Saturday, March 31, 2018

India-Pakistan Nuclear Arms Race

Why has Pakistan developed and successfully tested nuclear-capable MIRV (Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles) and SLCM (Submarine Launched Cruise Missile)? How do these additions to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal enhance its nuclear deterrence against India? Was Pakistan forced into these technologies by India's development of anti-ballistic missiles and nuclear triad? How will India respond to these developments? Does India have multiple warhead missiles under development?

Indian Children's Book Cover. Source: New York Times
Why has Pakistan developed tactical nuclear weapons like short-range Nasr missile? Can't Pakistan use its conventional armed forces to effectively deter India's plans under its Cold Start Doctrine (CSD)? What is Pakistan's New Concept of War Fighting (NCWF) Doctrine? Would Pakistan be able to mobilize its conventional forces rapidly? Would Pakistan army, air force and navy be able to coordinate their response under NCWF Doctrine?

Why is India waging a proxy terror war in Pakistan? Why does western government officials' and western media's public narrative completely ignore the reality that has been privately unofficially acknowledged by some American and Indian insiders?

What are the chances of India and Pakistan talking peace? Has Pakistan been an obstacle to peace with India? Can Kashmir issue be set aside for India and Pakistan to have better ties?  Are Pakistanis ready for a peace deal with India?

Why do analysts like Christine Fair see similarities between India's BJP party and America's Ku Klux Klan (KKK)? Why is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as being like a KKK Grand Wizard? Why is Nazi leader Adolf Hitler promoted as an "inspirational leader" in an Indian children's book? Why do Hindu Nationalists include Hitler among world leaders who have “devoted their lives for the betterment of their country and people.”

Does India under Nazi-loving Hindu Nationalist Modi pose a serious threat to peace in South Asia and the rest of the world? Could Hindutva fanaticism spark an India-Pakistan nuclear war?  Are India's ruling Hindu Nationalists overconfident and reckless enough to start a war against Pakistan? What do independent and Indian analysts think about the conventional strengths of the two militaries?

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

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

India-Pakistan Ties: Who's at Fault?

700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan?

Ex RAW Agents Blame Kulbhushan Jadhav For Getting Caught

Pakistan's Conventional Deterrence Against India

Pakistan's Nuclear Triad

Islamophobia Going Mainstream

Christine Fair Compares India's BJP with America's KKK

Hindutva-Nazi Alliance

Hindutva Going Global

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

Viewpoint From Overseas Channel 


Anonymous said...

It makes perfect for India to go into an arms. It is an artificial country and needs external enemies to keep the population Fooled and United. What doesn't make sense is why Pakistan keeps following it. By competing with India we have lowered our standards.
G. Ali

Riaz Haq said...

G.Ali: "What doesn't make sense is why Pakistan keeps following it. By competing with India we have lowered our standards. "

Pakistan has to have sufficient defense capability to deter possible Hindu Nationalist adventurism they may engage in to maintain their radical Hindu support base in India.

Indian "Hindu Nazis" Joining Forces With Western Neo-Nazis to Threaten World Peace

In an op ed titled "Hitler's Hindus: The Rise and Rise of India's Nazi-Loving Nationalists" published by leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz, author Shrenik Rao raises alarm bells about "large and growing community of Indian Hindu Nazis, who are digitally connected to neo-Nazi counterparts across the world".

Bilal A. said...

Many Thanks, Riaz Sb. for bringing Moeed Yousef's name up, Now Even in Pakistan's local media he is being treated as an authority on South Asia, Please find a way to respond to his one sided arguments in Pakistani media also , He was touring Pakistan recently I guess , HAve Dr. Moeed Pirzada on your show some time

Riaz Haq said...

Bilal: "Many Thanks, Riaz Sb. for bringing Moeed Yousef's name up, Now Even in Pakistan's local media he is being treated as an authority on South Asia..."

It’s often said about Washington DC think tank analysts that they reflect the views and promote the narratives of their funders. Whoever pays the piper calls the tune.

Riaz Haq said...

