Soviet Union wanted India to take PoK when it was in Afghanistan, India declined

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Yusuf, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    This is one of the several little nuggets I found in an essay on Soviet-Indian relations in the last decade of the Cold War. It was published as a chapter in 2011 by Sergey Radchenko in a book he co-edited with Artemy M. Kalinovsky, The End of the Cold War and the Third World:New Perspectives on Regional Conflict based on declassified East bloc archives. [I had not seen this earlier; it was bought to my attention by Yogesh Joshi, one of my PhD students]. I have little doubt that the documentary evidence Radchenko presents is credible, even if I might quibble with some interpretations. The broad argument that Radchenko makes is that both Gorbachev and Rajiv Gandhi were somewhat naïve not only about international politics but also about Soviet-Indian relations. It also shows both sides maneuvering around each other in a manner that reveals somewhat greater crudity (in the best Realist sense of the word!) than I would have imagined. But it also reveals a lot of other things, including India’s unhealthy obsession with Pakistan and – despite Indira Gandhi’s and Rajiv Gandhi’s successful state visits to the US and generally improving US-India ties – deep and abiding Indian suspicions about the US.

    Now to the juicy bits:

    P. 175: The Soviets reportedly shared with the Hungarians India’s plans to attack Pakistan’s Kahuta nuclear facility, according to documents in the Hungarian archives. It is not clear though if the Soviets were only reporting widespread rumours or whether they actually had access to any Indian plans. The rumours were indeed widespread, and K. Subrahmanyam suggests that the Indian proposal for non-attack on nuclear facilities, which he suggested to Rajiv Gandhi, was the consequence of such rumours in the Western media (K. Subrahmanyam, “India’s Nuclear Policy -1964-98: A Personal Recollection,” in Jasjit Singh (ed.) Nuclear India (New Delhi: IDSA/Knowledge World, 1998 [2006 reprint]), pp. 40-42).
    Pp. 176-77: In 1982, the Soviet Ambassador to Afghanistan proposed to the Indian Ambassador in Kabul that India should take advantage of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan to retake all of Kashmir, again according to the same document from the Hungarian archives. The Indian leadership apparently shot down this proposal.
    P. 181: In a July 1987 meeting, PM Rajiv Gandhi tells Soviet leader Gorbachev that India has been able to apply sufficient pressure on Sri Lanka to prevent it from giving a base in ‘Trinkomali’ to the US.
    P. 183: Rajiv Gandhi also discusses the Operation Brasstacks crisis with Gorbachev and tells him that the Indian Army was “itching” to take advantage of the situation and cut Sindh from Pakistan. Though the Brasstacks crisis is well-known, this provides an unusual inside look at Indian thinking, as also an indication of a civil-military rift during the crisis, which has until now been a hypothesis.
    P. 186: On 7 March 1989, according to documents from the Mongolian Foreign Ministry archives, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi tells the Mongolian President Jambyn Batmunkh that India was ready to launch a joint Afghan-Indian war on Pakistan if Pakistan attempted to topple the Najibullah regime. The Mongolian President is so surprised “that he even asked the Prime Minister to repeat himself, for fear that something had been lost in translation. Rajiv Gandhi reiterated his readiness to intervene to save Najibullah from Pakistani aggression.” Assuming the documents in the Mongolian archives are accurate, how serious would such a comment be? I would think, not very. I doubt if India had made any serious military preparations, let alone joint military planning or preparations with Afghanistan. At least four divisions of the Indian Army were still bogged down in Sri Lanka, Punjab was still simmering and Kashmir was beginning to boil too. I suspect this was merely some empty bravado, or as Radchenkmo suggests, ‘fantazising’. Nevertheless, some fascinating accounts, which we will not be able to fully corroborate until Indian files are opened.

    http://rajesh622.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/did-rajiv-gandhi-really-plan-to-go-to.html?spref=tw&m=1
     
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  3. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    General during the time Suderji did made an attempt with Operation Brasstacks that would have doomed end to pak nuclear program & POK occupation, but PM had no guts to back the same instead he was busy in lanka

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/punja...in-his-book/story-hGP0KhUU9NOT8ZWZmKj3mM.html

    Sunderji is one of the finest general we ever had
    Operation brasstacks
    1987 Sumdorong Chu , were india showed its clear intent to chinks . Again politicians lost the ground on table
     
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  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    There is a fair amount of speculation in this article, however, if one were to apply the rule of cui bono, it makes perfect sense. In such cases, it is difficult to come across hard evidence.

    It has been reported at many places that India openly supported Najibullah. It is also true that during the Soviet-Mujahideen War, both the USSR and India were arming the Baloch insurgents in Pakistan.

