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Monthly Security Review

December 2010
Volume: 1 Edition: 7

01 03 21 31 46 48

Zaid Hamid


Editorial Indian Ocean: Battle for Dominance India-Iran Relations and Pakistan Synopsis of the Month

Shahzad Masood Roomi

Editorial Board

The CIA's Eastern Outreach From Indus to Oxus

Shehla Zafar Noureen Akhtar

Graphic Designer


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Entering the new decade!

On the eve of the first decade of the 21st century, global political and strategic dynamics are taking a new turn. The events of the last decade have not only changed the regional geopolitics but redesigned the global politics as well where new power centers are emerging for the first time after the Cold War era. Asia is the epicenter of this global shift in politics due to immense strategic value of its lands and waters. The region composed of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan is going to play a decisive role in the 21st century as it is the gateway to the entire Eurasian region. Global powers are already affianced in a rambling and ruthless war to exploit the gains of South Asia by capturing and controlling all of its major trade ways, energy corridors and sea lanes.Afghanistan and Pakistan are the battlefield and ultimate prize of this war. Millions of unarmed and unprotected civilians all over the Muslim world particularly in Pakistan have died in this multifaceted turf war. The last decade was full of agony and turmoil for Muslim lands due to American invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pakistan is next on the target list and already is faced with surrogate wars waged by multiple hostile forces compelled by various conflicting political dogmas. But as the second decade draws closer, tide has turned against the sole super power and her allies offering new opportunities to the world for new political alliances and alternate global leadership. For the first time in her more than 200 years of history, the economic and military might of the US, along with that of her European allies, is distressed and panicked due to assiduous and fierce resistance movements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite massive economic cost and human losses, US/NATO have decided to take the frontage of war on terror to the deep waters of Indian Ocean and Horn ofAfrica as part of their global dominance strategy for the next 100 years. Now, US/NATO are navigating through dangerously turbulent waters as public unrest and nervousness is mounting within the US and many European nations over this protracted war that has turned millions jobless and even without dwellings. Evidently, the war aficionados, sitting in Washington, are not interested in any world peace or public interest and are ready to let loose the next phase of the 'Great Game'. Recent announcement by US/NATO to stay in Afghanistan till 2014 and beyond is another manifestation of US designs for the region. The terrorism and chaos in the region during last ten years are epitome of the fact that a prolonged military presence of US/NATO in the region would further deteriorate the regional peace and security. This military presence is part of the 4GW waged to keep the region in turmoil so that its borders can be redrawn to control the trade and energy corridors and capturing strategic sea ports.


This issue of the Brasstacks Security Review analyzes why Indian Ocean is the most critical region to be captured for global ascendancy; how global players are busy in repositioning of forces in the region; how Pakistan's maritime interests and naval defense is going to undermine in this contest and most importantly why Pakistan must have an impregnable naval defense. New security alliances are emerging at dawn of next decade st offering new opportunities to Pakistan to choose new strategic partners for the 21 century as 61 years old PakUS strategic partnership has failed to ensure Pakistan's core strategic interests. On the information warfare axis, this issue of Brasstacks Security Review has made sure that our readers meet the real Quaid-e-Azam; A leader who did not have an iota of doubt about Pakistan being a modern Islamic welfare State which would be governed in accordance with guiding principles of the Quran and Sunnah. Myth of 'secular' Quaid, created by some elements has been thwarted with the help of historical references. Let's hope that second decade of this century will be less bloody than the previous one and a new strong and honest leadership would emerge in Pakistan to lead the humanity. MayAllah be our protector and guide.Ameen Pakistan Zindabad!

Farzana Shah


Indian Ocean
War for dominance over the Indian Ocean & the Asian 'High Seas' and its impact on Pakistan's maritime interests. A comparative analysis of Pakistan Navy's operational readiness against traditional and emerging maritime threats.

By: Shahzad Masood Roomi

Whoever attains maritime supremacy in the Indian Ocean would be a prominent player on the international scene. This ocean is the key to the seven seas in the twenty-first century; the destiny of the world will be decided in these waters" US Navy strategist Rear Admiral Alfred Thayus Mahan (1840-1914) Whosoever can hold the sea has command of everything. Themistocles (524 - 460 B.C.) The 21st century is Asia's century. Not only in economic terms, as Asia has been playing a key role in the global economy since the last two decades, but more so in geo-political and geo-strategic terms. Asia is center stage of global politics making it the most dynamic and strategic military zone in the world. The US assumed the role of the world's sole super power and set the following strategic objectives for the next century to consolidate her control: 1. Defending Israel with religious fervor and zeal at any cost.

2. Capturing and controlling energy resources dotted across Africa, the Gulf and Central Asia. 3. Capturing and controlling strategic trade and energy corridors, both on land and sea in order to exploit the captured energy resources and to expand trade markets including weapons. 4. Destruction of the political model of Islam by defacing it as a violent philosophy. 5. Encirclement of China. 6. Encirclement of Russia. It may seem like an over stretched idea or a biased analysis of regional geopolitics, but by examining the abridgement of American wars in Asia after 9/11 vindicates the US intent to pursue these grand strategy objectives. Using terrorism and war on terror as frontage, the US successfully established its military footprint in the strategic nerve points across Asia. The Middle East, East Asia, Southeast Asia and Central

The entire US scheme of asserting itself in the whole of Eurasia and consequent conflicts, revolve around the littoral nations of the Indian Ocean. The strategic seaports dotted across Asia are going to play a decisive role in the coming years due to their multipurpose nature. These ports include Gawadar (Pakistan), Chennai (Madras; India), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Jakarta (Indonesia), Kolkata (Calcutta; India), Mumbai (Bombay; India), Richards Bay (South Africa) and Karachi (Pakistan). Some of these ports are critical choking points for the international sea line of communications while others are gateways to the land locked regions Therefore, the idea of controlling Eurasia intrinsically includes the Indian Ocean and the geography of its littoral nations as areas of interest for the US. Without controlling the Indian Ocean, it would remain impossible for any power to hold Africa and the Oceanic regions in her sway as well. Africa is another very important region for global players due to its vast energy resources and minerals, and a conflict of interests between China and the US is already visible in this region, both are desperate to cultivate political, economic and military interests from this region. The US have expanded its strategy of asserting control by igniting wars across the coastline of Somalia, under the faade of anti terrorism and anti-piracy missions. Apart from its strategic significance, the Indian Ocean is full of natural resources, making it a natural attraction for not only the US but for the regional players as well. Large reserves of hydrocarbons are being tapped in the offshore areas of Saudi Arabia, Iran, India and Western Australia. An estimated 40%

Asia, along with all land and sea trade as well as the energy corridors are areas of interest for the US. All these foreign policy objectives are actually different phases of one larger scheme of asserting the US control over the whole Eurasian region, with Africa and Oceania regions acting as peripheries. The Eurasian equation has two major components: First Europe and the Atlantic Ocean and then Asia and the Indian Ocean. With the inception of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949, the European part of the Eurasian equation was solved. The Soviet empire was a major impediment for the US designs therefore, it was successfully eradicated in 1991. The accomplishment of her foreign policy goals has become a complex undertaking for the US due to the emergence of strong economies in Asia with divergent interests. This economic growth has been now transformed into investment in the respective militaries of every growing economy; China, Japan, South Korea, the Gulf States and India are the most apparent examples. Traditional rivalries between countries like China-Japan, India-Pakistan, IndiaChina, China-US over Taiwan, the US invasion in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the rift between both Korean states, have reshaped the Asian security st architecture for the 21 century, where arms race, increased defence budgets and a desire for ubiquitous military presence in the Indian Ocean are dominant trends

Trading sea-lanes of the Indian Ocean and switching monsoon BRASSTACKS 04

of the world's offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean. This ocean is the super highway for trading oil and LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) from the Persian Gulf and theArabian Peninsula a region with world's 45% of total energy resources across the world. Protecting these sea-lanes is another factor contributing to the rise of regional naval powers, particularly India and China, the two countries whose energy needs depend on these sea-lanes. The Indian Ocean includes all of the major seas in the region: Andaman Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Great Australian Bight, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Mozambique Channel, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Strait of Malacca and other tributary water bodies. The Indian Ocean is a 68.556 million sq km body of water between Africa, the Southern Ocean, Asia and Australia, with a coastline stretching to 66,526 km in total, shared by all littoral nations. Global powers have been scuffling against each other to control the Indian Ocean since the last 30 years. The Russians wanted to descend to the Arabian Sea in search of warm waters and now US/NATO want to climb up from the South in order to secure the vast energy resources in Central Asia. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the emergence of China as the next big economic and military might, has posed serious challenges to the US dominance, particularly when the latter is bogged down in two lost and protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a thinning economy back at home. Economically, the US is already dependent on China but in the military sphere, lingering expeditions by the United States provided China with an opportunity to modernize its military machinery including its Navy. According to an estimate by the American military analyst Robert D. Kaplan, within the next 15 years, the Chinese Navy would be operating more submarines than US Navy operates today. Likewise, in military aviation, China is leading the world with the greatest number of fighter jet projects run concurrently by any nation. Right now, China is working on a broad array of fighter jet models, ranging from the basic 4th generation fighters to advanced 5th generation stealth bomber fighters. But this emergence of China as a major power player must not be misconstrued as the end of US dominance. Despite economic strains and military humiliation in

Iraq and Afghanistan, the US is determined to achieve its strategic goals by waging dirty wars, using its political and diplomatic apparatus. The newly formed alliance with India, to counterweight China, is yet another embodiment of this undertaking. Apart from China, India has emerged as another important regional player with global ambitions and now is enhancing her power projection capabilities in the Indian Ocean. Currently, Indian Navy is the world's fifth largest naval force but it would take 3rd position, after China and US, within the next 15 years. This is the most disturbing statistic from Pakistan's maritime security point of view. Pakistan and India would never be at peace with each other, particularly since issues like Kashmir and Water have been lurking around to be solved since the last 64 years. The Newly found IndoUS strategic partnership is already haunting Pakistan's security interests as the US is providing India with state of the art weapon systems. On another axis, both RAW and CIA are working covertly on a plan of independent Baluchistan to capture the critical Gawadar port and its related trade and energy corridors leading towards Afghanistan and Central Asia. It is Pakistan's security dilemma that be it the Indian rivalry or the US partnership, both are detrimental to Pakistan. At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, it is evident that the contest for controlling the Indian Ocean and the Asian 'High Seas' has been initiated already. With the emergence of new stakeholders in the region the game is going to be more sinister and complex. Strategic understanding of the Indian Ocean is critical to analyze this multifaceted, ambitious and intriguing thrash-about.

The Contest, the Players & the Arena:

The geography of Indian Ocean and the littoral states can be divided strategically into five major categories. Whosoever would control these strategically important geographic locations would have all the trading sea-lanes under their control. a. Strategic water access ways and Choking Points: Connecting two seas through natural or artificial water bodies and the points where international trade can be blocked due to

include Socotra near HOA (Horn of Africa), Diego Garcia at the heart of the Indian Ocean South of India, Adaman and Nicobar in Bay of Bengal, Dhalak in Red Sea and state of Sri Lanka. The whole struggle for controlling the Indian Ocean revolves around these strategically important geographic vortexes. Therefore, they have become innately critical to the US, China and India, the three major naval forces in the Indian Ocean with ambitious designs. At present, the US Navy is the only blue water navy operational and backed by the US political force, divided into various US Naval fleets, each responsible for a specific Ocean or region. To capture the above-mentioned strategically important geographic points, the US is using CIA created ghost of terrorism to write the pretexts, under which the US military is expanding its areas of interest across the Indian Ocean. Unleash terrorism in a country and then go there to clean the mess! This is the undeclared US policy tactic in the 21st century and has worked perfectly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, allowing the expansion of the US military footprint. The lastest in the series is the way the US has used the excuse of Somali pirates to capture all important Socotra island, strategically located at the opening of the Gulf of Aden. This will be the site for the fullfledged establishment of military bases, both airforce as well as naval.

constricted width of seaways. There are four crucial access waterways facilitating the international maritime trade, these are the Suez Canal in Egypt, Bab-el-Mandeb, Straits of Hormuz, and Straits of Malacca. b. Multi-purpose strategic ports: These ports serve both civilian and military purposes. Dual-purpose ports are vital national assets; Karachi port in Pakistan, Mumbai in India, Hambantota in Sri Lanka are some of the examples. c. International sea lines of communications: Sea lanes for trade of oil and LNG from Persian Gulf to US, China and India lie under this category. d.