#Indian #Muslim: How I Got Over That Dark Geographic Shadow Called #Pakistan: “Musalman ke do hi sthaan, qabristan ya Pakistan” (A Muslim has only two choices of abode – graveyard or Pakistan). #BJP #Modi #Islamophobia … via @thewire_in

Pakistan became an enemy that came between my friends and me occasionally, and between my country and me often. My yearning for acceptance of my loyalty as an Indian was strong, even though it came at the cost of irrationally bashing ‘Pakistan’ for its cricket and its politics, and anything that kept me on ‘the side of my people’ was acceptable to me.

So, Pakistan, with which I had maintained a safe distance growing up, came close, uncomfortably close, when my husband had to travel to Pakistan for his journalistic pursuits. It was almost an irritation when my father had to go to the Pakistan High Commission to fetch my husband’s visa in his absence.

My work got me in touch with Pakistani academics and researchers, and that is when I began to know Pakistan as its people. I found a window into their research, courses, and universities, daily email exchange and communication grew, and very soon my Facebook profile could list at least a hundred ‘friends’ in Pakistan. In early 2017, as my son recovered from a major heart surgery at Jaypee Hospital, I learnt of a family who had traveled from Pakistan for their son’s surgery. Our children were in the same ICU, fighting bravely for life, and outside, their Indian and Pakistani mothers shared their grief and bonded over the pain that they were going through. After three months of tough fight, the Pakistani boy passed away, and I remember his inconsolable mother as she cried in disbelief at her misfortune and the futility of her struggle. The little hope and courage that I would gather every day to see my son for two minutes every morning in the ICU seemed ruptured, and I could feel her pain. I hugged her, as this was the only solace that I could offer to another mother, who happened to be a Pakistani.

A few days ago, I was at the Chaophraya Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue in Bangkok. A first of its kind in a nine-year-old Track Two dialogue between India and Pakistan, the dialogue brought together mid-career professionals who represented the next generation of leadership across industry and scholarship from both countries.


I can claim to know the ‘people’ side of Pakistan now, which is as humble, passionate, and desirous of amity as are the people in India. They are also progressive, articulate, and ambitious, as are my people.

I can appreciate them for what they are without the fear of being abused and demonised for this. I have come of age. But not all Indian Muslims who are subjected to verbal abuse and violent attacks and are repeatedly asked to ‘go to Pakistan’ will have the opportunity of mental healing. School-going Muslim children, who are derogatorily called ‘Pakistani’ by their classmates, will grow up as vulnerable and marginalised adults. No cricket enthusiast will ever be able to appreciate cricket for the spirit of the game, and no one will offer a hand of friendship.

So next time, when some Vinay Katiyar (founder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s youth wing, Bajrang Dal) asks Indian Muslims to go to Pakistan, we should be able to tell him: I belong to India, it is my homeland, and Pakistanis are friends.

Riaz Haq said...

Fear, loss of jobs as Indian TV brands people ‘Hindu haters’

“My sister got a call from her friend saying ‘your brother’s name is Riyaz, right? His photo is on TV and they are saying he’s anti-army and a Hindu-hater,'” Riyaz Ahmed, one of the people named in the segment, told Asia Times. “My mother was in shock and crying,” he added.


growing debate about the quality of journalism on Indian television and government influence intensified after the country’s second most watched news channel branded some people an “Opposition Troll Army” against the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party as well as “Hindu haters.”

In a segment aired last Friday, news channel Times Now showed photographs, twitter names and selected tweets from six users known to be supporters of the Congress party, and brandished them abusive trolls and “Hindu haters.”

“My sister got a call from her friend saying ‘your brother’s name is Riyaz, right? His photo is on TV and they are saying he’s anti-army and a Hindu-hater,'” Riyaz Ahmed, one of the people named in the segment, told Asia Times. “My mother was in shock and crying,” he added.

The segment also came at a grim time for 41-year-old writer and entrepreneur Sanjukta Basu, the fourth person mentioned by Times Now Editor-in-Chief Rahul Shivshankar.

