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

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/

PAKISTAN CONTRADICTS JULY 10 JOINT STATEMENT: IT WAS TO HAPPEN

Now, this was expected, sooner or later, and it came sooner this time, within three days. Political establishment of Pakistan could not withstand Pakistan’s Army’s pressure and within 72 hours, issued a strongly worded statement against India, contradicting all that Nawaz Sharif had spoken about at Ufa, in Russia, during.

Let’s see what Sartaz Aziz, adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, said today:

And we all know which are those outstanding issues. Kashmir of course tops the list of outstanding issues, but there are also other important issues like Siachen, Sir Creek, Interference and Water. Kashmiris have suffered for three generations now. Their right to self determine their destiny has not been granted. Pakistan has stood by the Kashmiris in their legitimate struggle. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif affirmed our principled position in clear and unequivocal terms during his annual speech at the UN General Assembly. We would continue to extend political, moral, and diplomatic support to our Kashmiri brethren.

Pakistan has been deeply concerned, not only about hostile statements from Indian Ministers but also about Indian interference in Pakistan, including continuing support for insurgency in Balochistan. India on the other hand has been repeating its traditional accusations of cross border terrorism while overlooking the decisive counter terrorism campaign launched by Pakistan in the past 2 years. To address these acrimonious concerns the two sides agreed that the National Security Advisers of the two countries would meet, first in New Delhi and then in Islamabad.

On Mumbai trial case, our view has been, and was so in this meeting as well, that we need more evidence and information to conclude the trial. The reference to ‘additional information’ is a recognition of the need that more information is needed to expedite the trial. Mr. Nawaz Sharif also sought information on the progress made on the trial of Samjhauta express terrorist incident.

Now read the joint statement issued on June 10 after bilateral meeting between Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif:

The Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India met today on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Ufa. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. The two leaders exchanged views on issues of bilateral and regional interest. They agreed that India and Pakistan have a collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development. To do so, they are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues. Both leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to cooperate with each other to eliminate this menace from South Asia.

They also agreed on the following steps to be taken by the two sides:

1. A meeting in New Delhi between the two NSAs to discuss all issues connected to terrorism.

2. Early meetings of DG BSF and DG Pakistan Rangers followed by that of DGMOs.

3. Decision for release of fishermen in each other’s custody, along with their boats, within a period of 15 days.

4. Mechanism for facilitating religious tourism.

5. Both sides agreed to discuss ways and means to expedite the Mumbai case trial, including additional information like providing voice samples.

See the marked difference between a diplomatic statement by political establishments and the one issued by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.

The joint statement doesn’t mention Kashmir and emphasizes on the need of speedy 26/11 probe trial – including the voice samples. What Sartaz Aziz said today looked from a different planet when we see the same in the context of his joint statement. In fact, his live address was more off-track than the release issued by the ministry.

Sartaz Aziz’s address today that was live on news channels in India and Pakistan looked more of a response under direct pressure of Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the Pakistan Army, and was interpreted in the ways Rawalpindi would have desired.

And his tone and his selection of words were equally perfect – corresponding to the essence. The message that went in Indian media, and thus among Indian masses, who care for it, was that Pakistan was again back to betraying India. And so soon. Pakistani media, too, picked up the line, but in a way that would be positive to their interests.

So, Pakistani media interpreted that Pakistan had shown its dignity, sovereignty, stature and strength by telling India in unequivocal terms that there would be no talks ‘until Kashmir is on agenda’; that evidence given by India in 26/11 case was not enough; that India was habitual of making allegations against Pakistan of creating unrest in India; that India was behind the separatist movements in Pakistan; that Pakistan would talk to India on its own terms; and that Pakistan was not going to initiate and it was up to India to create atmosphere for talks.

Intentions that Rawalpindi wanted to convey – and Sartaz Aziz excelled at that. Pakistan’s political establishment and Nawaz Sharif are secondary to popularity and credibility in Pakistan where Pakistani Army or Army generals have ruled the country during most of its independence years.

And Army in Pakistan, the most powerful institution there, though certainly not comparable to the Indian defence establishment in the same way as Pakistan’s economy is not comparable to the Indian one, draw its survival sanctity from anti-India rhetoric and actions.