    The only distraction India might have faced was the IPKF intervention in Sri Lanka, which was in response to US plans to set up a military base in Sri Lanka, which in turn might have been a US response to the US becoming aware of potential Indian plan to take back PoK from Pakistan.

    Whatever be the case, India missed a golden opportunity. India invading Pakistan would have served two purposes:

    1. India would have gained PoK back from Pakistan.
    2. Pakistan having been distracted thereby relieving pressure on the Afghan and Soviet armies fighting against the Mujahideen.

    As they say, “Awelo mauko chuke, eni ----ma loko thuke!”
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  5. I_PLAY_BAD

    I_PLAY_BAD Regular Member

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    Given the level of enmity Pakistan has on India I would have liked India to take over PoK when they had the chance.
    Whatever peace initiatives or patience India provides Pakistan just ignores them and goes on a contradictory path. I did not know why India didn't make use of this and several lost opportunities.
    Was Indian Army really incapable to do it as claimed by the Chinese and Pakistanis ?
     
  6. DingDong

    DingDong Senior Member Senior Member

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    USSR put pressure on India to "not" disturb the status-quo on the western sector during the 1971 war, and war was ended before India could achieve any territorial gains. India was forced to send back 90K POWs under the pressure of the US, UK and USSR whom India wanted to try for War Crimes.

    USSR played double game in Bangladesh as well, post liberation, and with support from the USSR, BAKSAL (Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League) under the leadership of Mujib established an Authoritarian government in Bangladesh which was not at good terms with India.

    India was never in full support of USSR's invasion of Afghanistan. India took right decision.
     
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  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Always different interpretations of bygones. The same goes with China aiding N.Korea and Vietnam.

    In Vietnam's narration China didn't support VN wholeheartedly to fight on against France, instead China forced the north to nego with France and accept a peace deal with a "patitioned Vietnam" . N. Vietnam assumed it was able to kick out France entirely and capture the south (before US intervention) whereas China didn't believe nor wanna escalate, and would rather the north make do with the status quo.

    ~~Still waters run deep. ~~from my MiPad using tapatalk
     
  8. I_PLAY_BAD

    I_PLAY_BAD Regular Member

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    Do you have any opinions or points with respect to the topic being discussed ?
    We would be happy to hear that too.
     
  9. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Whatever the USSR did in post Bangladesh creation or 1965 war, the fact of the matter is that in the above case India could have turned on the heat on Pak and just help USSR in sandwiching mutual enemy. After getting back PoK India could have sit tight and idle.

    But probably dhimmi attitude was at work.
     
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  10. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Isn't it at work right now. What stops us from retaking PoK now? Is future going to be any better
     
  11. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Yes. India would be much stronger economically and Pak can disintegrate if India plays its cards well in Balochistan. So, future sounds better than today.
     
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  12. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    But that doesn't explain all the years India dint. Was splitting Baluchistan always on the cards or is it just an useful excuse found today to hide our impotence? I don't remember India doing anything on Balochistan in the 2000s
     
  13. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    I don't think much is going on since Gujral dismantled our assets in Pak. I hope GoI is more proactive today. Although all the current mess in Pak means that a small nudge is enough to achieve it.
     
  14. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    That's not what I asked. I asked what stopped India from taking back PoK during the 2000s? There was no reason to wait then and intact pakis had not even mobilised their nukes then. We could have used parliament attacks as an excuse. There was no reason to wait then and there was every reason to escalate as there was no Baluchistan problem, which necessitates us to sit back. So why dint we do it? Dhimmitude then, and by extension dhimmitude now, though we have found a convenient excuse for it under the garb of Baluchistan
     
  15. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    The mobilization in the afternoon took forever and hence the cold start doctrine now. But perhaps it was(is) never on the cards.
     
  16. Screambowl

    Screambowl Senior Member Senior Member

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    Taking back POK means, making Pro Pakistanis and citizens of Pakistan, Indian citizens.

    If POK becomes like KPK, inhabitable due to instability and war so that people migrate inwards in Pak. Then it looks feasible and productive to take it back. More over there is more population along LOC at the Paki side, where as in our region it's rare.
     
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  17. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    And retaking our rightful part was never on the cards indicates what exactly. And who cares it takes forever to mobilise the army. Will the same excuse be used if pakis attacked -" since it took forever to mobilise , we are not gonna fight them back".
     
  18. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Are you now giving reasons as to why we should not take back PoK? :puke:
     
  19. Screambowl

    Screambowl Senior Member Senior Member

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    No, I am highlighting the problem to deal with.
     
  20. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Indicates lack of strategic objectives................
     
  21. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Nope, it indicates lack of will/cajones/balls. And also the dhimmitude of Indians /Hindus in general.
     
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