Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Kulbhushan Yadav: Can ISPR Compete Against India's Spin Machine?

The recent release of a 6-minute video confession of Indian intelligence officer arrested by Pakistan has been met by a furious disinformation campaign by the Indian government and Indian media. Their aim is to obfuscate the damning confession and discredit ISPR's fact-based claims. What ISPR and Pakistan government need to understand is that having facts on your side is not sufficient to make your case; it requires the use of all modern PR techniques to have any chance of success in influencing world opinion, particularly western opinion, in your favor.


So What Can Pakistan Do? 

I think the ISPR is in way over its head in this effort to persuade the world to believe Pakistan's case in the face of the well-honed Indian spin machine. Pakistan needs serious professionals for this job, the kind of professionals who have experience in orchestrating a campaign that includes news stories, TV analysts' commentaries, newspaper columns and magazine Op-Eds, think tank reports and speeches by the pro-Pakistan Caucus in the US Congress.



India's Spin Machine:

The Indian spin machine was recently in full gear when it tried unsuccessfully to stop the sale by the United States government of just 8 F-16s to Pakistan. The campaign orchestrated by the Indian government included placement of favorable news stories, TV analysts' commentaries, newspaper columns and magazine Op-Eds (including one by Husain Haqqani), think tank reports and speeches by the members of the India Caucus in the US Congress.  They all blatantly toed the Indian line that these 8 F-16s would be used against India, not in Pakistan's ongoing counter-insurgency operations. The biased nature of all of these efforts can be gauged by the following facts that were completely ignored by them:

1. There is a huge imbalance in the conventional defense capabilities between India and Pakistan as laid out by GlobalFirePower.com. It ranks India at number 4 in the world while Pakistan is way down at number 17 in 2016.

2. India is world's largest importer of sophisticated weapons, including fighter aircraft, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Here's what it says about the import of weapons between 2011 and 2015: India (14 per cent of global arms imports), China (4.7 per cent), Australia (3.6 per cent), Pakistan (3.3 per cent), Viet Nam (2.9 per cent) and South Korea (2.6 per cent).

3. Pakistan, like the United States elsewhere, has been using F-16s in Operation Zarb e Azb against militants hiding out in Pakistan tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan.

I did not see a single piece in the US media supporting Pakistani position in this battle.  It was completely one-sided. They succeeded in forcing a US Senate vote to block the sale. Luckily for Pakistan, Obama administration barely succeeded in overcoming this Indian campaign to do something as trivial as selling just a few F-16s to Pakistan this time.

Kulbushan Yadav Arrest:

The facts about India's sponsorship of terror in Pakistan clearly favor ISPR.  The confession video shows a very relaxed Kulbhushan talking to the interrogators and revealing details of his work. He appears to be under no stress. However, I do not think that facts alone can help. Why?

The Obama administration and the western governments and analysts already know what India has been doing to hurt Pakistan.   Ex US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has confirmed based on US intelligence reports that "India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan".   

Back in 2009, after visiting Indian consulates in Zahedan, Jalalabad and Kandahar,  the pro-Indian analyst Christine Fair acknowledged that "they are not issuing visas as the main activity!" She futher said: "Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan". 

Kulbhushan Yadav's arrest is further confirmation of the fact that India is using development projects such as Chahbahar Port Project in Iran and various infrastructure projects in Afghanistan as cover for Indian intelligence agencies to sponsor terror in Pakistan. 

Successful PR Campaign:

Pakistan needs to learn from prior successful PR campaigns used by other countries. For example,  Pakistani government needs to look at the Kuwaiti government funded effort that involved as many as 20 PR, law and lobby firms in its campaign to mobilize US opinion to use force against Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Gulf War. Hill & Knowlton, then the world's largest PR firm, served as the mastermind for the Kuwaiti campaign. Its activities alone would have constituted the largest foreign-funded campaign ever aimed at manipulating American public opinion at the time.

Summary:

Pakistan can take heart from the fact that India's spin machine does not always succeed. However, it still needs to employ modern PR techniques to match India's to make the case that it is a victim of terror sponsored, at least in part, by India's intelligence agency.  The end goal needs to be to show the world that there is a proxy war being waged in Pakistan. This war needs to end to begin serious diplomacy to bring peace to South Asia.

Let me quote US analyst Stephen Cohen to conclude this: "The alphabet agencies—ISI, RAW, and so forth—are often the chosen instrument of state policy when there is a conventional (and now a nuclear) balance of power, and the diplomatic route seems barren."


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Releases Confessional Video of India Agent 

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Covert War in Pakistan?

Ex India Spy Documents Successful RAW Ops in Pakistan

London Police Document Confirms MQM-RAW Connection Testimony

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Ajit Doval Lecture on "How to Tackle Pakistan" 

44 comments:

Bhatia said...

You are having wrong information about Indian Consulates in Afghanistan whose number has remained identical since 1950s except during Paki-installed Taliban Govt.(1996-2001) when their number was 0. They provide consular services to large no. of Indian personnel carrying out development work in this region.

Riaz Haq said...

Bhatia: "You are having wrong information about Indian Consulates in Afghanistan whose number has remained identical since 1950s except during Paki-installed Taliban Govt.(1996-2001) when their number was 0. They provide consular services to large no. of Indian personnel carrying out development work in this region. "

Yea, sure! It's undercover Indian agents like Kulbhushan Yadav from Indian Navy engineering corps using "development work" in Afghanistan as cover for their covert ops against Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan seeks #Iran's help to investigate #India agent's activities, catch agent Rakesh (Rizwan) in #Chabahar http://www.geo.tv/latest/103173-Pakistan-seeks-Iran-help-to-investigate-RAW-agents-activities …

The Pakistani government has written a letter to Tehran asking for their help in investigating the activities of Kulbhushan Yadav, a serving agent of Indian spy agency RAW arrested from Balochistan.

In the letter written by the Interior Ministry, Pakistan requests the Iranian government to help them investigate other RAW agents operating in the region as well and calls on Tehran to arrest and hand over Indian RAW Sub Inspector Rakesh alias Rizwan, who is known to be a key RAW operative assisting Kulbhushan Yadav.

Sub inspector Rakesh is also working undercover as a businessman dealing in jewelry and is known to be present in Iran, says the letter.

According to a copy of the letter available with Geo News, Pakistan has requested the "proactive support of the brotherly Iranian government" for the immediate arrest and handing over of RAW Sub Inspector Rakesh alias Rizwan for interrogation in Pakistan, verifying the activities of captured RAW officer Kulbhushan Yadav during his stay along with record of visits to Iran, and the records of people that the Indian RAW officers have been interacting with and purpose of their interaction and business

The Pakistani Interior Ministry has also asked the Iranian government to share details of RAW networks on Iranian soil.

Earlier, the Iranian Embassy in response to Yadav’s presence on its soil had said that the two countries had always enjoyed brotherly relations but some elements were bent on sabotaging them. “Iran wants a stable Pakistan. Iran has never felt danger from Pakistan at its border,” a statement from the Iranian Embassy said.

Pratham, MA said...

You said, This war needs to end to begin serious diplomacy to bring peace to South Asia.

There cannot be ANY peace with Pakistan. It is not possible. Look at the language and opinions in your blog - that says it all

Riaz Haq said...

#India #RAW spy Kulbhushan Jadhav held in #Pakistan was heard speaking #Marathi over call-interception via @indiacom http://www.india.com/news/india/raw-spy-kulbhushan-jadhav-held-in-pakistan-was-heard-speaking-marathi-over-call-interception-1063063/ …

An alleged ‘RAW spy’ Kulbhushan Jadahav arrested by Pakistani intelligence agencies last week was allegedly heard speaking Marathi over the phone when his call was ‘intercepted’ by probing agencies. According to a report Jadhav who was arrested in Balochistan and described as an ‘Indian spy’ by Pakistan was speaking with his family members in India and used his mother language over the phone.
Jadhav who was living with ‘fake identity’ in Pakistan became a businessman after taking voluntary retirement from the Navy and often travelled across the world. He is reported as a son of Mumbai based retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Sudhir Jadhav. His uncle Subhash Jadhav also worked as a police inspector in Bandra police station and was also behind the team of officer that probed the 2002 Salman Khan’s hit-n-run case. Read Also: (MEA confirms ‘Indian spy’ arrested in Pakistan as ex-Navy officer)
According to Mumbai Mirror, Kulbhushan Jadhav’s phone was on surveillance and he had become a bit complacent after working for 14 years in the region. Jadhav is alleged to be working in Pakistan with a name as Hussein Mubarak Patel, which can also be seen on his passport. His passport was issued from Thane, outskirts of Mumbai with a valid Iranian visa on it.

