Road to Kabul ‘runs through Kashmir’

Sometime in the last year, secret back-channel talks between India and Pakistan over Kashmir restarted, Newsweek magazine reports in its latest edition, quoting unnamed US and Indian sources.

The countries last held such talks under Gen Pervez Musharraf, and were reportedly on the verge of a breakthrough when the military ruler was ousted in August 2008.

Then the Mumbai terror attacks that November badly frayed relations. For negotiations to resume now – open talks are also being discussed -would represent a huge development for the region.

And not just there. The payoff would stretch all the way to Washington. Peace between India and Pakistan could unlock another conflict with even higher stakes for the US: Afghanistan.

“Indeed,” says the journal, “a growing chorus of experts has begun arguing that the road to Kabul runs through Kashmir, that the US will never stabilise the former without peace in the latter. Suddenly, bringing India and Pakistan together seems to be very much in America’s interest, which makes the Obama administration’s determination to avoid the issue increasingly hard to fathom.”

To understand why Kashmir is central to Afghanistan, start with the fact that the US can’t defeat the Afghan insurgency without Pakistan’s help.

Pakistan midwifed the Taliban and continues to allegedly provide it with shelter. And that won’t change until Pakistan resolves its rivalry with India, says Newsweek.

“Pakistan’s entire Afghan strategy is based on the idea that it needs a pliant regime to its West to give it ‘strategic depth’: room to retreat in case of an Indian invasion. Fear of India also keeps Pakistan from putting enough troops on its 2,250km-long Afghan border, which the Taliban cross at will,” the report says.

As Strobe Talbott, Bill Clinton’s envoy, says, “The Pakistani military is so obsessed with India that it hinders their ability to deal with other real threats.”
The only thing that might ease that obsession is peace with New Delhi.

Given this, you’d expect the Obama team to be pushing the peace process forward. Instead, it has studiously avoided the issue. On one level that makes sense: US has its hands full, and India, thanks to its bad experience with past mediation and America’s Cold War tilt toward Pakistan, erupts with rage whenever the US hints it might get involved; in 2008, when Obama said he might include India in the mandate of his Af-Pak team, New Delhi raised such hell that the matter was dropped. Thus Richard Holbrooke, the US Af-Pak envoy, refuses to consider US involvement today.

Yet even he concedes that Kashmir makes Afghanistan “more difficult to resolve,” and Washington simply can’t afford to avoid it if it hopes to leave the region any time soon.

Now it may not have to. The possible resumption of India-Pakistan talks suggests there may be a growing constituency for peace. India, preoccupied with its economic boom, is especially eager to make the issue go away. A hard push from Washington could make the difference -especially if handled in a way that assuages India’s fears.

Obama has been much cooler toward New Delhi than Bush was.

“Were he to symbolically elevate the US-India relationship now to the level of the US-China dialogue, it could give Washington greater leeway on Kashmir. So would pressing Pakistan to be more co-operative on the Mumbai terrorists and helping New Delhi secure prizes it desperately covets, such as entry into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or a permanent seat on the UN Security Council,” Newsweek says.

As Sumit Ganguly of Indiana University puts it, “If that were to happen, India would roll over on any issue. (Gulf Times)

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

And now Military exercises in Sargodha worry Indian government

Indian media says Delhi alarmed over digging of trenches by drilling troops

Pak troops dig trenches as part of routine winter exercises

Faulty Intel reports link Army exercises with PAF activities, term far flung Sargodha as a border city

ISLAMABAD—While the Pakistan Army is carrying out its routine winter drills in different parts of the country during which the exercising troop often dig trenches and tunnels as part of the exercises, India’s intelligence agencies have created panic amongst the government and defence circles by reporting that Pakistanis were digging secret tunnels along Pak-India borders, most probably to store nuclear weapons. These absurd intelligence reports, that are merely based on some images of web search engine Google, have been published by Indian media as well. The credibility of these reports can further be judged that these reports describe Sargodha city of Pakistan as a border city that is very close to Pakistan-India borders while actually Sargodha is situated hundred of kilometers from the Pakistan-India borders. Further more the reports have linked these drills of Army with some activity by Pakistan Air Force, probably in a bid to get away with the shame that was caused to Indian Armed Forces a day before when PAF Chief was shown as a National Hero of India in an official advertisement, released by the Indian government.

The Times of India, wich is otherwise befooling every one by launching a joint peace initiative through a Pakistani media group has taken the quantum leap in destabilizing the Pak-India ties and published this completely childish report on the front page The Times of India report says that as the war of words between India and Pakistan reaches a crescendo, New Delhi has fresh cause for alarm, due to some activities across the border. Intelligence agencies here have brought to the notice of the government information that Pakistan has been frantically building up tunnels in areas not far from the border with India.

