Monday, December 7, 2009

India: An Imagined Enemy?

Friday, September 25, 2009

There’s a bit of Indian in every Pakistani: Zardari

For the first time, a Pakistani head of state promised a “no-first nuclear-strike” against India, talked of change and reconciliation, of shared bloodlines and the possibility of doing away with passports.

Zardari borrowed a quote from his late wife, who once said that there’s a “little bit of India in every Pakistani and a little bit of Pakistan in every Indian.”

“I do not know whether it is the Indian or the Pakistani in me that is talking to you today,” Zardari said, amid applause from his high-profile audience, which included diplomats, politicians and industrialists.

Asif Zardari's address at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
23 November 2008

Boastful AQ Khan

A.Q. Khan, father of Pakistan's nuclear program (and midwife to a few others), likes to point out what a feat it was that a country "where we can't even make a bicycle chain" could succeed at such an immense technological task. He exaggerates somewhat: Pakistan got its bomb largely through a combination of industrial theft, systematic violation of Western export controls, and a blueprint of a weapon courtesy of Beijing [China].

Let's Buy Pakistan's Nukes by Bret Stephens
December 16, 2008.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Excerpts from AQ Khan's Letter

About China: "We put up a centrifuge plant at Hanzhong (250 km southwest of Xian). The Chinese gave us drawings of the nuclear weapon, gave us 50 kg of enriched uranium, gave us 10 tons of UF6 (natural) and 5 tons of UF6 (3%)."

About Iran: "Probably with the blessings of BB [Benazir Bhutto, who became prime minister in 1988] and [a now-retired general]… General Imtiaz [Benazir’s defence adviser, now dead] asked… me to give a set of drawings and some components to the Iranians…The names and addresses of suppliers were also given to the Iranians."

About North Korea: "[A now-retired general] took $3 million through me from the N. Koreans and asked me to give some drawings and machines."

September 20, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A.Q. Khan boasts of Paki proliferation

The creator of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program boasted in a recent television interview that he and other senior Pakistani officials, eager to see Iran develop nuclear weapons, years ago guided that country to a proven network of suppliers and helped advance its covert efforts.

A.Q. Khan, whom Washington considers the world's most ambitious proliferator of nuclear weapons technology, told a television interviewer in Karachi, Pakistan, that if Iran succeeds in "acquiring nuclear technology, we will be a strong bloc in the region to counter international pressure. Iran's nuclear capability will neutralize Israel's power."

Although Khan has previously claimed nationalist and religious justifications for helping to spread sensitive technology, several experts said his latest statement was an unusually direct claim of broad, official Pakistani support for an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Pakistani Scientist Cites Help to Iran by R. Jeffrey Smith
September 9, 2009

Musharraf admits: US aid used against India

"Wherever there is a threat to Pakistan, we will use it [equipment provided by the US] there. If the threat comes from al-Qaeda or Taliban, it will be used there. If the threat comes from India, we will most surely use it there," Mr Musharraf told Pakistan's Express News television channel.

"There is nothing like this equipment has come from the US and must only be used against Taliban, or that equipment has come from China and must be used against this or that," he added.

Mr Musharraf confirmed that the weapons were indeed used against India.

Musharraf admits US aid diverted, BBC News
September 14, 2009

Nothing achieved from Indo-Pak wars

Former national security adviser Mahmood Ali Durrani has said that the Indian Army crossed the international border to launch full-fledged war against Pakistan in 1965 because “low-level skirmishes were started from this side”.

“We started the intrusions on the borders, and I think we should think about the Indian response at that time,” said Durrani while talking to Daily Times Editor-in-Chief Najam Sethi on his Dunya News programme on Sunday. He said the high-level military command was not involved in “a strategy to disturb India”, but politicians knew about what was happening along the border. He said then foreign affairs minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto also had no idea that India would cross the international border.

Durrani said he had participated in two wars, and “I now think Pakistan did not achieve anything from these wars”.

“We should extend [a hand of] friendship towards India, and start peace talks to settle disputes,” he said.

Pakistan started war with India in 1965: Durrani
September 14, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Terrorist Sanctuaries in Pakistan

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

AQ Khan should be sentenced for life

Abdul Qadeer Khan has a special place in the pantheon of international outlaws. In 2004, he confessed that over a 15-year period he provided some of the world’s most nefarious and dangerous governments — Iran, North Korea and Libya — with the designs and technology to produce the fuel for nuclear weapons.