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Report suggest that Jadahav’s habit of speaking with his family member in Marathi and he had portrayed himself Gujarati Patel betrayed his cover. His passport identified him as Muslim Patel but his mannerism were nothing like that of a Muslim Patel, reports Mumbai Mirror.
His Passport was issued from Thane’s Regional Passport Office (RPO) which also showed his birthplace as Sangli in Maharashtra. However the Thane police had claimed that they did not found any police verification record of Jadhav’s passport. Param Bir Singh, Thane police commissioner said that it could be a bogus passport.
Jadhav visited Mumbai four months ago and since February his family had never spoken to him over the phone. The family suspect that he was arrested by Pakistani authorities since February and was subject to the ruthless methods on interrogation and torture by authorities there.
Two more local contacts who were supposed to provide back-up assistance to Jadhav are also missing for over a month, report suggested. The family members of Jadhav are looking to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to assert pressure on Pakistan.
Meanwhile Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said that, “He is our ex-officer, Have requested MEA to extend all assistance”.

Riaz Haq said...

How did #Pakistan arrest #India #RAW agent Jadhav? They heard him speak #Marathi - Mumbai Mirror. http://www.mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/cover-story/How-did-Pak-arrest-Jadhav-They-heard-him-speak-Marathi/articleshow/51579077.cms …

Jadhav, who last visited Mumbai some four months back, was under watch by the Pakistani agencies during his movements in Iranian cities in the course of his work, his close friends from Mumbai police told this newspaper. Jadhav could have been honey-trapped before his arrest and then subjected to ruthless methods of interrogation and torture to extract information from him over a period of several weeks, they feel. The family had lost contact with Jadhav since February leading to the suspicion that he was in the custody of Pakistan for a while now.

As a result, two other local contacts who were supposed to provide back-up assistance to Jadhav are also reportedly missing for over a month. The standard operating procedure is to always have some 'contacts' on standby to be the contact persons in times of emergency or when there is total blackout of communications and inaccessibility of the person of interest. Both the Indian contacts are inaccessible and have probably gone underground or are on the run - unless they have already been arrested and thrown behind bars -- disclosed officers from the Mumbai police.

The fallout of the Jadhav's arrest is the frantic counterwinding operations launched by the Indian agencies in India as also in Pakistan. According to experts, the operations which are connected to an operative have to be immediately erased or folded up soon after he is outed so that there is always a plausible deniability.

Shirish Thorat, New York-based security expert and former Indian police officer said, "In the event of an asset getting arrested the handlers immediately secure other related assets like Agents in Places (AIP) or regroup their operations and fold up all the ongoing or future tasks. This discontinuation of operations is far monumental a disaster than the arrest of an operative." In Jadhav's case too, the agencies have launched an expeditious exercise to retrace his footsteps and shut down all of his possible ongoing operations. The first step is to disown Jadhav as their operative and also ask the family to disassociate with him. Jadhav's family wanted to approach the top echelons of the government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, to exert pressure on Pakistan to release him.

When asked whether the ministry of external affairs has officially informed the Mumbai police so that the Jadhav family can be intimated about his arrest in Pakistan, Deven Bharti, joint commissioner of police (law and order), replied in negative.

Mahesh said...

The ridiculous nature of this "Indian spy captured" was finally picked up as a story. However, it is another nail in the coffin. No one seems to be interested.

From The Economist
Yet whenever ties with India look like improving too fast, the Pakistani army’s intelligence arm finds some means to set things back. On March 29th the army released to the media what it claimed was the filmed confession of a man captured in early March who said he was an Indian spy stoking a separatist insurgency in the southern province of Balochistan.
The colourful details of the spy’s tradecraft (“Your monkey is with us” was one of the supposed codes) immediately drew the media’s attention.

Riaz Haq said...

Mahesh: "From The Economist...Yet whenever ties with India look like improving too fast, the Pakistani army’s intelligence arm finds some means to set things back."

This is exactly the kind of disinformation campaign inspired by Indian that I have referred to in my post.

It paints Pakistani intelligence as a magician that can make a RAW agent like Kulbhushan Yadav appear out of nowhere to confess to his support for terror in Balochistan and Karachi.

Here's a piece from Mumbai Mirror that does a better job:


As a result, two other local contacts who were supposed to provide back-up assistance to Jadhav are also reportedly missing for over a month. The standard operating procedure is to always have some 'contacts' on standby to be the contact persons in times of emergency or when there is total blackout of communications and inaccessibility of the person of interest. Both the Indian contacts are inaccessible and have probably gone underground or are on the run - unless they have already been arrested and thrown behind bars -- disclosed officers from the Mumbai police.

The fallout of the Jadhav's arrest is the frantic counterwinding operations launched by the Indian agencies in India as also in Pakistan. According to experts, the operations which are connected to an operative have to be immediately erased or folded up soon after he is outed so that there is always a plausible deniability.

Shirish Thorat, New York-based security expert and former Indian police officer said, "In the event of an asset getting arrested the handlers immediately secure other related assets like Agents in Places (AIP) or regroup their operations and fold up all the ongoing or future tasks. This discontinuation of operations is far monumental a disaster than the arrest of an operative." In Jadhav's case too, the agencies have launched an expeditious exercise to retrace his footsteps and shut down all of his possible ongoing operations. The first step is to disown Jadhav as their operative and also ask the family to disassociate with him. Jadhav's family wanted to approach the top echelons of the government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, to exert pressure on Pakistan to release him.

When asked whether the ministry of external affairs has officially informed the Mumbai police so that the Jadhav family can be intimated about his arrest in Pakistan, Deven Bharti, joint commissioner of police (law and order), replied in negative.

Anonymous said...

Riaz Sb.,

Paul Zakaria is a South Indian writer. He was once asked about Indian nation, to which he replied "Indian nation comes into existence when there is stupid cricket match against Pakistan".

Artificial countries like India need external enemies for their existence. That is why it hasn't resolved a single border dispute, not even with Nepal.

Peace will come to South Asia when this neo-imperialist empire, that is the fountainhead of most evil in our region, disintegrates.

Zamir

Riaz Haq said...

Zamir sb: "Paul Zakaria is a South Indian writer. He was once asked about Indian nation, to which he replied "Indian nation comes into existence when there is stupid cricket match against Pakistan". "

Speaking about it a few years ago, the US South Asia expert Stephen Cohen of Brookings Institution said, " But there is no all-Indian Hindu identity—India is riven by caste and linguistic differences, and Aishwarya Rai and Sachin Tendulkar are more relevant rallying points for more Indians than any Hindu caste or sect, let alone the Sanskritized Hindi that is officially promulgated".

http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/08/chinese-strategist-argues-for-indias.html

Qasim said...

When are we giving evidence to United Nations? Also Pakistan USA ambassadors must be given full details and the videotape so they can see it. There should be no delay. After that they will know the truth of terrorist country India.

Riaz Haq said...

#India failed to provide evidence to #Pakistan JIT for #PathankotAttack http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/02-Apr-2016/india-failed-to-provide-evidence-to-pakistan-jit-for-pathankot-attack …

Indian authorities failed to provide evidence to Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team (JIT), visiting India to probe into Pathankot Airbase attack.

The JIT members visited Pathankot Airbase on March 29 where Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials briefed and showed them the route from where the attackers stormed the airbase.

Sources said the lights along the 24-km perimeter wall of the Pathankot airbase found to be faulty on the eve of the attack. The Pakistani investigators were allowed to enter the military airbase from the narrow adjacent routes instead of main entrance and their duration of the visit was just 55 minutes, enough to take a mere walk through the airbase, sources said and added that the JIT could not collect evidence in this limited time.

However, the team was only informed about the negligence of Boarder Security Force (BSF) and Indian forces, sources added. It was said that at the time of the attack the BSF was sleeping even though they had been alerted of a possible attack 48 hours earlier, sources said.

