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NATO Expands Afghan War Into Pakistan

September 30, 2010 1 comment

On October 7 the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization military allies will begin the tenth year of their war in Afghanistan, over 3,000 miles from NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

The following month midterm elections will be held in the U.S. and NATO will hold a two-day summit in Portugal. The American administration is eager to achieve, or appear to have achieved, a foreign policy triumph in an effort to retain Democratic Party control of the Congress and NATO something to show for the longest and largest military mission in its 61 years of existence.

President Barack Obama has tripled the amount of American combat troops in Afghanistan to 100,000 and along with forces from other NATO member states and partner nations there are now over 150,000 foreign troops in the nation, the most ever stationed in the war-wracked country. 120,000 of those soldiers are now under the command of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the most ever serving in a North Atlantic Alliance-led military operation. NATO Kosovo Force at its peak had 50,000 troops, but they entered the Serbian province after an almost three-month air war had ended.

The 120,000 NATO forces currently in theater – from 50 nations already with more pegged to provide troops – are at the center of the world’s longest-lasting and increasingly deadly hot war. NATO’s first ground war, its first combat operations in Asia.

Last year was the most lethal for the U.S and NATO in what is now a nine-year conflict and this year has already proven even more costly in terms of combat deaths. And there are three more months to go.

Washington and Brussels could decide to save face and end the fighting through some combination of an internal political settlement and a true international peacekeeping arrangement – rather than the subversion of the International Security Assistance Force that was established by a United Nations mandate in December of 2001 but which is now the Pentagon’s and NATO’s vehicle for waging war in Afghanistan. And in neighboring Pakistan.

But the military metaphysic prevalent in Washington over the past 65 years will allow for nothing other than what is seen as victory, with a “Who lost Afghanistan?” legacy tarnishing the president who fails to secure it and the party to which he belongs being branded half-hearted and defeatist.

As for NATO, the Strategic Concept to be adopted in November is predicated upon the bloc’s expansion into a 21st century global expeditionary force for which Afghanistan is the test case. A NATO that loses Afghanistan, that loses in Afghanistan, will be viewed more critically by the populations of its European member states that have sacrificed their sons and daughters at the altar of NATO’s international ambitions. In the words of then-Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer six years ago: “What is NATO doing in Afghanistan? Defending values at the Hindu Kush in the present day international climate. We have to fight terrorism wherever it emerges. If we don’t do it at the Hindu Kush, it will end up at our doorstep. In other words, this perception gap [of the North Atlantic military alliance operating in South Asia] in the long run must be closed and must be healed – that is, for NATO’s future, of the utmost importance.” [1]

Not satisfied with the Vietnam that Afghanistan has become, NATO has now launched its Cambodian incursion. One with implications several orders of magnitude greater than with the prototype, though, into a nation of almost 170 million people, a nation wielding nuclear weapons. Pakistan.

As the U.S. delivered its 20th deadly drone missile attack of the month inside Pakistan on the 27th, five times the amount launched in August and the most in any month since they were started in 2004, NATO conducted a series of attacks with helicopter gunships in Northwest Pakistan. Claiming the “right of self-defense” and in “hot pursuit” of insurgents that had reportedly attacked a NATO camp, Combat Outpost Narizah, in Afghanistan’s Khost province near the Pakistani border, this past weekend NATO attack helicopters conducted two forays into the Federally Administered Tribal Areas where U.S. drone strikes have killed a record number of people this month.

Estimates of those killed, dutifully referred to in the Western press as insurgents, militants or terrorists, were 30, then 50, afterward 60, 70 and later “82 or higher.” [2]

The amount, like the identify, of the dead will never be definitively known.

Press reports stated the targets were members of the Haqqani network, founded by veteran Afghan Mujahedin leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, who when he led attacks from Pakistani soil against Afghan targets slightly over a generation ago was an American hero, one of Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters.” Two years ago the New York Times wrote: “In the 1980s, Jalaluddin Haqqani was cultivated as a ‘unilateral’ asset of the CIA and received tens of thousands of dollars in cash for his work in fighting the Soviet Army in Afghanistan, according to an account in ‘The Bin Ladens,’ a recent book by Steve Coll. At that time, Haqqani helped and protected Osama bin Laden, who was building his own militia to fight the Soviet forces, Coll wrote.” [3]

As to the regret that the otherwise praiseworthy Haqqani has of late allied himself with the Taliban, one voiced by among other people the late Charlie Wilson who once celebrated Haqqani as “goodness personified,” in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press last year Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari told his American audience that the Taliban “was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and the CIA created them together. And I can find you 10 books and 10 philosophers and 10 write-ups on that….” [4]

On September 27 two NATO helicopters attacked the Kurram agency in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, killing six people and wounding eight. A local Pakistani government official described all the victims as civilians. According to Dawn News, “Nato has also shelled the area before.” [5] Three attacks in three days and as many as 100 deaths.

On the same day a U.S. drone-launched missile strike killed four people in the North Waziristan agency. “The identities of the four people killed in the attack were not known….” [6]

The above events occurred against the backdrop of the revelation in Bob Woodward’s new book Obama’s Wars that “a 3,000-strong secret army of Afghan paramilitary forces run by the Central Intelligence Agency had conducted cross-border raids into Pakistan.” [7]

After mounting in intensity for two years and consisting in part – helicopter gunship attacks and special forces assassination team raids – of covert operations, the U.S. and NATO war in Northwest Pakistan is now fully underway and can no longer be denied.

