Sunday, September 25, 2016

Can India "Punish" Pakistan After Uri?

Can India’s changing claims on Uri attack withstand close scrutiny by independent observers, media and analysts?

Why is India unwilling to accept UN-led mission to investigate the causes of the Intifada and Indian military’s human rights abuses in Kashmir?

Does Modi have the capacity to follow through on his and his government’s bellicose war rhetoric against Pakistan?

Will India succeed in distracting the world’s attention from its brutal occupation of Kashmir? Is Pakistan isolated in the world as claimed by the Indian media?

Can all resistance to foreign military occupations in Afghanistan, Kashmir and elsewhere be dismissed as “terrorism”?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with panelists Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (

Can India Punish Pakistan After Uri from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

700,000 Indian Soldiers Versus 10 Million Kashmiris

Kulbhushan Yadav Arrest in Balochistan

Is Pakistan Ready For War With India?

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Speech at UN General Assembly

What is India Hiding From UN Human Rights Commission?

Talk4Pak Think Tank

VPOS Youtube Channel

VPOS Vimeo Channel


19640909rk said...

Of course, we can and we will punish Pakistan. Once we close the water tap, you guys will know better than to get into fights with us. Agricultural lands on Punjab will start drying up. Then Pakistan will come crying to us. Then and only then Pakistan will know the value of a good neighbor.

Riaz Haq said...

19640909rk: "Once we close the water tap, you guys will know better than to get into fights with us"

Read what you own Indian diplomat-politician Sashi Tharoor says about this idea of India unilaterally abrogating IWT:

The possibility of India revisiting the Indus Waters Treaty signed with Pakistan in 1960 has also aroused some strategists, and even MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup, who said pointedly that “any cooperative arrangement requires goodwill and mutual trust on both sides”.
Under the treaty, India has control over three eastern rivers — Beas, Ravi and Sutlej —and Pakistan the western rivers of the Chenab and Jhelum. Swarup darkly hinted that it was in jeopardy: “For any such treaty to work, it is important there must be mutual trust and cooperation. It cannot be a one-sided affair.”
But the treaty under which the waters of the Indus and its five tributaries are distributed between the two countries is not purely a bilateral affair; it was brokered by the World Bank, whose involvement will be automatically triggered if India unilaterally abrogates it.

Nor can it be done like turning off a tap; various measures would be required to ensure that Indian cities do not get flooded with the water that is no longer flowing to Pakistan.

And then, we would set a precedent and we would be loath to see China follow on the Brahmaputra, where it is we who are downstream. We have long been a model state in our respect for international law, and our adherence to morality in foreign policy, even offering humanitarian assistance to Pakistan after earthquakes and floods.
Starving people by cutting off their water would be profoundly unworthy of us. This is why the treaty has, as Omar Abdullah recently pointed out, survived four wars and a unanimous resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly calling for its scrapping.
Under the existing Treaty provisions, however, India is entitled to make use of the waters of the western rivers for irrigation, storage, and even for producing electricity, in a “non-consumptive” manner, through “run-of-the-river” projects that do not reduce the ultimate flow to Pakistan.
Oddly enough, we have never taken advantage of these provisions, which are exactly what the Chinese say they are doing with their frenetic dam building on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra, upstream from India. If we were simply to do what we are allowed to under the Treaty — we are entitled to store up to 3.6 million acre feet on the western rivers — it would be a more effective signal to Pakistan than arch statements from the MEA.

Riaz Haq said...

A Military Attack on #Pakistan Will Lead to #India's Worst Nightmare. #Kashmir #Modi … via @thewire_in

The key to peace in the region is to tackle the roots of the tension, which is the dispute over Kashmir.

Delhi’s decision, in the aftermath of the Uri attack, to ‘go on the strategic offensive’ against terrorist attacks launched with the support, if not connivance, of the Pakistan government has been noted all over the world. Few commentators had expected any other reaction. But unless it is planned meticulously with a precise definition of its objective and a careful appraisal of the alternatives for achieving it, such a shift is fraught with danger.

Indian TV has been baying for blood, but the goal of the Modi government should not be to ‘punish’ Pakistan for its sins, but to force it to give up using terrorism as a tool of foreign policy altogether. Such an effort is long overdue, but cannot be made by India alone, for the circumstances of Pakistan’s birth ensure that the entire nation will willingly commit suicide rather than bend its knee to India.

India can achieve this goal only in concert with other nations and heads of government. As the almost empty UN General Assembly hall to which Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave his address so eloquently showed, the time for a concerted effort to get Pakistan off this track is ripe. So the relentless, ugly, jingoistic drum-beating that is being indulged in by TV channels vying for TRP ratings, and the threats of disproportionate retaliatory strikes being voiced by RSS/BJP functionaries, is not only unnecessary, but is also likely to prove self defeating because it is arousing dormant fears in the rest of the world not only of a nuclear war in South Asia, but of the prolonged nuclear winter that will follow in its wake.

Lest this sound fanciful, we need only remember that a mere 20,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide spewed into the stratosphere by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1990 brought down the global average temperature in 1991 by half a degree Celsius and caused a severe drought in sub-Saharan Africa. We have no precise idea what a full-scale nuclear war will release into the atmosphere, but it is also worth remembering that 650,000 years ago, during the coldest ice age of the past million years, the global average surface temperature was only five degrees below what it is today.

Anonymous said...

"Read what you own Indian diplomat-politician Sashi Tharoor says about this idea of India unilaterally abrogating IWT:"

So China can tell to the world "go to hell" when it comes to South China sea, but India can't do what it wants.

Anyhow Modi has declined to scrap IWT , though he is going to start projects to build the dam. Pakistan is going to pay the price.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "So China can tell to the world "go to hell" when it comes to South China sea, but India can't do what it wants."

If India thinks it can turn off the tap on Pakistan in violation of a long-standing international IWT treaty, then China can also cut off Brahmaputra water to India in the absence of any similar China-India water-sharing treaty.

And, unlike India, China does have the proven ability to build lots of large dams quickly to starve India.

Riaz Haq said...

BBC quotes defense analysts as saying that India "lacks capacity" while the Economist magazine says India "lacks a brain" to act against Pakistan.

I think India lacks the courage to do it.

The Indians know Pakistan's response will be swift and fierce. It will induce the kind of "fear and panic" that is described in chapter 8 titled "Of Cowardice and Panic" by RD Pradhan in his book "1965 War: The Inside Story".

Mr. Pradhan has devoted an entire chapter of his book to how General Jayanto Nath Chaudhuri, the Indian Army Chief, badly panicked when Pakistani forces mounted a fierce counter-attack during 1965 war. At one point, Gen Chaudhuri ordered Gen Harbakhash Singh to pull back behind the Beas, essentially leaving much of Indian Punjab to Pakistan.