Man of Action said...

"Failed to provide"
I knew about the response before the start of investigation of JIT.
We all friends were almost ready to do for a campaign against the decision near BJP office but decided not to do so.
Because we know, BJP knows, what would be the response. Let them come once. Last doubt would be confirmed.

Riaz Haq said...

Business Recorder Editorial:

Only a senior, seasoned spy would so openly and copiously confess his espionage peccadilloes' as Kulbushan Yadav has done. Caught red handed, and realising his game is over for good, the best option with him was to tell the whole truth and win sympathies of his captors - and Yadav did just that. "My name is Commander Kulbushan Yadav and I am serving officer of Indian navy ... I was basically the man for Mr Anil Kumar Gupta who is the joint secretary of RAW and his contacts in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan Student Organisation". He couldn't be more candid. India has neither denied his existence nor his link with its navy; its only denial is, that as of now, Yadav is no more a serving officer. India was expected to dispute all what he has revealed, as any government would do, much less a country that is widely known for its interference in the internal affairs of its neighbours. And not that India's interference in Balochistan as revealed by Kulbushan Yadav is a rare breakthrough; India is involved in it for a long time now. The then prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, had conveyed Pakistan's concern over this to his then counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh at the 15th summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Sharm el-Sheikh; the latter had agreed to 'look into it'. And a few weeks earlier, Pakistan presented a complete dossier containing instances of India's spying adventures to stir up trouble in Balochistan to the United Nations. There is however one big departure from the previous times; now a serving officer of Indian armed forces has been caught red handed, an instance that tends to directly establish beyond any doubt, that India's intelligence agency, RAW, is engaged in fomenting state-sponsored terrorism in Balochistan, Karachi and some other parts of Pakistan. Pakistan would therefore be within its right to apprise the United Nations of India's nefarious designs and take into confidence its allies and neighbours on this. Since Yadav was using his presence in Iranian seaport Chahbahar as base for his subversive work in Pakistan, the Army Chief General Raheel Sharif thought it proper to inform visiting President Hassan Rouhani that his country's soil was being misused by the RAW, but certainly not that it had the blessings of his government.

India's obstructive mindset to disrupt the Pak-China co-operative relationship is not new nor does it seem to be relenting. Its latest target therefore is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, particularly the China-assisted development of the Gwadar seaport. Kulbushan Yadav's latest errand was to help RAW recruit 30 to 40 local people and attack the main hotel in Gwadar where Chinese engineers stay. He was also to exchange messages between the Baloch separatists and RAW. But before Yadav could undertake this errand, he was apprehended at the Sarawan checkpost as he crossed over from Iran. And now as Kulbushan Yadav sings like a canary, it comes to light how deeply involved New Delhi is in destabilising Pakistan. Since his first visits to Pakistan in 2003 and 2004 Yadav has been "directing various activities in Karachi and Balochistan at the behest of RAW". The government would do well by exposing India's sinister agenda against Pakistan. At a joint presser with Information Minister Pervez Rashid on Tuesday last, the ISPR chief, Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa, expressed determination that government will take the case of the RAW agent to its logical conclusion, using both international and regional forums. While we always knew how deeply India is involved in fomenting trouble and destabilising Pakistan, but the world outside remained indifferent and unmoved. Here is now irrefutable evidence of that sinister involvement, for the world to see and act in the larger interest of regional stability and peace between two nuclear rivals.

http://www.brecorder.com/editorials/0/32071/

Anonymous said...

It's not just India's investment in Chahbahar Port construction

Iran is growing close defense ties with India

Iran Navy plans to hold joint military drills with India

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2URWBlxc1zQ

Riaz Haq said...

Ex PM Gilani of #Pakistan ‘gave #India proof against #RAW’ at Sharm Al Shaikh summit in 2008 http://www.dawn.com/news/1249884

Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Sunday that interference in Balochistan by the Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), had been continuing for many years.

Talking to reporters after arriving at the Sheikh Zayed International Airport, he said India had always provided assistance to the separatists of Balochistan.

He said that during a meeting in 2008 with former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, he had discussed the issues of Kashmir, Balochistan, Siachen and Sir Creek and provided proofs of RAW’s interference in the province.

The matter of highlighting of these issues also surfaced in Indian parliament.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #India’s #Pakistan strategy: Neutralize, Demonize, Terrorize, Destabilize, Isolate #Pakistan http://www.dawn.com/news/1249653

INDIA’S ambitions of achieving Great Power status cannot be fully realised unless Pakistan is strategically neutralised. A conventional military defeat of Pakistan has been a costly and unlikely option ever since the latter acquired a credible nuclear deterrence capability. Pakistan has also built a strategic relationship with China which provides it with the capacity to balance, to a considerable extent, India’s larger military and economic capabilities.

India’s need to bring Pakistan to heel has intensified in the context of the emerging Great Power contest in Asia. Pakistan’s incorporation into an Indian sphere of influence would be a grave setback to China’s future role in South, West and Central Asia and the western Indian Ocean. The prospect of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, while India has no land access to the west and Central Asia, has added a new dimension to India’s determination to neutralise Pakistan. India’s strategic goals, if not its methods, are fully supported by the US and its allies.

India has adopted a complex strategy to wear down Pakistan’s resistance. This strategy encompasses: military and political pressure; subversion; terrorism; diplomatic isolation; media and public defamation and cultural domination.

r_sundar said...

Pakistan wants to eat the ice cream and have it to.
Pakistan as a country has the least favorable liking status in the world today, and no matter how trumpeting ISPR does, will change it - unless Pakistan gives up its state policy of supporting terrorists.

Riaz Haq said...

sundar: "Pakistan gives up its state policy of supporting terrorists."

The arrest and confession of a senior serving Indian Navy official working under cover as Hussein Mubarak Patel for RAW has clearly put the onus on India to explain to the world its sponsorship of terror in Pakistan. It can be a game-changer depending on how well Pakistan takes it forward. It will potentially force India to abandon its proxy war against Pakistan and engage in serious and sustained diplomacy to resolve conflicts.

r_sundar said...

That shabbily made confession video proves nothing. Time and time again Pakistan has proved it cannot be trusted.
I remember Kargil like yesterday, when Pakistan was mentioning no army was involved for months. The list is big...

Riaz Haq said...

sundar: "That shabbily made confession video proves nothing. Time and time again Pakistan has proved it cannot be trusted.
I remember Kargil like yesterday, when Pakistan was mentioning no army was involved for months. The list is big... "


There's nothing shabby about the video. Yadav looks relaxed and at ease. He's articulate. And he has given enough info that, according to Mumbai Mirror, has led to a temp halt to operations he was involved in. His associates have gone underground.


As to the Americans, they need little convincing because they already know India is using its presence in Afghanistan and Iran to conduct covert ops in Pakistan. It was confirmed by Chuck Hagel, US ex Sec of Defense and ex member of US Intelligence Committee who said as follows: "India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan".

Pips said...

Wishing too hard for something is often dangerous because when it comes true you don't know what to do. Looks like you were hoping that India was playing spy games in Balauchistan. I'm unsure if this true on a scale that you suggest, I would only be too happy if this is the case as a payback for Kashmir. Touché.
On a saner note, if only you and us on the other side of the divide spent half this time constructively......

Riaz Haq said...

#defense spending 2015: #India ($51.1b) ahead of #France ($50.9b), #Germany ($47b), #Japan ($46b). #Pakistan ($9b) http://ecoti.in/n8hYSa

India's share was 3.1 per cent, ahead of France (3 per cent), Japan (2.4 per cent) and Israel (1 per cent). Incidentally, India is in talks with all three countries for acquiring new military platforms running into billions of dollars.

"The headline estimate for total world military spending for 2015 amounts to $1.676 billion, or about 2.3 per cent of total world gross domestic product ( GDP)-- often referred to as the 'military burden'. It is a sum that many people would consider to be ..

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51701136.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan says it has arrested #Afghan intelligence agent in #Balochistan province. #NDS #RAW http://reut.rs/1XhhuE9 via @Reuters

Pakistan on Wednesday arrested a suspected Afghan spy believed to be behind assassinations and bombings in its Baluchistan province, security and government officials told Reuters.