Though Sartaz Aziz says that all pending issues will ‘be followed up through different channels’, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi’s lawyer has clearly said that his client would not provide his voice sample, and Pakistan has not reacted to it.

Whatever Pakistan’s politicians say during bilateral talks or at multi-lateral platforms like the SCO Summit, back home, they have to toe the line Pakistan’s Army dictates. And that is what happened today.

©/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)

PAKISTAN’S FRUSTRATION THREATENS INDIA AGAIN (CONTINUING THE TRADITION OF PAKISTAN’S DOUBLESPEAK)

Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif warned (read threatened) India today – “In the past six-seven months, we have tried to better our ties with India so that peace can prevail. But it seems that they do not understand this language. I believe, we will now communicate with India in the language they understand.”

And as threatened, Pakistan did communicate today, taking its ceasefire violations and cross-border firings to the similar barbaric level that target civilians every now and then, killing two Army personnel, one civilian – shelling houses in border villages across the International Border (IB) forcing evacuation of many villages. A similar recent response by Pakistan in October 2014 had met with some tough response by India forcing the Pakistani ruling establishment to hide under its skin.

With the trademark Pakistani style retaliatory communication today, Pakistan has maintained its proven track-record of shameless doublespeak – saying they are the peace-loving folks – and are forced to act by India whenever ‘ceasefire violations by India’ happen:

  • When the country is seen as one of the few nations following the policy of state-sponsored terror, waging proxy wars, especially in India and Afghanistan..
  • When the country is globally knows as the origin and factory of Taliban..
  • When the country is at the forefront of the debate on countries giving rise to the ‘good terror Vs bad terror’ discourse by their terror-oriented policy..
  • When the world knows that its ruling establishment harboured Osama bin-Laden for years while feigning ignorance to the world that forced US to exclude Pakistan from its Osama hunt that ultimately resulted in US carrying on an operation on its own, in Pakistan, near its capital Islamabad, while no one in Pakistan could sense it..

Countries with such an encyclopaedia of lying and doublespeak preach they kill in order to make others learn the process of peace they want to project – and ‘others’ here is the largest democracy in the world with strong democratic tradition and institutions, India – a responsible nuclear power – a regional power – an emerging global power – an economic powerhouse of the day – the largest future market for the companies of the world with its young demography and its ever-expanding middle class that is slated to eclipse the marketing trends of the world.

Now, that is a norm expected from Pakistan and its ruling establishments – the feeble politicians with no choice but to toe the line dictated by military establishment of Pakistan – and the people ruling Pakistan’s military establishment, living under a perpetual anti-India fear psychosis – drawing their sanctity to rule Pakistan by fuelling anti-India sentiments in Pakistan riding on the ‘K word’ – frustrated by their inferiority complex:

  • When they see India’s superior economy, superior military and healthy social institutions..
  • When they see the issue that gives them the power to blind the Pakistanis, the so-called ‘cause of Kashmir’ slipping even farther away with a peaceful election registering highest ever poll percentage of 65%..
  • When they see India’s rising global stature..
  • When they see Russian President Vladimir Putin, undoubtedly the most powerful dictator of the day, has to come to India to placate India on Russia-Pakistan defence deals while desperately looking for business to keep running the Russian economy reeling under sanctions of US and European Union..
  • When they see US President Barack Obama cordially accepts India’s invitation to become the chief guest of its Republic Day function on January 26 while flatly refusing Pakistan’s request to extend his trip India’s neighbour..
  • When they see in their past and find they have lost every war they fought with India..
  • When they see in their past and reflect on the humiliating loss of East Pakistan and birth of today’s Bangladesh..

And the high tone of the rhetoric of Pakistan’s defence minister today is reflective of this frustrated mindset of nation’s ruling establishment and nothing more.

Yes, Pakistan is in no position to wage a direct war with India and it realized it a long ago and so it adopted the policy of waging proxy war in Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of India. It pushes terrorists in India. It pushes terror money in India. It tries to indoctrinate and radicalised Indian youth in the name of religion. It mentors separatists of Kashmir.