Land based trade corridors connected to coastlines: Land trading routes connecting land locked regions to the international coastline. Ports of Gawadar and Charbahar are perhaps the only two ports in the entire region that serve as multipurpose seaports. Gawadar is the closet seaport for the Central Asian region, through Gawadar Chaman and Gawadar Torkhum corridors, and for Western China through Gawadar Khunjrab corridor. Socotra Island, Yemen New house of US Navyand Airforce in the Arabian Sea

e. Strategic Islands: Islands with naval installations, with the capability to interrupt maritime trade of any other nation. These

from the strait of Malacca. In the East Asian region, the US navy and air force have permanent bases in Japan and South Korea since the 1940's and 1950's, with more than 60,000 US troops deployed there permanently. These bases provide the US military with the opportunity to monitor the Pacific rim of the Indian Ocean and to keep the Chinese maritime developments under a constant check. This region is critical for the US as part of its policy to encircle China. Taiwan strait is a potential war theatre in the South China Sea. The US is supporting Taiwan's government with latest weapon systems but at the same time vows to support One China policy adopted by the communist party of China. US military bases and Training camps exist on the strategic Japanese island of Okinawa since World War II. Despite severe protests and demands from the Japanese public, the US is not willing to close all of its facilities on the island. The Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of China conduct counter intelligence missions in the vicinity of the island on a regular basis as well. In April 2010, the Japanese authorities notified the detection of tens of Chinese intelligence-gathering ships and submarines near Okinawa. Moving towards Southeast Asia, Iran and Pakistan are

B-52 and B-2 Spirit stealth bombers on Diego Garcia

The US navy is already present in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Newly built naval and air force bases on Socotra island would enable the US to keep an eye on the Northern Arabian Sea and the Somalian peninsula at the same time. Coming towards the south, in the Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia support base, which was established in 1970's, was converted into a complete US airforce operational base in 2002, with B-52 and B-2 Spirit stealth bombers on it. This strategic move by the US military to have an operational base in the heart of the Indian Ocean has enabled the US airforce to launch bombardment missions anywhere in Asia. This base was used extensively during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Apart from that, this base provides the US Navy with an unchallenged grip over the Indian Ocean. Towards the East, strategically important Malacca strait is controlled and managed by the US Navy as well. The strait is the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, linking major Asian economies such as India, China, Japan and South Korea. It is interesting how the US mounted pressure on Malaysia to allow US maritime presence in the strait to protect them against threats of terrorism and piracy despite the fact that no evidenace of these terrorists and pirates were found in the strait. Another noticeable fact here is that the US announced the Malacca strait as a maritime danger zone, two years after an attack on a US navy destroyer, USS Cole, in the Gulf of Aden located thousands of miles away

US Bases on Okinawa island in the Pacific Ocean near China

two countries sharing the coastline of extreme strategic importance to the US policy goals in the region. It is only the Pakistani and Iranian ports that connect the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf to Central Asia, China and even to Europe through road/rail links. Gawadar is actually the port which connects Eurasia to the Indian Ocean through the Arabian Sea. US/NATO, India and Israel all want Gawadar, hence the whole of Baluchistan, to secede from Pakistan in order to prevent Chinese access to theArabian Sea and to secure the most reliable and the shortest corridor for the US/NATO forces to Afghanistan. On the other hand, the Chinese Navy is desperately looking for a friendly naval base. The US Navy already has exercised amphibious landing on Makran coastline in Baluchistan. Apart from it, In September 2009, Pakistani media was buzzed with stories of a potential base for 200 US marines at Gharo, Sindh. This conflict of interests has triggered a full blown dirty war in Baluchistan encompassing terrorism, ethnic violence and lingustic hatred as some of its main tactics. This is the most sinister aspect of the global great game! Adjacent to Gawadar, the Iranian Navy patrols the most critical choking points of world oil trade: The Strait of Hurmoz. According to the US Energy Information Administration, an average of about 15 tankers carrying 16.5 to 17 million barrels of crude oil normally pass through the strait every day, making it one of the world's most strategically important choke points. This represents 40% of the world's seaborne oil shipments, and 20% of all world shipments. Despite operating a brown water navy in a coastal defense role, Iran can create turmoil in global oil trade due to its control over the Strait of Hurmoz. Securing this important choking point is a natural strategic aim of the US. The US military might is suffering an economic backlash due to the protracted war on terror, forcing it to adapt new tactics to expand its maritime footprint in and around the Persian Gulf and theArabian Sea. The US, along with 26 other countries, has established Combined Military Force (CMF) to counter threats of Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea. This force is further divided into 3 task forces, each assigned to fight against terrorism, piracy and human trafficking. This arrangement has allowed the US

Navy to quietly expand its maritime area of interests to all the seaports and the coastlines belonging to respective littoral nations. The question remains that why the US is not helping its allies to build their own naval capabilities to deter these threats of terrorism and piracy according to their own maritime strategic vision and priorities instead of including their naval assets to these task forces? Now the US navy has unlimited and unristricted surveillance of seaports, naval bases and sea lanes in the region. Pakistan's Gawadar port and Makran coastline is extremely vital for China and Pakistan. Here theAmerican interests are on a head-on collision course with the Pakistani and Chinese interests, but amazingly Pakistan is still a partner in CMF, working mainly under US Navy's 5th fleet. Summerizing all this maneuvering, it is clear that the US is desperately working towards capturing all major strategic geographic points in the Indian Ocean in order to assert itself and to block the Chinese Dragon from entering the Indian Ocean. The US maritime strategy in context of securing important strategic geographic locations can be summerzied as under: a. The US Naval force projection capabilities and force repositioning guarantee that it can block any trade route if necessary and can force other countries like Iran to open a blocked water lane in case of hostilities. b. The US Navy is getting all regional navies combined under the CMF, expanding naval espionage and intelligence gathering to the entire Arabian sea coastline. It is also pressing to establish its footprint on strategically located seaports like Makran. c. All major choking points in and around Indian Ocean, other than the strait of Hurmoz, are controlled by the US Navy. d. The US Navy already had bases on strategic islands in the Indian Ocean, it is going to expand them to other islands in the future as well. e. Finally, the US is encircling Eurasia. It

Chinese Sea Line of Communication through the Malacca Strait established military bases on both sides of the Atlantic and the Pacific after World War II: The two oceans encompassing the whole of Eurasia from West and East. Now the US is advancing from South to North in the region by asserting itself in the Indian Ocean as well. Another very important geographic aspect of this US war for Eurasia, is the way it is affecting the social fabric of the Muslim nations dotted across the Indian Ocean coastline. The whole of the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan and African Muslim nations like Somalia, Sudan and Bangladesh are in the eye of the storm due to the covert intrigues of the CIA and Mossad. The US policy of securing its interests in the region by redrawing the Middle East map revolves around the presence of the fear of terrorism, which is a brainchild of the CIA. The covert US agency's Special Activity Division (SAD) has created its assets in the region, particularly in Pakistan's tribal belt of FATA, to wreak havoc so that the US can later use this Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism as an excuse to invade more Muslim lands. Stunningly, the whole Middle East and Af-Pak region is in turmoil eversince

the US invaded Afghanistan. Now it is an established fact that the invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq were precursors to ignite sectarian wars across the Muslim heartland so that Greater Middle East can be redrawn. On the other hand, political philosphy of Islam (i.e system of Khilafah) has been destorted and devastated by the US sponsored assets like Al-Qaeda and TTP. After the US, China is the second major power player in the Indian Ocean, having the highest stakes. The Pakistani military establishment and China are aware of the US/NATO game plan for the Makran coastline and are working closely once again on the Gawadar port, whose control has been recently given back to the Chinese. In order to secure its oil supplies from the Persian Gulf, China has embarked on a strategy of building ports in friendly countries. In this regard, China has built a number of seaports along the Asian coastline: Gawadar, Hambentota, Chittagong, Coco islands in Maldives and a port in Myanmar (Burma). There is a real possibility that in future China will use these ports as naval bases away from the Chinese

shores for force projection in the Indian Ocean and declare its navy as a Blue Water Navy. But right now, Taiwan is a more important issue for China. All major Chinese Naval installations are concentrated along the Taiwan Strait. Certainly China cannot leave the ports she built away from home unguarded. The US is navigating in troubled waters of East China Sea and the Pacific, projecting its force and support for independent Taiwan. Not only this but the US is also supporting India to build its Naval strength to deter its Chinese counterpart. Major rivalry between the US and China began with an incident that occurred on 27th October 1994, when USS Kitty Hawk, a USN aircraft carrier, while on routine patrol in the international waters off the Yellow Sea, collided with a Chinese Han class nuclear submarine. In response, the United States dispatched an S-3 Viking antisubmarine patrol aircraft to screen the movements of the Han class submarine. China meanwhile had earlier ordered two F-6 fighter jets to tail and monitor the S-3. As the tension at sea built up, an American attach in Beijing was informed by the Chinese that China will take all necessary measures to defend its air and maritime space from being violated. This incident signalled China's intention to operate its navy in the high seas beyond its coastal waters an area that has been traditionally considered to be preserved by theAmericans. Apart from the Taiwan problem, the dependance of Chinese Sea Lines of Communications (SLOC) on the Malacca strait is a big potential threat. Despite having the world's second largest economy, China is dependent on imported raw material and oil. The Strait of Malacca is the most critical choking point in the Indian Ocean and unfortunately for China this is the biggest potential single point of failure for the Chinese oil supplies, which literally run the Chinese economic engine. Mokhzani Zubir and Mohammad Nizam Basiron at 'Centre for Maritime Security & Diplomacy Malaysia,' described the Chinese sensitivity regarding the Strait of Malacca in these words: Given its importance to China's economic survival it comes as no surprise when Beijing indicated that it is prepared to protect the shipping routes which are important to China's economy. This is bolstered by China's statement that China has strategic interests in these important sea routes and would use its

naval might to ensure that these sea- lanes remain open. Zhao Yuncheng, an expert from China's Institute of Contemporary International Relations, went even further and suggested that whoever controls the Straits of Malacca and the Indian Ocean could threaten China's oil supply route. His conclusions were echoed by President Hu Jiantao, who said that the Malacca-dilemma is the key to China's energy security. He hinted that several powers (the US included) have tried to enlarge their scope of influence in the Straits of Malacca by controlling or attempting to control navigation in the Straits of Malacca. Due to these problems, China is compelled to have a two-Oceans navy, and this is where China is heading now. The Chinese navy, backed by massive economy, is on its way to become the second largest navy in the world. Despite building an array of seaports along the coastline of friendly littoral nations, the Chinese SLOCs remain vulnerable at the moment and the Chinese navy is not in a position to assert itself in the Indian Ocean or even in the Arabian Sea, where the Indian navy, along with its US counterpart, is having control. This has forced China to declare its ports away from home to be declared as civilian and commercial only. India is the third major player in the Indian Ocean. With a large navy and ambitious aspirations, India is expanding her footprint not only in the Indian Ocean but also looking towards the Pacific as part of her Look East strategy. After 9/11, India became the biggest strategic partner for the US, and now both are working closely to deter the Chinese threat, but the Indians have their own maritime gameplan which confines not only to the Indian Ocean but encompasses the Pacific as well. The US would never like India to be that capable, but right now they have a common interest in the Indian Ocean as well as in the region. Contraction of its naval force, despite being a global super power, is disturbing for the US military. The surface fleet of the US navy is depleting while the Chinese and Indian Navies are expanding. To make up for this loss, the US has devised a regional strategy of forging

String of Pearls - Chinese built ports in the Indian Ocean and Nicobar & Andaman islands
maritime alliances with friendly countries, as part of its foreign policy. The subsequent military cooperation between India and the US has increased manifold since 9/11 and the navy is not an exception in this regard. The Indian ambitions of becoming a global power are nothing new. Post 9/11 geo-political and geostrategic milieu provided a conducive environment to India to pursue her global aspirations. Becoming a two-Ocean navy is a declared motto of the Indian naval forces. The Indian navy is going to become the world's 3rd largest navy from the world's 5th. Right now the Indian navy comprises of following strengths: In 2004, the Indian navy adopted a new aggressive doctrine and the following areas were identified as priorities for the Indian navy in the 21st century: a. Controlling the choke points, significant islands and trade routes in the Indian Ocean, theArabian Sea and in the Bay of Bengal. b. Inclusion of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Malacca as legitimate area of interest for the first quarter of the 21st century. c. Transforming Indian navy into a threedimensional blue water force, having the potential to undertake significant assignments and roles on the surface, underwater, and in the air.

Just like the US maritime strategy for Indian Ocean, the Indian doctrine also focuses on acquiring the capability of choking trade by naval blockade of sea-lanes for China and Pakistan in the Arabian Sea. For the Indians, Chinese built seaports in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Maldives are major concerns despite the repeated Chinese assurances that China has no intention of expanding its maritime presence in the Arabian Sea. The Indian military strategists named these Chinese bases as String of Pearls and declared it an attempt by China to encircle India. Though the Chinese-built ports in friendly countries, including Pakistan, have the potential to affect the balance of power in the Indian Ocean between China and India, but right now the Indian fear sounds more like a far cry from reality. India is exaggerating the Chinese threat out of proportion so that newer and latest weapons can be acquired from the US and the West in order to break the Chinese string of pearls with the help of the Indian naval metal chain, a term devised by some Indian experts for Andaman Nicobar Command (ANC) and the Indian bases on Nicobar and Andaman islands in the Bay of Bengal. An existing strength of 3000 troops has been increased to a division level force of 15000 troops. The most significant modification was to extend the existing airstrip so that the Indian Air force Su-30MKI fighter jet can land on these islands. In the East, in the Bay of Bengal, the Indian navy's main target is to deter Chinese investment on seaports built in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar by having the capacity to choke the Chinese oil trade.

