden and a high powered inter-ministerial group created to handle piracy related incidents.

Experts say an inquiry must be conducted and responsibility fixed or else the Navy must be given a free hand to respond to crises.

"There must be an inquiry. Forget what we told Pakistan. We must know what went wrong and who took late decisions. The Navy must be given a free hand or have someone competent in charge," said Admiral Raja Menon.

The Navy sources admit there has been a loss of face but the government insists it did its best.

It's a PR disaster that has left the Navy red-faced and showed the Indian government's claims of being sensitive towards its citizens as false. The 39 sailors still being held hostage can only hope lessons are learnt from the Suez blunders

Riaz Haq said...

PM says Abbottabad and Mehran base attacks raised false concerns about safety of nukes, according to Dunya News:

He pointed to the simultaneous propaganda onslaught against Pakistan and its nuclear programme.

Chairing the 19th meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA), Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani reviewed issues of national importance and developments in the regional and global security environment.

The NCA expressed satisfaction at the security and safety of Pakistan’s strategic programmes and facilities, besides approving the National Nuclear Programme 2050 and the Space Programme 2040.

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in his statement expressed government’s firm resolve to protect the country’s strategic and nuclear assets at all costs. “Such baseless, and certainly motivated, campaign against Pakistan will neither deter us from proceeding ahead.”
He said the strategic programme forms the core of Pakistan’s national security paradigm.

The Pakistan Armed Forces, and in fact the whole nation, takes its responsibility for national defence as a sacred duty. No one should ever under estimate our capability and resolve in this regard.

He said concerns have also been expressed internationally over potential threats from non-state actors to the security of strategic assets and facilities. While media reports have speculated on the possibility of sabotage and existence of contingency plans to take over Pakistan’s nuclear assets.

“Any such nefarious designs shall be thwarted effectively by the armed forces with full support of the people of Pakistan.”
The PM also pointed to the several developments that have taken place at the national, regional and international levels in the last few months.

Mayraj said...

Peace-loving India, the world's largest arms importer

Defence spending has leapt since the Mumbai attacks of 2008 as Delhi steps up security and deterrence

By Andrew Buncombe, The Independent

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

India, one of the few nuclear powers, is in the middle of a multi-billion-dollar military spending spree that has quietly seen the country of Mahatma Gandhi and non-violent protest emerge as the world's largest importer of arms. It is expected to retain that position for at least five years.

As the country works to expand its regional strategic influence and to counter what it considers existential threats from Pakistan and China, India now accounts for nine per cent of all global arms purchases. Its current defence budget of £22bn – an increase of around 11 per cent on the previous year – is more than double what it spends on education and health combined.

Speaking last week in Delhi, Defence Minister AK Anthony, said: "India has always been a votary of peace and advocated peaceful relations with all nations. [But] we need to ensure optimum deterrence to fully safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation. Peace and security go hand in hand with social and economic progress and depend upon one another."
Yet some analysts and industry insiders detect an uncertainty within the broader Indian establishment about what role it should play. While India might purport to take on a larger regional position there remains an apparent reluctance to take on greater responsibility.

There are also strong voices within India who argue that in a country where hundreds of millions of people are living in poverty, there are more pressing spending priorities.

The representative of one US weapons manufacturer said there was an opportunity for Delhi to do more, such as helping to police Gulf sea-lanes, and other areas strategists refer to as the global commons.

The representative, who asked not to be identified, asked: "Is India happy with the idea of exporting security? There is a fundamental dichotomy... The military/civilian separation is quite wide. But it's coming to a head. The security issue is growing. India feels threatened by China and does not know what to do."

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?

Ashmit (India) said...

Many people, compelled by jingoistic outursts are unable to appreciate the simple fact that, militarily, India is simply beyond the reach of pakistan and with continued indian investment - the gulf only widens.

Do catch the views expressed by Pakistan's Defene Minister, in the following link.

TO summarise his views - he suggests that India by way of a stronger, much larger economy - India can buy a lot more weapons. Pakistan, simply put, just cannot afford this race.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a perspective by Abdul Rahman Khattak on Indian military's use of 24X7 satellite imagery to watch Pakistan and its C4I capabilities:

These (Indian) satellites will be developed and launched by ISRO based on requirements projected by the armed forces. Another important factor which needs attention is the flow of high tech technology to India after the Indo-US deal 2008. Such a discriminatory policy of the international community would create strategic imbalance in South Asia. Pakistan’s security will be in frenzy if India acquired such capabilities. In addition to that India is also developing Communication-Centric Intelligence Satellite (CCI-Sat). This satellite is being developed by the Defense Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL) under the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). This satellite will help Indian intelligence agencies to considerably improve their surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities vis-à-vis Pakistan and other neighboring countries.

Director (DLRL) G. Bhoopathy revealed this project on February 2010 and said: “We are in the process of designing and developing a spacecraft fitted with an intelligent sensor that will pick up conversations and communications across the borders,". The satellite will be operational by 2014 and will also serve as a test bed for anti-satellite weapon development.
Indian military is regularly improving its surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. From 2004-2011 it has carried out 12 major war games and in these exercises it has practiced its surveillance, reconnaissance and space imaging capabilities. In 2004, Indian Army introduced Long-Range Reconnaissance and Observation System (LORROS) in this Exercise Divya Astra, which it has bought from Israel. LORROS is a high quality, remotely controlled ground based observation system designed for medium and long range surveillance. This kind of a system is good for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance purposes. In 2005 Indian military carried out Exercise Vajra Shakti. In this exercise Indian military practiced its satellite imaging facilities. First time, a Force Multiplication Command Post (FMCP) was set up to integrate real-time flow of information as a principal tool for decision making and NCW capabilities in the Indian Army.

Indian military’s satellites would have a wide range of implications for Pakistan and the entire region. These satellites will improve its military’s surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities providing the military with round-the-clock coverage of Pakistan's military installations and deployment of its army close to the border with India. After acquiring such capabilities the Indian military would be confident to launch a preemptive conventional strike against Pakistan's nuclear weapon delivery systems at their bases. Therefore Pakistan's missile forces and launching site will also be vulnerable to detection, monitoring and target by Indian military. Furthermore, India’s accesses to high-tech international market after the Indo-US deal will impact on the strategic stability in South Asia. Therefore it is imperative for Pakistan military’s decision makers to closely monitor the Indian military’s space program and come up with adequate response to counter any future challenges and threats to Pakistan’s security.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's some info on Pakistan's C4I efforts at Air Weapons Complex (AWC) according to a post on

The Air Defense Automation System has been indigenously developed by Air Weapons Complex (AWC). The designed system collects information from all Air Defense sensors and radars, processes it, converts it into a standard format and displays it in real time at any desired location. The system architecture is independent of space, time and communication medium. The Command and Control System provides an environment for multiple functions to operate on the same hardware platform and share data via a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN).

The System allows the Commander to a view a fused picture of his complete Area Of Responsibility (AOR). It is a compilation of data from all Air Defense sensors, combined with battle plan, projection overlays, and any other data that is available, including:
current locations and planned movement operations of ground, maritime and air units of friendly, neutral, and enemy forces
generated features and projections (e.g. battle plans, operating zones)

Our engineers work closely with the customers to provide them customized, open, flexible and cost-effective solutions to their Air Defense Automation System requirements. AWC provides comprehensive Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) throughout the life cycle of the System.

Seamless integration with C4I systems.
Network centric design allowing self-forming and self-healing network (user can enter or leave the network dynamically).
Complete Air Situation Display (ASD).
User friendly and compact Graphical User Interface.
The System can be operated in different modes (Operator, Commander etc.)
Personnel training under simulation mode.
Scenario recording and replay facility.
Communication with lower and higher command centers.
Advanced GIS support.
Multiple layer architecture (Display of multiple maps).
Map features e.g. map loading, map editing, map color changing etc.
Preset and programmable zoom buttons.
Display of Latitude/Longitude, Georef and Grid System.
True battlefield scenario support.
Display of track history during interception operation. User can switch on/off history of track.
Track symbol indicating its category.
Track type indicates the threat status of the track.
Tactical interception aids available.
Radar on/off option.
Aircraft Plot Suppression Area (PSA).
Non-automatic track initiation area.
Weapons (SAM/AAA) status monitoring.
Use of commercial technologies.
Ergonomically designed Command and Control Console.
Easy maintenance.

AWC's Multi Radar Tracker (MRT) uses state-of-the-art tracking algorithms to detect and track all modern, fast and highly maneuverable targets, hence forming an integral part of C4I and Air Defense Automation System. It works effectively in high clutter environments and displays real time information for any command & control function. It can handle 2000 plots and 1000 tracks. This capability can be further enhanced due to scalable design of the Tracker. It can be integrated simultaneously with homogenous and heterogeneous radars.

The Tracker automatically initiates and reliably tracks maneuvering targets. The tracks initiation and maneuvering detection is enhanced with multiple sensors. The trackers update the display information at a high rate to form a true, accurate and complete Air Situation Display (ASD) for all air-defense and air-traffic control operations....

Anonymous said...

1.Pakistan would develop , multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs)& maneuverable warheads through SHAHEEN3 BM & also future BM

2.Pakistan would develop submarine launched cruise missile i.e Babur cruise missile & CJ-10k in their future chinese Type 39B submarine ,which would give them sea based nuke deterrence & would ensure the survivability of its nuclear deterrent

3.Pakistan would produce more number of ballistic missiles & has increased production of nuclear fissile material like plutonium used for nuke bombs,so that it
would overwhelm india ABM shield ,by firing more missiles towards india

4.Pakistan would use of decoys (e.g., lightweight mylar balloons which, until re-entry, will travel on an identical trajectory with the heavier warheads), use of ablative materials or reflective coatings which limit the damage of directed energy weapons, launches of numerous harmless missiles early in an attack which might cause the defender reveal his defenses and expend valuable resources

5.Pakistan could acquire anti satellite weapon or jammers from chinato confuse india’s satellites,which also play a key role in India’s anti ballistic missile shield

6.Pakistan would rely more on cruise missiles like stealthy RAAD & babur for nuke deterrent they are harder to detect due to their lower radar cross-signature, low-level navigation,and use of waypoints to circumvent more secure and heavily defended areas.

7.Pakistan would seek help from from Beijing for high-altitude and anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defenses through HQ-9/ FD2000 deal

8.Pakistan would target india’s BMD Radar through long range anti radiation missile like brazilian MER-1 anti radiation missile

9.Pakistan could pursue hypersonic missile technology if they are ready to afford it.

10.Last but not least Pakistan could 1st strike ,as it fears if india 1st strike then their majority nuke detterent might be destroyed & rest if survive would be destroyed by india’s ABM shield

this are all my personal assumption ,well anyone having any better ideas apart from this can post

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from an interesting editorial in The Sunday Leader of Sri Lanka arguing that "India Can’t Replace Pakistan In Afghanistan":

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai’s visit to New Delhi last week may have conveyed the impression that it was a backlash against Islamabad with whom he had heated exchanges, accusing it of carrying out the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the head of the Afghan Peace Council. Rabbani was a key figure in the Karzai regime and his assassination resulted in Karzai immediately flying back home from New York.
It is quite unlikely that despite the strategic partnership agreements signed between the two countries during the Karzai visit which included training of Afghan security personnel by Indian forces, India would risk the wrath of the fanatical fundamentalist Taliban groups or Pakistan’s intelligence forces; Afghanistan being considered by Pakistan as its sphere of influence vis-à-vis India. It is no secret that Pakistan’s intelligence forces set up the Taliban in Afghanistan to create a‘strategic depth’ for their country against India.
India as a regional and emerging global power would want to establish its presence in the neighbourhood. It would be extremely naïve for it to take on the role – which the Soviet Union, a one time super power that failed in the task – with now the only superpower, America, trying to disengage itself.

India despite having the fourth largest army in the world is yet unable to ward off terrorist attacks which they allege are emanating from Pakistan. Afghanistan and Pakistan have been fertile grounds for nurturing terrorism in the past two decades. And any provocation provided to fanatical Islamist groups by ‘Hindu India’ would be inviting retaliation.
U.S. pull out and its implications.

Even though the call for American troops to pull out of Afghanistan is not only supported in Afghanistan and Pakistan but among sections in most South Asian countries; if the Americans do pull out of Afghanistan leaving a vacuum in power, would history be repeated as after the Soviet pull out? The Obama plan is to pull out all troops by 2014.
What happens then? Afghanistan is the cockpit of the world with very powerful nations around it: China, Pakistan, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and some of the former Soviet Republics. Should they leave Afghanistan as one of the least developed and impoverished countries to itself? That is quite unlikely because in recent times its strategic importance has increased. Through it has to pass oil and gas pipelines which global and regional powers are interested in.
It could also provide a gateway to China through Pakistan to the Indian Ocean and now it has been found to be a country extremely rich in mineral resources.

Poor Afghans, will they be able to ever have their own country and govern themselves? One fact however they have proved to the world: Afghanistan has remained unconquered throughout history.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent report in The News about India's war preps against Pakistan:

First, in the context of current events, is Afghan President Karzai’s recent visit to New Delhi and the signing of a strategic accord with India at the heels of ex-President Burhanuddin Rabbani’s assassination. While one side of the equation that has been brought into the spotlight shows that the accord will pave the way for India to train the Afghan armed forces and police, the other side that remains veiled could contain clauses that may affect Pakistan’s internal and external security. According to policymakers here in Islamabad, the accord requires careful thought at all levels. The critical point to remember is that India has no role whatsoever in Afghanistan yet Indian interference and policies are at the root of many of the problems that Pakistan is facing today. “This accord is a short-sighted narrow-minded move that would harm Afghanistan, both in the short and long term,” warned a regional expert while evaluating the accord and its impact on the region.

Second, the Indian army is holding a massive two-month long winter exercise at the Pakistan border, bringing a potent strike corps, the Bhopal based 21 Corps, in the Rajasthan desert. The exercise involves battle tanks and artillery guns besides Indian Air Force assets. Intriguingly, ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ Corps will be aiming to build its capacities for “breaching the hostile army’s defences and capturing important strategic assets deep inside enemy territory.” The exercise is the third of its kind this year. The summer war game Vijayee Bhava, in the Rajasthan desert, involved the Ambala-based 2 Kharga Corps, and the Pine Prahar exercise in the plains of Punjab was staged by the Jalandhar-based 11 Vajra Corps, both held in May this year. The question is: why is India holding three massive war games in a year at the Pakistan border that aim at capturing important strategic assets deep inside the enemy territory?

Third, a key development across the border has been the deployment of Su-30 fighter aircraft near the Pakistan border. The significance of the fact that the aircraft is the most sophisticated in the region and that it has been deployed along the Pakistan border at this crucial juncture is not lost on policymakers in Islamabad.

Two other related but under-reported events have been the extension of the runway at Kargil by India and its decision to acquire six more C-130J aircraft, the latest version of the intractable workhorse, reinforcing fears in Islamabad that New Delhi is preparing for a war that may engulf the whole region.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Flightglobal report on electronic countermeasure warfare capabilities of Pakistan's F-16s ordered from ITT:

ITT has received a $49 million contract to supply pod-housed electronic warfare equipment for the Pakistan air force's Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters. The acquisition is being made using the US government's Foreign Military Sales mechanism.

The US manufacturer has described the system involved as being identical to the ALQ-131 advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare system (AIDEWS) already integrated with the F-16 for the US Air Force and other international operators.

ITT said it has delivered 134 systems so far from an order book of 160, spread across six export buyers.

Carried beneath the fuselage of an F-16, the AIDEWS pod will provide protection by detecting incoming radar-guided surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.

Riaz Haq said...

AFP Report on Pak cruise missile test:

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan said it had successfully test-fired a stealth cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads on Friday.

The military said the "Hatf VII" missile had a range of 700 kilometres (438 miles) and was a "low-flying, terrain-hugging missile with high manoeuvrability, pin-point accuracy and radar avoidance features".

Capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the military said the special feature of Friday's launch was the validation of a new multi-tube missile launch vehicle (MLV).

"The three tube MLV enhances manifold (times) the targeting and deployment options in the conventional and nuclear modes," the military said.

India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars -- two over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir -- have routinely carried out missile tests since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998.

The neighbours were on the brink of a nuclear conflict in 2002 over tensions about Kashmir, but a slow-moving peace process resumed in March following suspension after the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

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.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Guardian story on nuclear weapons spending by several nations including India and Pakistan:

..For several countries, including Russia, Pakistan, Israel and France, nuclear weapons are being assigned roles that go well beyond deterrence, says the report. In Russia and Pakistan, it warns, nuclear weapons are assigned "war-fighting roles in military planning".