In Chapter 8 titled "Of Cowardice and Panic" of his book "1965 War-The Inside Story", R.D. Pradhan describes the cowardice of Maj. Gen. Niranjan Prasad, the Indian general commanding officer in Kasur sector. When Pakistan Defense Forces counter-attacked the intruding Indian military and the general was fired upon on Sept 6, 1965, he "ran away". Here's an excerpt:

"On learning that, Lt. Gen. Harbakash Singh and the corps commander drove in a Jonga (Nissan P60 Jeep) 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."

Retreat to Beas:

Chapter 12 of Pradhan's book is titled "Retreat to Beas" in which there is detailed discussion of Indian COAS's proposal for the Indian Army to retreat behind Beas in the face of Pakistan's fierce counter-attacks after India's attempted incursion in Lahore. Pradhan argues in this chapter that during the 1965 war with Pakistan, Indian COAS General Chaudhuri feared that "a major battle the west of the Beas would end in the destruction of the Indian Army and thereafter allow the enemy (Pakistani) forces to push to the gates of Delhi without much resistance".

Riaz Haq said...

The Two-Nation theory was first proposed by Hindu Nationalist leader Veer Sarkar, not Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

In his presidential address to the 19th session of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha at Karnavati (Ahmedabad) in 1937, Hindu leader Veer Savarkar’ said, "India cannot be assumed today to be a unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in the main; the Hindus and the Moslems, in India"

Anonymous said...

'... then China can also cut off Brahmaputra water to India in the absence of any similar China-India water-sharing treaty.'

What effect will this have on China's good friend Bangladesh?

If China removes water from the Brahmaputra, India will just keep its usage a constant and then it is Bangladesh that will lose the water than China has diverted.

What happens when Bangladesh complains? India will claim that its own usage has remained the same and so it cannot be blamed. So the world will see China as the villain who is depriving a poor Bangladesh of its water.

No, China cannot afford to divert Bangladesh's water.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "What happens when Bangladesh complains? India will claim that its own usage has remained the same and so it cannot be blamed. So the world will see China as the villain who is depriving a poor Bangladesh of its water."

New Delhi is starting massive series of new projects to divert water from major rivers in the north and the east of the country to India's drought-stricken western and southern regions. This news has sounded alarm bells in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, according to the UK's Guardian newspaper.

The $400 billion project involves rerouting water from major rivers including the Ganga and Brahmaputra and creating canals to link the Ken and Batwa rivers in central India and Damanganga-Pinjal in the west. Its target is to help drought-hit India farmers who are killing themselves at a rate on one every 30 minutes for at least two decades.

Riaz Haq said...

Maleeha Lodhi's response to Sushma Swaraj's UN GA speech:

Her (Sushma Swaraj) statement is a litany of falsehoods about Pakistan and a travesty of facts and history. It only reflects the deceit and hostility of her Government towards Pakistan.

...Their call for freedom has been met with characteristic Indian brutality. During the last two and a half months, over a hundred innocent Kashmiris have been killed, hundreds blinded and thousands injured by Indian bullets and pellets, including infants, children, women and men. This is the worst form of state terrorism, a war crime, that India has continued to perpetrate in the situation of foreign occupation in Jammu and Kashmir for the past many decades.

Pakistan demands a full and impartial investigation of these Indian atrocities and massive human rights violations in Kashmir. We ask that India accept the investigation proposed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and allow them access for the purpose.

Mr. President,

Jammu and Kashmir never was and can never be an integral part of India. It is a disputed territory, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council.

The right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination has been recognized and promised to them by the UN Security Council and by India and Pakistan.

For 70 years, India has prevented the Kashmiris, through force and fraud, from exercising this right and holding the UN supervised Plebiscite to enable the Kashmiris to determine their political destiny.

The struggle of the Kashmiri people for self-determination is a legitimate struggle. And, they have the right to receive moral and political support from the international community.

Mr. President,

The attack on the Indian Army base in Uri, particularly its timing, has all the hallmarks of anoperation designed to divert attention from India's atrocities in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The international community is well aware that several such incidents have been staged in the past to serve India’s tactical and propaganda objectives.

India is utilizing the Uri incident to blame Pakistan for the current Kashmiri uprising and divert attention from its brutal occupation.

India’s government is delusional if it believes that it can "isolate" any country. It is India itself, which because of its war crimes in Kashmir and elsewhere, and because of its warmongering, is likely to be isolated in the international community.

Mr. President,

It is India that has long been a sponsor and practitioner of state terrorism.

Over the course of the last half century, India has sponsored and perpetrated terrorism and aggression against all its neighbors; creating terrorist groups; destabilizing and blockading neighbors to do its strategic bidding and sponsoring subversion, sabotage and terrorism in various parts of Pakistan.

The recently captured Indian spy, an intelligence officer, Kulbhushan Yadav, has confessed to India’s support to such terrorist and subversive activities particularly in Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Indeed, it was Kulbhushan, who was financing, arming and supporting individuals and entities listed under the UN sanctions regime.

India’s policy of interference in Pakistan, especially its attempt to destabilize Balochistan, are now on record. This is blatant violation of the principles of the UN Charter.

Anonymous said...

Some Indian dude posted an interesting thought on FB:

1. #Russian forces arrive in Pakistan to hold joint military drills snubbing India.
2. #Indonesia offers Pakistan defence equipment
3. #Iran wants to be a part of CPEC and link Chabahar port with it built on Indian money. 4. #China says it supports Islamabad's stance on Kashmir and will support Pakistan in the Case of any Conflict.
5. #OIC says it supports Pakistan's stance on Kashmir.
6. #Turkey sending fact finding mission to Kashmir on Pakistan demand.
7. #Nepal wants to boosts bilateral relations with Pakistan.
8. #USA has refrained from naming Pakistan for the Uri Attack.
9. USA Refused to back Indian Call of Free #Balochistan.
10. #Italy wants good bilateral relations with Pakistan in Trade and Defense.
11. #Korea Offered to build a Ship yard at #Gawadar.
12. #Tajikistan ,#Uzbikistan, #Kyrgyzstan,#Turkemanistan want to join CPEC and to offered energy and trade to Pakistan.
13.Belarus,Ukraine offered us good defense and trade relations.
14. #Bangladeshi People unlike Their Government backs Pakistan on all issues and shown their love towards pakistan.
And #Indian government, #Modi wants us to believe that Pakistan has been internationally isolated. That's interesting

G. ALi

Riaz Haq said...

#Russia launches MASSIVE military drill with #Pakistan and 'prepares missiles' for WAR

RUSSIA has sent a chilling warning to the West that its influence is spreading across Asia with the announcement of a two-week military drill with Pakistan.

For the first time in modern history the two Cold War enemies will be conducting training exercises together.

Elsewhere, Vladimir Putin's solders have been testing their ability to launch the latest ballistic missile in the east of the country.

About 200 troops - 70 Russian and 130 Pakistani - will take part in the Friendship 2016 war games, which started on Saturday.

