Geopolitics

Shamelessly, business as usual with Pakistan
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 17 Jan , 2013

The Interior Minister of Pakistan, Mr Rehman Malik meeting the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi

“PM gives ‘tough message’ to Pakistan” says the media. Did he by the meek remark of ‘business cannot be as usual’, delivered in characteristic apologetic body language? The fact this message was give after so many days speaks for itself. How many such messages has India given – after Parliament attack, serial blasts, 26/11 Mumbai terrorist strike and what have you? Scant regard the hierarchy gives to the rank and file of the armed forces and the central armed police forces is crystal and how the armed forces are sidelined and held on a leash is no secret either. Government orchestration of statements of Service Chiefs is further proof. First the Air Force Chief is allowed to talk of other options – any different from Parliament attack and 26/11?

This barbaric act of Pakistan was not the first one and neither the denial. How does one expect civility from a military in the first place when they are organizing institutionalized killings of Shias in their own country in cahoots with terrorist organizations?

Then after an eternity, the Army Chief is permitted to ‘talk tough’ with no option left with mandatory Army Day message to be broadcast but not before he is thoroughly lambasted on Facebook and Twitter for hiding under the desk, not making a statement, not visiting the martyrs family and someone even posting an article titled ‘Required – Service Chiefs with Balls’. Was this delay by design to rub the nose of the military in mud further and keep them under the rod? Would anyone ask the pundits why the Naval Chief, who recently stated quite logically that the Navy can send warships to Asia Pacific to safeguard our interests, has not been permitted a statement? Have we not effectively blockaded Pakistan from sea earlier? Now please don’t reply in the nonsensical that Service Chiefs can make any statements they want. This farce can’t work anymore!

The issue in any case is too frivolous for the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to make a national broadcast. The only time the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces did so was in the wake of Operation Blue Star although he himself as Home Minister India was entertaining, arming and financing terrorists, an act that got him the Presidency as the Congress thought it best to kick him upstairs and ensconce him the regal surroundings of the President’s estate.

Notice initial response of the government even days after Pakistan’s barbaric act – Salman Khurshid saying that we have made considerable bilateral progress and must continue with the CBMs. What progress are we talking about – liberalization of visa regime after 500 Pakistani spectators witnessing an Indo-Pak cricket match at Mohali a few years back went underground and never traced or Pakistan not granting MFN status to India despite India having done so years back. Salman Khurshid’s message clearly pointed to ‘business as usual’ despite Pakistan’s despicable deed. It was only after the national outburst indicating categorically that enough was enough and opposition parties called for revenge that Manmohan Singh emerged from hibernation to say “it can’t be business as usual.” The hierarchy obviously calculated the vote bank slipping and so Manmohan Singh’s ‘tough message’ but not without orchestrating editorials in dailies simultaneously that the answer is ‘business as usual’. Do you notice any difference in the timing of government response from the Nirbhaya’s case?

Why is it that while we have been telling the USA all these years that Pakistan is playing a double game, we have perpetually ignored Pakistan’s double game against India?

Why is it that while we have been telling the USA all these years that Pakistan is playing a double game, we have perpetually ignored Pakistan’s double game against India? Are the peacenik Sheikh Chillies in the government really unaware of the ground realities or is there something more sinister under the façade? The former is of course possible with the dysfunctional higher defence set up in India, deliberately not being corrected. Ask the NSA where does he get his military inputs and he will tell you point blank the National Security Council. Can you believe that he takes no inputs from the military? Would foreign countries not marvel at such ingenuity? Naturally, we don’t have any national security strategy. Then, all the intelligence agencies are busy investigating dossiers of the opposition parties. Little wonder the government has been stating since 2010 that the Maoist insurgency will be resolved in next two-three years.

How long will the so called peacenik Sheikh Chillies in the government cover their backs under the façade of ‘not in sync with ground realities’ in this age of globalization and connectivity? It is time to flip and focus on the other side of the coin in real earnest. If the FBI caught onto Ghulam Mohammed Fai only in only 2011 after he had transferred $350 million ISI funds into US to morph perceptions in Pakistan’s favour, should there be any doubt to the possibility of scores of Fai’s in India, in government and outside, and many times the $350 millions pumped in by the ISI with advantage that the money can go directly into ‘front’ accounts abroad.