The report is the first in a series of papers for the Trident Commission, an independent cross-party initiative set up by Basic. Its leading members include former Conservative defence secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Liberal Democrat leader and defence spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell and former Labour defence secretary Lord Browne.
Pakistan and India, it warns, appear to be seeking smaller, lighter nuclear warheads so they have a greater range or can be deployed over shorter distances for tactical or "non-strategic" roles. "In the case of Israel, the size of its nuclear-tipped cruise missile enabled submarine fleet is being increased and the country seems to be on course, on the back of its satellite launch rocket programme, for future development of an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM)," the report notes.

A common justification for the new nuclear weapons programmes is perceived vulnerability in the face of nuclear and conventional force development elsewhere. For example, Russia has expressed concern over the US missile defence and Conventional Prompt Global Strike programmes. China has expressed similar concerns about the US as well as India, while India's programmes are driven by fear of China and Pakistan.

Pakistan justifies its nuclear weapons programme by referring to India's conventional force superiority, the report observes.

In a country-by-country analysis, the report says:

• The US is planning to spend $700bn on nuclear weapons over the next decade. A further $92bn will be spent on new nuclear warheads and the US also plans to build 12 nuclear ballistic missile submarines, air-launched nuclear cruise missiles and bombs.

• Russia plans to spend $70bn on improving its strategic nuclear triad (land, sea and air delivery systems) by 2020. It is introducing mobile ICBMs with multiple warheads, and a new generation of nuclear weapons submarines to carry cruise as well as ballistic missiles. There are reports that Russia is also planning a nuclear-capable short-range missile for 10 army brigades over the next decade.

• China is rapidly building up its medium and long-range "road mobile" missile arsenal equipped with multiple warheads. Up to five submarines are under construction capable of launching 36-60 sea-launched ballistic missiles, which could provide a continuous at-sea capability.
• Pakistan is extending the range of its Shaheen II missiles, developing nuclear cruise missiles, improving its nuclear weapons design as well as smaller, lighter, warheads. It is also building new plutonium production reactors.

• India is developing new versions of its Agni land-based missiles sufficient to target the whole of Pakistan and large parts of China, including Beijing. It has developed a nuclear ship-launched cruise missile and plans to build five submarines carrying ballistic nuclear missiles..

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AINonline story on PAF's use of advanced avionics against militants:

According to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) it has flown more than 5,500 strike sorties over the country’s troubled tribal regions since May 2008. In a rare glimpse into Pakistan’s attempt to counter domestic terrorism from the air, the commander of the PAF described some lessons learned to the Air Chiefs Conference here in Dubai on Saturday.

The need for good airborne reconnaissance was paramount, said Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleiman. When the Pakistan army launched large-scale operations in the remote Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in August 2008, the PAF had to rely on Google Earth imagery when planning air support missions, Suleiman admitted.

However, by the time that the army was ready to move against insurgents in the Swat Valley in May 2009, the PAF had acquired Goodrich DB-110 electro-optical reconnaissance pods for its F-16 fighters, together with the same company’s ground station for imagery exploitation. Intelligence analysts could now identify terrorist training camps, ammunition dumps and command and control facilities. Some of these targets were well camouflaged, and protected by bunkers, Suleiman noted.

Two days before the ground offensive was launched, the PAF launched a series of interdiction missions, and followed up with close air support throughout the six-month campaign. From the imagery collected by the PAF, the army was also able to identify suitable landing zones for the airdrops of commandos.

In these mountainous regions, airpower was best delivered from medium altitude by fast jets, Suleiman said. “The army has lost many attack helicopters due to their operating limitations at high elevations, and [due to] hostile fire,” he noted. Fighters could also react more quickly to developing combat situations.

When the army turned its attention to South Waziristan in October 2009, the PAF conducted a seven-day campaign in advance. By now, the service had added FLIR Systems Star Safire III EO/IR sensor ball to one of its C-130 transports. Army staff on board the C-130 was able to track the movement of terrorists at night, and radio maneuvering instructions to soldiers on the ground.

The PAF has completely overhauled its tactics and techniques for the conduct of irregular warfare, Suleiman said. All of the squadrons were put through a training program over a four-month period. Laser-guided bombs have been used in 80 percent of the PAF strikes, the PAF chief revealed. Avoiding collateral damage was a primary concern, he explained, “especially since we were engaging targets within our own country. We engage isolated structures only, away from populated areas.”

More than 10,600 bombs have been dropped, and 4,600 targets destroyed, he said. The PAF has flown more than 500 F-16 sorties with the DB-110 pod, and 650 with the Star Safire EO/IR sensor on the C-130.

The statistics may impress but while Suleiman claimed that “we’ve broken the back of militants in the FATA,” he also warned that offensive military engagement could only accomplish “10 to 15 percent” of the task of pacifying the tribal areas. The rest must be done by dialogue, winning hearts and minds through economic development of these very poor regions, he said.

In his presentation, Pakistan’s Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleiman did not mention the Selex Galileo Falco UAV. However, Pakistan was the first customer for the reconnaissance drone, which carries the Anglo-Italian company’s own electro-optical/infrared sensor ball. Suleiman later told AIN that there had been problems with the UAV’s data link, caused partly by terrain masking. “Then we put in a relay station, and started flying it higher, so now we are using it more,” he continued.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story about emerging Pakistan's nuclear triad as reported by Force India website:

Pakistan’s efforts to have a sea-based minimum credible nuclear deterrent vis-a-vis India took a significant step forward last month when the state-owned, Wuhan-based China State Shipbuilding Industrial Corp (CSIC) ferried the first Qing-class conventional attack submarine (SSK) to Shanghai to begin a year-long series of sea trials, which is likely to include the test-firing of three CJ-10K submarine-launched, 1,500km-range land attack cruise missiles (LACM) capable of being armed with unitary tactical nuclear warheads. Called the Qing-class SSK, it is a variant of the Type 041A Improved Yuan-class SSK, which is also due to begin its sea trials later this month.

It is now believed that the contract inked between CSIC and Pakistan early last April (see FORCE April 2011, pages 16-17) calls for the CSIC’s Wuhan-based Wuchang Shipyard to supply six Qing-class SSKs, all of which will be equipped with a Stirling-cycle AIP system and will be able to carry up to three nuclear warhead-carrying CJ-10K LACMs each. The double-hulled Qing-class SSK, with a submerged displacement close to 3,600 tonnes, bears a close resemblance to the Russian Type 636M SSK, and features hull-retractable foreplanes and hydrodynamically streamlined sail. The first such SSK was launched in Wuhan on September 9 last year, and a total of three such SSKs are on order from China’s PLA Navy as well. The AIP system for the Qing-class SSK was developed by the 711th Research Institute of CSIC. R&D work began in June 1996, with a 100-strong team of scientists and engineers led by Dr Jin Donghan being involved in developing the Stirling-cycle engine, while another team led Professor Ma Weiming of China’s Naval Engineering University began developing the all-electric AIP system. The two projects entered the production engineering stage in 2007, with the Shanghai Qiyao Propulsion Technology Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the 711th Institute, becoming the principal industrial entity charged with producing the AIP system. Incidentally, the Qing-class SSK’s all-electric propulsion system is a derivative of a similar system that was developed about a decade ago for the PLA Navy’s six Type 093 Shang-class SSGNs and three Type 094 Jin-class SSBNs.

The submarine-launched CJ-10K LACM has been developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp’s (CASIC) Hubei-based Ninth Academy (also known as the Sanjiang Aerospace Group, or 066 Base) on cooperation with the Third Academy’s Beijing-based Xinghang Electromechanical Equipment Factory (159 Factory). Final assembly of the CJ-10K is undertaken by the Beijing-based Hangxing Machine Building Factory (239 Factory). The CJ-10K features an imaging infra-red optronic system for terminal homing, and it makes use of a ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system combined with a GPS receiver to receive navigational updates from China’s ‘Beidou’ constellation of GPS navigation satellites.

In another development, during Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s four-day official visit to China beginning May 17, the decks were cleared for the Pakistan Navy to acquire for a 10-year lease period the two Jiangkai I-class Type 054 guided-missile frigates (FFG) Ma’anshan (FFG-525) and Wenzhou (FFG-526), which have been in service with the PLA Navy’s East Sea Fleet since 2005 (see FORCE December 2010, pages 44-46).

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report on Pakistan Navy missile tests:

Pakistan's navy has successfully test-fired missiles and torpedoes from ships, submarines and aircraft in the Arabian sea, officials say.

The tests were followed by a statement saying they sent a "clear message to forces having nefarious designs".

India and Pakistan regularly test their missile systems and they normally notify one another ahead of such tests.

Last month the two sides held their first formal talks since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

India says the attacks, which left 174 people dead - including nine gunmen - were partly planned on Pakistani soil.

It is not clear if the missiles tested on Friday were capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The tests included anti-surface missiles, air-to-surface missiles, and surface-to-surface missiles, the AP news agency reported.

Last month India successfully tested a nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from on French Exocet SLCM exported to India and Pakistan:

France has manufactured a total of 3,300 Exocet family missiles. Sources indicate that 140 SM-39 missiles have been built, with the SM-39 Block 2 missiles still in production. France has offered the SM-39 for export, and in 1995 Pakistan ordered a number of missiles for use on its Khalid (Agosta) class submarines. Pakistan test launched the SM-39 for the first time in March 2001. India ordered the SM-39 missile for their Project 75 class submarines with deliveries expected to begin in 2009.(1)
The SM-39 Exocet is a short-range, solid-propellant, single-warhead, submarine-launched cruise missile developed and manufactured by France.

France initially designed the Exocet (“Flying Fish” in French) family of cruise missiles to attack and destroy large warships. The SM-39, on which development began in 1979, is the submarine-launched version of the AM-39. It is currently deployed on the “Le Triumphant,” “L’Inflexible,” “Rubris,” and “Agosta” class submarines.

The Exocet family of missiles are all the same basic shape, the only differences being the length and wing shape. The SM-39 has four delta-shaped wings at mid-body, and four delta-shaped control fins at the rear. The missile is 4.69 m long, 0.35 m in body diameter, and has a launch weight of 655 kg. It carries a high explosive fragmentation warhead weighing 165 kg. The SM-39 is stored in a launch container along with propulsion and guidance units. The entire module, designated VSM “Vehicule Sous-Marin,” is fired from standard torpedo 533 millimeter launch tubes. The missile and VSM together weigh 1,345 kg. After breaking the surface, the SM-39 separates from the VSM at a low altitude of about 30 m.

The SM-39 then stabilizes in the direction of its target at its first cruising altitude, low enough to avoid detection by its target yet high enough to allow its active radar seeker head to acquire the target. Midcourse guidance is by an inertial navigation system (INS) and a radio altimeter, allowing the missile to fly a sea-skimming trajectory to its target. The SM-39 descends to its second cruise altitude for the terminal phase, with a final approach at an altitude determined by prevailing sea conditions, sometimes as low as 3 m. Terminal guidance is provided by an active radar. The SM-39 is reported to have a maximum range of 50 km.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report in the Nation about Indians' assessment of Pak military preparedness on its border with India:

Fearing retaliation from India after the 26/ 11 attacks, Pakistan went on an overdrive in constructing defence mechanisms such as bunkers, outposts and observation towers on its side of the border with India.
The Indian government has released figures to Parliament pertaining to the construction undertaken by the Pakistani government on its side of the border between November 2003 - when both countries declared a ceasefire - and December 2011.
The figures show that compared to 63 bunkers constructed by India in 2007 and 85 bunkers in 2008, Pakistan constructed 133 bunkers in 2009 and as many as 159 in 2010.
Till the October end this year, Pakistan constructed another 119 bunkers. It also doubled the construction of observation towers on the border in 2009, erecting 48 new towers in 2009 compared to just 24 towers in 2008.
The construction of outposts by Pakistan went up from 34 and 54 in 2007 and 2008 respectively to 67 in 2009.
Leaked US cables on WikiLeaks had earlier revealed how Pakistan had complained to the US that India was preparing for war after the 26/ 11 attacks and had mobilised forces on its border.
In her recent book, No High Honours, then US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has also said Pakistan pressed the panic button after the 26/ 11 attacks and called everyone from the Chinese to the Americans, saying India had decided to go to war.
The Indian government in fact says that Pakistan has constructed a total of 856 new bunkers, 261 morchas, 378 observation towers and 143 border outposts on its side of the border since both countries declared a ceasefire in November 2003.
“The government has seen reports that Pakistan has constructed and carried out repair of bunkers, morchas and towers.
Regarding such construction work, protests have been lodged with Pakistan Rangers and Flag Meetings of the field commanders have been held in all the cases. The matter has also been taken up by the BSF with Pakistan Rangers during scheduled meetings,” minister of state for external affairs, E. Ahmed, told the Rajya Sabha on December 1.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Indian analysts' view of Pakistan's acquisition and use of airborne radar:

In 2009 when the first of the three Russian-Israeli spy planes arrived in New Delhi, it was viewed as the Indian Air Force’s big technological leap leaving adeversaries like Pakistan behind. Two years down the line, Pakistan has knocked much of this technology gap off with help from China by adding planes that can peep inside Indian border and thwart aerial strikes.

IAF bosses now admit that it was time to redraw its plans regarding acquistion of more Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems, popularly known as “eye in the sky” because of its capacity to scan wide areas to dissolve any aerial threats from missiles and combat jets.

The IAF has in its fleet three Israeli Phalcon systems, arguably one of the best of the AEW&C available anywhere in the world bought for a whopping $1.1 billion. Mounted on a modified Russian transporter IL-76, Phalcon is central to IAF’s plans to maintain air superiority by quickly and simultanesously searching, tracking and locking targets spread over a big area.

Pakistan has bridged this technological divide to a greater extent, said a senior officer about Pakistan Air Force inductions like Swedish Erieye System and much bigger China’s ZDK-03 which, like the Indian Phalcon, is mounted on Russian Il-76. The official said that Pakistan is looking to have atleast 10 of these aircraft which is too big a number for a small country.

It has led to an AEW&C race in the sub-continent with India getting ready for a repeat order of Phalcons. All eyes were also on Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) own plans to develop an AEW&C at home which is going to be ready for trials soon. The Indian system would be mounted on Brazilian Embraer EMB-145 aircraft and the IAF hopes the DRDO will be able to deliver a good platform without much delays.

Ahead of the DRDO trials, Pakistan would induct first of four ZDK-03 AEW&C developed by China in a move that has generated some interest. Little is known about ZDK-03 which is said to be another product of Chinese reverse engineering, according to experts.

Pakistan already has three Erieye systems bought from the Swedish company SAAB as part of its “Project Horizon”. These are being operated by Chaklala-based 13th squadron.

Experts said the PAF’s sector operations centers were connected by Erieye Ground Interface Segment, as has been the case with other operators like Brazil, Greece and Mexcio that use Erieyes. Brazilian AEW expert Sergio Ricardo told the Express that India still has an edge because the Israeli system is much more advanced but others were catching up fast. The Phalcons were not sold to China by Israel under the US pressure.

Riaz Haq said...

UN Sec Gen blames Pakistan for stalled nuclear disarmament talks, according to AFP:

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Tuesday that the UN Conference on Disarmament could fail because of a three-year stalemate over Pakistan’s reluctance to discuss nuclear power.

“Today, this distinguished body is no longer living up to expectations,” Ban said at the first of three public sessions scheduled this year, in a speech read out by the top UN official in Geneva, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

“The tide of disarmament is rising, yet the Conference on Disarmament is in danger of sinking,” Ban warned the delegates from 65 countries. “Let us restore the conference to the central role it can and must play in strengthening the rule of law in the field of disarmament.”

The UN chief lamented that the practice of deciding by consensus “is currently used as a de facto veto power to stall every attempt to break the impasse.”

“The future of the conference is in the hands of member states,” Ban said, urging the immediate start of nuclear negotiations.

Citing national security, Pakistan has since May 2009 balked at implementing a work programme established by the UN conference, blocking the resumption of nuclear talks.

Taking advantage of a new climate established by U.S. President Barack Obama, the conference emerged in May 2009 from 12 years of obscurity, adopting for the first time since 1996 a programme of negotiations on fissile materials and weapons.

Since then the reluctance of Pakistan to accept a possible treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons has prevented the conference moving forward.

In recent years authorities in Islamabad said they did not wish to enter into negotiations on a treaty which they say endorses an “asymmetry” of nuclear power between Pakistan and its arch-rival India.

The council ends its first session of this year on March 30.

Riaz Haq said...

If the past is any guide, it's quite safe to assume that Pakistan will continue to effectively respond to all military threats to its security and assert its power it nukes, missiles, satellites, fighter jets, drones, nuke subs, etc. Talking about India's nuke sub, it's just a matter of time before Pakistan launches its own nuclear subs to complete the nuclear triad. Let there be no doubt on this point.