The move comes two weeks after Pakistan detained another man it said was an Indian spy who illegally entered the country and was also captured in the mineral rich province.

"The arrested man is an Afghan national living in a rented house in Boghara area at the outskirts of Chaman town. Paramilitary forces raided the house on intelligence and detained him," Manzoor Ahmed spokesman for the paramilitary force said.

"He was working for Afghan spy agency National Directorate of Security (NDS)," Ahmed said. Initial interrogation pointed to an NDS role in killings and blasts in the Baluchistan cities of Chaman and Quetta.

The accused has not been identified and Afghan authorities did not immediately comment on the arrest.

Quetta, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan on Wednesday arrested a suspected Afghan spy believed to be behind assassinations and bombings in its Baluchistan province, security and government officials told Reuters.

The move comes two weeks after Pakistan detained another man it said was an Indian spy who illegally entered the country and was also captured in the mineral rich province.

"The arrested man is an Afghan national living in a rented house in Boghara area at the outskirts of Chaman town. Paramilitary forces raided the house on intelligence and detained him," Manzoor Ahmed spokesman for the paramilitary force said.

"He was working for Afghan spy agency National Directorate of Security (NDS)," Ahmed said. Initial interrogation pointed to an NDS role in killings and blasts in the Baluchistan cities of Chaman and Quetta.

The accused has not been identified and Afghan authorities did not immediately comment on the arrest.

"He was on the payroll of NDS," said Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, spokesman for the Baluchistan government.

Security forces also said they had seized a large arms and ammunition cache due to information gleaned from the Afghan.

Pakistan has uneasy relations with neighbor Afghanistan. Kabul has long accused Pakistan of sheltering the Afghan Taliban insurgency's leadership, a charge Islamabad denies.

For its part, Pakistan has demanded that Kabul do more to capture leaders of the separate Pakistani Taliban. They are believed to have sought refuge on Afghan soil after being dislodged in a Pakistani military operation from North Waziristan along the border.

Pakistan last month said it had detained a spy from regional arch rival India in Baluchistan who had illegally entered from Iran. It later released a videotaped confession by the man.

India has confirmed that the man was a former Indian navy official but denied he was a spy.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan wants air force upgrade for prolonged #militant fight. #terrorism #Taliban http://reut.rs/25MO2M3 via @Reuters

Pakistan wants to upgrade its aging fleet of fighter jets in anticipation of a prolonged battle against Islamist militants, although the purchase of fifth-generation planes would only be a last resort, a senior air force official said.

---
In 2014, the military launched a crackdown in the northwestern areas of North and South Waziristan and has managed to push back militants into a few pockets.

But its air force, which will need to retire dozens of jets over the coming years, lacks the latest technology and relies heavily on a fleet of about 70 U.S.-made Lockheed Martin F-16s, which are solely capable of carrying out precision targeting.

"Our concern is that we don't know how long these anti-terrorist operations will continue," Pakistan Air Force second-in-command Muhammad Ashfaque Arain told Reuters in an interview late on Wednesday.

"We have weakened them (militants) to a great extent, but I don't see an end in the very near future, so all the burden is being shared by the F-16s and its pilots."

---
Pakistan's fleet also includes hundreds of Dassault Aviation French-made Mirage jets that are over 40 years old and F7 Chinese warplanes that are over 25 years old, both of which the air force plans to retire over the next few years.

To fill the void, Islamabad has decided to bet on the JF-17 fighter, jointly developed by China and Pakistan, rather than spending billions on fifth-generation multi-role aircraft like Dassault's Rafale, which rival India is buying, or the Russian Su-35.

That option, Arain said, had almost been ruled out for being too expensive and because Pakistan did not want to mix technologies and resources. It would only be reconsidered if "it was pushed against a wall".

Instead, 16 JF-17s will be produced this year with a further 20 in 2017, but Arain acknowledged that the jets' usefulness in current operations was limited because it lacks precision targeting.

"Operationally, the aircraft are working pretty well so we if we had a targeting pod on the JF-17, the burden would be shared," Arain said.

He said his visit to Paris was in part aimed at assessing from French officials the prospects of supplying the Thales-made Damocles, a third-generation targeting pod. He said that was Islamabad's priority for now.

Previous negotiations in 2010 for a deal worth 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) worth of electronics and missiles collapsed under pressure from India, uncertainty over Pakistan's finances and fears of the transfer of technology given Chinese involvement in the JF-17.

"We're looking at the best option. The Damocles is a battle- proven system and the other options are not," Arain said. "If we do not get the Damocles pod for example, then we will need to look for alternate options that may not be proven."

He said that in the long run, the air force was thinking about its needs beyond 2030 when F-16s and JF-17s would start to be replaced.

The United States in February approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight F-16 fighter jets for the short term, but Arain said even that was proving complicated.

"It's a much cheaper fighter jet, but buying more F-16s is economically not feasible for us and then there is a lot of human outcry," he said.

Arain countered any suggestion that Pakistan might want greater air power to target India by saying that New Delhi itself was expanding its fleet.

"We get eight aircraft and there are people who start to say that it will tilt the balance of power in South Asia. But when somebody across the border buys 36 aircraft and has plans to buy 126, that doesn't change the balance of power," he said, referring to India.

Dan said...

Pakistan spends 9 billion dollars in military which is a much larger chunk of its GDP than India's 50 billion which is 2.4% of its GDP nominal. Not to mention Pakistan military diverts lot of resources with little oversight towards "Milibus".

Riaz Haq said...

Dan: "Pakistan spends 9 billion dollars in military which is a much larger chunk of its GDP than India's 50 billion which is 2.4% of its GDP nominal"

A lot more? Really? it's only 3.3% of Pakistan's $270 billion GDP, among the lowest in the world.

And this $9 billion is well spent given the strategic miitary parity Pakistan has achieved with India's $51 billion.


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4exPuIpS20s/VJJgirIJPhI/AAAAAAAAGEM/4VjNy_VizHE/s1600/Pak%2BDefense%2BExpenditure.png

Riaz Haq said...

The Indian Spy
Who Fell for Tibet
Sent by Britain to carry out a secret survey,
Sarat Chandra Das became enchanted instead.

Among the pundits, Das stood out, a scholar who offered his services as a spy in order to pursue his academic interests. It was as if James Bond volunteered to hunt down Blofeld, booking his own flights and hotels, all to improve his Japanese. Das persuaded his assistant, a lama named Ugyen Gyatso, to visit the Tashilhunpo monastery, in south-central Tibet, and talk him up as a theology student. The monastery’s prime minister was keen to learn Hindi, so Ugyen Gyatso, promising that Das was a fine tutor, wangled a passport for him. Presented with this document, Indian officials, now enthusiastic, gave Das indefinite leave and a crash course in spycraft. During his first trip, to Tashilhunpo in 1879, he studied Tibetan customs and so impressed the prime minister that he was invited back. In November 1881, Das returned, the vision of Lhasa glimmering before him.

The two reports Das wrote about his second, 14-month journey were kept confidential until the 1890s and then published, with severe redactions, in small print runs. In 1902, they were compiled into a book, ‘‘Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet.’’ The opening pages are tough going, brimming with place names: ‘‘On ascending about 3,000 feet above the Kalai valley, we enjoyed distant views of Pema-yangtse, Yantang, Hi, Sakyang, and other villages.’’ Still, all this was valuable information. In those days, so little was known that even the most quotidian details — the appearance of houses, the location of a pasture — shone with significance.
------
In the end, Das lingers in Lhasa for only two weeks and returns, via Tashilhunpo, to Darjeeling. In a sense, though, he never leaves Tibet. He names his house Lhasa Villa, and he spends the remainder of his life translating Tibetan texts, compiling a Tibetan-English dictionary, thinking incessantly about the land he left behind.

