Saturday, February 26, 2022

The Russo-Ukraine Conflict - A soldier's Viewpoint

Russia has invaded Ukraine as was expected. It was a spectacular display of military capability in the face of a total military imbalance. A full spectrum application of the military instrument by land, air and sea as well as ground and air coordinated operations. In shaping the battle field environment, the Russians targeted the Ukrainian air defence and destroyed most of the Ukrainian air force on ground. Then the Russians engaged the Ukrainians along the border regions by a multi-directional maneuver while airborne assets simultaneously engaged the middle spaces and the depths i.e. Russian gunships and air force engaged middle-based Ukrainian deployments while airborne divisions landed in depth capturing airports and communication centers. Every dimension of Ukrainian military resistance was engaged piecemeal through coordinated operations. This denied any synergy or cohesion for any meaningful Ukrainian resistance and collapse is now imminent. On the second day of the invasion Russia can establish an air-land bridge, encircle Kyiv, liberate the Donbass region and possibly set into motion the series of actions to put up a Russian Friendly Government. It is unlikely that Russia would want to occupy Ukraine but would instead prefer it to be a buffer state between itself and NATO forces; as such it is expected that Russia having achieved its objectives: i.e. liberation of Donbass and installing a friendly government, would execute a phased withdrawal.

Ukraine’s predicament is mainly a consequence of it lack of capacity. It is the only country to give up its nuclear weapons on a vague guarantee by the US and Europe that they would protect it against any aggression. The promise was never kept and Ukraine was left on its own. Also the disputed question of the Minsk Agreement is being interpreted differently by every side to serve their own arguments. However, the fact remains, that it was never fully implemented despite many years having passed by. Lastly, NATOs continual attempts at wooing Ukraine to join NATO was a direct threat to Russia and had Ukraine joined NATO at any stage, NATO forces would be sharing a border direct with Russia which was totally unacceptable to Russia.

Some enthusiasts are watching the Russo-Ukraine Conflict with interest and asking the question that would India be able to execute such a maneuver against Pakistan. Well India is not Russia and Pakistan is not Ukraine. The military parity between Pakistan and India allow Pakistan a credible conventional defence of its own territories. The conclusion and effect of the so called Indian calculated, surgical intrusion on February 2019 is a good indicator as to how Pakistan can handle the Indians. Yet the most pertinent point in any such argument is that Pakistan never gave up its nuclear capability and in fact if there is any lesson in the Russo-Ukraine Conflict, its that Pakistan must never give up this capability. Yet, the military capability of both countries do not give any clear advantage to India to invade Pakistan and whatever minimum deterrence is in place for Pakistan, is more than sufficient to deny Indian adventurism.

The possible consequences of the Russo-Ukraine Conflict is global recession and collapse in oil, gas and wheat prices. Europe will suffer gas shortages, industrial closures and unemployment. Russia may experience a severe economic fallout affecting its banking, reserves and business. What’s important is that Pakistan will feel the heat with wheat shortages, high fuel and energy prices that will go way higher than what they are. Economic activity will slow down and political unrest may remain on the rise. Afghanistan will assert itself for some time by pacifying its people by embarrassing Pakistan along the Durand Line on every opportunity. Baluchistan separatist movement will accelerate because of TTP and Indian support. All these matters can be contained by a proper plan and way forward and it hoped that the Government is thinking along these lines.

Pakistan has repeatedly said it does not want to belong to any block but is there a need to say such a thing and define a position? It is recommended that Pakistan must not offer any rhetoric or wisdom, especially if it cannot sustain its commitments. In the first place the world is indifferent to what we have to say and in the second place our credibility is on the line as always. Its best to remain quiet and only contribute to any meaningful dialogue if and when invited to one. Pakistan must resolve its own political crisis one way or the other. Every matter is politicized and not dealt from a national point of view but more from hurting the opposing party. The moment in history and the current global upheaval points to a unified approach based on national interests. Vague ideological references and historical examples will not do. The government needs to put together an All Parties Conference and search for a common approach to what seems to be a very difficult time staring us in the face. Party and personal differences must be put aside; our priorities must focus on the economy with emphasis on gas and energy, then on security on the Eastern, Western and Southern Borders. Our intelligence agencies must be able to offer predictive analysis into the future and develop KPIs leading to major conclusions. Having validated these conclusions, a course of action must be mounted in a timely and cost effective manner to contain or mitigate the effects of hostile activity. The need of the hour is central authority and a decentralized execution down to the tehsil level with a coordinated civil-military oversight. This is possible by establishing fusion cells that have plug-ins related to law and order, traffic, weather, hospitals and banking including any other event etc. The plug-in involves medical units, police, intelligence, civil administration and the Army. Local bodies must be empowered as soon as possible and allowed to exercise their popular mandate. Development funds must be made available to them on the bases of a staggered system based on progress. External audits systems need to be put into place immediately. Our systems must be set up to support the country and its people. Pakistan must gear up to weather the storm that is on the horizon and it does not look too good at the moment.

