Geopolitics

Pak Moles: Are Peaceniks Legitimizing Acts of Rogue State?
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 27 Sep , 2016

The Brigade of Peaceniks, comprising sundry elements in the print and electronic media, NGOs, leftists and ex-ministers, which had lain low in the initial days of the Uri attack, is once again flexing its muscles, trying to deflect the government from its avowed goal of punishing Pakistan. One group of experts wants him to impose restrictions on the use of Indus waters by the rogue state, while another discourages him from any such move, on the grounds that it would boomerang.

Anything can happen in a country which hides the likes of Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, yet bluffs the US about his presence.

Some dailies and magazines are already questioning the rationale of prospective military action by invoking the bogey of a nuclear war between the two countries, which is being given increasing credence by the visual media. Something laughable if not downright infantile! They pretend as if Pakistan will emerge unscathed from the consequences of its folly and walk into the sunset after the dismemberment of India and annexation of Kashmir.

Have the peaceniks ever pondered the possibility of a jihadi group seizing such a weapon of mass destruction in Pakistan’s own backyard and deploying it to blackmail the ‘mighty’ United States? The consequences would be too catastrophic to contemplate. Anything can happen in a country which hides the likes of Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, yet bluffs the US about his presence. It took 50 million horrific deaths and the prospect of even greater global devastation to drop atomic bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, during World War II. Not some isolated instances of smashing terror camps or scattered infantry raids.

The Peaceniks’ moral support is construed by the deep state as a licence to wreak even more horrific depredations on our soil, never mind if tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children have already lost their lives or been horribly maimed over the past 30 years. Their collective human rights, in the eyes of peaceniks, weigh even less than that of the likes of Burhan Wani, lionized by the separatists and the media alike.

India is advised to grin and bear the consequences of such primitive acts of state sponsored terror, just because of the drummed up fears of a nuclear retaliation.

Why should soldiers increasingly bear the brunt of bullets, IEDs, bomb blasts and set ablaze in Uri while fast asleep, after the stress and strains of battling an invisible enemy? Can there be a ghastlier or more agonizing mode of death than the one inflicted by the chilling new paradigm of barbarism? India is advised to grin and bear the consequences of such primitive acts of state sponsored terror, just because of the drummed up fears of a nuclear retaliation.

A senior columnist, who helms a security magazine, even asserts that India has never vanquished Pakistan in any war. During an acrimonious TV debate with one of the most perceptive strategic analysts, post Uri, he described the retired general as being delusional when he legitimately asserted that India had inflicted it biggest defeat on Pakistan in 1971. One wonders if there is something more to their provocative stance than the super abundance of love they apparently bear the rogue state. This is the kind of attitude that defies logic and has been the bane of independent India.

Pakistani panellists, with unrestricted access to our TV channels, are probably being primed by the ISI to utter lies and vilify India. One is reminded of the story of the shepherd who cried wolf, but paid with his very life because the villagers, annoyed with the boy’s false alarms, did not rescue him when the predator actually materialized. Many in the government and outside fail to read the writing on the wall. Islamabad is doing everything in its power to discredit and demonize India.

Why else would the American or the Russian Army send their finest operatives to be trained in asymmetric warfare by the Indians? Yet the domain skills of our forces are not being utilized in the war against terror. Why?

The problem is doubly compounded by Delhi’s habitual gullibility and rank amateurishness, a by-product of Nehruvian pacifism. No wonder the country has sleep walked through 70 years of independence, unable to pursue national goals. The political dispensation flails like a headless chicken after every incident, seeking answers from the IAS-IPS dominated security set-up, whose forte is administration and law and order, not undercover work or counter terror operations, which calls for extremely specialized military skills.

However, an anomalous situation prevails in India, with the army still being kept out of decision making process, despite 50 years of successfully battling all manner of insurgencies in every conceivable terrain, calling for stealth, secrecy and surprise. Why else would the American or the Russian Army send their finest operatives to be trained in asymmetric warfare by the Indians? Yet the domain skills of our forces are not being utilized in the war against terror. Why?

The Special Action Groups 51 and 52, drawn from the ranks of Army Special Forces and led by a major general, form the combat wing of the National Security Guards. But he is answerable to an IPS officer who heads the body with negligible combat experience, even after the very nearly botched up 26/11 operations in Mumbai. The sham secular brigade, out of misplaced motives, sounded the death-knell of the Technical Services Division, with a record of notching up some striking successes against the terror apparatus. One which Islamabad came to dread and respect during its all too brief existence!

Pointedly, in a country of any consequence, the military is included in policy making and strategic matters, besides forming the backbone of covert agencies, given their role in highly classified operations. But the opposite is true of India, for reasons that are not particularly difficult to fathom. If IPS officers, who have appropriated every spy and security apparatus in India, can be seamlessly meshed with Union home ministry, then why are army officers being kept out of the defence ministry, with unsurpassed domain knowledge and expertise?