When it comes to eating grass to build nukes, all of the available data from international sources shows that many Indians can't even find grass to eat, as hundreds of millions of Indians go to bed hungry every night.

Here's a quote from Times of India poking fun at the superpower claim:

With 21% of its population undernourished, nearly 44% of under-5 children underweight and 7% of them dying before they reach five years, India is firmly established among the world's most hunger-ridden countries. The situation is better than only Congo, Chad, Ethiopia or Burundi, but it is worse than Sudan, North Korea, Pakistan or Nepal.

Today India has 213 million hungry and malnourished people by GHI estimates although the UN agency Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) puts the figure at around 230 million. The difference is because FAO uses only the standard calorie intake formula for measuring sufficiency of food while the Hunger Index is based on broader criteria.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a DefenseNews report on Pakistan's rumored nuclear submarine project:

...Mansoor Ahmed, a lecturer at Islamabad’s Quaid-e-Azam University who specializes
in nonconventional weapons and missiles, believes the reports are the result of a
calculated leak by the Navy, and that a message may be being sent to India.

“This news … appears to be some kind of signaling to the Indians seeing as they are taking delivery of a new nuclear-powered
submarine from the Russians as well as their own Arihant Class SSBN,” he said.

“So Pakistan is signaling to the Indians that they are mindful of these developments and taking due measures in response.”

Ahmed said he has for some time believed Pakistan was working on a nuclear propulsion system for submarine applications and that Pakistan already has a functional submarine launched variant of
the Babur cruise missile.

The Babur cruise missile is very similar to the U.S. BGM-109 Tomahawk, and perhaps derives at least some technology from Tomahawks which crashed in Pakistan
during U.S. strikes on al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan in 1998. It can be armed with conventional or nuclear

Ahmed believes Pakistan is now gearing up to build its own SSN/SSGN flotilla as a way
of deterring India and maintaining the strategic balance in South Asia.

However, in the long term in order to fully ensure the credibility of its deterrent Ahmed said he believes Pakistan should
build ballistic missile submarines.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India story on Indian Navy's submarine plans:

While India is still years away from getting an AIP-equipped submarine, Pakistan already has one in the shape of PNS Hamza, one of the three French Agosta-90B submarines inducted by it over the last decade. Moreover, work is also underway to retrofit the French "Mesma" AIP in hulls of the other two submarines, PNS Khalid and PNS Saad.

The six new-generation submarines from China, the improved Yuan-class boats with "Stirling-cycle" AIP, will further add a punch to Pakistan's underwater warfare capabilities.

India, in sharp contrast, has so far refused to consider the Mesma AIP option in the ongoing Rs 23,562-crore project (P-75) to build six French Scorpene submarines at Mazagon Docks (MDL), already running three years' behind schedule with the boats now slated to roll out from 2015 to 2020.

"There has also been a huge cost escalation. To incorporate the steam-based Mesma AIP in the 5th and 6th Scorpenes would cost another $100 million or so," said a senior defence ministry official.

"Moreover, Navy is more keen on fuel-cell AIP. DRDO is developing one such system, which has been tested on shore. If it comes through, it can be considered for the 5th and 6th Scorpenes," he added.

To further compound matters, there is excruciatingly slow progress on P-75I, which envisages acquisition of six new stealth submarines, equipped with both tube-launched missiles for land-attack capabilities as well as AIP, for over Rs 50,000 crore.

The RFP (request for proposal) to be issued to foreign collaborators like Rosoboronexport ( Russia), DCNS (France), HDW (Germany) and Navantia (Spain) will be possible only towards end-2011 at the earliest.

"If one foreign shipyard can give AIP, it cannot provide land-attack missile capabilities, and vice-versa. So, P-75I is very will take at least two years to even finalize it, and another six-seven years after that for the first submarine to be ready," he said.

The plan till now is to directly import two submarines from a foreign collaborator, with three being built at MDL in Mumbai, and the sixth at Hindustan Shipyard in Visakhapatnam under transfer of technology.

Incidentally, Navy will have only five of its existing 10 Russian Kilo-class and four German HDW submarines by 2020. Consequently, even with the six Scorpenes, India will be far short of its operational requirement of at least 18 conventional submarines for the foreseeable future.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Navy receives P3C Orion surveillance and anti-submarine-warfare aircraft from US, according to AFP:

The Pakistani navy took delivery Tuesday of two state-of-the-art, US-made surveillance aircraft nine months after Islamist militants destroyed two similar planes, officials said.

Pakistan said the P3C aircraft, modified with the latest avionics, are designed to improve surveillance in the North Arabian sea, one of the world's most important shipping routes deeply troubled by Somali piracy.

"The two aircraft have been delivered to the Pakistan navy. These aircraft have been provided under the foreign military funding programme," a spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad, told AFP.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States were severely damaged last year by a covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden and air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, and the alliance remains tense.

The navy said the aircraft would help "maintain requisite vigil in our vital area of interest in the North Arabian Sea", which it said was "home to intense maritime activity both legal and illegal and thus warrants continuous guard".

Pakistan is to receive six P3C aircraft from the United States in three batches. The first two, received in 2010, were destroyed during a 17-hour siege of a key naval base in Karachi last May blamed on the Taliban.

The attack killed 10 personnel and deeply embarrassed the military, just three weeks after bin Laden was killed in the garrison town of Abbottabad.

Here's more on Pakistan's P3C Orions from Defense Industry Daily:

Pakistan’s location on the Indian Ocean next to the Persian Gulf, and its rivalry with India, ensure that its maritime patrol and strike capabilities will need to operate across a wide expanse of ocean. Maritime patrol aircraft are critical to that effort, because of the surveillance area that a single plane can cover. Like India, Pakistan relies on a mix. In its case, that mix includes converted Fokker F27 twin-turboprops, a couple of early-model Dassault Atlantiques, and a high-end force of 2 P-3C Orion aircraft, reactivated in 2006. The 4-engine Orions have much better range than Pakistan’s other maritime patrol aircraft, which widens that country’s sphere of naval influence.

Subsequent orders have served to detail the modernization work for Pakistan’s Orion fleet, via a deal for 8 more P-3 aircraft, refurbishment orders, and the accompanying orders for AGM-84 Harpoon missiles that can attack naval or land targets…

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts of Pak Navy Chief's recent interview with DefenseNews:

Q. One of the most high-profile acquisition programs of your predecessor’s tenure was the next-generation submarine. Can you expand on reports of a Chinese submarine design being selected, and comment on whether the HDW Type-214 may still see service with Pakistan as a replacement for the Agosta-70s?

A. Submarines all along have been our main strength and at the heart of our naval strategy of offensive sea denial. Over the years, the strength of our submarines has dwindled due to aging. Our primary consideration is to acquire modern and potent submarines. All options, including submarines of the West, as well as China, are under deliberation, though no decision has been taken as yet.

Q. Long-standing plans include the expansion of the shipbuilding industry but also to diversify construction locations away from Karachi to places like Gwadar and Ormara. Where do these plans stand?

A. Our long-term plan is to have two major shipbuilding and repair yards at Port Bin Qasim in the east and Gwadar in the west. In addition, we have a strategic plan to develop this rich but hitherto untapped segment of our maritime sector. To realize the same, we have a high-level shipbuilding task force formed under the aegis of [the Ministry of Defence Production].

Q. How do you plan to replace the P-3C Orions destroyed by terrorists last year? And what else can we expect from the Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft procurement efforts? Have you examined any Chinese options, such as the H-6K or Y-8Q? And is any thought being given to replacing your elderly Westland Sea King helicopters yet?

A. Despite the loss of two P-3Cs during the unfortunate attack on [Pakistan Naval Station] Mehran last year, our maritime surveillance capability remains intact and we can well manage our operational requirements. Nevertheless, we have initiated the process for the replacement of the destroyed aircraft from the U.S. and remain hopeful of a positive outcome. You must appreciate that the P-3C is designed for long-range surveillance. Deploying this aircraft continuously for routine surveillance in peacetime is not only uneconomical, it actually amounts to its underutilization. We are thus maintaining smaller and cheaper maritime patrol aircraft — i.e., FK-27S —which fulfills our day-to-day operational needs. Apart from that, we are considering a range of other surveillance aircraft, including Chinese options.

With regard to our Sea King helos, we have signed the Mid Life Upgrade Program, under which a new and modern avionics suite and sensors will be fitted onboard, making them a more potent and capable aerial platform.

Q. The effectiveness of the small number of Exocet-equipped anti-ship strike Mirage-5 aircraft is now surely questionable. What do you intend to replace them with? And is there a case for having these Pakistan Air Force aircraft under naval control?

A. PAF Mirage aircraft equipped with missiles are effective [anti-shipping strike] platforms. The PN and PAF have put in place an efficient mechanism for their optimum deployment, which is why we don’t feel the need to place them under PN control. There are plans to replace the systems which become obsolete or are no longer operationally effective.

Q. Later this decade, you will face an Indian nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed ballistic submarine that threatens the current strategic balance in South Asia. How do you intend to respond?

A. The strategic dimension of India’s naval buildup is a cause of concern not only for us but for the entire Indian Ocean region. I feel nuclearization of the Indian Ocean does not augur well for peace and stability in the region. We are mindful of this development and taking necessary measures to restore the strategic balance.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is the third largest arms importer after India and South Korea, according to SIPRI:

Asia and Oceania accounted for 44 per cent of global arms imports, followed by Europe (19 per cent), the Middle East (17 per cent), the Americas (11 per cent) and Africa (9 per cent).

India was the world’s largest recipient of arms, accounting for 10 per cent of global arms imports. The four next largest recipients of arms in 2007–2011 were South Korea (6 per cent of arms transfers), Pakistan (5 per cent), China (5 per cent) and Singapore (4 per cent).

‘Major Asian importing states are seeking to develop their own arms industries and decrease their reliance on external sources of supply,’ said Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. ‘A large share of arms deliveries is due to licensed production.’

China shifts from imports to exports

China, which was the largest recipient of arms exports in 2002–2006, fell to fourth place in 2007–11. The decline in the volume of Chinese imports coincides with the improvements in China’s arms industry and rising arms exports.

Between 2002–2006 and 2007–11, the volume of Chinese arms exports increased by 95 per cent. China now ranks as the sixth largest supplier of arms in the world, narrowly trailing the United Kingdom.

‘While the volume of China’s arms exports is increasing, this is largely a result of Pakistan importing more arms from China’, said Paul Holtom, director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. ‘China has not yet achieved a major breakthrough in any other significant market.’
Other notable developments

In 2011 Saudi Arabia placed an order with the USA for 154 F-15SA combat aircraft, which was not only the most significant order placed by any state in 2011 but also the largest arms deal for at least 2 decades.

Greece’s arms imports decreased by 18 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11. In 2007–11 it was the 10th largest arms importer, down from being the 4th largest in 2002–2006. Greece placed no new order for major conventional weapons in 2011.

Venezuela’s arms imports increased by 555 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11 and it rose from being the 46th largest importer to the 15th largest.

The volume of deliveries of major conventional weapons to states in North Africa increased by 273 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11. Morocco’s imports of major weapons increased by 443 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11.

The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database is accessible from today at

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of Farrukh Saleem Op Ed in The News on Indian military buildup being aimed at Pakistan:

According to a report by Stratfor, the Texas-based private intelligence agency, “China has been seen as a threat to India, and simplistic models show them to be potential rivals. In fact, however, China and India might as well be on different planets. Their entire frontier runs through the highest elevations of the Himalayas. It would be impossible for a substantial army to fight its way through the few passes that exist, and it would be utterly impossible for either country to sustain an army there in the long term. The two countries are irrevocably walled off from each other. Ideally, New Delhi wants to see a Pakistan that is fragmented, or at least able to be controlled. Toward this end, it will work with any power that has a common interest and has no interest in invading India.”

On March 16, Pranab Mukherjee, India’s Finance Minister, jacked up India’s defence budget by a wholesome 17 percent-one of the sharpest ever jump over the past 65 years. The defence allocation now stands at a colossal $38.6 billion up an alarming 350 percent in rupee terms since 1999.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is upgrading its entire fleet of 51 Mirage 2000s. IAF has already assigned the nuclear strike role to its ‘Vajra’ fighter jets and now the fleet is getting “new RDY-3 radars with greater air-air and air-ground capability, a new night vision compatible all-digital cockpit and improved electronic warfare systems.” Then there is a hefty $20 billion in the new budget for 126 Rafale twinjet combat aircraft for “high-accuracy strikes and nuclear strike deterrence.” There also is $4 billion for an artillery modernization programme that includes 145 ultra-light howitzers for India’s mountain divisions stationed opposite Pakistani borders.

India has six neighbours-Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Nepal and China. Pakistan’s defence spending stands at $5.16 billion, Bangladesh $1.137 billion, Nepal $100 million and Burma $30 million. Collectively, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and Nepal spend $6.5 billion a year on defence. India just by itself now spends a colossal $38.6 billion on defence. Who is India going to fight with?

Bharatiya Sthalsena (the Indian Army) already has 3,773,000 troops plus 1,089,700 paramilitary forces and is second only to China in size. IAF already has 1,700 aircraft and is the world’s 4th largest. The Indian Navy already operates some 13-dozen vessels with INS Viraat as its flagship, the only “full-deck aircraft carrier operated by a country in Asia or the Western Pacific, along with operational jet fighters.”

On the ground, Bharatiya Sthalsena has a total of 13 corps of which 6 are strike corps. Of the 13 corps more than half have their guns pointed at Pakistan. The 3rd Armoured Division, 2nd Armoured Brigade, 4 RAPID, Jaisalmer AFS, Utarlai AFS and Bhuj AFS are all aiming at splitting Pakistan into two (by capturing the Kashmore/Guddu Barrage-Reti-Rahimyar Khan triangle).

For the record, the 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report ranked India 45th amongst leading countries with hunger situation. According to the United Nations Development Programme 37.2 percent of Indians live below the national poverty line. Amazingly, poverty is so deep-rooted that India alone has 33 percent of world’s poor.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a excerpt from retiring PAF Chief Rao Suleman's farewell speech as reported in The Nation:

He said all the latest weapon systems have been inducted and operationalised ; the fighter fleet has been upgraded with the fourth generation fighter aircraft and force multipliers.

He pointed out that the PAF has established two squadrons of its very own indigenously produced JF-17 Thunder Aircraft whose production started in the last three years.

This aircraft also saw unprecedented success in various exercises and international Air Shows the world over.

Air Chief Marshal Qamar Suleman said other major inductions included Saab-2000 AEW&C, ZDK-03 AWACS, IL-76 air-to-air refuellers and Spada-2000 Lomad systems. Alongside induction of sophisticated equipment, its operationalisation and availability for operations was attained in a very professional manner within these 3 years.

He said handling technologies four decades apart was the real test for the operational and technical experts of the PAF. They all can be proud of the fact that, despite limitations, PAF as a team with its talented human resource accomplished both the tasks in the most professional manner.

“Today we can claim with confidence that the technical and operational capabilities of PAF have been strengthened to adequately meet all the challenges,” he declared.

He said another important achievement, while they were inducting and operationalising new hardware, participating in national and international exercises, revamping training system, operating the legacy systems and undertaking all operational tasks as necessitated by the environment, the PAF also accomplished maximum flying in its history.

For two consecutive years, PAF crossed the 90,000 hrs mark and they could be proud of the fact that these feats were accomplished while achieving the best ever flight safety record in these three years and making 2010 an accident free year first time in our history and that too with maximum flying during the year.

The outgoing Air Chief said during the last three years, there have been numerous new initiatives, introduction of new policies and systems, very large number of successful operational and non-operational accomplishments and meaningful contributions towards nation building as well as provision of support during natural calamities. All this could not have been possible without Allah Almighty’s blessings and devotion, dedication and hard work by his excellent team, which included all the PSOs, ACsAS, field commanders and all airmen of the PAF.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AFP story on Indian Army chief's leaked memo:

India’s tank fleet lacks ammunition, its air defences are “97 percent obsolete” and its elite forces lack essential arms, the country’s army chief wrote in an explosive letter leaked Wednesday.

The letter to the prime minister dated March 12 – widely reported by the Indian media – lists the shortcomings of the armed forces in embarrassing detail in a blow to the government and the Asian giant’s military prestige.

Its publication also ups the stakes in a public battle between army chief General VK Singh and the government which began with a dispute over Singh’s retirement earlier this year.

“The state of the major (fighting) arms i.e. mechanised forces, artillery, air defence, infantry and special forces, as well as the engineers and signals, is indeed alarming,” Singh wrote in the letter, DNA newspaper reported.

The army’s entire tank fleet is “devoid of critical ammunition to defeat enemy tanks”, while the air defence system is “97% obsolete and it doesn’t give the deemed confidence to protect… from the air,” he wrote, according to DNA.