The Pakistani metallurgist deserved to be imprisoned for life. But he caught a scandalous break. As the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, he is a national hero. And despite the tearful, televised confession in which Mr. Khan insisted that he alone was guilty, it is widely believed that Pakistan’s powerful military, including Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who was then president and is a former army chief of staff, was complicit in this exceedingly vile trade.

No Freedom for Mr. Khan, The New York Times, page A16
September 6, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Unceremoniously Rogue Paki Army

Shaheen is a typical Army wife, waiting for her husband to return home from the front. She is a Pakistani. But she will never know if her husband, a Major in Pakistan's Northern Light Infantry Regiment, read her letter.

Because the Major's bosses in Islamabad will not tell her that he had led a column which had intruded into the Batalik sub-sector; that he had been killed by Indian troops some time last week; and that they had refused to take back his body.

The letter, written in impeccable English, was found among several documents and 14 bodies of Pakistani intruders inside a bunker somewhere in the Batalik area last week. The intruders had been killed in a hand-to-hand gun battle. And the Major was one of them.

A senior officer in Army HQ in Delhi says when troop sreached the bunker, they found the 14 dead men, unshaven, dressed in salwar and kameez, and "almost resembling any other militant". Then they found Shaheen's letter, ration registers, attendance registers, books, one which showed that someone was preparing for Pakistan Army's Staff College examinations -- all of which has confirmed that the dead men were Pakistani soldiers.

"When we pointed this out to the Pakistanis and asked them to take back the bodies, they refused point blank. This includes the response from their DGMO during his weekly chat with our DGMO," says the senior officer. "So it was up to us to bury the dead. Every soldier, even from the enemy side, deserves this honour."

Pakistan's Army wives wait in vain by Joy Purkayastha
8 July 1999

The Pakistan authorities have adamantly refused to acknowledge the involvement of Pakistan Army regulars in the misadventure in Kargil. The callousness and inhumanity with which they are persisting in this fiction is demonstrated in the current matter concerning the bodies of two officers of the Pakistan Army who had died in action on the Indian side of the Line of Control in Kargil. The body of Capt. Imtiaz Malik of 165 Mortar Regiment was found at Point 4875 in the Mushkoh sub-sector. The body of Capt. Karnal Sher of 12 Northern Light Infantry was found on Tiger Hill in the Dras sub-sector. The identities of these two officers were established by correspondence found on their person. Both bodies are in possession of the Indian Army authorities.

Press release issued in New Delhi regarding bodies of two Pakistan Army Officers
15 July 1999

So far, soldiers have buried the bodies of 197 intruders, Col. Singh said. Religious rites were also performed for 47 other bodies found rotting in shallow pits. Three bodies were handed over to Pakistani authorities last month and two others were still in a mortuary in New Delhi after Islamabad refused to accept bodies of the fighters, he said.

India extends Kashmir pullout deadline
16 July 1999

On Thursday the Indian army held Muslim funeral rites for seven of the Pakistani dead on a Himalayan peak above the town of Dras known only by its coordinates on a map: Point 4875.

The bodies were draped in Pakistani flags, sprayed with perfume, and lowered into a mass grave. "We know how to respect a soldier who has laid down his life in combat, be it the enemy, be it the soldier who has been fighting my men in battle," said Lieutenant-Colonel YK Joshi.

Pakistan and India play war game with the dead by Suzanne Goldenberg
17 July 1999

The resentment now developing in Baltistan and Gilgit, known as the 'Northern Areas,' came into focus following the Kargil conflict. Many Indians were shocked when the Pakistan army refused to accept the bodies of over 250 soldiers of the Northern Light Infantry, who are from Gilgit and Baltistan. Reports from Pakistan indicate that apart from this callous behavior, the Pakistan army high command sent back the bodies of over 500 of their war dead to their homes in the Northern Areas surreptitiously at night, at the height of the conflict in June 1999. These bodies were brought back and buried, without any military honours, in the civilian attire that NLI soldiers had been ordered to wear at the height of Kargil.

Autonomy, Pakistan style by G Parthasarthy

"It is not just the defeats that have shattered their morale, which is understandable," said the officer, "but also the refusal to accept the bodies of the dead soldiers and carry out the final rites and give them an honourable military burial."