The exercise will take place in a mountainous area in the eastern Punjab province of Pakistan, intended to demonstrate to the world the shifting alliances in South Asia and the resurgence of Russian influence in the region.

The exercise also sends a message of defiance to America, which has also seen relations with Pakistan cool over recent years.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was allied with Pakistan's arch-enemy India, while the US was a staunch supporter of Pakistan.

Pakistan spent a decade helping the US funnel arms and fighters into neighbouring Afghanistan to help insurgent groups fight Soviet soldiers following their 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.

But last year Pakistan bought four Mi-35 attack helicopters from Russia in the first military deal of its kind between them.

While ties between Russia and Pakistan are growing closer, Pakistan's relations with the US have frayed.

Washington accused Islamabad of harbouring Afghan Taliban fighters, something that Pakistan denies.

The military exercise comes as troops in Russia's far east performed a test launch of the Iskander-M missile system.

The weapon, a mobile ballistic missile system, is designed to hit targets on the ground targets at from more than 300 miles away.

Russia revealed separate plans earlier this year to station the Iskander in the enclave of Kaliningrad - on the Baltic Sea wedged between Poland and Lithuania.

With its range of 310 miles, the Iskander missile could hit targets as far away as eastern Germany, the entire Baltic region and Poland, as well as parts of Sweden.

But experts say the targets it will cover can be struck by longer-range Russian missiles anyway.

Relations between Russia and the West have plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War in recent months.

Both sides have ramped up their defence spending, missile programmes and defensive shields as Europe enters what many observers believe is a new Cold War.

19640909rk said...

" And then, we would set a precedent and we would be loath to see China follow on the Brahmaputra, where it is we who are downstream. "

We will worry about China. They have a huge trade surplus against India. They would love to keep it alive. Also the flow of Brahmaputra is through mostly rocky, uninhabited lands. China stands to gain nothing stopping it. I am sure they care least for Pakistan. They gave Pakistan 50 Billion USD and they expect them to dance to its tunes (which already is happening).

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Modi's #Pakistan Policy Lies Completely In Tatters. #UNGA … via @ndtv

Sushma Swaraj took to the UN General Assembly podium and demanded that "if any nation refuses to join this global strategy" - she was referring to the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that India introduced in the UN 20 years ago - "then we must isolate it." Very good - except that if she had Pakistan in mind, I am very sorry but their position is the same as that of several member-States: that, despite the passage of two decades, much work still needs to be done on producing a consensual draft of the Convention acceptable to all. Indeed, as veteran Indian diplomat at the UN Hardeep Puri, now with the BJP, pointed out in the Left, Right & Centre programme on NDTV, the main nay-sayer has been the United States of America (he also added Syria). Not Pakistan. It is all very well for our External Affairs Minister to say that "such countries should have no place in the comity of nations" - but who is going to bell the American cat?


To achieve our goals as spelt out by Sushma Swaraj, we would, at a minimum, require the support of the US, Russia, and China as Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, and the unstinted backing of the Nonaligned Movement and the member-states of South Asia in the UN General Assembly.

Where do we stand with each of them in the aftermath of Modi raking up Balochistan on 15 August, Gilgit and Baltistan the same day, and the Uri attack on 18 September - against the background of the continuing agitation in the streets of Kashmir since July 8?

As far as the United States is concerned, notwithstanding Modi's heroic efforts to impress Obama with his ten-lakh rupee bandhgala and his repeated invocation of "Barak" so that TV conveys his closeness to the US president, and Obama having designated India, during Modi's State visit to Washington in June, as a "Major Defense Partner", the US reaction to Modi's remarks on Balochistan was conveyed to the world by the US State department spokesman, John Kirby, in response to a pointed question from an Indian journalist about a month later, on September 13: "The government policy," he said disarmingly, "is that we support the territorial integrity of Pakistan". He added, for good measure, "We do not support independence for Balochistan".


And as for the Non-Aligned Movement, whose summit Modi skipped in a calculated downgrading of NAM, not one member has had a word of condemnation for Pakistan. Indeed, Iran, till recently chair of NAM, arranged for their President, Hassan Rouhani, to meet Nawaz Sharif in New York on 21 September, three days after Uri and the morning after Sharif's thundering denunciation of India at the UN, and "lauded PM Nawaz's vision" in translating the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor - Modi's bugbear - "into reality", describing it as "vital to the progress of the region" and seeking admission to it. Then Rouhani delivered himself of a string of poetic aphorisms: "Pakistan's security and progress is the security and progress of Iran"; "development of any part of Pakistan is the development of a part of Iran"; "borders of the two countries are border of security and friendship". Iran's Chahbahar port, that India sees as its gift to Iran, and as an alternative to CPEC, lies in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province. Why would Iran support Modi on a demand that Chahbahar (or Gwadar) be handed over to the Bugtis and the Marris?

Riaz Haq said...

#Russian Commandos Join #Pakistan in Rare Military Drill. #Russia #Military

More than 70 Russian army commandos have arrived in Pakistan to participate in the first-ever joint military exercises between the two countries, officials announced Friday.

A Pakistani army spokesman said the two-week-long drill is scheduled to begin on Saturday and conclude on October 10.

The exercises, called “Friendship 2016,” will involve around 200 military personnel of both the countries and take place in Cherat, a security official told VOA.

The northwestern mountainous region is the headquarters of the Pakistani commando forces, or Special Services Group. The drills are expected to focus on "high altitude warfare."

India, which enjoys close ties with Russia, had conveyed its concerns to Moscow that part of the military exercises will be conducted in the northern region of Gilgit-Baltistan, which is part of the divided region of Kashmir, where Indian and Pakistani troops face off along mountain peaks on the Line of Control.

Russian officials, however, are reported as saying they have informed New Delhi the drill will be conducted far from the disputed territories.

The joint exercises are yet another sign of warming of ties between Islamabad and Moscow.

“This [military drill] obviously indicates a desire on both sides to broaden defense and military-technical cooperation,” Pakistan's ambassador to Moscow, Qazi Khalilullah, told Russia’s TASS news agency.

Both of the countries were on opposing sides during the Cold War era. Russia severed all ties with Pakistan because of Pakistan's involvement in the U.S.-funded Afghan insurgency against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The two countries are now trying to overcome those tensions and signed a military cooperation agreement in 2014, lifting a years-long ban on the sale of Russian arms to Pakistan. It also paved the way for concluding another deal for the sale of four Russian Mi-35M attack helicopters to Pakistan.

The military exercises come as tensions between Pakistan and India have escalated after a September 18 militant attack on an Indian military base, in the disputed Kashmir region, that killed 18 soldiers.

Islamabad has denied Indian allegations it was linked to the deadly raid. The tensions have fueled speculations of another war between the nuclear-armed rival nations.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan warns of 'water war' with #India if decades-old treaty violated. #IBT #water #war via @Reuters

Pakistan would treat it as "an act of war" if India revoked the Indus Water Treaty regulating river flows between the two nations, Pakistan's top foreign official said on Tuesday.