The infantry is crippled with “deficiencies” and lacks night fighting equipment, while the elite special forces are “woefully short” of “essential weapons”.

Singh also told The Hindu newspaper this week that he had informed Defence Minister A.K Antony of a $2.8 million bribe offered to him in 2010, leading to embarrassing questions as to why the government did not order an enquiry.

Antony told parliament on Wednesday that he was aware of the letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he would reply appropriately.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a WSJ Op Ed by an Indian security analyst Sushant Singh:

The leaked contents of a letter India's army chief sent to the prime minister sent shock waves around the country last week. In the letter, Gen. V.K. Singh warns that the military is obsolete and unfit to go to war. The government is furious about the leak.

The government has been quarrelling with Gen. Singh recently over a legal challenge about his mandatory retirement age and allegations of a lobbyist offering him a bribe. In this, as well as a media report this week of unauthorized troop movements toward Delhi, the spotlight is on how the secret letter was leaked.

The letter notes that Indian army's air defenses are "97% obsolete"; its tank fleet lacks ammunition and is night-blind; its artillery has huge shortfalls; and its elite forces lack essential arms. The infantry likewise lacks basic equipment, with half of the 1.3 million-strong army's foot soldiers yet to receive combat kits to replace their World War II-vintage gear.

Ground-based air defense is practically non-existent, the saving grace being that the air force provides 90% of the air defense cover. India's T-72 tanks from Russia can't fight at night, unlike Pakistani tanks.
Besides imports, what money does get spent ends up dumped into inefficient production which New Delhi wants done at home. Although domestic supply meets barely 30% of India's equipment needs, India employs as many workers in its state-owned defense companies and ordnance factories as the U.K. or France—two of the world's biggest arms exporters.

An insignificant private presence and a 26% cap on foreign investment mean that the state-owned units monopolize defense manufacturing and predictably weaken it. New Delhi mandates that a foreign company like Boeing that wins an Indian arms contract use these local units for a set percentage of production. All technology transfers in import agreements also fatten these incumbents. In an uncompetitive market, they profit by just importing equipment, assembling it and selling it to the military at a high profit.

This chicanery in the name of "indigenization" must stop. Removing the foreign investment cap would do this, and provide a better investment climate to attract foreign manufacturers. Gen. Singh rightly warns about a "lack of urgency at all levels" on matters of national security. If the government doesn't urgently bridge shortfalls in equipment, simplify procurement methods and open the defense industry to foreign investors, the world's largest democracy won't get the modern military it needs to defend itself.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on nuclear weapons in South Asia as published by The Nation:

Estimated to have 80-100 nuclear warheads, India is modernising its nuclear arsenal to increase the diversity, range, and sophistication of its delivery vehicles, a report said Tuesday,At the same time, it estimates that Pakistan has more nuclear weapons than India, saying Islamabad is rapidly developing and expanding its atomic arsenal at a cost of $2.5 billion a year. The report “Assuring Destruction Forever: Nuclear Modernisation around the World” said India is developing a range of delivery vehicles, including land- and sea-based missiles, bombers, and submarines.“There are no official estimates of the size of India’s stockpile of fissile materials, though it is known that India produces both HEU (highly enriched uranium) for its nuclear submarines and plutonium for weapons,” said the 150-page report by ‘Reaching Critical Will of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.’The part of the report dealing with India was contributed by Professor MV Ramana, a physicist who works at the Nuclear Futures Laboratory and the Programme on Science and Global Security, both at Princeton University, a physicist who works at the Nuclear Futures Laboratory and the Programme on Science and Global Security at Princeton University. “There has been speculation that India has used reactor-grade plutonium in its nuclear weapons, in which case, the nuclear arsenal could potentially be much larger, as India has approximate 3.8 to 4.6 tons of separated plutonium from its power reactors. Its fast breeder reactor programme also provides another potential source of producing weapon-grade plutonium”Based on its Dec. 2011 recent missile tests, the report said, “It appears that India is aiming to have all legs of its nuclear triad operational by 2013. There are also plans to expand the nuclear weapons and missile production complex as well as the capacity to enrich uranium. “The expansion of India’s nuclear and missile arsenals are part of a larger military build-up and consistently increasing military spending.
It is estimated that Pakistan could have a stockpile of 2750 kg of weapon - grade HEU and may be producing about 150 kg of HEU per year,” it said.Estimates suggest Pakistan has produced a total of about 140 kg of plutonium, the report said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts of an Asian Defense piece on Pakistan's unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) program:

A Practical UCAV for Pakistan

The attempt forward will be to propose a solution in the form of a UCAV for the PAF. We will first focus on some basic parameters that need to be fulfilled. The focus will then shift to defining a specific solution that meets those requirements in a most balanced manner.

We identify the following characteristics as imperative for the discussed UCAV solution:

1. Unmanned Platform
2. Simple construction and achievable technology
3. Simplified single-engine buildable in Pakistan
4. Relatively Low Cost
5. Economy and asymmetry in sensor load
6. Using parts bin of existing aircraft and from industry partners
7. Designed for high altitude, high speed f-pole BVR combat
8. Structure can operate in and sustain high G-forces
9. Artificial Intelligence
10. Network centric
11. Swarm & Group Tactics
12. Low Observable
13. Combat Air Patrol efficiency
14. Interceptor suitability
In the Grande Strategic view, PAF can use large numbers of J-UCAVs as a cheap and ideal counter for IAF and any other air force that seeks to undermine Pakistani airspace. They could form a picket line that are the first to deal with enemies and are reinforced with manned fighters where necessary. Such J-UCAVs would require very low maintenance, near zero training costs and may be cheap enough to not worry about being put outside hardened shelters, a valued commodity for PAF. Armed with 2 BVRs and 2 WVRs, J-UCAVs could prove to become the foot soldier of the skies, lightly armed and yet overwhelming in their numbers.
In Conclusion

UCAVs are an emerging technology that has the potential to revolutionize air warfare. While the 5th generation of combat planes is today the pinnacle of military aviation, UCAVs present paradigms that can supplement if not supplant manned fighters of the 4th and 5th generations. People who discuss a potential 6th generation inevitably mention unmanned aircraft as a likely salient. Unlike the 5th generation of aircraft that are extremely expensive and complex to build and maintain UCAVs provide the potential of finding an equivalent solution with significant reduction in complexity and cost.

The PAF has until now not considered UCAVs in the air-to-air role. With the systematic addition of net-centric warfare with platforms such as Erieye, ZDK03, ground radars, future planned communication satellite and the necessary middleware for a superior C4I, Pakistan has managed to transform the battle environment to one were UCAVS can multiply the effectiveness and flexibility of the entire air defense system.

While nations struggle to keep their 4th generation aircraft operational and can barely dream about 5th generation solutions, UCAVs provide an interesting paradigm shift that cannot be ignored by those entrusted with the defense of their nations and peoples. For some like Pakistan, UCAVs may be the only realistic way to counter a large number of PAKFAs and possibly other 5th generation planes sitting across the border in belligerent India, whose stalwarts dream about “cold starts” and “surgical strikes”, and are only kept at bay by the strength of arms and the courage of the Pakistani soldier; whether on land, in the depths of the seas, or up high over the towering mountains and skies above.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Deccan Chronicle reporting Pakistan plans to test long-range missile:

Days after India conducted its Agni-V test, Pakistan has informed India it too is conducting a 'long-range missile test in the Indian Ocean' anytime from April 24 to 29 (from 8.30 to 11 am IST), and asked the Indian civil aviation authorities Monday evening to issue a NOTAM (notice to airmen) to warn commercial airlines and pilots to steer clear of the area.

Flights heading to the Gulf from India in that specific time-period will have to be rescheduled or rerouted, sources said.

Pakistan informed the Indian authorities Monday evening it was waiting for India to issue the NOTAM and asked it to communicate the NOTAM number to the Pakistan civil aviation authority swiftly.

Pakistan also said that Oman and Yemen had already issued NOTAMs ahead of the Pakistani long-range missile test.

Sources said Pakistan conducts its missile tests over the Indian Ocean in the southern direction due to which flights from India to the Gulf and Africa have to be rescheduled or rerouted.

"The communications from Pakistan always come in the last minute, mostly just a day in advance. Airlines have to be informed immediately," sources said.

Pakistan is developing its 'Shaheen' long-range missiles that it hopes can eventually clock a range of 4,000-4,500 kms. Pakistan’s entire nuclear-capable missile arsenal is India-specific and is trying to develop long-range missiles that has strike capacity to destruct whole of India.

Riaz Haq said...

ere's a PTI report on Pakistan Naval Strategic Command HQ:

The Pakistan Navy on Saturday completed the establishment of a new Naval Strategic Force Command, described by the military as the custodian of the country's nuclear second strike capability.

Naval Strategic Force Command headquarters was inaugurated by naval Chief Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila. The event was attended by Strategic Plans Division Chief Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Kidwai and senior naval and military officers.

Vice Admiral Tanveer Faiz, commander of the Naval Strategic Force Command, said the Naval Strategic Force Command, which is "the custodian of the nation's second strike capability", will strengthen Pakistan's policy of credible minimum deterrence and ensure regional stability.

The headquarters of the Naval Strategic Force Command will perform a "pivotal role in the development and employment of the naval strategic force", Faiz was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the military.

Admiral Sandila said the inauguration of the headquarters marked the "formal establishment of the Naval Strategic Force Command".

The statement did not give details of the weapon systems and delivery platforms that comprise Pakistan's second strike capability.

Unlike India, Pakistan does not have a "no first use" policy for its nuclear arsenal. India adopted the "no first use" policy shortly after its nuclear tests in 1998.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a DefenseNews article on Pakistan's sea-based nukes:

Pakistan has acknowledged the existence of a sea-based nuclear deterrent with the recent inauguration of the Headquarters of the Naval Strategic Force Command (NSFC) by the head of the Navy, Adm. Asif Sandhila.

A May 19 press release by the military’s Inter Services Public Relations stated the NSFC “will perform a pivotal role in development and employment of the Naval Strategic Force,” and was “the custodian of the nation’s 2nd strike capability.”

Mansoor Ahmed, lecturer at Quaid-e-Azam University’s Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, and who specializes in Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs, said this is all but specific confirmation of the widely speculated submarine-launched variant of the Babur/HATF-VII (Vengeance-VII) cruise missile.

Analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank said Pakistan has been working on its sea-based deterrent for some time.

“When the Babur was first revealed in 2005, it was claimed that it is mainly designed to be deployed from submarines. There was at least that speculation,” he said.

The Navy “has pretty good experience in using similar systems, for example, both submarine-launched Harpoon and Exocet use a similar system, and [the Navy] has operated both for a long time.”

Shabbir speculates that the launch method may be similar to the UGM-84 Harpoon’s method of being fired from torpedo tubes.

However, other analysts are not so certain the Navy can afford to undertake the responsibility of the nation’s second-strike capability.

Former Australian defense attaché to Islamabad Brian Cloughley said the size of Pakistan’s submarine force is too small to carry out this task.

“Pakistan’s current submarine fleet is not adequate in numbers [although well-trained] to be able to undertake detection and effective interdiction of the Indian fleet, given its size — which is increasing, even if slowly,” he said.

Currently, Pakistan’s submarine flotilla comprises two refurbished 1970s-era Agosta-70s and three 1990s-era Agosta-90B submarines. The latter are equipped with air independent propulsion (AIP) or are in the process of being retrofitted with the AIP module, and incrementally entered service from 1999.

Cloughley said interdiction of India’s fleet “must remain [the Navy’s] first priority,” and considers “conversion of the present assets to take Babur not only costly but a most regrettable diversion of budget allocation.”

“I would go so far as to say that, in present circumstances, it would be a grave error if such a program were to go ahead,” he added.

The Navy, however, has a requirement for new submarines and wants to increase their number. The Agosta-90B design has been superseded twice, once by the DCNI Scorpene, and briefly by a paper design called the Marlin before it was absorbed into the Scorpene family.

There is a confirmed requirement for 12 to 14 submarines to meet Navy expansion plans. This would allow for a constant war patrol of at least one deterrent-tasked submarine, leaving other submarines to carry out more traditional tasks.

However, Cloughley is still certain that Pakistan does not require such a capability.

“[Pakistan] has plenty of nuclear-capable SSMs and strike aircraft, and does not need a Navy-oriented second-strike capability,” he said.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Daily Telegraph on India-Pakistan nuclear arms race:

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Pakistan has expanded its short-range missile capability while India is developing weapons systems which can fire nuclear warheads from land, sea and air.

The escalation in nuclear capabilities has caused alarm because, despite recent improvements in relations between the two countries, the threat of a nuclear conflict remains.

There were fears of a military clash in 2008, shortly after Pakistan-based terrorists launched a multi-target attack on Mumbai, while in 2002 there were real concerns that rising tensions could lead to a nuclear attack.

Those concerns are based on Pakistan's development of "first-strike" tactical short-range warheads to counter India's superior conventional forces and weak mechanisms to avoid misunderstandings between the two countries in a military build-up.

According to the Stockholm-based think tank Pakistan has expanded its arsenal of short-range tactical missiles, which can be used to strike smaller targets like bridges, tank columns and other installations.
India unveiled its first nuclear-powered submarine earlier this year and is expected to launch its first nuclear-armed submarine some time next year to complete its land, sea and air capability.

Pakistan is believed to have slightly more nuclear warheads than India – 90 to 110 compared with New Delhi's 80-100. But experts say the figures may not include Pakistan's growing number of short-range tactical weapons.

Dr Anupam Srivastava, leading nuclear security expert and director of the Centre for International Trade and Security at Georgia University, said the concern over Pakistan's build-up of tactical nuclear weapons is that it has a "first-use policy". "In a conflict between India and Pakistan, Pakistan's policy is that it can and will be the first to use nuclear weapons. Faced with India's conventional military superiority, they've tried to build an additional layer of security for themselves to deter a conventional strike," he said.

The danger is that the two countries have yet to develop the channels of dialogue between their military chiefs to ensure there are no catastrophic misunderstandings over troop movements and military exercises. "This doesn't exist for tactical weapons between India and Pakistan," he added.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Indian analyst Abhijit Singh of IDSA on Pak sea-based nuke plans:

Recent reports from Pakistan seem to suggest the Pakistan Navy (PN) may be on the cusp of developing a naval nuclear missile capability, even as its plans for acquiring a nuclear submarine capability gradually become clearer. The first indication of this came in May 2012 when Pakistan tested the Hatf VII (Babur)—an indigenously developed Cruise Missile with high precision and manoeuvrability. Reports suggested that the missile was launched from a state-of-the-art multi-tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV), which significantly enhances the targeting and employment options of the Babur Weapon System in both the conventional and nuclear modes. Importantly, this is the third test of the Babur in the recent past, of different capacities and loads.

Then, in another significant development, on May 19, the PN inaugurated the Headquarters of the Naval Strategic Force Command (NSFC). A statement from the Pakistan military’s Inter Services Public Relations said that the NSFC “will perform a pivotal role in development and employment of the Naval Strategic Force,” and was “the custodian of the nation’s 2nd strike capability” – presumably for use against India, in case the need ever arose. This is noteworthy because Pakistan is not known to have a sea-based second strike capability. Therefore, a public statement that the NSFC would be in-charge of such a capability is an open admission of sorts that Pakistan is in the process of developing a naval variant of a strategic nuclear missile.

For long, the Pakistan Navy has viewed the Indian Navy (IN) with suspicion. The IN’s sustained growth over the past few years has, in fact, become an excuse for the PN to push for its own development and expansion of assets. In an article written for a Pakistan daily in May 2012, Tauqir Naqvi, a retired Vice Admiral of the PN, suggested that the ‘hegemonic’ elements of the Indian Navy’s maritime strategy have been the main drivers of the resurgence of the Pakistan Navy. The article, when read closely, is a dead give-away of Pakistan’s real ambitions with regard to nuclear weapons and nuclear submarines.

Naqvi writes extensively about India’s strategic vision, characterising it as a “hegemonic” impulse that has led the IN to aim for control of the seas over an area extending from the Red Sea in the West to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. While Pakistan, he contends, is a “peace-loving” nation, India has never been serious about developing friendly relations, fixated as it has been with the “idea of projecting power”. Surprisingly, he showers Indian scientists and the IN with some unexpected, even if ‘motivated’ praise, by mentioning the sterling efforts of the Indian scientific community and shipyard workers in operationalising a strategic maritime capability. The complimentary references are, in effect, a none-too-disguised message to Pakistan's political leadership and mandarins in the defence ministry about the ineluctable need for Pakistan to buttress its own strategic arsenal with naval nuclear missiles and a nuclear submarine, without which, the PN can forget about countering the “evil designs” of the Indian Navy.

