TWO DENIALS THAT TELL WHO IS THE REAL BOSS IN PAKISTAN

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified.

When India released a video footage of its counter-terrorism operations destroying a Pakistani post in the Naushera sector on May 9, the first reaction that came from Pakistan was from its military establishment. Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of the Pakistan Army, dismissed the Indian claims. The Pak Army spokesperson also flatly denied the reports of Pakistani posts targeting villages along the Line of Control (LoC) and killing innocent civilians. Whereas the truth is, in May alone, Pak firing has killed three civilians and injured nine others in just the Naushera Sector and over a thousand villagers have forced to migrate to safer places.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor‏Verified account
@OfficialDGISPR
PR275/17
Indian claims of destroying Pakistani post along LOC in Naushera Sec and firing by Pak Army on civilians across LOC are false.
4:33 PM – 23 May 2017
https://twitter.com/OfficialDGISPR/status/866972917078392833

So far, it is the only reaction from Pakistan on what is being seen as the next major counter-terror offensive by India against Pakistan after the Surgical Strikes last year. No one from its civilian establishment has spoken on it yet. It is in contrast to the Surgical Strikes that India carried out in September last year,

After the Surgical Strikes, first reactions came from Pakistan’s civilian establishment. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif said it was an act of ‘naked aggression’ by the Indian Army. Its defence minister Khawaja Asif initially said yes there were such incidents over the night but if India did so again, we would give a strong reply. So they accepted the Surgical Strikes.

But after its all powerful military issued a denial, dismissing the very existence of the Surgical Strikes, in a desperate bid to save its face, Pakistan’s civilian establishment had no other option but to toe the line. And soon the whole Pakistan, including its media, started speaking in the language of its army – and the line was – no surgical strike took place and it was a mere Line of Control (LoC) aggression.

But this dichotomy had caused Pakistan a great deal of embarrassment. So, probably, learning from the past, its Army would have ordered Pakistan’s civilian establishment to shut its mouth and let it handle the moment of crisis. And in its books, the best way to handle such a crisis is denial, as we saw after the Surgical Strikes.

These two denials once again reiterate who is the real boss in Pakistan, it’s all powerful military. The Pak Army has ruled the nation either directly through its generals or by dictating terms to its civilian governments, something that a BBC article described as “military rule by stealth”. Pakistan’s political establishment could never stand on its own. Military effectively entrenched itself into every aspect of Pakistan’s socio-political milieu – killing democracy in the process.

©SantoshChaubey

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INDIAN ARMY DESTROYS PAKISTAN POSTS ALONG LOC IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR, PAKISTAN DENIES ATTACK

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified.

The Indian Army today destroyed several Pakistani military posts along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir in a recent “punitive assault” as part of counter-terror strategy to stop cross-border militant incursion.

“The Pakistan Army has been providing support to armed infiltrators…In recent actions in Naushera (border sector of Rajouri district), we have caused damage to Pakistan army posts,” Major General Ashok Narula told reporters.

Asked when the attacks took place, Narula said it was “recent, very recent” operation.

In the first reaction from Pakistan on Indian Army’s counter-terrorism operation, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of the Pakistan Army, has dismissed Indian Army’s claims. He also claimed that the reports of Pakistan firing on civilians is also false.

Indian Army has released a 20-second video footage showing its counter-terrorism operations to destroy a Pakistani post across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Naushera Sector. The operation took place on May 9. The Indian Army has conducted similar operations in the Naugam sector on May 20 and 21. According to Major General Ashok Narula, spokesperson of the Indian Army, the operation was a punitive action for trying to push terrorists in India. Major Narula said Pakistan was trying to push infiltrators in the Indian territory by engaging Indian forward troops, and at times, didn’t hesitate even to fire on villages along the LoC.

He said that the Indian Army proactively dominates the LoC region, adding that the recent measures taken by India in the ‘Naushera have caused damage to Pakistani posts’. Major Narula emphasized that that infiltration bids are likely to go up as snow melts and more passes open and it is necessary to crack down on their sources to check increasing number of violent incidents in Jammu & Kashmir that has started influencing its youth.

©SantoshChaubey

WHY SHOULD WE BAN THEM?

We want to see India play Pakistan as far as cricket goes. Indians, barring few fanatics, want so, and there is no harm, even ideologically, if we are supposed to play with them in a third country.

Why value Pakistan so much that we are forced, that we are compelled to snap events on our shared cultural heritage, on our shared cultural traits – music, cinema or sports?