Tension has been mounting between the nuclear-armed neighbors since at least 18 Indian soldiers in the disputed Kashmir region were killed this month in an attack that New Delhi blames on Pakistan.

India on Tuesday summoned Pakistan's High Commissioner in New Delhi to inform him about two men from Pakistan now in Indian custody who it alleges helped gunmen cross the disputed Kashmir border before the attack. Pakistan denies involvement in the raid and has urged India to conduct a proper investigation.

One retaliatory move being considered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is for India to "maximize" the amount of water it uses including by accelerating building of new hydropower plants, along three rivers that flow into Pakistan, a source with knowledge of a meeting attended by Modi on Monday told Reuters.

The source said India does not plan to abrogate the decades-old Indus Water Treaty. But using more of the rivers' water is still likely to hurt Pakistan as the Islamic Republic depends on snow-fed Himalayan rivers for everything from drinking water to agriculture.

Sartaj Aziz, foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said Islamabad would seek arbitration with the Indus Water Commission which monitors the treaty if India increased the use of water from the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus rivers.

However, if India revoked the treaty, Aziz said Pakistan would treat that as "an act of war or a hostile act against Pakistan."

"It's highly irresponsible on part of India to even consider revocation of the Indus Water Treaty," Aziz told the national assembly.

The treaty was signed in 1960 in a bid to resolve disputes, but India's ambitious irrigation plans and construction of thousands of upstream dams has continued to annoy Pakistan. India says its use of upstream water is strictly in line with the agreement.

India currently generates about 3,000 megawatts of energy from hydropower plants along rivers in its portion of Kashmir, but believes the region has the potential to produce 18,000 megawatts and says it can use more water and still remain within the terms of the treaty.

Aziz said India's provocative posturing constitutes a breach of the Indus Water Treaty and "threats of a water war are part of a military, economic and diplomatic campaign to build pressure on Pakistan", and deflect attention from civil unrest by the Muslim population in the Indian-ruled side of Kashmir.

Anonymous said...

Hindu terrorism in Houston. Where is your blog article?

Riaz Haq said...

#India's ex Surpreme Court judge Katju offers #Bihar to #Pakistan as ‘package’ with #Kashmir, draws flak. The Hindu

Mr Katju posted: “Pakistanis, let us end our dispute once and for all. We offer you Kashmir, but on the condition you also take Bihar. It is a package deal. You have to take the whole package, or none at all. Either you take both Kashmir and Bihar, or nothing. We will not give you Kashmir alone. Deal ?”

Riaz Haq said...

Abandoning a project in which the United States and its partners have invested 15 years, billions upon billions of dollars, and thousands of lives with no acceptable outcome in sight is harrowing. Although the United States’ engagement in Afghanistan has not resulted in many of the outcomes it might have preferred, the real failure would be maintaining the current course knowing that doing so is likely to only prolong ultimate defeat — This excerpt from a recent Foreign Affairs article by Andrew Shaver and Joshua Madrigal sums up the dilemma that the US today faces in Afghanistan. The authors quote Astro Teller, CEO of Google’s X, as saying: Failure is “the point at which you know what you are working on is the wrong thing to be working on or that you are working on it in the wrong way. You can’t call the work up to [that] moment… ‘failing’—that’s called ‘learning.’ And once you frame it that way there’s this moment where if you stop now, if you course correct now, you can be shame-free. But if you keep going forward, the shame starts to build.” Using Pentagon data, the authors point out that violence in Afghanistan following Obama’s 2009 troop surge has remained at levels vastly exceeding those observed during the initial years of the war. Meanwhile, measures of insurgent activity, from kidnappings to weapons sales, have remained at levels at or above those observed when the United States “surged” troops into the country.

Not surprising that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) lost nearly 900 men during the month of July alone, a fact that the top US commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson admitted in a public meeting late August. In a September 23 briefing at Pentagon, Nicholson gave a detailed account on the Daesh/IS in the region. He said some 20 of the 98 designated terrorist groups are in Af-Pak region, Daesh being among them. This group, he said comprised up to 1,300 “Pakistani Pashtoon fighters, mostly from the Orakzai agency, currently spread out in the eastern Afghan provinces Ningarhar, Paktia and Paktika. He recalled that top 12 IS terrorists including Hafiz Saeed Khan Orakzai were taken out killed in Ningarhar. Others included Omar Khalifa Naray and Shahidullah Shahid. The latest addition to the list is the former Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Azam Tariq, killed in southeastern Paktika province on Saturday night. ....


Yet, as a whole, Nicholson painted a mixed picture of the security landscape in Afghanistan, saying some 20-25 per cent territory in Afghanistan was contested between the ANSF and the Taliban groups. The Haqqanis, he said, constitute the primary threat to us all in and around Kabul and the US-NATO forces continue to monitor them closely. And, as usual, Nicholson complained that Pakistan needed to do more than it has done so far against the Haqqanis, implying that this group enjoys shelter and sanctuaries on the Pakistani territory. Such a postulation also evokes questions by Pakistan on the safe havens that the anti-Pakistan Daesh-turned-TTP enjoys in eastern Afghanistan. Afghan and US officials say the operation against them has been going on and expect a similar Pakistani action against the Haqqanis. And why not. One should not exclude the other. Pakistan can certainly take calibrated action against the combatant Haqqanis to convince the detractors of its sincerity in the counter-terror war. Same goes for the Kashmir-focused groups.

A big worry holding back a conclusive action against all these, it seems, is the worry of a possible civil war within Pakistan itself, led and fueled by all Al-Qaeda-inspired groups in the region. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria are screaming examples of unintended consequences of a military onslaught.

Don't live in a box said...

Viewpoint: How India's response to Pakistan weakens Sharif - BBC News
Viewpoint: How India's response to Pakistan weakens Sharif - BBC News

Amit Raghav said...

Just read that in Global competitiveness index Pakistan ranked among 139 countries at 122 Position at Bottom 16th Position

India at 39 Position from Top improved from 55 position.

Riaz Haq said...

AR: "India at 39 Position from Top improved from 55 position."

Ruchir Sharma (Rise and Fall of Nations) thoroughly debunks indices like WEF's competitiveness index.

Sharma cites the example of Finland that has been consistently ranked among the top most competitive nations by WEF.

Finland's top 2 job producers are Timber exports and Nokia, both of which have suffered badly, making the country's post-2008 economic recovery among the slowest in the industrialized world. In 2014, Finland's Prime Minister said "Steve Jobs took our jobs"...making a reference to Apple's computers and iPhones that destroyed Finland's timber (paper) and Nokia phone business.

A much bigger predictor of future growth is demographics.

Countries with a young and growing labor force have a much better chance of future economic growth than anything else.

