The death sentences given to Kashmiris in the recent Lajpat Nagar bomb blast case verdict is viewed as unfair and oppressive uniformly by the commoners in Kashmir.
Prostest against the verdict has rocked Kashmir. Mother of Mirza Nissar Hussain , who staged a protest dharna in Srinagar says he was only 14 years when he was arrested by Delhi Police. She claims that there is no possibility of his involvement in the bomb blast. The common sentiment in Kashmir is that while Kashmiris caught in mainland India by the “oppressive rulers” are given the maximum punishment, Indians arrested on criminal charges in Kashmir go scotfree. Kashmiris are petrified that in the Shopian double murder and rape case the CBI has approached J &K High Court seeking dismissal of the criminal charges against four policemen arrested for alleged destruction of evidence. These two court cases raises disturbing questions about Kashmiri nationalism, deliverance of justice and engagement of Indian administration and Kashmiri population.
It also reinforces the mutual distrust and hatred that Kashmiri population and Indian administration hold for each other. The survival of this thirty-year-old violent insurgency in Kashmir is fanned by this mutual hatred and distrust. The experiences of Kashmiris in mainland India certainly add to the foreign feelings that the Kashmiris hold. This may be because of the different context from which Indian and Kashmiri nationalism emerged. Kashmiri nationalism, in particular has sustained itself by constructing the hate for India. To be explicitly hating everything Indian is also helpful in constructing their nationalism and identity. William Polk in his book ‘Violent politics’ says, ‘for a sustained insurgency against the foreign rule one doesn’t even need the backup of an ideology; it is just the idea of hate for the “foreign” that would survive it’.
This engagement of the Indian police system and Kashmiri civilians has emerged from this historical backdrop of hate, mistrust and disrespect for each other. It is like the collison of two trains running on the same track. This may be case when cases related Kashmiris come up in court too. Are they treated as humans first without associating this history of hate to their particular case? The mere identity of a Kashmiri can raise the word “Terrorist” in India. Is it fair? Kashmiris fear that Indian courts are not free from these bisases.
The case is quite reverse if it is a Kashmiri court and an Indian convict (for a rape and murder case by the security officials in Shopian). The Hindu reports that “CBI has approached the J&K high court seeking dismissal of the criminal charges against the four policemen arrested for alleged destruction of evidence” (the Hindu, 23/04/2010). Can you complain if Kashmiris loss complete hope and faith in judicial procedures in India after seeing so many go Scot-free after committing heinious crimes like the Shopian rape case or be it the popular kununposhpora mass rape? Let us not forget the popular case of Afzal Guru.
The efforts of Indian administration in managing the Kashmiri lives or the efforts put forth to win Kashmiri support have failed miserably so far. Instead many actions of the Indian administration has led to to further alienatiing Kashmiri populace from India. The prevailing mistrust and hatred will also lead to widening of this divide and worsening the life and the future of so many hopeful youngsters whose life is destroyed by this violent siege that doesn’t seem to end. Travesty Of Justice In Kashmir By Inshah Malik, 26 April, 2010, Countercurrents.org
Inshah Malik is a PhD scholar at Tata institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, India. Inshah.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Obama Administration wants a face saving exit from Kabul. Islamabad holds a key to that face saving exit. Islamabad is asking Washington to use its offices to reduce the border tension between Pakistan and Bharat so that Islamabad can concentrate on the Western Frontier. The Obama Administration, and the Civilian and Military leadership seems to have understood this Pakistani point of view–which they find reasonable.
The Obama Administration must make it very clear to Delhi that it must stop its terror activities in Balochistan and its cross-border terror using the TTP and other terror groups. Enough is enough. Unless the Obama Administration can take that tough stand, it cannot bring peace to the land between the Indus and the Amu Darya and beyond. One major issue that many in the Administration are well aware of is the potential and the reality of the destabilization of Central Asia. If peace does not grow in Afghanistan and does not grow quickly, all of Central Asia will be encompassed in the vortex of war. That is why China and Russia want a quick end to violence on their doorstep.