In fact, we Indians should happily ignore the fanatic calls or impulsive reactions to ban them – and should enjoy a good musical piece – should relish a good artful cinema work – or should worrying/thrillingly watch every moment of a riveting India-Pakistan cricket rivalry in the field.

That, in fact, should be a major priority factor in India’s ‘shedding Pakistan obsession’ policy.

We need to see Pakistan at best as a small country in our neighbourhood that shares common cultural elements with us. If any reality, in any comparison of India vis-à-vis Pakistan exists, it ends here, at this cultural context.

India had 17.22 crore Muslims according to figures from Census 2011 and Pakistan’s overall population that year was 17.62 crore. And Muslims are just 14.2% of our population – our equal brothers and sisters – assimilated in and contributing to our joint cultural values.

India and Pakistan began their sovereign, independent journeys together. But the similarity ended there. Pakistan is no match for India today. India is a global player while Pakistan is not even a regional power.

And even a Nawaz Sharif meeting Barack Obama this week in Washington or many Pakistan leaders shouting anti-India rants over the top on every possible global platform should be dismissed accordingly.

When they need to cease existing as the focal points of our South Asia policy, why should we care at all about Pakistani artists and sportsmen playing or performing in India?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

INDIA SHEDDING ITS ‘PAKISTAN OBSESSION’: PAKISTAN DESPERATELY TRYING TO PROVOKE INDIA

“Narendra Modi contested elections on anti-Pakistan platform and now wants to dictate terms for the dialogue with Pakistan but we will never accept this and we have already conveyed it to New Delhi.” He said Kashmir will be part and parcel of any agenda of talks with India and that the international community has accepted Pakistan’s point of view in this regard. Aziz said that no one could dare to launch any attack inside Pakistan and if anyone did so, he would get a befitting response. He said that Pakistan would not be pressured by Indian threats of an attack at any time, adding that if India even thought of attacking, Pakistan would provide a befitting response.

Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s National Security Advisor, Dawn, September 8, 2014

“If the enemy (read India) ever resorts to any misadventure, regardless of its size and scale – short or long – it will have to pay an unbearable cost.”

“Enduring peace is not possible without a just resolution of Kashmir. The issue can no longer be put on the backburner.”

Raheel Sharif, Pakistan’s Army Chief, September 6, 2015

“Undoubtedly Pakistan is a responsible and peaceful nuclear power. Though, we are fully aware of the conspiracies and tactics of the enemies (read India), we desire to have good and peaceful relations with all our neighbours on the basis of sovereign equality. I wish to make it clear that we will protect the sovereignty and security of Pakistan at all cost.”

“Today we are celebrating the golden jubilee of those memorable events, when our brave armed forces not only successfully defended its frontiers but also thwarted the nefarious designs of the enemy (read India).”

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, while speaking on 50th anniversary of 1965 war between India and Pakistan – September 6, 2015

“September 6 is the day of aggression for India and the Day of Defence for Pakistan and with the Grace of Allah, it became the day of victory for Pakistan and the day of defeat for India.”

Pervaiz Rashid, Pakistan’s Information Minister, September 6

These loud claims cap the prevailing sentiments in Pakistan’s ruling establishment, that is, it’s all powerful military, and a political regime that depends on this military for its survival.

As India is finally shedding its ‘Pakistan obsession’, Pakistan’s ruling elite are getting ever more desperate to look for fodders that words of Indian establishment used to provide to lubricate (incite) the ordinary Pakistani mindsets – an anti-India atmosphere that the Pakistan’s ruling class has exploited since the days of partition.

Irrespective of what Ajit Doval, India’s National Security Advisor meant, India, for decades, practiced the policy of getting engaged in ‘below the belt’ verbal wars with Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan outdid India many times on international platforms while spreading falsities and propaganda about Kashmir – not because Pakistan could do it efficiently – but because India’s sluggishness allowed it do so.

India and Pakistan began their sovereign, independent journeys together. But the similarity ended there. Pakistan is no match for India today. India is a global player while Pakistan is not even a regional power. And it has not happened in a year.

But the realization on Indian part, in the ruling establishment of India, came late.

India should (and should have) dismiss (dismissed) Pakistan as a disturbed nation that is (was) trying to divert attention from its internal problems by targeting India – through words – through wars – and proxy war activities like militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and support to terrorism in other parts of India.

Well, Pakistan has been at it for decades. And has failed to make any significant dent – even after waging many wars – that it all lost – including this one in 1965.

India knows it. The world knows it. Pakistan knows it but doesn’t accept it back home.