Pakistan is doing very well on this measure.

Pakistan's work force is over 60 million strong, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics. With increasing female participation, the country's labor pool is rising at a rate of 3.5% a year, according to International Labor Organization.

Svordasfk said...

The competitive index measures infrastructure that allows an economy to compete globally. The operative word is 'allows' therefore your Finland example and Richie Sharma citation is tangential and unrelated. A business like Nokia losing out to Apple is a business competition and may not be due to lack of infrastructure of the country. Too many employees, poor management or products that fail could be the reasons as well.

Please use your investor acumen here.

Riaz Haq said...

Svordasfk: "The competitive index measures infrastructure that allows an economy to compete globally"

That may be but is that the key determining factor of growth? Ruchir Sharma challenges the WEF competitiveness criteria and argues that young demographics and growing labor force are far more important.

Young people are generally more productive and innovative than older people.

Countries in Europe and some countries like Singapore are all likely to grow much more slowly because of their aging populations.

Pakistan, on the other hand, will be an outperformer because of its young demographics and growing labor force.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a regular border skirmish has been potrayed as a "surgical strike" by India.

G. Ali

Anonymous said...

'Ruchir Sharma challenges the WEF competitiveness criteria and argues that young demographics and growing labor force are far more important.'

These are all supply-side factors that affect potential real GDP growth:
i) Population growth, Demographic dividend, participation rate are LABOR supply factors.
ii) Domestic savings rate, foreign investment, remittances, aid are CAPITAL supply factors.
iii) Competitiveness, governance are EFFICIENCY (Total Factor Productivity) supply factors

Real GDP growth-rate potential = Efficiency X Capital X Labor

Kadeer said...

Demographic dividend with a high savings rate is a must otherwise a lower savings rate will be disastrous and very damaging.

Riaz Haq said...

Kadeer: " Demographic dividend with a high savings rate is a must otherwise a lower savings rate will be disastrous and very damaging."

Sharma addresses this argument by saying "it's a chicken-or-egg issue: it's not at all clear which comes first, strong growth or high savings"

In Pakistan's case, a bigger work force, including growth of woking women in two-income families, will have the income needed to increase savings.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan captures an #Indian soldier. Did #India soldiers do #SurgicalStrike in #Kashmir "inadvertently"? CNN

Did Indian soldiers carry out "surgical strikes" across LoC "inadvertently"? Here's what CNN is reporting: The soldier inadvertently crossed the border to the Pakistani side of the Line of Control, which divides the Indian and Pakistani-administered portion of Kashmir, said Colonel Rohan Anand, press officer for the Indian Army.

Riaz Haq said...

Backtracking: Now #India says no helicopters were used in ‘#SurgicalStrike’ across LoC in #Kashmir

Just a day after India claimed that its army carried out “surgical strikes” inside Pakistan with the support of military choppers, a senior Indian minister retracted the claim saying “these did not involve any aerial operations.”

“There were no aerial strikes,” Indian Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, himself an ex-Indian Army man, told The Hindu during an interview.

Rathore said the Indian Army crossed the Line of Control (LoC) “on the ground” for carrying out what he termed were “pre-emptive strikes”. “That is not like crossing the international border.”

‘Surgical’ farce blows up in India’s face

On Thursday, soon after the Indian military claimed that it had carried out “surgical strikes” against perceived “terrorist launch pads” on the Pakistani side of the LoC in disputed Kashmir region, the Pakistani Army ripped to shreds the Indian farcical claim as an “illusion being deliberately generated by the Indians to create false effects”.

Rathore’s remarks appeared to endorse the version of the army’s media wing, ISPR, which insisted: “there has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross-border fire initiated and conducted by India.”

While Indian media grossly exaggerated New Delhi’s claim, the Pakistani media, however, questioned its authenticity.

The Indian Express had called it a “defining moment” but said the government must now be vigilant to ensure that the “clamour for more” did not fuel an escalation in hostilities.

The Hindustan Times welcomed the strikes in an editorial headlined “Befitting response”, and said India would “take satisfaction from the revenge, served cold”.

Strategic analysts laugh off Indian claim

The Indian army provided little insight as to how the entire operation was conducted. The media there, however, said the operation was a combination of heliborne and ground forces. Special forces were para-dropped for the operation, it added. It said alleged terror launch pads targeted were in the range of 2- 3 kilometres from the LoC.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's claimed #SurgicalStrike another "Longewala"? Air Marshall Bawa" #Indian Army faked the entire operation."

In his book, to be released on December 3, Major Gen Atma Singh - a Vir Chakra awardee -- has claimed that Army's version of the battle is "exaggerated" and has given credit to the Indian Air Force for the victory.
Brig Chandpuri had sought the damages of Re 1 from both the retired officers on the grounds that he wanted justice and not money.
The case was filed after Maj Gen Atma Singh made an allegation in February 2008 that "no ground battle was fought and the Army had merely rehearsed it on a sand model after the ceasefire to cover up the failure of senior military commanders."
Another officer, Air Marshal Bawa, who was commanding the Jaisalmer base from where IAF Hunter fighter aircraft operated in that battle had stated that the "Army had faked the entire operation."
The Battle of Longewala was fought in the western sector, in Rajasthan, during the Indo-Pak war in December 1971. Brigadier Chandpuri of 23 Punjab regiment, then a major, was leading just 100 men and had frustrated a formidable attack by a Pakistani brigade comprising around 2,800 troops backed by an armoured regiment of 45 tanks. Chandpuri was given the second highest gallantry award of the country — Maha Vir Chakra.

Riaz Haq said...

Last year when Indian government claimed its forces crossed into Myanmar for cross-border operation against Naga militants, the Myanmar denied any Indian incursion there, according to Myanmar Times:

"Myanmar government official has denied that the attack took place on this side of the border, adding that Myanmar’s foreign policy is to “not accept any rebel group gaining a foothold to fight neighbouring countries”.

President’s Office director U Zaw Htay said India’s ambassador to Myanmar had met Myanmar’s deputy minister of foreign affairs to explain about the raid “on Indian territory, near the border with Myanmar”.

“We will cooperate with India to fight the rebels if they give us information about them,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

As #India threatens #IWT with #Pakistan, #China blocks tributary of #Brahmaputra in #Tibet for dam via @timesofindia

BEIJING: China has blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet as part of the construction of its "most expensive" hydro project+ , which could cause concern in India as it may impact water flows into the lower riparian countries.
The Lalho project on the Xiabuqu river+ , a tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for Brahmaputra), in Xigaze in Tibet involves an investment of 4.95 billion yuan ($740 million), Zhang Yunbao, head of the project's administration bureau was quoted as saying by Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency on Saturday.
Xigaze also known as Shigatse is closely located to Sikkim. From Xigaze, the Brahmaputra flows into Arunachal Pradesh.
Terming it as the "most expensive project", the report said the project, whose construction began in June 2014, was scheduled to be completed in 2019.
It is not clear yet what impact the blockade of the river+ will have on the flow of water from the Brahmaputra into the lower riparian countries like India and Bangladesh as a result, it said.
Last year, China had operationalised the $1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station, the largest in Tibet, built on the Brahmaputra river, which has raised concerns in India.