The Pentagon – the helicopters used in the attacks on September 25 and 26 were American Apaches and Kiowas – defended the strikes over the weekend as falling within its rules of engagement and Defense Department spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said the U.S. had adhered to “appropriate protocol” and “Our forces have the right of self-defense.” [8]

A spokesmen for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force initially denied that Alliance forces had launched any attacks inside Pakistani territory, although Afghan police officials had confirmed that they did. On September 27, however, the International Security Assistance Force verified that NATO forces had conducted the deadly strikes. As the third attack by NATO helicopters occurred on the same day, “Coalition officials said the cross-border attacks fell within its rules of engagement because the insurgents had attacked them from across the border.” [9]

A NATO official informed the press that “ISAF forces must and will retain the authority, within their mandate, to defend themselves in carrying out their mission.” [10]

Mehmood Shah, former top security official of the Pakistani government in the region where the helicopter gunship and drone strikes have killed over 200 people so far this month, said of the recent NATO attacks: “This should be considered a watershed event. They [Nato] must be warned: the next time you do this, it can lead to war. Our units should be deployed to fire upon them. This border has sanctity. Nato must realise they have a mandate to operate in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan.” [11]

On September 27 Interior Minister Rehman Malik denounced the NATO raids as a violation of Pakistani territorial integrity and national sovereignty and told the nation’s Senate that the Afghan ambassador to Islamabad would be summoned to explain the attacks. Malik and the Pakistani government as a whole know that the Hamid Karzai administration in Kabul has no control over what the U.S. and NATO do in its own country, much less in Pakistan. The interior minister’s comment were solely for internal consumption, for placating Pakistani popular outrage, but as Pakistan itself has become a NATO partner and U.S. surrogate [12] its officials, like those of Afghanistan, will not be notified of any future attacks.

Nevertheless domestic exigencies compelled Malik to denounce the strikes inside his country and assert “I take the drone attacks in Pakistani territory as an attack on the sovereignty of Pakistan.” A senator from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz “asked the government to inform the parliament about any accord it had reached with the US under which drone attacks were being carried out.” [13]

At the same time Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit went further and lodged what was described as a strong protest to NATO Headquarters in Brussels over the weekend’s air strikes, issuing a statement that said in part: “These incidents are a clear violation and breach of the UN mandate under which ISAF operates,” as its mandate “terminates/finishes” at the Afghan border.

“There are no agreed ‘hot pursuit’ rules. Any impression to the contrary is not factually correct. Such violations are unacceptable.” [14]

By the evening of September 27, after the Pakistani complaints were registered, NATO’s ISAF attempted to conduct damage control and reverted to the military bloc’s original position: That it has not launched attacks inside Pakistan at all. On that very day it had dispatched two more helicopter gunships for the third raid in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

NATO will continue to launch lethal attacks inside Pakistan against whichever targets it sees fit and will proffer neither warnings nor apologies. The U.S. will continue to escalate attacks with Hellfire missiles against whomever it chooses, however inaccurate, anecdotal and self-interested the reports upon which they are based prove to be.

The death toll in Pakistan this month is well over 200 and for this year to date over 2,000. The justification for this carnage offered by the U.S. and NATO is that it is intended to extend the policy of Barack Obama to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” insurgent networks in Afghanistan into Pakistan, supposedly the sooner to end the war.

Forty years ago Obama’s predecessor Richard Nixon began his speech announcing the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia with these words: “Good evening, my fellow Americans. Ten days ago, in my report to the nation on Vietnam, I announced the decision to withdraw an additional 150,000 Americans from Vietnam over the next year. I said then that I was making that decision despite our concern over increased enemy activity in Laos, in Cambodia, and in South Vietnam. And at that time I warned that if I concluded that increased enemy activity in any of these areas endangered the lives of Americans remaining in Vietnam, I would not hesitate to take strong and effective measures to deal with that situation.” [15]

He claimed that “enemy sanctuaries” in Cambodia “endanger the lives of Americans who are in Vietnam,” and “if this enemy effort succeeds, Cambodia would become a vast enemy staging area and a springboard for attacks on South Vietnam along 600 miles of frontier: a refuge where enemy troops could return from combat without fear of retaliation.”

The course he ordered was to “go to the heart of the trouble. And that means cleaning out major North Vietnamese and Vietcong occupied territories, these sanctuaries which serve as bases for attacks on both Cambodia and American and South Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam.”

The practical application of the policy was that “attacks are being launched this week to clean out major enemy sanctuaries on the Cambodian-Vietnam border.”

In language that has been heard again lately in Washington and Brussels – with nothing but the place names changed – Nixon claimed: “We take this action not for the purpose of expanding the war into Cambodia, but for the purpose of ending the war in Vietnam….”

Washington indeed expanded the Vietnam War into Cambodia, with what disastrous effects the world is fully aware, and soon thereafter departed Southeast Asia in defeat, leaving vast stretches of Vietnam and Cambodia in ruins.

Afghanistan and Pakistan will not fare any better.