Pakistan’s naval leadership will also be aware of the risks and financial costs of developing and operating a nuclear submarine—the need to constantly refine equipment and train personnel; of razor-sharp communications and command and control systems; and the requirement of mastering safety procedures. In the final analysis the SSBN is not an asset if it is not mastered well and operated optimally. Merely possessing one offers no strategic advantages.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Michael Krepon in on the results of US-India nuclear deal:

The only true believers in the civil-nuclear deal, besides its U.S. boosters, were the stewards of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. After the deal was struck, Pakistan’s requirements for credible deterrence, which were set high to begin with, appear to have grown higher still. Three related developments seem especially noteworthy: the start-up of construction on a fourth plutonium production reactor to increase Pakistan’s inventory of nuclear weapons, the imposition of a veto against negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty, and the explicit requirement for battlefield, or tactical, nuclear weapons. The first two appear to have been a direct consequence of the deal; the third was a consequence of the Indian military’s adoption of a “pro-active” defense doctrine (known as “Cold Start” in some circles) and a growing disparity in Indian and Pakistani conventional capabilities, as well as the deal.

The civ-nuke deal added insult to injury in Pakistan, where it was perceived as providing an international escort for India to sit at the high table of states possessing nuclear weapons, while leaving Pakistan out in the cold. The deal was characterized as a threat to national security because it permitted a significant influx of foreign-origin nuclear power plants and fuel; because Indian authorities stated their intention to build eight new, unsafeguarded domestic power plants; and because India’s breeder-reactor program would produce a flood of new fissile material.

These worst-case planning factors have not panned out. True, India has purchased uranium from abroad for its power plants, freeing up domestic material for bomb-making, but the Indian Parliament continues to resist liability limits for foreign companies, which stands in the way of power-plant construction for the United States and other sellers. Domestic construction of power plants also remains in the doldrums, and the ambitious plans of India’s Department of Atomic Energy for breeder reactors are as suspect as those of the Defense Research and Development Organization for the development of tanks, planes, and missiles. [For a withering critique of the DAE and DRDO, see Verghese Koithara’s outstanding new book, Managing India’s Nuclear Forces (2012).]

DRDO’s promises have become even more wildly optimistic under the leadership of Dr. V.K. Saraswat, who is now promoting effective, near-term ballistic missile defenses for Delhi and Mumbai. Just as few in the Pakistani media question their military’s nuclear requirements, few in the Indian media question the claims of DRDO and DAE. Instead, they serve as a transmission belt and lobbying arm for these enclaves.
The civil-nuclear deal and DRDO’s record of poor performance suggest that it would be wise to avoid unduly optimistic and pessimistic assessments about Indian missile defenses. Nonetheless, U.S. technology transfers for BMD, like the civ-nuke deal, would have little up-side potential and considerable down-side risk. These transfers would not help India produce an effective missile-defense system, nor change New Delhi’s embrace of strategic autonomy. They would, however, add further impetus to a three-cornered nuclear arms competition in southern Asia. President Obama has not endorsed BMD transfers, but President Romney might.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Khaleej Times report on India-Pakistan Navy talks to avoid incidents on high seas:

Pakistan and India are discussing the establishment of a mechanism of direct contact between the navies of the two countries to avert military confrontations on high seas.

The mechanism could involve a communication system like hotline between senior officers of the two navies akin to the one between the armies.

“These are issues we are discussing and certainly with respect to Pakistan, it forms part of the discussion between the two foreign ministries which is the protocol to prevent incidents at sea,” Indian Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said.

The development comes in the backdrop of incidents involving Pakistan Naval ship Babur and Indian ship INS Godavari in the Gulf of Aden last year.

The Navy Chief was asked about the progress made by India in establishing such a protocol with China for avoiding conflicts on high seas. Admiral Verma said, “With China, this is something which would be in place when we have requirements to talk to each other.”

Indian and Chinese warships have also been reportedly involved in difficult situations as last year in South China Sea Indian ship INS Airavat was asked by the Chinese Navy to leave the maritime area.

Asked about the need for having Confidence Building Measures with the Chinese Navy as their aircraft carriers would also soon operate in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Verma said the two navies were cooperating in the Gulf of Aden and the issue was “out of place”.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable Babur Cruise Missile, reports Express Trib:

..The military described the Hatf-VII Babur missile as a “low-flying, terrain-hugging missile, which can strike targets both at land and sea with pin point accuracy” and has a range of 700 kilometres.

A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the missile is equipped with modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC), and is also capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads.

The ISPR said Monday’s launch was carried out from a “Multi Tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV)”, which it said improved the Babur system’s targeting and deployment capabilities.

The test was witnessed by Director General Strategic Plans Division Lt Gen (retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) Chairperson Muhammad Irfan Burney and other senior officers from the armed forces and strategic organisations. The Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS) was employed for the test, which allows real-time remote monitoring of the missile’s flight path.

Defence and missile expert Syed Muhammad Ali, while talking to The Express Tribune, highlighted the significance of the missile test.

“The Babur cruise missile is a far more advanced, miniaturised, accurate, stealthy and cost-effective nuclear delivery means available to Pakistan and after (its) induction, imposing a naval blockade on Pakistan will be impossible for any power in the future. In addition, the range limitation relevant to ballistic missiles deployment is not applicable in the case of cruise missiles because they can be launched from both land and sea-based mobile platforms,” Ali said.

He added that Pakistan now had the capability to exercise a complete and robust command and control over its cruise missiles throughout its flight trajectory and can be employed in both countervalue and counterforce targeting strategies.

Furthermore, Ali said that the Hatf-VII Babur missile was a cost-effective delivery system, adding that Pakistan could manufacture more than a dozen cruise missiles at the cost of a single ballistic missile.

“The upgraded capability of cruise missile Babar to hit mobile sea-based targets with both conventional and nuclear warheads has further augmented the value of our nuclear deterrence by proving to the world that Pakistan can protect not only its territory but also its maritime security from all powers at all times,” Ali added.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Nuclear Book on "non-strategic" nuclear weapons possessed by Pakistan:

In this Nuclear Notebook, the authors write about nonstrategic nuclear weapons—starting with the difficulty of finding a universal definition for them. Although the United States and Russia have reduced their nonstrategic stockpiles, significant inventories remain. And other nuclear weapons states appear to have nonstrategic nuclear weapons as well. Today, at least five of the world’s nine nuclear weapons states have, or are developing, what appears to meet the definition of a nonstrategic nuclear weapon: Russia, the United States, France, Pakistan, and China. The authors present information on the weapons at each of these arsenals.
Like France, Pakistan characterizes all its nuclear weapons as strategic. However, Pakistan is developing a new short-range rocket with nuclear capability that certainly would be characterized as a nonstrategic nuclear weapon if it belonged to Russia or the United States. Moreover, even the Pakistani statements about the weapon clearly place it in a different category.

The new weapon, the Nasr, is a 60-kilometer ballistic missile launched from a mobile twin-canister launcher. Following its first test launch in April 2011, the Pakistani military news organization, Inter Services Public Relations, described the Nasr as carrying a nuclear warhead “of appropriate yield with high accuracy,” with “shoot and scoot attributes” that was developed as a “quick response system” to “add deterrence value” to Pakistan’s strategic weapons development program “at shorter ranges” in order “to deter evolving threats” (Inter Services Public Relations, 2011).

This language, which has been repeated after subsequent Nasr tests, strongly indicates a weapon with a new mission that resembles nonstrategic nuclear weapons.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story about Pakistan Marines new battalion:

In a bid to strengthen and safeguard vital PN assets/installations, the defence of Karachi Port and Port Bin Qasim and to enhance the Ground Based Air Defence set up, a significant milestone has been achieved in the history of Pakistan Navy by the commissioning of ‘2nd Pak Marines Battalion’ and the induction of Radar Controlled Guns and Low Level Air Defence Radar.

The induction and commissioning ceremony was held at Pak Marines Headquarters, PNS Qasim. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila was the chief guest on the occasion.

Congratulating the officers and CPOs/Sailors of 2nd Marines and 21st Air Defence Battalions, the naval chief said that these sophisticated radars and guns had proved their worth in the recently conducted exercise Seaspark – 12, and their performance had lived up to our expectations. He reiterated that defence of our motherland was a responsibility shared by all of us and was a sacred undertaking that came second to none. Where our perseverance and resilience remains the driving force behind our commitment to the protection of our frontiers, requisite wherewithal for undertaking this daunting challenge remains a vital ingredient as well.

Underlining the need to ensure protection of vital assets and areas, the naval chief urged the officers and men of this independent Marines battalion to stand fast and thwart aggression with zeal and courage. He emphasised to continue the hard work, dedication and steadfastness so as to bring a good name to the service.

Earlier, the commander coastal command briefed that 2nd Marines Battalion would be entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding vital PN installations, infrastructure, and seaward security of Karachi Port and Port Bin Qasim. He added that Pak Marines, since their inception in 1990, had come a long way and apart from safeguarding external threats had proven their mettle through active participation in internal security matters as well such as floods and cyclone-relief operations.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Maleeha Lodhi's Op Ed on "Pakistan's Nuclear Compulsions" published in The News:

Much alarm has been raised in the West about Pakistan’s enhancement of its nuclear capability and the position it has taken at negotiations in Geneva on a treaty banning the production of bomb making fissile material. Western analysts have often depicted this as a mindless, irrational drive motivated by the unbridled ambitions of the nuclear scientific-military lobby.

This is far from true. To understand the strategic rationale for Pakistan’s fissile material needs – achieving credible nuclear deterrence at the lowest possible cost and level – the issue must be placed in a proper, broader perspective. It means taking into account the chain of rapid developments that have undermined the region’s strategic equilibrium and affected Pakistan’s nuclear threshold. They include the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, exemption for India by the Nuclear Supplier’s Group, India’s conventional military and strategic build-up, enunciation of offensive doctrines involving ‘Proactive Operations’ and efforts to develop a missile defence capability.

Many of these developments were aided and abetted by the international community in pursuit of their strategic and commercial interests. Pakistan’s warnings were repeatedly ignored that discriminatory nuclear actions would be consequential for the region and oblige Islamabad to act to preserve the credibility of nuclear deterrence and ensure strategic stability.

The interplay between a changing strategic environment – Pakistan’s perception of increasing regional asymmetry in both nuclear and conventional capabilities – global non-proliferation efforts and technical compulsions help to explain why Pakistan has been building fissile stocks.

The historical context is important. The nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998 helped to establish strategic balance and provided Pakistan the reassurance of possessing a strategic equaliser to India’s conventional military preponderance.
To hedge against this, Pakistan will likely multiply its missile numbers, including cruise missiles, and increase operational readiness to avert the destruction of its strategic assets in a pre-emptive strike. This too has a bearing on the amount of fissile material Pakistan would want to acquire.

These are the principal factors driving Pakistan’s fissile material requirements. The purpose is not to match the quantities or stockpiles that India has – which it can enhance if it wants to by diverting indigenous production for weapons use because of the nuclear fuel supply guaranteed by the US and similar agreements with other nations. Pakistan’s aim is not to engage in relentless production but to attain sufficiency for a spectrum of nuclear weapons, strategic, operational and tactical and to assure a second-strike capability.

As Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts to persuade India to establish a strategic restraint regime have yielded nothing, it has had to evolve a force development strategy at home and an effective negotiating position in Geneva to secure its national security interests.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Washington Post on Pakistan's armed drone development program:

KARACHI, Pakistan — Pakistan is secretly racing to develop its own armed drones, frustrated with U.S. refusals to provide the aircraft, but is struggling in its initial tests with a lack of precision munitions and advanced targeting technology.

One of Islamabad’s closest allies and Washington’s biggest rivals, China, has offered to help by selling Pakistan armed drones it developed. But industry experts say there is still uncertainty about the capabilities of the Chinese aircraft.
Inaugurating a defense exhibition in the southern city of Karachi last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf indicated Islamabad would look for help from Beijing in response to U.S. intransigence.
Pakistan has also been working to develop armed drones on its own, said Pakistani military officials and civilians involved in the domestic drone industry, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the work.

Pakistan first began weapons tests seven or eight months ago with the Falco, an Italian drone used by the Pakistani air force for surveillance that has been modified to carry rockets, said a civilian with knowledge of the secret program. The military is also conducting similar tests with the country’s newest drone, the Shahpur, he said. An unarmed version of the Shahpur was unveiled for the first time at the Karachi exhibition.

The weapons tests have been limited to a handful of aircraft, and no strikes have been carried out in combat, said the civilian.

Pakistan lacks laser-guided missiles like the Hellfire used on U.S. Predator and Reaper drones and the advanced targeting system that goes with it, so the military has been using unguided rockets that are much less accurate.

While Hellfire missiles are said to have pinpoint accuracy, the rockets used by Pakistan have a margin of error of about 30 meters (100 feet) at best, and an unexpected gust of wind could take them 300 meters (1,000 feet) from their intended target, said the civilian. Even if Pakistan possessed Hellfires and the guidance system to use them, the missile’s weight and drag would be a challenge for the small drones produced by the country.

Pakistan’s largest drone, the Shahpur, has a wingspan of about seven meters (22 feet) and can carry 50 kilograms (110 pounds). The U.S. Predator, which can be equipped with two Hellfire missiles, has a wingspan more than twice that and a payload capacity over four times as great.

Pakistani drones also have much more limited range than those produced in the U.S. because they are operated based on “line of sight” using radio waves, rather than military satellites. The Shahpur has a maximum range of 250 kilometers (150 miles), while the Predator can fly over five times that distance.


The market for drones has exploded in Pakistan and other countries around the world in recent years, as shown by the array of aircraft on display at the defense exhibition in Karachi. Hoping to tap into a worldwide market worth billions of dollars a year, public and private companies wheeled out over a dozen drones that ranged in size from hand-held models meant to be carried in a backpack to larger aircraft like the Shahpur.

All the Pakistani drones on display were advertised as unarmed and meant for surveillance only. One private company, Integrated Dynamics, even promotes its aircraft under the slogan “Drones for Peace.” But several models developed by the Chinese government were marketed as capable of carrying precision missiles and bombs....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense Journal report on Pakistan Navy's land attack missile test:

ISLAMABAD — The Pakistan Navy has test-fired a new land attack missile in the North Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan this week.

According to a Navy news release, the test included “firings of a variety of modern missiles including the maiden Land Attack Missile (LAM)” and the tests “demonstrated lethality, precision and efficacy” of the Navy’s weapon systems as well as the “high state of readiness and professionalism” of the Navy.

The release also stated the test “reaffirms credibility of deterrence at sea.”

A Navy spokesman confirmed “multiple platforms were engaged” in firing missiles. The firings took place on Dec. 19 and 21.

Though the Navy has a variety of anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, the Navy would not confirm the identity of the land-attack missile when asked.

Mansoor Ahmed from Quaid-e-Azam University’s Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, who specializes in Pakistan’s national deterrent and delivery program, believes the missile is one of two varieties: either a land attack variant of the Chinese C-802/CSS-N-8 Saccade anti-ship missile in service with a variety of naval platforms; or a variant of the HATF-VII/Vengeance-VII Babur cruise missile.

“Coupled with a miniaturized plutonium warhead, a naval version of the several hundred kilometer-range Babur [land attack cruise missile] or a 120-kilometer range C-802 missile can potentially provide Pakistan with a reliable if not an assured second strike capability and will complete the third leg of Pakistan’s eventual triad-based credible minimum deterrent — of which the naval leg was missing until now,” he said.

A land-attack variant of the C-802 would be able to be fired from existing launchers aboard Pakistani ships.

Ahmed however pointed out that M. Irfan Burney — chairman of the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), the research and development body that designed and manufactured the Babur cruise missile — witnessed the test firings. Ahmed believes that supports the notion that the missile was the Babur.

Burney was joined by Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Muhammad Asif Sandila, onboard the F-22P class frigate Zulfiquar.

The test comes seven months after Pakistan inaugurated the Naval Strategic Force Command. The Babur, once integrated with an operational naval command and control, “will help diversify the options available to counter India’s growing second strike capabilities at sea,” Ahmed said.

He said the Navy will be able to “strike critical counter-value and other strategic targets all along India’s coastline and maintain a semblance of strategic stability in the Arabian Sea.”

“Pakistan’s response in this field was necessary in the face of an exponential increase in Indian strategic capabilities, such as ballistic-missile defenses and the induction of SSBNs [ballistic-missile submarines] and planned $40 billion worth of naval weapons platform acquisitions over the next decade,” he added.

Ahmed said a “nuclear-tipped [land-attack cruise missile] is a readily available and affordable alternative for Pakistan instead of a dedicated SSBN.”