Apart from that, the Indian navy is eying to operate in the Pacific and for this it needs massive power projection capability. This goal is further signified by an ambitious program designed to locally build aircraft carriers. The ANC is going to play a major role in achieving these goals . On the Western theatre, in the Arabian Sea, Indian naval ambitions have expanded farther from Pakistan. The Indian navy, even now has a massive power projection capability vis--vis its Pakistani equivalent due to a massive gap in qualitative and numerical terms. The Middle East, particularly the Persian Gulf and Africa, are among the Indian navy's long-term ambitions. The Indian navy has already established its electronic monitoring and listening stations in Madagascar and Maldives, deep into the Indian Ocean, far from Indian coastal precincts. Interestingly, the Israelis are also navigating through turbulent waters of the Indian Ocean and their presence in the Arabian Sea, along with Iranian and Pakistani maritime borders has been confirmed now. Israel established a secret logistics naval base on a strategic island of Dahalak, Eritrea, with US funding, close to Bab-e-Mandel in the Red Sea. Here the Israeli Dolphin Class submarines and Corvettes get supplies while entering into the Arabian Sea, where at least one Dolphin Class submarine, armed with Popeye Turbo, nuclear tipped cruise missiles, maintain her presence. This base was established after a secret agreement between the Israeli and Eritrean government in 1995. From this island, no vessel can traverse the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, undetected by the Israelis. This base proves that horn of Africa is also included into the area of interest. Involvement of all these major actors along with regional countries, the swath of the Indian Ocean is a maritime arena where these players are busy making new alliances and strategic repositioning of their naval assets, along with building new capabilities. Understanding all these facets of this struggle is important for putting the Pakistani maritime defenses and future threat assessment in a perspective.

Pakistan, the entire South Asian region has fallen into two camps with conflicting security interests. One is onboard with the US war on terror, a US recipe to expand her military footprint and push her grand objectives. The other group of nations wants to bring this US expansion in the region to a halt. China, Iran and North Korea do not want US presence in the region and in the Indian Ocean with power projection capability to undermine their interests, while on the other hand the Gulf countries and Pakistan are partners in US maritime task forces working under the US Navy's 5th fleet.

Though due to protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US Navy is decreasing in number but increasing its effectiveness and lethality by incorporating the latest state of the art systems. At the end of the Cold War, the US Navy had a surface fleet strength of 600 ships which declined to 350 during the Clinton administration and now has decreased further to 289 ships. It is still a formidable force as it has 3,700 aircraft at its disposal across the globe. The Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea are monotired by the US Navy's 5th fleet, which was reactivated in 1995, after a hibernation of 48 years, bringing the USN at three ocean navy. It consists of two air craft carrier strike groups, along with a number of destroyers, attack submarines, amphibious landing ships and numbers of auxiliray ships, with its headquarters in Manama, Bahrain. The US Navy's 5th fleet comprises of various task forces, each responsible for dedicated tasks. 1 x Forward Deployed Carrier Strike Group ( having 2 aircraft carriers) 1 x Expeditionary Strike Group (having multiple amphibious land platforms) Task Force 52, mining/demining force Task Force 53, Logistics Force/Sealift Logistics Command Central, Military Sealift Command (MSC replenishment ships plus USN MH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters and C130 Hercules, C-9 Skytrain II and/or C-40 Clipper aircraft)

Balance of Naval Powers in the Indian Ocean :

In context of the ongoing struggle for controlling Eurasia after redrawing the Middle East, including

Task Force 58, Maritime Surveillance Force (Northern Persian Gulf) Task Force 59, Expeditionary Force/ Contingency Force (when required) The given map explains that the 5 fleet has a very small area of responsibility.

USS Harry S. Truman-Part of USN 5th Fleet Task Force 54, (dual-hatted as Task Force 74) Submarine Force Task Force 55, (Operation Iraqi Freedom: Constellation Carrier Strike Force; June 2003: mine clearing force) Task Force 56, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command force. Task Force 57, (dual-hatted as Task Force 72) Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (P-3 and EP-3 Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft) The Chinese Navy (PLAN) is the largest naval force in Asia but the quality of surface and sub surface fleet remains a crucial problem of Chinese Navy's efficacy. The Chinese Naval technology traditionally relied on Russian origin. China is just entering into modern warfare. Some of its home grown surface fleet ships proved their seaworthiness in the Gulf of Aden, where they sustained their operations for more than 120 days without any support from nearby bases. But it is certainly going to take a while before China can have a real force projection capability, particualry in the field of aircraft carriers, an area where even the Indian navy is superiror than the Chinese in terms of quality, quantity and experience. Currently the Chinese Naval strength is as under: Strength: Force Size : 255,000 Surface Force: Destroyer: 26 Frigate: 49 Large landing Ship: 27 Medium landing Ship: 31 Fast attack craft: 200+ Submarine * SSBN: 3

** SSGN: 5 7 (as per various reports) AOR of USN 5th Fleet


Chinese Ballistic Missile Submarine *** SSK: 56 Naval Aviation: Manpower: 26,000 Aircraft: 400-500 * (US Classification for Submarine Ship with Ballistic missile and Nuclear power) **( US Classification for Submarine Ship without Ballistic missile and Nuclear power) ***(US classfication for Submarine Ship without Ballistic missile and conventional power) PLAN recently started to induct advanced jet fighters. China is talking to the Russians for supplies of SU-33 ship borne fighters for the Chinese air craft carrier which is under construction. To strenghten its naval defenses in the South China Sea, the Chinese navy has built a naval submarine base on Hinanian island, capable of housing 20 submarines at a time. The Chinese Type 093 Han Class and Type 094 Jin Class ballistic missile submarines, belonging to Northern Fleet of PLAN have enabled it to project considerable power in the Pacific. The limited number of these submarines is a problem for PLAN but it would not remain so in the coming decade and construction of Hinanian base is yet another indication of the Chinese resolve of becoming a true blue water navy.

Iranian Navy's strength lies in its fleet of 13 submarines which also include Russian Kilo class diesel powered submarines. Despite suffering from major economic and military sanctions from the US after the 1979 Islamic revolution, the Iranian navy revised its structure in 1990's and adopted many new platforms of Russian, Chinese and North Korean origins. Right now, the Iranian navy has a limited power projection capability in the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea. According to latest news from Press TV Iran, the country is going to start an assembly line for home grown submarines. This is a significant development as Iran would be the first country in the Gulf to have such an assembly line.

The Indian navy executed a new doctrine immediately. New naval facilities were built on both Eastern and Western shores. The Indian passion of fighting a two-theater war against China and Pakistan is evident in its maritime strategic planning as well. The Indian Navy has undertaken a very robust strategy for building power projection capabilities. This includes: 1. Establishing new naval bases on home and foreign coastal lines. 2. Acquiring the latest surface and sub surface weapon systems. 3. Enhancing local ship / submarine building capabilities.

INS Vikramaditya undergoing massive refit in Russia and Russian MIG-29K 4. Bilateral / Multilateral naval exercises to enhance operational readiness. The first phase of this doctrine was completed in 2005 with the construction of a new larger naval base, INS Kadamba at Karwar in Karnataka. This port was envisioned in 1980 but was adopted only in 1999 under the project Seabird. This project was initiated to separate the Indian naval bases from its commercial ports. Apart from this, major naval bases of Indian navy exist in Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam and Kochi. Vishakhapatnam alone can provide berths for fifty vessels. The Indian naval ambitions are stretched to the entire swath of the Indian Ocean, from horn of Africa to the Pacific rim of the Indian Ocean, in the South China Sea. The Indian Navy is acquiring aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, Anti-ship missiles, amphibious landing docks and ship mounted theatre defense. Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) systems to project power as the region's only expeditionary naval force. The Indian target is to get three aircraft carriers operational till 2020. The Indian navy already operates an aircraft carrier INS Viraat, which received a major upgrade in 2006 when the Israeli Barak Anti-Missile System was installed. Supplementing this would be 44,500 tons INS Vikramaditya, ex-Russian Admiril Gorshkov aircraft carrier, with a capacity to house 16 state of the art Mig-29K ship borne fighters for carrying out strike and anti-ship missions. Currently, the Indian navy's air arm depends on the British Sea Harrier jets, which are getting old now. Mig-29K are latest variant in the

family and would be a tremendous boost in the Indian Navy's aviation arm, with its 1650 KM combat radius, Kh-31 and Kh-35 anti-ship and anti-radar missiles. By 2018, the Indian navy is expected to operate its home built 40,000 ton aircraft carrier, which would house 12 MIG-29K fighters for strike missions. This would be followed by a third aircraft carrier project in 50,000 ton class, fitted with catapult while the earlier models have been envisaged with STOBAR (Short take off barrier-arrested design). Along with its multiple carrier-operating ambitions, the Indian navy also has a very robust submarine program, which includes acquisition of both conventional and nuclear powered attack submarines. Unlike China and US, the Indian naval fleet has no ballistic missile submarine with it, but nuclear powered conventional submarine capability has been acquired with the help of Russian assistance. The Indian navy is going to operate the Russian nuclear powered submarine Akula-II, on a 10 years' lease, which would be commissioned in the Indian navy as INS Chakra. The Indian crew was trained at St. Petersburg in 2008, to operate nuclear powered submarines. This training helped the Indian navy in its own nuclear submarine project, Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV), which has been going on secretively since the 1980's. The first ship, with the name INS Arihant, has been launched in 2009. Interestingly, the symbolic launch ceremony was held on 26th July, the day the Indian army celebrates as victory in the Kargil war. This symbolic gesture indicates the real intentions of the Indian navy regarding the future area of deployment of these submarines. The second Arihant class boat is under construction right now at Ship Building Centre (SBC), Vishakhapatnam.

In the conventional submarine arena, the Indian naval strength lies on 10 Russian built Kilo class submarines. These boats are armed with Klub antiship missiles and are considered as one of the quietist submarines in the world due their double hull architecture. Apart from that, the German Type 209 submarines are also part of the Indian navy. To maintain a modern submarine fleet, the Indian navy is in process of inducting 6 French Scorpene attack submarines and another follow up order of 6 will follow the induction of 6 more conventional attack submarines. India would acquire the latest variant of Exocet anti-ship missiles along with Scorpene submarines. Indian Navy's Sea King ASW helicopter Just like its sub-surface fleet, the Indian navy is going to induct the latest surface combatants in the fleet. Guided Missile Destroyers and frigates armed with BrahMos cruise missiles are the mainstay of Indian naval surface fleet. With the help of Russia, India has acquired the capabilities to produce 6000-8000 ton destroyers locally. The Russian firm Severnoye Design Bureau, helped India to build Delhi class destroyers, equipped with surface to air missile system like Barak-1 , Anti-ship missiles like Kh-35 (Range:130 Km) and SET-65E anti-submarine, active and passive homing torpedo. Apart from the existing destroyers, the Indian navy has a plan to build 8 new stealth guided missile Kolkata Class Destroyers, under program P-15A. The first ship was launched in 2006. The primary design goal of this new class of destroyers is to enhance the land attack capabilities of the Indian navy, with enhanced area defense role against any aerial attack with 48 Barak-8 and 32 Barak-1 SAMs. Each destroyer would have 16 BrahMos cruise missile launcher. The Indian naval build up also includes acquiring airborne surveillance, maritime patrol, and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) platforms. Right now, the Indian Naval aviation is using the Russian origin patrol aircrafts and anti-submarine helicopters, but it is going to be changed in the near future. The most significant upgrade in the Indian naval aviation, would be the induction of Boeing P-8I Poseidon multipurpose, maritime patrol platform. This induction would bring the Indian maritime surveillance and anti-submarine capabilities on par with the USN, owing to the fact that it is US Navy's next generation maritime surveillance platform. For strike missions, the Indian navy already has a large fleet of Tu-22M, SEPECAT Jaguar, Sukhoi SU-30 MKI and newly inducted MIG-29K. Jaguars' Sea Eagle missiles are to be replaced with more lethal Harpoon missiles. In the anti-submarine role, the Sea King, Ka-28 and the domestic built HAL Dhruv are used. After strengthening its surface, sub-surface fleets and naval aviation arm, the next aim of the Indian navy is to transform into an expeditionary naval force. For this purpose, the Indian navy has acquired 16,900 tons, Landing Platform Dock (LPD) from US in 2007, which was commissioned as INS Jalashva. Acquisition of second platform is under consideration while 4 more amphibious landing ships would be acquired from Russia. These platforms would enable the Indian navy marine force to land and capture other nation's coastline areas in a naval expedition. Analyzing this ambition leaves little doubt about the real intentions of the Indian navy. India cannot launch an expedition mission in the South China Sea while all major islands in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal are already under the Indian or US control, so naturally it leaves the seashores of Pakistan as potential targets of the Indian build up. Furthermore, the Indian maritime war preparations are in complete sync with a similar aggressive drive of modernization in the Indian army and air force under the grand Cold Start strategy, specifically devised against Pakistan. Pakistan army and air force have already taken a number of responsive measures to deter the Indian war ambitions under the Cold Start strategy, but the Pakistan Navy is clearly lagging behind in building adequate defenses. Unlike China and India, Pakistan

Navy is a very small force with only one role, seaward defense. But with the changed geo-political and geostrategic regional environment, it has become a compulsion for the Pakistan Navy to adopt a Sea Deterrent role. Pakistan has no ambition of regional power projection but India clearly does. Apart from the Indian threats, the way Pakistan has been portrayed as a source of international terrorism, in a ruthless and sinister media war and consequential warnings issued to Pakistan by the US administration, also demand a paradigm shift in the strategic thinking of Pakistan Navy's top brass, while carrying out threat assessment. Clearly, Pakistan's potential security threats have been expanded way beyond India. So enhancing its anti-ship, anti-submarine and subsurface warfare capabilities becomes intrinsically mandatory to deny sea control to any hostile entity. Unfortunately, the current strength of Pakistan Navy is not even adequate to fulfill its primary defense role let alone sea deterrence. This is dangerous to say the least.

