NAGROTA: PARTING SHOT BY GEN SHARIF OR INAUGURAL GIFT BY GEN BAJWA?

Though Pakistan’s new army chief Gen Bajwa, after taking the charge yesterday, said the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan would be normal soon, indicating a softer approach than his predecessor, developments say otherwise.

The day, when Lt. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa took baton from the outgoing Pakistan army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, a proven India detractor, 7 Indian soldiers including two officials were martyred in a terror attack on an army unit near Jammu.

The attack that began early morning and lasted for some 14 hours saw fierce gunbattle and a hostage like situation with terrorists targeting army officials’ mess and residential units in Nagrota, near Indian Army’s 16 Corps Headquarters.

As expected, ugly politics over the issue has pitched in. Political goalposting has started. Debates and opinions are raging on ‘whys and hows’ of this attack that is clearly an intelligence failure but, at the outset, it is clear that it will be linked with Gen. Raheel Sharif’s parting warning to India and Gen. Bajwa ascendance to the throne.

While transferring power to Gen. Bajwa, Raheel Sharif warned India of its stand on Kashmir, comparing it with ‘increased terrorism and aggression’. He said, “India should know that mistaking our policy of patience for weakness would be dangerous.”

We all know that is an empty rhetoric, especially after the fact that the all powerful army of Pakistan had no other option left but to deny the highly successful surgical strike by India deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. The Pakistan Army could not have accepted the Indian surgical strike as it would undermine the numero-uno position it enjoys in Pakistan, presenting its weaker character before everyone – whereas Raheel Sharif had curated a ‘hero sort of image’ for himself – riding high on anti-India acts and rhetoric.

Also, doing so, as the Pakistani civilian leadership had done initially, accepting India’s claims till the army told them to toe its line of shameless denial, would have put tremendous pressure on the Pakistani army to reply back to India in a similar manner, something that it was simply not capable of.

But incidents like Nagrota or Uri present reaffirm the clear face of danger due to Pakistan’s proxy war in India. Almost all terror attacks in any part of India are found to have Pakistani links. If Jammu & Kashmir, that was once considered heaven on earth, has now become a living hell, it is because of Pakistan’s proxy war only.

It is this proxy war that Pakistan has adopted as the mainstay of its policy. Raheel Sharif actively extended that tradition. And whatever Pakistan’s military does, its civilian government has to follow that – willingly or unwillingly –  because military is supreme in Pakistan.

So, even if we were yet to hear a word about India from its next army chief, Pakistan’s spin doctors, its politicians, were already on the job. So Sartaj Aziz had said that any dialogue process cannot go ahead with India unless Kashmir is on the table, a prospect that India has officially denied, saying if there has to be India-Pakistan dialogue, it will be on terror only. So Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif had said there will be no change in Pakistan’s military policy on Indian border under Gen. Bajwa.

Even if Pakistan’s new army chief Gen. Bajwa is yet to speak openly on his thoughts on India!

Whatever little he spoke yesterday didn’t give much – but at least, from that little – we can give him the benefit of doubt – that this cowardly act in Nagrota, targeting residential units of an Indian Army base, was a parting shot by a frustrated Raheel Sharif, who, despite all his tall claims and boastings, would have to live forever with the fact that it was during his tenure only that India conducted a highly successful surgical strike deep inside his territory of influence and owned it before the world and he could not do anything.

©SantoshChaubey

CONTINUING ANTI-INDIA RHETORIC, PAKISTAN’S FS WARNS INDIA OF ITS BELLIGERENT ATTITUDE

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

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry has warned India against the ‘harms’ of its hostile ‘tendencies’ against Pakistan, implying it’s a ‘dangerous’ territory.

According to a report published in The News International, Chaudhry, in a TV programme, said ‘India, with its belligerent attitude, was treading a serious path’.

Pakistan’s new army chief, Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is assuming office tomorrow. His predecessor, General Raheel Sharif, has had the notoriety of pushing India-Pak ties to a historically low point with war-like situation prevailing along the border between the two neighbours.

Now it is a well-established fact that Pakistan’s army chief is its most powerful person. Gen. Raheel Sharif is leaving the Pakistan’s most powerful office with anti-India designs, something that reflects in the statements of every Pakistani politician, be it its prime minister or defence minister or foreign affairs minister.

If we take a cue from that, India is going to handle the same, belligerent and backstabbing Pakistan as it was during Raheel Sharif’s time.

Continuing the tradition of anti-India rhetoric, Pakistan FS said ‘Pakistan had very sagaciously reminded it (India) of such dangerous tendencies’.

While emphasizing that India and Pakistan needed to talk, he further added that ‘Pakistan’s defences were fully impregnable and it could not be intimidated with volleys of bragging talks’.

Pakistan’s leadership has been more livid ever since India conducted its surgical strike deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in September eliminating dozens of terrorists and terror launch-pads. What has been more humiliating for Pakistan and its military leadership is that they cannot accept on any platform any such military exercise by the Indian army inside the territory of its influence.