She had spent the morning with her family, amid rituals to commemorate her mother who passed away in April last year. “My father was already in a delicate state of mind and we come from a humble middle-class family – it’s not like we are very rich, powerful or influential people – so [on seeing the segment] he just instantly went pale and needed to lie down,” Sanjukta said.

I am scared for my life … in my polling booth 97% of votes go to BJP,” Riyaz tweeted soon after the segment aired.

Riyaz and Sanjukta said that amid India’s current political and religious environment, the “Hindu hater” tag had endangered their lives. “Imagine some extremist Hindu somewhere adds my name and photo to a list of ‘anti-Hindus’ and just like that I’ll be on their target list,” said Riyaz. “If I’m going out to meet someone, my family keeps calling or messaging every 10-15 minutes to check 0n my safety,” he added.

Support from neighbors have helped calm Riyaz’s immediate fears, but he still dreaded his face or location being published in the news. “My neighbors will protect me, but I don’t know what thousands of others will do,” he said.

Sanjukta had similar concerns about the segment. “Tomorrow one Shambhu Lal Raigar might just feel like killing me because he heard I’m a Hindu-hater on Times Now,” she said. Shambhu Lal Raigar is a Rajasthan man who uploaded a chilling video of himself hacking and burning a Muslim migrant worker to death in December last year.

“They dehumanized and objectified me. They numbered me and put labels on me … we are tax-paying, law-abiding citizens with the same rights as Shivshankar. They can’t make such allegations without giving us an opportunity to be heard,” she said.

Riyaz was also fired from his job because of the segment. “I was working in public relations, and though I have a good a relationship with my boss, he called me and said he can’t have someone branded a ‘Hindu hater’ handling his communications,” Riyaz said.

“I am not naming my employer because he will be attacked for either firing me or simply being associated with me,” he said, adding that the information will be available for legal scrutiny.

Sanjukta also said she was worried about her value in the market as a freelance journalist after being labelled a “Congress troll.”

Riaz Haq said...

This Makes War in Syria Look Small: If India and Pakistan Fight Millions Will Die in a Nuclear Fire

The sea component of Pakistan’s nuclear force consists of the Babur class of cruise missiles. The latest version, Babur-2, looks like most modern cruise missiles, with a bullet-like shape, a cluster of four tiny tail wings and two stubby main wings, all powered by a turbofan or turbojet engine. The cruise missile has a range of 434 miles. Instead of GPS guidance, which could be disabled regionally by the U.S. government, Babur-2 uses older Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC) navigation technology. Babur-2 is deployed on both land and at sea on ships, where they would be more difficult to neutralize. A submarine-launched version, Babur-3, was tested in January and would be the most survivable of all Pakistani nuclear delivery systems.

Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan is now attempting to construct a nuclear triad of its own, making its nuclear arsenal resilient and capable of devastating retaliatory strikes.

Pakistan’s nuclear program goes back to the 1950s, during the early days of its rivalry with India. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”

The program became a higher priority after the country’s 1971 defeat at the hands of India, which caused East Pakistan to break away and become Bangladesh. Experts believe the humiliating loss of territory, much more than reports that India was pursuing nuclear weapons, accelerated the Pakistani nuclear program. India tested its first bomb, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” in May 1974, putting the subcontinent on the road to nuclearization.

Pakistan began the process of accumulating the necessary fuel for nuclear weapons, enriched uranium and plutonium. The country was particularly helped by one A. Q. Khan, a metallurgist working in the West who returned to his home country in 1975 with centrifuge designs and business contacts necessary to begin the enrichment process. Pakistan’s program was assisted by European countries and a clandestine equipment-acquisition program designed to do an end run on nonproliferation efforts. Outside countries eventually dropped out as the true purpose of the program became clear, but the clandestine effort continued.

(This first appeared last March.)

Exactly when Pakistan had completed its first nuclear device is murky. Former president Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Bhutto’s daughter, claimed that her father told her the first device was ready by 1977. A member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said design of the bomb was completed in 1978 and the bomb was “cold tested”—stopping short of an actual explosion—in 1983.

