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TTP says it will continue suicide attacks in Pakistan

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

MIRAMSHAH: The Taliban said Tuesday they would continue to target Pakistani security forces with suicide attacks as they claimed responsibility for the latest blast that killed 19, its spokesman said.

“We are targeting Pakistani security forces because the government has allowed America to launch drone attacks on us,” Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Azam Tariq told AFP by telephone.

“Rather it is on the Pakistan government’s behest that drone attacks target us,” he said.

“We will continue suicide attacks on security forces. Civilians should avoid proximity with them.”

Tariq claimed responsibility for Monday’s suicide attack on a police station in northwestern Pakistan in which 19 people were killed.

Nine policemen and four schoolchildren were among those killed by the attack in Lakki Marwat in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, not far from tribal areas that are a stronghold of the Taliban.

“We carried out the Lakki Marwat suicide attack,” Tariq said, adding that the Taliban “regretted” the killing of schoolchildren in the attack.

“Our children are also killed in drone attacks,” he said.

The TTP frequently claims responsibility for attacks on Pakistani security forces but generally denies those that target civilians.

US forces have been waging a drone war against Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked commanders in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt, where militants have carved out havens in mountains outside direct government control.

The US military does not as a rule confirm drone attacks, but its armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy pilotless drones in the region.

Washington has branded the rugged tribal area on the Afghan border — part of which has now been hit by Pakistan’s catastrophic flooding — a global headquarters of al-Qaeda.

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Foreign Powers Behind Terrorism: DG ISI

ISLAMABAD: ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha said Thursday that the policy against terrorism should be co-related with the national interest.

“The foreign powers are involved in terrorism and destabilization of the country,” said DG ISI.

During a briefing in the National Security Committee session headed by Senator Raza Rabbani, DG ISI Ahmed Shuja Pasha said that the western powers are involved in the terror activities of the country.

“The US policy against terrorism is under consideration and the changes will be brought with time in accordance with the national interest,” he said.

According to sources the committee members has demanded the clear changes in the policies against terrorism.

SAMAA TV

Drone Strikes Continue To Fuel Anti-US Sentiment In Pakistan

Drone Strikes Continue To Fuel Anti-US Sentiment In Pakistan

Jason Ditz

US Claims Massive ‘Militant’ Deaths and Almost No Civilian Casualties

The CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, something which has become an enormous issue over the past year and a half, have been an enormous source of controversy, both legal and practical.

The US, for its part, maintains that the drone strikes have caused no more than 30 civilian casualties, while killing over 500 militants. The claims seem common among US officials, in keeping with the narrative of precision drone strikes.

But they are tough to swallow for children killed and maimed in the almost constant bombardment. And for villagers the claims that friends and relatives are “suspected militants” are tough to reconcile with reality, as are the claims of US precision.

They also don’t jibe with figures from Pakistan’s own intelligence agencies, which estimate that the US actually killed 700 civilians in 2009 alone, while killing only a handful of confirmed militants. The number of civilians wounded in all these attacks is unknown, but significant.

It is unsurprising, then, that the strikes continue to inflame anti-US sentiment across Pakistan, and US claims that the victims are almost universally “militants” is likely only making matters worse, in the face of enormous evidence to the contrary.

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Pak Military Exercise: For Pakistan India Is Real Threat, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Just An Irritant

Pak Military Exercise: For Pakistan India Is Real Threat, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Just An Irritant

Sajjad Malik

Islamabad – Pakistan’s security establishment, unmoved by the threat from homegrown Islamic insurgents, is to launch a training exercise this week focused on the scenario of a possible showdown with traditional rival India.

The country’s powerful military is to launch exercise Azm-e-Nau (New Resolve) III to test the capacities of its men against a hypothetical Indian attack, and validate its security strategy.

The war game is the culmination of the new strategies discussed over a period of one and half years at various academic and operational levels, and will be the largest military exercise since 1989.

Director General Military Training (DGMT) Major General Muzzamil Hussain said the forthcoming exercise in the garrison city of Rawalpindi will “focus on India.”

The exercise coincides with renewed efforts against Islamic militants, who last year moved to within 160 kilometres of the capital Islamabad.

They have been since pushed back to mountainous hideouts along the Afghan border, from where they continue to launch attacks against the national armed forces.

Pakistan’s army, over half a billion strong, has been reluctant to move against the rebels, who have previously been groomed by the forces to fight as their proxies, first in Afghanistan and later in India.

