Look beyond Rawalpindi - OpEd by Raja Mohan

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by ejazr, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/look-beyond-rawalpindi/716250/0

    Two years after the pre-meditated and outrageous attack on Mumbai, India’s vulnerabilities to cross-border terrorism remain acute as ever. Despite overwhelming evidence that the aggression was planned and executed from Pakistan in collaboration with its state institutions, there is little hope that Islamabad will bring the perpetrators to justice. There is even less of a prospect that Pakistan might give credible assurances that its soil will not be used to launch future attacks on India. Delhi’s security managers can surely pat themselves on the back for being vigilant in preventing a major incident after 26/11. But the next attack might not be too far away. Much work remains to be done on all three dimensions of an effective counter-terror strategy — defence, deterrence and diplomacy. Defence is about preventing acts of terror through better acquisition and assessment of intelligence and effectively dealing with the attack when it does take place. India’s handling of 26/11 exposed the pitiful state of India’s capabilities on both these fronts. P. Chidambaram, who took charge of internal security in November 2008 itself, was quick to begin long overdue reforms. These included the passing of new anti-terror legislation, the setting up of the National Investigative Agency, establishing multi-agency centres at the national and state levels to better integrate and assess the available intelligence leads, and unveiling plans for the modernisation of the National Security Guard and improving coastal security.

    While it marked a good beginning, there is no doubt that the effort to reform India’s internal security structures has stalled. India’s police personnel remain poorly equipped, under-manned and ill-trained to deal with the expansive challenge of terrorism. If most state governments have refused to rise to the challenge, the Central government has been hampered by bureaucratic battles for turf and political doubts in the ruling party about security sector reform. The second element of our counter-terror strategy is deterrence. Ever since Pakistan acquired nuclear weapons, India has had few options for punitive retaliatory actions against Rawalpindi’s support for cross-border terror. Since it was surprised by Pakistan’s Kargil aggression in the summer of 1999, the Indian military establishment has struggled to break out of this box.Delhi’s talk about a “cold start” doctrine — that might let India conduct conventional military operations below the threshold of nuclear escalation — did draw a lot of concern from across the border and beyond. The Pakistan army headquarters in Rawalpindi is fully aware that India is nowhere near acquiring the conventional military capability to punish Pakistan.

    To deter the Pakistan army from facilitating future cross-border terror attacks, India needs to act on a range of fronts. These include more purposeful modernisation of the armed forces to generate some military pressure against Rawalpindi and strengthening India’s nuclear arsenal which continues to lag behind that of Pakistan. India must also focus on building up a serious missile defence programme that can introduce some uncertainty into Rawalpindi’s strategic calculus. Finally, on the diplomatic front, India has had some success and a lot more frustration. The evidence from 26/11 has helped India convince the international community to recognise the sources of terrorism in Pakistan. It has also opened the door for more substantive counter-terror cooperation with the United States. During his visit to Delhi earlier this month, American President Barack Obama called on Pakistan to shut down the terror networks on its territory, including the Lashkar-e-Toiba. British Prime Minister David Cameron travelling in India a few months earlier was more direct in stating the truth about Rawalpindi’s support for terror groups. Yet, Delhi knows the limits to international pressure on Pakistan. Despite giving nearly $20 billion in civilian and military aid to Pakistan during the last decade, the US is still having trouble getting Pakistan to act against groups that directly target American troops in Afghanistan. It was logical then for India to find ways to directly engage Pakistan to bring the Mumbai plotters to book. But all indications are that India is unlikely to get any satisfaction on terrorism from its current talks with Pakistan.

    Our interlocutors across the border have no control over the terror machine, which is run by the Pakistan army. The real challenge for India, then, is in finding ways to compel Rawalpindi to change its calculus of support for cross-border terrorism. This in turn means exploring Rawalpindi’s own weak points.The ISI’s influence over the Pashtuns across its western frontiers is at the heart of Pakistan’s success in holding the international community hostage in Afghanistan. It is also potentially the weakest element of Rawalpindi’s strategy, for the Pashtuns, including the Taliban, have never recognised the legitimacy of the Durand Line that is supposed to be the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. India must step up its engagement of the Pashtuns and put the question of the Durand Line’s future on the international agenda.India must also begin to focus on Pakistan’s civil-military relations and step up its support for genuine democratic change. While Rawalpindi’s dominance over Pakistan’s polity is real, it is no reason why India should not make it a political issue. Further, Delhi must take a more disaggregated view of our neighbour. Instead of negotiating with the civilian government that is sat upon by the army, India must consider a direct engagement with the political parties in Pakistan both at the federal and provincial level. Capacity-building holds the key to India’s progress in the areas of defence and deterrence against terrorism.