Superpower Democracy Mass-Murders Abroad! Largest Democracy Mass-murders Its Own Children

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Superpower Democracy Mass-Murders Abroad! Largest Democracy Mass-murders Its Own Children

  • The half-billion Indians who are nourished, and the millions that are over-nourished go about their lives and occupations in full knowledge and awareness of this mass death, though distracted by India’s commercial media’s entertainments, advertising to consume, dramatization of religious conflict and promoted fear of neighboring nations.
  • How many millions more over the age of five and how many of their parents perish is perhaps best illustrated by this month’s UN report that one third of the world’s starving ‘live’ in India. (India’s population is 1,150,000, 000, billion, one third would be 38,000,000.)
  • 42 percent of all Indian children under the age of 5 being underweight
  • Should Indian Leaders Who Spend Billions on Submarines While Others Starve Go Unpunished?
  • “While 2 million children die of malnutrition and starvation, India builds and buys submarines at the cost of this pathetic death and the stunted development of over 40% of its children who along with their parents suffer hunger.
  • About 60% children in Madhya Pradesh state are malnourished. Lying on a bed is a tiny malnourished child.

US media have never called millions killed in their own homes, by US military during invasions and occupations since Korea through Iraq, mass murder. Likewise, the annually legislated starvation of millions of Indians in the ‘largest democracy in the world’, is never called mass murder. India buys WMD, with money saved, seeks to use the market to solve the problem. NY Times fields a question, “Should Food be a Right?

CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post have never called the millions killed by U.S. military in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, along with the thousands in the Dominican Republic, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the hundreds in Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Grenada, Somalia and Yemen, mass-murder. The monolithic, Pentagon-fed, conglomerate owned U.S. media has presented each one of these invasions as just, and, as a way of excusing the killing, reminded us that ‘war is war.’

However, war was never declared during any of these death bringing activities. They were called “police actions,” ‘peace keeping’ or ‘protective’ military interventions. In every case, initially, Congress carefully avoided calling any of these invasions a war.

Shooting people dead in their very own country, more often than not, in their very own residences is simply mass-murder, whether justified as anti-communism, anti-terrorism or the protection of capital investments. One doesn’t have to be Einstein himself to see this clearly.

Likewise, U.S. corporate commercial mass-media, would never call India’s consistent, year after year, intentional allowing of millions of its citizens to die of starvation, mass-murder. India is always described as the world’s largest democracy, and media and U.S. politicians make a show of proudly promoting support for democracy. everywhere. So, no criticism of India, corporate ally of U.S. imperialism and globalization – certainly no charge of homicidal crime for its annual starvation of millions of its citizens.

But, in jurisprudence, when a parent is arraigned in court for having intentionally caused the starvation death of a child, the charge is murder. If a homicidal crime is judged to have been caused by unpremeditated neglect, the charge will be reduced from murder to manslaughter. In the case of India, the officials of the Indian government have witnessed millions of its citizens dying of year after year in photographs, video, testimony and detailed written material from annual government investigations, as they approved legislation that assured its continuance.

UN statistics over decades have shown no improvement in reducing this horrendous and painful death toll, and often, even recently, a worsening of the amount of its citizens dying for having been denied food has been documented. Yet year after year this mass death goes on being legislated.

The half-billion Indians who are nourished, and the millions that are over-nourished go about their lives and occupations in full knowledge and awareness of this mass death, though distracted by India’s commercial media’s entertainments, advertising to consume, dramatization of religious conflict and promoted fear of neighboring nations.

UN statistics show death by starvation or from malnutrition caused diseases for two million of India’s children under the age of five every year. How many millions more over the age of five and how many of their parents perish is perhaps best illustrated by this month’s UN report that one third of the world’s starving ‘live’ in India. (India’s population is 1,150,000, 000, billion, one third would be 38,000,000.)

That same New York Times that regularly nicknames India ‘the world’s largest democracy’ got around to feature a horrific side of India’s particular type of formal democracy with pathetic photo of a mother sitting next to her starving child on the front page of its August 8, 2010 edition.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/world/asia/09food.html?th&emc=th

India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor? by Lynsey Addario

“JHABUA, India — Inside the drab district hospital, where dogs patter down the corridors, sniffing for food, Ratan Bhuria’s children are curled together in the malnutrition ward, hovering at the edge of starvation. His daughter, Nani, is 4 and weighs 20 pounds. His son, Jogdiya, is 2 and weighs only eight.

Jogdiya, 2, lay with an intravenous drip in the Jhabua District Government Hospital as his father, Ratan Bhuria, looked after him and his 4-year-old sister. [More Photos]

Landless and illiterate, drowned by debt, Mr. Bhuria and his ailing children have staggered into the hospital ward after falling through India’s social safety net. They should receive subsidized government food and cooking fuel. They do not. The older children should be enrolled in school and receiving a free daily lunch. They are not. And they are hardly alone: India’s eight poorest states have more people in poverty — an estimated 421 million — than Africa’s 26 poorest nations, one study recently reported.”
.
The best part of the article is where the talk turns to making money from feeding the starving as an incentive. (Financial gain being a preferred motive if not common provision within capitalist economics,)

“The question is whether there is a role for the market in the delivery of social programs,” said Bharat Ramaswami, a rural economist at the Indian Statistical Institute. “This is a big issue: Can you harness the market?”

There follows shocking and massive incriminating evidence of simple cruel murder of the poor, victims of the controlling private investment banking and its police enforcement inherent in a government of, by and for conscienceless free enterprise:

“India vanquished food shortages during the 1960s with the Green Revolution, which introduced high-yield grains and fertilizers and expanded irrigation, and the country has had one of the world’s fastest-growing economies during the past decade. But its poverty and hunger indexes remain dismal, with roughly 42 percent of all Indian children under the age of 5 being underweight.”

The New York Times and all U.S. media, while didactically supporting parliamentary democracy in capitalist economies while excusing the amoral byproducts of business priorities and exploitation of class division, have always jumped to designate as mass murder any loss of life caused in revolutions against the world ruling imperial system, caused precisely by desperation to feed hungry children.

For example, the killing during the bloody civil war in Russia created by the invasion of armed forces from fourteen nations and the immense starvation in its aftermath are attributed to communism. Allied invasions (two American armies among them) were meant to overthrow the Bolshevik led fledgling Soviet Union, a new popular government come to power peacefully by consensus in the bloodless October Revolution. (“Bolshevik’ means ‘majority’). But the invader nations are not accussed of mass murdering.

Many of the various efforts of the Mao Zetong led revolution to prevent the starvation of millions under the foreign banking backed government of Chiang Kai-shek are still characterized in capitalist media as mass murder. In other words, starvation is only murder if it happens under communist and anti-imperialist rule. The earlier horrendous starvation that precipitated revolution is never referred to as mass murder.

U.S. media can have it anyway they want it, but millions dying of starvation, as they have been for so many years, under the formal (or pseudo) democracy of huge India cannot be excused as unintended, or accidental or attributed to merciless forces of Nature. No! Nature has provided the wherewithal in resources for there to be no starving. These resources have been stolen from these people, to make money and buy things other than food, as indicated in the OEN published article August of last:

http://www.opednews.com/populum/page.php?p=1&f=Should-Indians-Who-Spend–by-Jay-Janson-090806-253.html

Should Indian Leaders Who Spend Billions on Submarines While Others Starve Go Unpunished?

– synopsis:
“While 2 million children die of malnutrition and starvation, India builds and buys submarines at the cost of this pathetic death and the stunted development of over 40% of its children who along with their parents suffer hunger. Lets help bring public awareness to bear on this homicidal horror of misplaced values by India’s political leaders. We speak up to save the children.”

In New York, when Prime Manmohan Singh was to address the UN General Assembly, a petition was circulated by the The Riverside Church Global Justice and Peace Ministry and the All Souls Unitarian Church Peace Task Force:

“Riverside Global Justice and Peace Ministries Endorsed Event

Petition

India Prime Minister Mammohan Singh Please!

SAVE MILLIONS OF CHILDREN DYING OF STARVATION & ALNUTRITION while
$BILLIONS for NUCLEAR SUBMARINES are being spent

Indian Prime Minister Mammohan Singh launched a 3 billion dollar nuclear submarine. A sub that can carry Russian built missiles equipped to deliver India’s Atomic bombs. A submarine made at the cost of taking bread from the mouths and life from the chests of Prime Minister Singh’s fellow citizens. Both the cost of building nuclear submarines, and the purchasing of others, are paid for with funds drawn on the treasury of a “democracy’ that does not feed its children.

Singh’s India is a gigantic torture chamber for the 47% of its children under five who suffer malnutrition. [47% is a World Bank estimate] Malnutrition makes children prone to illness and stunts their physical and intellectual growth for a lifetime, with dire consequences for mobility and mortality. Its also torture for the parents who watch in agony as 2.1 million of their kids die before their fifth birthday from malnutrition and preventable illnesses. [UN estimate from Malnutrition in India, Wikipedia]

As Indian Growth Soars, Child Hunger Persists by Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 3/12/2009

“NEW DELHI “Small, sick, listless children have long been India’s scourge “a national shame,” in the words of its prime minister, Manmohan Singh. after a decade of galloping economic growth, child malnutrition rates are worse …” Seems by the Prime Minister’s own admission, his wife breaking the bottle of champagne on the bow of this incredible investment last month becomes a hideous spectacle of death over life.

Akshay Mangla in Delhi complains that the pathetic state of child health and education in India should be seen as no less than a total failure of its democracy, public institutions and civil society.

Malnutrition getting worse in India by Damian Grammaticas, BBC News, Madhya Pradesh

“About 60% children in Madhya Pradesh state are malnourished. Lying on a bed is a tiny malnourished child. Her limbs wasted, her stomach bloated, her hair thinning and falling out. She stares, wide-eyed, blankly at the ceiling. Roshni is six months old. She should weigh 4.5kg. But when she is placed on a set of scales they settle at just 2.9kg.

BBC News, 7/26/09 India launches nuclear submarine. “… a second one is due to be constructed shortly. Pravda, Russia, 20.08.2008 “India places two-billion-dollar order for Russian missiles ” made for submarines of the Indian Navy. The nearest order is seven submarines.” Manasi Kakatkar, ForeignPolicyBlogs.com, “”India getting two Akula class nuclear powered attack submarines from Russia, and six Scorpene submarines from France”

With its attention getting front page article India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor? featuring a photo unbearable to look at, the New York Times has broadened responsibility for this ultimate inhumanity to include its readers outside India.”