Since 2001, the Pakistani army has lost over 2,000 soldiers in skirmishes against the Taliban in the inhospitable terrain along the border, where once Islamabad’s security officials would guide the militants into Afghanistan to fight the Russian occupiers.

The bad blood between army and militants has given hope to local security analysts and US defence policy makers that Pakistan’s army might re-write its security doctrine, replacing India with the Taliban as chief security threat.

The US needs Pakistan’s commitment to fight a focussed war against the Taliban to succeed in Afghanistan and it has been trying to increase Pakistan’s comfort level vis-a-vis India.

But the upcoming war games could put paid to such hopes, as Pakistan puts its military strategy against India through its paces from April 10 to May 13 close to the Indian border.

“The exercise is a concept validation stage of the operational thought process manifested in the form of tactical, operational and organizational aspects which would be validated and refined through the lessons learnt,” military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said.

The two countries have a history of enmity and have fought three major wars since gaining independence from Britain in August 1947. Two of the clashes were over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is considered a flash point between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

General Muzzamil justified the manoeuvres, saying India had carried out at least 12 exercises in the recent past to test its cold start doctrine, and that another Indian exercise is scheduled to coincide with Pakistan’s.

India’s new strategy of launching quick strikes across the border will be at the heart of its month-long exercise, known as Yodha Shakti, which is to begin mid-April on the Indian side of the border.

The rival manoeuvres will put soldiers from the two armies – which number a combined total nearly 2 million troops – virtually within shouting distance of each other, in a move likely to give the United States something of a headache.

Washington has worked hard in recent years to soothe tensions between nuclear powers India and Pakistan, in the hope that Islamabad might then divert more of its attention and resources to fighting the Taliban militants.

But Pakistan’s military high command does not appear to be convinced of India’s proclaimed good intentions, and seems to be more concerned by Indian military capabilities and apparent posturing.

“We make our preparation to counter any move by India,” said Abbas. “The intentions are immaterial as they can change over time, but not the potential which matters a lot for us.”

The Pakistani military’s unwavering focus on India indicates that the defence establishment does not consider its operations against the Taliban to be anything more than a momentary diversion in the wider defence scenario.

Monday’s coordinated attacks on a US consulate in Peshawar and a political party, which left 53 dead, were simply “security problems”, said Abbas, and did not warrant a wholesale rethinking of Pakistan’s long-term security strategy.

“We are aware of double jeopardy including trouble on western and eastern fronts but the current exercise is to deal with dangers from east, we have separate plans to counter problems at the west,” Muzzamil added.

Like his boss, army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who authorized it, Muzzamil believes that the field exercise, involving 20,000 to 40,000 troops, will help to draw up a Pakistani response plan for incidents on the eastern border with India.

Muzzamil also said that internal problems made any nation more vulnerable to external aggressions. “We are training to counter any foreign move from the east at the time of our domestic security problems,” he said.

India Out Of The Loop On Af-Pak

March 19, 2010 Leave a comment

India Out Of The Loop On Af-Pak

Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN

WASHINGTON: The atmospherics are good but the ground realities are unfavourable. India is struggling to stay relevant and advance its geo-political equities with the United States at a time Washington is buffeted by domestic pressures and international crises that are undercutting its resolve to put ties with New Delhi on a higher plane.

Good intentions, broad agenda, and packed schedules notwithstanding, Indian diplomatic foray into Washington this week was notable for gripes and grievances than any significant advancement towards the stated goal of achieving a strategic relationship with the US, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao had a series of meetings on Tuesday, including a drop-in by secretary of state Hillary Clinton at a state department meeting with her counterpart William Burns, but in the end there was no meeting of minds on the most fundamental security issue of the times.

India and US disagree on Afghanistan and Pakistan. That much became clear towards the end of the foreign secretary’s visit although elaboration on this issue was foiled by the cancellation of Rao’s wrap-up press meet (Indian Embassy said she was unwell).

At a time when Washington is searching for an exit strategy from the Af-Pak region, a statement released at the end of her visit (in lieu of the cancelled press conference) tersely noted that “she (Rao) reiterated India’s long-held position that it was important for the international community to stay the present course in Afghanistan for as long as it is necessary.” The international community on the other hand wants to get the hell out of Afghanistan — yesterday.