The officer pointed out that the refusal to accept the dead bodies to deny culpability in the Kargil conflict has upset the soldiers of the Northern Light Infantry, who are from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"Let us be very honest. If the bodies were of the Pakistan Punjabi soldiers, there is no way that Islamabad would have even dared to refuse to bring back the bodies. The only reason it really does not care is because the soldiers are Pakistani Kashmiris, from Gilgit and Baltistan, people from which areas are even denied the basic rights in Pakistan," said the officer.

The officer said it was the Indian media's fault that it did not highlight how the Punjabis discriminated against the Kashmiris in Pakistan. He said this would expose the hypocrisy of Pakistan, which was forever tom-tomming about how Kashmiris were suffering in India.

"This war has clearly indicated how the Pakistani Punjabi just does not care for the people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. While the Balti soldiers were sent into battle, the Punjabi officers stayed back in the comfort of the base camps. When the tide turned against them, the soldiers were left to fend for themselves, often without adequate supplies. And now, the Pakistani government is not even decent enough to take back the bodies," he said.

Indian army to resume operations in Mushkoh valley by Amberish K Diwanji

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ruler's Games

"Since 1977 (that is, after the deposition of Mr. Z. A. Bhutto) there has been a frank discussion on the 1965 War in Pakistan by writers and those who were directly connected with the war. Among them were Gen. Musa, who was the Army Chief then, Air Marshal Asghar Khan and Air Marshal Nur Khan, who commanded Pakistan's Air Force one after the other, Mr. Altaf Gaudar, who was the powerful information secretary then, and Gen. Yahya Khan, who was in charge of the Chhamb sector. All these writers have made points which show that invaders were sent into Kashmir under what Ayub's coterie called 'Opertion Gibraltar', not for the 'liberation' of Kashmiris but for strengthening the position of Gen. Ayub Khan, who was reportedly toying with the idea of either becoming the President for life or the Shah of Pakistan."

p108-109, My life and times by Sayyid Mīr Qāsim

1965 Truth

"I have given serious consideration to writing a book, but given up the idea. The book would be the truth. And the truth and the popular reaction to it would be good for my ego. But in the long run it would be an unpatriotic act. It will destroy the morale of the army, lower its prestige amoung the people, be banned in Pakistan, and become a textbook for the Indians.

I have little doubt that the Indians will never forgive us the slight of 65 and will avenge it at the first opportunity. I am certain they will hit us in E. Pak [East Pakistan] and we will need all we have to save the situation. The first day of Grand Slam will be fateful in many ways. The worst has still to come and we have to prepare for it. The book is therefore out.", General Akthar Hussain Malik in a letter to his younger brother Lieutenant General Abdul Ali Malik, dated 23 Nov 1967.

p49-50, Pakistan's drift into extremism: Allah, the army, and America's war on terror by Hassan Abbas

1965 Cover-up

General K. M. Arif [former Vice Chief of Army Staff] in Khaki Shadows writes that in the immediate aftermath of the 1965 War “Pakistan suffered a loss of a different kind…Soon after the War the GHQ ordered all the formations and units of the Pakistan Army to destroy their respective war diaries and submit completed reports to this effect by a given date. This was done? Their [the war diaries'] destruction, a self-inflicted injury and an irreparable national loss, was intellectual suicide.”

Clearly, the political-military nexus had an interest in ensuring that nobody should find out what actually happened during the 1965 War — the former because of its incompetence and lack of leadership and the latter because of its culpability in taking Pakistan to war.

1965 War: A Different Legacy by Dr. Athar Osama
6 September 2007

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Candid Confession

The threat from the militants, the former intelligence officials warned, is one that Pakistan is unable to contain. "We could not control them," said one former senior intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We indoctrinated them and told them, 'You will go to heaven.' You cannot turn it around so suddenly."

Militant groups slip from Pakistan's control by Carlotta Gall and David Rohde
15 January 2008

The Weasel Paki Army

"None of us wants war with India," says one officer. "It is very damaging for Pakistan's economy, and we feel it will be difficult to sustain." A soldier adds: "The capture of these mountains has given us extra advantage, but I doubt that the Indians will forget this."

Not many of the men expect to come down from the mountains alive. At base camp in Skardu, 150 km from the frontline, phone-booth attendant Yawar Shah says the men weep when they call home to bid good-bye to their families. "You can see them crying in the cubicles," he says. "It is very sad."