Benazir Bhutto later claimed that Pakistan’s bombs were stored disassembled until 1998, when India tested six bombs in a span of three days. Nearly three weeks later, Pakistan conducted a similar rapid-fire testing schedule, setting off five bombs in a single day and a sixth bomb three days later. The first device, estimated at twenty-five to thirty kilotons, may have been a boosted uranium device. The second was estimated at twelve kilotons, and the next three as sub-kiloton devices.

Riaz Haq said...

Complex equations
Munir AkramUpdated April 15, 2018

While Pakistan’s diplomacy is preoccupied with managing the crisis with the US, other emerging trends could affect Pakistan’s strategic interests and its stable relationship with China.

The US-India alliance is pushing Pakistan into an even greater dependence on China and to promote new cooperation with Russia. Yet, Moscow still is obliged to retain its legacy arms supply relationship with India. And both China and Russia want to hold back India from a full-blown military alliance with the US.

China is progressively recognising that, despite Sino-US interdependencies and its best efforts to avoid friction, the Trump administration is ideologically committed to confronting and containing China, economically, politically and militarily. China wants to diminish the strength of the coalition the US wants to deploy against it. It is building close relations with several neighbours — Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar — and even those, like the Philippines, with which it has maritime disputes. The rhetoric against Japan has been softened.

Since the resolution of the Doklam dispute, China has made several notable overtures to New Delhi, including the mention of the anti-India terrorist groups in the BRICS Summit communiqué and, more recently, by lifting its objection to Pakistan’s listing on the FATF’s grey list. Meanwhile, some Chinese commentaries have highlighted the Sino-Indian convergent interests, including their $100 billion trade relationship, substantial Chinese investment in India and similar trade friction with the US.

Among other things, India is likely to seek: Chinese pressure on Pakistan to act against pro-Kashmiri militant groups and end all support to the ongoing Kashmiri freedom struggle; and restrictions on the supply of advanced Chinese weapons systems and technology to Pakistan.

Pakistan should advance its own five-point positive agenda to intensify and modernise its time-tested relationship with China. While remaining responsive to China’s global and regional interests, Islamabad should urge Beijing, at the highest level, to:

— work actively for a just and peaceful solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions and an end to India’s brutal suppression of the Kashmiri people’s freedom movement. Without this, there will be no durable peace or stability in South Asia.

— express publicly its opposition to any use or threat of force against Pakistan and warn that this would evoke an appropriate Chinese response. Such Chinese support has been the fundamental foundation of the Pakistan-China strategic partnership and has been reciprocated by Pakistan’s strong defence of China’s unity and territorial integrity including its maritime claims in the South China Sea.

— affirm that the security of CPEC is the common responsibility of Pakistan and China. This project serves the strategic interests of both countries. India-sponsored terrorism from Afghanistan and elsewhere to sabotage CPEC is as much an attack on Chinese as Pakistani interests. Moreover, any incentive offered to India to join CPEC should be made jointly by Pakistan and China and in no way compromise Pakistan’s position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

— provide Pakistan, on concessional terms, weapons systems and defence capabilities required to neutralise the advanced weapons systems and technologies being acquired by India from the US or other sources. If Pakistan capitulates to India’s hegemonic designs, New Delhi’s military capabilities will be increasingly deployed against China rather than, as at present, against Pakistan.

— take conscious measures to promote large Chinese investment in Pakistan including the targeted relocation of manufacturing that is no longer competitive in China.

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - Why #India's #rape crisis shows no signs of abating. #Modi #BJP #Kashmir #Unnao

The police in India are looking for the rapists of a girl who has no face, name, home or number.

She was possibly between nine and 11 years old, and her mutilated corpse was found in a bush recently near a playground in western Gujarat state's bustling Surat city, known the world over for its diamond polishing industry. Her battered body bore 86 injury marks. The autopsy surgeon believes that the injuries "seem to have been caused over a period ranging from one week to a day prior to the recovery of the body".

The police believe she was held captive, tortured and ravaged. More than 10 days after they found her body, they are clueless about her identity: they have trawled the list of some 8,000 missing children in the state and come up with nothing. "There was no sign of struggle at the spot where the body was found," the local police chief says.