There were other unresolved issues. Rao’s engagement was also partly torpedoed by the withdrawal by the government of the nuclear liability bill in Parliament hours after her arrival here. As a result, there was little progress on tying up loose ends of the civilian nuclear deal including an agreement on reprocessing although there were brave words about the deal being on track and on schedule.

Most notably, on the issue of high-tech cooperation, the Indian side was still pleading for removal of some its organizations from the so-called Entities List, seven years after the establishment of the group. “The Indian side requested the US department of commerce to review US export controls applicable to India and update them to bring them in keeping with the changed political realities that contextualize India-US strategic partnership today,” the concluding statement said.

To say India has become a mere sideshow in Washington would be overstating it (besides meeting Clinton, Rao also called on the NSA Jim Jones and two key lawmakers on a day Washington was awash with the health care issue and the US-Israel spat). There were important advances in bilateral matters, including setting the stage for external affairs minister S M Krishna’s visit to Washington shortly leading in turn to President Obama’s visit to New Delhi later this year.

But on the Af-Pak issue, India is clearly out of the loop. Pakistan is again the new game in town. Even as the Indian foreign secretary made the rounds of a capital in political and legislative ferment (over the health care bill), diplomatic corridors were abuzz with Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s own outreach to the Taliban through his brothers and Pakistan’s effort to impose itself on that engagement.

Rao meanwhile was telling think-tankers that Taliban remained untouchables for New Delhi. India’s gripe about US arms to Pakistan also went largely unaddressed. In fact, even as Rao was complaining about the potential use by Pakistan of US-supplied weapons against India, Washington had delivered from its base in Jordan a squadron of 14 AH-1 Cobra advanced helicopter gunships to Pakistan.

Times of India

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After massive Foreign Policy failure Delhi needs new strategy

March 18, 2010 1 comment

After massive Foreign Policy failure Delhi needs new strategy

Bharati diplomacy is at a stalemate. It cannot win for losing. It has tried the sabotage Pakistan–trying to force it to cry Uncle strategy. Its support for the TTP, and the BlA has has turned world opinion against Delhi. It tried to muscle in to Tajikistan–and had to face reversals after China and even Russia asked them to leave. Delhi then tried to dump Karzai and support Abdullah Abdullah–something that backfired in a big way. Now Karzai is firmly in the Pakistan camp. Delhi then tried to ego massage the Saudis into getting a role in Afghanistan. They faced a No-bid in Riyadh. Even the Putin card failed when, when an embarrassed host had to hear Putin eulogize Pakistan–in Delhi. It strategy to bifurcate Afghanistan have been exposed. India using ‘aid’ to Kabul- to split Afghanistan

Ashok Mehta in the Daily Pioneer describes the political topography succinctly.

By acknowledging Pakistan’s pivotal role in peace and stability in Afghanistan, and downgrading India’s importance, Mr Karzai has made a dramatic turnaround from the days he refused to shake hands with President Pervez Musharraf. On a visit to Islamabad last week he described India “as a close friend of Afghanistan but Pakistan is a brother of Afghanistan. Pakistan is a twin brother. We are conjoined twins. There is no separation”. He has realised that without the Generals in Pakistan, there can be no reconciliation with the Taliban. Further in Islamabad he emphasised Afghanistan’s neutrality and stressed he did not want proxy wars between India and Pakistan and the US and Iran.

It now obvious that the geo strategic location of Pakistan has made it an important ally for America in Afghanistan. The pugnacious Pakistanis are playing their cards well in the face of horrible odds. The tripartite agreement with Iran and Afghanistan gave them leverage to impact the Regional Conference in Istanbul–which enabled them to get a sane resolution at the London Conference on Afghanistan. Indian presence in Afghanistan is history!

After the London Conference, both the US-led coalition and Afghanistan have put all their eggs in the Pakistani basket. What is not clear is US intention: Cut and run or stay the course beyond 2012. For the present it seems mid-2011 is only the time line for thinning out to commence and not any upstick of forces. A process of handing-taking over will start, based on a flexible transition timetable, commensurate with political and military capacity-building as well as development. In other words, a sequential transfer of authority to the Afghan Government, including ownership of the peace process.

Shaping up are two scenarios: A Karzai-led inclusive Government; a Taliban-led or dominated regime. Pakistan’s flag flies higher than India’s in Afghanistan. India’s stature has diminished due to a number of reasons: Rejection of its passionate advocacy that talking to Taliban is like frying snowflakes; not being consulted on AfPak; not invited to the Istanbul Conference and being sidelined at the London Conference. The final blow was the deadly third targeted attack last month against Indian interests in Kabul in which, among others, three Army Majors teaching English to the Afghan Army were killed. India diminished in Afghanistan, Ashok K Mehta. The Daily Pioneer.