And so they are resorting to such ‘volleys of bragging talks’ like Pakistan’s FS has just said or like other ruling elite of Pakistan say about India every other day or like the continued shelling across our border areas ever since the surgical strike.

Ever since the surgical strike on September 29, Pakistan has violated ceasefire over 300 times and brags about how many Indian soldiers it has killed in the cross-border firing to appease concerns of its internal politics. But as the Indian forces have been given a free hand to give befitting reply to any Pakistani misadventure, the scale of damage on the Pakistani side in the Indian counter-firing has been manifold.

Last week we saw a glimpse of it when the Pakistani DGMO had to call his Indian counterpart for talks after India’s retaliatory fire in response to an Indian soldier’s beheading inflicted heavy damage on the Pakistani side. We can gauge the extent of damage by the fact that it was the first time since the surgical strike that the Pakistani DGMO had to speak to the Indian DGMO about bringing normalcy along the LoC.

©SantoshChaubey

IT SEEMS THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS CONSPIRING AGAINST PAKISTAN

We may call it coincidence or destiny’s cruel joke or poetic justice of nature, but whatever propaganda Pakistan is spreading against India these days, it is coming back to hit it only, be it geopolitical in nature or anything else.

Something on these lines happened today in an interesting development. Pakistan’s senate today passed ‘a resolution unanimously to felicitate the Pakistani cricket team on becoming number one in the test cricket’. And today only Pakistan lost its number one spot. And that, too, to India.

India today defeated New Zealand to win the second consecutive test match of the three match series and took an invincible lead of 2-0. And with it India regained its top spot in the test cricket. India was the top test playing country before Pakistan.

Pakistan had become number one on August 22 after India-West Indies test series had ended in a 2-2 draw – while to retain its top rank, India had to win the series by 3-0.

Perhaps, the Pakistani ruling elite could not get time since then (or pulse for it). Anyway, better late than never. Even if it took 40 days (since August 22)! But, see what happened! And they chose this day!

While the Pakistani Senate was passing the resolution honouring the Pakistani cricket team for becoming number one, it slipped back. And that, too, to India!

And in times when anti-India sentiments in Pakistan have peaked. This incident tells us that destiny doesn’t want to stay with Pakistan anymore. Naturally, if the Pakistani senators would have realized that India could unseat Pakistan from the top spot today, they would never have gone for it. True, misfortune spoils the mind!

Pakistani military and its ruling elite have always adopted an anti-India stand and have always practiced and fuelled anti-India propaganda. Fomenting and spreading terrorism in India and showing India in a negative light on international platforms have always been on the main agenda of every Pakistani ruling elite.

Now that India is responding back (strongly) to this Pakistani agenda, both militarily and diplomatically, the skewed balance that Pakistan was enjoying so far, has gone to a toss. And in fact, is rightly tilting in India’s favour, especially after the Surgical Strike deep across Line of Control (LoC) in Pak-occupied-Kashmir. And no one is taking Pakistan seriously even if it has scaled up its Kashmir rant and is doing its every bit to convince the world that India did not carry any surgical strike in PoK and it was mere a rumour.

A game should be treated with sportsmanship and being number one or two or victory or defeat is an inherent part of it. But timing is the devil here. This whole newsbreak has nothing special about it but this coincidence, which, if we say in the style of Paulo Coelho, says that the ‘whole universe is conspiring against Pakistan’ – (even if its advantage goes to India or India somehow comes in the scene).

©SantoshChaubey

INDIA STRIKES BACK

September 29 morning brought us the biggest newsbreak of decades and the proudest moment for every Indian. After Pakistan’s cowardly strike, India has struck back and true to its growing global reputation, has owned it before the world.

Indian Army has gone 3 kms deep into the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir territory, a disputed area that is under the intense cover of bayonets and AK47s of the Pakistani army and terrorists, has carried out surgical strikes on six terror launch-pads with perfect precision, killing dozens of terrorists and some interfering Pakistani soldiers, has inflicted heavy damage, and has come out with flying colours. And with no damage, no casualty.

And India, like a responsible member of the world community, has owned it, informing Pakistan and the world community that it has carried out these surgical strikes, even if many of them were still pushing us to go for talks to a backstabbing nation that has always worked to bleed us, including the latest Pakistan sponsored terror strike at the Indian Army base camp in Uri. We lost 19 of our soldiers in an act of cowardice since most of our soldiers were sleeping. Yes, there were lapses, but the Army has avenged it and in style – and with substance.

Ever since the attack, Pakistan and its leaders are in a state of shock. And it initially reflected in their state of mind, speaking in different and incoherent voices. After the surgical strike, they initially didn’t know what to do and what to say. 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 admitted the surgical strikes. In fact, many from the Pakistan’s political establishment said things on these lines.