About the Author :

Lieutenant General Tariq Khan (Retired), Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), winner of the Sword of Honour from Pakistan Military Academy and is a graduate of the prestigious National Defense University of Pakistan and has a long experience of fighting the War on Terror in the tribal areas of Pakistan and along the Pakistan- Afghanistan border. He has extensive interaction with the allied commanders employed in Afghanistan and working with top  military elite at CENTCOM. He has been one of the few Pakistan Army officers awarded with the Legion of Merit by the USA. He also has the honour of commanding one of the strike corps of Pakistan Army. He is a well read military analyst who often shares his view points, incisive and thought provoking analysis on national and international affairs.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

If Kashmiris were Christians, they would be Free Like East Timor by Now

I made this remark to a Christian friend of mine who was skeptical about Kashmirs' independence and their on going freedom movement. But he saw some weight in my argument and said may be true for Christians too are being persecuted in India.

The world conscious awakes only when interests of Christians are being harmed or they are under a Muslim dominant country. 

Recall events prior to 9/11. When America felt "threatened" after a false alarm, UN was too forthcoming to the US demand to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. And Britain was too happy to get on board the war wagons. What happened next is all open to the world. Iraq and Syria are suffering from that one bad decision of USA and a bad nod by UN. and so does Libya. Two presidents of Muslim countries were killed for no good reason.

Muslim persecution on the other hands continues in Palestine, Myanmar and China. But there is no UN resolution or no superpower stepping in to stop the killing of Muslims. 

And now it is Indian Occupied Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir has been a disputed territory between India and Pakistan since 1947 and there are many UN resolutions for its solution. But the world has never tried to enforce the resolutions to solve the Kashmir issue as per aspirations of the people of the Kashmir. The reason is simple: Muslims are in minority and Hindus in majority. No one in the world dares asking Hindu India to solve the Kashmir issue for they have economic interests in India. 

Even some of the Muslim countries have chosen not to support the Kashmiri freedom struggle for fear of losing Indian markets. Even USA has labelled Kashmiri freedom fighters as terrorists for they do not want to displease a large non Muslim Hindu country which are obvious friends of all non Muslim countries.

Now that Kashmir is under siege for almost 20+ days, world conscious continues to sleep for interests of non Muslims are not at stake. Had these been, Kashmir would have been liberated like East Timor and Sudan.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Kashmir Conundrum

Time to come out of silence and add to the confusion of the Kashmir Conundrum. How does Pakistan view the changed status and what can it do about it? How do the Indians, largest democracy on earth, view it?  First and foremost, what’s happened in Kashmir is not on account of any deliberate policy implemented by any political party, so to go forward we need to stop scoring political points at home and thus focus on the issue rather than waste time in dramatic rhetoric. Second, is the philosophy of the new buzz word; ‘there is no military solution’. Tell this to the Taliban and ask them to sweet talk their way through the present negotiations if the solution lies in just talks. I would draw one’s attention to the fact that it was the Taliban military prowess in the field that led to these negotiations; neither did they ask for these negotiations nor are they in any hurry to conclude them. Why would the Taliban forfeit their only strength and agree to a ceasefire where they will lose out on the negotiating table; I think anyone can see this. 

The evolution of the environment unfolded with a rejection to the offer of talks proposed by the Taliban (The US said it would never negotiate with terrorists) this was followed by an ‘integrated’ approach - it failed, then a ‘reconciliation strategy’; that failed as well, then to force the Taliban to the negotiating table (slap them to the table is what they said). Yet something changed on the ground for the US to abandon the sitting government and begin unilateral talk with the Taliban. Let me assure all it was not an outcome of political discussions. If the Taliban agree to negotiations after a ceasefire, they will be ousted from power in any future setup; an obvious outcome.

So similarly, if anyone feels that political and diplomatic steps will free Kashmir from Indian intent, I can assure them, this is not going to happen in the near or distant future. It’s as if someone occupies a bedroom in your house, is living comfortably with nothing to disturb them and you begin to negotiate with them to leave, trying to convince them that it is better for them to give up the room. This will never happen till the pain you impose on the intruder is more than the comfort he is enjoying. Without the pain being there the normal term for the situation is ‘appeasement’, ‘surrender’, ‘capitulation’ or ‘indifference’ but it would never be defined as an activity leading to some sort of an end through a political solution. Thus there are struggles and there are causes but one needs to understand what is the definition of Freedom Struggle. 

I certainly am not privy to what our government is doing nor what it is planning to do but I do know that whatever it is - it cannot be debated on the street and that these are not matters that are discussed in public. Yet I am confident of the Government as well as the Establishment that something is afoot and that we shall learn of it in the times to come. Kashmir, as it stands now, is not a done deal and there is much more to come. When it does, we should all stand by the Government and the Armed Forces, whatever their choice of instrument, method and conduct and hope for a favourable outcome.

In my limited understanding, the Indian Supreme Court, remains a valve that can release the pressure. In my understanding the Modi Government is still testing the water and if given a proper response, may even encourage the Supreme Court to reverse BJP’s decision. This would allow them some political mileage which they are always in search of, i.e. ‘after all they tried but the Supreme Court was a hurdle’. The question is can we apply that pressure, through all channels, diplomatic, political, administrative, resistance movements and military escalation –  and are we even willing?

So whereas, I am not recommending a war though that too might be an option, nevertheless, we need to do more. Our diplomatic initiatives are good and must continue, our political stance is correct and must be pursued but where is the pain? One understands the international position on non-state actors and freedom fighters etc. – but which is one and not the other? One needs to bring up this matter up at the Security Council, as to when does society and a population get up and resist a human rights matter, suppression, genocide, rape and ethnic cleansing? Does the Security Council want such nations to just roll over and die?  If not what then remains the manner of resistance in the face of 500,000 armed troops or should there be a resistance at all? Should there be any resistance where communication, mobility and political activity and free speech are denied under the barrel of the gun?  What should the security council do if the United Nation Resolutions are violated and how should these be implemented if they are? Does Pakistan have a moral right to intervene physically and if not, what is the alternative? Is there a timeline and an end state or will this aberration hold the region hostage forever? One thing is certain, the United Nations and Security Council have never respected the meek or those who try to invoke decisions based on sympathy and self-pity. Remember, it is famously said, sovereignty is defined as the things one is willing to fight for; the rest is not sovereign - just rhetoric!

I understand that these arguments are an appeal to the moral and ethical values that the world may have; they may be a lonely cry for justice from the international community and that the world is neither obliged nor affected enough to respond to in any way. In fact, history has shown that the United Nation always sides with might and not with the propriety of the issue. What happened to the War Crimes committee that was denied entry to the US, or what was the outcome of the false claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Thus nothing will happen here as well regardless of what diplomacy we do or what political solution we discover. The pain must be there - could be the oil movement or could be the right to self-determination snatched by force or even a Sikh Separatist chaos. For giving pain to the globe, the ocean lies before us to disrupt trade. In the event of supporting a legal separatist movement, dividing the Indian occupation forces in to penny packets in a mountainous area, paralyzing communication and entrapping troops in isolated pockets, is the most feasible option. 

The more Indian troops, the merrier and greater the imbalances in the South along the international border which must be exploited with full force and determination by total mobilization and assembly of forces. After all Sri Lanka expelled India too, just as Vietnam did to the US, the freedom fighters did to the Soviets and the Taliban have done to the US. I have failed to see the political solution in any of these resistances and I would strongly recommend that lets not pursue a line because it sounds good – it is simply not realistic. People will talk of economy, others of international isolation but no one was as devoid of economy as the Afghans or isolated as the Taliban. Arguments must be universal and not selected pieces of wisdom. 

The matter of Kashmir needs to be resolved, the world needs to be put on notice that matters will go forward and that we have very little to lose -  is the world willing to bear the cost and does India have the will and determination to stand up to such a resistance?..

About the Author :

Lieutenant General Tariq Khan (Retired), Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), winner of the Sword of Honour from Pakistan Military Academy and is a graduate of the prestigious National Defense University of Pakistan and has a long experience of fighting the War on Terror in the tribal areas of Pakistan and along the Pakistan- Afghanistan border. He has extensive interaction with the allied commanders employed in Afghanistan and working with top  military elite at CENTCOM. He has been one of the few Pakistan Army officers awarded with the Legion of Merit by the USA. He also has the honour of commanding one of the strike corps of Pakistan Army. He is a well read military analyst who often shares his view points, incisive and thought provoking analysis on national and international affairs.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Plight of Kashmiri Muslims in Indian Occupied Kashmir

In our on going series of posts of Islam and life of Muslims in non Muslim Countries, today for this post I have made a slight modification for the plight of Muslims at the hands of Israelis and Indians in Palestine and Indian Occupied Kashmir is the worst case of human rights violation, suppression of seeking freedom and beginning of the worst kind of genocide is unparalleled and most disturbing.

The Muslim inhabitants of the Indian Occupied Kashmir, a disputed territory between Pakistan and India since their independence in 1974 is the worst case of denial of exercise of right of self determination of their future. At the time of independence, while majority Muslim population wanted to be part of Pakistan, a tacit move by the last British viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten ceded Kashmir to India. This created lot of resentment from Pakistan and a war broke out soon thereafter between the two countries, which was halted due to UN intervention and and resulted in a ceasefire with a front solidified along the Line of Control.
The map showing the division of Kashmir across the Line of Control between Pakistan and India [Photo]

As per the provisions of UN, a plebiscite was to be held to determine the fate of the Jammu and Kashmir region. But since 1947, India has consistently denied this right to the Kashmiris and have tried to suppress their right of self determination with brute force. This has frustrated the Kashmiri Muslims and they have resorted to a long freedom struggle for their legitimate rights. And in doing so, thousands of Kashmiris have lost their lives at the hands of the Indian Army and countless have been maimed for life. 

Indian brute force suppressing voice of Kashmiris [Photo]

In recent times, the intensity of freedom struggle has picked up a greater momentum and an equally greater suppression by Indian Army. Not only many have been martyred, but use of pellet guns have left ugly scars on the bodies of freedom fighters.  

One of the countless pellet gun victims of Indian Occupied Kashmir

Indian forces have committed many human rights abuses and acts of terror against Kashmiri civilian population including extrajudicial killing, rape, torture and enforced disappearances. In 2011, the state humans right commission said it had evidence that 2,156 bodies had been buried in 40 graves over the last 20 years. 

Unarmed retaliation against armed Indian Army [Photo]

Some rights groups say close to 100,000 people have died since 1989 while the official figures from Indian sources state the estimates of number of civilians killed due to the insurgency in the range of 16,725 to 47,000 civilians, in which 3,642 civilians were killed by security forces. According to Amnesty International, no member of the Indian military deployed in Jammu and Kashmir has been tried for human rights violations in a civilian court as of June 2015.

Just recently, when there rose a hope of mediation between the two countries as promised by US president Donald Trump, the World's so-called "largest democracy" has acted in the most undemocratic way possible in illegally rescinding Article 370 on 5th August - a constitutional clause dating back to 1949 that gives Jammu and Kashmir its special autonomous status. The scale of this move cannot be overstated. Abrogating Article 370 represents a major tipping point for an already fraught dispute - and it could easily backfire on India. 
Before the announcement by Indian government and movement of large scale military troops, prominent Kashmir leader Syed Ali Gilani tweeted to the world with a heart wrenching message. The tone and choice of words says it all about the genocide of Kashmiris that is geared in coming days.

With this ugly move, Jammu and Kashmir will turn from a state to a union territory, meaning India’s central government in New Delhi will gain much more control over the area’s affairs. New Delhi is also considering splitting parts of J&K into two federal territories: the new state of Jammu and Kashmir, which will get its own legislature; and Ladakh, a remote and mountainous area that won’t get a legislature. By dispensing with the region’s autonomous status, it can formally consummate that integration and deliver a definitive blow to the region’s separatist impulses.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the decision was a "sinister one" designed to change the demographics of the only Muslim-majority state. "We have been let down by the same nation we ceded to," she said, adding that it seemed as though the state had made the "wrong choice" in aligning with India rather than Pakistan during partition in 1947.

This sinister move by Modi's India brings to forth the rejection of Two Nation Theory put forward by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founding father of Pakistan. However when Mr Jinnah raised his voice, many Muslim leaders shrugged his suggestion and sided with India. Now after seven decades Jinnah's wisdom has started to dawn on those who though India would protect them.

The scrapping of Article 370 means a defiance to UN resolutions and holding of the plebiscite. More broadly, though, India unilaterally pushed to change Kashmir’s status without Pakistan’s buy-in. The worry now is that widespread unrest will spike in the region. Indian forces already heavily patrol Kashmir, but it has sent thousands of extra troops there in anticipation of violence, as well as closed schools, evacuated tourists, cut off internet connectivity, and put some of the area’s political leaders under house arrest. In effect, the area is on lock down.
Bodies of cluster bombs fired across Line of Control by India 
UN Observers photoing the cluster bomb shells [Photo]

Ahead of the decision, India not only deployed a large number of additional Armed troops in Kashmir, but had also stepped crossed border shelling into Azad Jammu and Kashmir. They have even used cluster bombs which were even seen by the members of UN monitoring teams. The shelling and set ablaze many houses, martyred many Kashmirs besides wounding dozens recently.

A young man holding Pakistani flag - The Bold Defiance in the face of Indian Army 

Today Modi has trashed international law and dozens of U.N. resolutions and dashed the hopes of millions upon millions of people praying for justice and peace to prevail. Modi has shown he is not a man of peace. He is a man of war who doesn't seem to realize the potentially catastrophic consequences of playing with fire.

Timothy Todd Shea, an avid contributor on Facebook, on 5th of August wrote in reaction to the Indian move to scrap the Article 370 of its constitution, which honestly reflects the aspirations of Muslims in Pakistan, Kashmir and elsewhere:
Dear People of The World, if YOU stay silent now as you have for 70 years about the atrocities in Kashmir, if you don't even try to understand the roots of this conflict, if you simply don't care about what is going on in Kashmir and this week's naked military aggression and escalation of violence and tyranny over innocent Kashmiris who have been begging for YOU to hear their cries for 70 years, then you are complicit in the crimes against Humanity that are being perpetrated by Modi and his Hindu extremist terrorist thugs.
If you are OK with India's outrageous and criminal behavior in throwing a peace offering into the burning trash can of war, then please do not complain and do not cry if and when this conflict spirals out of control and leads to a nuclear exchange which will harm you, your family and every Human Being and forever scar the face of our planet and alter the course of history.
Totally agreeing with Timothy, I would say that when it comes to a non Muslim country usurping the rights of Muslims, the world keeps silent or shows its indifference, but when a Muslim country is seen usurping rights of non Muslims, the world community acts faster than the speed of light to get them Independence. Why could this not be done in case of Kashmir for almost seven decades. The indifference of world towards plight of Muslims clearly exhibited.
Carrying the body of  fallen Kashmiri with resolve to get freedom one day [Photo]

Do watch this informative documentary of the freedom struggle by the Kashmiris and see their sentiments against the occupying Indian forces:
I do not know how would be the reaction of the world to Kashmir after this one sided notorious Indian move, and how much the world will support the Kashmirs in getting them their rights. Time will tell. But I keep my fingers crossed for I do not see justice being forthcoming in any substantial way from the world community.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Originally posted in my blog: Islam My Ultimate Decision

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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Is Modi India's Donald Trump

Lately there have been two leaders around the world who are making headlines everyday: America's Donald Trump and India's Modi. Many have started comparing the two for their erratic policies and speeches both home and abroad. But are these two comparable?

Well apparently yes for both talk nonsense most of the time and generate a strong reaction from the people of their own countries and even those directly influenced by them or their close neighbours.

But while Donald Trump speaks his own mind, he receives a huge backlash from his people and even his own supporters. But in India, it is other way around. When Modi speaks, and generally speaks of violence and hatred, all institutions of India and media channels vehemently take his side. Although his opponents criticize him strongly, it seems his position as Indian prime minister gives him an upper edge to twist facts in his favour which normally adds his vote bank, specially those war mongering Hindus who are hell bent to prosecute Muslims and minorities whereever seen. 

In the recent days, just before the forthcoming elections, Modi and his hysterical team has unleashed a campaign of war mongering against Pakistan and his fanatic followers are making it difficult  for the Muslims to live peacefully in their own country. While Kashmir bleeds since partition of British India, and where casualties of the freedom fighters have recently started rising at an unprecedented rate, Muslims all over India too have been publicly beaten, harassed and even asked to leave a dwelling to go "else where."

Watch the exclusive interview of the prominent Indian scholar and analyst Arundhati Roy as to what she has to say when comparing Trump and Modi and how intelligently strips of the Indian prime minister for the nefarious agenda he has up his sleeve: 
But is Modi listening?
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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Indo-Pakistan Escalation 2019 - What Next?

The recent escalation between India and Pakistan due to Indian incursion of Pakistan air space that finally resulted into shooting down of two Indian aircraft ad capturing of an Indian air force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, de-escalation appears underway between India and Pakistan. The aftermath of Pulwama incident in Indian occupied Kashmir was a steep climb on the escalation ladder. Pakistan’s release of India’s pilot as a peace gesture was meant to scale down the war mongering from across the border. Concurrently, the global diplomacy for restraint and peace is also on going to restrain the two atomic wars from any further misadventure that may escalate into a full scale war with no end. This escalation round can be claimed as Win Win by both sides. On Pakistan side performance based and on Indian side make believe – Bollywood style!

Pakistan can feel gratified that it won the round and Indian aggression didn't intensify. Yet complacency can be counterproductive. In 1965 war, Pakistan claimed victory, went to sleep and awoke in 1971 war to lose East Pakistan. Indian perfidy and duplicity can be taken for granted, therefore watch word for Pakistan "Eternal vigilance on Eastern Frontier”_ against existential enemy India.

But that was for now. But what next? This opium of friendship with India must end. There is no doubt that there cannot be no peace ever between India and Pakistan unless the Kashmir issue is resolved for Kashmir is part of Pakistan, tacitly snatched away by India at the time of independence in 1947 with support of the leaving British. And this goes without saying that India will remain an enemy state unless it amicably resolves Kashmir issue.

Here are some guidelines for future ties with India and to remain vigilant for an misadventure from the war crying Indian prime minister and his militant BJP:
  • Policy -'Cold Peace’ is suggested, not friendship.
  • Kashmir - Pakistan should call for withdrawal of Indian military, security tyrannical forces from Kashmir. Need to globalize Kashmir freedom struggle.
  • Geopolitics - The world treated both India and Pakistan equally in this crisis. Pakistan geopolitical value compensates for India size advantage. A Prudent Pakistan geo-strategy of balancing ties with USA, China, Russia and Saudi GCC, Turkey, Iran and others has paid dividends. Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa deserves most credit for that.
  • Diplomacy - The government and FM Mr. Qureshi worked strenuously for Pakistan’s cause. Yet years of foreign policy neglect, Indian demonetization of Pakistan, and meek Pakistani diplomacy took its toll. No nation openly supported Pakistan in the coming war except Turkey. People of Pakistan had great expectations from China. Yet USA under President Trump helped diffuse. The Chinese may have supported quietly, but the Pakistani nation expects overt support. _Present global diplomacy is to defuse but if war breaks out who will support Pakistan?_ Pakistani diplomacy should build alliances which can prove supportive during crisis or war times.
  • War with India will be neither 1965, nor 1971 nor even War On Terror. It includes all facets, all spectrum. It could be sub conventional, conventional hyper intensity, nuclear total, economic, cyder, media, social media, diplomatic, and geopolitical. LOC Kashmir to global capitals the battles will be raged and waged.