What Fareed Zakaria describes as the success of Obama’s Afghanistan-Pakistan policy is actually the Pakistani policy from the very start. In 2001 the Pakistanis told the Americans not to attack Pakistan and bring about a regime change with the moderate Taliban. That sane advice was ignored. America after banging its head for a decade clearly realizes that victory in Afghanistan is very much dependent on the cooperation of Pakistan. It was hard to get through the American tin ear. It took a decade of body bags going back on C-130s for Washington to see things clearly. The Pakistanis have finally been able to influence American policies  and bring them in line with their strategic interests. Therefore the apparent indifference by the US towards Indian concerns as displayed by the uncharitable remarks of Holbrooke. India is hamstring by these realities, as well as overplaying its cards in Afghanistan and Central Asia. Things are worse for a variety of reasons. Bharat’s  foreign policy mandarins should have carried out a cost-benefit analysis regarding the Afghan mission and adopt a hard headed approach based on withdrawal. However Bharat has been unable to change its course

Chidanand Rjghatta has written an article in Times of India about Bharati (aka Indian) problems with the US. it describes the problems between the US and Bharat. India’s brilliant blunder in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON: The atmospherics are good but the ground realities are unfavourable. India is struggling to stay relevant and advance its geo-political equities with the United States at a time Washington is buffeted by domestic pressures and international crises that are undercutting its resolve to put ties with New Delhi on a higher plane. India out of the loop on Af-Pak,Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN, Mar 18, 2010, 01.13am IST

There is ample evidence, in this Post London Conference that Bharat is having a tough time selling its Anti-Pakistan agenda, which also proposes to bifurcate Afghanistan into Pakhutn and Non-Pakhtun mini-states. Bharat hopes that it will be able to influence the Non-Pakhtun state a bit better. Its entire aid package is built around its own strategic interests which aim to create new roads, and access to Central Asia via the Iranian port of Chahbahar. Bharat cares two hoots about Afghans–all it wants is Bharati goods to reach the markets of Europe and Central Asia. Wall Street’s role in the Indo-U.S. relationship.

Good intentions, broad agenda, and packed schedules notwithstanding, Indian diplomatic foray into Washington this week was notable for gripes and grievances than any significant advancement towards the stated goal of achieving a strategic relationship with the US, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao had a series of meetings on Tuesday, including a drop-in by secretary of state Hillary Clinton at a state department meeting with her counterpart William Burns, but in the end there was no meeting of minds on the most fundamental security issue of the times. India out of the loop on Af-Pak, Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN, Mar 18, 2010, 01.13am IST

The Bharati press is full of gripes about the USA. Fake encounters, and false flags were used to malign Pakistan. Delhi even tried to play the Putin card. Nothing seems to working for the Bharati policy makers.

Rajghatta is behind the times. Using words that have fallen into disrepute shows, that Bharat is still parked in Bushland. Delhi has not realized that Bush is no longer president and the “build India as a counterweight to China” has been sent to the dustbin of history. Rajghatta still wants to use the term Af-Pak, a term hated by both Pakistan and Afghanistan. However Chidanand is right about the fact that the USA and Britain want to get out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible.

India and US disagree on Afghanistan and Pakistan. That much became clear towards the end of the foreign secretary’s visit although elaboration on this issue was foiled by the cancellation of Rao’s wrap-up press meet (Indian Embassy said she was unwell).

At a time when Washington is searching for an exit strategy from the Af-Pak region, a statement released at the end of her visit (in lieu of the cancelled press conference) tersely noted that “she (Rao) reiterated India’s long-held position that it was important for the international community to stay the present course in Afghanistan for as long as it is necessary.” The international community on the other hand wants to get the hell out of Afghanistan — yesterday. Chidanand Rajghatta

One of the biggest hurdles in the US-Bharati relationship is the non-operationalization of the 123-Nuclear deal which languishes on a backburner in Washington.

There were other unresolved issues. Rao’s engagement was also partly torpedoed by the withdrawal by the government of the nuclear liability bill in Parliament hours after her arrival here. As a result, there was little progress on tying up loose ends of the civilian nuclear deal including an agreement on reprocessing although there were brave words about the deal being on track and on schedule. Chidanand Rajghatta

Bharati companies are still on the export control list. Delhi is struggling to get them removed without much luck.

Most notably, on the issue of high-tech cooperation, the Indian side was still pleading for removal of some its organizations from the so-called Entities List, seven years after the establishment of the group. “The Indian side requested the US department of commerce to review US export controls applicable to India and update them to bring them in keeping with the changed political realities that contextualize India-US strategic partnership today,” the concluding statement said…But on the Af-Pak issue, India is clearly out of the loop. Pakistan is again the new game in town. Chidanand Rajghatta

Seema Mustafa has written a prodigiously effulgent article on the malaise of that Bharat (aka India) finds itself in. She writes of Buzz Express–and Indian news outlet. She clearly identifies the reasons for Delhi’s failure and provides a few pointers on new directions in Bharati foreign policy.

Pakistan is America’s strategic ally for Afghanistan to the point where India has been isolated. India, however, continues to strive to hold on to its few assets in Afghanistan in a bid to foil Islamabad’s plans to control Kabul, politically and strategically if and when the Americans manage to execute their exit policy. The attack on the guesthouse in Kabul that is a favourite with visiting Indians was a clear indication that their safety and security is now at high risk. And that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is not just incapable but also unwilling to ensure that all Indians working and living in Kabul are given adequate protection.

Bharat was also unable to make its case on not supplying arms to Islamabad. In fact Washington gifted a squadron of Cobras while Ms. Rao was making the rounds in Washington.

Rao meanwhile was telling think-tankers that Taliban remained untouchables for New Delhi. India’s gripe about US arms to Pakistan also went largely unaddressed. In fact, even as Rao was complaining about the potential use by Pakistan of US-supplied weapons against India, Washington had delivered from its base in Jordan a squadron of 14 AH-1 Cobra advanced helicopter gunships to Pakistan. Chidanand Rajghatta

Seema Mustafa correctly identifies the fact that Kabul, in fact all of Afghanistan is inhospitable for Bharatis.

It is apparent from the few leaked stories that are now appearing in the media that national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon returned from his visit to Kabul with the distinct impression that Indians there are no longer secure. The government seems to be seriously contemplating reducing the strength of missions in Kabul, and recalling soft targets like doctors and others. It is clear that the decision to send paramilitary forces for the protection of Indians in Afghanistan is not a foolproof arrangement against suicide bombers, and the issue of security will remain wide open.

Like Rajghatta Seema Mustafa laments about Washington, about Mr. Karzai, and about the failure of Bharati policies.

Pakistan has been urging the US to put pressure on India so that it closes its consulates in Afghanistan and curtails its presence in that country. New Delhi refused to succumb to the pressure but clearly now the threat of violence and the lukewarm response of the Karzai government is forcing a decision that does not serve Indian interests in the long run. But the choice is difficult and the government cannot be blamed for whittling down its presence in the violence torn country. Seema Mustafa

Ms. Mustafa complains about Pakistan not wanting to continue talks. The fact remains that it is Delhi that wants talks for the sake of talks–and like a broken record and a bad CD is stuck on the false flag of Mumbai. Bharat has overplayed its hand with the TTP–and now faces world approbation in the form of snubs in London and Washington. Bharati analysts do not realize that they are are barking up the wrong tree. The world is not interested in carping about Mumbai. They see the carnage in Lahore, and suspect Bharat.

The point however, is that Pakistan has decided not to continue talks with India and to keep the hostilities alive so that it does not have to shift the troops from the borders with India into ongoing operations along the Pakistan-Afghan border. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s willingness to talk despite the odds has been interpreted by Islamabad as weakness, and the anti-India cacophony has only intensified as a result.

The hardening of Pakistan policy is evident from this, as well as its decision to parade anti-India jihadi groups on Kashmir Solidarity Day all over that country, and its decision to invite the hardline Kashmiri separatists to visit Pakistan. Islamabad has decided to recognise only the Geelani faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, ignoring the more moderate voice of Mirwaiz Omar Farooq. It has also sought to create a new leadership that can replace the ageing and ailing Geelani, with two new invitees — the rabid Asiya of the Dukhtaran-e-Millat and Adbul Qayum of the Kashmir Bar Council. Seema Mustafa

The malaise in the Bharati foreign policy is evident for all to see. Every analyst worth his or her salt can see the failure. Ms. Mustafa simply consecrates the obvious. Ambassador Bhadrakumar says the same—Delhi lacks the self correcting mechanism to pull itself out of the hole it has dug itself into.