Riaz Haq said...

#Iran, #Pakistan Carrying Out Joint #Navy Drills in Arabian Sea: … via @SputnikInt

The joint exercise of naval forces of Iran and Pakistan is aimed at practicing search and rescue operations and communication between ships, according to local media.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Naval forces of Iran and Pakistan are holding joint maritime exercise near Pakistan's port city of Karachi in the Arabian Sea, media reported Saturday.

According to Iran's Tasnim news agency, bilateral exercises in the territorial waters of Pakistan started following relevant discussions between commanders of Iranian and Pakistani navies. The joint maritime exercise is aimed at practicing search and rescue operations and communication between ships.

The Iranian navy is represented by Lavan chopper carrier, Khanjar and Falakhen missile boats and Konarak logistic carrier, according to the media.

Read more:

Riaz Haq said...

Life normal in #Pakistan Azad #Kashmir, but tense on #India side. #SurgicalStrike #Modi via @MailOnline

BAGSAR, Pakistan (AP) — Life seems quite normal in the villages along the Pakistani side of Kashmir. But on the Indian side, villagers are spending sleepless nights in temporary shelters amid soaring tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
On the Pakistani side, markets and schools were open, shepherds escorted their goats and cows to graze, and children were seen visiting shops to buy candies during a visit Saturday by dozens of media members to the border village of Bagsar, some 166 kilometers (103 miles) northeast of Islamabad.
The two neighbors' contentious frontier includes a rugged 740-kilometer (460-mile) mountainous stretch called the Line of Control, which is heavily guarded by both sides.

Since 2003, a cease-fire has largely held despite regular small-scale skirmishes. Each side routinely blames the other for starting any violence and insists they are only retaliating.
That was the case Saturday as Pakistani military officials took pains to refute the Indian version of the latest Kashmir conflict. The Indian army claims they carried out a 'surgical strike' on Sept. 29 near the village and destroyed a "terrorist launching pad" used by Kashmir-based militants.
Pakistani military spokesman Maj. Gen. Asim Salim Bajwa told visiting journalists that the Indian claim was a lie. He said Indian troops opened fire unprovoked with small arms and mortars after 2 a.m. in five separate spots along the border. Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the barrages that continued until 7 a.m. and stopped only when the Pakistani army began retaliating, he said.
"That was simply the cease-fire violation on the LoC which was effectively and strongly punished," Bajwa said.
The Indian attack came about 10 days after a deadly assault on an Indian base in Kashmir. On Sept. 18, suspected rebels using guns and grenades sneaked into a base in Indian-controlled Kashmir and killed at least 17 soldiers.
On the Indian side, civilian officials said the frontier was largely calm but they were still not taking chances. Thousands of civilians slept in temporary shelters for the second night.
"Every year we go through these hardships. There seems to be no end to it in sight," said Mohan Lal, a villager in a shelter in the village of Khour.

Read more:
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Chandra said...

Sir, Pakistan doesn't even know what's coming its way and India won't even have to fire any bullets to do that.

Riaz Haq said...

In #Kashmir, doubts that Indian soldiers actually infiltrated across the border. #SurgicalStrike #Pakistan #India

BANDALA, PAKISTAN — Villagers in three areas along the de facto border between Indian- and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir said this past week that they had fled their homes in fear after intense shelling and firing from the Indian side but that they did not believe India’s claim Thursday that it had sent armed troops to conduct late-night “surgical strikes” on militant targets there.

In several dozen interviews, residents of the Bhimber, Chamb and Sahmani districts adjoining the Line of Control said they had been jarred from sleep by the barrage of firepower Wednesday. But none said they had seen or heard anything that supported India’s claim that it carried out cross-border strikes on several staging areas for militant groups that left “double digits” of militants dead.

Pakistani officials have repeatedly denied India’s claims, saying that Indian troops only fired small arms across the Line of Control, killing two Pakistani soldiers. Tensions between the rival nuclear powers are at the highest level in a decade.

Muhammad Bota, 40, a mason in this hillside village, said that his son woke him up shouting, “India has attacked!” and that the night was filled with noise.

“We are used to routine shelling, but this was unending, with deafening sounds,” he said. “We believed it was the start of war, and I prayed for the safety of my family and recited all the Koran verses I could remember.”

But Bota, like many other residents interviewed, said he did not see any signs of Indian troops attacking or crossing the fortified line less than a mile away.

“All the villagers were up, and we didn’t see any troops from the other side or helicopters,” he said. “India says it killed militants here, but the people who live here know each other for generations. If there were some militants somewhere around, they couldn’t have gone undetected. This is all propaganda of India.”

In Bhimber, a town several miles from the Line of Control, a store salesman named Mehran Younas Sheikh, 31, said that all schools and government offices had been shut down since the intensive firing started and that many people living close to the border had fled to the town.


Under domestic pressure to retaliate, the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced it had conducted a five-hour overnight paramilitary attack on several suspected terrorist camps, killing scores. Pakistan’s military claimed that it killed eight Indian soldiers in retaliatory fire and that two of its men had died when India shelled a border post in Sahmani.

A cross-border strike by India would be the first major breach of the Line of Control it has publicly acknowledged in years of hostile but cautious relations with Pakistan. In the past it has avoided an overt provocation that could risk a wider conflict, while accusing Pakistan of harboring and supporting terrorist groups.

In several villages, residents described fleeing quickly from the heavy late-night gunfire, many leaving their livestock and crops. Bashir Papra, 55, said his family decided to leave their home in Chamb because the Indian shelling “was so heavy we felt our whole village would come down.”

Riaz Haq said...

#WhiteHouse detects fraud & shuts down #India petition seeking to declare #Pakistan ‘#terror sponsor’ via @htTweets

The White House has abruptly shut down on suspicion of fraud an ongoing online petition that asked it to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, citing a law introduced in the House of Representatives last week.
In a blurb headlined, ‘Closed Petition’, the White House’s ‘We the People’ web page, which hosts the initiative inviting petitions to the administration, said on Monday, “This petition has been archived because it did not meet the signature requirements. It can no longer be signed.”
The petition had, until October 21, to gather 100,000 signatures to merit a response from the White House under the rules of the programme, which it had already collected, and several times more. At closure, the petition had 625,723 signatures.

The website said “no more”, but a White House official told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity that there were “some technical issues with some of the signatures” that needed to be looked into. Some of the signatures “could potentially be removed if there is evidence of fraud” consistent with the terms of participation, the official added.
Supporters of the petition, which had generated considerable excitement among Indian Americans and in India, will be disappointed, especially as a counter-petition demanding a similar designation for India — as a “terrorist state” — was still up on the We the People page; although way behind, with nearly 66,000 signatures.