India was giving undue attention to Pakistan so far. The time is now to realize and move ahead. The time is now to remain silent and act whenever there is any provocation, as is the policy now – inflicting heavy damage whenever Pakistan violates ceasefire (that it does in routine). Destabilizing India and taking J&K from it are beyond Pakistan’s reach. And a growing global stature of India has made things even more difficult for Pakistan.

As India is shedding its ‘Pakistan obsession’, not rushing to react on war-mongering rhetoric by Pakistan’s leaders while replying Pakistan’s armed provocations with twice the force, Pakistan is finding hard to explain back home the failures that are piling up by the day.

Everyone in Pakistan’s ruling establishment is trying hard to provoke India – but India, it seems, is not going to buy the verbal bravado now – or is not going to be trapped there – in a ‘below the belt’ war of words. For Pakistan’s support to armed militancy in J&K and other parts of India – our internal apparatus is strong enough to mitigate hostile developments.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

GOOD THAT INDIA IS FINALLY SHEDDING ITS PAKISTAN OBSESSION

When Nawaz Sharif yesterday said that any talks with India ‘sans Kashmir’ were futile, he was only summing up the line of ongoing verbal volleys – by his other ministers.

After (naturally) expecting it – as we are hearing Pakistani leaders of different hues, including Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz – Sharif’s version was only a symbolic summation of how the political establishment of Pakistan once again surrendered before its all powerful army (and therefore its real ruler, the army chief there).

And it is good that we, in India, didn’t reach much into it and decided to stick to our position this time – that the whole Jammu and Kashmir (including Pakistan occupied Kashmir) is our integral part and its society and politics will be governed according to the Indian Constitution – and not what some sidelined separatist leaders like the Hurriyat ones say.

It is good, that, we, as a nation, are finally shedding its Pakistan obsession.

Yes, it is political pragmatism that every nation wants a peaceful neighbourhood, especially with democracies. And, irrespective of intelligence claims and counterclaims, we have valid and worldly reasons to believe that India is not orchestrating unrest in Pakistan. Terrorism and other internal rifts in Pakistan are its own making and Pakistan is paying a heavy price for that – now.

We need to see Pakistan at best as a small country in our neighbourhood that shares common cultural elements with us. If any reality, in any comparison of India vis-à-vis Pakistan exists, it ends here, at this cultural context.

India had 17.22 crore Muslims according to figures from Census 2011 and Pakistan’s overall population that year was 17.62 crore. And Muslims are just 14.2% of our population.

Sovereign India and Pakistan started their journeys the same day – two countries that shared a joint geographical patch and culture until then.

India remained a democracy, and with time, in fact, strengthened its institutions and processes. Its security establishment proudly built on its own. Its economy grew. Its middle class swelled. And today, it has become as imperative a market for the global economy as China is. And as China is slowing down, the world is looking to India – the world’s fastest economy – the world’s third largest economy – and the world’s youngest country demographically – with projections to have the world’s largest middle class by 2030.

Yes, India’s democracy has had its internal flaws but in spite of that, we have a healthy electoral system that makes our democratic set-up robustly functional.

But, Pakistan started faltering very early on its sovereign journey. During 68 years of existence, the country has been ruled by its army most of the time. Pakistan’s political establishment could never stand on its own. Military effectively entrenched itself into every aspect of Pakistan’s socio-political milieu – killing democracy in the process.

Pakistan has historically been anti-India, fighting and losing wars since 1948. Pakistan’s Army, in order to remain the most powerful institution in the country, has always resorted to anti-India propaganda to suppress and sideline political voices. The violence in the aftermath of the India-Pakistan partition gave Army a powerful tool to instil fear in Pakistani masses by name-calling India.

Yes, in India, every aspect of society has corruption as malaise, but here, we can raises voices and push for remedies. Pakistan’s military establishment doesn’t allow that – acting on cases based on its self-interest.

Pakistan of the day is failing to handle its internal mess, something that is its own creation, including terrorism, anarchy in tribal areas and separatist movements but the ego (or the compulsion) of its ruling/military dispensations is forcing them to still engage in anti-India activities and propaganda – primarily in Jammu and Kashmir – and in India wherever possible – trying to provoke Muslims in the name of religion – even if India has more Muslims than Pakistan – even if the Muslims of India have registered maximum decadal population growth rate (as the Census 2011 data on growth rate of different religious communities released today says). They are our equal brothers and complete the arch of India’s diverse cultural landscape.

India and Pakistan started their journeys as independent countries in similar circumstances. India is a global player now – on its way to become a global power in a multi-polar world – and Pakistan is not even a regional player.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

NSA TALKS CANCELLED: POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT OF PAKISTAN IS FURTHER WEAKENED

What happened to the proposed talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan was not a surprise.