With an economy in chronically poor shape, the question of affordability and meeting the Navy’s expansion requirements in the face of a shortage of funds is a pressing concern.

However, after witnessing the test firings and voicing his appreciation of the operational preparedness of the fleet, Sandila also said the government was “cognizant of PN’s developmental needs and all out efforts are being made to address critical capability gaps.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Russian news report about Indian Russian nuke sub problems:

MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) – India has asked Russia to replace the faulty parts on the leased Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine as they affect its operational readiness, the Times of India reported.

The Navy sources cited by the newspaper on Tuesday did not specify the components that needed the replacement but said they “were critical for the operations of the submarine.”

Neither Russian nor Indian defense ministries have officially commented on the report.

The Russian-built Akula II class nuclear attack submarine was inducted into the Indian Navy as INS Chakra in April.

The lease contract, worth over $900 million, was drawn up after an agreement between Moscow and New Delhi in January 2004, in which India agreed to fund part of the Nerpa's construction.

However, shortly after the start of sea trials in November 2008, an accident on board the submarine killed 20 sailors and technical due to a toxic gas leak when the automatic fire extinguishing system malfunctioned.

The Nerpa was finally handed over to India in January after prolonged and costly repairs.

The submarine has a maximum speed of 30 knots and a maximum operating depth of 600 m, while its endurance is 100 days with a crew of 73.

The vessel is armed with four 533-mm and four 650-mm torpedo tubes, although it cannot carry nuclear weapons under the lease provisions.

With the lease of the Nerpa, India became the sixth operator of nuclear submarines in the world, after the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China.

India’s domestically-designed INS Arihant nuclear submarine is expected to be ready for operational deployment in 2013 after final sea trials.

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. ...

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a couple of pieces on India-Pakistan latest LoC flare-up in Kashmir:

Outlook India, Jan 28, 2013:

Buried inside a report by Shishir Gupta in the Hindustan Times was the claim that two Indian soldiers were beheaded in July 2011 and “three months later, heads of three Pakistani soldiers went missing, with Islamabad lodging a protest with New Delhi.” Don’t you love it that while Indian soldiers are beheaded, Pakistani soldiers’ heads go “missing”—as though they detach themselves from the bodies of the soldiers and just disappear? The report also claimed that similar beheadings (of Indian soldiers) and heads going missing (of Pakistanis) had taken place in 2000, 2003 and 2007. When Admiral Lakshminarayan Ramdas (retd), former chief of the Indian navy, tried to say on Barkha Dutt’s show on NDTV that the Indian army has also beheaded Pakistani soldiers, he was cut short by Dutt. But in 2001, Dutt had herself written that she had seen a head displayed as a war trophy by the Indian army during the Kargil war in 1999. Two other journalists were not shy of recalling similar experiences: Sankarshan Thakur of The Telegraph (on his website) and Harinder Baweja of the Hindustan Times on Twitter.

If these incidents happen so often, why did anonymous sources in the Indian army decide to use the defence correspondents to make it seem like an unprecedented provocation from Pakistan? There is little doubt that the beheading of a soldier, and the taking away of his head as a war trophy is sickening and outrageous and every such incident should come to light. But it should also remind us of the brutalities of war, and that the LoC is a ceasefire line where hostilities have merely been halted until the next battle; that the two armies stand eye-to-eye there because of the Kashmir dispute; that Jammu and Kashmir is not a settled question. Such thoughts are apparently anti-national. And bad for TRPs.

Friday Times, Jan 18-24:

The Indian outrage turns on the alleged act of "beheading". Mainstream Indian media insists it is both unprecedented and Pakistan-centred. But the Indian media has ignored reports of beheadings by both sides in earlier encounters in the Kashmir sector. Several Indian journalists have drawn attention to such practices also by Indian troops since the Kargil conflict in 1999. Barkha Dutt, a top NDTV anchor, wrote about it in her "Confessions of a War Reporter" in Himal magazine in 2001. Sankarshan Thakur, a former editor of Kolkota's Telegraph newspaper, wrote about Naga and Jat regiment excesses in the Drass sector of Kargil in his article titled "Guns and Yellow Roses". Harinder Baweja made similar observations in "A Soldier's diary" published in India Today. And Praveen Swami confirmed such mutual incidents in a timely article in The Hindu on Jan 10th.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a piece titled "Confessions of a War Reporter" by Barkha Dutt published in Himal Magazine:

I had to look three times to make sure I was seeing right. Balanced on one knee, in a tiny alley behind the army’s administrative offices, I was peering through a hole in a corrugated tin sheet. At first glance, all I could see were some leaves. I looked harder and amidst all the green, there was a hint of black – it looked like a moustache. “Look again,” said the army colonel, in a tone that betrayed suppressed excitement. This time, I finally saw.

It was a head, the disembodied face of a slain soldier nailed onto a tree. “The boys got it as a gift for the brigade,” said the colonel, softly, but proudly. Before I could react, the show was over. A faded gunny bag appeared from nowhere, shrouded the soldier’s face, the brown of the bag now merging indistinguishably with the green of the leaves. Minutes later, we walked past the same tree where the three soldiers who had earlier unveiled the victory trophy were standing. From the corner of his eye, the colonel exchanged a look of shard achievement, and we moved on. We were firmly in the war zone.

It’s been two years since Kargil, but even as some of the other details become fuzzy, this episode refuses to fade from either memory or conscience. A few months ago, I sat across a table with journalists from Pakistan and elsewhere in the region, and confessed I hadn’t reported that story, at least not while the war was still on. It had been no easy decision, but at that stage the outcome of the war was still uncertain. The country seemed gripped by a collective sense of tension and dread, and let's face it – most of us were covering a war for the first time in our careers. Many of the decisions we would take over the next few weeks were tormented and uncertain. I asked my friend from Pakistan, listening to my anguish with empathy, what he would have done in my place? He replied, “Honestly, I don’t know.”

This then, is the truth of reporting conflict and wars. Often we just don’t know. And even more often, whether we like ourselves for it or not, our emotional perceptions of these conflicts are shaped by how our histories have been handed down to us. Whatever textbook journalism may preach, I think the time has come to accept that every story we do is shaped by our own set of perceptions, and thus prejudices as well. National identity is one of the many factors that add up to make the sum total of who we are and what we write or report. It sneaks up on us and weaves its way into our subconscious, often mangled and confused, but still there, determining what we see and how we see it. And, when I speak of national identity I do not mean chest-thumping, flag-waving nationalism. I mean years of accumulated baggage, what we read in school, the villains and heroes in our popular cinema – in fact the entire process of socialization.

The media may not be reduced to being a crude tool of the nation state, but it will always have to fight with itself to find a space that is honest. And sometimes we will make mistakes. At other times, we may never know whether we made a mistake or chose right. But so long as we hide behind the theoretical notion of objective journalism, as long as we believe that journalists are innately more enlightened than others of the human species, the search for that truthful professional space will be a dishonest one. The war taught me that – just how complex and ridden with contradictions this search can be.

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "Pakistanis believe it is "Mumlakat Khuda-dad", a gift of God to the people of Pakistan and God will continue to protect it in spite of the efforts to undermine it by many..."

This is exactly what Hasan Nisar was talking about as an example of how Pakistanis do not THINK.

He said people keep repeating that Pakistan "was created by God to last forever", without reflecting on the simple fact that the majority Bangalees broke away within 25 years of the founding of Pakistan.

As he said, it is as if there is no such thing as reason, facts or reality. Our society seems to run on only chaotic and muddled emotions.

Yes? Do you disagree with Hasan Nisar? Do you think he is wrong in his analysis?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Times report on Pakistan's "Saffron Bandit" military exercise:

ISLAMABAD: The armed forces of Pakistan are prepared to defend country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, said Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Kahlid Shamim Wynne on Thursday.

The CJCSC was visiting the ongoing ‘Exercise Saffron Bandit 2012-13’ at an operational base of the Pakistan Air Force. Chief of Air Staff Tahir Rafique Butt also participated in the exercise.

General Wynne said the prevailing complex global geo-political environment and regional situation is not only unique but also more challenging, since Pakistan faces both internal and external threats. “Readiness and war preparedness have attained enhanced significance in the current scenario. PAF is a potent and frontline element of the national security and, through the highest levels of professionalism, it will always come up to the expectations of the nation,” he said

The CJCSC also flew in an AEW&C Aircraft to observe the complexities of aerial warfare and the professional handling and employment of integrated air and ground combat elements by the aircrew.

While interacting with the participants after flying the mission, General Wynne said the Exercise Saffron Bandit serves well for enhancing war preparedness in the hi-tech scenario of aerial warfare. “It is heartening to see PAF stepping into the future with its newly acquired capabilities and emerging concepts of employment.”

Earlier, on arrival the CJCSC was received by Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt. He was given a comprehensive briefing on the Exercise Saffron Bandit 2012-13.

Exercise Saffron Bandit is a triennial command level exercise conducted in PAF since 1994. A sequel of five exercises has been conducted so far while sixth exercise is in progress. This time where modern capabilities of PAF are operating under one umbrella for the first time, Pak Army Aviation and Army Air Defence are also deployed for undertaking the exercise.\01\25\story_25-1-2013_pg7_12

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Global Times on US delivering P3C Orions to Pakistan:

Pakistan is expected to receive maritime surveillance P3C Orion aircraft from the United States this year, state media quoted the country's ambassador in Washington as saying.

Ms. Sherry Rehman, who has been meeting with top American officials as part of efforts to restore the full range of bilateral ties, has said both the civil and defense cooperation between the two sides are gaining momentum, radio Pakistan reported on Monday.

Pakistan's Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafique, currently on a visit to the US, discussed matters related to ongoing cooperation between Pakistani and American navies and expressed satisfaction over senior level exchanges.

He expressed the hope for early departure of P3C maritime aircraft from the United States.

Pakistan had signed an agreement with the American defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin seven years ago, for the delivery of seven Orion aircrafts.

The Navy received three of the aircrafts in 2010, while another two were delivered in 2011. In addition to the Orions, the Navy is also operating seven aging Fokker F27-200 Friendship naval surveillance aircrafts, which it had acquired during the 1980s.

The Orions are one of the most popular maritime surveillance aircrafts in the world, being used by the naval forces in a number of nations such as the US, Japan, New Zealand and Brazil.

The aircrafts were first inducted into the US Navy in 1962, and so far more than 750 units have been manufactured. The US Navy had recently decided to replace its Orion fleet with the Boeing P-8A Poseidons.

Pakistani ambassador said that Pak-US interactions are important to push forward Pakistan-US bilateral defense ties and said the Pakistan Navy's key role in securing sea lanes in North Arabian Sea as part of the anti-piracy international coalition has been widely appreciated in the United States.

State media said that as a result of some hectic diplomacy, Washington and Islamabad have come out of a difficult phase in bilateral ties since early 2011, following a series of high-level meetings and trust-building measures.

The US recently released long-delayed Coalition Support Fund reimbursements and both countries have resumed working on different levels of cooperation through regular forums of institutionalized dialogues and working groups

Riaz Haq said...

Here's India Today on "threat to India" from Pak tactical nuke Nasr:

In all the tumult and alarums of the last three months in Pakistan, a grave and threatening development seems to have slipped under our radar screens. Ordinarily, the ballistic missile called Nasr, with a range of 60 kilometres, would not be particularly threatening considering Pakistan's multilayered missile arsenal that covers most of India and beyond. Indeed, in terms of range it is much like our own Russian-supplied Smerch.

But that is where the comparisons end.

As the Pakistani Inter-Services Public Relations press release put it: "Nasr, with a range of 60 km, carries nuclear warheads of appropriate yield with high accuracy, shoot and scoot attributes. This quick response system addresses the need to deter evolving threats." In strategic literature, short-range tactical nuclear weapons have been considered particularly destabilising. "A quick response system" is not something you talk about when you discuss nuclear weapons which ought never be used, and if they are, should be employed only in the gravest of national emergencies.


Weapons of such range are held at the level of a Corps which is a large battlefield formation. Many situations can arise at a Corps level battle which may appear to be dire emergencies, but are not so when viewed at a higher level. No doubt the Nasr's employment will be controlled by Pakistan's national command authority, but given their range, they would have to be deployed in the forward edge of battle where the fog of war is thick and the chance of miscalculation high.

Whatever be the case India must confront the issue because it poses a major challenge to how it views nuclear deterrence.

India conducted five nuclear tests between May 11 and 13th 1999. On the first day it tested a thermonuclear device, a boosted fission bomb and a 0.2 kiloton device. The thermo-nuclear test seems to have failed and this leaves India with a successful fission bomb design which can, perhaps, be scaled up to 200 kilotons.

Though it does appear that India may have tested a tactical nuclear warhead, subsequently, the official doctrine has decried the idea of tactical nukes.
Unfortunately, New Delhi has been strangely negligent in responding to the rapidly changing nuclear dynamics relating to Pakistan. We have been focusing on terrorism and have ignored the steadily increasing danger of Pakistani nuclear adventurism. Terrorism can kill people by the hundreds, but a nuclear strike's consequences are something else altogether.

Read more at:

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "If the past is any guide, it's quite safe to assume that Pakistan will continue to effectively respond to all military threats to its security and assert its power it nukes, missiles, satellites, fighter jets, drones, nuke subs, etc. Talking about India's nuke sub, it's just a matter of time before Pakistan launches its own nuclear subs to complete the nuclear triad. Let there be no doubt on this point"

You just fell into the trap laid out by the wily Indians.

An irrationally emotional reponse like this is EXACTLY what the Indians are hoping for. They want to bankrupt us just as Reagan bankrupted the USSR by forcing them to spend more and more on defense.


QUOTE: "(India) would also continue its massive armament programme not only for positioning itself as a great power and competing with China, but also for putting pressure on Pakistan to increase its military expenditure correspondingly. If the Indian game plan succeeds, Pakistan would be forced to allocate increasing amount of resources to the military sector, thus denying the economic sector the resources needed for Pakistan’s economic growth and prosperity. Meanwhile, India in reality would concentrate its resources and energy on the task of economic development.

In the Indian calculations, this trend if continued over a sufficiently long period of time would place Pakistan in an untenable situation of poverty and backwardness in the face of economic prosperity in India and force it to accept the Indian hegemony in the region.

Unfortunately, this is precisely what has been happening in the Pakistan-India equation. While India has been growing economically at a high rate during the past decade and a half, Pakistan’s dismal economic performance has left it far behind. Our military expenditure is at an unsustainably high level while the allocation of resources to economic development as a percentage of GDP is at an extremely low level."


Yes? How realistic are your dreams of Nuclear Submarines, Nuclear Aircraft carriers, Force Shields, Photon Torpedoes etcetera? Can a nation with a 9% savings rate that is completely and utterly dependent on the US/IMF for handouts really AFFORD all these "big-boy" toys?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: " They want to bankrupt us just as Reagan bankrupted the USSR by forcing them to spend more and more on defense."

It's much likely that superpower China would "do a Reagan" on India than superpower India do it on Pakistan.

In fact, "eating grass" metaphor applies to India more than it applies to Pakistan.

While India ranks at 65 among 79 nations ranked by the International Food Policy Research Institute on its hunger index, Pakistanis are better off at 57.

In terms of results, Pakistanis are more efficient than their Indian counter parts, according to an Indian defense analyst Col Pavan Nair. Nair says, "The ratio of DE (defense expenditures) between India and Pakistan works out to about 4:1 when their combat ratio is at 3:1. (Pakistan) is getting more bang for the buck."

Riaz Haq said...

Talking about "doing a Reagan", here's NY Times' Op Ed about India-China race:

As recently as 2006, when I first visited India and China, the economic race was on, with heavy bets being placed on which one would win the developing world sweepstakes.

Many Westerners fervently hoped that a democratic country would triumph economically over an autocratic regime.

Now the contest is emphatically over. China has lunged into the 21st century, while India is still lurching toward it.

That’s evident not just in columns of dry statistics but in the rhythm and sensibility of each country. While China often seems to eradicate its past as it single-mindedly constructs its future, India nibbles more judiciously at its complex history.

Visits to crowded Indian urban centers unleash sensory assaults: colorful dress and lilting chatter provide a backdrop to every manner of commerce, from small shops to peddlers to beggars. That makes for engaging tourism, but not the fastest economic development. In contrast to China’s full-throated, monochromatic embrace of large-scale manufacturing, India more closely resembles a nation of shopkeepers.

To be sure, India has achieved enviable success in business services, like the glistening call centers in Bangalore and elsewhere. But in the global jousting for manufacturing jobs, India does not get its share.