Under Cover of Night by Ghulam Hasnain

The Wrong War - 1965

“The performance of the Army did not match that of the PAF mainly because the army leadership was not as professional. They had planned ‘Operation Gibraltar’ for self-glory rather than in the national interest. It was a wrong war. And they misled the nation with a big lie that India rather than Pakistan had provoked the war and that we were the victims of Indian aggression.” , Pakistan’s ex-air chief, Air Marshal (Retd) Nur Khan.

Lessons of the 1965 war - Daily Times, Pakistan
07 September 2005

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pakistan is the Problem

The very name Pakistan inscribes the nature of the problem. It is not a real country or nation but an acronym devised in the 1930s by a Muslim propagandist for partition named Chaudhary Rahmat Ali. It stands for Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, and Indus-Sind. The stan suffix merely means "land." In the Urdu language, the resulting acronym means "land of the pure." It can be easily seen that this very name expresses expansionist tendencies and also conceals discriminatory ones. Kashmir, for example, is part of India. The Afghans are Muslim but not part of Pakistan. Most of Punjab is also in India. Interestingly, too, there is no B in this cobbled-together name, despite the fact that the country originally included the eastern part of Bengal (now Bangladesh, after fighting a war of independence against genocidal Pakistani repression) and still includes Baluchistan, a restive and neglected province that has been fighting a low-level secessionist struggle for decades. The P comes first only because Pakistan is essentially the property of the Punjabi military caste (which hated Benazir Bhutto, for example, because she came from Sind). As I once wrote, the country's name "might as easily be rendered as 'Akpistan' or 'Kapistan,' depending on whether the battle to take over Afghanistan or Kashmir is to the fore."

Pakistan Is the Problem by Christopher Hitchens
15 September 2008

Pakistan fooling the World

Thursday, July 30, 2009

From terror to politics

"Just before I left for India, there was a ferocious showdown over the course of events, with an ISI officer whom we knew as General Liaqat Ali. I was then the vice-chairman of the council of 15 groups active in Jammu and Kashmir. At a meeting in Rawalpindi, I asked him point-blank what Pakistan wanted to do about this aimless war of attrition. He replied that our job was to prick India just enough to make it bleed, but not enough to make it bite back. I became very angry, since we were the ones who were doing the bleeding, not India. Nine of us walked out, and came back only after a great deal of persuasion. I now knew that we were fighting a war for Pakistan, not for Jammu and Kashmir.", Usman Majid, once a key member of the Jammu and Kashmir Students' Liberation Front

From terror to politics by Praveen Swami. Frontline, Volume 19 - Issue 04. Feb. 16 - Mar. 1, 2002

Pakistan a Militant State

"Even if by some act of miraculous diplomacy the territorial issues [with India] were to be resolved, Pakistan would remain an insecure state. Given the realities of the subcontinent (e.g., India's rise and its more effective foreign relations with all of Pakistan's near and far neighbors), these fears are bound to grow, not lessen. This suggests that without some means of compelling Pakistan to abandon its reliance upon militancy, it will become ever more interested in using it -- and the militants will likely continue to proliferate beyond Pakistan's control.", Christine Fair.

What's the Problem With Pakistan? - A Foreign Affairs roundtable discussion on the causes of instability in Pakistan.

Taliban is Pakistan's Strategic Assest

In his new book, The Inheritance, New York Times correspondent David Sanger reveals that "several" key U.S. intelligence officials told him of National Security Agency telephone intercepts in which Pakistan's army chief of staff, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, referred to a key Taliban warlord, Jalaluddin Haqqani, as a "strategic asset." According to Sanger, another Pakistani general, in a meeting with the visiting U.S. director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, explained that "we must sustain contact with the Taliban and support them" to make sure that in the future, the Afghan government" is a government friendly to Pakistan."

Face down Pakistani army by Selig S. Harrison

Pakistan an International Migraine

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Burqa & Bangles for Paki Generals

Benazir Bhutto, then in opposition, marched the streets with bangles on a plate for Pakistani generals. 'Wear these bangles if you cannot fight on the Siachen', she taunted them.

p235, Into the untravelled Himalaya by Harish Kapadia

Before 1987, this post called Qaid was in Pakistani possession till Subedar Bana Singh and his men captured it. After this debacle, Benazir Bhutto used to taunt General Zia-ul-Haq about losing Siachen and suggested he wear a burqa. After the loss of Kargil, the women in Pakistan were asking Nawaz Sharief to wear bangles.