Starvation on a planet where obesity is a growing problem is grotesque commentary on the indifferent heartlessness of otherwise decent people in the desperate, and sometimes savage, commodified and commercialized society most of us have accepted as necessary. But when staring at the photo of one dying child among millions, few of us escape seeing something of ourselves or our own children in that expiring life pictured in the newspaper.

Jay Janson is archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer, who has lived and worked on all the continents and whose articles on media have been published in China, Italy, England and the US. He now resides in New York City
. Superpower Democracy Mass-Murders Abroad! Largest Democracy Mass-murders Its Own Children By jay janson, 14 August, 2010, Countercurrents.org

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/world/asia/09food.html?th&emc=th

Reports of Indians training Baloch dissidents

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

ISLAMABAD: More than 100 Pakistani Baloch dissidents have been sent to India by the Indian consulate located in Kandahar (Afghanistan) for six-month training, The News learnt here on Friday.

“We have credible reports that the Indian consulate in Kandahar dispatched more than 100 Pakistani Baloch dissidents during the second week of December 2009 for six-month training in India,” an intelligence source told The News on condition of anonymity.

The source said the men sent for training in India were selected from areas bordering Pakistan as well as Baloch nationals residing in different camps in Kandahar maintained under arrangements of the Afghan and Indian intelligence operatives.
“They have been promised a monthly salary of $500-1,000 on their return to Afghanistan,” the source said. “They will be imparted training in the fields of sniper shooting, handling of technical equipment such as GPS,

wireless sets and intelligence gathering techniques,” he added.

The source said they had credible reports that upon completion of training under the Indian trainers, half of the strength of the anti-Pakistan elements would report to Commander Abdul Raziq, in charge of Sarhadi Leva (border police) in Spin Boldak close to Chaman while the remaining strength would be placed under Sarhadi Leva post commander in Shorawak district of Kandahar.

“Our informers have also revealed that the handlers of the dissident Baloch elements plan to assign different targets in Balochistan and Sindh provinces to the trained Baloch militants for sabotage and terrorist activities,” the source said.

When contacted for comments, Lt Gen (retd) Hamid Gul, former director-general of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), said it might not be the first batch of Baloch dissidents sent to India for training.

He said that India, the arch-rival of Pakistan, was supporting the Baloch dissidents for the past many years.

“The Indians are sitting right at our back and initially they deployed nearly 20 intelligence detachments with a fulltime brigadier being in charge of these detachments,” he said, quoting his own sources in Afghanistan.

The RAW network has been operating in Pakistan since long and it is not surprising that they have hired the Baloch dissidents to destabilise Pakistan, the former general stated.

“Ever since the Taliban were ousted from power and foreign troops landed in Afghanistan in late 2001, the Indians have been using the Afghan soil for sabotage and terror acts in Pakistan,” he said.

The News

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Pakistan Supports Sovereign Palestine State with Al-Quds as Capital: Gilani

February 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Daily.Pk

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday said Pakistan has and will continue to steadfastly support the total withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Arab territories.

We support the full realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people including the establishment of an independent State, with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital.

We demand that the illegal Israeli settlements and construction activities in the West Bank and atrocities and repression must come to an end, forthwith, Gilani said while speaking at a banquet he hosted in honour of President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine here at the PM House.

Besides the members of Palestinian delegation, the banquet was attended by a large number of federal ministers, parliamentarians, diplomats and senior officials. Prime Minister Gilani said Pakistan will also continue to play its due role at the United Nations in supporting the legitimate demands of people under occupation including the people of Palestine.

To all Pakistanis and people striving for the right to self-determination the peaceful struggle of the Palestinian people is inspirational. We are confident that the Palestinian people will achieve full Statehood through their legitimate and peaceful struggle, he added.

The Prime Minister said the Palestinian struggle for statehood and for the right to self determination finds resonance in Pakistan, adding; Our brothers in Kashmir face a similar occupation and are also struggling to realize their right to self-determination.

He recalled that Pakistan hosted the 1974 OIC Summit under the direction of our Leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Shaheed. That Summit was aimed at developing collective wisdom on issues concerning the Muslim World particularly on the Palestine issue and to establish linkages with the international community to resolve them in the interest of peace, security and progress, world over, he added.

Prime Minister Gilani said the 1974 Conference recognized President Yasser Arafat’s leadership role in promoting the just cause of the Palestinian people.

President Arafat is not amongst us today, he said, adding; President Arafat was, as Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed had said; the symbol of Palestinian identity, nationhood and its struggle for a separate homeland for the Palestinian people.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived Islamabad Friday on an official visit’
Federal Minister for Health Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Palestine ambassador and senior officials received the Palestinian President at the PAF Base Chaklala.

A contingent of PAF presented salute to the dignitary.

President Mahmoud Abbas is accompanied by Palestinian Foreign Minister and a team of political and economic advisors.

Pakistan’s response to India’s Cold Start Strategy: Preemptive strikes

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment

RupeeNews

Much of this so called “Cold Start Strategy” is based on the Israeli strategy which it tried to implement in Lebanon. Israel was unable to implement its objectives in Lebanon and had to withdraw even from the Litani River. Israel failed to achieve its goals in Lebanon. In Lebanon, Israel was unable to stop the barrage of missiles from Lebanon even on the last day. Many consider this Israel’s defeat.India’s Cold start war strategy and the Pakistani Nuclear response.