Riaz Haq said...

#Surgicalstrikes: Ignore #Pakistan claims, but #Indians deserve to know the truth #Modi #BJP #Kashmir via @CatchNews India may be compelled to provide the evidence it has of the 'surgical strikes' it claims it conducted across the Line of Control (LoC) to destroy terrorist launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

There have been unconfirmed stories of how the Special Forces wore helmet cameras to capture the destruction they wrought on the enemy - almost following the script of Zero Dark Thirty. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said "just wait and watch" when asked about the purported video evidence of the strikes across the LoC.

Both Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as well as the Congress party have asked the government to "call Pakistan's bluff" by making public the evidence of the 'surgical strikes'. The BJP retaliated by accusing the Opposition of questioning the army's competence.

Riaz Haq said...

Like #AAP's Kejriwal, Congress's Sanjay Nirupam demands proof, says #India's #SurgicalStrikes Vs #Pakistan 'Fake'

The Congress today disowned its leader Sanjay Nirupam's suggestion that last week's surgical strikes across the Line of Control are "fake" unless the government offers proof.

At the same time, the party said the government must "call Pakistan's bluff".

"It's time for the government to expose Pakistan's malicious propaganda. The evidence should be made public," said party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

Asserting that there is "no question of any doubt" about the strikes, Mr Surjewala said: "We would like to urge the PM to stop politicising the bravery of Indian soldiers for myopic political gain."

Earlier today, Mr Nirupam had made controversial statements raising doubts about the strikes.

"Every Indian wants #SurgicalStrikesAgainstPak but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by #BJP," he tweeted.

Attacked for the comment, he later clarified, "I'm not saying you release all video footage, I don't think so either... as it may not be in the interest of national security... but there is a need to show some proof."

The Congress spokesperson said: "We have taken serious note of Sanjay Nirupam's statements."

Pakistan has asserted that India has flagrantly misrepresented cross-border firing as raids across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. The ruling BJP says that politicians like Mr Nirupam are bolstering that claim by seeking evidence.

Riaz Haq said...

"Isolated" #Pakistan in 3rd #EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue - #European External Action Service!!hN86Ff via @EU_Commission

The 3rd Session of the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was held in Brussels on 4 October 2016 between the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs.

The two sides welcomed the continued strengthening of relations between the European Union and Pakistan and agreed to elevate their partnership even further. In this respect, they agreed to work on replacing the Five-Year Engagement Plan, adopted in 2012, with an EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan. Every effort will be made to finalise the new Engagement Plan by the middle of 2017, for approval by the next EU-Pakistan Summit.

Both sides discussed migration and refugees issues. The Pakistan side underlined the need for addressing the root causes of migration and taking an integrated approach encompassing different aspects of migration. The EU acknowledged the challenges faced by Pakistan in hosting over 3 million refugees and is ready to consider providing additional support, including for their repatriation to Afghanistan in safety and dignity. They agreed to further strengthen cooperation on migration issues, including irregular migration, and reaffirmed their commitment to the continued implementation of the EU-Pakistan Readmission Agreement.

The EU side emphasised its continuing support for democratic institutions, electoral reform, the rule of law, economic development and poverty reduction in Pakistan.

The Pakistan side highlighted the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan for the promotion and protection of human rights, including women, children and minority rights. The EU side welcomed these steps, especially the Human Rights Plan of Action adopted by the Government of Pakistan and its decision to strengthen its human rights institutions. Both sides also took note of the first GSP+ progress report. The EU side encouraged continued efforts towards the effective implementation of key human rights conventions.

The Pakistan side highlighted the improved security situation and its positive impact on economic revival and higher investment in Pakistan. The EU acknowledged the significant efforts by the Government of Pakistan and the sacrifices made in the fight against terrorism and reaffirmed EU’s continued support. Both sides committed to further develop their cooperation on Counter-Terrorism, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. They also agreed to strengthen dialogue on defence matters, including through EU-Pakistan Staff interactions.

On regional security, the EU encouraged Pakistan to continue its efforts in promoting peace in Afghanistan and appreciated Pakistan's support for a successful outcome of the Brussels Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan on 5 October 2016.

The Pakistan side apprised the EU about recent developments in the region, including the current situation in Kashmir. Noting with concern the recent developments, the EU side underlined the need for resolving disputes through dialogue and constructive engagement.

Both sides agreed to further broaden and deepen cooperation under the new Strategic Engagement Plan and discussed matters related to trade, economy and energy. They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in areas such as climate change, research and higher education. Both sides recognised the importance of mutual cooperation in the field of energy and looked forward to holding the first energy meeting still in 2016.

The next EU-Pakistan Joint Commission, to be held in November in Islamabad, will further enhance the dialogue between the two sides.

Riaz Haq said...

President Lukashenko of #Belarus arrives in "isolated" #Pakistan. #Modi #BJP - Dunya News
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko reached Pakistan on Tuesday on invitation of Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif, reported Dunya News.

PM Nawaz received Belarusian president at Noor Khan Air Base. He will meet President Mamnoon Hussain, speaker National Assembly (NA) Ayaz Sadiq as well.

Lukashenko will sign contracts regarding textile, agriculture and education projects. This is his second visit to Pakistan in 16 months. He will also inaugurate Pakistan-Belarus business forum on the fourth day.

Riaz Haq said...

#India Army recording fake exercises as evidence for #Kashmir "#surgicalstrikes": #Indian Occupied #J&K legislator

Amid the growing clamour for making public the evidence of the recent surgical strikes by India on terror launch pads in PoK, controversial Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid on Wednesday said the Army was video graphing "fake exercises" in Leepa Valley near LoC to offer them as proof for the same.
The MLA from Langate in Kashmir's Kupwara district claimed that since the last three days, the Army was making footage of fake strikes in Leepa Valley in his constituency in order to show them as proof of the surgical strikes.

"Fake targets are being made and I want to tell the whole world that if they show some proof, it is of Leepa and is fake and we can prove it," he said. He alleged that there had been no firing at two of the five places where the Army claimed that it conducted the strikes.
"Two of the five places are in my area. I tried to know from the people and to the best of my knowledge, there has been no firing there for the past 20 days," the legislator said.
Alleging that the surgical strikes were a "drama to divert the attention from Kashmir", which has been reeling under violence for around three months, Rashid asked the Army to not fall into the hands of politicians .
"You (Army) claim to be a credible organisation. You should not enact drama for politicians, by virtue of which your credibility may get lost," he said. The MLA said Pakistan took international media to the LoC to show them that no such strikes were carried out.
If India was truthful in its claims, they would have also done the same, he said. He also asked India and Pakistan not to make Kashmir a "battleground" for their vested interests.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Hansraj Ahir said on Wednesday that the Army has handed over to the government video clips of the cross-LoC surgical strikes as per laid down procedure.