The epilogue mars the tale. After the nature of Das’s trip was discovered, the Chinese persecuted anyone who assisted him. Tashilhunpo’s prime minister was murdered, his body thrown into a river. In 1903-4, a British expedition finally broke into Lhasa, and soldiers freed a former official, imprisoned for 20 years for helping Das. The old man, The North China Herald reported, blinked ‘‘at the unaccountable light like a blind man whose sight had been miraculously restored.’’ The analogy is impossible to miss: Tibet, too, had been released from China’s iron fist into the light. But much of this was ephemeral. Half a century later, China snatched Tibet back into its orbit; the Dalai Lama fled into exile. Only Das’s beloved Lhasa endures, the gleaming white walls of Potala still draped over their outcrop of rock like fresh snow upon a mountaintop.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/magazine/the-indian-spy-who-fell-for-tibet.html?_r=0

Riaz Haq said...

#India Weighs Investing Up to $20 Billion in #Iran #Energy Industry & Ports. Aimed to hurt #Pakistan? http://bloom.bg/22m9pPD via @business

India may invest as much as $20 billion in Iran’s energy industry and ports and boost imports of crude from the the Persian Gulf nation if it gets favorable terms, India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in an interview.
Indian companies are evaluating opportunities to explore for oil and natural gas, build petrochemical plants and gas-processing facilities and expand ports including the new industrial hub of Chabahar, Pradhan said Saturday during a visit to Tehran. The two countries agreed to plan for development of Iran’s Farzad-B gas field, with the aim of deciding whether to award a contract to an Indian group by October, according to a copy of the memorandum signed by the ministers and posted on Pradhan’s Twitter account.
“We were importing a good amount of oil from Iran in the challenging days, so we will continue to import that amount,” Pradhan said. “That’s a business level discussion regarding my companies -- if they will be getting good terms they may increase their import.” India is buying about 350,000 barrels of Iranian crude a day, Iran’s oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, said after meeting Pradhan, according to the ministry’s news service Shana.
Paying Euros
Iran is seeking foreign investment to revive its oil, gas and petrochemical industries since international sanctions on its economy were removed in January. India was one of six buyers authorized to purchase Iranian oil under U.S. restrictions. Buyers still owe Iran oil payments because the curbs hampered their ability to transfer funds, and U.S. rules continue to bar them using dollars to pay for Iranian oil.
India will use euros to pay $6 billion in oil payments it owes Iran, Pradhan said.
Indian firms are targeting the development of Chabahar on Iran’s Gulf of Oman coast outside the Strait of Hormuz, he said. About a fifth of the oil consumed worldwide each day passes through the Strait, a shipping choke point that separates the Persian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean. Pradhan gave no target dates for potential investment in Iran by Indian companies.
Saudi Arabia is interested in investing in refineries that India is expanding, Pradhan said, referring to talks the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held during a visit this month to Saudi Arabia. Refineries planned by Hindustan Petroleum Corp. in Rajasthan and a new facility planned by India’s state-run oil processors were among the investment opportunities that Indian and Saudi officials discussed during that visit, he said.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif says #India intelligence #RAW waging covert war to stop #CPEC. #China

http://www.voanews.com/content/pakistan-accuses-india-plotting-against-deal-with-china/3282979.html


GWADAR, PAKISTAN—
Pakistan's military chief on Tuesday accused India's intelligence agency of planning subversive activities against his country's recently launched multi-billion-dollar economic cooperation agreement with China.

"I must highlight that India, our immediate neighbor, has openly challenged this development initiative," army chief General Raheel Sharif told a conference in the port city of Gwadar.

The newly built port in southwestern Baluchistan province is central to the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, which is a package of railroads, highways, pipelines and power plants estimated to cost $46 billion.

Sharif said "hostile intelligence agencies" are averse to this grand project, but that Pakistan is determined to protect and develop the CPEC, connecting western China to the Arabian Sea.

"I would like to make a special reference to Indian Intelligence Agency RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] that is blatantly involved in destabilizing Pakistan,” the general asserted.

History of suspicion

Pakistan has long accused India of training and funding separatist militants waging a low-level insurgency in Baluchistan.

Last month, Pakistani authorities announced they captured a suspected Indian spy in Baluchistan, identified as Kulbhushan Jadhav. The military also aired video footage of Jadhav saying he was working out of his base in Chabahar in neighboring Iran.

New Delhi has confirmed that Jadhav is a former Indian navy officer, but denied he has anything to do with RAW, saying he had taken early retirement from the military. It also rejected the video confession of Jadhav as induced by torture.

India says it has sought consular access to its detained national, but Pakistan has not yet responded.

Sharif described CPEC as a corridor of peace and prosperity, not only for the people of Pakistan and China, but also for the region and beyond.

"Therefore, it is important for all to leave behind confrontation, and focus on cooperation," he added.

Riaz Haq said...

#UK ex-diplomat in #Karachi #Pakistan says #MQM leader #AltafHusain acknowledged working for #India's #RAW http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/111645-UK-ex-diplomat-says-Altaf-accepted-working-for-RAW …

Britain’s former deputy head of Mission in Karachi Shaharyar Khan Niazi has claimed that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s leader Altaf Hussain voluntarily told the British government that he worked for the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Shaharyar Khan Niazi worked for the British High Commission in Karachi for over a decade but importantly he remained at the heart of the policymaking as far Britain’s dealing with the MQM was concerned during the most crucial period – from 2010 until 2013 – after he was promoted to the position of Deputy Head of Mission.

In his first ever exclusive interview for ‘Geo News’ with this correspondent after quitting his post in the middle of 2013, Shahryar Khan Niazi revealed that Altaf Hussain confessed to his involvement with RAW during a high-profile diplomatic meeting in late 2011/early 2012. Niazi claimed that the British government and Scotland Yard had evidence that a written agreement existed between the MQM and the Indian premier spy agency RAW.

The former UK diplomat is privy to crucial information and was witness – as well as a part of it being in his important position - to the sensitive and important communications went on between the UK authorities and the MQM. According to Shahryar Khan Niazi, there is evidence linking Altaf Hussain with the Indian government.

“The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is well aware of the fact that Altaf Hussain has links with RAW.”

When asked what the evidence was that the UK had on Altaf Hussain's links to RAW, the former deputy head of mission told Geo News: “There is a lot of evidence but let me share with you the most important one. Firstly, a member of Her Majesty’s diplomatic service officially called on Altaf Hussain around 2011/12 and during that meeting Altaf Hussain voluntarily confessed and accepted that he worked for RAW. Secondly, there is evidence that Altaf Hussain’s team facilitated contacts between the RAW and Baloch insurgents. Hussain’s team helped bring the two together. Thirdly, there are financial trail of links with the RAW; and fourthly, confessional statements about these links exist and one of these has been leaked already, there are on-the-record interviews and confessions. What has come out in the public domain so far is only a tip of the iceberg.”

The former deputy head of mission made the most damning revelation that Altaf Hussain and his team had a documented agreement with RAW and the police had evidence of that. “Altaf Hussain and his team have a Service Delivery Agreement with RAW. Basically, an agreement as to what Altaf Hussain and his team will deliver for the RAW. There are communication exchanges, including emails. This evidence was found by Scotland Yard during the murder investigation of Dr Imran Farooq and the money-laundering investigation.”

The former top diplomat made startling revelation that the then interior minister of Pakistan under Pakistan People’s Party government Rehamn Malik was briefed by the British government that Altaf Hussain had links with RAW”.

Shaharyar Khan Niazi told Geo News: “Rehman Malik was briefed officially by the British government about Altaf's links to RAW a couple of times".

Shahryar Khan Niazi also said that "there was credible information to suggest that the Interior Minister (Rehman Malik) met Altaf Hussain and told him that he had spoken to the British Home Secretary (Theresa May) and that on his (Malik’s) intervention all the police investigations in relation to the MQM leader would be terminated and all charges would be dropped against Altaf Hussain.

The former deputy head of mission said that the British government confronted Rehamn Malik on this issue, based on information. “The interior minister was confronted by the UK government and asked not to make false statements or claims.”

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #RAW runs special cell to sabotage #CPEC, says #Pakistan Def Secretary. #Afghan NDS #RAW's partner. #China

http://www.dawn.com/news/1251860

Indian intelligence agency RAW has established a special cell at its Head Quarters in New Delhi to sabotage China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and the plan is executed via Afghanistan, said Secretary Defence Gen (retd) Alam Khattak on Wednesday.

“RAW and Afghan NDS have launched joint secret operations against Pakistan by using three Indian consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar and Mazar e Sharif,” said secretary defence.