Gen Kapoor’s provocative doctrine: Pakistani countermeasures

  • The essence of the Cold Start doctrine is reorganising the army’s offensive power that resides in the three strike corps into eight smaller division-sized integrated battle groups (IBGs) consisting of armour and mechanised infantry and artillery, closely supported by helicopter gunships, air force and airborne troops (parachute and heliborne).
  • The IBGs are to be positioned close to the border so that three to five are launched into Pakistan along different axes within 72 to 96 hours from the time mobilisation is ordered.
  • Cold Start thus envisages rapid thrusts even when the defensive corps’ deployment is yet to be completed, and high-speed operations conducted day and night until the designated objectives are achieved
  • The probable objective areas for Cold Start could be (1) Ravi-Chenab corridor from two directions, an IBG along Jammu-Sialkot-Daska axis and another across the Ravi to link up with the first IBG, and (2) in the south against Reti-Rahim Yar Khan-Kashmore complex.
  • To counter Cold Start, the Pakistan Army will have to create more armour-dominated brigade-sized reserves from the existing resources if possible, and a more flexible military system and structure.
  • For Pakistan the dimensions of time and space assume paramount importance as it lacks territorial depth, is opposed by a larger adversary and lacks the resources to fight a protracted war.
  • The strategy of pre-emption is thus imposed on Pakistan in the same way it was imposed on Israel prior to the 1967 war.
  • The fact that the Pakistani Army can occupy their wartime locations earlier than the Indian army confers on it the ability to pre-empt Cold Start;
  • failure to do so could lead to firing of low-yield tactical warheads at IBGs as they cross the start line or even earlier
  • Pakistani countermeasures to Cold Start Strategy–battle-ready nuclear weapons
  • India said on Monday it is monitoring the situation following media reports suggesting Pakistan is allegedly digging tunnels in Sargodha district
  • “We are attempting to establish the purpose of digging up such large tunnels,” an intelligence official was quoted as saying in the reports. “These clearly cannot be meant for transport as is obvious from the images available; they don’t lead on to roads,” he added.
  • Delhi’s Cold Start Strategy Frozen DOA (Dead on Arrival)

India knows that it can never win a conventional warfare because of the Nuclear Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). However it still harbors notions of winning a sort of a mini war. India may think it has a Cold Start Strategy, but it may end as a hot nuclear war. Indian Defense planners cannot guarantee that a limited strike will not escalte into a full fledged war. A full fledged war witha nuclear armed labor may destroy both countries. Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:

While engaging the Kashmir question must be the priority, a much more serious problem is that in less than a decade India has twice threatened us with all-out war in less than a decade, in December 2002 and 2008, using terrorist action by non-state actors as a pretext both times. As the name suggests, the Indian “COLD START” strategy envisages moving Indian forces without any warning or mobilisation into unpredictable locations at high speeds against Pakistan (on the Israeli pattern of 1956 and 1967) seeking to defeat Pakistan by achieving total surprise at both the strategic and the operational levels (remember Pearl Harbour), striving for a decision before the US or China could intervene on Pakistan’s behalf. An unspoken assumption seems to be that “rapid operations would prevent India’s civilian leadership from halting military operations in progress, lest it have second thoughts or possess insufficient resolve”. Does this particular Indian military psyche conform to the so-called civilian control of the Indian military? Facing a foe having 3:1 superiority, and with such a history and such an offensive strategy, we may be forgiven for our “India fixation”.

The military challenges for Pakistan posed by COLD START derails any resolve for sustained peace with India, re-constituting Pakistan’s strategy to take on all five of India’s “Strike Corps” with all our three “Army Reserve” formations presently occupied in FATA, Dir and Swat. Please forgive also our suspicions as to what the many Indian consulates in Afghanistan are doing on our western borders! Ikram Sehgal. The News

On Dec 13, 2001, five gunmen attacked the Indian parliament building. An hour later, 12 people including the gunmen were dead. In the days that followed, India blamed the militant groups based in Pakistan for the attack.

On Dec 18, 2001, the Indian government ordered the commencement of Operation Parakaram (Operation Victory), the largest mobilisation of Indian forces since 1971. It appeared that war was inevitable. Yet, after a 10-month standoff, Operation Parakaram was terminated. India had lost face.

The main reason why this happened was the time taken by the three strike corps to reach their wartime locations from central India. It took them three weeks during which time Pakistan was not only able to deploy its forces but also to internationalise the crisis.

Until 2004 the Indian army’s strategic thought envisaged the deployment of seven corps in defensive role and three corps in offensive role each built around an armoured division supported by mechanised infantry and artillery. After the defensive corps had blunted Pakistani attacks, the strike corps would undertake counter-offensive operations aimed at the destruction of the Pakistan Army’s two strategic reserves also built around an armoured division.

After Operation Parakaram the Indian army concluded that this doctrine was inflexible because of the huge size of the strike corps — they have long deployment times, are difficult to manoeuvre, while their concentration in the forward areas gives away the general strategic direction they would adopt. And above all, the doctrine inhibited a quick response to challenges posed by acts like the attack on the Indian parliament (and seven years later in Mumbai).