In fact, it was only waiting to happen because Pakistan was not in a position to dictate terms of the talks. And at the same time, it could not send home the message that it bowed before India by agreeing to an agenda that didn’t include talks on Jammu and Kashmir.

Given the stated position of this government, the Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance government, we have reasons to believe J&K cannot be on any agenda of talks where different factions of All Party Hurriyat Conference are invited by Pakistan as the third party – at least till Narendra Modi is the prime minister of India.

India, as the doctrine goes, doesn’t consider J&K a disputed territory and the present government has been, ever since its inaugural, particularly emphatic about expressing it.

The bilateral talks between India and Pakistan were broken in August 2014 when India had cancelled Foreign Secretary level talks on issue of Pakistan being adamant on talking to Hurriyat leaders.

So, obviously, if Pakistan was serious about talks, if it had accepted to go ahead with ‘now cancelled’ NSAs meeting, it had to keep in mind that why the talks last year were cancelled in the first place.

For the BJP, political analysis in India (and Pakistan) was growing more and more vocal about the possible stand taken by the NDA government after Pakistan invited Hurriyat leaders for talks even this time.

When a round of talk was killed last year on same issue, why to reintroduce that element again?

Because, either Pakistan wanted to kill the talks again – with its inborn compulsions to run away from words of logic and geopolitical pragmatism – or – it wanted to send home a message (to its Army) that it was dealing with India on its own terms – and so was a dominant negotiating partner – in case if India accepted Hurriyat as a party in negotiations – that meant Kashmir was on the agenda – something that India had refused from the day one – since Ufa.

India was never going to accept these terms, even if it didn’t set any precondition other that those agreed at Ufa – reflected by the joint statement of both countries.

Pakistan’s political leadership, under international pressure, most importantly from the US, willingly or unwillingly, agreed to restart the talks and India took a leading step here by inviting Pakistan.

But Pakistan tried to exploit even this move by propagandizing that ‘India was compelled to come to the talking table’ – and that Pakistan did not blink first.

Now, we know, the world community knows, and even many in Pakistan, including its military and political leadership know, that Pakistan is no match for India. India has moved much ahead and is a global economic powerhouse now. Its scientific and defence prowess are years ahead than Pakistan.

Pakistan, therefore, cannot set terms, other than agreed, while negotiating with India. That reflected in Sartaj Aziz’s presser where he clarified that he was visiting India for the talks even if he was not hopeful of any outcome.

Pakistan’s problem – primarily of its military establishment – and therefore of its political establishment – is – that its foreign policy has been India centric ever since the country came into existence in 1947.

And the cancelled NSA talks show nothing has changed on that front – even now.

In fact, India was always in a different, positive league than Pakistan. But we, politically, mismanaged the whole affair, with every subsequent government giving Pakistan legroom to exercise and promote its propaganda voices on different global platforms. We allowed Pakistan to even outmanoeuvre us on many times.

But, it had to end somewhere. And the process has begun – even if the realization has come very late.

India, like China, is imperative for global economy now. Yes, Pakistan, too, is a nuclear power, but its security establishment is far superior, innovative and indigenous and is accustomed to work under a democratic leadership.

India is asserting its rightful position on the global stage now and the world is taking note of it. India’s neighbours (excluding China and Pakistan) see India now as a senior partner that gives them due bilateral importance.

The problem with Pakistan’s political leadership is – it cannot say no even to the Hurriyat leadership – we all remember the serious note taken by Pakistan after Nawaz Sharif didn’t meet them during his India visit last year in May 2014 or when Ufa statement didn’t mention Kashmir this year – then how can it stand before Pakistan’s military – the institution that wields real power there?

Pakistan’s Army didn’t want these talks to happen, as evident by escalation in incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan after the Ufa meeting. And the talks ultimately, expectedly, didn’t happen.

It has further weakened the political establishment in Pakistan.

Hurriyat has no significance for India. The party with its different factions doesn’t matter even in Jammu and Kashmir’s politics. Jammu and Kashmir has elected government and people’s participation, over the years, in the electoral process, has increased quite impressively, in spite of the continued run of cross-border terrorism by Pakistan, trying to incite separatist voices.

Hurriyat, in fact, is a ploy by Pakistan’s Army to keep another of its anti-India ploy running – the anti-India rhetoric based on Kashmir – an eternal lifeline ‘sort of thing’ for Pakistan’s Army.