    That will take time, persistent effort and strong political leadership in Delhi. On the diplomatic front, India will have to continuously look for bold approaches to contain the Pakistan army, the main support base for cross-border terrorism against India.

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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    India should talk directly with the Pashtuns and encourage them that indeed the Durand Line is a legacy of past imperialism and the policy of Divide and Rule.

    And then like Captain Ahab, sit back and see Moby D*ick surfacing and exclaim - That she Blows!

    But unlike Captain Ahab's Moby Dic*k, this Moby Di*ck would be a friendly one!
     
  4. roach

    roach Regular Member

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    I would say a three-pronged strategy:

    1. Draw Pakistan into an arms race that it cannot possibly sustain, given the present state of their economy
    2. Tit-for-tat with support to Pashtun and Baloch separatists
    3. Development and improvement of the human rights situation in Kashmir
     
  5. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    delhi doesn't have an will nor any foresightedness on how to deal with pakistan/pa or china they are firing in gark without night vision goggles hoping that it would hit the bullseye while our neighbours have 100% night enable vision
     
  6. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Covert strikes against Pak were discussed after 26/11 but seems RAW is toothless.

    http://www.expressindia.com/latest-...ted-a-war-with-Pakistan-that-November/716240/
     
  7. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^ Not just that, a continuous series of political upheavals and crises should disseminate itself. India should position itself such that, any future crises in Pakistan can be taken advantage of. That includes developing key political assets in that country- including at the regional level, where all the action is.

    Now that the war has expanded to Balochistan, India can stand to significantly gain by 'orchestrating' chaos.

    The way to get at Pakistan is through Islam. 'No one can separate Pakistan from Islam", says the Army chief. That will consign them to their fate.

    The Pakistanis are fairly easy to radicalize. And once they become the global 'hub' of terror, truly the war will move out from Afghanistan. I'm hearing through the political grapevine, that a stable government in Afghan is in the offing. That is in fact, all what this 2014 deadline is about.

    A very momentous development has happened between Russia and NATO. On the sidelines of Russia agreeing to a 'compromised' NATO missile station treaty, Russia has also agreed to open supply routes to Afghanistan. It will take a few years for the logistics of this to be sorted out, but I believe this was in discussions for many, many years.

    Israel is also set to position itself within the subcontinent. A very large delegation is set to visit India in 2011, under the pretext of trade-negotiation, but will include members from the defence community, who plan to seek a vision for a post-2014 world in the subcontinent.

    This, by the way, is interesting news:


    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1101126/jsp/frontpage/story_13223986.jsp
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    • He is a retd Brigadier of the Army, was MA to Japan.

      His takes are independent view with great insight.
     
  9. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^^ tronic u posted it i was just going to do this.

    but its alarming to see that our planners are careless and they donot have any assets in pakistan . how can that be true , arent apkistanis are corrupt people or our RAW is more corrput which consumes its amount meant for spending it on safety of india. i can coclude only following things
    1>paper is lying , u cannot declare this things in paper
    2>raw is lying to PM
    3> PAKis are more patriotic then indian
    4> I K Gujral as pm was fool who made him pm of this country and is manmohan is sleeping cant he start new cells in pakistan.god plz send indra gandhi .

    it alarming u donot have any assets then what are u going to durning war time . just firring in air :angry_10::angry_10:

    and yes when i read this article i was quiet surprised that our leadership was asking question to 3 defence chief what would be possible pakistan ans to our attcks on it

    common hell this people were shouting form deep of their throats that any possible military attribution by India on Pakistani soil would be dealt military

    common if this attitude of our policymakers remains that "full-fuledge war would never occur in todays world" then this is stupidy. day one pakistanis would get their conventional weapons parity over india they would attack us with fullforce and then no one would come to defend us no america, no russia, we would surely loose and pakistan wont lessen to anyboody untill they had captured whole of J&K will help from china

    :angry_10::angry_10:
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  10. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Even if we cannot talk directly to them. We should give statements that are sympathetic to the cause from time to time and keep the pot boiling so that it may soon spill over.