Putting up a struggle seems to be futile when rape is increasingly used as an instrument to assert power and intimidate the powerless in India. This is not surprising, many believe, in a hierarchical, patriarchal and increasingly polarised society, where hate is being used to divide people and harvest votes.

An awful sex ratio imbalance - largely because of illegal sex-selection abortions - means it is a country full of men. The country sees 112 boys born for every 100 girls, which is against the natural sex ratio of 105 boys for every 100 girls. A preference for boys has meant that more than 63 million women are statistically "missing". Many believe such skewed ratios can contribute to increased crimes against women.

The northern state of Haryana, which records the highest number of gang rapes in India, has the worst sex ratio in the country. In January alone, a 50-year-old man was held for mutilating a 10-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy allegedly raped a three-and-a-half-year-old girl, a 20-year-old married women was raped by two men, a 24-year-old man was held for kidnapping and abducting a student and a minor's girl's brutalised body was found in the fields. And these were only the reported cases.

In Indian-administered Kashmir, a poisonous cocktail of biology and bigotry led to the macabre rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim nomadic girl in January. She was kidnapped, kept captive in a Hindu temple, raped repeatedly and dumped in a forest. It was a warning to the minority Muslim nomads in the area to stop grazing their animals on Hindu owned land, in a restive part of the region, which is simmering with religious tensions.


Rape can also be ingrained and justified in cultures. When Goths attacked Rome in 410 AD St Augustine called wartime rape an "ancient and customary evil". An ancient Indian treatise, according to American Indologist Wendy Doniger, "legitimised rape as a form of marriage and gave some degree of legal sanction, retroactively, to women who had been raped".

So has nothing much changed after the 2012 Delhi gang rape sparked global outrage and violent public protests?

It is difficult to say. The good news is that there is higher and better reporting of rape. The bad news is that a shambolic criminal justice system remains vulnerable to political pressures and allows many of the accused to go scot free - only one in four cases of rape in India end in conviction.

Also many Indians - men and women - refuse to believe that sexual violence is a serious problem eating away at India's vitals. And most political parties, including Mr Modi's BJP, don't appear to recognise and treat it as the crippling societal crisis it is.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian army summit weighs up Pakistan, China threat

Naturally the army commanders will focus on threat perceptions, scenarios, and capabilities with respect to China and Pakistan
While India’s conflicts with Pakistan are well documented, the South Asian nation has faced growing problems with China as well
NEW DELHI: A major Indian army summit starting this week will focus on likely threats from nuclear-armed arch-rivals Pakistan and China, experts said on Monday.
Among topics to be discussed at the six-day conference are management of security infrastructure, future security threats, and how to ramp up India’s “combat edge over potential adversaries,” army spokesman Col. Aman Anand said.
Other issues include speeding up infrastructure development to increase capacity along the country’s northern border, a review of strategic railway lines, and optimizing the budget to make up for the “critical deficiency in ammunition,” Anand said.
Experts expect much of the talks to focus on Pakistan and China, which flank India on its western and eastern borders, respectively.
Referring to China and Pakistan as India’s “two primary external conventional military threats,” Sharad Joshi, assistant professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California, said the two neighbors were politically and militarily aligned and had a common enemy in India.
“Naturally the army commanders will focus on threat perceptions, scenarios, and capabilities with respect to China and Pakistan and will keep in mind a simultaneous two-front conflict with them,” he said.
The two-front conflict is clearly on the mind of India’s armed forces. Last week, the country’s air force started its biggest-ever combat exercise, which also focused on preparations for a simultaneous threat from Pakistan and China.
The two-week-long exercise, which will run day and night, is being carried out in two phases. The first has been on the western side, along the border with Pakistan. The second phase, which runs this week, will be in the north and will include operations that involve landing in high-altitude areas, reportedly aiming at Chinese defenses on the Tibet front.
While India’s conflicts with Pakistan are well documented, the South Asian nation has faced growing problems with China as well.
Last year, India and China were locked in a face-off over the Doklam plateau, an area of less than a 100 square kilometers that is disputed between China and Bhutan.
That dispute began when Chinese troops attempted to build a road in the area. India, at Bhutan’s request, sent in troops to stop the Chinese. The standoff lasted almost three months.
More recently, China sold Pakistan a highly sophisticated, large-scale powerful optical tracking and measurement system, making it the first country in the Indian subcontinent to acquire a missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads and one that can overwhelm a missile defense system. The Chinese team spent about three months in Pakistan to assemble the system and train Pakistani officers.
News of the sale came on the heels of India testing its Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile, which can strike almost all of China. Experts agreed that the “leak” of the sale of the tracking equipment was China’s message to India that it had ways to counter the Agni-V.
The army’s biannual conference is being chaired by the army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat and will be inaugurated by the junior defense minister Subhash Ramrao Bhamre.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan shuns US for Chinese high-tech weapons