And Pakistan’s political establishment, irrespective of the realpolitik, is forced to follow whims of this ploy.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THANKFULLY, NARENDRA MODI DOESN’T NEED TO MEET ARMY CHIEF BEFORE NSA LEVEL TALKS

It can be a normal report on a routine political development in Pakistan but thankfully, we, in India, don’t come across such ‘displays’.

Army chief of Pakistan, Raheel Sharif, met Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif today to discuss the upcoming dialogue between the National Security Advisers of India and Pakistan. Chief of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s notorious spy agency, was also there.

Obviously, the public façade of such meetings are always conveyed as something else, like this was a routine security meeting between the prime minister and the army chief. But on agenda was the upcoming NSA level meet in Delhi and as ceasefire violations have continued in spite of Nawaz Sharif’s words, we can easily guess what would have transpired in the meeting.

No such meeting happened in India. No such meeting for the ‘meeting’ of NSAs is going to happen in India. 

Narendra Modi doesn’t need to call Indian Army chief to prepare for Ajit Doval – Sartaz Aziz meet in New Delhi on August 23-24.

Indian political establishment is free from such interference. That is the strength of our functional democracy.

And that is just one among many pointers that tell why we are a flourishing democracy and why Pakistan is still a limping military state – a country where democracy has always been dependent on its army to draw sanctity – a country where military has been in the government most of the time.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

CEASEFIRE VIOLATIONS: IT WILL ULTIMATELY HARM PAK ARMY

Yesterday, India had called Pakistan’s High Commissioner to lodge ‘strong’ protest on ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir that caused six civilian deaths on the day.

Naturally, expectedly, Pakistan had to reply in the same diplomatic language and today, it called India’s Deputy High Commissioner to lodge its ‘strong’ protest.

And nothing is going to move except these diplomatic gestures, like the cases have been between India and Pakistan where India has been patiently calling Pakistan to take action against anti-India activities from its soil, like the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 or like Dawood Ibrahim having a safe haven in Pakistan. And these are not isolated examples.

Pakistan has never taken these demands seriously. Because its rulers derive their sanctity from their anti-India rhetoric.

Pakistan being an Army ruled country for most of its independent history has historically been anti-India, fighting and losing wars since 1948. Pakistan’s Army, in order to remain the most powerful institution in the country, has always resorted to anti-India propaganda to suppress and sideline political voices. The violence in the aftermath of the India-Pakistan partition gave Army a powerful tool to instil fear in Pakistani masses by name-calling India.

And Pakistan’s political establishment, including its political parties, that was dependent on Pakistan’s Army for its public life, just followed the suit, willingly or unwillingly.

So, even if Pakistan tries to sound moving ahead politically on its various issues with India, its military does the otherwise, following its own agenda, that is Pakistan’s main agenda irrespective of what Mr. Nawaz Sharif thinks and irrespective of what his ministers convey.

Any event of political ramification, including India-Pakistan dialogue, has been held hostage to this narrowcasting of interests by the omnipotent (in Pakistan) Pakistan’s Army – including the India-Pakistan Joint Statement at Ufa last month.

People of Pakistan are not inherently India haters or bashers – success of India’s cultural products, especially movies, shows. A report in The Express Tribune today carried an analytical peace on how Akshay Kumar’s ‘Brothers’ has won over the box office in Pakistan and how ‘it has dealt a blow to the Pakistani movie releases of the week’. And ‘Brothers’ is not the first case.

Also, in India, people are running a campaign to raise Rs. 10 Lakh for treatment of a girl from Karachi in a Mumbai hospital.

Political process and India-Pakistan dialogues are inimical to the Pakistan Army’s interest (and to the political class that survives and thrives on Pakistan’s Army) because it will lead to an increased people to people movement between two countries who shared a common land till 1947. The patch of the land is still the same and so are the cultural elements.

An increasing pro-India sentiment, that can gradually happen with normal bilateral ties and increased cultural exchanges, will weaken Pakistan’s Army as people there would legitimately be questioning its dominance in the public sphere – a bane for any democracy. Army there would never want it to happen.

So, diplomatic protests, thought different means, will continue. And along with them Pakistan’s proxy war in India – with ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

What is inimical to the long-term interests of Pakistan’s Army is that India now has started replying to Pakistan in its Pakistan’s own language – inflicting heavy damages something that Pakistan’s Army and media cannot report.

And as Pakistan is no match to India – and as India is poised to become a global power from a regional player – and as Pakistan’s Army cannot engage India in a direct fight – or cannot harm India’s interests strategically – as India’s defence capabilities are superior than Pakistan – and as Pakistan cannot do more than standalone terror strikes and ceasefire violations – the Pakistan Army is bound to suffer losses in the days to come.

And it has already begun.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/