- The directive, issued in December, concluded that “India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on US goals in the region,” Hindustan Times
- A debate continues within the administration over how hard to push India, which has long resisted outside intervention in the conflict with its neighbor. WSJ
- To blunt India’s eager courtship of Afghanistan, Pakistan is pouring $300 million of its own money and resources into a nation it also views as key to the stability of volatile South Asia, as well as a potentially lucrative business partner. Emily Wax. Washington Post.
- Pakistan has hosted 3 million Afghan refugees for 30 years and has already spent $500 million in projects in Pakistan. Millions of Afghans have been born in Pakistan and they speak Urdu and have made Pakistan their home–specially in Quetta.
President Obama wants to change Bharati attitudes. The issue in Washington is how to bell the Delhi cat. Bharat feigns nervousness about any third party “negotiations”–and uses the excuse of bilateralism so that it does not have to budge on any issue. Bilateral talks are the victim of Bharati hubris, arrogance, intransigence and obduracy. They always fail.
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The directive concluded that India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on U.S. goals in the region, according to people familiar with its contents.
The U.S. has invested heavily in its own relations with Pakistan in recent months, agreeing to a $7.5 billion aid package and sending top military and diplomatic officials to Islamabad on repeated visits. The public embrace, which reached a high point last month in high-profile talks in Washington, reflects the Obama administration’s belief that Pakistan must be convinced to change its strategic calculus and take a more assertive stance against militants based in its western tribal regions over the course of the next year in order to turn the tide in Afghanistan.
According to the Boston Globe Senator “Kerry has become a key architect of a policy shift away from strictly short-term, conditional payments to Pakistan’s military and toward long-term pledges of assistance to its citizens”. Wendy Chamberlain is very popular in Pakistan. The Boston Globe quotes her on Senator John Kerry. “John Kerry has played an enormously positive role,’’ said Wendy Chamberlin, a former ambassador to Pakistan who is president of the Middle East Institute…Kerry hopes the aid will bolster what he calls a “sea change’’ in Pakistan.
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President Barack Obama issued a secret directive in December to intensify American diplomacy aimed at easing tensions between India and Pakistan, asserting that without détente between the two rivals, the administration’s efforts to win Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan would suffer.
Peter Spiegel and Matthew Rosenberg make some blunt observations in The Wall Street Journal and if the reports are to be believed then Delhi is under a lot of pressure to reduce its presence in Afghanistan, and obtund its military presence along the Pakistani border. While Delhi clamors to proffer the anti-thesis that Islamabad’s perceptions about Bharat are incorrect–Washington’s retort on this line is “deal with the perception”, and “resolve the issues”.
- The Pentagon, in particular, has sought more pressure on New Delhi, according to U.S. and Indian officials. WSJ
- Current and former U.S. officials said the discussion in Washington over how to approach India has intensified as Pakistan ratchets up requests that the U.S. intercede in a series of continuing disputes.
- The directive concluded that India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on U.S. goals in the region, according to people familiar with its contents. Times of India
- Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been among the more vocal advocates of encouraging Delhi to be more “transparent” about its activities along the countries’ shared border and to cooperate more with Pakistan. WSJ
A debate continues within the administration over how hard to push India, which has long resisted outside intervention in the conflict with its neighbor. The Pentagon, in particular, has sought more pressure on New Delhi, according to U.S. and Indian officials. Current and former U.S. officials said the discussion in Washington over how to approach India has intensified as Pakistan ratchets up requests that the U.S. intercede in a series of continuing disputes.
During the Strategic Dialog with Pakistan, the US tacitly, and publicly accepted Pakistan’s Strategic Depth and role in brining peace to Afghanistan. This is anathema to Delhi which wants to pressure Pakistan from both sides.
The Wall Street Journal and major media outlets are portending the thesis that the Obama Administration is asking Delhi to be stop terror activities against Pakistan, listen more carefully to Islamabad’s complaints, and resolve the Kashmir and water disputes with Pakistan. This is not music to the Delhi politicians who usually ignore the Pakistani point of view and take the Kashmir discussion into a cul de sac called bilateral talks. During bilateral talks Delhi then kills all discussion by loudly proclaiming that Kashmir is an integral part of Bharat (aka India) and the topic of boundaries are nut subject to negotiations. Since 1947 dozens of these “talks have been held between Delhi and Pakistan–all ending in abject failure due to obduracy, intransigence and skullduggery of Delhi. Pakistan is not the only country that has faced Bharati tergiversation. Delhi has been unable to resolve its boundary disputes with any of her neighbors, namely Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Myanmar, China, Bangladesh.
Pakistan has long regarded Afghanistan as providing “strategic depth”—essentially, a buffer zone—in a potential conflict with India. Some U.S. officials believe Islamabad will remain reluctant to wholeheartedly fight the Islamic militants based on its Afghan border unless the sense of threat from India is reduced.
Pakistan does not see the threat from the same prism that Bharat sees the threat. For Pakistan the threat is Bharat–whether from the Eastern of the Western border. Islamabad feels that it can deal with the Pakhtuns through battles, negotiations, and with projects. Delhi wants to dominate Afghanistan as part of its colonial legacy and its flights of fancy headed towards regional power. For Pakistan it is a struggle for survival. For Bharat is it a point of prestige and stature. The Pakistanis will fight with a lot more determination than the Bharatis can ever hope to.
U.S. and Indian officials say the Obama administration has so far made few concrete demands of New Delhi. According to U.S. officials, the only specific request has been to discourage India from getting more involved in training the Afghan military, to ease Pakistani concerns about getting squeezed by India on two borders.
Can President Obama over rule or convince its Bharati constituencies supported on the Hill by the Bharati lobby and their AIPAC allies? This is the question that vexes the Obama Administration. His second term and his presidency depends on the ability to face the onslaught of the lobbies. If he follows the Bush doctrine and does not stand up to the Bharatis, the Afghan war will go on in perpetuity without any chance of ever achieving peace. The Afghan war is not popular with the American people and the US military. They want a face saving exit. Bharat was given a decade, and it cannot deliver peace in Kabul. The US military and the CIA believe that no peace is possible in the Hindu Kush without Islamabad on board. The only way to get wholehearted Pakistani cooperation is to resolve its disputes with Delhi and to give it a major role in Afghanistan.
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“This is an administration that’s deeply divided about the wisdom of leaning on India to solve U.S. problems with Pakistan,” said Ashley Tellis, an analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has discussed the issue with senior officials in the U.S. and India. “There are still important constituencies within the administration that have not given up hope that India represents the answer.”
India has long resisted outside involvement in its differences with Pakistan, particularly over the disputed region of Kashmir. But, according to a U.S. government official, a 56-page dossier presented by the Pakistani government to the Obama administration ahead of high-level talks in Washington last month contained a litany of accusations against the Indian government, and suggestions the U.S. intercede on Pakistan’s behalf.
Pakistan has forcefully and unequivocally informed Washington that Bharati dourness about Pakistan stems from its historic inability to accept the reality of Pakistan which it feels was artificially and temporarily “partitioned” from the mother country. Ms. Hillary Clinton and many in the Democratic Party had been unable to see this Pakistani point of view–initially they brushed it off as Pakistani paranoia. However lately there have been signs that the American tin ear has melted and Pakistani concerns about its sovereignty viz a viz Bharat have found some measure of understanding in Washington.
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The official said the document alleges that India has never accepted Pakistan’s sovereignty as an independent state, and accuses India of diverting water from the Indus River and fomenting separatism in the southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has signaled that Washington isn’t interested in mediating on water issues, which are covered by a bilateral treaty.
The Bharati media has been reacting to the sagacious and sane Obama initiative which could and would bring peace to Afghanistan. Obviously the sagacious policy has been met with a wall of traditional Bharati inexorability and stubbornness. The Bharati pundits and media wish Pakistan to go away, so that Bharat can reach out to its lands in Afghanistan and beyond. Realpolitik comes in the way of this Bharati revanchism, kleptomania and irredentism. Unable to hold on to its own fraying Union, Delhi is consumed by its desire to extend its borders–on the Eastern, Northern, and Western fronts. IN the North it faces Chinese might, and on the West it faces Pakistan’s Nuclear Mutually Assured Destruction. therefore it wants to use Afghanistan to pressure Pakistan, to aid separatists, and to form road and rail links to “conquer” Central Asia. This is not the Indian Doctrine–the religion requires them to expand into areas which Alexander and Islam had taken from them.