Current naval strength of Pakistan is described above in a comparison to its Indian counterpart. Current one-sided balance of naval power proves that Pakistan Navy is not equipped to defend its harbors and seaports while concurrently making sure that its sea-lanes keep open. Traditionally, India has always enjoyed naval superiority, both in quality and quantity, over the Pakistan Navy after the 1965 war, when Pakistan held the Arabian Sea under its control by virtue of operating the only submarine (PNS Ghazi) at that time in the war but it changed soon as the Indian strategic planners realized their weaknesses and eradicated them. India was the first country in Asia to operate an aircraft carrier in 1971, though PN's submarine fleet was still a headache for the Indian navy, but once PNS Ghazi was sunk, the whole complexion of war changed dramatically. This detailed analysis of regional players draws the

Pakistan will have to change the current balance of maritime power in the Arabian sea in order to secure its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The current status is unacceptable and cannot warrant putting up a decent fight, before extinction let alone survival and victory. Pakistan navy is going to pay for the recent mismanagement of its acquisition programs. To adopt an effective sea denial role, some short and long term recommendations are given below:

above shown comparative picture of maritime balance of power in the Indian Ocean. Pakistan had to pay a heavy price in the 1971 war for not building adequate naval defenses. In East Pakistan, an area surrounded by India from three sides and having the Bay of Bengal on the fourth, the damage inflicted by the Indian navy and Indian Air Force on the Pakistan navy stood at seven gunboats, one minesweeper, two destroyers, three patrol crafts belonging to the coast guard, 18 cargo, supply and communication vessels and large scale damage inflicted on the naval base and docks in the coastal town of Karachi. Losses from both sides are depicted in the table below. Unfortunately, the current status of the Pakistan Naval procurement proves that no lesson was learnt from the 1971 war, particularly the way the deal of Type-214 submarine was ruined in 2008 under extremely suspicious circumstances. Likewise, opportunities of having Spruance Class destroyer, for fleet air defense role, were turned down in 2005, and recent reports about Pakistan Navy putting Turkish deal of Milgem Corvettes on an indefinite hold, are extremely annoying. 1. Ballistic missile and cruise missile capabilities are Pakistan's most lethal and reliable strength to counter balance India's naval build up in the Arabian Sea. Pakistan Naval Strategic Command must adopt surface-to-surface medium and short range ballistic missiles in a role against Indian navy's land based, fixed assets like naval bases, radar stations, dockyards and harbors. An attack on the main naval base like Mumbai or Cochin, during an event of war, can put a decisive philosophical scar on Indian navy's morale. Pakistan naval bombardment on Dawarka radar station during the 1965 war had sent a powerful and aggressive signal to the Indian navy. With a very small surface fleet, right now, Pakistan navy is in no position to undertake that kind of mission again in the near future, but ballistic missile capability enables Pakistan armed forces to strike at major Indian naval bases and harbors even preemptively, without putting its navy in harm's way. Land and air launched cruise missiles must be part of Navy's aggressive doctrine in order to attack enemy bases with


sheer lethality. China is using its DF-21 missiles in anti-ship missile role against larger ships like aircraft carriers. The bottom line is that Pakistan must step up the production of its medium range ballistic missiles and some of the units must be an integral part of the Navy's strategic force command with conventional warheads aimed at all major Indian naval bases. 2. Pakistan anti-ship capabilities, despite having lethal weapon systems like Harpoons and Exocet, are hindered due to limited numbers of surface and sub-surface launching platforms (i.e. ships and submarines).Anti-ship and anti-

conventional submarines in her naval fleet, while Pakistan's submarine fleet is depleting fast. Pakistan does not need any SSBN or SSGN even in the conventional submarine arena. Pakistan submarine fleet is the weakest link in naval defenses, with just 3 reliable and relatively modern Agosta 90-B submarines. Pakistan desperately needs to expand its submarine force to 12 advanced diesel, and half of them must be modern submarines built on proven technologies. Pakistan Navy could not execute the submarine acquisition plan devised by SMAP due to the malevolent intentions of compromised elements, both in the political and naval establishment. German build Type214 submarines were recommended after years of evaluation work. Prior to this, the deal of Agosta-90B in 1994, also met with charges of corruption and kickbacks, which proved true when investigated. An inquiry in France is underway in this regard. India is building its submarine fleet with conventional and nonconventional platforms, while Pakistani decision makers remain oblivious. It must be remembered that wars are fought with conventional weapons on submarines, not nuclear weapons. It is the duty of the conventionally armed submarines to advance and engage. Nuclear submarines avoid the conventional threats and wait in stealth for second strike capability. Pakistan needs more conventional submarines for active defense. Under the pressure of US, now Germany and France, both have backed out and Pakistan Navy has practically lost the opportunity to induct one of the most potent sub-surface platforms that could have provided Pakistan Navy with real sea denial capabilities vis--vis the Indian navy. But this damage can still be managed by acquiring the platform available, like German Type 209/Mod 1400 submarines from Turkey or second hand, but proven Agosta-70 platform can be acquired from Spain or Brazil. These platforms can be modified with modern combat suits and weapon systems. Type-209 is in use with 13 navies worldwide, so spares and

PAFs Mirage-V armed with AM-39 anti-ship missile

submarine are the two most critical roles for any navy in the world. The deficiency of sea bound platforms can be overcome by building a strong naval air arm in strike role. Pakistan Navy will have to add numbers of new squadrons of JF-17 thunder equipped with C802A missiles (Range: 180 KM). The current balance of naval aviation between Pakistan and India is heavily tilted in Indian favor. The current fleet of Mirage-V ROSE with AM-39 Exo cet ant i-ship mi ssi les, must be complemented by Thunders and C-802A combo. One major advantage of adding Thunders in naval role would be the economy of home grown solutions, allowing Pakistan to raise more squadrons of JF-17 Thunders in naval aviation. 3. Building an impregnable naval defense is not possible without having a robust and modern state of the art submarine fleet. India is adding all the latest conventional and nonBRASSTACKS 19

training would be no problem. Pak-China cooperation is very critical, as China remains the only reliable military partner of Pakistan. Pakistan Navy has no experience of using Chinese sub-surface platforms and as now Pakistan Navy is going to acquire the Chinese platform, Pakistan should request PLAN to detach some of its Song class submarines to train Pakistani sailors and officers. For any Chinese origin platform it must be ensured that it strictly meets the PN requirements. A joint venture program can serve best just like JF-17 Thunder did for PAF. Maritime defense pact with China is a must where we can allow China to have Naval bases on our shores to counterbalance hostile threats. Pakistan navy must also increase its naval cooperation with Iran, as Iran is entering into submarine building arena with Qaeem class submarines. Prior to that, Iran already has built Nahang 1 and Ghadir class submarines. On the geo-strategic level, Pakistan, China and Iran must form a maritime alliance as mutual interests converge in the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. But to enter any such regional security arrangement, Pakistan will have to isolate herself from the US war on terror and Major Non-Nato Ally (MNNA) status given to Pakistan by the US. 4. Absence of area defense destroyers is another weak area of Pakistan navy, which needs to be strengthened on war footings. With induction of MIG-29Ks in the Indian navy it is necessary for Pakistan navy to have this crucial capability in order to prevent Indian naval aviation arm from establishing air superiority. In this regard, Chinese platform with HQ-9 SAM, based on proven Russian S-300, can be a good start. Pakistan navy personnel can work out with their Chinese counterparts to finalize specifications. 5. Pakistan must increase its cooperation with

Turkey in naval warfare. Recently, Turkey offered Pakistan navy with GENESIS system for Perry class frigate, which PN is going to acquire from the US. Pakistan navy must seal this important deal as GENESIS would provide some aerial defense capabilities to Pakistan navy surface fleet with its SM2 missile. Pakistan navy is also engaged with Turkey for Milgem corvette program, which is one of most critical programs right now to enhance the surface fleet capabilities.

Final Thoughts:
The current grim, noxious and precarious geostrategic environment in the region has threatened Pakistan's security interests like never before. Clash of interests among regional players is predominately outrageous, turning high seas, littoral nations across Asia and eventually the whole of Indian Ocean into an active battlefield, whereupon the Pakistan Navy looks extremely weak in surface, subsurface and naval aviation, keeping in mind India's ambitious naval build up in and around the Arabian Sea, both in qualitative and numerical terms. While the noose around Pakistan is being tightened on every axis of national security, Pakistan's political leadership and successive naval top brass remain obscure and debilitated while making critical decisions of inducting new maritime platforms in the Pakistan Navy. This indecisiveness could endanger the entire coastline of Pakistan. Due to lack of any strategic depth between Eastern and Western borders, the coastline, stretching from East to West, in the South cannot be left unguarded at any cost. Pakistan Navy is the most neglected arm of the armed forces at the moment. It is from this flank that Pakistan is most vulnerable. Those in government and in the establishment responsible for bringing about this dangerous state of affairs, are guilty of compromising Pakistan's security. In the time of war, the bravest sons of this nation, serving in the Navy, would needlessly be harmed for the blunders of the rulers today. We still have time to correct this dangerous imbalance, otherwise history neither forgets nor forgives !

India-Iran Relations and Pakistan

By Farzana Shah

The South Asian region is witnessing a change in the traditional strategic blocks in contemporary times. New alliances are emerging while existing ones are going through a complete reshape. The changing dynamics of Indian relations with the US and Iran are the most lucid manifestation of this reshaping of regional politics. A detailed analysis of India's calculus of its relations with Iran and recently growing ties with the US clearly points towards the fact that the dynamics have tilted in India's favour at the cost of Iranian interests. Over the years India-Iran relations were perceived as something inspired by mutual interests based on the following factors: 1. Energy and economy 2. Strategic interests vis--vis Afghanistan and Pakistan 3. Historical ties Despite all the bravado of bilateralism and convergence of strategic interests, India abandoned Iran as an ally soon after the US invaded Afghanistan and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was toppled. Since then, India-Iran relations have become nothing more than a sordid boon for Iran, formulated by the cunning Indian foreign policy makers, leaving Iran in the lurch regarding all the above-mentioned factors. It is interesting to observe how the Indian aspirations to become a global player, after becoming a strategic ally of the US, has affected India-Iran relations on every axis, offering new opportunities to Islamabad to expand its diplomatic clout in Tehran in order to wage

a combined political, economic and strategic alliance for regional stability. Let us see how the Indo-Iran relations have evolved to their current status.