On its own the Indian Army has always given a befitting reply to Pakistanis, as the outcome of four wars would vouch. But when civilian agencies intervene in military domains, then disasters like Mumbai and Pathankot happen.

Nehru’s irrational distrust of the Army, dating from the pre independence era, turned into one of abiding fear and disdain when the generals seized power in Pakistan post 1947. He transmitted it wholesale to the political establishment, already in awe of his larger than life persona, but which ended up permanently damaging the psyche and the prospects of the men in olive green. Consequently, a demoralized army suffered the most ignominious defeat at the hands of the Chinese in 1962. Sadly, the pernicious political mindset remains unchanged.

It lies at the heart of military-civilian divide and subverts every attempt to grant soldiers their dues, whether it is about decent pay-scales, allowances, war memorial or improvement in service conditions. Could this be the reason why the government is loathe to bestow the Bharat Ratna on Field Marshal Manekshaw or Major Dhyan Chand, modern India’s greatest military mind and its most distinguished sportsman, respectively.

Where would have Indira Gandhi’s halo been without Manekshaw’s outstanding military leadership and support, in scripting a phenomenal victory over Pakistan in 1971, against all odds. Similarly, Dhayan Chand had so impressed Hitler with his mesmeric ball control during the Berlin Olympics that the Fuhrer immediately offered to make him a general in his Wehrmacht.

On its own the Indian Army has always given a befitting reply to Pakistanis, as the outcome of four wars would vouch. But when civilian agencies intervene in military domains, then disasters like Mumbai and Pathankot happen. They must not forget that the ISI is headed by military officers who have a far better grasp of strategic and tactical nuances than their IPS counterparts in the intelligence set-up.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Sudip Talukdar

is a senior journalist, author and strategic affairs columnist, ex TOI.

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13 thoughts on “Pak Moles: Are Peaceniks Legitimizing Acts of Rogue State?

  1. Talukdar sahib you are right why these peaceniks should be allowed to step in the domain of armed forces — these nicks have never held or fired a rifle or faced a bullet are are most scared by very mention of hostilities — on top of that they want Indians to go vegetarians if one does not offer animals in sacrifice to Goddess (one way of making people see blood and become brave){{ herbivorous animal is always stronger like elephant .buffalo but it is always the carnivorous who WINS}} i have commented inconsistently just to keep it small

  2. Can you tell us on what way civilian Govt is responsible for the recent terrorist attacks in Kupuwara Army camp, Pathankot and Uri sector brigade command post? After Kupuwara post attack in Nov., last year, why is the Army did not take enough precaution in the Command posts near the border areas? The brigade command allowed to grow tall grass in and around the unit. Pakistan started terrorism after 1965 war. In this connection, you may read a book ” The Little Spy Story” written by K. Vijayan. Every Indian particularly defence personnel should ready Those who want to read the book they may contact him through his mail given below- e- mail Id:-
    kumbakonan@gmail.com
    But the Indian Navy failed to prevent Mumbai terrorist attack in spite of having Aircraft carriers , Warships, frigates submarine .

      • I am not promoting a book, I am promoting knowledge. If I ask you to read Bhagavad Gita does it mean that I am promoting Bhagavad Gita book? The particular book I asked the people to read, because how is the Indian Army Intelligence wing thwarted the terrorist attack through the sea in 1966. I found this book is like The Second Lady by Irving Wallace. This book is a real story.

        • Foolish response. Nobody needs to promote a holy book like Bhagvad Gita. But nobody knows about Vijayan or his Spy Story.. And certainly there is no known account of any terrorist plot through the sea in 1966. The Second Lady is a spy novel devoid of any terror angles. Analogy is erroneous.

  3. Pakistan, a rogue state and the global epicentre of terror, also revels in criminal intimidation and threats at the slightest provocation. All because of the tacit encouragement by the US, which has fathered the most sinister and bloodthirsty Jihadi outfits since. Afghanistan. If Modi is making a lot of noise today but doing practically nothing against Pakistan, it is because he is probably being arms-twisted by Washington.

    By threatening India with nuclear damnation, Islamabad acts like the petulant child which has been deprived of its lollypop by responsible adults. It is setting a very dangerous precedent in brinkmanship. Other countries have been punished severely for much less. And there are ENOUGH FIFTH COLUMNISTS AND Aman ki Ashawadis on the soil of India, who will oppose or hold candle light vigils to discourage the state from resolute action against Islamabad.