No wonder Musharraf was considered the best bet for India and still referred to by many in media. Why this snake still is called for leadership summits in India after stabbing us in the back in Kargil, threatening ‘many more’ Kargils and most awarding rupees one lakh to Ilyas Kasmiri for presenting him the severed head of an Indian soldier, latter reported in Pakistani vernacular media? Lt. Gen. Shahid Aziz (Retd), former Corps Commander of Lahore recently wrote about Kargil, “The whole truth about Kargil is yet to be known….. It was a total disaster….. We didn’t pre-empt anything; nothing was on the cards. I was then heading the Analysis Wing of Inter Services Intelligence ……Our clearly expressed intent was to cut the supply line to Siachen and force the Indians to pull out…… There were no mujahideen, only taped wireless messages, which fooled no one. Our soldiers ……… the boys were comforted by their commander’s assessment that no serious response would come…. Cut off and forsaken, our posts started collapsing one after the other, though the General (Musharraf) publicly denied it.” So if Nawaz Sharif had no idea what Musharraf’s army was doing in Kargil across the LC, how do you expect Madam Hina Rabbani  to know what Kayani’s army is doing on the LC ?

Pakistan’s denial is obvious especially with the 26/11 evidence pointing the finger directly at Pakistani Military-ISI-LeT combine. A simple statement by the US at this point of time would make all the difference.

Do we still want to invite this rodent named Musharraf who is a fugitive in Pakistan with warrant in his name and who should actually be tried for war crimes both in Pakistan and India; in Pakistan post the exposure by Lt. Gen. Shahid Aziz and for refusing to take back bodies of his own soldiers killed in Kargil on the plea they were mujahedeen and in India because of the horrific torture and killing of Captain Saurabh Kalia and his patrol, as well as Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, and awarding rupees one lakh to Ilyas Kasmiri for presenting him the severed head of an Indian soldier? Will the TRP hungry media channels cultivate some shame and stop dancing to the tunes of the Indian Fai Mafia?

Obviously the Fai Mafia of India has no inhibition of selling their motherland. That is why the largess being doled out to Pakistan despite continued LC violations, infiltration, terrorism, killing and threatening panchayat members in J&K, permitting hard core hurriyat members to frequent Pakistani embassy in Delhi, visas granted to them to connive with radical mullah Hafiz Saeed, Hurriyat’s Geelani not questioned on his hate India blog, IB funding the Hurriyat without reference to the Army, 40 terrorist training camps running full swing in Pakistan/POK and Delhi’s inaction all these years on non-bailable warrants issued against  Akbaruddin Owaisi in 2005. That is why the Track II Team does the groundwork to withdraw from Siachen. If the Indian Fai Mafia was not involved, why the hesitation to disclose who the Indian coordinator to this sordid scheme is and why not even an official statement. Are he and his mentors on payroll of the ISI? How come, CIA moles in India have been exposed in the past but ISI moles never exposed beyond some low level operatives selling military secrets?

The predictable US reaction to Pakistan’s barbarianism has been restricted to “both sides should show restraint” though post 9/11, the US faked nukes in Iraq to invade that country and is morphing perceptions now about Bashar Assad being on the verge of unleashing chemical weapons. The least help the US could have provided in the present instance is proof of Pakistani-militay-LeT links which Pakistan is implicitly denying. The US has ample proof of this including solid evidence provided by David Coleman Headley who admits his complicity in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Pakistan’s denial is obvious especially with the 26/11 evidence pointing the finger directly at Pakistani Military-ISI-LeT combine. A simple statement by the US at this point of time would make all the difference.

The issue in any case is too frivolous for the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to make a national broadcast.