“The three consulates in Afghanistan are providing weapons, money, training and other logistical support to agents for subversive activities in FATA, Balochistan and Karachi,” added Khattak.

Read: RAW involved in destabilising Pakistan, says General Raheel

Secretary defence, flanked by senior defence officials, was briefing Senate defence committee which met at Parliament House earlier today.

RAW has also set-up a cell at NDS HQ in Kabul for coordinating anti-Pakistan activities, said Khattak.

Referring to the recent arrest of Kulbushan Jadhav, a deep cover RAW operative arrested from Balochistan, the secretary defence elaborated that his entire network has been dismantled by Pakistani security agencies.

Khattak, also shed light on Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and its disbursement since 9/11. He explained to the committee that 40 per cent of the amount received was allocated to civil government while 60pc was given to the armed forces.

Pakistan received $13 billion under CSF since 9/11, and another $200 million is due to be given by the United States.

"CSF is going to be closed on September 30, 2016", said Khattak

Earlier, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, speaking at the Peace and Prosperity seminar in Balochistan, said Indian intelligence agency RAW is actively involved in destabilising Pakistan.

“Hostile intelligence agencies are averse to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” said the chief of army staff.

Jadhav's arrest
Law enforcement agencies announced the arrest of Jadhav during an intelligence-based raid in Balochistan's Chaman last week.

The Indian Foreign Ministry earlier confirmed the arrested man was a former Indian Navy officer, but the Pakistani government claimed to have recovered travel documents and multiple fake identities of Jadhav, establishing him as an Indian spy who entered into Balochistan through Iran — holding a valid Iranian visa.

Jadhav was shifted to Islamabad for interrogation, during which an unnamed official said the spy revealed that he had purchased boats at the Iranian port in Chabahar in order to target Karachi and Gwadar ports in a terrorist plot. The official had said the 'RAW agent' is believed to be expert at Naval fighting techniques.

Also read: Jadhav's phone calls to family in Marathi gave him away: report

After Jadhav's arrest, Pakistan summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to lodge a strong protest over 'India's spying activities' in Balochistan and Karachi.

Following revelations by the Indian spy, security was tightened across Balochistan, especially at the shared borders with Iran and Afghanistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#India NSA Ajit Doval expected to object to #China #Pakistan Economic Corridor. #CPEC - The Economic Times

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/nsa-ajit-doval-expected-to-object-to-china-pakistan-economic-corridor/articleshow/51818388.cms

The CPECBSE -4.45 % runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Even as Beijing claims this is purely a commercial project, India believes three divisions of the Chinese Army are stationed in the PoK part of the CEPC, setting off alarm bells in New Delhi.

Doval was likely to object to the $46-billion project, besides China's veto in the UN against India's call to ban Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist Masood Azhar, people familiar with the developments indicated. China is un ..


Doval's assertions would come in the backdrop of Pak Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif 's allegation that India was seeking to undermine Chinese investments in the CPEC. "I must highlight that India has openly challenged this development initiative," Gen Sharif said at a conference in Gwadar Port, a part of CPEC, on Monday.

Riaz Haq said...

“The (#Gwadar) port will be in full operation by end of this year (2016)” Zhang Baozhong. #China #Pakistan #CPEC
http://www.voanews.com/content/china-pakistan-ready-new-cargo-port/3285375.html


Gwadar, jointly developed by Chinese and Pakistani engineers, lies at the convergence of three of the most commercially important regions of the world, the oil-rich Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia.

“The port will be in full operation by end of this year,” said Zhang Baozhong, chairman of China Overseas Ports Holding Company Ltd., who is in charge of development and operation at Gwadar.

The deep water shipping port, built with Chinese financial and technical assistance, is central to the recently launched grand cooperation agreement between the two close allies.

Trading zone expected in the future

The so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, known as CPEC, is a package of building railroads, highways, pipelines, power plants and industrial zones with an investment of $46 billion. It will also give Beijing greater access through Pakistan to global markets, including Africa and Europe.

​Baozhong told a conference of officials, politicians and foreign diplomats in Gwadar, that almost no trading activity is taking place at Gwadar right now but that is expected in a year.

“We are expecting that roughly one million tons of material will go in and out,” he said.


Initially, most of the cargo will be construction material worth billions of dollars for ongoing and proposed projects such as building roads, schools, hospitals, a free trade zone at the port, and the city’s international airport, which is expected to be started by the end of this year, explained Baozhong.

Gwadar is located in Baluchistan province where separatist groups have, for decades, waged guerrilla attacks against key government facilities, officials and security forces.

Security measures

Pakistani authorities in recent months have stepped up what they say are targeted operations against the insurgents and have also raised a special force within the past year for the protection of CPEC-related projects in and beyond the province.

“I assure you that security of CPEC is our national undertaking and we will not leave any stone unturned. We will continue to keep a close watch at its every step.To this effect, a 15,000-strong, dedicated force is already in place under the ambit of Special Security Division,” said the Pakistan military chief, General Raheel Sharif, while addressing the conference in Gwadar.

Chinese officials also said that Pakistan’s counter-militancy efforts have addressed safety concerns to “a great extent” and sped up on all the projects in the last year.

“The improved environment in Pakistan has created favorable conditions for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.A remarkable progress has been made in CPEC projects,” said acting Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Zhao Lijian, in his speech to the conference.

Chinese operators of Gwadar's port say they are also developing a mechanism to improve quantity and quality of the local fishing industry to help boost the region’s economy.

A 923-hectare free trade zone outside the port, expected to be in place by the end of next year, will have a large processing plant, a large refrigeration house, and other facilities to improve seafood exports, said Baozhong.

Riaz Haq said...

Chahbahar vs Gwadar ports:

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Though both countries (India and Iran) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on development of the (Chahbahar) port in May 2014, there is little to report about progress on the ground. As per the MoU, the Chabahar port will be used to ship crude oil and urea. India aspires to set up a multi-purpose cargo and container terminal besides petrochemical and fertilizer plants.

Last year, India allocated mere $150 million for work on the Iranian port situated 72km west of Gwadar harbour while core issues, such as land allocation for its special economic zone (SEZ), face teething problems. With sanctions recently lifted, India is promising the moon and beyond to Tehran in its bid to maximise benefits of the project.

Last week, the Indian petroleum minister wooed Iran by projecting likely investment of the private sector of up to $20 billion. Delhi has expressed interest in setting up an LNG plant and a gas cracker too. Unlike the case of China in Gwadar, the Indian official was merely promising what the private sector can do given the enabling conditions.

Many ambitious proposals made by the Persians and the Indians are too nascent for investment to be pledged and deadlines to be set. Though both sides don’t lack commitment, tricky issues of competitive pricing and tariffs require more than political will. Some reports suggest that India has been offered gas at a cheaper rate of $2.95 per mmBtu but Delhi isn’t happy still. Be it Tehran or Delhi, bureaucracies remain lousy and old-fashioned, even in the absence of UN sanctions.

Is it a win for South Asia?
India wants to grab Chabahar but without a clear plan about its utility. The wish-list is recent and evolving. The bigger questions of feasibility of logistical linkages still remain unanswered. Like Pakistan and India, Iran too is competing for the Afghan market and reconstruction opportunities. The same holds ground regarding trade and services for Central Asian republics. The sanction may have gone but financial liquidity is not there yet. The road network and rail link vital to connect Chabahar to Central Asian states are capital intensive and time-consuming projects. The billion-dollar question here is whether India will come forward like China has, and will the Persians accept it?

In the case of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, no such hiccups exist. Even a change in Islamabad’s power circles in the wake of Panama Papers won’t impede ventures associated with the Chinese corridor.
Sink or swim?

Meanwhile, the Gwadar project has been vigorously pursued by Pakistan and China alike. Balochistan government and security forces have employed political resources and tactical measures alike to impose the state’s writ. With the arrest of senior level Indian naval spy, Islamabad may not treat southern Balochistan as its outpost, which was the case for decades.
Many analysts believe India has greater interest in Chabahar serving as a base for its blue water navy than a harbinger of cross-Central Asia trade. In the same vein, numerous Chinese observers foresee Gwadar port to be as much its economic hub as a strategic naval outpost.