And regular ceasefire violations by Pakistan are one of the guised channels to push terrorists in India. What is making Pakistani ruling establishment nervous and restless is that India is no more in the mood to play the Good Samaritan keeping restraint. It is giving befitting reply now, like it did in October 2014.

Don’t be surprised, if tomorrow, you come across the news that ‘Indian reply across the border with Pakistan forces Pakistani guns to go silent once again after facing heavy losses’.

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

OBAMA’S INDIA VISIT, PAKISTANI RULING ELITE’S ANTI-INDIA MINDSET AND RECENT SURGE IN ATTEMPTED TERROR ACTS

Pakistan sponsored terrorism in India pushed by Pakistan’s terror designs for India – it may be one of the evergreen subjects to be discussed on media platforms but in the prevailing geopolitical circumstances – with US President Barack Obama’s scheduled visit later this month – and with recent surge in terror threats and terror alerts – it has found a heightened relevance.

Pakistan has always been frustrated with and thus irritated on India and Barack Obama’s India visit as the chief guest of the Republic Day event on January 26 has touched the nervous cords again.

Being seen as a diplomatic coup by Narendra Modi, it only worsened the matters for Pakistan when US declared that Obama would not be visiting Pakistan while coming to South Asia, an unexpected letdown given the past precedents. And Obama’s flat refusal to Pakistan’s prostrated demands of Obama’s Pakistan visit only rubbed salt in the wound.

Further humiliation came with the American demand that Pakistan needed to mend its terror-infested courtyard decisively before ‘requesting’ a US presidential visit, something that Pakistan simply cannot afford, even if it itself is a big victim of insurgency with thousands killed in terror strikes each year, for state-sponsored terrorism has become the most important tool to feed the anti-India psychosis ruling the mindsets of the Pakistani elite.

Now, even if US is placating Pakistan with aid for its ‘forced’ cooperation to act against the ‘bad Taliban’ active in Afghanistan and AfPak region, the US presidential visit to Pakistan is not going to happen in the near future, as Pakistan is not going to take on ‘it’s good Taliban’. And as long as Pakistan continues to follow this policy of audacious bonhomie with the ‘good terrorism’ that it mentors, Pakistanis cannot expect a ‘relatively’ terror free society. After all, the ‘bad Taliban’ of today are the ‘good Taliban’ of yesterday.

Add the psychological implications of Obama’s India visit to the perennial anti-India hysteria of the Pakistani elite, and it makes for a perfect recipe for them to push their anti-India agenda with renewed efforts, to vent their frustration, to feed their false sense of becoming at par with India, to save their faces.

And if they could destabilize India – when India has the world’s attention with Obama’s upcoming India visit and Obama saying he means business with this visit – perpetrating a big terror strike or a series of orchestrated terror attacks to the extent that it could potentially threaten Obama’s visit or could even cancel it – it will be a real coup for the Pakistani government and Pakistani elite.

The recent surge in terror related rumours, specific terror alerts, terror raids and busts, arrests, low intensity and IED blasts, open threats by terrorist groups like the one for January 26, or today’s news about December 31’s incident off Gujarat coast where a Pakistani boat was blown by the people manning it when was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard can be seen in the context of the anti-India mindset of the Pakistani ruling elite.

The satisfactory reflection on these developments so far, for India and Indians, has been the fact that the synergy of the Indian Intelligence and the security agencies has been able to thwart any major Pakistan-sponsored terror incident on Indian soil so far (in the recent past obviously), including the big achievement of ensuring peaceful elections in Jammu & Kashmir with highest ever poll percentage.

But, then, don’t we, the Indians, need to have this ‘synergy’ always working like this?

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

QUESTIONS THAT COME TO THE FORE ON THE US STAND ON PAKISTAN HANDLING TERROR IN ITS BACKYARD

THE QUESTIONS

1. The United States had agreed to extend for one year the aid to Pakistan to fight terrorism on the condition that it would stop differentiating between good and bad terror. And the country’s most powerful person, the Army chief of Pakistan Raheel Sharif had extended this promise during his US visit. Yet, many big terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, directly implicated in heinous terror acts in India, are roaming free and are even ‘respectable’ citizens there. We saw the Pakistani government’s attitude that allowed bail to Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi, main handler of the Mumbai 26/11 attacks, on technical grounds. This is when the US has put a bounty of US$ 10 million on Hafiz Saeed. This is when Masood Azhar, lodged in an Indian jail, was ‘exchanged’ in a hijacking incident. Isn’t Pakistan taking Uncle Sam for a ride?