Now, after years of rocketing growth, China’s gross domestic product per capita of $9,146 is more than twice India’s. And its economy grew by 7.7 percent in 2012, while India expanded at a (hardly shabby) 5.3 percent rate.
India’s rigid social structure limits intergenerational economic mobility and fosters acceptance of vast wealth disparities. In Mumbai, where more than half the population lives in slums often devoid of electricity or running water, Mukesh Ambani spent a reported $1 billion to construct a 27-story home in a residential neighborhood.

Don’t get me wrong — I am hardly advocating totalitarian government. But we need to recognize that success for developing countries is about more than free elections.

While India may not have the same “eye on the prize” so evident in China, it should finish a respectable second in the developing world sweepstakes. It just won’t beat China.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Ottawa Citizen news story on Pak nuclear arsenal:

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), an independent research wing of the US Congress, figures that Pakistan has between 90 to 110 nuclear warheads.

“Islamabad is producing fissile material, adding to related production facilities, and deploying additional delivery vehicles. These steps could enable Pakistan to undertake both quantitative and qualitative improvements to its nuclear arsenal,” the recently released CRS report noted.

India currently has approximately 60-80 nuclear weapons, it added.

“Whether and to what extent Pakistan’s current expansion of its nuclear weapons-related facilities is a response to the 2008 US-India nuclear cooperation agreement is unclear. Islamabad does not have a public, detailed nuclear doctrine, but its ‘minimum credible deterrent’ is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking military action against Pakistan,” the report noted.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on world's largest exporters and importers of arms:

A new report says China has passed Britain to become the world’s fifth-largest arms exporter.

The report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says Pakistan is the biggest buyer of Chinese arms, accounting for 55 percent of China’s exports.

The report says Chinese weapon exports between 2008 and 2012 rose 162 percent over the previous five-year period.

It said the United States remains the world's top arms exporter, accounting for 30 percent of the market, followed by Russia at 26 percent, Germany at seven percent, France at six percent, and China at five percent.

The world’s top five arms importers were all in Asia. The report said India was the biggest buyer, followed by China, Pakistan, South Korea and Singapore.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on Pak-Turk air combat exercises:

International Air Exercise Indus Viper-II conducted between Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Turkish Air Force (TuAF) concluded at an operational airbase of PAF, a statement said on Sunday.

Maj Gen Ares Mehmat, Chief of Operations at TuAF, was the chief guest at the culmination ceremony, it said. Air Marshal Waseemuddin, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Operations), PAF and M Babur Hizlan, the Ambassador of Turkey, were also present at the occasion.

The Turkish Air Force contingent comprising five F-16 Fighting Falcons, combat pilots and ground technical crew participated in the air exercise conducted from March 4 to16,.

According to the statement, PAF emphasises on the combat training of its air and ground crew and regularly undertakes air exercises with air forces of friendly nations. These exercises play a vital role in honing the combat skills of PAF air crew and enable them to learn the latest air power employment strategies.

Indus Viper II provided an opportunity to combat crew of both the air forces to acquaint themselves with applied tactics of air power in near real scenario.

PAF has been participating in a number of international air exercises with some of the best air forces of the world, including United States Air Force, Italian Air Force, Turkish Air Force (TuAF) and other allied countries.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a TOI report of Pakistan's deployment of Jasoos UAV along Indian border:

JAISALMER: Pakistan's Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ( UAV) called 'Jasoos' have been spying on security arrangements and Army activities going on in the Indian side from the international border of Pakistan adjoining Rajasthan. In the recent past, activities of these UAVs have increased.

These UAVs can be spotted at night as sparkling red lights and have become a subject of excitement and discussion among the security forces. They are active even during day time and can be recognized by the trail of smoke they leave behind. These spy planes are active across the border opposite Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Ganganagar in Rajasthan.

Reliable sources confirming this said that Pakistan is taking help of UAVs to keep an eye on the Indian area and their activities have intensified in the past few days.

Sources said Pak had developed UAVs a few years ago with the help of America and Italy and are using them to spy on the Indian area.

Sources said these spy planes are active at a height of 1500m-2000m just 500-700 yards from the international border.

These UAVs are fitted with ultramodern powerful cameras that can capture photographs of the Indian area spanning many kilometers. They are operated from a distance of 25-30kms. The computer operators are connected to the UAVs and they receive the photographs sent by these drones, the sources said.

Though BSF is keeping a watch over the activities of UAVs, but it is not possible to take any action since they are flying within the Pakistani border. But senior officers have been informed about the UAVs, sources added.

When contacted Col SD Goswami, defence spokesperson, said, "Our air defence units are monitoring such activities along the border. In case there is an air space violation, suitable action will be taken. All such violations are analysed and taken up with the country concerned through laid down channels as per established procedures."

He added that as per the international air space rules and bilateral agreements with neighbouring sovereign countries, such flying activities are permitted 10 km away from the international border, but any closer than the 10 km limit requires prior permission.

What are 'Jasoos'?

Jasoos are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) developed by Pakistani company Satuma. They are controlled via remote and weigh around 20kg. Capable of doing 180 kmph, these UAVs fly at a height of 10,000ft (3480m). Jasoos have a range of 100km, and can fly for 4-5 hours continuously with battery backup. Pak air force in the year 2004 had included UAVs, but was used in 2009 after the testing. Prior to this, Pak had purchased UAVs from Italy in 2003.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AFP report on Pakistan arms imports:

China’s arms exports in 2008-2012 grew by 162% compared to the previous five years, with most of them — 55% — going to Pakistan.

“China’s rise has been driven primarily by large-scale arms acquisitions by Pakistan,” Paul Holtom, a research director at SIPRI said in a press release.

“A number of recent deals indicate that China is establishing itself as a significant arms supplier to a growing number of important recipient states.”

Pakistan has long been China’s key ally in South Asia. The report also named Myanmar, Bangladesh and Venezuela as importers of Chinese arms.

China has defended its rules on overseas weapons sales following the report. Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday that such sales follow domestic laws and UN guidelines.

Hong said weapons sales have to be justified by the legitimate needs of the recipient and must not harm peace, security or stability.

Islamabad confirms
The Inter Services Press Relations (ISPR) directorate, the public relations wing of the Pakistan military has confirmed that China is “one of Pakistan’s biggest partners” in terms of cooperation in the defence field.

In 2010, Pakistan signed agreements worth over $10 billion with China, many of which were linked to cooperation in the field of defence.

But the ISPR did not confirm whether China is the biggest partner and whether Pakistan’s imports most of its defense equipment from China.

“We have three major partners. These are the US, China and France.”

General (retd) Talat Masood, a defence analyst, said that his belief was that US continues to remain the main source of Pakistan’s defence hardware.

“I think given the ongoing military arrangements with the US, it is still Pakistan’s No 1 source for military hardware. This also includes money spent on military programs by the US government.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from Stratfor's analyst Robert Kaplan on India-China and India-Pakistan rivalry:

The best way to gauge the relatively restrained atmosphere of the India-China rivalry is to compare it to the rivalry between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan abut one another. India's highly populated Ganges River Valley is within 480 kilometers (300 miles) of Pakistan's highly populated Indus River Valley. There is an intimacy to India-Pakistan tensions that simply does not apply to those between India and China. That intimacy is inflamed by a religious element: Pakistan is the modern incarnation of all of the Muslim invasions that have assaulted Hindu northern India throughout history. And then there is the tangled story of the partition of the Asian subcontinent itself to consider -- India and Pakistan were both born in blood together.

Partly because the India-China rivalry carries nothing like this degree of long-standing passion, it serves the interests of the elite policy community in New Delhi very well. A rivalry with China in and of itself raises the stature of India because China is a great power with which India can now be compared. Indian elites hate when India is hyphenated with Pakistan, a poor and semi-chaotic state; they much prefer to be hyphenated with China. Indian elites can be obsessed with China, even as Chinese elites think much less about India. This is normal. In an unequal rivalry, it is the lesser power that always demonstrates the greater degree of obsession. For instance, Greeks have always been more worried about Turks than Turks have been about Greeks.

China's inherent strength in relation to India is more than just a matter of its greater economic capacity, or its more efficient governmental authority. It is also a matter of its geography. True, ethnic-Han Chinese are virtually surrounded by non-Han minorities -- Inner Mongolians, Uighur Turks and Tibetans -- in China's drier uplands. Nevertheless, Beijing has incorporated these minorities into the Chinese state so that internal security is manageable, even as China has in recent years been resolving its frontier disputes with neighboring countries, few of which present a threat to China.

India, on the other hand, is bedeviled by long and insecure borders not only with troubled Pakistan, but also with Nepal and Bangladesh, both of which are weak states that create refugee problems for India. Then there is the Maoist Naxalite insurgency in eastern and central India. The result is that while the Indian navy can contemplate the projection of power in the Indian Ocean -- and thus hedge against China -- the Indian army is constrained with problems inside the subcontinent itself.

India and China do play a great game of sorts, competing for economic and military influence in Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. But these places are generally within the Greater Indian subcontinent, so that China is taking the struggle to India's backyard.

Just as a crucial test for India remains the future of Afghanistan, a crucial test for China remains the fate of North Korea. Both Afghanistan and North Korea have the capacity to drain energy and resources away from India and China, though here India may have the upper hand because India has no land border with Afghanistan, whereas China has a land border with North Korea. Thus, a chaotic, post-American Afghanistan is less troublesome for India than an unraveling regime in North Korea would be for China, which faces the possibility of millions of refugees streaming into Chinese Manchuria.

Riaz Haq said...

NY Times: "Many analysts say that India is unlikely to achieve prominence on the world stage until it reaches some sort of resolution with Pakistan of disputes that have lasted for decades over Kashmir and other issues."

Here's NY Times on India's growing troubles:

...a summer of difficulties has dented India’s confidence, and a growing chorus of critics is starting to ask whether India’s rise may take years, and perhaps decades, longer than many had hoped.

“There is a growing sense of desperation out there, particularly among the young,” said Ramachandra Guha, one of India’s leading historians.

Three events last week crystallized those new worries. On Wednesday, one of India’s most advanced submarines, the Sindhurakshak, exploded and sank at its berth in Mumbai, almost certainly killing 18 of the 21 sailors on its night watch.

On Friday, a top Indian general announced that India had killed 28 people in recent weeks in and around the Line of Control in Kashmir as part of the worst fighting between India and Pakistan since a 2003 cease-fire.

Also Friday, the Sensex, the Indian stock index, plunged nearly 4 percent, while the value of the rupee continued to fall, reaching just under 62 rupees per dollar, a record low.

Each event was unrelated to the others, but together they paint a picture of a country that is rapidly losing its swagger. India’s growing economic worries are perhaps its most challenging.

“India is now the sick man of Asia,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at the financial information provider IHS Global Insight. “They are in a crisis.”


The Indian government recently loosened restrictions on direct foreign investment, expecting a number of major retailers like Walmart and other companies to come rushing in. The companies have instead stayed away, worried not only by the government’s constant policy changes but also by the widespread and endemic corruption in Indian society.

The government has followed with a series of increasingly desperate policy announcements in recent weeks in hopes of turning things around, including an increase in import duties on gold and silver and attempts to defend the currency without raising interest rates too high.

Then Wednesday night, the government announced measures to restrict the amounts that individuals and local companies could invest overseas without seeking approval. It was an astonishing move in a country where a growing number of companies have global operations and ambitions.
The submarine explosion revealed once again the vast strategic challenges that the Indian military faces and how far behind China it has fallen. India still relies on Russia for more than 60 percent of its defense equipment needs, and its army, air force and navy have vital Russian equipment that is often decades old and of increasingly poor quality.

The Sindhurakshak is one of 10 Russian-made Kilo-class submarines that India has as part of its front-line maritime defenses, but only six of India’s submarines are operational at any given time — far fewer than are needed to protect the nation’s vast coastline.

Indeed, India has fewer than 100 ships, compared with China’s 260. India is the world’s largest weapons importer, but with its economy under stress and foreign currency reserves increasingly precious, that level of purchases will be increasingly hard to sustain.

The country’s efforts to build its own weapons have largely been disastrous, and a growing number of corruption scandals have tainted its foreign purchases, including a recent deal to buy helicopters from Italy.

Unable to build or buy, India is becoming dangerously short of vital defense equipment, analysts say....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Indian report on the state of Indian submarine force:

The recent disaster in the Indian submarine INS Sindhurakshak that perhaps killed all 18 Navy personnel on-board has raised a pertinent question on the Indian Navy's submarine conditions as well as its underwater combat edge. According to a TOI report, currently, India can only deploy 7-8 "aging conventional" submarines against enemy forces.

The stark reality is that the Indian Navy is left with only 13 aging diesel-electric submarines - 11 of them over 20 years old. Out of the 13 submarines - 9 Kilo-class of Russian origin and 4 HDW of German-origin - are undergoing reparation to 'extend' their operational lives. The only "face saver" of the Navy seems to be the INS Chakra, the only nuclear-powered submarine, taken on a 10-year lease from Russia last year. But due to international treaties, it is not armed with nuclear-tipped missiles. With its 300-km range Klub-S land-attack cruise missiles, other missiles and advanced torpedoes, the INS Chakra can serve as a deadly `hunter-killer' of enemy submarines and warships. Moreover, India has been indecisive to fit Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) in the last two of the six French Scorpene submarines being constructed for over Rs 23,000 crore at Mazagon Docks under "Project-75". The first Scorpene will be delivered only by November 2016. On August 12, the Indian Navy launched its aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, placing India in the fifth rank, after US, Russia, Britain and France, who have the ability to design and build aircraft carriers of 40,000 tonnes and above. With a capacity to deploy over 30 aircraft and helicopters, it is considered to be the biggest aircraft carrier in India. Pakistan Navy Power: Whereas the neighbouring country Pakistan, which is continuously violating ceasefire bilateral agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) since last month, is far more more advanced and well prepared in terms of submarines. Presently, Pakistan is well equipped with five "new conventional" submarines and is considering to get six more 'advanced' vessels from its all-weather friend China. China already flexes its muscles with 47 diesel-electric submarines and eight nuclear-powered submarines. Incidentally, the Pakistan Navy is the first force in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to have submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) in the shape of three French Agosta-90B vessels. The difference: The conventional submarines have to surface every few days to get oxygen to recharge their batteries in contrast with the AIP equipped submarines that can stay submerged for much longer periods to significantly boost their stealth and combat capabilities.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a news report on US security assistance for counter-insurgency in Pakistan:

The US-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group meeting tentatively would give a final shape to the five-year security assistance plan, developed during a meeting of defense officials of the two countries in February and is believed to zero in on the military hardware that the US would be providing to Pakistan.

Informed sources said after two meetings in the last one year -- Defense Consultative Group in December 2012 and Defense Resourcing Conference in February 2013 -- officials of US and Pakistan were able to develop a joint five-year plan for how security assistance would feed into defense cooperation on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism issues and to help build Pakistan's capabilities in these areas.

Officials from Pakistan and the US during these two meetings identified seven broad areas of security assistance cooperation, which sources said initially covered 11 areas.

It is part of this decision that the Obama Administration this summer (July-August) informed the Congress of a number of appropriations related to security assistance to Pakistan.

This totalled about USD 1.4 billion in military assistance of which roughly USD 425 million was in Pakistan counter- insurgency and capabilities fund (PCCF) and the rest about USD 1 billion was in foreign military financing (FMF).

In addition, the notifications included roughly USD 260 million of civilian assistance, of which USD 230 million focused on energy programming for Pakistan and USD 30 million was the state department funding for civilian police programmes.

In September, the US also released to Pakistan USD 322 million as a reimbursement for military expenses made by Pakistan towards America's war against terrorism.

During these meetings, US and Pakistani officials agreed that the equipment security assistance would support seven core capabilities like night vision, precision strike, counter IED, survivability, border security, communications and maritime operations, maritime security.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's DefenseNews on Pakistani drones Burraq and Shahpar:

Shahpar is a tactical canard pusher UAV that was developed by the Advance Engineering and Research Organisation, which is part of the state-owned Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) conglomerate.

It was revealed to the public for the first time during IDEAS2012, Pakistan’s biannual defense exhibition, in November last year.

It was claimed to be an autonomous UAV with an endurance of seven hours and which could relay data in real time out to a range of 250 kilometers.

Observers have said the Burraq appears to be a Pakistani variant or development of the Chinese Rainbow CH-3 UCAV, but little else is known beyond speculation based on the CH-3’s specifications.

Former Pakistan Air Force pilot Kaiser Tufail said additional information will be difficult to obtain for now because sources will be “wary about leaking what is considered confidential stuff.”

Reports that Pakistan was developing an armed UAV named Burraq date back to 2009. Analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank said he first became aware of the existence of the Burraq some years ago when it was still in the design stages with NESCOM.

The two may be related, but he believes Burraq is armed and Shahpar unarmed.

“Shahpar can carry about a 50-kilogram payload and has around eight hours endurance. Burraq, based on Chinese CH-3 specs, would carry around a 100-kilogram payload and 12 hours endurance,” he said.