But how these versions changed with Pakistani army’s diktat shows the chaos India’s move caused – with foolishness and boorishness defining the thinking process of Pakistan’s ruling elite.

Since its all powerful army has denied (or desperately tried to downplay – to save its face) the surgical strikes move by India, the whole Pakistan is now trying to toe the line away from what its prime minster and defence minister had said initially. They say no surgical strike took place and it was a mere Line of Control (LoC) aggression.

But the body language of Pakistani politicians and the meek response of its Army show that the realization that India would strike back has come as a rude shock and they are in a state of disarray on how to respond because they realize that Pakistan is no match to India. And with its new bold, foreign policy – with its traditional upper hand – in economy, in military, and in technology – they are finding hard to respond – going for silly bravados like ‘we will defend our country, we will give befitting reply to India in case of future attack or we are in a state of war preparedness’ – or the silly Pakistani media propaganda that show the Pakistani army has captured or killed so many Indian soldiers or has blown this many Indian outposts across the LoC.

How sham now it all looks. How hollow it sounds.

Pakistani military was on high-alert, its F16s were doing midnight road sorties for war preparedness. Its leaders, prime minister, army chief, everyone was busy issuing all sorts of threats against India, including nuclear threats. The eastern border (LoC) was specifically on their radar.

Yet India struck back, and at will. It went deep into the Pakistan controlled territory and destroyed terror camps, not one or two but six, and the whole operation lasted for around four hours. And in spite of all the tall claims of Pakistan of being in a war-ready state, it could not do anything. Pakistan could not beat even the bush properly to push its propaganda aimed at saving its face.

surgicalstrike1

©SantoshChaubey

Featured Image Courtesy: AGD-PI, Indian Army’s Twitter page 

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)

SUJATHA SINGH TOLD TO GO: GOVERNMENT COULD HAVE HANDLED IT BETTER

As expected, the day was open. As expected, there were inside stories. As expected, Sujatha Singh’s resignation letter found its way to the media. And as expected, there was the war of words between Congress and BJP.

The turf for the controversy that was laid Wednesday night when the Narendra Modi government removed Sujatha Singh with a terse order that ‘that curtailed her tenure with immediate effect’ gained further ground on Thursday and got the concluding part on Friday with Sujatha Singh opening up and clearly speaking out her grievances.

In effect, it is going to change nothing.

The decision has been taken and implemented and the new Foreign Secretary, S. Jaishankar, has taken charge. The facts – that Mr. Jaishankar was the first choice of even the former prime minister Manmohan Singh when Sujatha Singh, a year senior to Mr. Jaishankar, was made FS in August 2013 – and that Mr. Jaishankar’s exposure to the P5 countries as well as his stints with Japan and Sri Lanka that gives him an upper hand in Modi’s scheme of things for Indian foreign policy centered on having broader engagement at the world stage – further shorten the life of the controversy beyond two-three days on ‘newsworthiness’.

Yes, but it does validate the premise that left us in bad taste – owing to the unhealthy ‘suddenness’ of the unceremonious exit – the way she was forced to resign – and the timing of it – Barack Obama left India on January 27 afternoon and the order came around 10 PM on January 28.

A Foreign Secretary is sacked immediately after a highly publicized and successful event of Indian foreign policy when no one was talking about it, when no one had expected it – it was bound to get questions and was a fertile ground for controversy ahead.

Even if she was already sidelined as the insider accounts say.

Even if she was not willing to step down as the insider accounts said and as was validated by her account today – the Narendra Modi government clearly erred here.

The argument that Mr. Jaishankar was retiring on January 31 and it was necessary to appoint him before that date falls flat when we go by the example of Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Narendra Modi, who was appointed after retirement, even if meant bringing a Bill in the Parliament.

If the government had so made up its mind long before this unceremonious episode as the insider accounts say that she had fallen out of favour and was not being consulted on important issues like ‘cancelling the India-Pakistan FS talks’, it could and should have done it much earlier. After all, it was in August that the talks were called off.

Now, there can be an argument that as Narendra Modi was much impressed by Mr. Jaishankar after his successful US tour in September 2014, it was logical that Mr. Jaishankar would remain the Indian envoy to the US till completion of Barack Obama’s India visit as the chief guest of the Republic Day Parade, and therefore it continued with Mrs. Sujatha Singh.

But if we take that as a possible reason, it further validates that the ‘sudden decision’ could have been avoided. She could have been told in the similar clear terms earlier that forced her to write the resignation letter on January 29. Or if the government waited for so long for the reasons known only to it, it could have waited for some more days with the last call made to Sujatha Singh to make her mind to move. After all, with the government on his side, no one was going to stop Mr. Jaishankar from being the Indian Ambassador to the US even after his retirement date.

The ‘Sujatha Singh resignation’ controversy is not expected to play out longer than tomorrow or the day after tomorrow but it is going to remain there with her genuine question that she asked in an interview today – “My reputation is being maligned, my record being trashed. Why was this necessary?”

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