As a consequence, in 2004 the Indian army announced the development of a new limited war doctrine called Cold Start to respond to what it calls proxy wars by Pakistan. It would seek to inflict significant damage on the Pakistan Army before the international community could intervene on Pakistan’s behalf, while at the same time ensuring that the conflict did not escalate to a level where Pakistan was tempted to use nuclear weapons.

The essence of the Cold Start doctrine is reorganising the army’s offensive power that resides in the three strike corps into eight smaller division-sized integrated battle groups (IBGs) consisting of armour and mechanised infantry and artillery, closely supported by helicopter gunships, air force and airborne troops (parachute and heliborne). The IBGs are to be positioned close to the border so that three to five are launched into Pakistan along different axes within 72 to 96 hours from the time mobilisation is ordered.

Cold Start thus envisages rapid thrusts even when the defensive corps’ deployment is yet to be completed, and high-speed operations conducted day and night until the designated objectives are achieved.

In a war limited by time, mobility is the single-most important factor which if used to its full potential will help attain the political aim in the desired time and space framework. But this requires a perfect matching of the physical means of mobility with the mobility of the mind, as the value of a highly mobile force can be reduced to zero by commanders whose minds are characterised by lack of imagination, initiative and flexibility. “Adherence to dogmas has destroyed more armies and lost more battles and lives than any other cause in war. No man of fixed opinions can make a good general.” (J.F.C. Fuller)

In the 1965 war the Indian 1 Corps, spearheaded by the 1st Armoured Division, had penetrated seven miles only into Pakistani territory in Sialkot sector in 21 days, while in the 1971 war, the same corps having about eight tank units did marginally better by penetrating eight miles in 14 days, that too when opposed by light covering troops. In both wars the Indian army was schematic in its operations. Changes in dispositions such as forming a new defensive line, reassigning of objectives, switching forces not in accordance with their original plan, took time. Above all, their commanders at all levels lacked enterprise, imagination and initiative.

Given this, while Cold Start is a sound concept, though not original, the Indian war directors need to question the ability of their commanders at all levels to execute it efficiently and sustain the advantage gained from striking first. The “law of the initial advantage of the aggressor” assumes critical importance, as it is the aggressor who generally sets the pattern which operations will take. The Germans in the Second World War and the Israelis in the 1956 and 1967 wars had translated the concept of blitzkrieg, characterised by surprise, speed and concentration, with devastating results against numerically superior forces because they had a flair for conducting high-speed operations with flexibility, rapidity and less military routine.

The probable objective areas for Cold Start could be (1) Ravi-Chenab corridor from two directions, an IBG along Jammu-Sialkot-Daska axis and another across the Ravi to link up with the first IBG, and (2) in the south against Reti-Rahim Yar Khan-Kashmore complex. To counter Cold Start, the Pakistan Army will have to create more armour-dominated brigade-sized reserves from the existing resources if possible, and a more flexible military system and structure.

For Pakistan the dimensions of time and space assume paramount importance as it lacks territorial depth, is opposed by a larger adversary and lacks the resources to fight a protracted war. The strategy of pre-emption is thus imposed on Pakistan in the same way it was imposed on Israel prior to the 1967 war. The fact that the Pakistani Army can occupy their wartime locations earlier than the Indian army confers on it the ability to pre-empt Cold Start; failure to do so could lead to firing of low-yield tactical warheads at IBGs as they cross the start line or even earlier.

Cold Start would be a portent of escalation, and inevitably a disaster for both. It is a doctrine that challenges both countries. The writer is a retired brigadier of the Pakistan Army. javedhussainpa@yahoo.com

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her campaign for the presidency of the United States mentioned “Pakistan’s paranoia” about India’s intentions about Pakistan. Pardon us Ms. Clinton but Bharat has threatened Pakistan will all out war, not once but twice in the past few years. Additionally, it was the Pakhtuns that liberated Azad Kashmir and it is Delhi that occupied Kashmir, Junagarh, Manvadar, Sir Creek and Siachin–not the Pakhtuns (aka Taliban).

Terrorism across the borders works for Bharat–in China, Sikkim Bhutan, Nepal, Lanka, and Pakistan. RAW is good at hiring and sending mercenaries to murder innocent civilians–as witnessed in Karachi last week.

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Pak foiled Indian aggression after Mumbai Attacks through affective foreign policy: Qureshi

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan has foiled Indian aggression and its attempt to isolate Pakistan in the world after Mumbai attacks through its affective foreign policy.

Addressing a public gathering in Union Council Kothi Wala (Multan) here on Monday, the Foreign Minister said that people of Pakistan has seen that India was threatening Pakistan after the Mumbai Attacks but due to the successful foreign policy adopted by PPP led government the International community has forced India to held dialogues with Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan would discuss the issue of water, Kashmir and several other issues with India, adding, they have never compromised on the country’s interests while they would never let any one to do this.

The Foreign Mister assured the gathering that PPP led government would complete its five years tenure while the support of people and workers was with PPP, adding, they have no reservations about Punjab Government while PPP was allied party of PML-N in Punjab.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the people who were demanding mid term elections were living in fool’s paradise while there was no chance of mid term elections in the country.