1.Energy and Economic Ties:

For years, India had been pursuing a policy of warming up to Iran in order to secure the energy needs of its growing population. The Indo-Iranian relations, based on the notion of bilateral interests in the field of energy and economy since the last few years, have disintegrated into distrust due to many reasons. The focus on the economic aspects of the energy ties has suffered many jolts due to inconsistent Indian sincerity as well as India's complete U-turn on many issues vis--vis Iran, especially its nuclear programme. The much hyped energy deals, including importing LNG and Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, between India and Iran have hit major obstacles due to India cozying up with the US after the Indo-US nuclear deal. So detaching herself from Iran became an intrinsic imperative for India. Hence India opted to walk away from this trilateral deal and eventually the deal was signed by Pakistan and Iran only. In June 2005, India concluded an agreement with Iran for the supply of five million tons of LNG annually for a 25-year period in order to secure its energy supplies and expressed its willingness to increase the import by another 2.5 million tons per year. Initially, Iran had agreed to supply the LNG at $3.215

per million British thermal units (mBtu). However, due to the rising price of oil, Iran has been demanding a higher price while India is unwilling to do so. While the snag-hit LNG deal is blamed on the Iranian demand for higher price, the Indian U-turn on the 2,700-kilometer-long Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline is due to the opposition from the US. Washington has succeeded in forcing India to dump the pipeline linking it to the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, which was formally concluded in March 2006. In May 2006, seven US Congressmen warned India against going ahead with the pipeline project at the cost of the nuclear deal and the overall Indo-US relations. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the US issued a blunt warning: India's pursuit of closer relations with Iran appears to be inconsistent with the letter and spirit of the July 18th, 2005 announcement by you and President Bush, of the establishment of a 'global partnership' between our two countries. It also is contrary to the pledge that India 'would play a leading role in international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons'. Divergence of Indo-Iran Energy Interests: The Indo-US nuclear deal in 2005, opened many other avenues for importing nuclear and fuel energy for India, therefore its dependence on Iran has decreased considerably now. Apart from this, many other factors played a decisive role in ceasing India from becoming a major Iranian energy market, like the UN sanctions on Iran and the recent pledge by President Obama to support India for a permanent seat in UNSC. Many other countries are offering similar nuclear deals to India which will further decrease any future dependence on Iran. Already nearly 45 percent of India's oil imports come from the Gulf States including Saudi Arabia, whereas only approximately 16 percent of Indian oil supply comes from Iran. This factor in itself indicates that India would be striving for closer ties with the Gulf countries rather than damaging its recently established strategic ties with the US, by siding with Iran even for energy.

Indian oil imports from various countries India also endorsed the Arab call for a nuclearweapons-free Middle East, a proposal that used to be directed at Israel but which is increasingly focused on Iran. Keeping in mind the growing isolation of Iran by America, India has already started warming up to Saudi Arabia in order to protect its energy interests, besides guarding its economic interests as over 3.5 million Indian citizens work in that region. This manifestation of Indian energy policy is visible by its joining hands with Saudi Arabia in a call for averting the Iranian nuclear program. The Riyadh declaration signed in January 2010 during the Indian Prime Minister Singh's visit to Saudi Arabia, asked Iran to "remove regional and international doubts about its nuclear weapons programme." It also endorses the fact that now India is completely in the US camp along with Saudi Arabia against Iran's nuclear ambitions. As India had dragged its feet over the IPI pipeline but Iran and Pakistan had gone ahead with it, the US has succeeded in getting the Turkmen-Afghan-PakistanIndia (TAPI) pipeline signed. The much-delayed TAPI pipeline project that envisages bringing Turkmen gas to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan, was recently signed by the

withdrawal, one must remember that the Taliban were not against the pipeline itself, which is going to hurt the Iranian energy exports to a considerable extent. This scenario is clearly a strategic set back for Iran, with India finding new partners to reach Central Asia with the US backing and having a sound footing in Afghanistan where it will no longer need Iran. Some political pundits suggest that the Indian influence in Afghanistan is about to terminate as the US has announced its withdrawal from the country, but this announcement remains elusive as different elements from different power centers in the US are interpreting the announcement as 'conflicting', making the whole withdrawal issue more complex and vague. Sanctions and Other Issues: IPI and TAPI Gas pipelines respective countries and has seen much to the interests of the US. Eventually, it will further sideline Iran as the energy exporter. This is one of the many alternative markets for India to seek energy from, Turkmenistan is especially important for India vis--vis its access to the massive Central Asian energy reserves and for countering the expanding presence of China in Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan). The US is mainly supporting this not only for countering the Iranian energy market, but also for consolidating its presence in Afghanistan thus keeping Iran out of the region even on trade levels. If this plan succeeds without facing any set backs, it will also decrease the economic dependence of Afghanistan, as the TAPI pipeline would make it a transport hub connecting three strategically important areas namely: Central Asia, SouthAsia and West Asia. The pipeline is also going to earn it revenues (approx. $300 million per year as transit fee). The only real threat this project is faced with emerges from the security of the pipeline and its related infrastructure, particularly in Afghanistan and the Baluchistan province of Pakistan. To diminish this threat, the US is desperately trying to woo the Afghan Taliban to join the Kabul government but they remain committed to their own goal of forcing the withdrawal of US/NATO forces from Afghanistan; even in case of the US

Apart from the gas pipelines, other energy projects by India in Iran are also turning unfeasible due to the imposition of US sanctions as well as certain geographical issues. A $5.5 billion offshore block discovered by Indian oil companies. A$10 billion agreement to develop parts of the South Pars gas field in Iran. However, these are also not adding much to the Iranian economy since the Indian companies cannot invest beyond a certain amount per year in order to avoid the affect of the US imposed sanctions on companies regarding the investment limit in Iran. Consequently, the Indian companies could not invest more than $20 million per year in Iran. At this rate, these projects will never be completed, as the energy demand in India keeps growing. To nullify the US pressure and to fulfill its own energy needs, India is opting for an extremely ambitious subsea gas pipeline from Iran or the Gulf States. These projects are also equally unfeasible due to their mammoth cost as well as their technological and geographical challenges. The SAGE project: Devised by South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE), is an extremely ambitious gas pipeline project using deep sea technologies. It was devised in the 1990's. The idea revolves around establishing a gas-

maintenance on a sub-sea pipeline at a depth of 3.5 kilometers, costing an additional infrastructure investment of $3 billion, as well as additional transportation tariff. The project is expected to take five years to be completed and will have a capacity of 31.1 million standard cubic metres of gas a day (mscmd). Though these projects look ambitious and advantageous to Iran, both these projects, according to experts could be eligible for US sanctions. Though there are chances that these may escape sanctions if, like the Turkey-Iran pipeline project, they are conducted through swap deals, and by not buying gas directly from Iran, but again it won't benefit Iran much. These projects are unviable due to their high cost, a factor on the pretext of which India had stayed away from Iran-Pakistan pipeline, although according to media reports in 2008, Turkmen gas was charging three times of what India had committed to Iran. Ashgabat reportedly had asked for $400-$450/1000 cubic meters, with additional transport and transit fee that would be payable to Afghanistan and Pakistan, making the final price at around $650-675/1000 cubic meters; India was bargaining for $200-$230/1000 cubic meters. This fact once again proves that India's backing off from the Iran-Pakistan pipeline is more due to the pressure from the US than the cost factor. It is also worthy to note that more than the effect of the UNSC resolution on India's oil trade with Iran, the US sanctions are impacting India the most. The US has

Iranian South Pars Gas Field gathering network in Oman, by connecting the major gas fields in the region and then pumping this to India through the sub-sea, politically neutral energy corridor in international waters of theArabian Sea. Another project entails transporting the Turkmen gas in a gas swap deal. Under this project, Turkmenistan will pump in the amount of gas required by India into Iran's northern gas grid. Iran will then feed in the same amount of Iranian gas into its southern pipelines to Chahbahar port, from where it will be pumped into a sub-sea pipeline leading to India. However these sub-sea routes are faced with logistical difficulties, including the problem of carrying out

Proposed SAGE pipeline


gain influence in Afghanistan, banking on the US policy of carrot and stick to Pakistan regarding the socalled war on terror. The Indian policy makers still support the US/NATO presence in the region so that India is able to launch and support sectarian insurgencies both in Pakistan andAfghanistan in order to create a rift between Pakistan and Iran on this sensitive issue. India strongly advocates the US/NATO presence in Afghanistan and this is where the Iranian interests clash with those of India and this is where the Iran-Pakistan interests converge, despite the past cold relations with each other during the Taliban regime in Kabul, after 1996. With the US/NATO's complete military failure during the last 10 years in a complex and asymmetric war in Afghanistan, and the subsequent talks of bringing the Taliban fighters onboard in Kabul, India is sensing its dreams of establishing a foothold in the region, dashing to the ground once again. India and the Nuclear-Armed Shia Iran: New Delhi has repeatedly voted in favour of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) resolutions against Iran on the grounds that a nuclear Iran is not in India's interests. After finding new sources of energy in the US and some western countries, India has manifested a strong shift in its policy over the Iranian nuclear program, which has been one of the major factors that have jolted the Indo-Iranian relations. Prior to that, India had been playing the role of a fence-sitter over the issue, saving itself from any Iranian ire since the issue remained within the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) giving India an excuse to urge Iran to resolve its differences within the IAEA. However, when the nuclear watchdog decided to refer the matter to the United Nations Security Council, India could not remain a fence-sitter. Earlier too India had stabbed Iran in the back by siding with the US in September 2005, despite its friendly gestures towards Tehran. The Indian policy makers have been quoted time and again by the media (read between the lines) that India sees a nuclear Iran destabilizing the entire Middle East. This Indian stance is nothing but reiteration of what the US and Israel have been propagating since years. In the current restive milieu of the region, this

Geo-hazard challenges for Iran- India subsea gas pipelines been applying pressure against the Indian companies that have energy relations with Iran. The Indian company Reliance's decision to terminate exports to Iran came after several US lawmakers urged the Export-Import Bank to suspend the extension of $900 million worth of financial guarantees to RIL to help it to expand its Jamnagar refinery, on the grounds that it was assisting Iran's economy with the gas sales.

2 . India-Iran Strategic Interests and Afghanistan:

India for years has wielded the geopolitics of the region vis--vis Afghanistan as a dictating factor in determining its ties with Iran. Since the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, Indo-Iran interests continued on the same track however, the relationship derailed completely with the US invasion of Afghanistan. India and the US became allies and strategic partners for the st 21 century and India got the US patronage to establish her military footprint in Afghanistan along with the expansion of her economic clout next to Iran, with billions of dollars worth of investment. This does not set well with Iran, though it had earlier strived for closer cooperation with India against the Taliban influence inAfghanistan. However, in order to avoid treading on the US-Israel sensitivities, India decided to stay away. After signing the nuclear deal with US in 2005, India had put all its eggs in the American basket in order to

Indian stand is based on two factors: a. Indian Relations with Israel b. Growing economic relations with Saudi Arabia The Indo-Israeli ties are stronger than the Indo-Iran relations, mainly for its defense purposes and as a counter weight to the nuclear-armed Pakistan, as well as Israeli support for India over the Kashmir issue. Due to these reasons India won't anger Israel at any cost. A nuclear Iran would be a real threat to Israel. Both Israeli and Iranian leaderships have vowed, more than once, to destroy each other's nuclear capabilities. This invariably makes India and Israel inseparable allies, whereas Iran is now being viewed as a hostile state. Secondly, India has started strengthening its economic ties with Saudi Arabia- a country that is said to be against a nuclear Iran. The Indian support to the Saudi call of averting the

Iranian nuclear program in the Riyadh declaration clearly indicates that Saudi Arabia is emerging as a more important ally for India than Iran. This is where the traditional Saudi-Iran contention, deeply entrenched in sectarian differences, has led India into an anti-Iran part of the whole strategic equation encompassing the region. The declaration asked Iran to "remove regional and international doubts about its nuclear weapons programme." Some Indian analysts are also of the view that India is seeing Shia Iran as a potential threat to Indian security, as India has the world's second largest Shia population after Iran. For Shias around the world, Iran is a highly sacred place, hence any statement, policy or support on any issue dealing with the plight of Muslims in Kashmir or India will be taken seriously by the Shia Muslims. By putting a bar on the annual Shia procession, during the month of Moharram (First Month of Islamic Calendar), in Srinagar (Indian occupied Kashmir), India has once again demonstrated its desire to suppress any future Shia uprising. Iranians must be monitoring all these developments in India, which are further weakening

the bilateral relations of the two states. For Indians, this sensitivity is a nightmare in the making. The recent statement of the Supreme Iranian leader on Kashmir, terming the Indian government as Zionist Regime, must suffice to gauge the Iranian mood and reaction to the Indian foreign policy maneuvering regarding Iran's core interests. A protest staged by the Shia Indians in July 2010 in Dehli against the sanctions on Iran, has also set off alarm bells among the Indian policy makers who are concerned that if the pattern continues over different issues, especially with regards to US-Iran, Iran-Israel standoff, and on the sectarian angle, the consequences will be devastating for India. India also views any future social or moral support to the Indian Shia population from Iran as a catalyst for damaging the growing economic ties with Saudi Arabia. This will invite the Saudi ire and possibly lead to theArab-Iran race of funding the Sunni-Shia groups in India by using sectarian outfits, following the same pattern as per which both countries had fought their surrogate wars in Pakistan. Keeping in view these factors, India would rather go along with Saudi Arabia, which has the US backing as well as a strong US military influence. Surely, a weak Iran is in the interests of India rather than a nuclear Iran standing up to US-Israel allies of India. Kashmir: The recent comments by the Iranian Supreme Spiritual leader against the Indian brutalities have sent a wave of anger in Indian policy makers. Many had tried to portray it as an insignificant, unofficial remark; Delhi also tried to play it down saying it was said due to the Indian vote against Iran. On the other hand, the Iranian newspaper, reflecting Iranian thinking condemned the Indian invasion of Kashmir. However, this is not the first time the Iranians have shown support for the rights of the Kashmiris. In 2008 the Iranian media embarrassed India when Pernab Mukherjee visited Iran. Just four days before Mukherjee arrived in Tehran, the Tehran Times newspaper featured an article titled "The Black Day of Kashmir - 61 years of pain", on the occasion of the anniversary of the Indian military intervention in

Kashmir on October 27, 1947, which it termed as "one of the darkest chapters in the history of South Asia", condemning the Indian stance on the Kashmir issue. The article said, "India continues to defy the world by denying Kashmiris their inalienable right to determine their destiny ... The atmosphere of tension in IndiaPakistan relations has engendered instability and insecurity in South Asia. The urgency of the situation and the need to resolve the dispute as soon as possible cannot be over-emphasized ... The world's Muslims will always stand by the Kashmiris until they succeed in their struggle to attain the right to self-determination." The article also mentioned Iran's "deep-rooted spiritual and cultural bonds with the people of Kashmir" stating that in Tehran, Kashmir is known as "Little Iran" - Kashmir-Iran-e-saghir.