Riaz Haq said...

World cannot remain indifferent to #Kashmir issue: #NATO Commander. #India #Pakistan …

Chairman Military Committee NATO, General Peter Pavel, Thursday said the scale of counter-terrorism campaign by Pakistan was quite large with impressive results, and mentioned that the country had shown great progress against militancy in last couple of years.

According to a statement issued from the PM House here Thursday, General Peter Pavel in a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here at PM House, termed Pakistan an important and traditional partner of NATO.

The Chairman Military Committee NATO said by the virtue of its size, Pakistan could play an important role in the region.

“We expect a broader political framework agreement between Pakistan and NATO to unlock further mutual military cooperation,” General Pavel said.

PM Nawaz Sharif said his government had a stated policy on Afghanistan, which he expressed from the day first on assumption of his office.

“We have conveyed to the leadership of Afghanistan that the enemies of Afghanistan are the enemies of Pakistan and we have stood by our words,” he said.

The Prime Minister said even yesterday Pakistan announced an assistance of $ 500 million in addition to an earlier assistance of $ 500 million for Afghanistan to help them overcome problems and achieve stability.

“We genuinely believe that stability in Afghanistan is crucial for achieving stability in our own country and the region,” added the Prime Minister.

General Peter Pavel said his meetings with all the services Chiefs and others were highly satisfactory.

“I am highly impressed with the state of affairs, professional standards and approach of Pakistan Armed forces. I would like to acknowledge the comprehensive counter terrorism strategy which has achieved a lot and there are many lessons for NATO to learn from it,” Chairman Military Committee NATO said.

The Prime Minister said that India was creating problems and has resorted to double standards on the issue of Indian occupied Kashmir.

The Prime Minster said that India unfairly blamed Pakistan for Uri attack without investigating into the incident.

“India does not realise that the youth of IoK have re-energized the freedom struggle. We want peaceful relations with all of our neighbours. Pakistan would continue to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmir cause.

The atrocities by the Indian forces have resulted into the loss of precious human lives and blinded hundreds through the use of brutal force,” the Prime Minister said.

The Pakistani armed forces had rendered matchless sacrifices in the war against terrorism, he said. This war is immensely backed by the entire nation, government and political leadership of our country to guarantee a peaceful homeland for our future generations, he added.

“The ongoing military operation Zarb-i-Azb is the largest military counter terrorism offensive by any single country, which has broken the backbone of terrorists,” the Prime Minister emphasized.

On the issue of eastern border, General Peter Pavel said that the world and the UN have to be consistent on principles and rules.

“I have listened to your yesterday’s speech in the Parliament where you eloquently expressed the issue of Kashmir. The Kashmir issue has to be addressed as two nuclear powers are party to it and the world cannot remain indifferent and must be concerned,” Chairman Military Committee NATO said.

Riaz Haq said...

Nadeem Farooq Paracha in Dawn on Two Nation Theory:

In the late 19th century, Nabagopal Mitra, one of the pioneers of Hindu nationalism, authored a paper in which he described the Hindus of India as a nation that was better than the Muslims and the Christians. He added that ‘the basis of national unity in India was the Hindu religion’ and that the Hindus should strive to form an ‘Aryan nation.’

In an early 20th century pamphlet, Bhai Paramanand, a leading member of the Hindu reformist movement the Arya Samaj, described the Hindus and Muslims as being two separate nations who were ‘irreconcilable.’ In his autobiography, ‘My Life’, Pramanand mentions how in 1908 he called for an exchange and settling of Hindu and Muslim populations in different geographical areas.

In a December 14, 1924 article in the Bombay daily, The Tribune, Congress leader and Hindu nationalist Lajpat Rai too called for a ‘clear partition of the region into a Hindu India and non-Hindu India …’

In 1923, poet and playwright, VD Savarkar, coined the word, ‘Hindutva’ in a book (also titled Hindutva). He coined the word to mean ‘Hinduness’ and wrote that the Muslims (and the Christians) of India were outside of ‘Hindu nationhood.’ Then, in 1937 while speaking at the 19th session of the influential Hindu Mahasabha, Savarkar insisted ‘there are two nations in India: Hindus and the Muslims.’

In 1939, MS Golwalker — the supreme leader of the radical Hindu organisation the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — published his book, ‘We, Or Our Nationhood Defined’. In it he asserted that the minority communities of India (specifically, Muslim) should merge with the Hindu nation or perish. He wrote that non-Hindus in India could not be considered Indian unless they were ‘purified’ (i.e. converted to Hinduism).

Golwalker described the Hindus as being India’s ‘national race’ and pointed at the example of Nazi Germany’s eradication of the Jews as a way to deal with minorities who refused to adapt to the culture of the national race.

Interestingly, during the recent rise in the attacks against Muslims in India, the country’s PM and the chief of the BJP, Narendra Modi, suggested that India’s Muslims should not be rebuked but need ‘purification’ (parishkar). Modi was referring to the use of this word in this context by BJP’s prime ideologue, Pandit Upadhyaya. Upadhyaya had first used the word decades ago as an extension of the Sanskrit word Shuddi used by Hindu nationalist Dr. PS Moonje in 1923. Shuddi also means ‘purification’ and Moonje had used it to mean the conversion of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism.

Riaz Haq said...

#India wary of growing #Russia-#Pakistan military ties

India has expressed concern over Russia's fledgling but growing defence relationship with Pakistan, ahead of a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a world summit in India.

Mr Putin has, in recent years, moved to establish defence ties with Pakistan as India began diversifying beyond Russia for its defence equipment and deepening ties with the US.

Russia and Pakistan have held discussions over the sale of military hardware and signed an agreement last year for the sale of four attack helicopters to Islamabad. In a sign of their growing defence engagement, the two countries held their first joint military exercise, "Friendship 2016", that ended on Monday, much to New Delhi's unease.

"We have conveyed our views to the Russian side that military cooperation with Pakistan, which is a state that sponsors and practises terrorism as a matter of state policy, is a wrong approach and it will only create further problems," India's Ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran was quoted as saying to Russian news agency Ria Novosti last Friday.

Russia and India are fond of calling each other "time-tested friends" and are Cold War allies with a diplomatic relationship dating back to 1947.

For years, India depended on Russia for all its military supply. While the two countries remain major defence partners, India is now increasingly sourcing weapons from other countries such as the US and France. Moscow has lost out on major jet and helicopter deals to other countries. Bilateral trade between India and Russia is below US$10 billion (S$13.8 billion), partly due to poor transport links. India's trade with the US is now more than US$100 billion.

Officials said Russia would remain an important country for India but experts noted that ties between Pakistan and Russia would remain an irritant for India.

"We have always seen Russia as a close ally. Russia will remain important but the Modi government is clearly annoyed with Russia over Pakistan and it is making that clear," said former Indian foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh.