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Friday, 30 September 2016

paradigm-shift-in-indias-policy-towards-pakistan-sponsored-terrorism/ RAJESH SINGH The bogus ‘strategic restraint’ in dealing with Pakistan has been done away. It had never yielded results for India and it would never have. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Government realised it sooner than later, and this will prove to be good for the country. The fact is that ‘strategic restraint’ was a mindset of weakness cloaked in the garb of ‘responsible policy’. No self-respecting nation in the world fails to act against those who perpetrate terror on its soil. Neither the United States of America nor Israel nor France takes terror strikes lying down. Their response has been swift and massive, whether it is to do with internal crackdowns or external targeting. India had been the only military power which endured all the terror-pounding from neighbouring Pakistan, responding with words but never with fearsome action. This changed in the wee hours of Thursday, when Indian Armed Forces crossed the Line of Control and struck hard at more than half-a-dozen terror pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The number of militants and Pakistan Army personnel killed is not of significance as much as the mere act by India to pay back Pakistan in a language it understands. The threshold has been crossed, and it will be more willingly again if Islamabad insists on continuing to bleed India with a thousand cuts. The surgical strike has silenced critics of Prime Minister Modi. They had accused him of soft-peddling, of having a 56-inch chest for show, of engaging in shawl-and-saree diplomacy with Pakistan – in general, of not having a coherent Pakistan policy. His speech at Kozhikode in Kerala days before the precision strike took place was panned by his political rivals as yet another hollow display of machoism. They had clearly misread him – just as they have been doing for months. After the Government briefed various senior political leaders once the surgical attack was successfully achieved, they began to sing a different tune. This must be welcomed. Still, did they have any option but to commend the strike, praise the Armed Forces and grudgingly acknowledge the Modi’s regime decisiveness to call Pakistan’s bluff? The Janata Dal (United), not among Prime Minister Modi’s admirers, was actually more generous in its compliment to the Government than other opposition parties. The Congress was caught in a dilemma. Until yesterday it had been ridiculing the Prime Minister, but now had to do a turnaround. It found a face-saver by stating that it had been critical because of non-action; now that action had come, it was supportive. By the way, one wonders what Pakistan-apologists like Mani Shankar Aiyar and Digvijaya Singh have to say. The world community’s response to India’s belligerence – perhaps decisiveness is a better word – is a testimony to the Modi Government’s success in global diplomacy. Not a single country has denounced the strike – even the response from China, the ‘all-weather friend’ of Pakistan, has been muted. On the other hand, those like Bangladesh have openly complimented India, saying it took the right step. Crossing the Line of Control officially in a non-war situation is a paradigm shift in the Government’s policy towards Pakistan and towards anti-India terror groups on the other side of the border. Indian forces had crossed the LoC before – during Operation Parakram and after an Indian soldier were beheaded by Pakistani forces. But those acts were never officially acknowledged nor were they anywhere close to the depth of penetration seen in the latest case. The precision attack on Pakistan’s terror launch pads in the aftermath of the Uri tragedy may have been plotted clandestinely, but it was willingly acknowledged with pride by the Indian side this time around. The days of defensiveness at the cost of national pride are over. The world community’s response to India’s belligerence – perhaps decisiveness is a better word – is a testimony to the Modi Government’s success in global diplomacy. Not a single country has denounced the strike – even the response from China, the ‘all-weather friend’ of Pakistan, has been muted. On the other hand, those like Bangladesh have openly complimented India, saying it took the right step. There are others like Afghanistan who will not be shedding tears over Islamabad’s plight. The US, which had been briefed by India about the strike like many other important countries were, was nuanced in its support for New Delhi, though more forthcoming when it said terror attacks like those of the Uri kind would elicit a response. Much has already been written on how the Modi regime has crafted arguably the most successful foreign policy by an Indian Government in the last two decades. The near isolation of Pakistan globally is one instance of this achievement. Even Islamabad’s committed friends like Saudi Arabia have been less than supportive of Pakistan when it comes to the latter’s terror-sponsoring acts against India. Months ago, Saudi Arabia conferred its highest civilian award on Prime Minister Modi during his visit to the kingdom. This had riled Pakistan no end, though it could say anything openly, given that it is heavily dependent on Saudi aid to keep itself afloat. As for Islamabad’s regional isolation, what better proof than the Saarc fiasco, when four nations including India pulled out of the summit scheduled to be held in Pakistan in November? Pakistan’s ring-fencing is as good as complete. What now remains for India is to sustain the momentum, continue to build strong connections with the world community by reaching out to nations bilaterally and multilaterally. The mullah-Army-civilian leadership nexus in Pakistan is taking that country down the drain. India should not intervene to check the downslide. If the people of Pakistan and the few sane elements within the democratic political system believe they are being cheated and misled by their rulers and religious influencers, they must rise in protest. If they do not have the courage to do so, they can pay the price of being members of a pariah state


By Lt. Gen. JS Bajwa Published: 30th September 2016 As tactical military operations, these raids were an outstanding success. But a larger question remains. India’s forces carried out a se­ries of successful pre-emptive surgical strikes 3-5 km across the Line of Control (LC) on ter­rorist launch pads in the wee hours of the morning of 29th September 2016. The terrorists were planning to infiltrate and conduct Uri like operations in J&K and other metros. The In­dian forces eliminated 38 ter­rorists and two Pakistani soldiers,injured nine, and ex­tricated themselves without suffering any casualties. With­out going into details, it is clear that the paratroopers were in­ducted by aircraft along the LoC, and mounted a surprise raid on the unsuspecting ter­rorists, As tactical military operations these raids were an outstanding success. It is a sign of bold decision making at the highest political and military level, excellent ac­tionable intelligence, meticu­lous planning, inter-service coordination of the highest or­der and finally raw guts and courage of the Indian soldier. However the larger question is: has Uri been avenged? What about the many incidents be­fore Uri? Are those all buried unsung and forgotten and Pa­kistan forgiven? This operation was a success because the government had the leadership and political will to face the consequences. The military trains to be ready to execute any task against an enemy provided the govern­ment wants it to do so. Unfor­tunately the earlier dispensa­tions at the Centre were not bold and decisive enough to take the harder option . Each time India allowed an incident to be analysed for too long there was paralysis in the action. The lesson that Paki­stan drew was that India will make a lot of noise, but there will be no concrete action tak­en. They also concluded that India would seek international help at the UN. So to hedge against that, Pakistan made it­self indispensible to the US in its long drawn war in Afghani­stan and endear itself to Chi­na, a wily practitioner of so­phisticated statecraft. These measures adopted by Pakistan ensured it got away every time and the international commu­nity asked India to exercise re­straint. India thus acquired the stigma of being a soft state. Pakistan had also concluded that having crafted low yield nuclear weapons with the help of China it had blackmailed India into restraining it for re­acting to terrorist actions in­side India. Of late Pakistani military veterans had been brandishing most glibly and in a cavalier fashion the use of nuclear weapons against India. These statements were al­ways accompanied with a glint in the eye and a devious smirk. Is Pakistan prepared to use a nuclear weapon when a terror­ist training camp or a launch pad or even a terrorist safe ha­ven is targeted in a surgical strike? Why is the internation­al community not able to re­strain Pakistan? Why is the onus on India? The reaction to the early morning raids has drawn the expected response from the po­litical setup and Army of Paki­stan. It threatens of suitable retaliation. India is prepared for that. Since India has tar­geted terrorist launch pads and not any military base or even a military post what In­dian objective would Pakistan Army target under the criteria of ‘jus ad bellum’ a ‘just war’? Is it contemplating in despatch­ing armed irregulars to target the Army? Or is it going to un­leash its home grown terror­ists on to the hapless public in a metro to take revenge? Or is it going to mobilise its mili­tary? In undertaking either of the first or second option it will be proved beyond any doubt that Pakistan employs irregulars and terrorists as a subset of its state policy. If Pa­kistan escalates with its mili­tary to another level Indian military would be prepared for it. India will have to be wary of China too as it now has its mili­tary involvement in POK and may not hesitate in intervening. Here is a situation where the government is activating all the elements of national pow­er. The military is prepared for any misadventure by Pakistani military or terrorist terrorists across the International Bor­der and the LC. The govern­ment has activated the Minis­try of External Affairs to present proof of Pakistan in­volvement in the terrorist ac­tions including the terrorists captured in the hinterland in J&K who have laid bare Paki­stani machinations. Internally the Home Minis­try is active in strengthening its border management and in­telligence setup. India can also leverage its economic growth to convince nations that India would deal with only those who are sensitive to its con­cerns. The government has reached out to all parties to seek a national consensus. The synergy is palpable. This incident has brought to fore two important issues gov­ernments at the Centre are wary of talking of - first, break­ing up the state of J&K into three distinct entities of Jam­mu, Kashmir and Ladakh; sec­ond, abrogating Article 370. The situation in the Kashmir Valley has held the Jammu and Ladakh regions hostage for too long and the last three months with no state government func­tional their plight is pathetic. Article 370 is a protective divi­sive legislation which should have no relevance in a free country. It is high time that the country takes a firm decision to stop treating J&K as a dis­puted territory. POK is the dis­puted part, and India should emphatically state so


Reproduced as recd....Courtesy a VETERAN... My family member at MI says more were killed than 38 (these were the ones they could count, there were many who were shredded to bits due to use of weapons like RPO flame throwers, Carl Gustafs etc. He says these guys were the stragglers who escaped the main camps that were targeted during the previous covert strike on the main camps (my guess is they were targeted with arty). The main camps were deeper in POK around (12-20km) Those pigs who escaped the first onslaught were then painstakingly tracked through drones/comms to well disguised newly erected made shift launching pads. IA decided to share their movements over the last days with PMO. With the porkis playing cry baby and playa hating on the international forum, IA/PMO decided that this message should be made loud and clear. A platoon of Paras went in silent, HAHO from well inside our territory. Their target was 3 launching pads deeper into POK, around 2-3km in. These were the larger groups, around 12 pigs at each site. Paras wasted them quietly, they didn't know what hit em, they wasted the sentries with silenced sniper shots and most were slaughtered in their sleep.. Ghataks from Dogra and Bihar opened up fire on the posts near 3 launching pads closer to the LOC (around 600m-1.2km in), the adjoining posts were destroyed rapidly :shoot:, this is where around 6-12 PA manning the posts were killed, Porkis only claim 2 PA killed, bet its 2 bodies they could recover, the rest would have been mulch. After turning the posts to rubble, Ghataks crossed over and destroyed the 3 launching pads where they killed smaller fidayeen squads of around 6 terrorists each. Ghataks went in loud, watching them close in with heavy fire at the 3rd launching pad, it appears one of the pigs blew himself up taking half his squad with him. :rofl:The death toll inflicted by the Ghataks is not clear because they used volleys from grenade launchers, RPO flame thrower, carl gustaf. A Ghatak got close enough to stab 2 bunched pigs with his bare hands. While the op was coming to a close, it appears a couple of truck loads of SSG BATs & Rangers were sent in for reinforcements but when they arrived and saw the volume of fire coming from the Ghataks, they got back in their trucks and ran. Ghataks then covered the Para's egress back. Final, estimate of toll is between 60-70 killed including at least 6-12 PA. I am glad they decided to make it public. Paltan ki ijjat especially for Bihar and Dogra restored, they will however keep a low profile because there was nothing surgical about their role. Their role was much more akin to a hammer coming down hard. My family member says that the sheer speed and brute force of Ghataks in their role was some of the most beautiful IR drone footage caught in his recent memory. While the paras were surgical, they apparently looked so routine, like they had done it a thousands time before (and they have). --

देशाचे मनोबल उंचावणारी कारवाई - राहुल भोसले (निवृत्त ब्रिगेडियर) शुक्रवार, 30 सप्टेंबर 2016 -

देशाचे मनोबल उंचावणारी कारवाई - राहुल भोसले (निवृत्त ब्रिगेडियर) शुक्रवार, 30 सप्टेंबर 2016 - लष्कराने अतिशय नेमकेपणाने आणि योजनाबद्धरीत्या कारवाई केली. पाकिस्तानी नेते आणि लष्कराला हादरा देणारी आणि गोंधळात टाकणारी ही कृती होती. हा आक्रमक पवित्रा आणि त्यामागे उभी राहिलेली राजकीय इच्छाशक्ती देशाचे मनोबल उंचावणारी आहे. गुरुवारची दुपार. अनेक न्यूज चॅनेल्सनी अचानक कधीनव्हे ते एक "खरीखुरी‘ ब्रेकिंग न्यूज दाखवायला सुरवात केली. एक-दोन नव्हे, तर एकाचवेळी तब्बल सात वेळा ताबारेषा पार करत पाकिस्तानवर भारतीय लष्कराने केलेल्या तडाखेबंद कारवाईची होती ही बातमी ! मध्यरात्री घडवून आणलेल्या या लष्करी हल्ल्याची माहिती भारतीय लष्करी कारवाई विभागाचे महासंचालक लेफ्टनंट जनरल रणबीर सिंग (डीजीएमओ) यांनी दिली. जम्मू आणि काश्‍मीरच्या दिशेने ताबारेषेपलीकडे काही अतिरेकी एकत्र दबा धरून बसल्याची आणि त्यांच्याकडून भारतावर होऊ घातलेल्या संभाव्य हल्ल्याची माहिती भारतीय लष्कराच्या हाती त्यांच्या गुप्तचर यंत्रणांमार्फत आली होती. ही माहिती हाती येताच भारतीय लष्कराने आपल्या सामर्थ्याची चुणूक दाखवत आणि थेट नियंत्रणरेषेपार धडक मारत ही सशस्त्र कारवाई केली आणि दबा धरून बसलेल्या अतिरेक्‍यांचा खात्मा करत आपल्या सैन्याची तुकडी भारतीय लष्करी तळावर सकाळ होण्याच्या आत सुरक्षितपणे पोचलीदेखील ! ही कारवाई झाल्यानंतर पाकिस्तानच्या डीजीएमओंना भारताने केलेल्या या कारवाईबद्दल कळविण्यातही आले. भारताकडून अशाकाही स्वरूपात एकापाठोपाठ एक नियंत्रणरेषेबाहेर हल्ले केले जातील, याची तिळमात्रही कल्पना नसल्यामुळे या धडक कारवाईने पाकिस्तानी नेतृत्वाला हा हादराच होता. ते पूर्णपणे गोंधळून गेले. "असे काही घडलेच नाही‘, असे सांगण्यापासून ते "आम्ही मूँहतोड जबाब देऊ‘, असे सांगण्यापर्यंत वेगवेगळ्या प्रतिक्रिया दिल्या गेल्या त्या या संभ्रमामुळेच. 18 सप्टेंबरच्या युरी हल्ल्यानंतर भारतीय लष्कराकडून अशा प्रकारचा नियंत्रित हल्ला (सर्जिकल स्ट्राइक) प्रत्युत्तरादाखल केला जाईल, अशी शक्‍यता होतीच. त्याच दिशेने ते प्रत्यक्षात घडलेदेखील. "सर्जिकल स्ट्राइक‘, अर्थात नियंत्रित स्वरूपाचा लष्करी हल्ला, म्हणजे प्रत्येक परिस्थितीची अचूक माहिती हाताशी ठेवत, पूर्ण तयारीनिशी आणि तंतोतंत पद्धतीने केला जाणारा हल्ला ! अतिशय आक्रमक अशा कमांडोजचा समावेश असणाऱ्या इन्फन्ट्री बटालियनचे विशेष सैन्य अशा हल्ल्यासाठी आवश्‍यक असते. अनेक दिवसांच्या अचूक माहितीसंकलनातून आणि शत्रूराष्ट्राविषयीच्या बारीकसारीक निरीक्षणांच्या आधारे असे हल्ले घडवता येऊ शकतात. प्रसंगी त्यासाठी चालकरहित विमाने वापरून लक्ष्य निश्‍चित केले जाते. त्याद्वारे महत्त्वाची माहिती गोळा केली जाते. उच्चकोटीचे आणि खडतर प्रशिक्षण यासाठी गरजेचे असते. रात्री-अपरात्री शत्रूच्या प्रदेशात कुणालाही काकणभरही आपल्या अस्तित्वाची जाणीव न होऊ देता "लक्ष्या‘वर थेट हल्ला चढविणे आणि कमीत कमी वेळेत मोहीम फत्ते करून परत येणे, हे सर्जिकल स्ट्राइकचे व्यवच्छेदक लक्षण म्हणायला हवे. महत्त्वाचे म्हणजे, हल्ला घडवून आणल्यानंतर आपल्या स्थानी सुरक्षित पोचणे, हे या प्रकारच्या हल्ल्यांतील सर्वांत मोठे आव्हान असते. आपल्या सैनिकांनी तेच यशस्वीपणे पेलले... ताबारेषेपलीकडे असणाऱ्या काही ठराविक जागा अशा आहेत, की जेथे दहशतवादी दबा धरून बसलेले असतात. पाकिस्तानी लष्कर ठाण्यांच्या जवळपासच हे अतिरेक्‍यांचे तात्पुरते तळ तयार केलेले असतात. गुरुवारी जे झाले, तेव्हा अशीच परिस्थिती होती. त्यामुळे या दहशतवादी तळांवरून भारतात हल्ले होण्याआधीच त्यांना नेस्तनाबूत करणे हे अत्यावश्‍यक होते... आणि आपण त्यासाठीच ही कारवाई घडवून आणली. ज्या पद्धतीने भारतीय लष्कराने या कारवाईची योजना आखली ती केवळ कौतुकास्पद होती. नियंत्रण रेषेपार एकाचवेळी सात जोरदार हल्ले चढविणे आणि त्यात अतिरेकीच नव्हे, तर पाकिस्तानी लष्कराचीही पळताभुई थोडी करत त्यांचा खात्मा घडवून आणणे, यातून आपल्या लष्कराने कसून केलेली तयारी, त्यांचे चोख प्रशिक्षण, दुर्दम्य महत्त्वाकांक्षा आणि अर्थातच आपल्या नेतृत्वकौशल्याचेही दर्शन घडवले आहे. या कारवाईनंतर भारताकडून आता पुन्हा याच स्वरूपाचे हल्ले केले जाणार नसल्याचे डीजीएमओकडून स्पष्ट करण्यात आले आहे. यामुळे आता पुन्हा काही कुरापत काढल्यास त्याची जबाबदारी पाकिस्तानवरच असेल, असा संदेशही यातून गेला आहे. आता खरी पंचाईत पाकिस्तानची झाली आहे. या सगळ्यानंतर आता त्यांनी जर जशास तसे उत्तर द्यायचे ठरविलेच, तर त्यातून भारताने पाकिस्तानी लष्कराला धोबीपछाड दिल्याचे पाकिस्तानने अप्रत्यक्षपणे मान्य केल्यासारखेच होईल. आणि असे जर घडले, तर त्यातून पाकिस्तानी लष्कराची अब्रू जाईल. याआधी ओसामा बिन लादेन याचा खात्मा करण्यासाठी अमेरिकेचे सैन्यही पाकिस्तानात असेच मध्यरात्री घुसले होते आणि कुणाला काही कळण्याच्या आत त्यांनी आपली कारवाई फत्ते केली होती. या प्रकरणामुळे पाकिस्तानी लष्कराच्या "क्षमतां‘बाबत प्रश्‍नचिन्ह उभे राहिलेच होते, अशातच आता भारताने केलेल्या हल्ल्यामुळे पाकिस्तानी लष्कराच्या कमकुवत असण्यावर शिक्कामोर्तबच होणार हे नक्की... तर दुसरीकडे जर प्रत्युत्तर म्हणून लगोलग काही केले नाही, तरीही पाकिस्तानची व त्यांच्या लष्कराची पंचाईतच आहे. कारण एवढे होऊनही काहीच केले नाही, असा आरोपही होऊ शकतो. इकडे आड तिकडे विहीर अशी त्यांची अवस्था भारताने करून सोडली आहे. भारतीय जनता पक्ष; विशेषतः नरेंद्र मोदी कायमच पाकिस्तानबाबत कठोर आणि कणखर भूमिकेची मागणी करत आले आहेत. पण त्यांच्या सत्ताकाळातच पठाणकोट आणि उरी येथे पाकिस्तानकडून लष्करी तळांवर हल्ले झाल्यामुळे जनमत प्रक्षुब्ध तर झालेच, पण मोदींच्या प्रतिमेविषयीदेखील प्रश्‍नचिन्ह निर्माण झाले. कालच्या कारवाईने मोदींची ती प्रतिमा पुनःस्थापित झाली. गेल्या अडीच वर्षांच्या पंतप्रधानपदाच्या कारकिर्दीत मोदींनी घेतलेला हा सर्वांत अवघड निर्णय होता. या कारवाईमुळे संघर्ष चिघळला, पाकिस्तानने काही कुरापत काढली, तर सरकार आणि लष्कर परिस्थिती कशी हाताळते, यावर बरेच काही अवलंबून आहे. संभाव्य परिणामांचा विचार करून सरहद्दीवर भारताने सुरक्षेचे उपाय योजले आहेत. पाकिस्तानकडून सीमेपलीकडून तोफगोळ्यांचा मारा होऊ शकतो. पाकिस्तानी सैन्याचे एखादे विशेष दल हल्ला चढवू शकते किंवा दहशतवाद्यांचाच वापर करून घातपाती कारवायाही संभवतात. त्यामुळेच पुढील काळात भारताला अत्यंत सावध राहावे लागणार आहे. मर्यादित संघर्षाच्या पलीकडे तो चिघळणे आणि त्याचे सर्वंकष युद्धात रूपांतर होण्याची परिस्थिती सध्यातरी नाही. मात्र या परिस्थितीवर सातत्याने नजर ठेवणे अत्यावश्‍यक आहे. भारताच्या या आक्रमक कारवाईच्या दरम्यान लष्करी दल आणि मोदी सरकार यांच्यामागे सारे राष्ट्र उभे असल्याचा जो प्रत्यय येत आहे, तो निश्‍चितच देशाचे मनोबल व नीतिधैर्य वाढविणारा आहे, यात शंका नाही

Thursday, 29 September 2016

former-raw-chief-how-we-can-fix-the-pak-problem September 28, 2016 13:17 IST 'The response to terror is not always reciprocal terror, nor is launching a conventional response the best response.' 'The best response is to make the sponsor pay a price he cannot afford,' says former R&AW chief Vikram Sood. The Uri terror attacks certainly originated from Pakistan occupied Kashmir or Pakistan and were sponsored by Pakistan. Eighteen brave men, mostly from the Bihar Regiment and Dogra Regiment, were killed. A readout of their names shows that they had come from all over India. Clearly, this was war on India. This was terror at its ugliest. It also must be admitted that the jihadists had much better intelligence about their target, were well equipped and had some local help. One has only to read what Pakistani leaders have been saying about India over the years and this does not mean only 'leaders' like Muhamed Saeed or Masood Azhar, but even many of their democrats like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto or eminences like A Q Khan, and then understand their visceral hatred for India. For this lot, and many more, they were the rightful heirs to the throne in Delhi after the British left and today's Hindu BJP majority is a particular anathema. This attitude pervades the thinking in their army, civil service and the political circles although some may be too suave to say so. This is what we are up against when we deal with Pakistan. There are many in India who persist with their belief that political circles in Pakistan have a different point of view on India in comparison to the army's stance on India. When it relates to India, the Pakistan army, ruling politicians from the Punjab, the civil service and civil society have the same view. They may have differences when it comes to handling Balochistan, Sindh, the MQM, the economy, education policies, freedom of the media, but not about India and Pakistan's claim on Kashmir. It is naive for us to hope that if we are sufficiently nice to Pakistani politicians, make concessions, this could drive a wedge between the politicians and the army and lead to a more conciliatory approach by Pakistani politicians and civil society. Both are under the yoke of the Pakistan army and this is the State within the State that has to be tackled. An olive branch in response to each depredation is viewed as a sign of weakness, not statesmanship as some of us would like to believe. One of the most incongruous hopes and contradictory approaches has been the recommendation that we treat the Hurriyat as being representative of the people of the Kashmir valley and therefore authorised to decide for the entire state. We also pay tax payers' money for their security, upkeep and medical benefits amounting to crores while they retain their secessionist stance. This is absurd logic. This bunch represents no one except themselves, cannot win an election and are the mouth-pieces of Pakistan. It is only the elected representatives in the state assembly who represent the people. Besides, we have tried this approach for the last 70 years, but it has not worked. It is time we tried a different approach. Separate Kashmir from Pak relations The domestic issue of Kashmir must be separated from our relations with Pakistan and both must be tackled separately. Pakistan's avowed policy is the dismemberment of India, and Kashmir is the route. Kashmir is not the end. They would follow their war of attrition, their thousand-year war, with a thousand cuts, in the hope that India will succumb one day. Kashmir is in this state today, not just because of Pakistan, but also because of the politics of our dynastic politicians who have ruled the state. Every periodic crisis means the politicians turn to the security forces to help bail them out. In the process, it is the army which gets the blame whereas the real fault lies with the political leaders who have never made good use of the interregnums to sort out issues among themselves. When Pakistan launches its terror attacks, it has a fair idea how we and the world will react and it knows that it can prepare for the next attack with impunity. The more reasonable nuclear powers consider nuclear weapons as a deterrent. Pakistan, being an irresponsible State, openly considers its nuclear weapons as a strike weapon against enemy India and uses its cover to continue its jihadi warfare against India. Despite the best arrangements, acts of terror will take place. But when a terror strikes in the same region with similar tactics, routes and targets, this is not just a security breach, but a systemic failure. Obviously, where the security systems and the intelligence systems are not adequate or imperfectly coordinated, the chances of terror are higher. When an attack takes place, the first priority is to neutralise the attack, save lives, move the injured to hospitals, and not to look for causes. High decibel debates and fists punched in air, are just that. So much air. What India needs is sustained action taken at a time of our choosing, all things considered and in cold calculated rage. A terrorist is a terrorist We must get our narrative right and this is highly important because the battle is psychological and one of perceptions. Therefore, a terrorist is a terrorist; he is not a misguided youth, a freedom fighter, nor a gunman, non-State actor, enemy of humanity, rogue elements. Troubles in Kashmir are not intifada because the Indian Army is not an occupation force. Let us also not delude ourselves. There is no such thing as rogue elements in the ISI or in the Pakistan army. These are ploys designed to fool the gullible or make it acceptable to those wet behind their ears or introduce deniability, helplessness and confusion. Reactions in New Delhi after the Uri attack were also true to form. One section went hyperbolic in its condemnation, with politicians giving the usual fire and brimstone sound-bytes. Discussions on national channels were on similar lines while some political parties and even television channels seemed to enjoy the seeming discomfiture of the government. Equally bizarre were those open discussions on special operation capabilities and comparative strengths in intelligence capabilities by persons not well qualified to comment. The US is far too involved with its own elections and the Manhattan bombings to say anything more than what it has. The suspect arrested in the Manhattan bombing, Ahmed Raham Khan, has the inevitable Pakistan connection having spent a year there. Yet, the US will not do anything more if we remember that it did nothing to Pakistan even when it was steadfastly duplicitous with the US. The John Kerry-Nawaz Sharif joint statement in New York was sufficiently anodyne and Pakistan did not get a public rap on the knuckles. True, it has condemned Pakistan for this act of terror, has downgraded its relationship with Pakistan for its own reasons and in judgement of its interests, not because of us. It will still expect India and Pakistan to amicably resolve this issue. Defend ourselves No other country will do more for us than we ourselves do to defend our interests. The West will remain appropriately condemnatory in its commentary. The Chinese have issued some neutral statement and it has only been Putin's Russia which had the courage to stand by its friend, despite our recent dalliance. All major powers have condemned this attack in Uri. Even the OIC has said so too, but their stance on Kashmir has not changed. That is as far it will go; for us, therefore, this episodic condemnation may be satisfying but the actual battle has to be fought by us. Nevertheless, it seems to be our moment internationally with some excellent work done by our diplomats. We should capitalise on this international sympathy. This would be done, not by being the good boy all over again, but by pushing forward some hard realism. Respond at right time The response to terror is not always reciprocal terror, nor is launching a conventional response the best response. The best response is to make the sponsor pay a price he cannot afford. So far, in our national reactions we are like a bamboo forest that bends with the wind, but when enraged we burn fiercely. The embers, however, cool fast enough. Instead, we need cold rage and not looking over our shoulders all the time. In our actions all these years, we kept wanting to look good and seek international approbation instead of pursuing our national interest more single mindedly. Finally, the response has to be long term strangulation of the disease, not dramatic gestures. This requires the following attributes. A long term policy that is sustained by successive governments. Only then can we have a strategy to deal with this. From this follow, tactics and to deploy these tactics we need abilities -- of intelligence, weaponry and a mobile effective special operation and unacknowledged covert capability. To make these effective we need the political will to sustain a policy despite setbacks and not get swayed by domestic political gamesmanship. We need greater media responsibility that looks beyond TRPs. Until we develop these doctrines, capabilities and political will, we would continue to see more and more terror attacks in India. It is of doubtful utility if we simply keep creating new structures by cannibalising existing one instead of strengthening the ones that exist. We may be the world's largest importer of defence equipment, yet it seems to be perennially short of essential equipment of different kinds. Obviously, there is a huge disconnect in the system and unless this is corrected we will remain ill equipped to handle threats which cannot be tackled by sentiment alone. There are some options available to us. Unless we want to continue to pussy-foot and expect the world to do something for us and that something is not we have the courage to do ourselves. Let us remember that the US policy will remain ambivalent on Pakistan-India relations in keeping with its age-old policy of not allowing any regional power to become strong enough to challenge US interests in the region. There is a dichotomy here, but the US policy is full of such regional contradictions. So India should be strong enough to challenge China and strong enough to overwhelm Pakistan. The Russians have a renewed interest in South Asia after their successes in West Asia and the failure of US policies. They seem to have retreated from their earlier policy of getting too close to Pakistan at least for the time being. Maybe it is a signal to us. One can visualise a renewed great power interest in our immediate neighbourhood. The Russians with their successes in West Asia would like to consolidate its presence in Afghanistan, Iran and India. The Chinese look at the entire region as their preserve and the US is the status quo power. Clash of interest is inevitable, as in the South China Sea. India must therefore move quickly to safeguard its interests. Cross border raids and infiltration by Pakistani terrorists have the Pakistan army's backing and it stands to reason that our response should be relentless trans-border bombardment all the way from Poonch-Rajouri to Saltoro. This would be the immediate response to terror from across. The danger of army action across the international border is that if it is too successful, it could trigger a nuclear war. And action limited to PoK presents military difficulties because of the terrain, and also may not be sufficient to compel the Pakistanis to shut down their jihad factories. Air strikes are a tempting option. However, India lacks the intelligence and surveillance capabilities that will ensure the targets struck are actually terrorist camps. Nevertheless, Pakistan believes that India is now on the path towards stepping up covert activities in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan and it may be useful to keep deepening the Pakistani neuroses here as a bargaining chip to get it to shut down its jihadi shops. Pakistan remains China's catspaw against India and is fast becoming China's vital geo-strategic thrust into the Arabian Sea and West Asia. We are in reality in the midst of a two-front undeclared war. Meanwhile, China is concerned about its unimpeded access to Gilgit-Baltistan through which the Karakoram Highway passes. Without access to this region, China's entire strategy for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor falls down. Pakistan would also suffer if all that CPEC promises do not materialise. There are other long term options if we accept that the problem is going to be with us for a long time. In all its pronouncements from the time of independence, Pakistan's leaders have treated India as a Permanent Enemy. It exhibits its policy through constant jihadi activity. Since Pakistan considers us as its enemy, we should accept this by declaring Pakistan as an Enemy State. Parliament should pass a resolution declaring Pakistan as a State sponsor of terrorism. No one else will do this unless we do this. This would entail sanctions and maybe our traders will suffer more. This is a price we will have to pay. That being so, we are entitled to examine each and every treaty that we have signed with Pakistan. This means we revisit some, abrogate others. This would include the Indus Waters Treaty, Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan and others relating to trade. Pakistan has carried out jihad against India under a nuclear umbrella. And has openly declared its four-part low threshold for use of nuclear weapons against India. It does not believe in a 'No First Use' policy that we hold dear to our hearts. This needs a rethink and ideally Pakistan should be made to adopt a similar policy. We would therefore need to engage the international community as a responsible power trying to make a dangerous juvenile delinquent see reason. We need to bring China into this as Pakistan's abbettor as the supplier of nuclear technology and material to that country. We may not succeed in completely isolating Pakistan internationally, but on our part we should reduce all interactions with that country, including any regional multilateral events that are hosted by Pakistan. The urge to play the astute diplomat should be resisted for some time. Strategically, we should pull out all stops and get the Chahbahar Project in Iran into high gear. Japan has shown interest in this and we should consult the Iranians, Afghans and Central Asians to get the Japanese on board. We should work more closely with Myanmar in the development of our north east and their northwest and north. This would lead to access to South East Asia. On the Baloch issue, there could be greater coordination with Afghanistan and Iran although we have to be careful about Iranian sensitivities. Chinese vulnerabilities We should have a close look at Chinese vulnerabilities too. India's China policy would need a rethink especially on issues of trade where China would be vulnerable. Its vulnerabilities relate to its banking system, large inventories, and rising labour costs leading to actions by India that say that a free ride in the Indian market is over. We need to intensively examine the embedded cyber technology that China has been using in key manufactured products exported to India in the power and telecommunications sectors. We have to get aggressive and resilient here. Finally, there is the traditional covert option. Since it is covert, it is totally deniable and not open for discussions

why-this-surgical-strike-across-loc-changes-indo-pak-nuclear-red-lines Rajesh Rajagopalan September 29, 2016 The Indian decision to conduct a strike against terrorist bases across the Line of Control (LoC) has important implications for nuclear deterrence and Pakistan's so-called nuclear 'red lines'. Though full details of the strike are still awaited, the fact that India publicly announced it and stated that the Indian Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) had informed his Pakistani counterpart about the attack reinforces India's decision to challenge these nuclear red lines. Irrespective of whether Pakistan responds or even how it responds, the nuclear deterrence game between India and Pakistan has changed. Even before this operation, Pakistan's leaders had begun talking of the possibility of nuclear escalation and have threatened to attack India with nuclear weapons if India goes to war in response to the Uri attack. This was to be expected and it tracks well with previous Pakistani behaviour: in the case of both Kargil and during the Operation Parakram crisis, too, Pakistan was the first to suggest the possibility of nuclear war. Pakistan's threats are perfectly understandable and in keeping with its deterrence strategy. But, though these threats are logical, there is little logic to Pakistan actually using nuclear weapons. The Indian cross-LoC strike exposes a basic contradiction between the logic of Pakistan's nuclear threats and the illogic of actually carrying out such threats. The logic of Pakistan's nuclear threats is understandable. As a state that believes it is conventionally weaker than India, Pakistan sees nuclear weapons as off-setting the relative inferiority of its conventional military power vis-à-vis India. But, while nuclear weapons are the perfect means to ensure national survival of states that worry that their survival itself is at stake, expanding their use beyond simply ensuring national survival is problematic. This is what Pakistan has been attempting to do for the last two decades. Pakistan has been attempting to use nuclear weapons to shield itself from any retaliation so that it could use terrorists to attack India. It has done this by claiming that any Indian military action will result in a nuclear escalation. Unfortunately, successive Indian governments, starting with the Vajpayee government, reinforced this logic by refusing to respond to clear and blatant Pakistani support for terrorists attacking India. It did not have to be so. Immediately after the Kargil war, the then Defence Minister George Fernandes as well as Army Chief General VP Malik proposed that there was sufficient space between a sub-conventional war and a nuclear escalation for India to consider conventional war options to respond to Pakistan's provocations. What they were saying was simple and logical: Pakistan was unlikely to use nuclear weapons unless any Indian military operation went so far as to threaten the survival of Pakistan itself. This meant that Pakistan's leaders would not contemplate nuclear escalation for Indian military actions that stayed well below such objectives. Indeed, no Indian leader has considered threatening the survival of Pakistan. Thus, as long as Indian objectives and action stayed well below the threshold of threatening Pakistan's survival, India could engage in military action, including across the LoC or the international border. Their proposal exposed the contradiction of Pakistan attempting to use nuclear weapons to shield Pakistan's support for terrorism against India. If their proposal had been followed up, Pakistan's nuclear shield would have been stripped, at least in so far as using that shield to support terrorism was concerned. Unfortunately, neither the Vajpayee government nor the Manmohan Singh government followed up on the suggestion that India did not have to worry about Pakistan's nuclear escalation in considering a military response to Pakistan's terrorist attacks. By not responding, they implicitly reinforced Pakistan's exaggerated nuclear red lines, which over time straddled the LoC and the border. And Pakistan's rhetoric successfully further reinforced the red line, as did Pakistan's moves to build 'Tactical Nuclear Weapons' (TNWs). Pakistan's TNW gambit further illustrates the illogic of Pakistan actually carrying out the implied threat of nuclear escalation. Pakistan's TNWs, based on a short-range missile called the Nasr, are supposed to be used to prevent Indian armoured columns from penetrating deep into Pakistan or capturing Pakistani territory. But the illogic is in assuming that Pakistan would actually carry out such an action, considering that any Pakistani nuclear attack, even on Indian forces that had penetrated some distance into Pakistani territory, would be met with some kind of nuclear response by India. India's massive retaliation strategy suffers from its own credibility problem, of course: we are supposed to believe that the Indian leadership has the stomach to launch a full-scale nuclear attack that would kill tens of millions of Pakistani civilians and put at risk tens of millions more Indian civilians in a certain Pakistani retaliation, in response to a limited Pakistani nuclear attack on Indian forces in Pakistani territory. But even given the illogic of India's massive retaliation doctrine, it would be foolish of any Pakistani commander to assume that there will be no nuclear response from India. And if there is going to be a nuclear response from India to a limited nuclear first use by Pakistan, the damage to both sides will be tremendous. We are expected to believe that Pakistani commanders will calculate that they would be better off after such an outcome than to suffer a temporary conventional military defeat and loss of limited amount of territory for a limited amount of time (since India will not hold on to captured territory for any length of time). This basic illogic was what the Fernandes/Malik proposal sought to exploit. And that is exactly what the Indian strike on Wednesday seeks to do also: to demonstrate to Pakistan that its exaggerated nuclear bluff will no longer go unchallenged. It will be difficult to argue now, by either the Pakistani military or by well-meaning outsiders who fear a nuclear escalation and so counsel 'strategic restraint', that Pakistan's maximalist nuclear red lines have any credibility. In doing so, it also opens up a whole new set of future military options for India to consider in dealing with Pakistan's nuclear terrorism

Multiple surgical strikes across LoC will send Pakistan a loud and clear message Prakash Katoch

Army's surgical strikes at LoC: How it happened Based on specific intelligence input of terror groups ready to infiltrate into India and carry out terror attacks, Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads at the LoC on Wednesday night. 1. Special Forces operation on terror launch pads lasted from 12.30 am to 4.30 and the location was 500 meters-2 Km across, sources said 2. According to sources, Indian commandos entered three kilometres across the Line of Control to conduct the 'surgical strikes' 3. The strikes were carried out in Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel & Lipa sectors, on Pak's side of LoC, according to Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations 4. 7 terror launch pads were destroyed during the surgical strike, Indian Army special Forces were paradropped 5. Heavy damages were caused to the terror camps and there were significant casualties 6. Government has called an all-party meeting at 4 pm today after Indian Army conducts surgical strikes in Pak territory 7. The operation has ceased and there is no plan for further strikes, says Army Multiple surgical strikes across LoC will send Pakistan a loud and clear message Prakash Katoch Sep 29, 2016 16:13 IST Multiple strikes by Indian Special Forces on Pakistan’s terrorist launch pads-cum-terrorist camps on night of 28 September should have deflated some of the putrid gas because of which Pakistani leaders and their army have been strutting around making wild statements. The world knows that the Pakistani Army has not won a single war, has lost half its country during the birth of Bangladesh and surrendered 93,000 prisoners of war to India. Pakistan sheltered Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US Special Forces at Abbotabad; besides, Mullah Mansour Akhtar too was killed inside Pakistan, in the Balochistan province. Despite this and without adequate pressure from US and China, Pakistan has been conducting a proxy war against India and Afghanistan with impunity. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone out of his way with an extended hand of friendship to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, but the latter was hell-bent on stabbing India in the back — just like all previous Pakistani presidents and prime ministers, with their own military as the Sword of Damocles over their heads. The manner in which the surgical strikes were conducted at seven widely-dispersed locations astride the LoC so successfully by elements of two Special Forces units of the Northern Command speaks highly of professionalism. The success of these actions also should be seen in the backdrop of the fact that the Pakistani Army was on high alert for the past 10 days, not to mention the night flights by F-16s over Islamabad, and Nawaz and his defence minister Khawaja Asif along with Minister for Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and COAS Raheel Sharif talking of war and twitching their nuclear tails. The fact that the Pakistani Army was taken by surprise, tried to intervene with Indian Special Forces strikes and lost four regular Pakistani soldiers (two, as admitted by Nawaz) adds to the success. The clinical strikes inflicted heavy casualties on the terrorists, their supporters and the Pakistani Army without any loss to India's troops. The capture and interrogation of the Pakistani-origin guides who helped the Pakistani terrorists during the Uri attack had once again confirmed the Pakistani Army’s involvement — which was not only denied by Nawaz, but countered in the most absurd terms by saying that the Uri attack was engineered from within India. After the Uri terror attack, there was tremendous pressure on the government to retaliate. In between there were also fake reports of our Special Forces having gone across the LoC, struck terrorist locations, killed 20 and injured some 200. This was perhaps a deliberate ruse to lull the enemy and it obviously worked. The Pakistani military was clearly confident that India would not resort to any physical action of this type. The intended targets, however, were being kept under constant surveillance following the attack on the army camp at Uri, to be struck at the right time. These strikes would have come as a terrific jolt to Pakistan. In fact, the surprise was so complete that the Pakistani posts opened fire only after our troops were safely back home. These strikes, under the leadership of Modi, have demonstrated to the world — Pakistan in particular — that India cannot be viewed as a ‘soft’ State. Pakistan was apparently expecting a conventional response, which it feared most; hence, the periodic nuclear sabre-rattling. The list of some 35-40 terrorist training camps in PoK along with their locations has been available with the Indian Parliament. The Pakistani hierarchy appears to be milling around in surprise. Pakistan’s ISI is trying to showcase that nothing much has happened, but the shock effect is palpable. Our strikes in PoK are definitely not any aggression because PoK territory is an integral part of India; terrorists were struck, not the Pakistani military, and our troops returned having completed the assigned task successfully. Will Pakistan curb its terrorist activities now? There is no question absolutely because the Pakistani military not only holds Pakistan and the Pakistani public to ransom, it has infiltrated ever department and organ in Pakistan: Economic, administrative and so on. More significantly, Pakistani scholar Ayesha Siddiqa in her book Military Inc had propounded in 2007 that the Pakistani military’s private-industrial-corporate complex was to the tune of $20 billion already. This figure must have multiplied several times over, and to retain this power and money, the Pakistani military must have conflict both with India and Afghanistan. So, it is not going to give up Pakistan using terrorism as a state policy. For all the peaceniks who feared any physical retaliation to the Uri attack (war, including nuclear war), I hope it is clear once for all that there is plenty of space below conventional war. In fact, the response to asymmetric war must always be asymmetric. We should have realised this after Operation Parakram following the Parliament attack. We should have struck Pakistan sub-conventionally both after the 26 November, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and the Parliament attack. Not that we should have not have done so after the terror attack on the IAF base in Pathankot this January, as well as earlier ones. The manner in which the surgical strikes were conducted at seven widely-dispersed locations astride the LoC so successfully by elements of two Special Forces units of the Northern Command speaks highly of professionalism At the same time, we must acknowledge that these cross-LoC strikes by our Special Forces were around three kilometres across, rightly exploiting the porosity of the border — a factor that has been used mainly by Pakistan till now, to India's disadvantage. With these trans-border strikes, Pakistanis will be more alert. However, the option of such future strikes will remain possible. At the same time, while Special Forces are central to an asymmetric response, a direct form of trans-border actions of this type is just ‘one’ task with which they should be tasked. Special Forces provide the government with multiple low-cost options without or with ambiguous options. They should be employed on politico-military missions at the strategic level. The government will do well to establish the Special Operations Command, directly under Modi for such tasks, leaving actions like these multiple trans-border strikes to the Military Special Forces. Interestingly, the Pakistani media has criticised escalation along the LoC but has “rejected” India’s claim of having conducted the cross-border surgical strikes. However, escalation by Pakistan is very much on the cards, given the Pakistani military psyche discussed above. We should be geared for terrorism across India and an escalation in the forms of terrorist attacks — even chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks or lone wolf attacks. In addition, cross-border attacks from Pakistan could increase. Should there be more escalation, Pakistan can be expected to ‘deploy’ its nuclear weapons and publicise it. Besides calling its nuclear buff, Islamabad has to be told that New Delhi’s 'No First Use' doctrine applies to the ‘threat’ of nuclear attack as well. Additionally, our Special Forces have already been conducting joint training. Should Pakistan continue with its proxy war on India and Afghanistan, there should be ample opportunities for joint operations by these two forces against Pakistan. Modi has once again demonstrated that his leadership is class apart. Kudos to him and congratulations to our Special Forces and IAF helicopter pilots for the above highly successful surgical strikes in PoK. पाकव्याप्त काश्मीीरमध्ये अशी झाली कारवाई नवी दिल्ली- भारतीय लष्कराने पाकव्याप्त काश्मी्रमध्ये घुसून 35 दहशतवादी व 9 सैनिकांना ठार मारल्याची घोषणा भारताने केल्यानंतर या कारवाईवर अचानक प्रकाशझोत पडला आणि पाकिस्तानने थयथयाट सुरू केला. पार्श्वसभूमी उरीतील दहशतवादी हल्ल्यात आपले 18 जवान हुतात्मा झाल्यानंतर भारताने राजनैतिक पातळीवर पाकिस्तानची कोंडी करायला सुरवात केली होती. संयुक्त राष्ट्रांच्या आमसभेत पाकिस्तानचे पंतप्रधान नवाझ शरीफ यांनी काश्मीलरचे तुणतुणे वाजवले होते. एनाम गंभीर या भारतीय अधिकाऱ्याने शरीफ यांना सडेतोड प्रत्युत्तर दिले होते. त्यानंतर परराष्ट्र मंत्री सुषमा स्वराज यांनीही आमसभेत हिंदीत भाषण करत पाकिस्तानच्या दाव्यांच्या चिंधड्या उडविल्या होत्या. त्याच्या आदल्याच दिवशी पंतप्रधान नरेंद्र मोदी यांनीही जाहीर सभेत पाकिस्तानच्या जनतेशीच संवाद साधत तेथील राज्यकर्ते आणि लष्कराच्या कारवायांवर बोट ठेवले होते. कारवाई काय झाली? पाकव्याप्त काश्मीवरमधील प्रशिक्षण तळांवर दहशतवादी एकत्र जमल्याची माहिती मिळाली. हे दहशतवादी भारतात घुसण्याच्या तयारीत होते. उरीतील दहशतवादी हल्ल्यानंतर किमान 20 वेळा दहशतवाद्यांनी भारतात घुसखोरी करण्याचे प्रयत्न केले होते. हे सर्व प्रयत्न भारतीय लष्कराने उधळले होते. आता पाकव्याप्त काश्मीणरमध्ये दहशतवादी असल्याची माहिती मिळाल्यानंतर काल (बुधवार) मध्यरात्री 12.30 ते पहाटे 4.30 या कालावधीमध्ये भारतीय लष्कराचे काही जवान पाकव्याप्त काश्मीारमध्ये हेलिकॉप्टरमधून दाखल झाले. प्रत्यक्ष ताबारेषेपासून 500 मीटर ते दोन किलोमीटर एवढ्या अंतरामध्ये ही कारवाई झाली. प्रत्यक्ष कारवाई ही जमिनीवर झाली. या कारवाईमध्ये पाकव्याप्त काश्मीमरमधील किमान पाच दहशतवादी तळ उध्वस्त करण्यात आले. या कारवाईमध्ये भारताचा कोणताही जवान जखमी झालेला नाही; तर ‘आमचे दोन सैनिक ठार आणि नऊ सैनिक जखमी झाले,‘ असा दावा पाकिस्तानने केला आहे. पाकिस्तानची प्रतिक्रिया अपेक्षेनुसार, पाकिस्तानने सुरवातीला संतप्त प्रतिक्रिया व्यक्त केली आणि नंतर या ‘सर्जिकल स्ट्राईक‘ला ‘भारताने केलेले आक्रमण‘ असे स्वरूप देण्याचा प्रयत्न केला. भारताने कारवाईची अधिकृत घोषणा केल्यामुळे अडचणीत आलेल्या पाकिस्तानने आता भारतालाच ‘आक्रमक‘ ठरविण्याचा प्रयत्न केला आहे. ‘भारताने पुन्हा अशी कारवाई केल्यास पाकिस्तान पूर्ण क्षमतेने प्रत्युत्तर देईल,‘ असा इशाराही पाकिस्तानने दिला आहे. पुढे काय? पंतप्रधान नरेंद्र मोदी आणि परराष्ट्र मंत्री सुषमा स्वराज यांनी आंतरराष्ट्रीय पातळीवर पाकिस्तानला एकटे पाडण्याच्या योजना कार्यान्वित केल्या असल्याचे चित्र गेल्या काही दिवसांमध्ये पाहण्यास मिळत आहे. तसेच, पंतप्रधान नरेंद्र मोदी यांनी आज (गुरुवार) दुपारी चार वाजता सर्वपक्षीय बैठकही बोलाविली आहे. गेल्या काही दिवसांमध्ये सिंधू पाणी वाटप कराराचाही पुनर्विचार करण्याची प्रक्रिया सुरू झाली आहे. त्यामुळे आजच्या सर्वपक्षीय बैठकीनंतर याविषयीही काही निर्णय होण्याची शक्यरता आहे. भारतीय लष्कराच्या कारवाईची माहिती राष्ट्रपती प्रणव मुखर्जी, उपराष्ट्रपती हमीद अन्सारी, माजी पंतप्रधान डॉ. मनमोहनसिंग, जम्मू-काश्मीवरचे राज्यपाल एन. एन. व्होरा आणि मुख्यमंत्री मेहबुबा मुफ्ती यांनाही देण्यात आली आहे.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

लष्कराला त्याच्या निवडीच्या जागी, वेळी आणि त्याच्या स्तरावर पाकिस्तानवर लष्करी कारवाई करण्याची मुभा देण्यात आलेली आहे.

काश्मीारमध्ये उरी इथल्या भारतीय लष्कराच्या तुकडीवर पाकिस्तानप्रशिक्षित दहशतवाद्यांनी अलीकडंच केलेल्या हल्ल्यात १८ जवान हुतात्मा झाले. या घटनेनंतर देशात पाकिस्तानविरुद्ध प्रचंड क्षोभ उसळला असून, त्या देशाला धडा शिकविण्याची मागणी होत आहे. पाकिस्ताननं दहशतवाद्यांमार्फत आपल्या देशात अशा विघातक कारवाया अनेक वेळा केल्या आहेत. काही महिन्यांपूर्वी पठाणकोट इथं झालेला आणि गेल्या आठवड्यातला उरी इथं झालेला हल्ला हा दहशतवादी कारवायांचा ‘परिपाक’ म्हणायला हवा. या पार्श्वलभूमीवर आपल्या देशानं आता काय करायला हवं, कुठले पर्याय आपल्यासमोर आहेत याचा हा वेध... जम्मू-काश्मीठरची राजधानी श्रीनगरच्या पश्चिधमेला बारामुल्ला हे भारतीय सीमेजवळचं शहर. तिथून पश्चिाम दिशेला जाणारा रस्ता उरीमार्गे, वायव्य दिशेला जाणारा रस्ता तंगधारमार्गे आणि उत्तरेला जाणारा रस्ता नौगाममार्गे भारत-पाकिस्तानमधल्या ताबारेषेपर्यंत जातो. त्यापैकी पश्‍चिमेला जाणारा बारामुल्ला ते पाकिस्तानव्याप्त काश्मीशरमधला डोमेल-मुझफ्फराबाद हा मार्ग. त्याच्या पूर्वेला रस्त्याला अगदी लगटून झेलम नदी पूर्व-पश्चिपम दिशेत वाहते. याच मार्गानं २२ ऑक्टोाबर १९४७ च्या मध्यरात्री पाकिस्तानी सैन्यानं वायव्य प्रांतातल्या पाच हजार भाडोत्री टोळीवाल्यांना हाताशी धरून जम्मू-काश्मी्र राज्यावर अचानक धाड घातली होती. डोमेलच्या पूर्वेला काही अंतरावरच असलेल्या उरी नाल्यावरचा पूल जर त्या काळातल्या जम्मू-काश्मी र राज्याच्या सैन्यानं वेळीच उडवला नसता, तर ती टोळधाड पहाटेपर्यंत श्रीनगरला पोचली असती आणि संपूर्ण काश्मीडर पाकिस्तानच्या हाती गेलं असतं. नवीन हंगामी पूल उभा केल्यावरच त्यांची आगेकूच जारी झाली. त्या वेळी छोटं गावच असलेल्या बारामुल्लाला ही टोळधाड पोचल्यावर शहर कधीच न पाहिलेल्या त्या अधमांचे डोळे तिथला झगमगाट पाहून दिपून गेले आणि चेकाळलेल्या त्या टोळीवाल्यांनी बारामुल्लाची अक्षरशः चाळण केली. अनिर्बंध लुटालूट आणि बलात्कारांचं सत्र तब्बल ४८ तास सुरू राहिलं. अशातच तीन दिवस गेले. त्यादरम्यान भारतीय लष्कर विमानानं श्रीनगर विमानतळावर दाखल झालं आणि तोपर्यंत श्रीनगरच्या जवळपास पोचलेल्या शत्रूला मागं रेटत त्यांनी उरी नाल्याच्या पश्चि मेला १३-१४ किलोमीटर अंतरावर असलेल्या कमान चौकीपर्यंत नेलं. त्यानंतर मात्र दुर्दैवानं भारतीय लष्कराला त्यापुढं न जाण्याचे आदेश देण्यात आले आणि तेव्हापासून कमान पुलाच्या पश्चिामेला जम्मू-काश्मीभरचा प्रदेश पाकिस्तानच्याच ताब्यात राहिला. याच इतिहासप्रसिद्ध उरी नाल्यावर वसलेलं छोटं गाव उरी. गावाच्या उत्तरेस झेलमच्या खोऱ्यात माहूर इथं एक हायडेल प्रोजेक्टस स्टेशन आहे. काश्मीीरमध्ये इतर काही ठिकाणी अशांतता असली तरी उरी परिसरातले रहिवासी मात्र सदैव गुण्यागोविंदानं नांदत आले आहेत. भारत-पाकिस्तानदरम्यानची ताबारेषा किंवा नियंत्रणरेषा (ही आंतरराष्ट्रीय सीमारेषा नव्हे) उरीला दक्षिण, पश्चिसम आणि पूर्व दिशांच्या बाजूंनी वळसा घालते. उरीच्या पश्चिकमेकडच्या डोंगरसरीवर सीमेच्या संरक्षणासाठी भारतीय लष्कराच्या १२ इन्फंट्री ब्रिगेडचे मोर्चे आहेत. त्यांची ठिकाणं अत्यंत संवेदनशील आहेत हे सांगण्याची आवश्य्कताच नाही. पाकिस्तानपुरस्कृत दहशतवाद्यांनी अधूनमधून केलेली छोटी-मोठी घुसखोरी ‘१२ ब्रिगेड’नं यापूर्वी हमखास हाणून पडली आहे; परंतु म्हणावा असा एल्गार त्या भागात १९४७ नंतर कधीच घडला नाही. काळवंडलेला रविवार १८ सप्टेंबर २०१६ चा रविवार मात्र त्याला अपवाद ठरला. तसा ताबारेषेवरच्या दोन्ही बाजूंच्या मोर्चांमध्ये गोळीबार वारंवार सुरूच असतो. उरीचे रहिवासी त्याकडे फारसं लक्ष देत नाहीत; परंतु त्या दिवशी पहाटे साडेपाचच्या दरम्यान संपूर्ण परिसर दुमदुमून टाकणारे स्फोट काही वेगळेच होते. त्या भल्या पहाटे दहशतवाद्यांनी डाव साधला आणि ब्रिगेडच्या पिछाडीला असलेल्या पथकांवर प्राणघातक हल्ला चढवण्यात आला. सीमेवर तैनात असलेल्या लष्कराच्या अधिक्षेत्रात इतक्याा आतल्या गोटात इतक्याक बेडरपणे प्रथमच झालेला गेल्या दीड-दोन दशकातला हा सगळ्यात मोठा प्राणघातक दहशतवादी हल्ला होता. पाकिस्ताननं धाडलेल्या या भाडोत्री दहशतवाद्यांनी केलेल्या हल्ल्याची पहिली बातमी क्षोभ उसळवणारी होती. वेगानं पसरणाऱ्या अर्ध्या-कच्च्या बातम्यांनुसार, १७ भारतीय जवान हुतात्मा झाले होते आणि अनेक जखमी झाले होते. या बातमीचे पडसाद देशभर उमटले. संतापाची आणि निषेधाची तीव्र लाट उसळली. ‘हे कदापि खपवून घेतलं जाणार नाही’ असं सांगितलं गेलं. ‘एका दाताच्या बदल्यात आम्ही (शत्रूचा) पुरा जबडाच फोडू’ अशी धमकी दिली गेली. विरोधी पक्षांनी नेहमीप्रमाणे आणि लोकशाहीच्या ‘प्रघाता’नुसार जराही वेळ वाया न घालवता या सगळ्याच प्रकाराचा दोष सत्ताधारी पक्षाच्या माथी मारण्यात आला. ‘पाकिस्तानला ताबडतोब इंगा दाखवावा’ अशा धर्तीच्या त्वेषपूर्ण विधानांच्या‘कॉमेंट’ ट्विटर आणि फेसबुक यांसारख्या सामाजिक प्रसारमाध्यमांवर (सोशल मीडिया) उमटल्या. सरकारला वेगवेगळ्या प्रकारचं मार्गदर्शन करणाऱ्या तज्ज्ञांचा तर विविध दूरचित्रवाणी वाहिन्यांवर नुसता पूर आला. ‘या निर्घृण हल्ल्यामागं असलेल्यांना शिक्षा दिल्याशिवाय राहणार नाही,’ अशी सुस्पष्ट ग्वाही पंतप्रधान नरेंद्र मोदी यांनी दिली. ‘पाकिस्तान हे एक दहशतवादी राष्ट्र आहे,’ याचा पुनरुच्चार केंद्रीय गृहमंत्री राजनाथसिंह यांनी केला. ज्याला या हल्ल्याची प्रत्यक्ष झळ पोचली होती, त्या भारतीय लष्कराची प्रतिक्रिया अत्यंत धीरगंभीर होती. ती अशी ः ‘आम्ही आमच्या जवानांच्या बलिदानाची निश्चियत परतफेड करू; परंतु स्वस्थचित्तानं केलेल्या व्यावसायिक लष्करी विश्ले षणानंतर आणि आम्हाला अनुरूप असलेल्या वेळेनुसारच. तो निर्णय कोणत्याही भावुकतेवर किंवा ‘प्राइम टाइम’ वाहिन्यांवरच्या चर्वितचर्वणावर आधारित नसेल.’ भारतीय लष्कराच्या परिपक्वतेचं ते उत्तम उदाहरण होतं. पाकिस्तानी आणि भारतीय लष्कराच्या प्रकृतिगुणात जो जमीन-आसमानाचा वेगळेपणा आहे, त्याची ती ठळक खूण होती. दहशतवादी हल्ल्याच्या दुःखद बातमीमुळं सारा भारत पेटून उठला होताच; परंतु दिल्ली अक्षरशः खडबडून जागी झाली होती. उरीमध्ये नेमकं काय घडलं? पाकिस्तानचा यामागं खरोखरच हात होता का? हीच वेळ का निवडली गेली? प्रत्युत्तरासाठी भारताकडं कोणते पर्याय आहेत? अलीकडच्या काळात पाकिस्ताननं भारताला असंच डिवचलं होतं; परंतु आपण तेव्हाही काहीच का करू शकलो नाही? मग या वेळी विशेष असं काय बदललं आहे? भारतानं प्रत्युत्तर दिलं तर त्याचे काय परिणाम होतील? या हल्ल्याच्या प्रत्युत्तराचं पर्यवसान भारत-पाकिस्तानमधल्या युद्धात तर नाही होणार? भारतीय लष्कर सुसज्ज आहे का त्या परिणामांना सामोरं जाण्यासाठी? आंतरराष्ट्रीय समुदायाचा पाठिंबा लाभेल का? आणि पाकिस्तानसारख्या माथेफिरू देशानं अण्वस्त्रांचा वापर केला तर...? असे एक ना दोन, अनेक प्रश्नि ऐरणीवर आले... नेमकं काय घडलं? उरी आणि आजूबाजूचा परिसर पीरपंजाल पर्वतराजीच्या कुशीत वसलेला आहे. त्या भागातली ताबारेषा उरीच्या पश्चिणमेला तीन-चार किलोमीटरवरच आहे. उत्तरेला उरी आणि दक्षिणेला पूंछ. या दोन भारतीय गावांच्या दरम्यान ताबारेषा उरीनंतर पूर्वेकडं भारतीय प्रदेशाच्या बाजूला वळते आणि कंसाकाराची आकृती बनवत दक्षिणेस पूंछला मिळते. नकाशावरच्या या पाकिस्तानच्या बाजूनं असलेल्या फुगवट्याला ‘उरी-पूंछ बल्ज’ असं नाव आहे. त्यामुळं उरी आणि पूंछ यांच्या दरम्यान असलेला रस्ता पाकिस्तानव्याप्त काश्मी रमध्ये गेला आहे. या रस्त्यावर असलेली हाजीपीर खिंड १९६५ च्या युद्धात भारतानं जिंकली होती; परंतु युद्धबंदीच्या करारानुसार ती खिंड आणि या फुगवट्याचा भाग भारतानं पाकिस्तानला परत केला होता. हा फुगवटा (बल्ज) आता पाकिस्तानच्या ताब्यात आहे. याच भागातून उरी आणि पूंछच्या दिशेनं घुसखोरी करणं पाकिस्तानला शक्यग होतं. उरीनंतर चढण सुरू होते. उरी-कमान रस्त्याच्या पश्चि्मेच्या डोंगरसरीवर ‘१२ ब्रिगेड’नं संरक्षणफळी उभारली आहे. त्यांचे मोर्चे ताबारेषेच्या मागं आहेत. संपूर्ण ताबारेषेवर भारतानं काटेरी कुंपण उभारलेलं आहे. त्यामुळं जरी घुसखोरीला बऱ्याच प्रमाणात आळा बसला असला, तरी डोंगरामध्ये वाहणाऱ्या नाल्यांच्या जागी कुंपणाखालून निसटता येतं. त्या भागात पाच-सहा माणसांच्या टोळीला एकेक करून ताबारेषा पार करता येते. कदाचित ताबारेषेच्या पार असलेल्या सुमारे ५०० लोकसंख्येच्या सुखदार या खेड्यामार्गे १५-१६ सप्टेंबरदरम्यान चार दहशतवादी उरीमध्ये पोचले असावेत. एक-दोन दिवस त्यांनी टेहळणी केली असावी. त्यांना उरीमधल्या भारतीय पलटणीच्या हालचालीची सविस्तर माहिती ‘१२ ब्रिगेड’च्या छावणीत काम करणाऱ्या एखाद्या स्थानिक हमालाकडून वा तिथं रोजंदारीवर काम करणाऱ्या एखाद्या कामगाराकडून मिळाली असावी. ज्या सहजतेनं त्यांनी आपली लक्ष्ये निवडली आणि ते छावणीत फिरू शकले, त्यावरून हा स्थानिक वाटाड्या त्यांच्याबरोबर हल्ला सुरू होईपर्यंत राहिला असावा यात शंका नाही. अर्थात सध्या उपलब्ध असलेल्या आधुनिक जीपीएस उपकरणांच्या साह्यानं तसंही अचूक मार्गदर्शन साधता येतंच. ‘१२ इन्फंट्री ब्रिगेड’च्या हाताखालच्या ‘१० डोग्रा’ या बटालियनचा तिथला कार्यकाल संपला असल्यामुळं (साधारण अडीच ते तीन वर्षं) तिच्या जागी ‘६ बिहार’ ही पलटण तिची जागा घेण्यासाठी दाखल झाली होती. या दोन्ही तुकड्यांचे जवान एकमेकांच्या कामाची अदलाबदल पूर्ण होईपर्यंत एकत्र राहणं आवश्य क असल्यामुळं तिथं जागेची काहीशी चणचण होणं साहजिकच होतं. त्यामुळं ‘६ बिहार’चे काही जवान भोजनगृहात राहत होते. ते प्रामुख्यानं कारागीरवर्गातले (ट्रेड्‌समेन) होते. लढण्याच्या बाबतीत ते विशेष पारंगत नसतात. या सर्व बाबींची अचूक माहिती हल्लेखोरांना होती. अर्थातच ती त्या वाटाड्याकडूनच मिळाली असणार. त्यामुळं ‘प्रथम यांच्यावर हल्ला चढवायचा आणि नंतर अधिकाऱ्यांच्या निवासस्थानांवर जाऊन तिथं घाला घालायचा’ अशी दहशतवाद्यांची योजना होती. चार दहशतवादी भोजनगृहापर्यंत दबक्या् पावलांनी पोचू शकले. वाटेत त्यांनी एका सुरक्षारक्षकाची हत्या केली. भोजनगृहाला त्यांनी बाहेरून कडी लावली. त्यात केरोसिन ठेवलेलं होतं. दहशतवाद्यांनी मग त्या शेल्टरवर एकामागून एक ग्रेनेडचा मारा केला. त्या माऱ्यामुळं शेल्टरला आग लागली आणि आतल्या जवानांना मोठी इजा पोचली. हल्ल्यात मृत पावलेले किंवा गंभीर जखमी झालेले जवान प्रामुख्यानं यापैकीच होते, याची दखल घेणं आवश्यगक आहे. स्फोटांचा आवाज ऐकून मग संपूर्ण परिसराला वेगानं वेढा टाकण्यात आला. त्यानंतर ‘४ प्यारा कमांडो’च्या (स्पेशल फोर्सेस) जवानांना तिथं उतरवण्यात आलं आणि ‘१० डोग्रा’च्या जवानांच्या मदतीनं त्यांनी चारही दहशतवाद्यांना तातडीनं कंठस्नान घातलं. ते चार आत्मघाती दहशतवादी छावणीभोवतालचं सुरक्षाकडं तोडून पोचले, यात त्या तुकडीचा कमालीचा हलगर्जीपणा झाला, यात शंका नाही. विशेष करून जबाबदारी एकमेकांकडं सोपवली जाण्याच्या अशा अदलाबदलीच्या वेळी सुरक्षिततेत ढिलाई होऊ शकते आणि त्यामुळं अधिक दक्षता घेणं आवश्यमक असतं, हे प्रशिक्षणादरम्यान बिंबवलं जातं. यात गाफीलपणा होणं ही बाब कदापि स्वीकारार्ह नाही. या सगळ्याच प्रकाराची चौकशी सुरू आहे. यातून शिकले जाणारे धडे वाया जाणार नाहीत. मात्र, बळी पडलेले जवान हे दहशतवाद्यांच्या भ्याड डावपेचांमुळं जिवाला मुकले आहेत, याची दखल घेतली गेली पाहिजे. उरीवरच्या हल्ल्यातले हे चार दहशतवादी जैश-ए-मोहम्मद या संघटनेचे सदस्य होते. त्यांच्याकडं सापडलेल्या सामग्रीवर पाकिस्तानच्या खुणा होत्या. मिळालेल्या दोन जीपीएसपैकी एक पिचून गेली आहे; परंतु दुसऱ्या जीपीएसची छाननी झाल्यावर हे दहशतवादी नेमके कुठून आणि कोणत्या मार्गानं आले होते, याची शहानिशा होईल. पाकिस्तानचं पितळ मग उघडं पाडता येईल. मात्र, यामागं पाकिस्तानच्या सैन्याचा हात आहे आणि हा पाकिस्तानच्या दहशतवादी राजकारणाचा एक भाग आहे, यात भारतालाच नव्हे; तर जगातल्या अनेक देशांना तसूभरही शंका नाही आणि त्याबद्दल त्यांनी एव्हाना स्पष्ट पुरावा दिलेला आहे. किंबहुना पाकिस्तानच्या आयएसआय या हेरसंस्थेनं ही एकच तुकडी नव्हे; तर पूंछच्या बाजूला दोन तुकड्या, उरीच्या बाजूनं दोन तुकड्या आणि नौगामच्या बाजूनं एक तुकडी अशा पाच तुकड्या एकाच वेळी रवाना केल्या असाव्यात, असंही निदर्शनाला आलं आहे. १९/२० सप्टेंबरला उरीमध्ये पोचलेल्या दुसऱ्या तुकडीतल्या दहाही दहशतवाद्यांना ठार मारण्यात आल्याची बातमी आहे. त्यामुळं या पाच तुकड्यांपैकी १८ सप्टेंबर रोजीच्या तुकडीला उरीमध्ये प्राणघातक हल्ल्याचा डाव साधता आला, हे ‘१२ ब्रिगेड’चं दुर्दैवच म्हणावं लागेल. आणखी काय ! हीच वेळ का निवडली? पाकिस्ताननं या कुटिल कारस्थानासाठी सप्टेंबरची निवड करण्यामागं अनेक कारणं आहेत. त्याची सुरवात झाली ती आठ जुलैला बुऱ्हाण वाणी हा आयएसआयनिर्मित हिजबुल मुजाहिदीनचा कडवा सदस्य काश्मी रमध्ये सुरक्षा दलांकडून मारला गेल्यानंतर. काश्मीतर खोऱ्यात सरकारविरुद्ध आगीचा डोंब उसळवण्यासाठी पाकिस्तानला आयतीच मोठी संधी मिळाली आणि तिचा पाकिस्ताननं पुरेपूर फायदा करून घेतला. १९८९ आणि २०१० पेक्षाही खोऱ्यातली अंतर्गत सुरक्षास्थिती रसातळाला गेली. ७० हून अधिक नागरिक मारले गेले. फुटीरतावाद्यांच्या कारवायांना चालना मिळाली. काश्मीिरमधलं जनजीवन ‘न भूतो’ असं ठप्प झालं. प्रजाहितविरोधी असलेले पाच टक्के गट उरलेल्या जनतेवर दबाव टाकू शकले. हे सगळं पाकिस्तानच्या योजनेनुसार अनपेक्षितपणे साध्य होऊ लागलं. पाकिस्ताननं काश्मीकरमधल्या मानवी हक्कभंगाबद्दल आरोळी ठोकली आणि काश्मीषरमधल्या ‘पीडित’ जनतेच्या स्वातंत्र्यासाठी जगातल्या सगळ्या लोकशाहीप्रिय देशांना आवाहन केलं. विरोधाभासाचा तो हास्यास्पद आविष्कारच म्हटला पाहिजे! २१ सप्टेंबरला तर राष्ट्रसंघाच्या परिषदेत पाकिस्तानप्रमुखांच्या भाषणानं यावर कडी केली. भारताला चव्हाट्यावर आणण्याची स्वप्नं नवाझ शरीफ आणि राहिल शरीफ हे शरीफद्वय पाहत होते; पण १५ ऑगस्टला पंतप्रधान नरेंद्र मोदी यांनी जाहीरपणे बलुचिस्तानचं ब्रह्मास्त्र अचानक बाहेर काढलं. मग भारताला कोंडीत पकडण्यासाठी पाच-सहा दहशतवादी हल्ल्यांचा हा डाव आयएसआयनं आखला. त्यातला एक डाव साधला गेला असला, तरी त्यामुळं आपण स्वतःवर कोणतं अरिष्ट ओढवून घेतलं आहे, याचं जेव्हा पाकिस्तानला प्रत्यंतर येईल, तेव्हा तो देश ‘कारगिल’च्या वेळेप्रमाणेच आश्रयासाठी दारोदार भटकू लागेल. मात्र, या वेळी तरी भारत पाकिस्तानला खरोखरच धडा शिकवू शकेल काय? भारतासमोरचे पर्याय कारगिलमधल्या घोडचुकीला भारतानं तडाखेबाज प्रत्युत्तर दिलं होतं. मात्र, त्यानंतर पाकिस्तानच्या प्रत्येक खोडसाळपणाला भारत सडेतोड उत्तर देऊ शकलेला नाही, हे कबूल करावं लागेल; मग त्याची कारणं काही का असेनात. त्यानंतर लगोलग २४ डिसेंबर १९९९ ला आयएसआयपुरस्कृत पाच दहशतवाद्यांनी काठमांडूतून इंडियन एअर लाइन्सच्या आयसी ८१४ विमानाचं अपहरण केलं व ते कंदाहारला नेलं. त्यातल्या १७८ प्रवाशांची आणि ११ चालकांची सुटका करण्यासाठी भारत सरकारनं नमतं घेतलं आणि भारताच्या ताब्यात असलेले मौलाना मसूद अझर, मुश्ताचक अहमद झरगर आणि उमर सईद शेख या तीन कट्टर दहशतवाद्यांची सुटका केली. त्यातल्याच अझर मसूद यानं परत गेल्यावर जैश-ए-मोहम्मद ही दहशतवादी संघटना निर्माण केली. १८ सप्टेंबरच्या हल्ल्यामागं याच अघोरी संघटनेचा हात आहे. त्यानंतर १३ डिसेंबर २००१ ला पाकिस्तानी दहशतवाद्यांनी चक्क भारतीय संसदेवरच हल्ला चढवला. त्याला प्रत्युत्तर म्हणून पाकिस्तानला धडा शिकवण्यासाठी संपूर्ण भारतीय लष्कर सीमेवर तैनात करण्यात आलं; परंतु युद्ध छेडल्यास पाकिस्तान अण्वस्त्र वापरण्यास उद्युक्त होऊ शकेल, या कुशंकेमुळं आणि त्याचबरोबर आंतरराष्ट्रीय दबावामुळं नऊ महिन्यांच्या प्रतीक्षेनंतर हे ‘ऑपरेशन पराक्रम’ रद्द करावं लागलं. २६ नोव्हेंबर २००८ रोजी पाकिस्तानच्या ११ दहशतवाद्यांनी समुद्रमार्गे मुंबईमधलं रेल्वे टर्मिनस, ताजमहाल हॉटेल, छबाड हाऊस आदी ठिकाणांवर हल्ला चढवला. त्यात भारतीयांसह अनेक परदेशी नागरिक मृत्युमुखी पडले. हल्लेखोरांपैकी एक असलेला दहशतवादी अजमल कसाब जिवंत हाती सापडला; परंतु अनेक पुरावे सादर करूनही पाकिस्ताननं काहीही कारवाई केली नाही. त्यानंतर पाकिस्तानी दहशतवाद्यांनी या वर्षी दोन जानेवारीला पठाणकोट विमानतळावर हल्ला चढवला. पाकिस्तानच्या चौकशी मंडळाला या सुरक्षित जागेला भेट देण्याची मुभा देऊनही पाकिस्ताननं अजूनही कोणतीही सकारात्मक तयारी दाखवली नाही. याशिवाय गुरदासपूर, छांब वगैरे ठिकाणी दहशतवादी हल्ले झाले. एवढ्या हल्ल्यांनंतरही भारतानं यावेळीही या पाताळयंत्री आणि दगाबाज शेजाऱ्याला सौजन्य दाखवावं का? आपणच आपल्या सहनशक्तीची आणखी किती काळ कसोटी पाहणार? एका बाजूला राजकीय नेत्यांची तीव्र विधानं आणि दुसऱ्या बाजूला भारतीयांचा शिगेला पोचलेला त्वेष या दोन्ही बाबी लक्षात घेऊन पाकिस्तानला काही ना काही प्रत्युत्तर हे भारत सरकारला द्यावंच लागेल. भारतासमोर असलेल्या पर्यायांचं गेले काही दिवस प्रचंड चर्वितचर्वण प्रसारमाध्यमांमध्ये झालं आहे. यासंदर्भात शेजाऱ्याशी होणाऱ्या संभाव्य संघर्षाच्या व्यवस्थापनाबाबत ‘संघर्षवर्धनाची शिडी’ (एस्कलेशन लॅडर) ही संकल्पना समजणं आवश्यहक आहे. कोणताही बखेडा टप्प्याटप्प्यानं वाढवण्यात सुज्ञपणा असतो. पर्यायाच्या निवडीत तारतम्यबुद्धी आणि दूरदर्शित्व असलं पाहिजे. त्याचबरोबर पर्यायाचे परिणाम, त्यामुळं राष्ट्रहिताला पोचू शकणारी बाधा आणि ती आटोक्याूत आणण्याचे उपाय यांचं सखोल विश्ले्षण झालं पाहिजे. पाकिस्तानची दगाबाजी कितीही संतापजनक असली, तरीही प्रत्युत्तर कसं द्यायचं याविषयीचे डावपेच हे सर्व साधकबाधक घटकांच्या विचारान्ती आखले गेले पाहिजेत. केवळ फर्ड्या आणि भावुक वक्तव्याद्वारे लोकांच्या भावना भडकावणं टाळलं गेलं पाहिजे. ज्या जवानांनी देशासाठी प्राणार्पण केलं आहे, त्यांच्या कुटुंबीयांना होणाऱ्या यातनांचा सूड घेणं हे एवढं एकच उद्दिष्ट न ठेवता या जवानांच्या बलिदानाची कित्येक पटींनी जास्त किंमत शत्रूला चुकवायला लावण्याची क्षमता आणि परत असं दुःसाहस करण्याची शत्रूला हिंमतही होणार नाही, अशी जरब त्या पर्यायात असली पाहिजे; त्याचबरोबर आंतरराष्ट्रीय घटकांचाही सखोल विचार झाला पाहिजे. भारत एक लोकशाहीभिमुख, परिपक्व आणि जबाबदार राष्ट्र आहे याचा, तसंच त्याच्या उच्चनैतिक मूल्यांचा कदापि विसर पडता कामा नये. त्याचबरोबर पाकिस्तानचं लोकशाही सरकार हे तिथल्या सैन्यप्रमुखांच्या हातातलं केवळ एक बाहुलं आहे, या वस्तुस्थितीचीही जाणीव ठेवली पाहिजे. भारतापुढं प्रामुख्यानं तीन पर्याय आहेत. पहिला पर्याय ः परराष्ट्रसंबंधविषयक मुत्सद्देगिरीद्वारे पाकिस्तानची नाचक्की करायची आणि त्याला एकटं पाडायचं. दुसरा पर्याय ः पाकिस्तानवर आर्थिक निर्बंध आणवून त्याची कोंडी करायची आणि तिसरा पर्याय ः सामरिक किंवा लष्करी उपायांद्वारे पाकिस्तानला त्याच्या दगाबाजीची किंमत चुकती करायला भाग पाडायचं. भारत सरकारनं पहिल्या पर्यायासंदर्भात एव्हाना उल्लेखनीय आघाडी घेतली आहे. कारगिल युद्धादरम्यान भारतानं अत्यंत परिणामकारकरीत्या आणि नैतिक मूल्यांवर आधारित सडेतोड परराष्ट्र धोरणाच्या जोरावर पाकिस्तानला बिनशर्त माघार घेण्यास भाग पाडलं होतं. गेल्या दोन दिवसांत भारताच्या वेगवान मुत्सद्दी मोहिमेला समाधानकारक यश लाभलं आहे. चीन वगळता सर्व मोठ्या राष्ट्रांनी आणि मुस्लिम गटाच्या प्रमुख राष्ट्रांनी पाकिस्तानच्या दहशतवादी धोरणावर टीका केलेली आहे; त्यामुळं पाकिस्तान एकटा पडला आहे. मात्र, केवळ त्यामुळं पाकिस्तान गुडघे टेकेल, असं मुळीच नाही; परंतु या राजनैतिक दबावाची अंतिम उद्दिष्टं पाकिस्तानवर आर्थिक निर्बंध घातले जावेत आणि तो एक दहशतवादी देश घोषित केला जावा ही आहेत. मात्र, असं घडण्याची सध्यातरी शक्य ता दिसत नाही, तरीही भारत यापुढं जो पर्याय निवडेल, त्याला या प्रयत्नांमुळं आंतरराष्ट्रीय पाठिंबा मिळाला आणि पाकिस्तानवर दबाव आला तरी खूप झालं. श्रीलंका आणि अफगाणिस्तान या दोन महत्त्वाच्या शेजाऱ्यांनी पाकिस्तानच्या दहशतवादी राजकीय धोरणावर उघड टीका केलेली आहे. ही एक अत्यंत इष्ट आणि चांगली घडामोड आहे. या महिन्याच्या शेवटी पाकिस्तानात होऊ घातलेल्या सार्क परिषदेवर - भारताची इच्छा असेल तर - बहिष्कार टाकण्याची तयारीसुद्धा त्यांनी दाखवली आहे. सार्कमध्ये भारताला मुख्य स्थान आहे आणि भारत त्या परिषदेचा अलिखित नेता आहे, हे लक्षात घेता भारत असं पाऊल सखोल विचारान्तीच उचलेल. भारताचा तिसरा पर्याय सामरिक किंवा लष्करी उपाययोजनेशी संबंधित आहे. ‘‘या अघोरी हल्ल्यास जबाबदार असलेल्यांना शिक्षा भोगावी लागेल,’’ हे पंतप्रधान नरेंद्र मोदी यांचं खंबीर विधान अत्यंत सूचक, अर्थपूर्ण आणि हमी देणारं आहे. अशा फुशारक्यांऊचा वेळ टळल्यानंतर सोईस्कर विसर पडल्याची नजीकच्या भूतकाळातली उदाहरणं आहेत. त्याच्यामागं सयुक्तिक कारणमीमांसा होती, हे नाकारता येणार नाही. हीच आव्हानं मोदींच्या वचनपूर्तीला आडवी येणार आहेत. या पर्यायांतर्गत काश्मीोरमधल्या ताबारेषेवरच्या शस्त्रबंदीला पूर्णविराम देऊन ती जागती करणं, सैन्याच्या कमांडोंद्वारे दहशतवादी तळांवर हल्ले, सीमेवर किंवा पाकिस्तानव्याप्त काश्मीिरमधल्या लक्ष्यांवर तीव्र स्वरूपाचा तोफमारा, सीमेवरच्या पाकिस्तानी तुकड्यांवर हल्ले आणि सगळ्यात महत्त्वाचं म्हणजे, भारताला सोईस्कर अशा ठिकाणी आणि वेळीच पाकिस्तानव्याप्त काश्मीारमध्ये मोठा आघात हे वेगवेगळे उपाय उपलब्ध आहेत. यापैकी खुल्या युद्धाचा पर्याय अवलंबण्याआधी भारताला सैन्यदलांच्या युद्धसज्जतेच्या पातळीत लक्षणीय वाढ करणं आवश्यलक आहे. त्यासाठी प्रचंड आर्थिक सज्जतेची आणि पुरेशा वेळेची आवश्यसकता आहे. आपली सैन्यदलं तातडीनं युद्धात उतरण्यास सक्षम नाहीत हे कटू सत्य आहे. त्यासाठी किमान सहा ते आठ महिन्यांचा अवधी लागेल. इतर उपायांपैकी एक-दोन कारवाया नजीकच्या भविष्यात हाती घेतल्या जातील, असं भाष्य करणं चुकीचं ठरणार नाही. लष्कराला त्याच्या निवडीच्या जागी, वेळी आणि त्याच्या स्तरावर पाकिस्तानवर लष्करी कारवाई करण्याची मुभा देण्यात आलेली आहे. त्यासंबंधात चर्चा करणे अप्रशस्त आहे. मात्र, पाकिस्तानला त्याच्या खोडसाळपणाची किंमत चुकवायला लावून त्याला धडा शिकवला जाईल, असं गृहीत धरायला काहीच हरकत नाही. या घटनेनंतर पाकिस्तानच्या अण्वस्त्रक्षमतेचा मुद्दा वारंवार चर्चेत आला आहे. ‘भारतानं जर पाकिस्तानविरुद्ध कोणतीही कारवाई केली तर आम्ही आमच्याजवळच्या किमान डावपेचात्मक अण्वस्त्राचा तरी (टॅक्टिंकल न्यूक्ली्अर वेपन) वापर करू,’ अशी हास्यास्पद धमकी पाकिस्तानच्या संरक्षणमंत्र्यांनी चार-पाच दिवसांपूर्वी दिली. अण्वस्त्रं ही एक प्रतिरोधक शक्ती (डिटरन्स) आहे. कोणतंही जबाबदार अण्वस्त्रसज्ज राष्ट्र त्या शक्तीच्या वापराचा असा गवगवा कधीही करत नाही, यावरूनच पाकिस्तानच्या ‘परिपक्वते’ची कल्पना येते! भारताच्या तुकडीवर पाकिस्तानात वापरलेल्या अशा अस्त्रामुळं पाकिस्तानातल्या लोकांना अधिक इजा पोचेल. कितीही छोटं अण्वस्त्र असलं तरी एकदा का त्याचा वापर झाला, की अनर्थ माजेल आणि त्याचे भयंकर परिणाम पाकिस्तानला भोगावे लागतील, हे त्यांना पुरेपूर माहीत आहे. ‘गरजेल तो बरसेल काय?’ ही उक्ती यासंदर्भात अत्यंत समर्पक आहे. खरंतर हा विषय अत्यंत गहन असून, त्याच्या विश्लेेषणासाठी कदाचित एवढ्याच लांबीचा लेख लिहावा लागेल. पाकिस्तानी अण्वस्त्राच्या भयगंडाचा हा भ्रामक भोपळा (न्यूक्लीलअर ब्लॅकमेल) एकदाचा फोडणं आवश्य क आहे. जोपर्यंत पाकिस्तानच्या अस्तित्वालाच आव्हान मिळणार नाही आणि ती लक्ष्मणरेषा दृष्टिपथात येणार नाही, तोपर्यंत असं कोणतंही अण्वस्त्र वापरण्यास पाकिस्तान धजणार नाही, याची हमी देता येईल. १८ सप्टेंबर रोजी उरी इथं झालेला हल्ला ही एक मोठी घटना आहे. इतर दहशतवादी हल्ल्यांसारखी ती आसमंतात विरून जाणार नाही. नजीकचा भविष्यकाळ हा यासंदर्भात घटना-घडामोडींनी भरलेला असणार आहे. त्याची वाट आतुरतेनं पाहत असताना मात्र त्या १८ जवानांच्या हौतात्म्याचा, त्यांच्या कुटुंबीयांच्या वेदनांचा आपण विसर पडू देता कामा नये!

synergise-strategies against pakistan By Manpreet Sethi, Sep 28, 2016, INDIA-PAK FACE-OFF Pakistan has been successfully playing the game of psychological salami slicing with India and the world for many decades now. It is like the proverbial child who has been told not to go into the sea, but who takes relatively small steps in the direction that do not singularly amount to disobedience. So he goes to the edge of the water and stops. After a while, he wiggles his toes in the water. Then, he puts one foot in. In time, he sits down with two legs splashing in the water – technically not in the sea, but exhibiting defiance in every action. This has been the Pakistani game with terrorism too – each individual attack being made to pass as insufficient cause for casus belli (an act justifying war). Unfortunately for Pakistan though, India and the world are now beginning to feel the collective weight of its actions. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the army camp in Uri, the world opinion is firmly on the Indian side. For a long time, India was the lone victim and sufferer. No longer so. Afghanistan Vice President Sarwer Danesh minced no words at the UN General Assembly on Sept 22 when he pointed out that Pakistan was waging an ‘undeclared war’ on his country, given its involvement in training, equipping and financing the Taliban and the Haqqani network. In the US too, a bill has been moved in the Congress to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism. Indeed, many other major powers too are united in their criticism of Pakistan and have their sympathies for India. However, while the actions of the other members of the international community are helpful in mounting pressure on Pakistan, there is little doubt that the search for a solution to the problems of terrorism supported, financed and encouraged from the deep state of Pakistan will have to be led by India. It will certainly need concerted actions by other nations and fortunately, India has their ear today. But New Delhi will have to think through its options and put a synergistic strategy in place getting others to play their part. In fact, such an approach will have to ensure three outcomes – one, it should have the necessary optics to satisfy the domestic clamour for imposing a cost on Pakistan military. Secondly, the punishment imposed on Pakistan should be of a kind that brings back minimum costs for India. Thirdly, it should scare/motivate Pakistan decision makers to change their policy of support to terrorism. This is a tall order for any one action, whether military or non-military, offensive or defensive. Hence, the need for a synergy amongst strategies of many hues and levels to complement each other to attain these objectives. Some of this is already evident. At one level, India has already begun enhancing defensive measures to minimise infiltration across borders and into its military establishments. However, defensive measures can never be enough when the adversary has sufficient cannon fodder available at such a low cost. Good defences must be married with the deterrence offered by military preparedness to ensure availability of strike options at short notice. The ongoing exercise by the Western Air Command fits into this scheme. At the third level, diplomatic wheels are turning at the UN and in other capitals to seek coordinated action to shame and isolate actors of Pakistan establishment who are behind such provocations. Finally, in yet another dimension, India is finding ways of compellence through the few leverages it has over Pakistan. Calibrated pressure It is in this context that moves to impose calibrated pressure through certain actions on the bilateral Indus Water treaty have been announced. While all steps that India proposes to take as part of this last strategy are within its legal rights under the treaty, New Delhi will have to play this card carefully. Correct communication will have to be the key to undertake effective perception management on an issue as emotive as water. This message is important lest the Pakistan military uses the Indian action to drum up further support for itself pointing fingers to an ‘unreasonable and inhumane’ India. Even without any Indian action, the military manages well to keep itself in power by conjuring phantoms of India. To let them mislead their masses by magnifying an Indian threat would only go to further the cause of the Pakistan military, not punish it. As is evident from the many moves India is making, there is no reason to believe that the country has no options but to take terrorism in its stride. There are several good responses -- military and non-military -- that can be used to punish the hand that feeds the terrorist. But it must be realised that not many of the sensible options can yield quick results or be high profile enough to satisfy the immediate clamour for vengeance. Superior military capability of India is not in doubt. Neither is India deterred by Pakistan’s projection of an easy use of nuclear weapons. However, it is in India’s interest to try using all tools that can limit collateral damage on both sides of the border. In this moment of emotional highs, let’s not lose sight of the big picture. Pakistan is in a rather uncomfortable situation today. India, on the contrary, owing to its economic and demographic potential, political openness and cultural diversity, hard and soft power, and restraint and responsible behaviour, has strategic partnerships with all major countries of the world. These attributes bring tremendous clout and leverages. Let’s use them intelligently to craft a multi-pronged strategy to manage a country whose national pastime is India baiting.

Pak Moles: Are Peaceniks Legitimizing Acts of Rogue State? By Sudip Talukdar-The Brigade of Peaceniks, comprising sundry elements in the print and electronic media, NGOs, leftists and ex-ministers, which had lain low in the initial days of the Uri attack, is once again flexing its muscles, trying to deflect the government from its avowed goal of punishing Pakistan

Pak Moles: Are Peaceniks Legitimizing Acts of Rogue State? By Sudip Talukdar Issue: Net Edition | Date : 27 Sep , 2016 The Brigade of Peaceniks, comprising sundry elements in the print and electronic media, NGOs, leftists and ex-ministers, which had lain low in the initial days of the Uri attack, is once again flexing its muscles, trying to deflect the government from its avowed goal of punishing Pakistan. One group of experts wants him to impose restrictions on the use of Indus waters by the rogue state, while another discourages him from any such move, on the grounds that it would boomerang. Anything can happen in a country which hides the likes of Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, yet bluffs the US about his presence. Some dailies and magazines are already questioning the rationale of prospective military action by invoking the bogey of a nuclear war between the two countries, which is being given increasing credence by the visual media. Something laughable if not downright infantile! They pretend as if Pakistan will emerge unscathed from the consequences of its folly and walk into the sunset after the dismemberment of India and annexation of Kashmir. Have the peaceniks ever pondered the possibility of a jihadi group seizing such a weapon of mass destruction in Pakistan’s own backyard and deploying it to blackmail the ‘mighty’ United States? The consequences would be too catastrophic to contemplate. Anything can happen in a country which hides the likes of Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, yet bluffs the US about his presence. It took 50 million horrific deaths and the prospect of even greater global devastation to drop atomic bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, during World War II. Not some isolated instances of smashing terror camps or scattered infantry raids. The Peaceniks’ moral support is construed by the deep state as a licence to wreak even more horrific depredations on our soil, never mind if tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children have already lost their lives or been horribly maimed over the past 30 years. Their collective human rights, in the eyes of peaceniks, weigh even less than that of the likes of Burhan Wani, lionized by the separatists and the media alike. India is advised to grin and bear the consequences of such primitive acts of state sponsored terror, just because of the drummed up fears of a nuclear retaliation. Why should soldiers increasingly bear the brunt of bullets, IEDs, bomb blasts and set ablaze in Uri while fast asleep, after the stress and strains of battling an invisible enemy? Can there be a ghastlier or more agonizing mode of death than the one inflicted by the chilling new paradigm of barbarism? India is advised to grin and bear the consequences of such primitive acts of state sponsored terror, just because of the drummed up fears of a nuclear retaliation. A senior columnist, who helms a security magazine, even asserts that India has never vanquished Pakistan in any war. During an acrimonious TV debate with one of the most perceptive strategic analysts, post Uri, he described the retired general as being delusional when he legitimately asserted that India had inflicted it biggest defeat on Pakistan in 1971. One wonders if there is something more to their provocative stance than the super abundance of love they apparently bear the rogue state. This is the kind of attitude that defies logic and has been the bane of independent India. Pakistani panellists, with unrestricted access to our TV channels, are probably being primed by the ISI to utter lies and vilify India. One is reminded of the story of the shepherd who cried wolf, but paid with his very life because the villagers, annoyed with the boy’s false alarms, did not rescue him when the predator actually materialized. Many in the government and outside fail to read the writing on the wall. Islamabad is doing everything in its power to discredit and demonize India. Why else would the American or the Russian Army send their finest operatives to be trained in asymmetric warfare by the Indians? Yet the domain skills of our forces are not being utilized in the war against terror. Why? The problem is doubly compounded by Delhi’s habitual gullibility and rank amateurishness, a by-product of Nehruvian pacifism. No wonder the country has sleep walked through 70 years of independence, unable to pursue national goals. The political dispensation flails like a headless chicken after every incident, seeking answers from the IAS-IPS dominated security set-up, whose forte is administration and law and order, not undercover work or counter terror operations, which calls for extremely specialized military skills. However, an anomalous situation prevails in India, with the army still being kept out of decision making process, despite 50 years of successfully battling all manner of insurgencies in every conceivable terrain, calling for stealth, secrecy and surprise. Why else would the American or the Russian Army send their finest operatives to be trained in asymmetric warfare by the Indians? Yet the domain skills of our forces are not being utilized in the war against terror. Why? The Special Action Groups 51 and 52, drawn from the ranks of Army Special Forces and led by a major general, form the combat wing of the National Security Guards. But he is answerable to an IPS officer who heads the body with negligible combat experience, even after the very nearly botched up 26/11 operations in Mumbai. The sham secular brigade, out of misplaced motives, sounded the death-knell of the Technical Services Division, with a record of notching up some striking successes against the terror apparatus. One which Islamabad came to dread and respect during its all too brief existence! Pointedly, in a country of any consequence, the military is included in policy making and strategic matters, besides forming the backbone of covert agencies, given their role in highly classified operations. But the opposite is true of India, for reasons that are not particularly difficult to fathom. If IPS officers, who have appropriated every spy and security apparatus in India, can be seamlessly meshed with Union home ministry, then why are army officers being kept out of the defence ministry, with unsurpassed domain knowledge and expertise? On its own the Indian Army has always given a befitting reply to Pakistanis, as the outcome of four wars would vouch. But when civilian agencies intervene in military domains, then disasters like Mumbai and Pathankot happen. Nehru’s irrational distrust of the Army, dating from the pre independence era, turned into one of abiding fear and disdain when the generals seized power in Pakistan post 1947. He transmitted it wholesale to the political establishment, already in awe of his larger than life persona, but which ended up permanently damaging the psyche and the prospects of the men in olive green. Consequently, a demoralized army suffered the most ignominious defeat at the hands of the Chinese in 1962. Sadly, the pernicious political mindset remains unchanged. It lies at the heart of military-civilian divide and subverts every attempt to grant soldiers their dues, whether it is about decent pay-scales, allowances, war memorial or improvement in service conditions. Could this be the reason why the government is loathe to bestow the Bharat Ratna on Field Marshal Manekshaw or Major Dhyan Chand, modern India’s greatest military mind and its most distinguished sportsman, respectively. Where would have Indira Gandhi’s halo been without Manekshaw’s outstanding military leadership and support, in scripting a phenomenal victory over Pakistan in 1971, against all odds. Similarly, Dhayan Chand had so impressed Hitler with his mesmeric ball control during the Berlin Olympics that the Fuhrer immediately offered to make him a general in his Wehrmacht. On its own the Indian Army has always given a befitting reply to Pakistanis, as the outcome of four wars would vouch. But when civilian agencies intervene in military domains, then disasters like Mumbai and Pathankot happen. They must not forget that the ISI is headed by military officers who have a far better grasp of strategic and tactical nuances than their IPS counterparts in the intelligence set-up.

Internationalise Pak villainy: Kautilya’s principles of realpolitik must replace idealism in India’s Pakistan policy September 28, 2016, 2:00 AM IST Baijayant 'Jay' Panda Visiting Washington DC earlier this month with a delegation of Indian MPs, it was astonishing to note how far that nation has moved in recognising Pakistan for what it is. Large numbers of US government officials, Congressmen, Senators, former presidential candidates and others are speaking bluntly about Pakistan. In a far cry from its 2004 designation as a “major non-NATO ally”, many American politicians now unhesitatingly call Pakistan a duplicitous rogue state that uses terrorism as a tool of its foreign policy. While acknowledging that Pakistan has cracked down on some terrorist organisations, they lambast it for continuing to shelter those like the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed, which target American, Afghan and Indian interests. Several US lawmakers have gone beyond words and have taken steps to rein in Pakistan, such as by stalling US defence assistance. Other legislative manoeuvres aim to help India access restricted defence technologies. These are motivated by India’s economic growth, the influence of its successful diaspora, mutual interests and concerns about China. Yet it is far from clear whether a pivotal moment has arrived to successfully isolate Pakistan in the eyes of the civilised world. As pointed out by Ata Hasnain, a retired Indian general and respected commentator, Pakistan’s impunity stems from its uniquely strategic geography. It has leveraged that to entice, flirt with, and blackmail the world’s leading powers into tolerating its bad behaviour. Nevertheless, many observers have concluded that India should now unhesitatingly internationalise Pakistan’s villainy. For years India has been diffident about doing so, for fear of playing into the hands of Pakistan, which has been trying to re-internationalise the Kashmir issue despite the Shimla agreement to keep it bilateral. But 2016 is very different from 1989, when Pakistan reneged on its Shimla commitment and turned the heat on Kashmir. Now it is amply clear that while most of the world has no interest in getting involved in India and Pakistan’s Kashmir dispute, unless war in the subcontinent is imminent, terrorism is another matter altogether. The “root cause” theory, of terrorism being fostered by political circumstances, has lost enormous ground in recent years. And battered by a summer of ghastly jihadi terror attacks, the rest of the world now has far more empathy for India. In any event India has to break out of the box it has been in since 1998, when Pakistan redefined the meaning of nuclear deterrence. Traditionally, the cold war dynamic of nuclear-armed adversaries resulted in mutual restraint, lest any provocation get out of hand, leading to the ultimate “Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)”. But Pakistan has used its nuclear cover quite differently, by continually attacking India through its proxies, counting on our unilateral “strategic restraint”. After the usual lack of any immediate military response to Uri, Pakistan may again be feeling its stratagem is justified. But that would be a mistake. Unilateral strategic restraint has had two main objectives for India: prevent Pakistan from re-internationalising the Kashmir dispute, and stay focussed on our own economic growth, rather than scare investments away with tit-for-tat jousting with an unstable neighbour. The first is much less a concern now, but the second remains a constraint. Thus Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Kozhikode last Saturday was yet another example of India taking the high road. It was reminiscent of George Bernard Shaw’s famous quip to “Never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” More such messaging is necessary, aimed at the Pakistani people rather than their leadership, but will not be sufficient. It is worth trying to undo the Pakistani state’s brainwashing of its people about their own history and the vastly exaggerated threat from India. But that cannot be our only response. So how is India to break out of strategic gridlock? South Asia experts like author and academic Christine Fair argue that India should leverage its new clout with the US, and reach out to other major actors like China, to obtain UN sanctions to ring fence terrorists operating from Pakistan. That is good advice, and to some extent is already being attempted. But it cannot yield quick results, and likely won’t be enough to eliminate terrorist attacks altogether. Ironically, it takes a former Pakistani journalist and diplomat to articulate what few Indian or American policy wonks are willing to say bluntly. Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the US and now a think tank scholar and prolific author, had this to say a few days before the Uri attack: “It seems Pakistan’s establishment will not stop using terrorism unless it pays a higher price for it than Pakistan is already paying.” For a country with the Ashoka Stambh as its national emblem, it has taken India far too long to recollect Kautilya’s mantra of statecraft: Sama, Dana, Bheda, Danda(conciliate, compensate, divide, fight). But there are clear indications that India has now finally understood, carrots alone don’t work, sometimes sticks are necessary too. There is unexplored headroom between responding to every terrorist attack with only words of condemnation, and the other extreme of triggering cycles of escalation leading to war. Realpolitik, not utopian principles, should guide this exploration. Covert operations, Balochistan, Indus waters, and other unthought-of options must all be on the table


CENSORED: The Myth We Believe In Posted on September 21, 2016 by Ahsan Kureshi The following op-ed was originally published by The Nation on 17th Sept. It was quickly deleted from the newspaper’s website due to unknown orders from unknown offices. We are re-posting the piece in accordance with Articles 19 and 19(A) of the Constitution which guarantee “the right to freedom of speech and expression, and…freedom of the press” as well as “the right to have access to information in all matters of public importance”. Gen Raheel In Pakistan your patriotism is gauged by your love for the uniform. Not just any uniform though. Not blue, not white nor the greys. The respect is deeply attached to the Khaki tone. If you worship the cloth you are a true Pakistani, if not you’re simply a traitor. Choosing sides is fairly easy when it comes to the skirmishes involving the khakis. One fairly common battle is the khaki vs the sherwanis. Everyone knows who wins these. The Sherwanis’ squeaky attempt at going head to head with the former has been a sore retelling throughout our history. The dabs of corruption and opportunism give an outrageous edge to the Khaki’s who manage to woo the crowd. Not much good happens when the crowd sides with the Khaki’s alone. However, the support is not up for debate. It never has been; as far as the unsaid laws of this country go. There are other battles as well; or at least there should be. The Khaki has been a bully dominating a playground that was made for others to play in. Take the real estate for example. Retired khakis who have only retired officially but maintain their kahki ego and influence, monopolise some of the most lucrative endeavors in the real estate business. Somehow, the field in question is a money minting machine if you’re a khaki. Besides a certain rarity (who himself has often exhibited himself as an accessory to the Khakis), those who don’t wear the color usually don’t prosper as much. Why this happens is a matter of perspective. The ex-Chief’s brother and his adventures give some insight. The Ferrari crash too, clears the picture. And then there is so much more. There are the banks. There are the factories. And indeed, so much more. The khakis have managed to maintain dominance in the setting of other uniforms as well. The mammoth budget directed to the uniforms out of our tax money has the lion share go to the them. No other uniform ever protests this. Then there is the obvious usurping of power sectors that the other uniforms -thankfully so- don’t even dream to venture into. The populace has believed in the myth the Khakis want them to believe in. In times of despair or political frustration, the chief in Khaki is looked upon. As time has taught the nation of Pakistan, these expectations are never really a good idea. No one dares challenge the might of the Khakis. Those who do simply don’t exist. The rules of the game in this country dictates it as so. However, someone just did. A person bearing the grey uniform did what he was paid to do. The khakis didn’t like that. Figures of an elite force were called in to help their khaki brothers. The greys were beaten. There are pictures and first and second person accounts. The beating was not the end for the greys were then forcefully kept at Attock fort. The said incident does not raise many eyebrows. The term ‘bloody civilian’ has been often repeated by men who believe being rude dictates authority. Similarly, the traffic police too have not had to face the anger of a disappointed influential who’ve insisted on not paying their dues. This incident is but a usual affair in our country. What is interesting however is how the country has reacted. The reaction takes us back to the initial premise of this article whereby one’s patriotism is dictated by having complete faith in the army. There have been ludicrous justifications to the incident. Those who seek to justify the actions of the men involved have just made a mockery out of the institution. ISPR too has brushed this aside with a rather casual term: sad. Now there is supposed to be an internal inquiry of the men involved. Strange, why the said men are not being brought to the civil courts for more transparent proceedings. After all, wasn’t this the expectations the civilians attached to the civilian cases sent in to the military courts? If this incident is not brushed under the carpet it will make an impact that has been much awaited. However, those found guilty must be held accountable to the public at large as well. With secret proceedings and rulings, not many of us will know what exactly happened with the case. Most of us will forget about it much sooner than we should. Here is to hoping that the ISPR does a better job at this than the tweets it has most recently become fond of. A detailed ruling must be shared with the public. The Khakis are good at making the public believe in their myth; let’s hope they can make the public believe the truth too

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

URI ATTACK HAS HIGHLIGHTED -the spirit of ‘we will fight with what we have’ ARMY MUST BE EQUIPPED PROPERLY Syed Ata Hasnain - September 25, 2016 Uri was not the failure of those who managed its security on 18 September 2016 although many old timers will disagree with my statement. It was an institutional weakness which brought the situation on us and this is a harsh reality. Reality checks need to be brought into the open to allow the government, citizens and even many uniformed personnel to be better sensitized about national expectations versus national willingness to part with more resources for defence and security. Intelligence alerts are fine. Such alerts exist for 300 out of 365 days in a year. This piece is not an attempt to bail out the defenders of Uri but rather to breathe reality and speak what is usually taken for granted. It is not for the lack of guts that people in the Army at all levels do not speak up. It is because they have grown used to a certain apathy which is just accepted as the way of life. Will anyone in the Army speak up to say that the Uri base probably never had a single thermal imager (TI) to do surveillance of the route coming up from Salamabad Nala? If a senior commander was informed that the garrison had kept a few imagers for its protection it would have been considered an act of sacrilege as per our philosophy. It has to be the LoC which has to be fully secured; that is the gospel truth but the infirmity lies here too, at the administrative base. In other words a balanced deployment, one of the basics of defense, appears violated. Let me admit, I too am not a holy warrior and I would have done exactly what was done by the current breed of officers and men because I have been brought up on a diet that he who serves up in front needs it all. The TI equipment acquired in 2001 has reached the end of its life and remains functional on life support systems through Indian ‘jugaad’. The local batteries sometimes hold life for two to three hours while a LoC ambush is deployed for eight to ten hours. This has been stated in every briefing of HQ 15 Corps but not forcefully enough because we have got so used to being ignored in response. The LoC fence was strengthened extensively over the years, once again through the ingenious system of improvisation. However, any system has its limitations. The observation over the last season is clear that the adversary has found ways of neutralizing the LoC fence. To reach Uri base the fence had to be breached somewhere. Is this why the pattern of terrorists killed is more often well inside our territory and not at the LoC fence itself? The contact pattern reveals maximum engagements with infiltrating terrorists well after they have breached the obstacle. The obstacle was always supposed to be a trip wire, something on which to base the alignment of our ambushes, with response from the flanks and depth if an encounter initiated. Systematically the dearth of thermal imagers, the erosion of their effectiveness and the counter-measures adopted by the terror groups has marginalized the effectiveness of our major force multiplier making infiltration easier. The system of permanent assets in terms of habitat and fighting infrastructure, to include hardened bunkers, weapon emplacements, trenches with measures to prevent collapse, living structures, lighting conductors, toilets and cooking facilities, all come under the generic head of operational works. This is different to the works budget which is used for infrastructure in the hinterland and peace stations. The budget for operational works is so limited that it will take another fifty years before our defenses at the LoC are sufficiently hardened. The rate of construction is much slower than the rate of deterioration because climatic conditions and rugged usage have their effects. The state of toilets, cooking facilities and accommodation in general, at the LoC, remains at best pathetic. However, we have got so used to limited allocations that no one thinks of demanding more. An issue that is for all to know is that in thirteen years of ceasefire we have lost an opportunity of hardening the permanent defenses. Given the kind of tinderbox environment the ceasefire could be a casualty very soon. Despite our limited infrastructure we always got the better of Pakistan in LoC exchanges. We also had the opportunity to construct protective infrastructure for the villagers. In 2003, I recall how Rs 2 crore from state government funds was allocated for community protective bunkers for civilians of the Uri salient. We had the design in place and would have completed construction in a year but the scheme was withdrawn as soon as the ceasefire was in place. Once again it was apathy and refusal to look at the future. Let me illustrate the entire issue of mindsets with a humorous but true story. Many years ago when the Indian Army started subscribing to the UN missions one of our largest missions was in Somalia (UNOSOM). The MI Directorate started a system of franking of some of the mail coming in from the men and officers in the mission area to their families. The idea was to gauge morale and ascertain if there was any undesirable influence on the personnel in an international environment. The first few days after the franking commenced, one of the conclusions reached was that much against any compromise in their integrity our men were a little shell shocked by the quantum of supplies of everything including stationery. One such soldier wrote that he had exaggerated his demand for some items in the hope that he would get the bare minimum needed for office use. Instead he received double the quantum he demanded. So accustomed to being always treated with deficiencies, the men and many officers could not get over the surplus that was made available to them. That is the unfortunate case of our mindset. We are so used to being miserly in our approach and so niggard is the system which demands fullest security at the cheapest rate that it has seeped into the personality of our officers and men. They just accept it at face value and efforts towards garnering their rightful share are never even considered. Uri had been warned. And I personally warned them too, Uri being my old headquarters. But they could have done sweet little with the kind of assets they held. In 2003, similar threats were received. I remember often remaining awake with the entire garrison at night for some days but that could not go on forever. It is easy to condemn and say that their alarm system and security posts were all negligent. There is a transitory man power at the base and the HQ has never pulled in more manpower from units for its own protection. What it desperately needed was a security wall which could have ensured that such a simple entry would not have been possible. I initiated the case for a security wall in 2003. I am sure the preceding commanders would also have similarly demanded and initiated one. In 2007 I returned to command Dagger Division and found that the wall had not materialized. We reinitiated it, only to return in 2010 to reinitiate it a third time. With a security wall, a couple of raised security bunkers towards the Salamabad side, thermal imagers and assured lighting, the possibility of such a raid could largely have been reduced. I am quite certain that the nation, and many uniformed personnel too, are unaware of the kind of robustness needed to serve in such areas. I love to inform my stunned audiences in the corporate world that they may have heard of financial management, energy management and resource management but never of sleep management. Quite honestly a jawan in the LoC environment does not sleep at night almost continuously at least five or even six days a week. He catches a few winks by day but the kind of chores required at LoC posts and picquets hardly permits even this. The stress of possible enemy actions during patrolling, logistics movement and post protection is a constant baggage on the mind. The stress is palpable. The system is not all bad. There are massive pluses brought on by the ethos of military camaraderie and concern for subordinates. Pilots of the Army Aviation Corps will fly under the most threatening conditions to evacuate a sick officer or jawan at severe risk. Caution will be thrown to the winds where a lifesaving effort has to be executed; whether it is a uniformed comrade or a civilian is immaterial. It is in the spirit of such camaraderie that people at the rear will sacrifice their bit for the people serving up in front and in more threatening conditions. That the adversary found a chink in our armor is unfortunate but the armor is getting eroded for all the reasons just revealed. It is about time the Army stated unequivocally that the nation will get the security it pays for and no more. Don’t expect ‘jugaad’ to bail us out; the Army will always do it. It will work effectively nineteen times but the twentieth time when it fails do not find fault with our officers and our men who are paying the price of the nation’s niggardliness and inability to provide us the basics we need to keep the nation secure. We may never have stated it because of the spirit of ‘we will fight with what we have’. The basic consciousness of being the last resort of the nation has driven a different kind of spirit. That spirit may just have seen the beginning of erosion after Uri