Sunday, January 15, 2017

Indian Soldiers' Morale; Trump Intel Briefing; Missing Pak Activists; Pakistan 2nd Strike Capability

Why are Indian soldiers publicly speaking out against poor food and airing other grievances on social media? How is India's massive defense budget spent? Why do Indian soldiers lives are almost a decade shorter than their civilian counterparts? Why is the suicide rate high in the Indian military? Is it due to high stress levels from long deployments in areas such as Kashmir where they face hostile civilian populations?

Indian Soldier Tej Bahadur Yadav with his food
Why is President-Elect Donald Trump discrediting the US intelligence agencies he will soon inherit? What compromising (Kompromat) information did the Russian intelligence service allegedly collect on President-Elect Trump during his visits to Moscow? Why are Trump's cabinet nominees breaking with major policies and key views expressed by Candidate Trump during the election campaign? Are they the voice of the "Deep State" in their rejection of Trump's radical departure from established US policies on national security and other matters?

Why have several Pakistani social media activists gone missing in Pakistan? What did they do? Who picked them up and why? Why have other critics not met the same fate? What redlines did they cross?

What is the significance of Pakistan's nuclear second strike capability demonstrated by test firing Babar 3 cruise missile from a submarine in the Indian ocean last week? How will it deter a potential massive nuclear attack on Pakistan's land-based nukes? Does it raise or lower risks of a nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan.

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

Indian Soldiers' Morale; Trump Intel Briefing; Missing Pak Activists; Pak 2nd Strike Test from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

India War Budget 3rd Biggest in the World

Trump Appointments

Pakistan Social Media Activists

Pakistan's 2nd Strike Capability and Nuclear Triad

Major Navdeep Singh on Suicides in Indian Army

Major General S.G. Vombatkere: Babu Hatao Fauj Bachao

700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Viewpoint From Overseas Youtube Channel


NN said...

Army recruitment done on caste, region, religion lines, SC told

Grouping of people from a particular region in an Army regiment is unconstitutional and amounts to discrimination on caste, region and religion basis, a petitioner challenging the recruitment policy told the Supreme Court.

In an affidavit filed in the apex court countering the assertion of the Army which had justified the policy for administrative convenience and operational requirements, the petitioner pleaded that such policy should be dismantled as it is also not followed by Indian Navy and Air Force.

Earlier, the Army told the Supreme Court that it does not recruit on the basis of caste, region and religion but justified grouping of people coming from a region in a regiment for administrative convenience and operational requirements.

Countering the stand taken by the Army, the petitioner, I.S. Yadav, a doctor from Rewari in Haryana, said, “The respondent (Army) has justified the recruitment in Indian Navy and Air Force which is not based on caste/region and religion basis because of the operational requirements of these forces. But in the same breath, it justifies the caste/region/religion-based recruitment giving the same excuse of operational and administrative requirements.

“At one instance they say that recruitment is open to all classes in Indian Army, but that the recruitment is open only to these classified groups and certainly not for every Indian.

It is incorrect that every section of Indian society is represented in these classified regiments,” he further said.

He alleged that a vast majority of the youths is being unjustly discriminated on caste-cum-region-cum-religion basis and their constitutional and fundamental rights are being violated at the intake point in the Army.

Anonymous said...

Indian army chief has said that complaint of a soldier on social media over proper food has damaged the morale of the military.

Chief of Indian military has said that the soldier should not have taken the issue public and asserted that they would have to bear consequences.

The development has come in days after a 40-year-old constable of Border Security Force (BSF) Tej Bahadur Yadav of 29th battalion posted videos on social media complaining about quality of the food served to the Indian troops and exposing the corruption in the army.

After exposing Indian military, Yadav was transferred to headquarters as a plumber.

Riaz Haq said...

As #Indian Army Jawans Post Complaint Videos, Officers Talk About "Crisis in Discipline" #India … via @ndtv

A day after Army Chief General Bipin Rawat defended the force's 'grievances redressal' and 'Sahayak' or Buddy system, another video of a disgruntled jawan - adding to a recent string of complaints from soldiers - has appeared on social media. In a quick counter, officers have also posted videos saying such acts are a serious breakdown of discipline within the force.