Notwithstanding, Iran has its own share of problems in the predominantly Sunni and marginalised Sistan-Balochistan region. In an unprecedented move, Ayatollah’s praetorian guards are holding full-dress drills with its latest weaponry near Pakistan border. Bypassing the political government, the Revolutionary Guards commanders have been hurling veiled threats to Pakistan. For post-sanction theocratic states, balancing between economic ambitions and strategic aspirations is a tall order. China, for that matter, won’t be pleased over such overture for India is not a bigger investor in Iran than her.

http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/chabahar-gwadar-port-contest-does-not-end-in-a-tie/

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1083421/analysis-chabahar-gwadar-port-contest-does-not-end-in-a-tie/

Riaz Haq said...

#Balochistan separatist Naela Qadir in #Canada: #India is our friend,no problem being called #RAW agents" #Pakistan
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/india-lacks-the-political-will-to-take-an-initiative-in-balochistan/

Baloch separatist Naela Qadir Baloch, now living in exile in Canada, is touring India for the past several days to talk about Balochstan

"Every other day the construction activities of this corridor (CPEC) come under attack from our boys. The roads which are being built are destroyed and recently a radar station was destroyed due to which the visit of Chinese Prime Minister to Gwadar was cancelled casuing much embarrassment to Pakistan government. China is looting the resources of our province including the gold reserves and turning a blind eye to the genocide of the Baloch"


Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan, #China to launch remote sensing satellite to monitor #CPEC projects - #SUPARCO #CGWIC The Economic Times

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/pakistanchina-to-launch-satellite-to-monitor-cpec-projects/articleshow/51924288.cms


Pakistan and China have signed an agreement for the launch of a special satellite to monitor the development of the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal on behalf of Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and China Great Wall Industry Cooperation (CGWIC) President Yin Limping signed the agreement here yesterday.

The two sides agreed for the development and launch of the 'Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) System' and in this regard launch a satellite in June 2018, Dawn reported.

Speaking on the occasion, Iqbal said that bilateral cooperation between the two countries in space domain would open new vistas of socio-economic and scientific cooperation, giving boost to the historic bilateral cordial relations in other fields.

Space technology is fundamental in socio-economic development, infrastructure upgradation, agriculture production, urban planning in new age, he added.

The minister said that the agreement would also transfer space technology to Pakistan and the PRSS-1 is yet another flagship project between China-Pakistan relations after CPEC.

It would go a long way to redefine the bilateral relations, he said.

The new project would also help Pakistan in national security arena by strengthening border security and surveillance apparatus, Iqbal said.

The CPEC is a $46 billion project launched with the help of China to connect western China to southern Pakistan's port city of Gawadar, giving Beijing an opening to the Arabian Sea.

India has been protesting the corridor's passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir ever since the project was kicked off by President Xi Jinping during his visit to Islamabad last year.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts on Sardar Akbar Bugti from Economist Magazine in 2006:

To reach the cave Mr Bugti calls home, your correspondent trekked for a week through scorched valleys and moonlit hills, circumventing army pickets. Though half-crippled by thrombosis, Mr Bugti, who claims to have killed his first man at the age of twelve, was in good spirits. “It is better to die quickly in the mountain than slowly in bed,” he said, surrounded by a silent crowd of Bugti gunmen. A fan of Nietzsche and Genghis Khan, he speaks perfect English and delights in punctiliously-pronounced discourses on the love-life of camels and wreaking horrible revenge on his foes. “What is better than seeing your enemies driven before you and then taking their women to bed?” he says.

While Bugti tribesmen harry the army, a mysterious outfit, the Baluchistan Liberation Army, which the government says is also run by the sardars, is attacking policemen and soldiers across the province. Both groups are believed to have received assistance from India, across the nearby porous border with Afghanistan. In the past few years, 400 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the conflict, as well as several hundred people in army attacks. Pakistan's Human Rights Commission has documented government atrocities, including a massacre of 12 civilians in January.

Mr Bugti has a dreadful history of oppressing his people, yet the grievances he claims to be fighting for are real. Moreover, Pakistanis see the conflict as an extension of an even more unpopular campaign General Musharraf is waging against Pushtun Islamic fundamentalists in the northern tribal areas. In the past two years, for no obvious gain, over 600 soldiers have been killed there—including six on June 26th in a suicide bomb attack in North Waziristan tribal agency.

General Musharraf is believed to be sincere in wanting to bring greater prosperity to Baluchistan—and to make it the hub of Pakistan's energy sector. Yet he seems convinced that to end its insurgency, he has only to crush the bothersome sardars. In that, though, he is wrong.

http://www.economist.com/node/7121811

Riaz Haq said...

#Afghan intelligence officer arrested by #Pakistan in #Chaman, #Balochistan for crossing border illegally. #India

http://www.dawn.com/news/1255022

An officer of the Afghan intelligence agency was arrested inside Pakistani territory near Chaman border crossing in Balochistan on Thursday, the interior ministry said.

The ministry said the Afghan officer named Rozi Khan — reportedly a second lieutenant in the intelligence unit of the Afghan army — was arrested by Fedral Intelligence Agency (FIA) officials in Chaman over charges of crossing the border without possessing any authentic travel documents to enter into Pakistan.

The Afghan official was handed over to intelligence agencies by FIA which then shifted him to an undisclosed location for questioning, DawnNews reported.

It further reported that the intelligence agencies are currently interrogating the arrested Afghan officer.

Earlier this month, an agent working for the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan's premier spy agency – was also arrested from Chaman district by Frontier Corps.

The arrest of suspected Afghan intelligence officials comes after forces arrested an Indian agent Kulbushan Jadhav from Balochistan, who Pakistan said was involved in "terror activities" in the province.

Law enforcement agencies announced the arrest of Jadhav during an intelligence-based raid in Balochistan's Chaman last month.

The Indian Foreign Ministry earlier confirmed the arrested man was a former Indian Navy officer, but the Pakistani government claimed to have recovered travel documents and multiple fake identities of Jadhav, establishing him as an Indian spy who entered into Balochistan through Iran — holding a valid Iranian visa.

Riaz Haq said...

#Nepal is becoming like #Kashmir with strong anti-#India feelings. Opportunity for #Pakistan?

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/nepal-is-becoming-like-kashmir-with-anti-india-feelings-nishikant-dubey-bjp-2795978/


Under the 1950 India-Nepal treaty, we allowed people from Nepal to freely enter our country and take up jobs here. Since then, Naxalism has emerged as a big issue, and the corridor from Pashupati in Nepal to Tirupati in India is a belt of mines and minerals. Due to the porous border with Nepal, countries like China and Pakistan, and agencies like ISI have explored that route. Nepal is becoming like Kashmir with anti-India sentiments brewing within. We should fence the border like we have done with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Why did you blame the Gandhis for ties with Nepal turning sour?
In 1986-87, (the then PM) Rajiv Gandhi imposed a blockade on Nepal for three months and ensured that no water, salt or oil reached the Himalayan country. Between 1971 and 1975, (then PM) Indira (Gandhi) never took Nepal into confidence on the Bangladesh issue, nor when Sikkim was merged into our territory. The same is true of Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies during India’s war with China in 1962. This is why Nepal feels that India is unjust towards it.
The Opposition has blamed Narendra Modi for the situation with Nepal.
All this didn’t happen in one day. Nepal was a Hindu nation that became a secular country. Modi is the first Indian PM to visit Nepal in a very long time since he wanted to maintain good ties with the country. People there also welcomed him. But over the years, the relations have deteriorated so badly that it cannot be mended in a day.
Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli also has accused India of trying to destabilise his government.
He is the eighth prime minister Nepal has got since the end of monarchy there. Nepal is trying to blame India for its internal turmoil.
Didn’t it all start go downhill after India tried to dictate terms during the drafting of Nepal’s Constitution last year?
Nepal shares its border with us, and over the years the country has been responsible for fuelling agitation among its Madheshi population there. It is a matter of concern for us. Any law and order situation there will mean pan inflow of refugees to India and it will then be our responsibility.`

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts of an NPR Fresh Air interview with Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize winning author of "The Sympathizer":


one of the first movies that I remember watching was "Apocalypse Now." I was probably about 10. And I think that was the first indication, also, that I had that there was something called this war and that this was how Americans saw this war as one that had divided them. And that was my first glimmering that there was something like a civil war happening in the American soul and that we as Vietnamese people were caught up in that because I watched that movie as a good, American boy who had already seen some American war movies - John Wayne in World War II.