Pakistan is focusing instead on the rollout of the next batch of the JF-17, the fighter jet it is developing with China, and which is catching up with the F-16 in terms of capabilities.

One former Pakistani minister recalls telling colleagues the US decision confirmed his worst fears. “We have learnt over time that the Americans are terrible when it comes to honouring their promises,” he says. “This was bound to end up in divorce.”

Pakistan’s response encapsulated what had been a slow but steady shift in military procurement away from American-made weapons towards Chinese ones, or those made domestically with Chinese support.

Since 2010, US weapons exports to Pakistan have plummeted from $1bn to just $21m last year, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. During the same period, those from China have also fallen, but much more slowly, from $747m to $514m, making China the biggest weapons exporter to its southern neighbour.

The shift coincided with Islamabad’s growing suspicion about the closeness between the US and India, but was accelerated by the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil in 2011, which badly damaged relations with the US.

This year, relations deteriorated again when President Donald Trump suspended $2bn of military aid to Pakistan, accusing it of showing “nothing but lies and deceit” in its promises to crack down on the Taliban and affiliated groups. The problem for Mr Trump is that he needs support from Pakistan as he recommits to the war in Afghanistan, and his officials are finding that Islamabad is less responsive than usual to the US message.

Harrison Akins, a research fellow at the Howard H Baker Jr Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, says: “The Trump administration’s decision to pursue sanctions against Pakistan, alongside Trump’s fiery rhetoric . . . can only push Pakistan further into the arms of Beijing — especially with Pakistan’s shift from US military supplies to Chinese military supplies.

“In the short term, this will make the US mission in Afghanistan more difficult and costly.”

For the US, there could be longer-term consequences that stretch well beyond its complicated relationship with Pakistan. Sales of weapons systems, often backed by preferential financial terms, have become central to the way the US has managed its vast network of military alliances and partnerships — in effect, a form of patronage.

But many of those countries are now advertising their ability to buy some of that hardware from other governments. Key allies such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey have signed arms agreements with Russia. From the Philippines and Thailand in east Asia, to large parts of Africa, world leaders are also increasingly looking to China to provide the kinds of weapons they always used to buy from the US. Between 2011 and 2015, China exported 88 per cent more in weapon sales than during the previous five years, according to Sipri.


For Pakistan’s defence planners, the collaboration with China on defence technology is not only about equipping their own armed services. They are also hoping they can become a significant arms exporter and, in doing so, help to boost the country’s low foreign currency reserves.

Pakistani officials say that between 2014 and 2016 the country exported about $63m of weapons, but last year they announced an intention to increase that to $1bn a year. To do that, they say, they will focus on selling aircraft such as the JF-17, jointly made with the Chinese, to countries such as Egypt, Turkey and Nigeria. Farooq Hameed Khan, a commentator on security affairs, says: “Pakistan’s close collaboration with China has helped us build our quality of weapons. Gone are the days when Pakistan only produced small arms.”

Riaz Haq said...