"There are many people involved in walking the dogs of officers," says a jawan from the 408 Field Hospital in Batalik in Jammu and Kashmir, in the video.

He goes on to say, "In any base, all the vehicles of the army such as Gypsies are used by the families of officers to roam around, not jawans. Official cars are being given to people who go to beauty parlours. But if a jawan has an emergency or needs to urgently return home, a car is not provided to him."

A soldier, in a recent video on YouTube, had alleged that he was forced to "wash clothes, polish boots and walk dogs" for his seniors. This had invoked a reaction from the Army Chief, who explained and defended the 'Sahayak' or buddy system in the force.

"The officer has a buddy who is his sahayak. We call him a sahayak because he does odd jobs for him and he becomes his buddy. He takes care of the officer and vice versa. In peace stations, this buddy helps him with everything," General Bipin Rawat said at the Army Day press conference yesterday, his first after taking over as Army Chief, explaining, "He is the one who comes in the morning with your cup of tea and wakes you up, gets your dress ready and you go for PT. After you come back, he prepares your dress because there are only 45 minutes or so for an officer to get dressed and go for his first parade. So he helps you. He prepares your accoutrements and sometimes, it means polishing your brassware (brass symbols of rank worn on military uniforms), polishing your belt and polishing your boots."

Another soldier, Border Security Force constable Tej Bahadur Yadav, had posted Facebook videos alleging poor quality food and near starvation on the front-lines, while a constable of the paramilitary CRPF had posted a message to the PM on YouTube, alleging discrimination compared to the army and abysmal pay.

The Home Ministry maintains that claims have not been substantiated.

Riaz Haq said...

Fighter jets, attack submarines & helicopters: #India flexes its military muscles on #RepublicDay. #Modi #Pakistan

New Delhi's army, navy and air force are known to pull out all the stops at the annual affair, which historically serves as a platform to commemorate technological defense advancement. Republic Day marks the day the Indian constitution came into effect in 1950; India's independence day, achieved in 1947, is celebrated on Aug. 15.

2017's edition will be no different, especially amid a shaky global geopolitical environment. "This year, expect more of an emphasis on naval power projection capabilities, given ongoing uncertainty in the South China Sea," warned Paul Burton, director of defense industry and budgets at IHS Jane's.
Unlike its Southeast Asian neighbors, India is not a player in the territorial conflict but it closely monitors Chinese assertiveness for implications on Indian interests in the region.

At every Republic Day parade, New Delhi plays host to a new guest of honor, with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan taking the seat this year; previous guests have included former U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande.

Here's a summary of the main highlights on tap, according to Vaibhav Sahgal, consultant at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

On the air side, expect a flypast of 27 aircrafts, a marching contingent led by the official band of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and a tableau. The first phase will begin by four Mi-17 V5 helicopters in an 'ensign' or inverted-Y-shaped formation, followed by three Mi-35 helicopters in a 'chakra' or wheel-shaped formation, and supplanted by three C-130J Super Hercules aircrafts. A C-17 aircraft and two Su-30 MKI aircrafts will then come after in a 'globe' formation.

This year, two entrants will make their parade debut: the domestic Light Combat Aircraft as well as an appearance by the National Security Guard, the national counter-terrorism force.

The Indian Navy meanwhile is set to showcase the Kolkata class destroyer INS Chennai and the Kalvari class attack submarines—models that will soon form the core of the navy's conventional submarine arm.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan bans religious #TV host #aamirliaqat Hussain over #Blasphemy allegations. #BolTV

Pakistan’s television regulator has banned a well-known talkshow host for hate speech, after he hosted shows accusing liberal activists and others of blasphemy, an inflammatory allegation that could put their lives at risk.

Blasphemy is a criminal offence in Muslim-majority Pakistan that can result in the death penalty. Even being accused of blasphemy can provoke targeted acts of violence by religious rightwing vigilantes.