What is surprising is that Indian authorities also did not draw the attention to taped messages of 26/11 and evidence provided by David Coleman Headley – under pressure from Indian Fai Mafia? The fact is that US is unlikely to interfere against any terrorist organization that does not constitute a threat to the US itself and Pakistan is sly enough to assure both US and China that the vipers from her Devil’s Hatchery will not strike them. Significantly, Ashley J Tellis wrote in March 2012, “While the Pakistani Army and its current leadership still firmly oppose any LeT attack on the US, any unraveling of the US-Pakistan relationship that intensifies the adversarial sentiments on both sides would only strengthen the more extreme constituencies supporting LeT within the army.” He adds, “The only reasonable objective for the US is the permanent evisceration of LeT and other vicious South Asian terrorist groups – with Pakistani cooperation if possible, but without if necessary.” The fact is that despite a so called ban, if LeT is can undertake both overt and anti-India activities freely, it is because the Pakistan military has its sympathies with terrorist organizations.

This barbaric act of Pakistan was not the first one and neither the denial. How does one expect civility from a military in the first place when they are organizing institutionalized killings of Shias in their own country in cahoots with terrorist organizations? The outcome of the flag meeting was known in advance with Hina Rabbani (military-ISI mascot, as all politicians and bureaucrats of Pakistan) denied any complicity of Pakistani Army. The arrogance and counter charges of Pakistani officials and speakers participating in TV debates was also not a surprise since denial, deceit and ambiguity has been the hallmark of Pakistan’s policy for past several years. Yet the Indian Fai Mafia has ensured that the government has never even issued a white paper on Pakistan’s proxy against India. Terrorism in J&K apart, intelligence reports exist of LeT being covert arm of Pakistan military-ISI, Pakistan spawning, arming and directing Indian Mujahidin (IM), LeT having facilitated mine/IED training of Maoists by LTTE, LeT operatives attending Maoists meeting since past two years and LeT arming and training the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Kerala.

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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

Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

Prakash Katoch is a former Lt Gen Special Forces, Indian Army

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3 thoughts on “Shamelessly, business as usual with Pakistan

  1. The subject of analyses should change. It is clear that the political establishment are so entrenched in their own agendas that national interest does not appear in their priority list.
    The civilians are devoid of military happenings and history. The IAS which wants to do to the armed forces what hey have done the policing force of India, so as to equate the chiefs to the role of slavery that the superintendents and DCPs of the police are happy to be, have started a campaign to portray the armed forces in bad light. The IAS are desperately trying to want a ‘yes man’ for the chiefs.

    Thus the focus to situations like kargil and the beheading of our soldiers etc should change from the political establishment to the bureaucratic failure and more so the light should be on the chiefs. This so that they feel pressure contradicting the pressure from the babus. This should be done in such a way that the chiefs feel they have a backing of their own, though retired who will stand by the tough stand of the chiefs. This might just make the chiefs tell the babus to lay off his territory and his decision platform or fight the battle on their own. If the babus get bloody minded the veterans should step in and talk to the media…this time with the names of the babus who contradict military strategy with their nil experience. The civilian society will definitely stand by the military and the strength of the babus will diminish and the political class will suffer weak knees when the chiefs tell them that his troops are pulling out as they dont want to be the fodder for bullets.

    No use harping of the same political stupidity, everyone knows it….the veterans can be the armed force’s spokesperson where and when they are gagged, the veterans and the serving can work hand in hand, something again the IAS wants to deter to save costs on ECHS,pensions etc…But the higher echelons of the veterans should not to get sucked into the carrots dangled to them in contrast to junior officers.

  2. At the very least a press release ” Barbaric beheading of soldiers head can not be acceptable to the civilized world- My heart goes out to the families of the martyrs-Whole nation is with you sharing your grief”, from President would have gone a long way in soothing the feelings. Alas that was not to be. The concept of President being Supreme Commander requires a relook. Worst was silience on the part of Army Chief. It appears no one cares about Nations Izzat any more. A complete overhaul of the mental set up and conscious levels can only save this nation.

  3. Excellent analysis. But the present Army Chief seems to lack spine to stand up to his “masters” in Delhi. This needs to be brought out explicitly. It reminds of the Kargil episode when the then Army Chief Malik in the initial stages was completely out of his depth. The malaise has set in in all arms of the nation including the armed forces, not just in the civilian leadership.

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