And I was cheering for the American soldiers until the moment in "Apocalypse Now" where they started killing Vietnamese people. And that was an impossible moment for me because I didn't know who I was supposed to identify with, the Americans who were doing the killing or the Vietnamese who were dying and not being able to speak?

And that moment has never left me as the symbolic moment of my understanding that this was our place in an American war, that the Vietnam War was an American war from the American perspective and that, eventually, I would have to do something about that.


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Their function is to literally just be stage props for an American drama. And my narrator understands this. And he understands it very intellectually and viscerally that what is happening here is that Hollywood is the unofficial ministry of propaganda for the Pentagon, that its role is to basically prepare Americans to go fight wars by making them focus only on the American understanding of things and to understand others as alien and different and marginal, even to their own histories, right?

And so his belief is that he can somehow try to subvert this ministry of propaganda, this vast war epic that is going to continue to kill Vietnamese people in a cinematic fashion, which is simply the prelude to actually killing Vietnamese people in real life. So he believes that he can try to make a difference. And, of course, the humor and the tragedy is that he can't.


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you know, that the United States lost the war, in fact, in 1975. But for the very same reason that the United States was able to wage a war in which it lost 58,000 American soldiers, which is a human tragedy, but was able to create the conditions by which 3 million Vietnamese people died of all sides and 3 million Laotians and Cambodians died during those years and in the years afterwards.

For the very same reasons that the industrial power of the United States is able to produce this vast inequity of death, that's the same reason that the United States, in the years afterward, through its incredibly powerful cultural industry, is able to win the war in memory because wherever you go outside of Vietnam, you have to deal with American memories of the Vietnam War. Inside Vietnam, you have to confront Vietnamese memories. But outside, wherever I've gone and talked about the Vietnam War and memory, one of the first questions that I get is what do you think of "Apocalypse Now?" So...

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Americans are preoccupied with their own experiences. That's an exact replication of the mindset that got us into Vietnam and that has now allowed Americans to remember the Vietnam War in a certain way that makes it an America war.


http://www.npr.org/2016/05/17/478384200/author-viet-thanh-nguyen-discusses-the-sympathizer-and-his-escape-from-vietnam

Riaz Haq said...

Media's Use of Propaganda to Persuade People's Attitude, Beliefs and Behaviors
Johnnie Manzaria & Jonathon Bruck
War & Peace: Media and War

https://web.stanford.edu/class/e297c/war_peace/media/hpropaganda.html


Based on the relations between the United States and France and Pakistan, we predicted that propaganda would exist in the American media that portrays the powerful nuclear technology of France significantly more positively than that of Pakistan. We will analyze specific examples of such propaganda based on a methodical process as described below.

Case Study #1: Social Proof, Societal Norms, Similarity, and Dehumanization

Studying media coverage of Pakistan’s nuclear achievement, it becomes clear that a certain amount of propaganda was used to make Pakistan appear threatening. The fact that Pakistan developed the technology was not what shaped the articles, but rather how this information was presented to the reader. In a sense, the propagandists were looking to turn Pakistan into an enemy of sorts, a country to be feared, instead of embraced.

One method used to by propagandists to create an enemy is through the technique of social proof. One way in which we process information is by observing what other people are doing that are similar to us or linking them to social norms. "When we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct" (Cialdini 106). Since it is almost impossible for the common American to be an expert in nuclear cause and effects, he looks to what others say as a means to form his opinion. This allows him to be persuade to an ideology not of his own. Furthermore, it is possible to rely on past stereotypes as form of linking one idea to another group.

For example, articles that took such an approach attempted to use a subset of social proof, where one casts the enemy by declaring it to be a friend of an already established enemy. For instance, in order to persuade the American public to think of Pakistan in such terms, media will link Pakistan to historically defined United States enemies such Libya, Iran, Iraq and the former Soviet Union. This tactic plays on the principle of social proof in which people look for justifications to quickly form their beliefs. Thus, linking to a country America already has shared beliefs about quickly allows one to associate and project the existing beliefs on the new group, which in this case is Pakistan.

An article in the Washington Post took such an approach by starting with a quote from the Iranian Foreign Minister, congratulating Pakistan. "From all over the world, Muslims are happy that Pakistan has this capability," the Minister was quoted at the start of the article (Moore and Khan A19). By beginning with this quote, the article ensured a link would be established between Iran and Pakistan, playing off the propaganda theory of similarity, in which we fundamentally like people who are similar to us and share our beliefs, values, and ideas. Therefore, an object deemed as bad or dissimilar will make all associated objects bad as well and allows the media to use social proof and similarity to create an enemy as friend of enemy. Arguably, the presentation of this quote may be deemed important factually for the development of the article, but the placement of the quote right at the start of the article strongly suggest propagandistic intentions.

To strengthen the feel of Pakistan as a friend of the enemy, the article continues to use the dissimilar tactic or hatred through association by further linking Pakistan with Syria Libya:

At the same time, the prospect that Pakistan could share its nuclear technology with other Islamic states, or serve as their protector, concerns many Western analysts, who fear that nuclear materials and technology may fall into the hands of countries the West has branded sponsors of terrorism, such as Syria and Libya (Moore and Khan A19).

Riaz Haq said...

#India Caucus in #US Congress, largest single country caucus, pillar of support in #Washington The Economic Times

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-caucus-a-pillar-of-support-for-india-us-ties-ambassador-arun-singh/articleshow/47624978.cms

The India-Caucus, the largest country specific caucus in the us House of Representatives, is a pillar of support for relationship between the two countries and is well poised to play an important role in strengthening India-US ties, India's top diplomat to the US has said.

Powerful and influential American lawmakers, including Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce and its Ranking Member Eliot Engel along with the two Co-Chairs of the Caucus Ami Bera and George Holding, attended and addressed the reception during which they praised Singh's contribution in strengthening India-US ties.


Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47624978.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Riaz Haq said...

Barhumdagh's cousin, Shahzain, grandson of Akbar Bugti, backs #Pakistan, ready to fight #India. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/barhumdagh-bugtis-cousin-backs-pakistan-says-will-fight-india-3049839/ … via @IndianExpress

In a sign of internal rivalry in the Baloch separatist movement, Brahumdagh Bugti’s cousin has said he would fight for Pakistan in the event of a war with India. Shahzain Bugti, a grandson of slain Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, has said that if war breaks out with India he and his tribal warriors would fight against Indian troops along with the Pakistan Army.

Shahzain, a cousin of Geneva-based Brahumdagh who has sought asylum in India, said at the annual convention of the Jamhoori Watan Party which was formed by his grandfather that the Bugti tribe would always stand in defence of Pakistan.
“Brahumdagh can stay in India or Geneva that is his personal decision. But as far as I or the party is concerned we will always follow the dictates of Nawab Akbar Bugti,” Shahzain said.
He said his grandfather had opted for Pakistan at the time of Partition and his party would remain loyal to this ideology.
“Nawab Akbar Bugti was always with Pakistan and in the past also our tribesmen fought for Pakistan. Nothing has changed. Our ideology is the same. Even today if India goes to war with Pakistan we will defend the Pakistani borders,” he said.
Ever since nationalist leader Akbar Bugti was killed in a military operation in August, 2006, there has been a war of succession between three of his grandsons including Shahzain and Brahumdagh who are both claimants to the title of the tribe’s chieftainship, and have refused to recognise Aali Bugti as his successor.
Akbar Bugti had decided to nominate Brahumdagh as his successor during his lifetime but met with resistance from several tribal elders.
He had informally appointed Brahumdagh as his political successor and Mir Aali as his tribal successor. Brahumdagh, who has been living in Switzerland, on Tuesday approached the Indian Embassy in Geneva seeking political asylum in India. His application was received by the Home Ministry in New Delhi which is examining it.
The troubled Balochistan province has been in the eye of a storm since Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the atrocities and human rights violations being committed in the province. India has also raised the Balochistan issue at the UN.
On Saturday, several hundred tribesmen also held a demonstration against India insisting they would fight side by side with the Pakistan military if war breaks out.