The given payload of the CH-3 is a pair of AR-1 missiles, or a pair of FT-5 small diameter bombs.

The ability of Pakistan to field an armed UAV has great benefits when faced with time-sensitive targets, he said.

“It is important in a sense that it greatly cuts the gap from detection to shoot,” he said.

Adding, “Earlier, once you detected something and wanted it taken out you had to pass on the imagery to higher ups, who had to approve and allocate resources like aircraft and by the time the aircraft got there the bad guys were long gone. Now detect, make decision, shoot and go home — all in same loop.”

He does not believe there is any real significance in the systems being named for use with both the Army and the Air Force, however, as “both have been operating their own UAV squadrons for a while now.”

“The Army has been using German EMT Luna X-2000 and the British [Meggitt] Banshee UAVs, while PAF as we know has a lot of faith in the Italian [Selex] Falco,” he added.

The Luna was also ordered by the Pakistan Navy in June 2012.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's The Hindu newspaper piece on Pakistan Army doctrine:

“Army’s mother document” says growing Indian military power “disturbs strategic equilibrium of the region”

Pakistan’s official Army Doctrine calls on the country to “invoke disproportionate responses” in future wars with India, a copy of the document obtained by TheHindu has revealed. “The causes of conflict with the potential to escalate to the use of violence,” the classified internal document states, “emanate from the unresolved issue of Kashmir, the violation of treaty arrangements on sharing of natural resources, and the organised and deliberate support by external powers to militant organisations.”

The December, 2011, Doctrine does not name any country as a threat, but Pakistan has accused India of seeking to block its access to Indus waters, and backing terrorism. The Doctrine describes itself as the “army’s mother document” and “the fountainhead for all subordinate doctrines.”

Indian military sources told TheHindu the study was commissioned in the summer of 2008, soon after former chief of army staff General Pervez Kayani took office. It evolved through intensive discussions of the Kargil war of 1999 and the near-war that followed the December, 2001, terrorist attack on Parliament House

Georgetown University scholar Dr. C. Christine, author of a forthcoming book, Fighting to the End, says the Doctrine confirms what scholars have long known. “It tells us several interesting things,” she says, “among them that the Pakistan army sees Indian military modernisation as a threat, but that they also think nuclear weapons will insulate them from the consequences of pursuing high-risk strategies, like backing jihadist clients.”

Future wars, the Doctrine states, “will be characterised by high-intensity, high-tempo operations under a relatively transparent battle-space environment.” This, it states, is because of the “incremental increase in asymmetry of conventional forces and [the] nuclear overhang” — evident references to the programme of rapid modernisation India put into place after the 2001-2002 crisis, and both countries’ efforts to expand their nuclear weapons capabilities.

In the view of the Doctrine’s authors, de-facto parity between the two countries induced “through a combination of conventional and nuclear deterrence, has obviated the [likelihood of] conventional war.”

However, the Doctrine argues, “a disparity at the conventional plane continues to grow disproportionately, which too disturbs the strategic equilibrium of the region.” This, it states, “depletes peaceful diplomacy and dialogue, replacing it with coercion on the upper planes and violence across the lower-ends of the spectrum.”

“What worries Pakistan’s army,” says the former Indian Army vice-chief, Arvinder Lamba, “is their inability to organise offensive or defensive responses to our growing rapid mobilisation capacity. Their challenge is to deter us from striking by threatening nuclear weapons use in the face of the least provocation.

“India’s government and military must seek perceptual clarity on exactly what we intend to do in the face of such threats,” he said.

The Doctrine states that Pakistan will use nuclear weapons “only as a last resort, given its scale and scope of destruction.” Nuclear parity between India and Pakistan, it argues, “does not accrue any substantial military advantage to either side, other than maintaining the status quo.”

“In a nuclear deterrent environment,” it adds, “war is unlikely to create decisive military or political advantage.” However, it argues that “integration and synergy between conventional and nuclear forces, maintaining both at an appropriate level… [will avoid] an open-ended arms race.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News story on Pakistan Air Force modernization:

Financial difficulties aside, Pakistan is modernizing its air power mainly through investing in the critical JF-17 Thunder program. But the Chengdu J-10B/FC-20 order is less certain.

With a funding crunch, the Pakistan Air Force “will concentrate most resources on JF-17 to ensure its success and further development,” said Usman Shabbir, with the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank.

Last year, the Air Force admitted modernization efforts under the Armed Forces Development Plan 2025 had gone unfunded since 2007. However, Pakistan secured a Chinese loan to keep JF-17 production on track. No details, including the amount of the loan, have been made public.

Production of the second block of 50 began in December. With 50 jets in service, Pakistan’s requirement is for up to 250 planes to replace its Mirage and F-7 aircraft. It already has replaced the A-5C Fantan strike fighter with two squadrons.

The Block II JF-17 has improved avionics, weapons load and carriage capability, a data link and an electronic warfare suite, plus an in-flight refueling capability, but officials are reluctant to give specific details.

A spokesperson for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), which jointly manufactures the JF-17 with China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, would say only that the avionics suite is a “mixed package” and has been contracted.

Shabbir said he believes the NRIET KLJ-7 X-band radar will have been retained for the Block I/II aircraft, and standoff weapons such as the Ra’ad air-launched cruise missile, H-2/H-4 glide bomb and Mectron MAR-1 anti-radiation missile might also have been integrated onto the Block II jets.

Multiple ejector racks will make up for a lack of additional weapon store stations, and a dedicated designator pod station could be added later underneath the plane’s port intake.

No JF-17 has been seen carrying a designator pod, but a Chinese type will likely enter service, even though Shabbir said the Pakistan Air Force’s Air Weapons Complex “has also developed one in collaboration with a European firm.”

Which firm is unknown, but PAC collaborates with European companies such as Selex ES and Sagem.

Shabbir said the addition of a separate forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor is unlikely, and those fitted to Mirage 5s would not be “recycled” because “the FLIR-equipped [retrofit of strike element-III] Mirages will soldier on for many years as they are specialist night attack aircraft.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News story on Pakistan's acquisition of surplus F-16s:

Of the fighters acquired from the Royal Jordanian Air Force, 12 of the aircraft are single seaters A models and one is a twin-seat F-16B. Jordan has recently acquired 15 similar aircraft – F-16A/B MLU from the Dutch Air Force, and expect these aircraft to be delivered in 2015. The aircraft Pakistan is receiving have also undergone MLU providing service and are cleared for 20 years operations or 3,000 flight hours on average. Pakistan has already received a number of F-16s

Pakistan has been contemplating to acquire more used planes for the PAF from other countries while the induction of new production JF-17 Thunder continues. The JF-17 is a co-production of Pakistan and China.

Through the upgrade process carried out at the US Air Force Ogden Air Logistics Centre, structural upgrades were performed to extend the aircraft life from the designed 4,000 to 8,000 hours flying time. Other modifications include changes to the engine bay, to receive the upgraded Pratt and Whitney F100-220E engine. Most of Pakistan’s F-16s are of early generation A/B models, acquired from US surplus and upgraded through MLU. Some were delivered free of charge by the US Government. The new acquisition will bring the Pakistani Air Force F-16 fleet to 76. Only 20 are of more modern make, namely F-16C and F-16C/D Block 52.

Through the years Pakistan has been a keen ‘collector’ of Dassault Mirage III/V fighter jets. Between 1967 and 1982 Islamabad bought 66 new Mirage III/V, but through the 1990s ‘collected’ over 130 of the fighters in the surplus market, from the French, Australian and Lebanese air forces. Many of these were modernized through the three phases ROSE program, improving avionics, weaponry and operational capabilities, associated with special missions, special weapons and night capabilities. The F-16, while adding many advanced capabilities, is not fulfilling many of these capabilities, therefore, it can replace the A-5C and F-7s in service, but not the Mirages.

Buying second hand fighters is one way for the Pakistani Air Force to manage the financial pressure that has limited its modernization since 2007. The acquisition of the JF-17 Thunder remains the single, highest priority, for which Islamabad secured a Chinese loan to keep production on track at an annual rate of 18 aircraft per year with 50 (Block I) jets in service. Defense News reported. Another significant investment was the acquisition of four Saab2000 Erieye early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for US$1 billion, the last of those aircraft was delivered in 2010. (It is unclear how many of these are operational, one of the four was reportedly damaged or destroyed in August 2012 by a Taliban attack on the Kamra air base.)

Production of 50 Thunders of the second block began in December 2013. The Thunder Block II has improved avionics, weapons load and carriage capability, a data link and an electronic warfare suite, plus an in-flight refueling capability. With these enhancements the cost of the Thunder has increased from US$15 million to $25 million, according to Dawn. Pakistan’s requirement is for up to 250 planes to the F-7 and, eventually, Mirage III/5 fighter aircraft currently in service. The Thunder has already replaced the A-5C Fantan strike fighter with two squadrons.

While Pakistan is seeking relative parity with India, the PAF currently has no counterpart for India’s Su-30MKI, nor the future Rafale, (when and if the MMRCA is to be fielded). Pakistan has been considering buying Chinese FC-20 (J10) fighter planes they considered could be a fair match to the Rafale. However, it is now considered that Thunder Block III and more upgrades to their F-16s, bringing the Falcons to the Block52 level could satisfy the PAF requirements for the near term....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's news story about Pakistan's C-130 transport planes upgrade:

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Tuesday of plans to sell the government of Pakistan a C-130 Fleet Upgrade Program package, plus associated equipment, parts, training, and logistical support valued at $100 million in total.

Specifically, the package includes upgrades to the avionics, engine management software and mechanical parts, cargo delivery system, and outer wing sets on six Pakistani C-130 transport planes. Also included in the sale will be spare parts, necessary support equipment, publications and technical documentation, and personnel training and training equipment, plus logistics support. The primary contractor on this sale has not yet been chosen, but the C-130s were originally built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) . A bidding process will be opened to choose the primary contractor.

Pakistan's air force includes a total of five C-130B and eleven C-130E aircraft. No mention of upgrades to the remaining 10 aircraft was made in the announcement, nor did DSCA clarify which specific models of C-130 would be getting the upgrades.

Explaining the sale to Congress, DSCA noted that Pakistan's planes are "facing airworthiness and obsolescence issues, and will require upgrades and repairs for continued operation and effectiveness. The proposed modernization of the C-130 fleet should ensure continued viability for an additional 10-15 years." DSCA added that this modernization is desirable to "improve the security of a Major Non-NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, an important force for regional stability and U.S. national security goals in the region."

According to DSCA, "there will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale." Nor will the sale "alter the basic military balance in the region."

Riaz Haq said...

India replaced China as the world's biggest arms buyer in 2010. With its domestic defence industry struggling to manufacture high-tech arms, India is in the midst of a defence spending binge as it struggles to keep up with better-equipped Chinese forces and a range of military challenges in its volatile neighbourhood.

India's traditional rival Pakistan increased its weapons acquisitions by 119 percent, growing from 2 percent of the global total to 5 percent during that period.

The five largest arms suppliers worldwide between 2009 and 2013 were the United States (29 percent of global exports), Russia (27 percent), Germany (7 percent), China (6 percent) and France (5 percent).

They collectively accounted for 74 percent of total arms exports, SIPRI said.

The world's top five arms importers were now India, China, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Riaz Haq said...

The U.S. military may have another option for disposing of $7 billion worth of armored vehicles and other equipment it’s struggling to get rid of now that its war in Afghanistan is ending.

Some of it could be driven across the border and handed over to Pakistan, part of an effort by the Pentagon to unload excess military supplies to U.S. allies at no cost.

The discussions between American and Pakistani officials have been going on for months and center on leftover military hardware that the United States does not want to pay to ship or fly home.

Although no final decisions have been made, Pakistan is particularly interested in the U.S. Army’s mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, which Pentagon officials say will have limited strategic value as U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan this year.

But with Pakistan’s military expected to be battling Taliban insurgents for years, the MRAPs could help Pakistani forces slow their high casualty rate of more than 20,000 dead or injured troops since 2001.

“We will not take it for the sake of just taking it, and we will not take it because it’s free,” said one senior Pakistani military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the negotiations. “We will take it because we need it.”

About 150,000 Pakistani soldiers are along the country’s border with Afghanistan, and U.S. officials are counting on them to help keep the pressure on militant groups after 2014.

But Pakistan’s troops remain vulnerable to roadside bombs and explosive devices, and their armored vehicles can withstand far less force than a U.S.-made MRAP, officials said.

Riaz Haq said...

The armed forces of Pakistan are the world’s largest recipient of $5 million funds the United States annually spends to impart technical education and training to foreign troops under its International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme.
Having reimbursed more than $11 billion as war expenditures to Pakistan over the past decade, Islamabad’s non-NATO allies in Washington have also extended over $ 4 billion in civilian aid under the Kerry-Lugar Bill (KLB) over last five years.
“The United States provides Pakistan’s military with training to promote regional stability, improve its counterterrorism and defense capabilities and enhance civilian-military relations,” said a fact sheet the US embassy shared on Monday with its local alumni on US Assistance to Pakistan.
The 10-page document details a range of areas in which the US has been cooperating with Pakistan to promote its partnership with the latter which, the embassy said, was vital to its shared interest in Pakistan’s economic growth and development, regional stability, and mutually determined measures to counterterrorism.
Since fiscal year 2009, the document said, the US had trained nearly 1,120 officials of the Pakistan Army, air force and navy.
“Pakistan is the largest recipient of… IMET funding in the world, with an annual budget of approximately $5 million for this program,” the fact sheet added.
The US also provides critical equipment, ranging from advanced communications gear to surveillance aircraft, to Pakistani troops conducting counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations in the border region and to enhance Pakistan’s participation in international maritime security operations.
“In addition, the US has refurbished and upgraded military helicopters and maritime surveillance aircraft.”
Consequently, Pakistan has significantly increased the effectiveness of its operations against terrorist groups, the embassy said.
Unlike its past do-more attitude, the US embassy expressed satisfaction over the steps Pakistan had recently taken to check the production of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that are said to be used against the ISAF troops in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan has taken positive steps over the past year to increase its controls and interdiction of the illicit supply of the materials used to produce IEDs,” the embassy viewed.

Anonymous said...

Analysts said the new ranking (4th largest exporter) shows China's military industry has gained momentum, but that the main advantage of arms produced by China is the low price rather than core technology.

Chinese exports of major weapons increased by 212 percent during 2009-2013, compared with the previous five-year period, and China's share of global arms exports increased from 2 to 6 percent, said a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday.

The three biggest exporters of arms were the US, Russia and Germany.

China supplied major weapons to 35 states in the past five years, mainly low and middle-income countries. Almost three-quarters of Chinese exports went to just three clients: Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, the report said.

China's rapidly developing military technology partly explains its expansion as an arms supplier, in direct competition with Russia, the US and European states, said the report.

"The progress in the military industry has been made due to the nation's increase in investments in the field," Shan Xiufa, a research fellow at the Academy of Military Sciences of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), told the Global Times.

However, he noted that China mostly exports regular weapons. China's military industry can only be considered at the global second-tier level, distant from the first-tier countries such as the US, due to its lack of weapons with independent intellectual property rights.

"Weapons produced by China are price competitive and the country is skillful in combining others' technology," Shan said, noting that it is a reflection of the country's relatively low innovative capability in general industry.

The US delivered more weapons than any other supplier in the past five years, to at least 90 recipients. Asia and Oceania were the biggest recipient regions for US weapons, accounting for 47 per cent of US deliveries, said the report.

"Chinese, Russian and US arms supplies to South Asia are driven by both economic and political considerations," said Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Program, noting that China and the US are using arms deliveries to Asia to strengthen their influence in the region, reported Press Trust of India.

However, Liu Weidong, an expert on the US with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that China is not comparable with world powers in increasing political influence through arms sales.

"China will consider raising its political influence in the countries that import its arms, for example, it sells weapons to allies such as Pakistan or Myanmar, but the US is more assertive in maintaining its political influence through arms exports," he said. He noted that China holds an inclusive attitude as it is not at the same level with the US on expanding political influence by selling arms due to China's less competitive technology.

Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has come under strong pressure from its NATO allies since it announced in September last year it would purchase China's HQ-9 long range surface-to-air missile system in preference to European, Russian and US alternatives. Ankara may yet rethink the potential $3.44 billion deal with China, Istanbul-based Hurriyet Daily News reported on March 11.

The five biggest importers were India, China, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, said the report. Arms imports by states in Asia and Oceania increased by 34 percent between 2004-2008 and 2009-2013.

"China's lack of independent research and development in arms demands more imports of weapons, especially those with information-based technology, to realize the modernization of the army," Shan said, noted that it partly accounts for China's increasing defense expenditure.

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