    India needs to start distinguishing between different sub-nationalities in Pakistan. We should engage Balochis, Sindhis, Seriakis, Pakjabis and Pashtuns individually. Right now, we are caught in a trap where we have accepted that the opinion of Pakjabis(particularly the elites) is same as the rest of Pakistan.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Actually talking to the Pashtuns is an option. I do not know if we are at it, but the Pakistanis feels we are at it including other groups like the Baluchis and that is why we have Consulates in Afghanistan.

    To give statements would, in my opinion, expose us to incessant barrage from Pakistan as to how we are trying to destabilise Pakistan and all that, and the end result would not be in our favour, except to show solidarity.

    Run Silent, Run Deep would possibly yield results without the muck soiling our skin!

    Just my view.
     
  12. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Despite our careful positioning over the years, everyone perceives India and Pakistan as rivals who are trying to destabilize each other. And I dont see how that perception can be changed. The perception is so entrenched that our humanitarian work in Afghanistan is equated with Pakistan terror operations. Hence, we should not worry about our clothes getting muddied, as our clothes are already tarred. In any case, we cannot play games if we are afraid of some harsh words.

    The reason I propose the use of public foras is that it readies everyone for impending consequencies. Secret talks are, of course, important. But that is one part. The periodic public statements will send ripples, create new players, new dynamics are set in motion and it create insecurity among the established players(establishment of Pakistan). All this can be done by a simple statement by some junior minister. If the heat gets too much, some senior minister can backtrack. This arrangement gives us a lot of leeway to play lot of games using public fora even without direct contact. If we notice, the modus operandi of Chinese vis-a-vis India is quite similar to this approach.

    Also direct contact is difficult to establish and the other party would want to make sure that we are a dependable ally. This trust can be established by our public statements.
     
  13. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I have a few thoughts on this topic as well...

    (1) India does not and should not have a problem with the Pakistani people themselves. They are fed a load of propaganda everyday but even those who want to have friendly relations with India are sideline by PAKMIL. So the people themselves wether Pashtoon, Balochis, Sindhis or even Punjabis and SEraikis are an asset in that sense.

    (2) The PAKMIL elite has ruled Pakistan for more than half its lifetime and lost half of their country in that period. Even now it is very clear that the real power is with the ISI and Kayani. This aspect has to be made very clear to the PAkistani public though different means

    (3) PAKMIL always uses the crutch of Islam to say that they are the savious, this narrative has to be overturned. There is nothing Islamic in what they have done and how they perform. Particulary in the way they have upturned the rule of law in their own country. Shady deals with the CIA on drone strikes and US agents in FATA or Quetta can't be done without KAyani's approval. Then why is the civilian govt. blamed. The Pakistani public has to be guided to the right direction.

    (4) Once the Pakistani public realises that the military/intelligence elite is the main problem and overturns its hold, India will have to lend credible support and might even have to go in with a Marshal plan type move to maintain the momentum and strengthen the democratic forces in Pakistan.


    This is a longshot and may take many years but this would probably be the best scenario outcome if it happens
     
  14. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    That is the problem,
    Because they're fed a lot of propaganda, therefore they become an enemy, India should then have a serious problem with Pakistani people !

    Unless the propaganda is stopped and the revisionism in their history books rectified, not point in peace talks. An alternative would be strong counter propaganda, however judging from the Indian Express reports RAW doesn't have any more assets in Pakistan :special25:
     
  15. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Exactly, the average Pakistanis are a problem. Yes, the problem can be dealt with, but that does not mean that the problem is solved now. It only means that there is a solution. But the solution has a pre-requisite: Pak Mil has to be made irrelevant. That pre-requisite is not easy to be met.

    The alternative is divide and rule(or as the ancients called Bedha of Sama, Dana, Bedha and Danda). The Pakistani populace is not a homogenious group. It can be broadly divided into sub-nationalities. These sub-nationalities must be engaged by us individually. And the fact that all these groups are suppressed by the Pakjabis, helps us make our 'division' easy.
     
  16. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Again on the Pakistani public.

    If you go through the recent PEW global survey in Pakistan which had polled people mainly from Punjab and Sindh. 53% considered India as a threat. This was LESS than the percentage of Pakistanis who considered US as a threat at 70+%. In otherwords, Pakistanis considered US as a bigger threat than India

    Moreover, quoting from the report.
    Roughly seven-in-ten (72%) say it is important for relations with India to improve and about three-quarters support increased trade with India and further talks between the two rivals.

