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/

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/

MR. RATHORE SAYS IT WAS AN ‘OVERT OPERATION’

According to the Press Trust of India copy, Minister of State, Information & Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, has clarified on the clamour and crisis over ‘covert operation’ on India’s surgical attack on terror camps inside Myanmar on June 9 in response to the terrorists attack on a convoy of Indian Army on June 4 morning that left 18 soldiers dead and many injured.

He said it was not a ‘covert operation’. He said, “Experts who discussed and made objections to it did not know the difference between overt and covert operation. It was purely a special operation of army in Indian uniform against militants.”

According to him, it was an overt operation carried out by the Indian Army in ‘army fatigues’. According him, it was a ‘special operation’ in the circumstances then and announced the new, tough approach of India to tackle insurgency.

So, what is a covert operation involving security force of a country (obviously, opposite to it would be minus -c, i.e., overt).

The US defines the covert action (operation) as, “According to National Security Act Sec. 503 (e), covert action is, “An activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly.” Proper covert actions are undertaken because policymakers—not the intelligence agencies—believe that secret means are the best way to achieve a desired end or a specific policy goal.”

It further categorizes it in propaganda, political/economic action, paramilitary operations and lethal action.

“Propaganda: Intelligence agencies covertly disseminate specific information to advance foreign policy goals. United States law prohibits, however, the use of intelligence agencies to influence domestic media and opinion.”

“Political/Economic Action: Intelligence agencies covertly influence the political or economic workings of a foreign nation.”

“Paramilitary Operations: Intelligence agencies covertly train and equip personnel to attack an adversary or to conduct intelligence operations. These operations normally do not involve the use of uniformed military personnel as combatants.”

“Lethal Action: During times of war or armed conflict, the U.S. may need to use covert lethal force against enemies who pose a threat. The U.S. formally banned the use of political assassinations in 1976.”

And it differentiates a ‘covert operation’ from an ‘overt operation’ as:

“One distinction between covert action and other overt activities, such as traditional diplomatic or military operations, is that U.S. officials could plausibly deny involvement in the activity. This “plausible deniability,” however, is predicated upon the covert action remaining secret.”

So, our MoS thinks on this line, a line taken by the world’s strongest military – from the United States of America.

Indian action in Myanmar on June 9 was a military operation carried by Army personnel in full ‘army fatigue’ and some in the ruling political establishment in India, including Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Mr. Rathore, are taking claim of the operation from the beginning. And Mr. Rathore is right if we see ‘overt and covert operations’ as the National Security Act of the US defines.

Further, according to Wikipedia, that also quotes the US (the U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms), main elements of a ‘covert operation’ are ‘identity secrecy and plausible deniability. It says, “A covert operation (also as CoveOps or covert ops) is “an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor.”

Wikipedia further elaborates, “It is intended to create a political effect which can have implications in the military, intelligence or law enforcement arenas. Covert operations aim to fulfil their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation.”

So, that is in line with the stated policy of the government of India on ‘hot-pursuit’ in Myanmar even if some political opponents (and opponents) it could not be termed a ‘hot pursuit’ operation.

What is a ‘hot pursuit’ in ‘military terms’ then?

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

INDIA’S HOT PURSUIT IS EXPECTED TO GET HOTTER

India says it did enter the Myanmarese territory on Tuesday (morning of June 9) to carry out attacks on terrorists camps there, believed to be of the outfits (NSCN-K, PLA, KYKL, KLO, ULFA (I) and others) behind the June 4 terror strike in Chandel that left 18 Indian Army soldiers dead.

Myanmar had not reacted on the claim initially. But even June 10’s reaction had two versions (contradicting each other).

Professionalism needed the Indian establishment to go silent about it. The Indian Army did so, not mentioning ‘entering in Myanmar’ even once during its presser and in the press-release. It maintained ‘covertness’ of the ‘covert operation’.

But the political establishment could not do so. The ruling block saw a good political branding opportunity here to claim ‘paradigm shift in India’s anti-terror policy’ under the new government and its strong Prime Minister.

Even if it is in the realm of ‘policy debates’ and, ideally, the political establishment should have followed the policy adopted by the Indian Army, the happenings on that front are contrary, and the Opposition is targeting that.

Zaw Htay, the person whom the contradicting reports quoted on June 10 on ‘India entering in Myanmar’ didn’t come forward to clear the position. He is the director of the office of the President of Myanmar. Any other response, so far, has not been given by Myanmar.

Anyway, there are reasons to believe India did enter in hot-pursuit in Myanmar and destroyed the terrorists camps there based on the available intelligence.

And we can see more such attacks in the days ahead. It is in line with Narendra Modi’s tough and direct approach on terrorism.

Jitendra Singh arrived in Myanmar yesterday. He is MoS, Prime Minister’s Office and MoS, Development of the North-eastern Region. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is reaching there today. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar emphatically talked about the ‘changed way’ to deal with terrorists. He said, “Those who fear India’s new posture have already started reacting. If the thinking pattern changes, lot of things change. You have seen for the last 2-3 days. A simple action against insurgents has changed the mindset of the full security scenario in the country.”

So, even if the issue of ‘hot pursuit’ is hot on air waves and in political circles for reasons including contentious points, India’s anti-terror policy is going to be hotter in coming days.

Even if Pakistan is left out of this ‘new and bold’ approach, India shares friendly foreign relations with other neighbouring countries of South Asia, i.e., Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Narendra Modi has taken steps to improve ties and has been reciprocated.

India’s relation with Pakistan has been hostile mostly and is witnessing a low turn these days. And China would not allow terror camps on its soil, especially after experiencing insurgency in Xinjiang.

