Turkey will continue its unflinching support to Pakistan, says Abdullah Gul

  • Turkish president says Pakistan’s recent success in war on terror has made Turkey proud
  • Both countries must join hands to wipe out militancy, extremism

ISLAMABAD: Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Tuesday reiterated that his country will continue its unflinching support to Pakistan on various confronting issues, besides standing alongside the country in all trying times.

The Turkish president, during a call on a meeting by Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) Chairman General Tariq Majeed, who is on an official visit to the brotherly country, said both the brotherly nations have deep-rooted and time-tested relations.

The Turkish president, recalling the lively and vivid memories of his visit to Pakistan, lauded the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation and its armed forces in the war against terrorism, adding that the recent successes of Pakistan in the fight against terrorists has made them proud.

Besides discussing matters relating to enhancement of the relations between both countries, General Majeed said “both the countries have convergent perceptions on all regional and international issues and are facing common challenges”.

Join hands: He added, “Both brotherly countries must join hands to wipe out armed militancy and violent extremism from our societies.”

According to a message from Turkey, on arrival at the Turkish General Staff Headquarters, General Majeed was warmly welcomed and the Turkish Armed Forces gave him a guard of honour.

During his meeting with General Ilker Basbug, chief of the Turkish General Staff, the JCSC chairman thanked him for the warm hospitality and offered his condolences for the loss of precious lives of the Turkish soldiers and citizens in the recent terrorist attacks and the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ incident.

He appreciated Turkey’s unflinching support to Pakistan in its fight against terrorism, for the efforts to bring stability in Afghanistan and holding of the tripartite and regional summits.

General Majid emphasised the need to institutionalise the defence and security dialogue mechanism at the CDS level and training of officers at mid-career and junior levels to cultivate brotherhood amongst the young officers. Read more of this post

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



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

NCA shows confidence in Pak nuclear capability

A view of the National Command Authority (NCA) meeting held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani at Rawalpindi on Wednesday. (13-01-2010) – Photo ISPR

ISLAMABAD: The National Command Authority (NCA) met, under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, to review matters of strategic importance to Pakistan. This was the first NCA meeting which was chaired by democratically elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Inter-Services Public Relations stated Wednesday.

The NCA expressed satisfaction on the safety and security of Pakistan’s strategic assets and the effectiveness of Pakistan’s strategic deterrence. It emphasized the importance of Pakistan’s policy of credible minimum deterrence and the maintaining of strategic stability in South Asia. It also reaffirmed Pakistan’s policy of restraint and responsibility and its resolve to continue efforts to promote peace and stability in South Asia. It underscored the need for prevention of conflict and avoidance of nuclear and conventional arms race in the region, ISPR added.

The NCA took note of the developments detrimental to the objectives of strategic stability in the region. It observed that instead of responding positively to Pakistan’s proposal for a Strategic Restraint Regime in South Asia, India continues to pursue an ambitious militarization programme and offensive military doctrines. Massive inductions of advanced weapon systems, including installation of ABMs, build-up of nuclear arsenal and delivery systems through ongoing and new programmes, assisted by some external quarters, offensive doctrines like ‘Cold Start’ and similar accumulations in the conventional realm, tend to destabilize the regional balance. This relentless pursuit of military preponderance will have severe consequences for peace and security in South Asia as well as for the Indian Ocean region. Pakistan cannot be oblivious to these developments, ISPR added.

The NCA took serious note of recent Indian statements about its capability to conduct conventional military strikes under a nuclear umbrella. Such irresponsible statements reflected a hegemonic mindset, oblivious of dangerous implications of adventurism in a nuclearized context, ISPR added.

The NCA further noted that the India-specific exemption made by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and subsequent nuclear fuel supply agreements with several countries, would enable India to produce substantial quantities of fissile material for nuclear weapons by freeing up its domestic resources, ISPR added.

The NCA reiterated that, while continuing to act with responsibility and avoiding an arms race, Pakistan will not compromise on its security interests and the imperative of maintaining a credible minimum deterrence, ISPR added.

The meeting reviewed plans for civil nuclear power generation under IAEA safeguards as part of national energy security strategy to ensure sustained economic growth. It welcomed the renewed international interest in nuclear power generation to meet the challenge of climate change, ISPR dded.

As a country with advanced fuel cycle capability, Pakistan is in a position to provide nuclear fuel cycle services under IAEA safeguards, and to participate in any non-discriminatory nuclear fuel supply assurance mechanism, ISPR added.

It expressed satisfaction at the steps taken by Pakistan at the national level for nuclear safety and security, which continue to be important considerations in the context of national nuclear power development plans, ISPR stated.

The meeting reaffirmed that, as a nuclear weapon state, Pakistan is committed to work as an equal partner in international efforts for general and complete nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. In this regard, it underscored the need for non-discriminatory policies and accommodation of the reality of Pakistan’s nuclear weapon status for promoting global non-proliferation goals, ISPR stated.

It emphasized that promotion of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament objectives in South Asia are linked with regional security dynamics and the need to address existing asymmetries and resolution of outstanding disputes, ISPR stated.

The NCA stressed that, as the sole disarmament negotiating forum, the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva should play its due role in global nuclear disarmament, ISPR stated.

As far as the consideration of a Fissile Material Treaty (FMT) at the CD is concerned, Pakistan’s position will be determined by its national security interests and the objectives of strategic stability in South Asia. Selective and discriminatory measures that perpetuate regional instability, in any form and manner, derogate from the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and, therefore, cannot be accepted or endorsed. Pakistan will not support any approach or measure that is prejudicial to its legitimate national security interests, ISPR stated.

Seminal Majid-Xiaotian military summit: Sino-Pakistani nexus to next level

This wasn’t an ordinary summit. This came at the heels of Indian General’s irrational statement about a joint war with China and India. Analyst would give an arm and a leg to be fly on the wall listening to what the Pakistani and Chinese Generals were discussion. Its not hard to guess. Sanity says that the following subjects must have come up.

It is pedagogical to note that the Chinese did not respond to General Kapoors statements. They did however repond in typical Chinese low key fasion—with a Pakistani Chinese military summit.

Silence is Golden!

1) General Kapoor and his Cold War insanity–and its counter-measures which places the onus on Tactical Nuclear weapons.

2) The regional situation, Afghanistan and Yemen must have come up for discussion.

3) The enhancement of military cooperation would surely have taken the talks to aircraft cooperation beyond the J-10s and J-11–towards J-14s.

4) Gwader and Central Asia and the road network would have come up at the strategic level.

5) They must have discussed the cooperation beyond the JF-17 Thunders, P-22 frigates and the Nuclear plans.

Beyond conjecture, The Nation  sheds some light on what actually happened.

Islamabad – The 7th round of Pak-China Defence and Security Talks has concluded with emphasis on cementing bilateral military cooperation through mutually beneficial collaboration in operational, training, intelligence, logistics and defence industrial fields including indigenisation projects and joint ventures.

TheNation has learnt from the military sources on Sunday that the both sides during daylong discussions held at Joint Staff Headquarters, Chaklala shared perspectives on the fast evolving regional security situation for developing common insight into the emerging scenarios and coordinating common responses.

Sources said that the discussion focused at the impact of changing global security dynamics, progress in the efforts against terrorism and violent extremism, revised US strategy for Afghanistan, intra-regional disputes and posturing of involved states, and the tenuous spectre of strategic stability in the region.

The discussion also focused on ETIM terrorism related threat and measures for security of the Chinese manpower working in Pakistan.

The two sides also undertook a comprehensive review of bilateral military cooperation and the progress of various ongoing defence projects, making specific proposals for mutually beneficial future collaboration in operational, training, intelligence, logistics and defence industrial fields including indigenisation projects and joint ventures.

The visiting Deputy Chief of General Staff of Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), General Ma Xiaotian led the eight-member Chinese delegation, while Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), General Tariq Majid led the Pakistani team.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman JCSC, General Tariq Majid extended felicitation on 60th Anniversary of China and lauded a spectacular economic progress and technological modernisation to rise as a reckonable power in the global politics and global economy, playing a crucial stabilisation role in many regions of the world.

He termed time tested multidimensional Pakistan-China strategic partnership as the bedrock of stability in the region and said, “As the world grows more complex and regional situation more challenging, it has become even more critical to add greater depth and dynamism to this relationship”.

Reiterating China’s solidarity and continuing support for Pakistan in meeting the challenges General Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of General Staff, PLA appreciated Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism and violent extremism and stated, “We acknowledge the great sacrifices rendered by Pakistan, its people and the Armed Forces in combating terrorism, for which Pakistan deserves the praise and gratitude of the entire world, indeed the mankind”.

Later in the evening, a banquet was hosted by General Tariq Majid in the honour of General Ma Xiaotian and his delegation which was also attended by senior Pakistani military officers from the three services and officials from the Ministries of Defence and Defence Production.

In view of the American moves into Yemen, Oman and Kenya, Pakistan becomes all the more important for China. Islamabad is under tremendous pressure to give Gwader to the Americans. Pakistan has resisted.  The Israelis and the Americans want to use Yemen and Oman as a beachead to pressure Iran. Delhi a willing part of this alliance has already talked about regional reach. After its eviction from tajikistan, it seems to have been shut out of Central Asia by a combined Russian-Chinese and Pakistan move.

Iran, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia have in one week changed the energy map of Asia and Europe. By taking congtrol of Tajik gas and dividing them up between China, Russia and Iran, the Asian powers are asserting control of the energy resources of Central Asia–to the chagrin of Europe and the USA.

If America can get a safe saving victory out of Afghanistan, they may begin to withdraw their forces from the Afghan quagmire.

The next 18 months are going to be extremely important–if the US gets sucked into Yemen, and body bags begin rolling out of the Arabian peninsula, then there is a guarantee of a one term presidency. Mr. Obama will surely try to wage the Yemen war with drones.

Soaked in blood, with huge sacrifices, the Pakistanis and Afghans will wait it out– ’till 2011. Then the tide will begin turning towards victory. With a friendly government in Afghanistan and solid relations with the Tajiks and Uzbeks, a friendly China the entire area will begin moving towards its destiny.


Cry for hegemony

“War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity; it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it.”Martin Luther

There seems to be an identical case of variance between the Pakistani and Indian governments. Both civil administrations seem to be looking in different directions as far as their military establishments are concerned. In this country such a difference could be perilous because it generates a debate where a vast majority of the people feel that the brass may intervene and stage yet another coup against the democratic forces of the country. However, in India when the Chief of their Army Staff General Kapoor claims that the Indian army was capable enough to take over both Pakistan and China and bring forth ‘positive results’ within 96 hours it sent alarm bells swinging wildly in all the major capitals of the world. For some the general may have taken a glass too many before he made such a statement, but for others it depicts a serious thought out Indian policy who have been slowly building up on the idea that after the Soviet Union they must be recognised as a major superpower of the world. The recent spending frenzy of $200 billion by the Indians in the name of modernising their obsolete forces is well known to everyone, but still the United States and other major western countries have continued to support Indian designs with their own strategic goals in this region. The Indians are fully aware of the fact that this enormous sum of money that was diverted to their armed forces could have served a much better purpose if it had been spent on the teeming millions of Indians who live below the poverty line. The money could have been spent for the provision of improved health care, education and other social services but their government seems to be in a hurry to dominate South and Far East Asia and in this pursuit has taken certain decisions that have not only annoyed its immediate neighbours but rattled some of them.

This war mongering by the Indian general has come at a time when the Indians are aware of the fact that a major chunk of the Pakistan’s armed forces are busy in fighting an Indian aided insurgency along its borders with Afghanistan. The mere fact that the Indians have calculated to overcome both Pakistan and China in 96 hours is not only poor military strategy, but also a dangerous assessment that is not only incorrect but could lead to a situation that could bring catastrophic results for this entire region. The Indians are fully aware of the capabilities of the first and second strike by Pakistan’s strategic forces in case the situation so called for and the amount of damage they could inflict on the enemy within minutes of a full-scale war. It is a well known fact that the Indian government has been trying to prevail upon the United States that they have the potential to prevail upon China in case the Americans were willing to provide the Indian government with the state-of-the-art military hardware. These weapons the Indians are sure will only result in the modernistion of their armed forces vis-à-vis the Pakistanis and tilt the conventional weapon systems in the favour of the Indian army. The support the Indians squeezed out of the United States in a civil nuclear deal is a part of this new Indian strategy. Without the US support, the Indians could remain 15 to 20 years behind Pakistan in the nuclear weapons and missile programme. However, the Indians are fully aware that they dare not take on the Chinese because their developing economy will suffer irreparable loss and could suffer serious setbacks in case of conflict. Similarly before the outburst General Deepak Kapoor was fully aware of the fact that the Pakistan armed forces were not only prepared but had the essential capability not only to defend their country but also to inflict terrible blows on anyone who tries to take on this country in a foolish state of mind.

The Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Tariq Majeed has rubbished the Indian General by saying: “General Kapoor cannot be so outlandish in strategic postulates on a self-destructing mechanism or betray lack of strategic acumen by indulging in such rhetoric. The Pakistani general said that the Indians must remember that by hurling threats at this country or telling the world that they are capable of winning in 96 hours is not only strategic stupidity, but also poor policy because war is not the answer to the various problems that are faced by both India and Pakistan. However in case the Indians miscalculated the resolve and the commitment of the Pakistani people to safeguard every inch of their country the Indians could drag not only this region in flames, but would be responsible for the disastrous consequences that would follow any fresh conflict with this country.”

Furthermore, senior defence analysts are of the opinion that 96 hours is a long period of time in a modern day conflict because the doctrine of MAD would ensure that there are no real victors at the end of a war between two nuclear armed nations, neither India nor Pakistan have the capability to mop up the disaster that will come with the war because the entire civil services including clean drinking water and looking after sick people will be overwhelmed to an extent where the entire systems of both the countries would collapse creating more misery than that already inflicted by the war would ensue. According to conservative estimate nearly 100 million people, on both sides of the border, would die in the first 15 minutes of the war and therefore the rhetoric of General Deepak Kapoor could be a madman’s dream and nothing more than that. One wonders as to why the Americans or even the elected government of India has not rebuked its general for issuing such a wild statement that has vitiated the already tense atmosphere between India and Pakistan. The government of Mr Manmohan Singh was feeling the pressure that they must settle the Kashmir issue and should withdraw its support from the insurgents who are fighting a deadly hit and run war along the border areas of Afghanistan. And also stop sending arms, ammunition and financial support so that that normalcy and peace returns to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. The statement of General Kapoor has muddied the waters and as such a quick retract of this statement was expected from the Indian government in case the general was not representing the official policy of the Government of India.—AZAM KHALIL

Dangers of sabre rattling

India is a country with superpower ambitions without presently having the wherewithal that the status requires. It is meanwhile trying hard to acquire and develop the capabilities needed. A report published in the Times of India early this week reveals New Delhi is revising its five-year-old military doctrine to meet challenges of a possible ‘two front war’ with Pakistan and China.

This comes amidst additional reports of the 1.13 million strong Indian army having tested, through several wargames over the last five years, its ‘proactive’ war strategy to mobilise fast and strike hard to pulverise the enemy. This ‘cold start strategy’, under an NCB (nuclear-chemical-biological) overhang, has supposedly been formulated on the basis of lessons learnt during Operation Parakram, generally described as a disaster, where it took army’s strike formations almost a month to mobilise at the border launch-pads in the wake of the December 2001 terrorist attack on Indian Parliament.

This, India thinks, provided sufficient opportunity to Pakistan to shore up its defences as well as enough time to the international community to intervene. Similarly Indian leadership could not proceed beyond giving vent to impotent rage after the Mumbai attacks, which caused a lot of chagrin to those who had developed a perception of India as a mini US.

The Indian army thinks that the lack of clear directives from the Indian government on both occasions only made matters worse. Speaking at a closed-door seminar on Tuesday General Deepak Kapoor summed up the issue in these words: “A major leap in our approach to conduct of operations (since then) has been the successful firming-up of the cold start strategy (to be able to go to war promptly).

According to the report the plan now is to launch self-contained and highly-mobile ‘battle groups’, with Russian-origin T-90S tanks and upgraded T-72 M1 tanks at their core, adequately backed by air cover and artillery fire assaults, for rapid thrusts into enemy territory within 96 hours. Indian plans envisage the ending of the war decisively in New Delhi’s favour within the first 96 hours forcing the other sides into a fast submission of cease-fire.

India is also unhappy about Pak-China military co-operation and has presumably factored in the element in its strategy. Pakistan government has already blamed India for using its consulates, established in a number of small Afghan towns along the Durand Line where there was no real need to set them up, for encouraging, financing and training terrorists to operate inside Pakistan.

Sophisticated weapons, laptops, imported medical supplies like plastic bags with fresh blood plasma for transfusion and canned food items found in areas in Swat liberated by the army from the Taliban also point to the Indian connection. Islamabad has also blamed New Delhi for involvement in the destabilisation of Balochistan.

It is maintained that New Delhi is unhappy with the Gwadar deep-sea port for it gives Pakistan an alternate port out of reach of most Indian bombers. It is also presumably unhappy with the Chinese, who made a major investment in the construction of the port, making use of the facility to access the Middle East markets. Threat perceptions of the type have led General Kayani to respond strongly to the Indian moves.

Maintaining that peace and stability in South Asia and beyond was the logical and fundamental principle underlining the security paradigm of Pakistan, he warned any proponent of adventurism of the dire consequences arising out of it. On Friday he told senior army officers at the GHQ that the army was alive to the full spectrum of threats that continued to exist both in conventional and unconventional domains.

“Proponents of conventional application of military forces, in a nuclear overhang, are charting an adventurous and dangerous path, the consequences of which could be both unintended and uncontrollable,” he said. A day later, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Tariq Majid came up with a tough reaction to the reported remarks from the Indian army chief that Indian military is ready to battle China and Pakistan at the same time.

In his statement, General Tariq expressed his doubts over the veracity of Indian media report attributed to General Deepak Kapoor, stating that “he [General Kapoor] could not be so outlandish in strategic postulations to fix China on a self destruct mechanism”. General Majid also said: “But if the news report is correct, the uncalled for rhetoric only betrays a lack of strategic acumen”.

While it is not unusual for militaries to review and modify their strategies from time to time, to leak out their details is likely to be interpreted as an attempt at sabre rattling, which is rife with dangerous implications. Both Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons and the required delivery systems capable of being launched from land, sea and air.

Any of the two countries fearful of a strategic and irretrievable set back can be tempted to take recourse to this deadly arsenal with catastrophic effects on both sides. There is a need therefore to seriously undertake the measures required to end all possible causes of confrontation. India has to stop its agencies from supporting terrorists in Fata and Balochistan. It also needs to reciprocate to Pakistan’s continuous overtures to initiate the composite dialogue to resolve mutual disputes particularly the core issue of Kashmir.

—Business Recorder

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