According to these inputs, the tunnels have been dug up in Sargodha district of Pakistani Punjab and can even be noticed, as a top intelligence officer put it, by a discerning eye on Google satellite imagery. “An attempt is being made to establish the purpose of digging up these large tunnels. They clearly can’t be meant for transport as is obvious from the images available; unlike ordinary tunnels they don’t lead on to roads,” said the official who is involved in analyzing the information.

Terming Sargodha,(an agricultural rich district of Punjab, know for great citrus fruits and not for any kind of nuclear installation at all) as “known” for nuclear installations, the TOI further writes Pakistan has constructed storage sheds for missiles and weapons in Sargodha, a known nuclear installation, in the past. The size of the tunnels and the fact that they don’t seem to lead to roads has raised fears that they could be used to store battle-ready nuclear weapons or missiles.

The TOI further writes that the tunnels being dug up by Pakistan in Sargodha district assumes significance in view of the fact that a sub-depot near the central ammunition depot there has been known to store some of the country’s deadliest, but unassembled, missiles like the Chinese M-11.

Sargodha is also the place where Pakistan’s N-capable F-16s are said to be stationed. Located on the west of Lahore, Sargodha has always been the hub of Pakistan air force and, in fact, is home to its central air command.

(Daily Mail)

India: Triggering Mechanism of Self Destruction

India Fails to contain Internal Freedom Movements, wants to attack the neighbours

One of the major causes that led to the First World War was Emperor William’s ambitions for the German Empire to be a world power. He believed in an uncompromising policy of ‘power or downfall’ which ultimately resulted in the ‘downfall’ of the empire. Similarly, it is the misfortune of South Asia that India has been trying to endanger the region’s peace by aspiring to become a ‘world power’, or at least a ‘regional power’ in wake of modern world trends like renunciation of war, peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development.

Over the years, India has not only been developing its conventional and nuclear arsenals, but is also obtaining latest weapons from the US, Russia and Israel in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In this context, presuming a peace-loving China as an enemy New Delhi often justifies arms accumulation, while in practice India has constantly deployed its forces along the Pakistani border. As regards Indian belligerent approach, it is the result of India’s shattered hope of intimidating other neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan which the former considers a continuous obstacle in the way of its designs.

Under the pretext of Talibinisation, the Indian secret agency, RAW, has well established its tentacles in Afghanistan, and has been running secret operations against Pakistan from its consulates located near the Pak-Afghan border. It has spent millions of dollars in Afghanistan to strengthen its grip in order to get strategic depth against Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gilani and Foreign Minister Qureshi have repeatedly stated: “India supports terrorism in Pakistan, and its evidence will be shown to the western countries at the right occasion.” Indeed, this is in coordination with the statements of the ISPR spokesman Major General Athar Abbas who revealed that during the ongoing military operations huge cache of arms and ammunition had been captured while it was being shifted from Afghanistan.

Perhaps, frustrated in achieving its aims of becoming a world power, and a permanent seat in the UNSC, now the Indian rulers have started openly threatening nuclear powers like Pakistan and China.

In this backdrop, the Indian Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, vocally revealed on December 29 that the Indian army “is now revising its five-year old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”

However in response to New Delhi’s threat, Pakistan’s JCSC chairman, General Tariq Majeed, stated:

“The Indian army chief’s statement exhibits a lack of strategic acumen…[such a path could] fix India on a self-destructive mechanism.”

It is surprising to note that in more than seven states, India itself faces separatist movements which are the result of acute poverty and social injustices. Particularly, Maoist movement that has been raging in West Bengal, and has now expanded to other regions including Maharashtra. At present, it is a popular insurgency by the downtrodden who have massive support of the people for their ideology.(images below)

A Maoist camp in the Nallamala forest in AP

Naxals/Maoists

Naxals/Maoists

Red hood locals pledge support to Maoists in the jungles of Bastar

Villagers watch as Maoists burn effigies of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh in Dumariya district -Bihar

Maoist rebels at a memorial for those killed in Police encounters in the Nallamalla foresr - South of Hyderabad

Mass rally in Hyderabad organized by Maoists

Naxalite base in Karnatka

Naxalite base in Karnatka

“India’s Maoist rebels are now present in 20 states and have killed more than 900 Indian security officers…India’s rapid economic growth has made it an emerging global power but also deepened stark inequalities in society.” (31st Oct. New York Times)

Thus, by neglecting all these ground realties New Delhi has been advancing towards a self-destructive path.

Notably, USA’s dependence on Pakistan for war against terrorism and for close economic cooperation with China will roll back the Indian clandestine agenda which is part of its regional ambition against Islamabad and Beijing. Nonetheless, like the failed foreign policy of Emperor William II, the Indian policy of ‘power or downfall’ is bound to result in a nuclear catastrophe in the region as ‘nuclear’ Pakistan and China cannot ignore their defence, while their adversary is determined to act upon its aggressive designs.–>modified

%d bloggers like this: