Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Demolishing Indian War Myths about Pakistan
While outwardly claiming to dismiss Pakistan as a defeated and failed state, the Indians continue to show by their actions that they are paranoid about their much smaller neighbor to the West by maintaining most of their troops close to the border with Pakistan.
For example, twenty four of the thirty three Indian infantry divisions are near Pakistan's borders. All three of India's armored divisions are poised against Pakistan. All three of India's mechanized divisions are positioned on Pakistani borders.
If Indians have such an impeccable record of successes against Pakistan in past wars as they claim, why is it that, in practice, they are so fearful of their little neighbor? Why are they planning to increase defense spending by 50% to spend $40 billion, 33% more than the entire 2009-10 Pakistani budget of $30 billion, on defense in 2009-10? Could it be that, in their heart of hearts, they really do not believe their own propaganda and their claims of victory over Pakistan are really hollow?
Let's examine this reality in a little more detail:
With the special exception of 1971( where Indira exploited the political follies by Bhutto and Mujib and RAW infiltrated the Awami League), Indian military has not scored any clear victories over Pakistan.
Even in 1971, Pakistanis inflicted heavy damage on Indian military.
"This airforce(the PAF), is second to none"
"The air war lasted two weeks and the Pakistanis scored a
three-to-one kill ratio, knocking out 102 Russian-made Indian jets and losing thirty-four airplanes of their own. I'm certain about the figures because I went out several times a day in a chopper and counted the wrecks below." "They were really good, aggressive dogfighters and proficient in gunnery and air combat tactics. I was damned impressed. Those guys just lived and breathed flying. "
(General (Retd.) Chuck Yeager (USAF) , Book: Yeager, the
In 1965, Pakistanis really whipped India's rear end.
"Pakistan claims to have destroyed something like 1/3rd the Indian Air Force, and foreign observers, who are in a position to know say that Pakistani pilots have claimed even higher kills than this; but the Pakistani Air Force are being scrupulously honest in evaluating these claims. They are crediting Pakistan Air Force only those killings that can be checked from other sources."
American Broadcasting Corporation
September 15, 1965.
1965 War, the Inside Story by R.D. Pradhan:
In Chapter 8 titled "Of Cowardice and Panic", the author describes the cowardice of Maj. Gen. Niranjan Prasad, the Indian general commanding officer in Lahore sector. When the general was fired upon by Pakistani forces, he "ran away". "On learning that, Lt. Gen. Harbakash Singh and the corps commander drove in a Jonga to the battlefront. Army commander found that the enemy (PAF) air attack had created a havoc on G.T. Road. (Indian) Vehicles were burning and several vehicles of 15 Division abandoned on the road, the drivers having run away, leaving some of the engines still running. Maj. Gen. Niranjan Prasad was hiding in a recently irrigated sugar cane field. As described by Harabakash Singh: "He (Prasad) came out to receive us, with his boots covered with wet mud. He had no head cover, nor was he wearing any badges of his rank. He had stubble on his face, not having shaved." Seeing him in such a stage, Harbakhash Singh asked him: "Whether he was the General Officer commanding a division or a coolie? Why had he removed badges of rank and not shaved? Niranjan Prasad had no answer."
Pradhan's book contains many different entries by Indian Defense Minister Y.B. Chavan. A Sept 9, 1965 entry reads: Had a very hard day on all fronts. Very fierce counter-attacks mounted and we are required to withdraw in Kasur area. COAS was somewhat uncertain of himself. I suggested to him that he should go in forward areas so that he will be in touch of realities. He said he would go next day.
In Line of Duty: A Soldier Remembers, Lt Gen Harbakhsh Singh reveals 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.
According to Shekhar Gupta, the editor of Indian Express, Harbkhash Singh recounts that 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 rumor – 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.
The London Daily Mirror reported in 1965:
"There is a smell of death in the burning Pakistan sun. For it was here that India's attacking forces came to a dead stop.