    In the 50 years following the 1965 War, many new facts have emerged which only proves how India had very nearly finished off Pakistan then, when Gen JN Chowdhury mis informed Shastri ji about the Army having only 20 percent reserve ammo. How can we forget the heroic deeds of Cols AB Tarapore and Hanaut Singh, who fought the greatest tank battles in Phillaura post Second World War and made a graveyard of Pakistani Pattons. Col Tarapore with his nine of obsolete Centurians destroyed 63 state of the art Pattons!!!!

    I recall my father’s published account of the Battle of Charwa, which he experienced first hand as the regimental medical officer of 2/5 GR. He wrote: “The Pakistan sky above and around Charwa could be seen blazing with a defeaning crescendo of (shell) fire, as the Indian artillery pulverized enemy positions, just before the 2/5 GR (FF) and 4 Rajputana Rifles, launched an all out assault on the objective, at 2300 hrs on the night of September 7, 1965. . . . “Following up on the attack, the reserve Bravo Company ran into a veritable hail of medium and LMG fire. (Continued)

    • at point blank range, which pinned them down past a mosque on the left flank of the village and close to the school building, from where the intense fire was being directed. . . . The B Coy then blasted the school building with a 106 RCL anti tank gun, before engaging the holed up enemies.

      “The Pakistanis surrendered. . . . Following the attack on Charwa, 1 Armoured Division moved into Pakistan through the front opened by the Gorkhas and the Rajputs, concentrating in Philllaura on September 10. . . .”

  4. “On its own the Indian Army has always given a befitting reply to Pakistanis, as the outcome of four wars would vouch ” –
    Not sure about this claim. In 1971 the main theater of war was the western front, in particular Kashmir. The Indian army failed to breakthrough on the Punjab front although it had superiority in armour and in number of troops at its disposal there, and in Kashmir it had to retreat in the Chamb sector which is in Pakistan’s hand ever since. This was due to complete failure of military intelligence and strategy in the Chamb sector as has been very well pointed out by Lt Gen Mohan Bhandari in IDR some time back. The only gain Indian army made was in the Kargil area where it had acquired night-fighting gear from the Soviets which the Pak army lacked since in those days western powers did not master that optical technology.

    • LoL…western front was never a priority in 1971 – it was meant only to hold while the objective was a grand success that resulted in capture of 96000 PoW with the creation of new country on the eastern front against the threat of 3 nuke powers with 2 sending their warships, 1 actually nuke ship, to both seas on either side of peninsular India, and despite all the odds a cold war super power was shown its place with its closest ally cut to size.

      • Thanks for your corrective pointer. But then again as I read other generals have expressed different views and assessments in this context. Here is one by Gen Sukhwant Singh that also appeared in the IDR:

        “. . Lt Gen NC Rawlley, the corps commander, and Maj Gen Bhattacharjea had five infantry brigades and one independent brigade between them in the area. The Dera Baba Nanak enclave had been secured by 8 December. Leaving about one infantry battalion group ….., the remainder of the brigade group could well have been lifted, provided offensive operations had been developed across the Gil ferry .. …

        This force could have been employed for an offensive task with telling effect against Quila Sobha Singh as originally intended. It would have definitely assisted the progress of the 1 Corps offensive and hurt Pakistan in its sensitive area behind the fortress line. Instead, these sizable resources set out the war unutilised, a criminal waste in a short war. But then the Indian generals were not attuned to fight a modern war. In fact, they displayed inflexibility of a high order and timidity in giving battle. Such was also the case in the Amritsar sector. ”

        I have also read that the posts in the Kargil area (Zoji La etc) were wrested out only by the initiative of the local commander there which has been a vital strategic asset for India ever since. Even Skardu could have come in India’s possession had the higher Army echelon envisioned it. That would have made northern Kashmir (Siachin) more secure in a future war. Rarely such an opportunity will arise.

        Read more at:
        http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spotlights/1971-war-the-amritsar-sector/

        • I should add further regarding the “nuke” threat faced by India at that war as pointed out in reply to my post, another nuke power was solidly behind India that has not been accredited. According to news reports in those days the Soviets had moved 10,000 troops on the Sinkiang border to deter the Chinese. And I have read in military journals that as the US Seventh fleet was on the verge of entering Bay of Bengal, Soviet nuclear submarines surfaced in the Indian ocean. Being alerted by those subs, the Seventh fleet changed its course. Thus there is no reason to conclude that the Army had to recoil from taking an offensive posture in the western front on adverse possibility of third party intervention.
          In fact, Pakistan had been all along offering to India when the political turmoil in 1970s began before the war broke out that they were willing to exchange Kashmir with East Pakistan. So from political viewpoint Kashmir was always the main objective in the event of war.

        • Nothing will obscure the fact that the Indian Army stood on the verge of overrunning Pakistan, until halted by the then political dispensation headed by Lal Bahadur Shastri, based on misleading information that India had only 20 percent stockpile of ammo, when the actual figure stood at 80 percent.

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