Aamir Liaquat Hussain, who describes his programme aired on Bol TV as the country’s leading television show, had been at the forefront of a campaign to discredit liberal activists who went missing this month, as well as those defending them.

In a document sent to Bol TV and seen by Reuters, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority said Liaquat’s show “wilfully and repeatedly made statements and allegations which (are) tantamount to hate speech, derogatory remarks, incitement to violence against citizens and casting accusations of being anti-state and anti-Islam.”

Liaquat did not answer calls to his mobile telephone on Thursday and representatives of Bol TV were not immediately available for comment.

He had blamed several prominent Pakistanis for an anti-state agenda and being either sympathetic to, or directly involved in, blasphemy against Islam’s founder, the prophet Muhammad.

In 2011, the governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was assassinated by one of his bodyguards after he called for reform of the country’s blasphemy laws.

Taseer’s killer, Mumtaz Qadri, was executed but not before becoming a hero in the eyes of the religious right.

At least 65 others have been murdered over blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to figures from the Center for Research and Security Studies thinktank and media.

Liaquat, famous for combining religion and gameshows, has often courted controversy. He once gave away abandoned babies during a broadcast and caused uproar by airing vitriolic hate speech against the Ahmadi minority.

One of the targets of Liaquat’s show was activist lawyer Jibran Nasir, who filed a police complaint under Pakistan’s anti-terrorism law on Thursday charging him with “running a defamatory and life-threatening campaign”.

Classical dancer Sheema Kirmani received death threats after Liaquat targeted her on his 19 January broadcast.

Classical dance was banned and associated with obscenity under the regime of military dictator Zia ul Haq, who pushed for greater “Islamisation” of Pakistan in the 1980s.

The situation is potentially worse now than during the Zia era, Kirmani said. “Previously the government could close the auditorium, or arrest you, but now anyone sitting in the audience can decide ‘I am not going to allow this.’”

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan steps up #missile tests to counter #India #defence push … via @FT

Pakistan is ramping up nuclear missile tests in response to India’s drive to modernise its armed forces, increasing already heightened tensions between the two countries, military and political analysts warn.

Islamabad last week conducted its first flight test of the surface-to-surface Ababeel missile, which has a range of 2,200km and which officials and analysts say marks a significant step forward in the country’s ability to target locations in India. The move followed Pakistan’s first ballistic missile launch from a submarine earlier this month.

“Taken together, these tests prove Pakistan’s ability to go for an outright war if war is imposed on us,” a senior Pakistani foreign ministry official told the Financial Times.

Relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours have been tense ever since the partition that followed independence from Britain in 1947. They have fought three major wars, largely for control of the disputed state of Kashmir.


“If Pakistan has a ‘second-strike’ capability, it could make it more assertive and potentially more willing to launch a first attack against India,” said Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, senior fellow for South Asia at the International institute for Strategic Studies.

Pakistani officials last week warned they were ready to use nuclear weapons against India in the event of an invasion by its neighbour. This followed an admission by Bipin Rawat, head of the Indian army, that the country had a plan to send troops across the border if it suffered a terror attack believed to originate in Pakistan.


Tariq Rauf, head of the disarmament programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said Pakistan’s response was a reaction to the build-up of India’s conventional military forces.

“If you look at deployment of India’s forces which can seize and hold territory, 75 per cent of the forces are within reach of the border [with Pakistan],” he said.

Ikram Sehgal, a prominent Pakistani commentator on defence and security affairs, said: “Pakistan cannot match India’s planned spending on conventional arms. The route that Pakistan is taking is to build up its strategic forces for a credible response if the Indians ever cross over [into Pakistan].”

After its submarine-based missile test, Islamabad said: “The successful attainment of a second-strike capability by Pakistan represents a major scientific milestone. It is manifestation of the strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan’s neighbourhood.”

An official described the Ababeel missile — the first in Pakistan’s arsenal able to launch multiple warheads at different targets — “the successful completion of our deterrence”.