Kargil is now the most richly decorated real estate in the world by Major General Ashok K Mehta (retd)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Creation of Pakistan a Blunder

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kashmiri Freedom Fighters are 'Terrorists': Zardari

WSJ: When I [Bret Stephens] ask whether he would consider a free-trade agreement with traditional archenemy India, Mr. Zardari responds with a string of welcome, perhaps even historic, surprises. “India has never been a threat to Pakistan,” he says, adding that “I, for one, and our democratic government is not scared of Indian influence abroad.” He speaks of the militant Islamic groups operating in Kashmir as “terrorists” — former President Musharraf would more likely have called them “freedom fighters” — and allows that he has no objection to the India-U.S. nuclear cooperation pact, so long as Pakistan is treated “at par.” “Why would we begrudge the largest democracy in the world getting friendly with one of the oldest democracies in the world?”

The Most Difficult Job in the World, The Wall Street Journal, page A13
04 October 2008

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pakistan 'created, nurtured' terrorism

"Let us be truthful to ourselves and make a candid admission of the realities... Militancy and extremism emerged on the national scene and challenged the state not because the civil bureaucracy was weakened and demoralised, but because they were deliberately created and nurtured as a policy to achieve some short-term tactical objectives", Zardari.

Yes, Pakistan nurtured terrorism, says Zardari, MSN News
08 July 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

India, Pakistan & Kashmir

"When it comes to Kashmir, India is like the alcoholic who refuses to accept that he has a drinking problem. Pakistan on the other hand is like the lover who lost his beloved a long time ago to a stronger and richer man and has tried often enough to get her back without any success. "

India, Pakistan and Kashmir by Syed Mansoor Hussain
06 July 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Pak Myth

"As for our war-mongers and zealots, the uneducated and ignorant majority, they should be informed by the government in power that India makes a formidable foe. Its armed forces are twice the size of ours, making it impossible for us to sustain a military conflict. Economically, if reserves are anything to go by, India is forty times our size. It is of no use us propagating the myth that one Pakistani soldier is equal in strength and courage to five Indian soldiers. Our retired generals, colonels, air marshals, wing-commanders, admirals and commodores do us a disservice when they air their views on the national media and relate how, whenever Muslims have gone to war, it has been against a foe far superior in number but their spirit of sacrifice and their valour have always made them victors. Wars now cannot be won without global sympathy and support. Propaganda must have credibility behind it."

End-game? by Ardeshir Cowasjee
18 July 1999

Kargil Misadventure

"The Line of Control was crossed by some 500 men. By sending in 30,000 men, artillery, and military planes to dislodge them, Pakistan claims that India escalated the situation. The world has failed to see the logic of this argument.

Pakistan's line is that the uprising in Kashmir is "popular, spontaneous and indigenous." Its line, as voiced by its foreign minister on the BBC, is that all that it provides to the freedom fighters is "moral, political, and diplomatic" support. Does he know that the BBC news, just after his 'Hard Talk,' showed the Islamabad correspondent talking to freedom fighters who had just descended from the hills of Kargil to their base depot at Muzaffarabad to rearm, regroup and return? Why do our men mock us, and make a laughing-stock of us in the eyes of the world?"

Lesson learnt? by Ardeshir Cowasjee
11 July, 1999

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Energy Research in Pakistan

"Though genuine scientific achievement is rare in the contemporary Muslim world, pseudo-science is in generous supply. A former chairman of my department has calculated the speed of heaven: He maintains it is receding from Earth at one centimeter per second less than the speed of light. His ingenious method relies upon a verse in the Islamic holy book, which says that worship on the night on which the book was revealed is worth a thousand nights of ordinary worship. He states that this amounts to a time-dilation factor of 1,000, which he puts into a formula of Einstein's theory of special relativity.

A more public example: One of two Pakistani nuclear engineers recently arrested on suspicion of passing nuclear secrets to the Taliban had earlier proposed to solve Pakistan's energy problems by harnessing the power of genies. He relied on the Islamic belief that God created man from clay, and angels and genies from fire; so this highly placed engineer proposed to capture the genies and extract their energy."

Islamic failure by Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy
February 2002