As for Pakistan, we have come up with a resilience that neither India nor the world ever expected:
  • Nation in crisis- Pakistan emerged united, ready to fight a defensive war of national survival. India began to disunite as crisis deepened.
  • Pakistan strengths and war needs*
  • Pakistan Air Force is supreme but India will strike back. Already Modi was lamenting the absence of Raffle fighters in IAF. PAF deserves better planes and Pakistan needs long range SAMs like S-400, HQ-9 etc. Pakistani pilots’ pride of the nation proved their mettle. If the PAF achieves air superiority earlier on then Cold Start or any other Indian land or sea offensive is doomed.
  • The Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan played a silent but pivotal role in Pakistan defense. It is indeed Pakistan’s Great Equalizer. 
  • Conventional Balance- Pakistan military balance deters India. India is absorbing Raffle fighters, S 400 missiles, Apache Attack helicopters and other high tech equipment for the next round. Pakistan must not allow conventional military balance to tilt. Since China opted not to threaten India. It should help arm Pakistan to the teeth with latest hyper tech. Pakistan should demand that from China. Conventional military balance will also delay the penchant for first use and obviate a nuclear holocaust. 
  • Geo-economics and Geo-strategy: My first book Gwadar on the global chessboard is on geo-economics which is the buzz word but second book Geopolitic Pakistan is on geostationary. Balance of development and defense needs to be maintained, since India remains eternal enemy. 
  • Nuclear and Missile Deterrence: Pakistan nuclear deterrence both tactical and strategic is the ultimate retribution. Pakistan’s full spectrum nuclear response is inclusive of tactical usage, counterforce and counter value strikes. Conventionally armed missiles come earlier on the lower rung of escalation ladder, as the great vulnerability of Indian cities has been exposed. The specter of even a few conventional missile strikes on a dozen Indian cities would drive away all investments and bring the Indian economy tumbling down many fold. 
  • Media, Social Media and Cyber war: The DG ISPR performance was exceptionally good. Pakistani media nationalistic yet balanced and Pakistan’s social media came of age. Indian media stood discredited. In peace time and in war media in all forms is the key to victory besides the success of armed forces.
  • Civil Defense and Preparation for War: While Pakistan India armed forces clashed and were alert, there was scant preparation for civil defense on both sides. Pakistan political elite instead of talking friendship with India should prepare the nation for a high intensity, extremely lethal war which will result in tremendous civilian casualties. The military being prepared is not enough since the entire nation will be at war and facing the brunt.
Following are my concluding remarks:
  • Besides supporting Kashmir Pakistan should also support the Concept of Khalistan as a neutral buffer state between India and Pakistan. This is the geopolitical requirement of peace and will be elaborated in a subsequent article.
  • And while preaching peace, deterring war Pakistan should also prepare the nation in case Indians cross the Rubicon next time
  • Mere teaching peace may not bring peace but preparing the whole nation for war may bring peace.
Author: Brigadier Nadir Mir (R)Chairman (Pakistan National Reform Movement (PNRM), soldier, scholar, reformer. Author of books: Gwadar on the Global Chessboard, Geopolitik Pakistan
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Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Real Lessons of Indo-Pak Tension 2019 from the pen of a Veteran

Without going into needless verbosity, here in bullets is my opinion about the recent Indo-Pak flareup. 
1. Pakistan has won the first round hands down both militarily and in international perception. Not only that, Modi's folly has brought the Kashmir issue back on the world stage slam bang. It needs an urgent settlement.
2. Modi's status as the leader of the largest democracy stands eroded while Pakistan's PM is overnight being seen as a statesman. Pak leadership must continue to speak softly but carry a big stick.
3. India has to learn not to give knee-jerk responses to isolated terrorist occurrences. They invariably end up with egg on their faces. In the end, talk-talk is better than war-war.
4. That Pulwama was an inside job is fast becoming known. Regardless, Pakistan must finally, and conclusively, wipe out the home grown Jihadis. Their time, if there ever was one, is far gone now. This cannot be overstated.

5. India's creaking and rusted military machine stands badly exposed. Even if they were to replace all the junk now, it would be years before they can field the new replacements by which time Pakistan would be at an even farther milestone of preparedness. We must keep the edge no matter what.
6. To win his upcoming elections, Modi by now is too far committed down the road of belligerence. Expecting him to withdraw completely means a political suicide for him. He would thus keep the mercury bobbing up and down till Indian elections are over. Pakistan, therefore, needs to keep its guard up.
7. Pakistan's CPEC is a real thorn in the Indian rib-cage because the greatest power imbalance between the two countries lies in their economies. CPEC will tend to bridge that gap, something that gives the Indians cramps in the gut. Keep CPEC going at all costs.
8. Finally, the muffled nuclear saber-rattling by Pakistan gave a very loud and clear message. In case it came to an all out shooting war and Pakistan's very existence gets threatened, our hands will reach for the red no-no button before the Indians'.....the horrendous aftermath for a billion and a half human beings not withstanding. It should run a chill down the collective spines of the regional leadership.
Needless to say even wars in the end lead to talks. Why take the war route at all.

About the author Anwar Hussain: The author has studied at PAF College Sargodha and has been part of Pakistan Air Force. From Peshawar, Pakistan, lives in Mississauga, Ontario
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