The White House declined to comment on Mr. Obama’s directive or on the debate within the administration over India policy. The directive to top foreign-policy and national-security officials was summarized in a memo written by National Security Adviser James Jones at the end of the White House’s three-month review of Afghan war policy in December.
Bharat is now trying to blackmail the US by holding commerce, currency, lobbies and other means to make it change its course–and help Delhi as a counterweight to China. Of course Delhi sees this a temporary alliance–’till it can challenge the US itself.
An Indian government official said the U.S.’s increasing attention to Pakistani concerns hasn’t hurt bilateral relations overall. “Our relationship is mature—of course we have disagreements, but we’re trying not to have knee-jerk reactions,” the Indian official said.
According to U.S. and Indian officials, the Pentagon has emerged in internal Obama administration debates as an active lobbyist for more pressure on India, with some officials already informally pressing Indian officials to take Pakistan’s concerns more seriously. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the U.S. government’s prime interlocutor with the powerful head of the Pakistani army, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, has been among the more vocal advocates of a greater Indian role, according to a U.S. military official, encouraging New Delhi to be more “transparent” about its activities along the countries’ shared border and to cooperate more with Pakistan.
Pakistan has made clear to Delhi that it does not just want talks so that Delhi can appease Washington. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister recently told the media that Delhi must initiate a composite results oriented dialog with a schedule. Talks for the sake of talks will not work, and Pakistan is not interested in parleys to show Washington that Delhi is talking.
In interviews, U.S. military officials were circumspect about what specific moves they would like to see from New Delhi. But according to people who have discussed India policy with Pentagon officials, the ideas discussed in internal debates include reducing the number of Indian troops in Kashmir or pulling back forces along the border.
“They say, ‘The Pakistanis have this perception and you have to deal with the perception’,” said one foreign diplomat who has discussed India’s role with Pentagon officials.
An Indian defense ministry spokesman said his country’s army has already moved about 30,000 troops out of Kashmir in recent years.
The State Department has resisted such moves to pressure India, according to current and former U.S. officials, insisting they could backfire. These officials have argued that the most recent promising peace effort—secret reconciliation talks several years ago between Indian Prime Minster Singh and then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf—occurred without U.S. involvement.
“Our principal interest has always been to encourage the talks to resume, but we also understand where the Indians are coming from, which is that there has to be some progress on these bilateral counterterrorism” issues, said the official.
During the Strategic Dialog with the US, Pakistan clearly described the Bharati interference in Pakistan and wanted it stopped as quickly as possible. Why would Bharat need so many Consulates in Afghanistan? The number of consulates exceeds the number of visas issued to Afghanis. Pakistan has repeatedly and forcefully proclaimed that these Consulates are the dens of inequity spreading problems for Pakistan. Those Indian sponsored problems then bring pain not only to Pakistanis, but also are an impediment to US interests in the region. The US has asked Delhi to reduce its presence in Afghanistan, and there are signs that Bharat may be reducing its staff and activities that were aimed against Islamabad.
Separately, Pakistan has been more forcefully raising concerns about Indian activities in Afghanistan with the U.S. Senior Pakistani officials allege India is using its Afghan aid missions as a cover to support separatists in Baluchistan and the Pakistani Taliban, and say they have presented evidence of that to U.S. officials. Indian officials deny the accusations.
A Pakistani security official said his government also has pressed the U.S. about India’s ties to the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Security Directorate, and argued that Indian consulates in Jalalabad and Kandahar are outposts for India’s spy agency.
“Something has to be done to stop Afghanistan from being a jumping-off point for Indian intelligence,” said the security official. Washington Post. U.S. Aims to Ease India-Pakistan Tension By PETER SPIEGEL in Washington and MATTHEW ROSENBERG in Kabul
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There are clear signs that the US has in many ways asked Bharat to reduce the tensions by whatever means necessary. The question is what will Delhi do to circumvents US pressure and bypass Washington’s requirements and then work against President Obama’s plans. How will Delhi resist the US military’s demands?
Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:
- These exercises will be focused only on conventional war on the eastern border,” Major-General Muzamil Hussain, director-general of army training, told a news briefing.
- Pakistan’s army will launch its biggest manoeuvres in 20 years next week to deal with the threat of conventional war with old rival India, military officials said on Monday.