While most experts believe the threat of nuclear war between the two neighbours remains low, some warn about the risks of an accident caused by trigger-happy military leaders.

“Unlike the old days when the Soviet Union and the United States did not share a common border, India and Pakistan share a land border,” said one senior western diplomat with responsibility for monitoring the two militaries. “The risk of one side accidentally going to war is higher.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Rangers taunt #India's #hungry soldiers at #BORDER: "Come over. We have #food here" via @timesofindia

"At sectors where Indian and Pakistani border posts are located opposite each other on either side of the border — such as some places in Barmer sector of the Gujarat frontier — the Pak Rangers taunt our men with jibes like, 'If you are hungry, please come over. We have food here,'" a top BSF official (Gujarat Frontier) said. The BSF (Gujarat Frontier) has already ordered an inquiry into the social media posts of another BSF jawan, Navratna Choudhari, who has also alleged corruption. Choudhari is currently posted as head constable (ministerial) at Gandhidham, Kutch.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's ‘BSF believes in punishing its whistleblowers’, Says #Indian soldier Ahmedabad Mirror … via @ahmedabadmirror

How tough is it to be a whistleblower within the Border Security Force? If we go by head constable (administration) Navratan Choudhary’s account, it is trial by fire. According to the 32-year-old who is posted in Bhuj as part of the 150th Battalion, instead of launching serious investigations into the allegations of corruptions, the higher-ups in the force systematically harass the informant and make their lives a living hell.

The native of Bikaner, who is on a 37-day leave since January 18, had posted a video on Republic Day alleging that senior officers sold the liquor available at BSF canteen. His video had gone viral, after which he had posted a second video of BSF jawans performing menial task for their seniors. On Thursday, Choudhary posted a third video on his social media site, raising concerns over the fairness of any inquiry that will be conducted into the allegations. But IG of Gujarat Frontier, BSF, Ajay Tomar has assured a fair investigation into the allegations made by Choudhary.

“A Gandhinagar-based committee will probe the allegations and it will be free of any bias,” he said. Another BSF official, on condition of anonymity, said that Choudhary had not submitted evidence to prove his allegations. However, Choudhary is skeptical. He told Mirror, “From my previous experience, I know that there will not be a fair inquiry. Whistleblowers are not treated kindly. There are punishment postings, leaves are cut-short or denied and they are threatened with disciplinary actions. When I had previously tried to report the corrupt officers, I was robbed of my promotion for five years.

Now, the same officers are once again investigating the allegations” Choudhary, who joined the BSF in 2012 claims that in the past five years he had collected a lot of evidence of corruption within the force. But his attempts to report the matter had only got him into trouble. He claims he had even posted his findings on prime minister’s complaint portal but had not received any response, which is why he chose post the accusations on social media. “I posted the videos online as a last resort. Before I posted the issue of BSF officers selling liquor from canteen, I had reported the matter on October 7, 2016, through the BSF’s internal grievances portal.


This was their way of punishing me,” he told Mirror. ‘No evidence presented’ A senior BSF official said that though Choudhary claims to have evidence of the so-called corruption, he had not presented any of it despite being asked to do so. Reacting to the official’s comments, Choudhary said that he had indeed received a call from BSF headquarters to present evidence to the probe panel. He said, “But the protocol is that a written order has to be presented in cases of such inquiry. When I get the written order, I will gladly submit the evidence to the inquiry committee.

Till then, I will continue to post them online.” He has also hit out at BSF’s claims that he may have jeopardized national security by posting videos of BSF campus, claiming he did not post video of secured base. “What I posted was the BSF’s campus and not of any secured base. I did not breach any national security. Also, I took the liberty of appearing in my uniform in the videos because a soldier is always a soldier and it is his right to wear the uniform. Just because I am not at work or on BSF base doesn’t mean I am not eligible to wear the uniform.” He further added, “I respect the armed forces and believe in serving the nation. So, it is my duty to report corruption of any kind. I will continue to do so till my last breath.”