2. There is no reason for the world community, for us, to think that the US is not aware of it. But apart from putting a reward and occasional back channel assurances, we don’t see any aggressive posturing by the US. Should we go by the explanation that when the US lawmakers demanded Pakistan to stop differentiating between ‘good and bad terror’, it was meant only in the context of Taliban and the AfPak theatre?

3. But can this narrow view of policymaking on terrorism serve the purpose of the US as well as of the Pakistan?

4. Also, can Pakistan ever be trusted to take on the terrorist networks operating to further its agenda in Afghanistan, especially the Haqqani network and the resurgent Taliban factions of Afghanistan that are eyeing greener pastures after the complete withdrawal of the internal coalition forces?

5. Pakistan has been vocally active on India’s role in Afghanistan and its perennial anti-India instance has been one of the major reasons for actively supporting the Afghanistan Taliban. Is this not a naïve thinking of the US policymakers that Pakistan will be able to overcome this anti-India psychosis to help the international forces wipe out the factors that it feels will help in bolstering its position in the internal matters of Afghanistan in the near future?

6. Is the terror discourse in the context of Pakistan is going to be ‘all Taliban and all terrorists active in Afghanistan are bad’ but ‘good terror Vs bad terror’ is also valid, to sustain and maintain the proxy war against India?

7. Hillary Clinton, the then US Secretary of State, had warned Pakistan sternly on its doublespeak on terrorism. Hillary’s blunt message delivered in Islamabad in October 2011 was: “It’s like that old story. You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.” That was three years ago yet Pakistan kept a blind eye and is still doing the same, harbouring many snakes while trying to crush only a few. Pakistan just had one of its worst human tragedies with TTP attack on the Army school in Peshawar killing over 130 children. What else will it take for Pakistan to realize what Hillary so clearly warned then, the reality that Pakistan deliberately ignores to realize?

8. Can India expect a positive change in the US attitude on this ‘good terror Vs bad terror discourse in the Indian context’ after the recent improvements in India-US ties with Narendra Modi as the Indian Prime Minister? India and the US have warmed up to each other in real terms with Modi’s successful US visit in September and Barack Obama’s upcoming India visit in January next. What is remarkably positive change for the India-US ties this time is, that the US President is not extending his visit to Pakistan, something that has been a routine in the past.

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

QUESTIONS ON ANTI-INDIA RANTS AND THREAT PERCEPTION FOR INDIA IN AFTERMATH OF PESHAWAR SCHOOL ATTACK, EVEN IF #INDIAWITHPAKISTAN TRENDS

THE QUESTIONS

1. #IndiaWithPakistan, solidarity in the aftermath of a crisis like the Peshawar Army School attack is the only human response expected. But beyond that, what can be the possible implications of this attack for India?

2. It may be that to send the message to the Pakistan Army, the Taliban targeted an army school there, as they say, but what if the terror masterminds plan to do something like this in J&K or in other parts of India?

3. Indian Parliament was breached. Then we had 26/11 and many other such terror incidents. How disturbed and reactive should India be on this and how proactive it should act?

4. Hafiz Saeed, one of India’s most wanted, with a reward of US$ 10 million on his head by the United States, is a respectable Pakistani citizen. For his rallies the Pakistani government deploys special trains. He is also the mastermind of the attacks on Indian Parliament in 2001 and in Mumbai in 2008 and India believes is guilt is established beyond doubt, something that Pakistan never accepts. Again, Hafiz Saeed is spewing venom against India using this human tragedy saying India is behind it and he would avenge it. What if Hafiz Saeed tries to collaborate with Taliban to perpetrate some terror act of this scale in India?

5. Another 26/11 attack mastermind, Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi, was given bail today and will walk free tomorrow. Wouldn’t it embolden the likes of Hafiz Saeed even more?