#India is a ‘republic of fear’. #Modi's guru Savarkar writes that the #rape of #Muslim women is justifiable and that not to do so when the occasion permits is not virtuous or chivalrous, but cowardly. #Islamophobia #AsifaBano #Kashmir

India is a ‘republic of fear’. The UK must keep the pressure on Modi
Amrit Wilson
The Indian PM is in Britain. Let’s hold him to account for the horrific rapes committed in the name of Hindu nationalism

The writings of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the revered icon of the Hindu right make Hindutva ideology and the notion of a Hindu nation crystal clear. In the context of rape, for example, he writes that the rape of Muslim women is justifiable and that not to do so when the occasion permits is not virtuous or chivalrous, but cowardly.

Such writings legitimised the rapes and murders of Muslim women in Gujarat in 2002, and the recent Kathua child-rape case. As feminist academic Tanika Sarkar wrote about Gujarat, “the pattern of cruelty suggests three things: One that a women’s body was a site of almost inexhaustible violence, with infinitely plural and innovative forms of torture. Second, their sexual and reproductive organs were attacked with a special savagery. Third, their children born and unborn shared the attacks and were killed before their eyes.”


It would be wrong however to see these cases as simply part of the violence against women which has been endemic in India. In Kathua, in Jammu and Kashmir state, an eight-year-old Muslim girl was abducted, drugged and brutally gang-raped and murdered in a Hindu temple by a group of men. According to the charge sheet of those arrested, it was planned and executed in order to terrorise the nomadic Muslim Bakarwal community to which she belonged and drive them out of the region. The attempt to lodge the charge sheet against the accused at a local court was followed by violent protests in their defence by a pro-Modi Hindu rightwing outfit, the Hindu Ekta Manch. Two BJP ministers attended the protests and urged the crowd to obstruct the prosecution of the accused.

Riaz Haq said...

Modi says India will work to 'isolate' Pakistan internationally
AgenciesUpdated September 24, 2016 Facebook Count
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NEW DELHI: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a speech on Saturday in the southern Indian town of Kozhikode, vowed that India will mount a global campaign to isolate Pakistan in the world.

“We will isolate you. I will work for that,” Modi said in his first speech after the attack on an Indian army base in India-held Kashmir last Sunday that killed 18 soldiers.

He said that in the last four months, Indian security forces have killed 110 terrorists who allegedly crossed over the cease-fire line in Kashmir from Pakistani territory.

“Terrorist attacks in Bangladesh and Afghanistan were also being instigated from Pakistan.” He also accused Pakistan of trying to destabilise Asia by exporting terrorism.

Riaz Haq said...

Over the past two years, Indian and pro-Indian commentators have argued that Pakistan is “diplomatically isolated.” This claim has less to do with reality and more to do with the fact that isolating Pakistan is an Indian foreign-policy goal.

In September 2016, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, referring to Pakistan, declared: “We will isolate you. I will work for that.” Within weeks, op-eds appeared asserting that Pakistan was diplomatically isolated. Declaring “mission accomplished” is, of course, the fastest path to “victory,” but it doesn’t necessarily mean that one actually has won.

In reality, Pakistan was never quite diplomatically isolated. And it certainly isn’t today. Bilateral relationships go through ups and downs, especially in the present topsy-turvy world order. With the breakdown of unipolarity, it’s actually quite hard to isolate a country. There are just too many options in this era of diplomatic free love.

For its part, Pakistan has been adept at pivoting between various regional centers of power, building relations with Russia, bolstering ties with China and Turkey, and developing partnerships with important regional players like Jordan and Qatar. Pakistan’s move toward diversification in a post–American world order is reflected in its military hardware acquisitions (and, to a lesser extent, sales) and in its diplomatic ties.

Since the downturn in U.S.-Pakistan relations in 2011, Islamabad has actively sought to diversify its foreign partnerships. Perhaps the most successful of these ventures has been Islamabad’s relationship with Moscow, a historical ally of rival New Delhi. As the United States progressively closed space for military aid to Pakistan, Russia lifted a ban on military sales to Pakistan, enabling the sale of attack helicopters. Sales of additional advanced hardware could be on the horizon. The policies of both countries toward Afghanistan have also converged.