3. Shaky Indo-Iran historical ties:

Indians often end up harping about India's 'historical' ties with Iran in a bid to rescue their drowning relations, however, now the phrase 'historical relations' holds little weight. The Indo-Iran relations have always been on a shaky ground and not constant.

Nehru with Shah of Iran

India has always played the role of an opportunist rather than a trusted ally. India-Iran relations came to a halt after the Cold War extended to this part of the world, soon after being initiated in the form of Air Transportation Agreement in 1948. Iran fell into the US camp while India joined the Soviets, despite the announcement of the nonalignment policy by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Selecting the opposing political camps put both the countries on a track leading to cold, suspicious and mutually exclusive interests with traces of hostility. Apart from that, Iran historically remained within the circle of close and trusted friends of Pakistan, owing to the similarities in culture, religion and linguistics. Later both also became partners in the West-sponsored Central Treaty Organization (CENTO). As Pakistan drew closer to Iran, India approached the Arab states like Egypt and Syria. At one point Nehru's fraternity with the Egyptian President, Jamal Abdul Nasser, irked the Shah of Iran. In a desperate attempt to break the diplomatic deadlock between Tehran and Delhi, the Shah visited India under his engagement policy in 1956, which was followed by a visit of the Indian premier to Tehran in 1959; but even these trips proved futile in bridging the gaps, rather cracks and frictions between the two countries became more visible. Though there was a turnaround at the beginning of 1960's and Iran supported India in the Sino-India conflict of 1962, but Pak-India war of 1965 proved as yet another game changer for the newly formed IndoIran relations, when Iran unequivocally vowed to support Pakistan against Indian aggression. In the late 1960's the second phase of Indo-Iran relations began owing to some changes in the Pak-Iran relations and the geopolitical environment of the time. The following factors brought both India and Iran closer once again: Pakistan and communist China developed close relations. This was annoying for the Shah of Iran.

Pakistan improved its relations with the Arab states as well and this also irritated the Shah. India was not very comfortable with the Arab states' stance during the Sino-India and PakIndia wars. Clearly, it was more out of the compulsion of geopolitics at the time rather than diplomatic efforts from any side that brought India and Iran closer. In the early 70's, when the world practically entered into the politics of oil, Iran emerged as the strategically preeminent power in the region due to its unique geography and vast oil resources. But this spell of warm relations between Tehran and Delhi was threatened by the Iranian support to Pakistan in the 1971 war. However, the Indian diplomacy and Pakistan's wooing of Gulf States for energy resources enabled India to save its diplomatic ties with Iran. The environment provided an ideal opportunity for India to separate Pakistan and Iran. But even these relations could not work very well as India was busy in creating her own footprint around Iran during the 1970's, particularly in Afghanistan. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, proved to be a massive jolt, cracking the diplomatic landscape between Delhi and Tehran, pushing them in two diametrically opposing camps. Iran was not comfortable with Soviet Communism but India was a close ally of the Soviets at that time. Apart from that, the Iranian revolution and Iran-Iraq war also played critical roles in engulfing the bilateral relations. The new revolutionary regime in Iran had more religious agendas than having warm relations with a secular India. During the Iran-Iraq war, India supported Iraq thus further complicating its ties with Iran. Despite these complications, Iran remained too critical a country for India due to its energy resources and another phase of good relations between the two developed when Germany stopped work on the Iranian Bushehr nuclear programme and Iran had to ask India for help, which provided India with an opportunity to revive its relations with Tehran. India announced to send a team to inspect the problem. This set the tone for warm relations between the two during the 1990's.

2003 Iranian President Placing Wreath at Ghandi's Monument India was desperate to assist Iran in order to gain clout on Tehran's foreign policy towards Pakistan, who at that time was supporting the non-Shia alliance of Afghan resistance against the Soviets. If India and Iran were in the opposing camps at the time, then so were Pakistan and Iran as each supported different sectarian Mujahideen outfits in the Afghan resistance. Such a complicated political environment was ideal for India in order to play some dirty tricks in a bid to create a rift between Islamabad and Tehran. These Indian efforts paid dividend in the Post-Soviet era in Afghanistan during the 1990's, particularly during the Taliban era after 1996. Taking advantage of this rift, India created its assets in Northern Alliance of Afghanistan. Soon, there were too many rifts between Pakistan and Iran ranging from conflicting approaches to Taliban to the sectarian terrorism in Pakistan in which India's role cannot be ruled out completely. By 2001, India was successful in establishing strategic relations with Iran. During his visit to Tehran during the same year, the Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee affirmed that the depth of Indo-Iran relations gives India a very special position in Tehran. The Tehran declaration was signed by both countries, emphasizing close cooperation on international terrorism and stabilizing Afghanistan. In 2003, the Road Map to Strategic Cooperation was signed by the two countries. This turn around proved deadly for Pak-Iran relations, utterly incapacitating all bilateral and multilateral organizations like RCO, between Islamabad and Tehran, consequently undermining

Pakistan's geo-economic interests. But, the later developments proved that all the bravado by the Indian political leadership vis--vis their warm and special relations with Iran, was just sordid lip service. In 2005, India backstabbed Iran on the critical nuclear issue. This act unmasked the real face of Indian friendship with Iran, leaving the latter enraged and stunned. However, this move by India has provided Pakistan with the opportunity to redeem its lost trust in Tehran and bring Beijing in to form a regional security and economic zone, which can be further stretched to Turkey without an iota of doubt. Indians were clearly eying Iran as a conduit to reach Central Asia and Europe, bypassing Pakistan. Iranians have seen through the game plan and opportunist nature of Indian diplomacy. India has decisively chosen the US and Israel as partners in the 21st century. Now the ball is in Islamabad's court to take the diplomatic initiative and engage Tehran in a longterm strategic partnership on the same lines as it has established with China since decades. In context of Indo-Iran relations and Pakistan's prospects in Tehran, the current picture of regional politics can be defined as following: So far Iran has gained no real benefit from its cooperation with India, rather it is always India whose interests have been served. With changing strategic blocks/interests,

India will like to turn its back on Iran as she is not in a position to jeopardize its newly developed relations with the US. The desire to become a global power by getting a UNSC seat, India would also be very cautious about its relations with Iran. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are rapidly replacing Iran as a trade partner for India. Since India is not the primary player in Afghanistan today and is trying to make its space under the US shadow, the notion of Indo-Iran mutual interests in Afghanistan has also been proven wrong. In the backdrop of these developments and facts, Pakistan and Iran have no option but to opt for a longterm strategic partnership in order to protect their mutual interests and then to expand this partnership to other nations. But Pakistan can only achieve this after convincing Iran of its own critical and strategic importance for the latter.

between Iran and theArab states. Iran and Pakistan should join hands with China for energy projects like Iran-PakistanChina gas pipeline, which will also help the Iranian economy. But apart from the economics, this alliance is required to bring about a strategic balance in the region and subsequently in the world, which currently favors the US and India to unacceptable proportions. Russia and China can be taken onboard for a new pressure block against the US policies supported by India. Iran should help raise the voice of Muslims in India, especially in Kashmir. Shia Muslims in India also need special protection from Iran against Indian brutalities.

End Notes:
Despite being a US ally, Pakistan has rightly been seen as a country that wants the US/NATO forces to leave the region. Since prospects of withdrawal are in sight, any solo attempt for influence in Afghanistan by Iran or Pakistan can result in an un-ending and bitter mess like in the past. Therefore, Pak-Iran-Afghanistan alliance is the only way to stabilize the region and stand up to the US bullying. Iran is too important a country for Pakistan and Pakistan cannot afford to lose it as a strategic ally, particularly in the current geopolitical landscape. The Pakistani foreign office will have to convey to Iran why Pakistan is its natural ally rather than India, and why a mutual understanding between both is necessary in order to protect their combined security, economic and political interests which have now converged like never before. The future in this region belongs to Pakistan and Iran. It needs courage and a daring initiative to make it happen. It is within reach and must be done at all costs. ****************

Pakistan and Iran must exploit the shared geography along with strategic interests through an institutionalized approach, revising developments on bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries in every field after a stipulated time period. This approach will also be helpful in eliminating mistrust and suspicion created by hostile nations through their dirty wars in the region. Though there are challenges but with the right method and positive approach they can easily be turned into benefits on every axis of bilateral relations. Bringing stability in Afghanistan after the US/NATO withdrawal can only be achieved in a combined effort by Islamabad and Tehran. On the political front, Pakistan with its warm relations with both the Arab world and Iran holds the key to minimize the friction between the two. This initiative can trigger bilateralism


Synopsis of the Month

By: Zaid Hamid

Eastern Front:
Obama did disappoint India over Pakistan. Instead of thrashing Pakistan, he tried to play the role of a mediating brother. Though he avoided embarrassing Indians over Kashmir, which disappointed Pakistan and Kashmiris both. A tricky balancing act for Mr. Obama. In order to bribe and please the Indians, Obama promised them two special favors, which are sure to aggravate Pakistan. 1. Obama offered support for UNSC seat for India. If Indians are able to get a permanent foothold in the UNSC, then they would stage a global diplomatic coup against Pakistan. That would be a nightmarish situation for Pakistan. With this PPP regime in power, this nightmare just might become a reality if the army does not step in now to force this PPP regime to respond to this threat. 2. He approved of the Indian role in Afghanistan. This again is a perilous scenario for Pakistan, if the US continues to allow Indians to maintain a strong foothold in Afghanistan. Already the entire insurgency and rebellion in Pakistan is sponsored and supported by India from Afghanistan. Pakistan has strongly objected to this US policy. Now, the Indians have, in a conniving manner, gotten away with this once again. Pakistan needs to apply very aggressive diplomatic tactics in order to counter these two special concessions offered to India by the US President. Our Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmud Qureshi is known to be a soft poodle of the Americans and Indians. He is the most compromised FM Pakistan has ever seen,

some of his actions touch the limits of open treason. If he is forced to complain to the US then it means that the Pakistan army has taken a strong notice of this emerging threat. However, we still sense betrayal in the way Pakistan's FM has handled the threats. Despite the open statements, the official letters and discourse seems to be very mild and not forceful enough to send a strong signal to the Americans. This is our worst fear as well. Americans don't seem disturbed at all by the weak cribbing of the FM. The only way Pakistan can counter-balance the American influence upon itself and in the region, is to deploy China as a counterweight. Pakistan-China relationship has always been a major irritant for the US and this time also, when the US is exerting itself forcefully, the Chinese have decided to step in with full force. From helping the economy to defense cooperation, Pakistan has an entire spectrum of relationship with China, which acts as the hedging of bets againstAmerican bullying. Pakistan is indeed hedging its bets openly now against the US by increasing its security and defense cooperation with China. Despite receiving 18 latest block 52 F-16's from the US, Pakistan's main reliance remains on the Chinese joint production JF-17 Thunder platforms, which Pakistan intends to keep as purely Chinese/Pakistani fighters in design and weapons. In the coming days, Pakistan may have to get tough with the Americans over the Afghan war. The Americans have always blackmailed Pakistan with F-16's, often blocking their sales, supplies and parts. This time, Pakistan has other plans.