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

INDIA’S HOT PURSUIT IN MYANMAR: PAKISTAN OVERREACTS

India says it did enter the Myanmarese territory to carry out attacks on terrorists camps there, believed to be of the outfits behind the June 4 terror strike in Chandel that left 18 Indian Army soldiers dead.

The professional conduct needed the Indian establishment to go silent about it. The Indian Army did so, not mentioning ‘entering in Myanmar’ even once during its presser and in the press-release. It maintained ‘covertness’ of the ‘covert operation’.

But the political establishment could not do so. The ruling block saw a good political branding opportunity here to claim ‘paradigm shift in India’s anti-terror policy’.

Even if it is in the realm of ‘policy debates’ and, ideally, the political establishment should have chosen the policy followed by the Indian Army, the happenings on that front are contrary, and the Opposition is targeting it.

But it is not just in India that we are seeing intense activity over it.

Across the border, in Pakistan, India’s hot-pursuit is generating much political concern. In India, the Opposition is opposing the way the government is publicising it and trying to take credit for it. In Pakistan, the establishment there is thinking that what would happen if India decides to carry a Myanmar like operation in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Pakistani territories along the International Border.

Even if that is not so easy. India and Pakistan ties, that have been historically hostile, are witnessing a low turn these days while India shares friendly foreign relations with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Narendra Modi has taken steps to improve ties and has been reciprocated.

India is a much larger and stronger country than Pakistan and the gap is widening. It is happening in a country where anti-India stand and rhetoric has been the lifeline of military and political establishments.

So, even if going inside PoK or Pakistani territory may not be on Indian agenda, the response by the Pakistani establishments is like ‘India is planning an imminent attack in the border territories of Pakistan or areas under Pakistan’s control’.

And everyone in Pakistan’s establishment – from its Prime Minister – to its Army Chief – to its former President – are issuing statements and reacting in the way so as to hide their frustration behind words.

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

Go through these:

Nawaz Sharif – Prime Minister, Pakistan

June 11 – Recent statements by Indian ministers have hampered our relations with India. The entire nation is dismayed over these irresponsible and imprudent statements by the Indian leadership. Despite these statements we will continue our efforts towards good neighbourly relations but they need to be reciprocated. (The Express Tribune)

June 11 – Pakistan will protect its territory at all costs and this message should be heard loud and clear. (The Express Tribune)

June 10 – Amidst a fresh salvo of hostile rhetoric from New Delhi, Nawaz said that the recent provocative statements of Indian leaders are ‘disappointing’. He called upon the United Nations Security Council to ensure implementation of its resolutions to resolve the festering dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir. (The Express Tribune)

Raheel Sharif – Pakistan’s Army Chief

June 10 – Taking strong exception to a series of threats from India, formation commanders’ conference presided over by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif made it clear, Pakistan was ready to defeat Indian ‘designs’ and defend the territorial integrity. “The forum took serious notice of the recent Indian hostile rhetoric coupled with covert and overt actions to destabilize Pakistan,” the military’s media wing said. It was termed as highly regrettable that Indian politicians not only indulge in actions that are in violation of the United Nations’ Charter, but also take pride in claiming their interference in the internal affairs of other states, it added. The forum was given comprehensive briefings on security environment and professional issues. (The Nation)

Resolution of Pakistan’s Senate and National Assembly

June 11 – The Senate today passed a unanimous resolution strongly condemning the recent disturbing pattern of provocative and hostile statements by Indian leaders including threatening attacks against Pakistani territory. In response to another question, the Spokesperson said that Pakistan is fully capable of defending its territorial integrity against any foreign Aggression. (Radio Pakistan)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan

June 10 – In response to another question, the Spokesperson said that Pakistan is fully capable of defending its territorial integrity against any foreign Aggression.

Parvez Musharraf – Former Pakistan President and Former Army Chief General

June 10 – Deal with them with sovereign equality, my experience is they will further suppress if we back off. Their stance is offensive one. We do not want to use nuclear capability but if our existence comes under threat, who do we have these nuclear weapons for? If I say in Ch Shujaat’s style, do we have nukes saved to be used on Shab-e-Baraat? (Dunya News)

June 10 – “Neither the Pakistani armed forces, nor the people here are wearing bangles. This is Pakistan, not Myanmar. Modi’s presentation of the Fall of Dhaka picture to Bangladeshi PM and his open admission of Indian interference to internally destabilize Pakistan has exposed India’s true face. It clearly shows that India is intended to establish its supremacy by interfering in neighboring countries, but it must not forget that this is Pakistan. (Ary News)

Chaudhry Nisar – Interior Minister, Pakistan

June 10 – Responding to a statement issued by Indian Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said that Pakistan wanted peace in the region yet its friendly overtures should not be confused as a sign of weakness. Chaudhry Nisar said that India should not mistake Pakistan for Myanmar as its armed forces possess the capability to give a befitting reply to any Indian act of aggression.Lambasting the norm of repeated aggressive statements from the other side of the border, Chaudhry Nisar said that the Indian leadership should stop day-dreaming and face reality. (The News International)

Sartaz Aziz – Advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security

June 10 – The premier’s senior aide affirmed Pakistan will take all possible measures to unveil India’s role in the breakup of East Pakistan in 1971. “We will take all possible steps to expose India’s role in the breakup of East Pakistan in 1971 and its threat to destabilise Pakistan through terrorism,” Sartaj Aziz told the Senate on Wednesday. Aziz further said, “The government has taken strong notice of Modi’s statement in which he acknowledged his country’s role in the events of 1971 in the then-East Pakistan.” (The Express Tribune)