New Delhi seems to be bereft of strategy as the visit of Menon to Kabul suggests. His agenda should have been to get Karzai back on track but clearly he either did not even venture into this territory but this is hard to believe, or he just did not meet with any success. The last seems more likely as Karzai who was always vocal in criticising Pakistan, is now Islamabad’s friend and has moved quite a distance away from India.

The result of what could well be a complete diplomatic misadventure is that India will have a Taliban government sitting in Kabul … The question is not of a good or bad Taliban as everyone knows it is of a pliable and rigid Taliban. And the bad might be present in large numbers in the ‘pliable’ that Pakistan is trying to get to form a government in Kabul. The choices before India are now very few, as the strategists in government should have seen this coming but obviously were too arrogant or blind to sense it. Instead of opening all links with the remnants of the Northern Alliance, the war lords and even sections of the Taliban, Indian foreign policy focused for several years only on the nuclear deal with the US, and the dialogue with Pakistan. Afghanistan was handled in a totally kick jerk fashion and now that New Delhi is waking up to the reality it finds itself pretty much on the periphery with insignificant say in developments in the region. Seema Mustafa

Bharat is packing its bags in Afghanistan. It has had a good run of a decade. Now its time to get the soldiers, and the spies out of Kabul and back to Delhi.

Indian nationals have become the target of the Taliban, which is not fighting the US in the same manner as al-Qaeda. New Delhi does not have the support it needs to protect them, and this has been pretty much made clear to the government here. US envoy Richard Holbrooke’s first comment after the terror attack in Kabul that Indians were not the intended target is a striking example of the US disinterest, and although he retracted later, the message had come through with all its implications. This is adding to muscle-flexing in Islamabad with its foreign minister and prime minister making statements that just do not compliment politicians of their seniority.

This has to stop. And it is time that the PMO, MEA and MHA sat down in strategy sessions, invited strategic experts who necessarily do not see eye to eye with the government, and worked out a strategy for the region that could help India handle Afghanistan and Pakistan from a position of strength and not weakness. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must allow foreign policy and decision making to come back to India from Washington, and evolve a strategy that furthers Indian and not American interests. Seema MustafaFirst Published : 18 Mar 2010 11:42:00 PM IST Seema Mustafa is a commentator on political affairs.

A seminal article that describes the pickle Bharat finds itself in. Here is an excerpt from that article.

If Delhi failed to anticipate this shift in Karzai’s order of priorities, it has only itself to blame. Thus, even in the face of impending realignments in the Afghan political and military situation that were obvious to most perceptive foreign observers, Delhi kept up the presence of a few thousands Indians in Afghanistan whose security becomes now almost entirely its responsibility to shoulder.

The malaise of the Bharati foreign policy in Afghanistan and beyond is defined below.

In retrospect, Delhi’s hare-brained idea of a US-led “quadripartite alliance” against China, the “Tibet card”, the dilution of a 2003 strategic understanding with Iran, neglect of the traditional friendship with Russia, the lukewarm attitude toward the SCO, exaggerated notions within the establishment regarding the US-India strategic partnership as an alternative to an independent foreign policy and diversified external relationships – all these appear now like dreadful pantomimes out of India’s foreign policy chronicle of recent years that Delhi would rather not think about.Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.

Bharat has consistently aligned itself on the wrong side of history. It opposed SEATO and CENTO. it opposed the US on almost everything, voting against US 95% of the time in the US. It tried to ally itself with one of the most brutal dictators of our time Marshall Tito. It befriended Saddam Husein. It opposed the recognition of China, it opposes the one China policy. It supported the USSR invasion of Afghanistan. FM Jiechi reaffirms China’s support to Pakistan on Kashmir dispute.

Since 2001, instead of playing a positive role in Afghanistan, Delhi used the opportunity to ingratiate itself with the worst druglords on the planet. It opposed the majority of the Pakhtuns and aligned itself with a very small minority of the Afghans. Its biggest blunder was supporting Abdullah Abdullah and opposing Hamid Karzai.Karzai sings a new tune: ‘Pakistan is twin brother’. Mr. Karzai has now totally and unconditionally aligned himself with Pakistan–supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, China, the US and the UK. Accepting Pakistan as a Nuclear state?