- “These exercises will be focused only on conventional war on the eastern border,” Major-General Muzamil Hussain, director-general of army training, told a news briefing.
- Military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said India had been informed of the exercise.
- The army conducted its biggest-ever exercises involving 200,000 soldiers in 1989.
- The wargame, to begin on April 10 and continue till May 13, will be the largest manoeuvres conducted by the army since the Zarb-e-Momin exercise in 1989.
- The wargame will be conducted in Punjab and Sindh provinces, which border India, officials said.
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — Pakistan’s military will on Saturday launch war games allowing thousands of troops to road test new tactics near its eastern border with India, a military official said.
“The exercise is aimed at validating and refining newly evolved doctrines,” the head of the army’s military training directorate, Muzammil Hussain, told foreign media in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, neighbouring Islamabad.
The “Azm-e-Nau-3″ or New Resolve exercise will mobilise 20,000 troops in the beginning, rising to 40,000 to 50,000 towards the end, he said.
The exercises will involve all branches of the military, including the air force, and will focus on the possibility of “conventional war on the country’s eastern border,” Hussain said.
Relations between Pakistan and India have been bedevilled by an atmosphere of mistrust and tensions over the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
- During the exercises, plans prepared for prevention of terrorist attacks will be implemented and capabilities of Pakistan army in times of peace as well as war will be improved.
- Furthermore, attention will be given to communication, intelligence information and modern technology.
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India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947 — two of them over the fate of the Himalyan territory of Kashmir.
“We cannot remain oblivious to what happens on our eastern borders,” Hussain told reporters.
“Pakistan desires peace and security both within and beyond,” he said, adding that maintaining peace and security is the army’s “key strategic policy”.
- The six-week field exercise will involve troops from all arms and services and aircraft and equipment of the Pakistan Air Force, he said.
- “The exercise is the culmination of a long and deliberate process of wargames, discussions and logical evolution of the concept of warfare that is fully responsive to a wide range of emerging threats,” Hussain said.
- The exercise is also aimed at validating and refining tactics and operations, he said.
- It will validate concepts formulated during the year of training initiated by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, he added.
- A special feature of the exercise will be the use of technological achievements and advancement in intelligence-gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance and communication.
- These measures will reduce the reaction time of troops, Hussain said.
- 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
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. email@example.com
Times Of India
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is actively lobbying for more pressure on New Delhi to ease tensions between India and Pakistan, the Wall Street Journal has reported. It has also revealed that US President Barack Obama had issued a secret directive to intensify diplomacy towards that aim and to win Islamabad’s cooperation in Afghanistan.
Asserting that without détente between the two rivals, US efforts to win Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan would suffer, the directive in December concluded that India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on US goals in the region, the daily said citing “people familiar with its contents”.
A debate continues within the administration over how hard to push India, which has long resisted outside intervention in the conflict with its neighbour. The Pentagon, in particular, has sought more pressure on New Delhi, the influential daily said citing US and Indian officials.
The journal cited current and former US officials as saying the discussion in Washington over how to approach India has intensified as Pakistan ratchets up requests that the US intercede in a series of continuing disputes.
The Obama administration has, so far, made few concrete demands of New Delhi, it said citing US and Indian officials.
According to US officials cited by the Journal, the only specific request has been to discourage India from getting more involved in training the Afghan military, to ease Pakistani concerns about getting squeezed by India on two borders.
The directive to top foreign-policy and national-security officials was summarised in a memo written by National Security Adviser James Jones at the end of the White House’s three-month review of Afghan war policy in December, the daily said.
According to US and Indian officials cited by the Journal, the Pentagon has emerged in internal Obama administration debates as an active lobbyist for more pressure on India, with some officials already informally pressing Indian officials to take Pakistan’s concerns more seriously.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been among the more vocal advocates of a greater Indian role, according to a US military official, encouraging New Delhi to be more “transparent” about its activities along the countries’ shared border and to cooperate more with Pakistan.
US military officials were circumspect about what specific moves they would like to see from New Delhi, the Journal said.
But according to people who have discussed India policy with Pentagon officials, the ideas discussed in internal debates include reducing the number of Indian troops in Kashmir or pulling back forces along the border, it said.
The State Department has resisted such moves to pressure India, according to current and former US officials, insisting they could backfire, the Journal said.