6. India was in mourning, with Pakistan, on the tragedy and Parvez Musharraf, the dictator who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008 and who gave humanity the dangerous ‘good Taliban and bad Taliban’ discourse has toed the Saeed line of blaming India though in a sophisticated way. He says RAW, the Indian intelligence agency, is backing Maulana Fazlullah, the TTP commander, for such terror attacks in Pakistan in collusion with Afghanistan. Isn’t it preposterous even to think so given the fact that all the wars between India and Pakistan were initiated by Pakistan only, though it lost all? India is an economic power and an emerging global power and engaging in such acts only come back to you to harm more, Pakistan’s experience tells us.

7. Isn’t it disturbing, for Pakistan as well as for India, that no one from the mainstream Pakistani political leadership criticized or spoken against the rants of the likes of Pervez Musharraf and Hafiz Saeed?

8. Or a serious reaction by India by reading too much into the rants by the likes of Hafiz Saeed and Pervez Musharraf would be giving too much attention to them, beyond their worth, when Pakistan is reeling under the pain of one of worst man-made human tragedies possible? Likes of Hafiz Saeed are always out to hurt India. India is on alert and needs to be more alert, as always happens, after a terror strike of this scale in Pakistan.

9. Many Indian cities and vital installations are on high alert. Already, there is an increased threat perception as the day of US President Barack Obama’s India visit, around January 26, 2015, is coming near. How can this terror attack in Peshawar complicate things more for India?

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

AN INDIAN AND A PAKISTANI SHARE PEACE NOBEL: NOTHING REALPOLITIKAL ABOUT IT

It was all so good. It looked brilliant on screens wherever the broadcast was being shown. The rounds of applause were spontaneous. The value addition of musical performances by artists from India and Pakistan was a treat to eyes and ears.

It happens like this every year, except the value addition.

What was announced two months ago had its final movement today, like it happens every year.

Yes, it echoes more in the niches that belong to the winners – their field of work and the part of the world they come from.

But, the echo remains more on the airwaves and in black and white words and for masses, it, at best, serves the purpose of giving recognition and spreading the symbolism that recognizes the cause and the efforts being made by the person/organization for it.

That is the limit and the reality of it, irrespective of the value additions done.

In terms of engineering change, it is nowhere close to the realpolitik of the ground reality in most of the cases and when the case in question is India Vs Pakistan, then a Peace Nobel jointly to an Indian and a Pakistani doesn’t make any ground for a ‘India + Pakistan’ scenario.

Kailash Satyarthi has made India proud but it is equally true that he is still not widely known in India and there are many other social activists in his league.

Malala Yousafzai has successfully highlighted the plight of girls in Pakistan once again but it is equally true that she is not the voice that can reach deeply in Pakistan, to the subjects that she mentions in each of her speeches. No one can say when she would be able to travel back to her country to take on the field work.

Apart from talking points, the joint Peace Nobel 2014 doesn’t hold any ground for the two Asian rivals where one is an emerging global power and a giant when seen on the scales of economy and military while the other is a chaotic nation following the policy of state sponsored terror pushed by its military, the strongest institution in the country.

Pakistan, born out of India, on religious divide, could never reconcile with the dominant status which India naturally had, being an old civilization with a rich and diversify history and a much larger country. The unsolved border issue and Jammu & Kashmir gave an early start to the aspirations of people heading the military there and a limping start of democracy soon gave them the avenue to usurp the power. Since then, it has been the inferiority complex of the Pakistan’s military complex that has pushed it to wage many wars with India to prove its superiority. Pakistan has lost all – the only natural consequence possible.

And in desperation, it has led its military establishment to try all, including sponsoring and exporting proxy war and terrorism in India.

And it all began and has sustained in the name of religious fanaticism.

That religious fanaticism and Pakistan military’s over-dependence on it are the basic elements of the realpolitik that guide the way Pakistan keeps up with India and the ground reality is really hostile, with increased ceasefire violations and anti-India rhetoric by Pakistan in the recent months, that has found a tough respondent in the Narendra Modi led Indian government.

While talking on ‘India Vs Pakistan’ to ‘India + Pakistan’ realpolitik, we need to come back to this reality again and again.

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