Why India cannot attack Pakistan. How could Bharat overcome its defeat. Bharat can do something spectacular so that world opinion changes. Perhaps a false flag attack on a Western capital attributable to the Lashkar, or the assassination of Hamid Karzai using RAW–which is very close to the Afghan president and has access to him. Other possibilities for Bharat may include some provocation to start a war with Pakistan. These are some of the possibilities that Delhi Analysts may be toying with. Rebutting Mr. Sameer Lakwani on Afghanistan

Bharat has to settle its border disputes with all its neighbors–possibly with some loss in ego and territory. Bharat has to fix it colossal cavities with the Dalits, Maoists and the Muslims. Delhi has reinvent itself and move away from sabotaging its neighbors–be it Lanka, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Bangladesh or Pakistan. Delhi has to form a more perfect union–the current one is not working. Perhaps a looser confederation of fifty states than the current stifling 22 which don’t want to be part of “India”. Bharat has to use its influences in the world in a positive manner–not the detriment of other nations.

Bharat has tremendous potential–but it is a millstone on the neck of Asia–keeping all of South Asia as the only island of penury on the continent. Meagre progress in the last decade has not made it a superpower. Even China shuns that title. It is crazy–and Bharat is incapable of changing. Bharat has to get its citizens to come down to reality and Delhi has to manage expectations. Just because Farid Zakaria calls it great–doesn’t mean that the Gharibabad slums that engulf half of Mumbai have gone away. Bharat is the hungriest nation in South Asia and in the vicinity of Chad on the scale. It however just bought a rust bucket from Russia for more than $2 billion. Is this insanity or what?

Bharat needs a new direction. Is it up to the challenge?

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The death of the TTP–chagrin in Delhi

RupeeNews

Significant leaders of the Pakistani Taliban have been killed or captured in an onslaught of frontier ground and air attacks. “The militant command and control centres and their caches have been dismantled or captured,” said Major-General Tariq Khan, one of the country’s most experienced commanders in the frontier war with the Taliban. “The kind of hits the leadership has taken, the casualties they have taken, the TTP [Pakistani Taliban] is no longer significant,” he said. “It has ended as a cohesive force. It doesn’t exist any more as an umbrella organisation that can influence militancy anywhere.”

The claims come at a time of improved military co-operation between America and Pakistan, in which US drones have killed a number of key Pakistani Taliban commanders, and Pakistani security agents have arrested at least four senior Afghan Taliban leaders over the past month.

It was no coincidence that two US special forces soldiers waited in a courtyard near the general’s office in the Bala Hisar fortress in Peshawar. “The [US] Socom Special Ops Group has a few liaison officers with me,” General Khan said. “They iron out the issues on the border during combat.”

The general commands 45,000 troops from the Frontier Corps, the locally recruited federal paramilitary force based in North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

He is a central figure in Operation Rah-e-Nijat (“Path to Deliverance”) which began in the South Waziristan tribal agency in October, and has been killing or clearing the Taliban of the Mehsud tribe with a speed that British forces fighting there during the last century would have envied. The TTP have found themselves attacked by drones or harried by ground forces throughout all but one of Pakistan’s seven tribal border agencies, known collectively as the FATA.

“The military was keen to smash the myth of the Mehsud invincibility in Waziristan and to be fair it has done so,” said one Western diplomat. “And since, they have gone on to hit the Taliban throughout FATA with a shifting set of operations combining air power, artillery and assault.”

The TTP commander Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike in August. His successor, Hakimullah, is thought to have died of wounds received in a US drone attack in January.
Whereas Baitullah’s death was followed by a dramatic upsurge in retaliatory terrorist attacks across Pakistan, violence has sharply subsided since the death of Hakimullah and the displacement of his forces from South Waziristan, suggests disarray in the TTP.

Hakimullah’s deputy and cousin, Qari Hussain, a central figure in the TTP suicide bomber campaign, was also probably dead, General Khan said. The Taleban leadership in five of the six remaining agencies was claimed to be either dead, on the run, or in captivity. More than 730 Taliban fighters have been killed since October, according to Pakistani officers, with the loss of 79 soldiers.

Of al-Qaeda, however, there seemed suspiciously little evidence.

General Khan said: “There was some Arab influence in terms of resources and money. We haven’t found a dedicated al-Qaeda command-and- control centre. My commandant in Bajaur . . . says it’s like a pinch of flour in a bag of salt — you get the flavour but can’t catch the individuals.”(The Times)

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