Pakistan is now going to be another battleground between the US and China for higher stakes, control, influence and presence. On the global scale, both countries are already involved in bitter wars over economy, trade and currency controls. Pakistan is yet another prize both the powers want to drag into their collective security camps of either NATO or SCO. If Pakistan plays its cards well, a regional power block between Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran can counterbalance any adverse American influence over Islamabad. Two wars have broken the back of the US economy and now the US is in no position to fight another war especially against Pakistan. The time to talk tough with the Americans has arrived for Islamabad. Another aspect where the US policy makers have bought the Indian lobby, is the propaganda that militant group LeT is based in Pakistan and waging a war against India. LeT was operating in the Kashmir liberation struggle but was banned and made dysfunctional by the Musharraf regime. Kashmir is a disputed land and not a part of India and does not have a recognized international border but a Line of Control. For decades, Line of Control has been a porous land and Kashmiris from both sides have been crossing it to support the freedom struggle. In any case, LeT, even if it is still a group left somewhere, is not a threat to the US at all, nor has it conducted any operation against the US forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere in the world. It was always purely a local Kashmir freedom movement group. For the Americans to pin point anti-India groups as major threats worthy of drone strikes is a serious concern for Pakistan. Even the Kerry Lugar Bill set conditions for Pakistan to attack and nail anti-India groups. Pakistan sees these as humiliating conditions and this would

increase the friction between Pakistan military and the US forces in Afghanistan. This is the real face of US-India cooperation behind the faade of strategic cooperation for the 21st century. Pakistan's response can only be through forging stronger relations with China, Iran and Russia to counter balance this Indian-US game. Regarding Kashmir, Pakistan still holds enough clout on the Kashmiri political and resistance movement that despite Obama's attempts to avoid the issue, Pakistan remains the strategic player in the equation. The fact is now reluctantly being acknowledged by the finest brains Indians could muster to try to find a solution to the quicksand they are stuck in since the last 63 years and even more so since the latest intifada began 4 months back. End of November is always an opportunity for India to kick up dust on the Mumbai drama. This year was no exception either. It also gives an opportunity to the Indians to divert world attention from Kashmir, which is now becoming not just an international embarrassment but also an internal crisis for India. India's top most writers of international fame are now calling for rights to the Kashmiris and the Indian courts are in a quandary over what to do with them. This is a new dimension of the Kashmir crisis, an opportunity Pakistan is yet again failing to exploit. Hindu extremists are going delirious with rage as the mainstream Indian Hindu HR activists deny the Indian claims over the valley. Violence in the valley is another dimension almost out of control of the Indian security forces. It is shamelessly ironic that Pakistan has handed over its Kashmir policy to clerical party of JUI, led by Fazlur Rehman, a pro-India cleric who does not accept the ideology of Pakistan and considers Kashmir as the integral part of India! This PPP government has handed over the Kashmir affairs to a party which has at its end, handed over all the initiative to the Indians at this critical moment when Pakistan could have seriously damaged the Indian cause. JUI is also the parent organization of all anti-Pakistan militant groups fighting against Pakistan, including TTP and LeJ. Now the chairmanship of Council of Islamic Ideology has also been handed over to the JUI to interpret and define Pakistan's ideology. This is another disaster for the country and the Indians are jubilant.

Having lost the initiative on Kashmir, Pakistan came under pressure from the Indians over Mumbai. The Indians were on the offensive and Pakistani PPP government and its slavish FM were doing the Indian bidding as usual. Wikileaks have now exposed the Indian deceptions, lies and concerns. Indian knew all along that there was no ISI link to Mumbai. Still, they continue to put Pakistan under pressure. In fact, it was an intelligence failure within the Indian security establishment, which is responsible for the event. But it is strange that instead of cashing upon this critical leak, the corrupt PPP regime continues to buy the Indian side of the story. But still, the Indians know that they are losing the grip on the case and have not found anything that would hold in the court of law. It is time Pakistan should exploit the Wikileaks and give a closure to this non-sense. On the other hand, the Indians have been launching ruthless insurgency in Pakistan since the past many years in FATA and Baluchistan regions. Pakistan has faced thousands of bloody attacks on forces and civilians alike by the Indian backed terrorists. Many Indians have been caught red handed, even acknowledging their roles in spying, sabotage and terrorism but the PPP government mysteriously continues to protect the Indian interests. Unless Pakistan destroys the Indian assets in Afghanistan, there can be no peace in Pakistan. India only understands the language of power. It is time Pakistan talks to them in language they understand. Wikileaks has also exposed another Indian fear that the US might negotiate with the Afghan Taliban and allow a return of the Pashtun militia in the country. The Afghan Taliban are staunch enemies of India and their presence in Afghanistan is making India very nervous. This also makes the Afghan Taliban natural allies of Pakistan in any future political dispensation in the country. The absence of the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan, has allowed the Indians to instigate and sponsor a vicious insurgency against Pakistan, by creating and supporting the TTP terrorist outfit. Something strange happened in the Wikileaks exposures. Material appeared on their website which was damningly against India. Pakistan's major papers picked up the story. Then Wiki sites removed it creating doubts about its authenticity. Indians cried foul. Pakistani papers were confused. This confirms our suspicion that Wiki operations are designed to embarrass and humiliate US government as well as

between Kapoor and the current Indian Army Chief had divided the Indian army into 2 groups.

Yet another cable suggested that the current Army Chief of India, General VK Singh was having an aggressive approach and believes that offense is the best defence. General Singh has also been described as Pakistan, China centric, with an added aggression towards China. The cable mentioned General Singh as an egotist, self-obsessed, petul ant and idiosyncratic General, a braggadocio and a show-off, who has been disliked (and barely tolerated) by all his subordinates. An earlier cable described Indian Army in gross Human rights violations in Indian Held part of Jammu and Kashmir while some Lt. Gen HS Panag, the then GOC-in-Chief of the Northern Command of the Indian Army, was equated with General Milosevic of Bosnia with regard to butchering Muslims through war crimes.

Muslim countries and not India or Israel for now. In fact, in our assessment, Wiki operations are actually an Israeli Mossad operation. There was damning proof of Indian involvement in Baluchistan and FATA as well as the Indian nuclear sites being threatened by Naxalite rebels. The US diplomats also compared the Indian role in Kashmir to the Serbian ethnic cleansing of Bosnians. In reality, we know these to be a true description of facts. India is now on a major damage control exercise by calling this a hoax. Just for the record, following were the leaks which the Indians are now claiming to be falsified but interestingly are not blaming Pakistan to have forged them. This is strange indeed. If Pakistan did not forge them, then who did? In reality, these were genuine leaks. The language and the tone matches the rest of the material being released. It has simply been removed from their site to protect India. Wikileaks reveal that a cable sent from a US Mission in India termed former Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor as an incompetent combat leader and rather a geek. His war doctrine, suggesting eliminating China and Pakistan in a simultaneous war front was termed as much far from reality.

Pakistan's military establishment is now re-adjusting its strategic footprints around India. China and Sri Lanka are two countries who are hostile to India and make natural allies of Pakistan. The government of PPP is not doing this. They are being forced by the

Another cable indicates that General Kapoor was dubbed as a General who was least bothered about security challenges to the country but was more concerned about making personal assets and strengthening his own cult in the army. The cable also suggested that a tug of war General VK Singh

military to manage this aspect of diplomacy. On the other hand, the Indians are also painstakingly busy in creating more power and political clout in the western world. The camps are now clearly drawn. US, Israel and NATO are with India against Pakistan, China and Iran. Indians are now openly protecting Israel's interests as well. India also humiliated former Pakistani President. Musharraf was the man who had bent backwards to accommodate India and caused the collapse of the Kashmir resistance movement under Indian and US pressure, in the name of fighting terror. Now when he is not in power, this was the Indian way of saying thank you to him. Musharraf had developed close personal relations with Israel as well. When the time came, they all abandoned him. He got what he paid for and deserved it too. Frictions are rising between India and Pakistan. Indians are frustrated on many counts: Pakistan has been reasonably successful in crushing the Indian sponsored rebellion of TTP in the tribal areas. That is a great setback for the Indian foreign policy. Afghan Taliban are again gaining ground and that has threatened the Indian investment of around $ 2bn and their plans to encircle Pakistan from the western borders. Kashmir is again simmering and has become a major international embarrassment as well as an internal security challenge. Indians have not been able to prove that Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism in India. The US is desperate to pacify Indians to club LeT with Al-Qaeda to put pressure on Islamabad but have failed so far. The Mumbai case has also almost fizzled out and Pakistan is under no serious pressure from any quarter anymore. Americans have also backed off considerably, frustrating the Indians even more. US is now more dependent upon Pakistan than ever and Pakistan army is flexing its own muscles and dictating terms to the US for

Afghan peace process as well as for dealing with the Taliban. These are major political, security and diplomatic setbacks for the Indians. If there were a strong government in Islamabad, Indian strategy, policies and case could have been ripped on all counts. It is the Indian dream to have a PPP government in Islamabad and for now they continue to pin their hopes on it. The Pakistan army has other plans though, and they are a real Indian nightmare. It was an integral part of Obama's Af-Pak doctrine to bring peace between Pakistan and India, so that Pakistan could then focus their military power against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Also, that would create an excuse for the Americans to demand dismantling of Pakistan's nuclear program after peace with India. Both these objectives have failed as India was not willing to accept the US mediation on Kashmir. The fact is now in the open. We have been saying this since the Af-Pak policy was announced by Obama. The US was willing to use black mail, threats and incentives to get Pakistan to sign a unilateral peace deal with India if Delhi was not willing to succumb on Kashmir. Their ruling party members, frustrated over Kashmiri resistance and uprising are committing treason. Kashmir continues to simmer dangerously for them and Indians are equally frustrated over the Mumbai trial by Pakistan. Failing to use the American clout over Islamabad and GHQ, the Indians are now aggressively using the EU and western countries to put pressure on Pakistan. This is the new axis of their diplomacy. By signing lucrative business deals with UK and France, India


also forced these countries to speak against Pakistan. While Mr. Zardari couldn't care less, the Pakistani PM, under the encouragement of the army, did show his displeasure to the British PM. The Pakistani foreign office is almost asleep, as India remains aggressive in the European theater to block Pakistan's economic and diplomatic supply lines. Even the Americans realize that someone very powerful within their own government has leaked extremely confidential diplomatic cables and there is nothing the US government can do about it. History tells us that the only power that can do something like this to the US, is Israel.

Western Theatre, Afghanistan and the War on Terror:

The US is going to wage a war in Pakistan now. A global stage is being set by the propaganda machine of the US, Israel and Indian lobbies to create a justification of a major war in the Pakistani tribal regions! Pakistan is being projected as the hub of global terrorism, especially the regions where the Pakistan army is reluctant to launch operations against the US desires. We can see this coming and all media war signs indicate that pressure on Pakistan is going to increase in the coming days. But Afghan and US governments are also in desperate need of Pakistan to find a solution to the Afghan crisis. This gives incredible leverage to Islamabad to dictate their own terms to the Afghan and US administration. The fact is that Pakistan remains totally confused and disorientated towards Afghanistan. Pakistan has still not decided if the US presence inAfghanistan is part of the problem or is it part of the solution for Pakistan's national security challenges. It cannot get more ironic than this. Even today, a strong mindset exists in Pakistani government and policy makers, which strongly feel that the US must stay in Afghanistan to bring stability! They feel that NATO supplies must pass through Pakistan so that Pakistan may maintain leverage over US in Afghanistan. It is believed by them that if Pakistan demands the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, it would make the US openly hostile towards the Islamic Republic and it would impose sanctions on Islamabad and the country would collapse under the economic meltdown! They believe

and propagate that Afghans are not capable of managing their own affairs hence a foreign Western force is required to eliminate terrorism from the region. The Neo-Con perception management and disinformation teams have done a fantastic job at spreading despondency and strategic confusion within the Pakistani leadership. Major segments of the Pakistan government are open collaborators with the Neo-Cons. They are not expected to protect or understand Pakistan's security needs. But even a segment of the patriots, for lack of understanding of the Neo-Con threat and their Great Game against Pakistan, believe that US should continue to stay in Afghanistan, giving the abovementioned reasons as the excuse. This great confusion within the political and military leadership is the precise reason why there is still no Afghan policy or vision in Pakistan despite having suffered so much since the last 10 years. Existential threats loom fatally close, but the nation is ruled by the pygmy blind, deaf and dumb leaders -What an irony! What a tragedy for Pakistan! Despite the US and NATO's extreme desire to invade Pakistani tribal areas and despite their strong frustrations over the defiant stance taken by the Pakistan army, there is absolutely nothing that the western military alliance can do against Pakistan. The situation for the US and NATO is now desperate in Afghanistan and the allies are highly frustrated over their inability to achieve any of the stated objectives for the invasion 10 years ago. There is an extreme desire in the western countries occupying Afghanistan today, to pass the buck for their own failures to Pakistan for not doing enough! Karzai invites Pakistani PM to Afghanistan. Karzai is now hedging his own bets, as his opposition grows within the country and his patron western military alliance begin to seek exit strategies. He is known and seen as a western stooge within Afghanistan and abroad. He has been most venomous against Pakistan always. Now when he speaks with a forked tongue, goes soft on Pakistan and bashes the US and western forces, one can be sure that he is seriously in trouble and now seeks to jump ship, as NATO's Afghan adventure draws to a collapse. He is now seeking Pakistan's support to survive against the growing Taliban and opposition influence in the country. The NATO summit on Afghanistan has come at a critical time when the US economy is collapsing at home, war is being lost in the battlefronts and allies are