    Its not impossible really to persuade Pakistani public opinion if you see that these were the polled numbers in 2010 even after loads of TTP attacks. Eventually people do make sense of what is going around them. The idea is to make sure that GoI makes an effort in countering propaganda. Just sitting with their hands folded and saying "Oh they're fed propaganda, so we can't do anything" is unacceptable. Countering propaganda doesn't have to be press coferences denying stories at the Indian high comission every day.

    It would be things like
    (1) People-to-people contacts on cultural level on TV, music dance e.t.c.
    (2) Trade incentives targeting particularly the poorer section of the Pakistanis so that they only benefit rather than the landlords or industrialists
    (3) Covert funding to journalists or TV channels cirtical of PAKMIL, they don't even have to false criticism, but just highlight of blatant failures of PAKMIL like Kargil, Bangladesh, 1965, 2008, Lal Masjid e.t.c
    (4) Exposes of PAKMIL cooperation on drone strikes, american troops in PAkistan including Quetta.
    (5) Lobbying international HR groups to visit Balochistan, NWFP, FATA, Gilgit e.t.c
    (6) GoI making offers of developmental nature publicly with things like helping flood aid, education, medical assistance e.t.c. These offers may not be accepted but by publicly stating them they can create good will
    (7) Having a publicly stated surrender policy for intelligence agents of ISI, army officers e.t.c. somthing along the lines the US CIA had for soviet dissidents. The idea would be that these agents will be given a new idenity and life as long as they can provide sufficent intelligence info and were willing to turn it over to India to live a better life outside Pakistan. Even if no one turns over, just having this policy will cause consternation within the ISI/Army

    There are more thing that can be done in that vein but the main aim is to target the PAkistani public to show that there is no enmity with the populace but only with the elitist elemenst in the ISI/army who have been a source of problem to the Pakistani public as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  17. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    To add to my original post, RAW should (but it can't :special10: ) try to place a few agents in their Urdu daily newspapers. No point in infiltrating DAWN/Tribune etc, only the Punjabi elite reads them
     
  18. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Frankly, it does not matter what those people think as long as they dont take decisions. PA takes the decisions and people directly or indirectly support them. PA can easily whip up the passion if they wish to within a short time. Aftermath of 26/11 was ample evidence to it.

    So, what people think is a question that we need to take up, after we have dealt with PA. Right now, people's thoughts and opinions dont matter unless they support India against PA.

    So, instead of seeing pakistan as one single unit. We should divide it into manageble chunks. This approach must be first utilised atleast in our foreign relations.
     
  19. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    I think it's the effort of the PAKMIL to show US as the bogeyman, to hold together the country (anti-india isn't working well for them )

    Yeah that's what they said about the US too

    [​IMG]

    64% want better relations with US.... :special25:


    Come on dude, how would one answer a question like "Do want stuff to improve in the future?". Difficult to say 'no' to that !
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  20. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^^^

    PEW survey was conducted by a local Pakistani survey company, and if you check out people from Pakistan I think it would be an accurate reflection. The question specifically is about bilateral relations should improve or not. Its a specific questions and those people who feel that they have no stake in having good relations with India and that hostility is the only option would obviously choose no.

    The US single-handedly helped Pakistan maintain parity for the past 50 years. IT helped it with the latest American weapons in its fight against Soviets. During the Afghan war it was the same again. It had a higher per capita income and growth rate than India for most of the initial years thanks to American help. And Reagan even turned a blind eye to the Pakistani nuke program which was being built with the help from China. And ofcourse they continue provide billions of dollars in military and economic aid.

    India on the other hand was told that it had usurped "Kashmir", was responsible for the loss of East Pakistan, is stopping its waters and possibly is involved in funding attacks by the TTP. And ofcourse that although the US can be reconciled with but the "Brahmin dominated" India can never be our friend.


    AND Still US is considered a bigger threat than India, and more people want to have better relations with India than US. Besides what I am talking about is over many years, decades. Germany and France committed suicide TWICE and took the whole of Europe with them and now they are more or less reconciled with each other with open borders and single currency. US and UK had a 100 year enmity with the war of independence, the UK funding the southern rebels and so on. Then beginning with the 20th century views began to change and pragmatism developed. Mortal enemies started calling the fight between themselves as a fratricide or fighting between brothers. So its not entirely utopian to say that the PUBLIC can be an asset in tackling PAKMIL. Its all about how you look at the issue.

    There should a policy for the puppet GoP, a policy for the power behind the scenes army/ISI and then a separate policy for the public at large.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  21. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    ^
    I'm not saying peace is impossible, it can be done. But as you said we need to dominate in the counter-propaganda department
     

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