The visit last week of a ministerial-level Pakistani delegation to Moscow—including Pakistan army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and a representative from Pakistan’s space program—roughly coincided with the departure of a delegation from Saint Petersburg from Pakistan, where multi-sector economic cooperation was discussed. Sanctions on Russia have slowed energy sector cooperation, but defense and diplomatic cooperation has steadily grown, including joint military exercises. Russia has recognized Pakistan as a “geostrategically important country.” These are important words for Islamabad to hear after being treated as a mix of a failed state and war on terror subcontractor by Washington.

From ‘Yes, but . . .’ to ‘No, but . . .’

For much of the post–9/11-era, the U.S.-Pakistan dynamic has involved American officials telling Islamabad that it must “do more” to combat terrorist networks and their Pakistani counterparts replying with something to the effect of: “Yes, but . . .” U.S. officials came to see the qualified “yes” as a reflection of Pakistani confusion or duplicity. But the lack of clarity was at least in part the byproduct of asymmetry. Pakistan was responding to the United States from a position of weakness and had little strength to provide a downright refusal. Multipolarity has not only empowered Pakistan to say “no” to more powerful countries, it’s also enabled it to publicly articulate and adhere to a more clear and consistent foreign policy.

Riaz Haq said...

From Hindustan Times:

The immediate trigger for the Pakistani nuclear tests were the Indian tests on May 11 and 13, 1998. Although matching India had become an existential need for Pakistan, defying American pressure to get there was no easy task. It was no secret that Pakistan had been pursuing nuclear capability after India’s first test in 1974. Chinese help for Pakistan’s nuclear programme was all too well known. But the Indian tests that spooked Washington in 1998 brought Pakistan under immense pressure against going nuclear. Karl F Inderfurth, who served as assistants secretary of state for South Asian affairs from 1997-2001, later wrote: “President (Bill) Clinton was on the phone with PM (Nawaz) Sharif on five separate occasions, making it very clear that he recognized that Pakistan would be under great pressure to test, but that Pakistan’s interests would be better served not to and that if it did not.”


Two nuclear-armed neighbours outside the NPT regime, their ties marked by constant strains, couldn’t move beyond the basics in building mutual confidence on the nuclear issue. The two countries annually exchange a list of their nuclear installations. India has a nuclear doctrine of no first use. It also declared a voluntary moratorium on testing. Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine resembles that of the US during the Cold War: if the integrity of the country is being threatened, it reserves the right to use nuclear weapons. If the US was talking about the conventional superiority of Russia (then Soviet Union), Pakistan was taking about India’s. But Pakistan couldn’t establish its credibility when it came to non-proliferation. The father of its nuclear programme, AQ Khan, was found by the Americans of being involved in an illegal network that sent bomb-making designs and equipment to at least three countries. Although Pakistan achieved nuclear parity with India, its hope of getting a seat at the nuclear high table remains a very distant dream.

What happened

In a span of two weeks, the two South Asian countries and bitter rivals had tested nuclear devices . In the case of Pakistan, the US was willing to offer many sops, which included lifting sanctions that had been clamped for its pursuit of nuclear weapons; that would have led to larger economic assistance and a more profitable military relationship. In 1985, the US Congress adopted an amendment proposed by senator Larry Pressler to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, banning economic and military assistance to Pakistan unless the US President could certify annually that Islamabad did not possess a nuclear weapon and that US aid would help reduce the risk of Pakistan possessing one. As expected, international condemnation followed the tests, with the United Nations Security Council passing a resolution against them; pressure mounted on both India and Pakistan to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). US sanctions kicked in. But Pakistan had been the most trusted ally of the US in South Asia for long. Strobe Talbot, the US interlocutor with India, was also dealing with Pakistan.

9/11 was a watershed for Pakistan too. As he prepared for the war against terror, exercising the authority vested on him by the US Congress in 1999, on September 22, 2001 President George W. Bush lifted sanctions imposed on India and Pakistan for their 1998 nuclear tests. The president also removed other sanctions related to Pakistan’s development of nuclear weapons. State department spokesman Richard Boucher said, “We intend to support those who support us. We intend to work with those governments that work with us in this fight (against terrorism).”