"During the night they threw in every reinforcement they could find. But wave after wave of attacks were repulsed by the Pakistanis"
"India", said the London Daily Times, "is being soundly beaten by a nation which is outnumbered by four and a half to one in population and three to one in size of armed forces."
In Times reporter Louis Karrar wrote:
"Who can defeat a nation which knows how to play hide and seek with death".
USA - Aviation week & space technology - December 1968 issue.
"For the PAF, the 1965 war was as climatic as the Israeli victory over the Arabs in 1967. A further similarity was that Indian air power had an approximately 5:1 numerical superiority at the start of the conflict. Unlike the Middle East conflict, the Pakistani air victory was achieved to a large degree by air-to-air combat rather than on ground. But it was as absolute as that attained by Israel.
UK - Air International - November - 1991
" the average PAF pilot is almost certainly possessed of superior skills when compared with, say, an average American pilot. As to those who are rated above average, they compare favorably to the very best."
Encyclopaedia of Aircraft printed in several countries by Orbis publications - Volume 5
"Pakistan's air force gained a remarkable victory over India in this brief 22 day war exploiting its opponents weaknesses in exemplary style - Deeply shaken by reverse, India began an extensive modernisation and training program, meanwhile covering its defeat with effective propaganda smoke screen.
To prove its air superiority, PAF put its entire fleets on show for inspection after BOTH of the wars in presence of world dignitaries and aviation community. The five times bigger IAF should have been able to annihilate the tiny PAF to prevent such displays.
Yoichi Shimatsu, a Japanese journalist and former editor of Japan Times, wrote as follows about LeT and Kargil:
Blaming the Lahore-based Lashkar is all-too easy since the outfit was once the West Point of the Kashmir insurgency. The Army of the Righteous, as it is known in English, was a paramilitary force par excellence that routinely mauled the Indian Army along the Himalayan ridge that forms the Line of Control of divided Kashmir. In an attack on the strategic town of Kargil in late spring 1999, Lashkar broke through India’s alpine defense line and came close to forcing New Delhi to the negotiating table.
Along the sawtooth LoC, Lashkar is respected by professional soldiers on both side. A Pakistani hero who fought on the Baltistan heights, Corporal Ahmed, told me of his admiration for the stoicism of these jihadis, who wore sandals to battle in the snow. At a checkpoint in Indian-controlled Kargil, an army captain wearing a Sikh turban said frankly that nobody in the Indian Army could fight man-to-man against Lashkar.
Lashkar earned its reputation in clean-fought mountain warfare, pitting lightly armed guerrillas against Indian armor and superior firepower.
In its finest hours, these fighters would never consider the dirty tactics used against civilians in Mumbai, for example, the gangland-style executions using a shot to the back of a kneeling captive’s head. That is more typical of the Mumbai underworld.
Respected American South Asia expert Stephen Cohen of Washington's Brookings Institution recently told his audience: "Not a few Indian generals and strategists have told me that if only America would strip Pakistan of its nuclear weapons then the Indian army could destroy the Pakistan army and the whole thing would be over."
These remarks sharply contrast with the volumes being written in the West, particularly in the United States, about Pakistan's "obsession" with India. Pakistan is being incessantly lectured by the Western leaders and media to stop worrying about the security threat from India and focus exclusively on its western frontiers and the Taliban. Ignoring the past and current realities, these positions are often echoed by some of the liberal media editorials and commentators in Pakistan as well, in spite of substantial evidence to the contrary.
The facts on the ground speak louder than words. These facts clearly show that Indians are far more obsessed with Pakistan than Pakistan is with India. Having numerically and physically a much smaller military, Pakistan does have greater reason to be paranoid of Indian military intentions, and be prepared to deal with them.
Foreign Origin of India's Agni Missiles
India's Military Buildup
1965 War, the Inside Story
In Line of Duty: A Soldier Remembers by Gen Harbakhsh Singh
Challenges of Indian Democracy
India's Female Genocide
Dangers of Military Myths
Pakistan Military Business
India-Pakistan Military Balance
Chuck Yeager on Pakistan Air Force
India's Research and Analysis Wing
RAW's Involvement in East Pakistan