He said that PPP government was aware of the problems of the farmers, however the issue of agricultural water crises would be solved by building dams, while Bhasha Dam would be constructed soon.

He said that terrorism has created the economic crisis and law and order situation in the country, however PPP led government was trying to solve these issues. He said that people of Swat and Malakand were living now peacefully after the Army’s operation against militants.

Feb 5th Kashmir Liberation Day: After Iraq and Afghanistan–its Kashmir and Palestine

February 7, 2010 Leave a comment

RupeeNews

February 5th is being observed as Kashmir Solidarity Day, which is a yearly practice since 1990 as a day of protest against the unjust occupation of Kashmir. The day is marked with renewed firm resolve to continue the struggle for the achievement of the birthright of Kashmiris to self-determination through getting the valley liberated from the Indian yoke of tyranny. Kashmiris observe the solidarity day every year not only to renew their deep-rooted love and affection with Pakistan, but also to reiterate their commitment and dedication to their liberty from the Indian occupation. Kashmiris have been struggling since 1947 to secure their freedom, which was assured by the UN Resolutions; however, subsequent Indian governments have not only remained oblivious to the UN Resolutions, but also continued to subject the Kashmiris to their reign of terror. Pakistan’s endeavours to resolve the issue through dialogue have also been spurned by India.

The Palestinians too continue to suffer atrocities inflicted upon them by Israel, which was created unjustly after evicting the Palestinians from their territory in 1948. Since then the Palestinians have struggled to regain their homeland but have failed despite extreme sacrifice and war against Israel by its Arab neighbours to liberate Palestine.

Two other Muslim countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, which were occupied by the US/NATO forces during the 21st century, are close to being liberated from the tyranny of their invaders. Afghanistan was conquered by USA and its allies, following the 9/11 debacle. The US declared Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda group responsible for the attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon and demanded the then Taliban regime in Afghanistan to hand over purported culprits for trial. Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader demanded proof of Osama’s complicity to the 9/11 attack. The Taliban query was interpreted as refusal and Afghanistan was subjected to one of the most ferocious attacks in history and occupied by US and its allies.

Iraq was attacked in 2003 by a US-led coalition force under the plea that Saddam Hussain’s regime possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), which would pose a threat to the rest of the world. That is another aspect that the WMDs were never found during the seven years of occupation.

A number of conspiracy theories were floated to the rationale behind occupying Afghanistan and Iraq. In the case of Iraq, control of its oil reserves is the apparent reason for subjugating Iraq and installing a pliable and malleable regime there. The case of Afghanistan is slightly different. Michael Klare, author of the book Resource Wars, which has a major focus on the Caspian region, and Ahmad Rashid, Pakistani journalist and author of Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, opine that in the 10 years, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a new great game between Russia, the United States, China, Iran, the European companies, for control of the new oil and gas resources that have been discovered in the Caspian Sea and in the Caucuses and Central Asia. They deduce that “because Central Asia is totally landlocked, distances are huge, and the US strategy has been essentially to keep, new oil pipelines not to be built through Russia or through Iran or China.”

They quote US government Energy Information fact sheet on Afghanistan dated December 2000, which reveals: “Afghanistan’s significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographic position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes proposed multi-billion dollar oil and gas export pipelines through Afghanistan” which is the shortest route to the Pakistani coastline on the Indian Ocean. To achieve this Afghanistan had to be conquered and a pliant regime installed there.

After tremendous bloodshed and financial losses, the US administration is now considering ways and means of exiting both Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama, in his maiden State of the Union Address on January 27, presented strategies for reviving the sick economy of USA. What he failed to mention, but has been disclosed by the Information Clearing House Newsletter of January 31, 2010 that a number of Iraqis slaughtered since the US invaded Iraq so far is “1,366,350”, while the number of US military personnel sacrificed (officially acknowledged) In America’s War on Iraq is: 4,692. On the other hand, the number of International Occupation Force Troops sacrificed in Afghanistan is 1,611, while the civilian casualties in Afghanistan since 9/11 range between 11,760 and 31,357. To top it all, the cost of war in Iraq and Afghanistan is a whopping $955,465,013,902. No wonder plans for the egress of the US and other international forces from Afghanistan and Iraq are underway.

General Viktor Yermakov, the Commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s, while talking to CNN after the proposed troop surge in Afghanistan, commented that the “US is repeating the Soviet blunder of adding more troops in Afghanistan.” He stated that at the height of the Soviet-Afghan War, there were 300,000 Soviet troops deployed in Afghanistan, out of which 15,000 Soviets were killed, 469,685 got wounded while 500 are still missing. What he did not say was that the invasion contributed to the demise of USSR.

It is ironical that during the London Conference, General Stanley McChrystal’s despite being a fighting general, pronouncement that “there’s been enough fighting,” and Robert Gates, the US secretary of defence, proclamation: “The Taliban…are part of the political fabric of Afghanistan,” are being used to bolster Hamid Karzai’s plea that negotiations must be opened with the Taliban. The London Conference went a step ahead and approved a multi-million integration fund to lure the Taliban fighters to join the political mainstream.

We hope and pray that peace returns to Iraq and Afghanistan, but what a pity that Kashmir and Palestine continue to bleed since they neither have oil nor are situated on the oil-gas trade route. May their predicament be over and the simmering trauma gets resolved at an early date. Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.