US tail under Pakistani boots - NATO supply lines deserting the cause. The US would make one last desperate attempt to keep the coalition together and extend their stay in the country. The NATO's Afghan summit has made it abundantly clear the following critical points: 1. The US and NATO will not leave Afghanistan any time soon. They plan to stay and give it a one last bloody push to salvage their image, pride and strategic objectives for being in the heartland of Central and West Asia. They will stay till 2014 at least, unless the cost of war becomes untenable before that. 2. The western coalition is under great stress to show results or face a disintegration causing the war effort to collapse mid way. The increasing number of casualties has forced the US to give a timeframe for achieving their objectives. The NATO members are now reluctant to fight an open-ended war without any definitive timeframe for withdrawal or victory. 3. The next 4 years are going to be bloody, ruthless and more violent in Afghanistan than the previous 9 years of war, as western coalition would be exerting itself in a desperate push to gain military upper hand before entering into any form of talks with the Taliban and the resistance for an exit plan. Right now, the Taliban are sensing victory and

are not willing to talk to the western powers. Defeating them militarily, even partially remains an important objective now to at least be able to bring the Taliban to the dialogue table. 4. Pakistan should expect more threats, blackmail and even provocations by both US/NATO as well as through the TTP to drag it into the Afghan war against the Afghan Taliban. The US now wants to finish the job of controlling the global fuel and energy corridors and the Taliban resistance is standing in its way. The Americans need Pakistan to crush the resistance, which the combined US and NATO power has not been able to do. The US is now impatient and frustrated and has barely managed to keep the coalition intact in the latest NATO summit. Pakistan is in the strongest position in the entire equation. If the leadership in Islamabad shows some backbone, Pakistan can regain its lost influence in the Afghan geopolitics and also contain this massive wave of terrorism, which is now haunting the country. The high risks have greater opportunities also. The equation is finely balanced right now with both Taliban and Western alliance counting upon Pakistan to take decisive sides. Pakistan has not yet decided which side to back. All warring factions are now desperate. Pakistan holds the key to peace or more wars in Afghanistan. For Pakistan the choice is simple and clear presence of western forces in Afghanistan

are part of the problem and not part of the solution. Afghan Taliban are not being defeated nor are going to share power with the Karzai regime. But it is this PPP regime, which is also part of the problem and not part of the solution when it comes to protecting Pakistan's strategic interests and assets. The change may have to start from home; the sooner the better. The US government is in a state of panic right now as some of its most embarrassing, diplomatic dirty secrets have hit the fan. At a stage when the entire US credibility is at its lowest within the Muslim world and the fragile Muslim governments are facing an uphill task defending their ties with a rogue US regime, the leaks of these secret documents are a double jeopardy for the US and their allies. The US has been betraying its allies, especially Pakistan since years now. The relationship between the CIA and ISI is uneasy and sometimes downright hostile. Pakistan blames the US for allowing Indians to operate under their umbrella in Afghanistan to foment terrorism in Baluchistan and FATA as well as in the rest of the country. The CIA had successfully created many terror outfits once they were allowed to operate in FATA to hunt down Osama Bin Laden. Instead of capturing Osama, they created the TTP. Now the exposure of all these dirty secrets is making the US very nervous. The leaks can actually be a game changer. Pakistani intelligence assets and media must dig deep into these leaks once they come and should read the game and mind of CIA and US administration. These are very sensitive times for the US and NATO. They desperately need Pakistan for an exit plan from Afghanistan. The leaks on the net can produce great hostility in Islamabad and GHQ, changing the game radically. The Americans are now nervous and are going overboard to show gestures of faith and trust in Pakistan. Under these circumstances, these leaks have created a greater crisis for this corrupt PPP regime also. They have secretly given full access to the CIA to establish its bases in Quetta and Baluchistan. The Americans have been trying to nail Pakistan for harboringAfghan Taliban in Quetta and even going to ridiculous lengths to prove this nexus. The opposition and the nation have now gotten the sniff of this and the resistance is already emerging. The US is now calculating the cost benefit analysis of the war they are losing so hopelessly. Their administration and military are sending confusing and conflicting signals. They have given a deadline to try and salvage the war or else would simply cut and lose

like they did in Vietnam. The next 4 years are going to be bloody and decisive. The US would be using all the remains of its ruthless military might to try and contain and crush the resistance and they will also try to drag Pakistan into their dirty war. So basically now, following is the brief summary of the ridiculous situation in which Pakistan finds itself today due to these dirty US wars. It is a masterpiece of Pakistan's foreign and national security policy blunders, failures and confusion, fully exploited by the Neo-cons as well as the TTP terrorists. 1. The US is threatening to invade the Pakistani tribal areas and regularly attack targets of its choice using Drones and other means. Relations between US and Pakistan are tense, nervous and based on mistrust and betrayal. The US supplies pass through Pakistan, making the US vulnerable to developments in Pakistan. The war in Afghanistan is not going as the US had planned, creating a military and political crisis, making the US even more nervous and jittery towards Pakistan. The US now wants Pakistan to fight the Afghan Taliban and other resistance groups on behalf of the Americans, and is using all forms of carrots and sticks to push Pakistan into another war in North Waziristan. 2. Pakistan is still not sure about its role in Afghanistan and remains clueless for the lack of an Afghan policy neither does it have any defined rules of engagement with the US. Even after nearly 10 years of Afghan war, Pakistan has no vision to protect its interests and assets in Afghanistan or any defined and

US pride taking a direct hit Ambushed convoy in Jalalabad BRASSTACKS 38

declared national security goals. Despite the anarchic chaos and the conflict within Pakistan due to the US presence in Afghanistan, the government and the military is still not sure what is good for Pakistan American presence in Afghanistan or their withdrawal from it! 3. The Kabul government remains hostile to Islamabad supporting multiple insurgencies, aiding the Indians to establish bases all along the western borders, staging terror campaigns inside Pakistan and protecting wanted terrorists. Pakistan has not made any significant breakthrough in the Northern Alliance nor taken any independent initiative to play an aggressive role as a peace maker in Afghanistan. 4. The TTP Kharjees, Al-Qaeda and their allied militant gangs have maintained their open war against the State of Pakistan. Their supplies remain open from Afghanistan making it impossible to eliminate this threat decisively despite major gains made by the army against these terrorists. The entire judicial system of the country has failed to respond to the threat. 5. Afghan Taliban are still not considered as assets for Pakistan neither has Pakistan offered direct support to them to crush the Kharjee insurgency in Pakistan. They have not declared any war against Pakistan, but are extremely unhappy with the way Pakistan has handled the entire crisis. 6. Indian Zionists continue to work on the plan to get Pakistan beaten up by the Americans. They have been on this agenda since 9/11 when they had offered bases to the US to attack Pakistan. It is the Indian desire to create a situation in which an open confrontation is developed between Pakistan and the US where the US would be doing the dirty job of destroying Pakistan to the utter pleasure and advantage of India. The US and India have now successfully forged an open and aggressive alliance against the Islamic threat from Pakistan. Meanwhile the Indians are busy trying to crush the Kashmiri uprising and resistance in the valley t ak i n g adva nta ge of t he fa vorabl e environment in the region against the Islamic

militancy and Pakistan. 7. The government in Islamabad remains incapacitated, corrupt and dysfunctional almost turning Pakistan into a banana republic, if the army and the Supreme Court had not been there to salvage some semblance of dignity. The economic and governance collapse is almost total, with real possibilities of a street level anarchy, chaos unless there is a change. This is what both the Neocon Zionists and the Kharjees had planned to bring about from the very beginning and is being facilitated by the corrupt regime. 8. Pakistan's national media remains equally confused and directionless, even hostage to the Kharjee terrorists and the Neo-Cons. US information warfare has penetrated deep into Pakistani media controlling the direction, content and the perception management of the Pakistani nation. Despite massive devastation and TTP driven war against the State, the media remains dreadfully silent to name or nail the perpetrators. The free media has willfully surrendered its freedom to the dreaded terrorists. 9. Despite having the closest and common national security interests, Pakistan has still not used the power and clout of China to exert itself in the region and in Afghanistan to create a favorable space for both countries. 10. Iran remains isolated from Pakistan despite some cooperation at security and economic issues. Both countries have not yet discussed Afghanistan and the American presence seriously nor have forged any common strategy to secure Afghanistan after the US withdrawal or to force a US withdrawal. Both the CIA and MI6 had been working on an elaborate plan to frame Pakistan on fake charges of supporting the Taliban. The concept of Quetta Shoora was launched to prove that the Taliban are actually based in Quetta, hence the CIA needs a presence there. That is why they were given the permission by the PPP regime to establish their CIA centres there. They even created fake Taliban leaders and took them to Kabul to meet Karzai! Whether Karzai was part of this plan or was fooled by the secret

Afghan Taliban, never causing any security hazard to Pakistan. If Pakistan wants to come out of this crisis, there is no option but to be ruthless. 1. It is the US presence, which has brought Pakistan to this brink. The Sooner we throw the Americans out, the better. The leverage which Pakistan has over the US for economic and military aid due to their supply lines passing through Pakistan is nothing compared to the damages, losses and chaos which is created in the country due to the US presence. services is not known but the fact is that once this drama was exposed, there were red faces, raging anger and finger pointing among the allies. A Quetta shopkeeper was bribed and presented as a Taliban negotiator by the British secret service. This is the reality of the sinister dirty war of the CIAand MI6 who are going to audacious lengths to frame Pakistan. This is one classic example of the betrayals, which have been going on since the last 10 years. The biggest failure of the Pakistani leadership so far has been their inability to see the threats emerging from the Neo-Con ideology! The Neo-cons are as sinister an existential threat as the Kharjee terrorists but in Islamabad, Neo-Cons are taken as friends and masters. While the Kharjee terrorist threat is considered the biggest national security risk, the NeoCon colonial and hostile agenda against Pakistan and in the region, is simply dismissed as a conspiracy theory! This sheer lack of political, historic and philosophical vision, touching the limits of stupidity and insanity by the political leadership has brought Pakistan to this unprecedented critical stage. It is the US presence in Afghanistan which is causing all the chaos and anarchy in the region. Indians, Kharjees and the terrorism breed and thrive under the US umbrella. When Afghan Taliban were in Afghanistan between 1996 to 2001, not a single incident of bombings, terrorism and insurgency was reported in Pakistan. The Indians had been eliminated from Afghanistan and drugs were not flowing into Pakistan. There was no insurgency in Baluchistan. Pakistan had not lost a single soldier or civilian to political terrorism during that period. The TTP never existed. Even if the so-called Al-Qaeda existed in Afghanistan, they were kept in strong check by the 2. The two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have broken the back of the Neo-Con war machine. There is no way the US can threaten Pakistan militarily. This major US vulnerability should be powerfully used in strategic negotiations to demand a US withdrawal and to eliminate Indian influence fromAfghanistan. 3. Pakistan must now decisively demand a US withdrawal from the region. 4. Aregional political and diplomatic power bloc between Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia can be created which should further bolster Pakistan's posture in demanding a US withdrawal. All countries are anti-US and want an exit of the western forces from Afghanistan. 5. Pakistan must aggressively and openly engage with all factions of the Afghan conflict and exert its due role in bringing the warring Afghan factions closer to peace. Most of the Northern Alliance factions are former Afghan Mujahideen parties of the Afghan Jihad era and can easily be brought back into our fold. 6. Pakistan should pro-actively and pre-emptively hit at TTP and Kharjee bases in Afghanistan and exert pressure on the US, NATO as well as the Afghan regime to do more in order to check and control the logistics and supplies of the terrorist networks. The war against Kharjees will have to enter Afghanistan by all covert and overt means.

7. Zero tolerance and no mercy policy towards Kharjee terrorists with special military courts to put them on trial and eliminate the captured militants. The clauses in the military law should be invoked which allow for a military court martial for the captured civilian terrorists and insurgents. 8. The Neo-Cons influence on Pakistani media and policy-making should be eliminated and replaced with indigenous, homegrown national security and media policy to revive the national ideology and patriotism. Pakistan has never faced a monumental existential threat of this staggering intensity within such a short duration of time. What makes it cruelly ironic is that this crisis is self created by the leadership in the past 10 years and has emerged due to deliberate blunders of policy, diplomacy, politics as well as strategy and perception management. The solution lies in undoing the damage done on the above-mentioned points. The anger and frustration within the Pakistan military towards US is now in the open. The Chief of Pakistan army is now directly communicating with the US President, venting his own mind aggressively. There is a reason why theAmericans hate General Kayani. The American dream to gain control of Pakistan's nuclear material has now become an embarrassment for them and the government is trying to cash the moment to salvage some respect, which has been so heavily tainted by the revelations. These leaks have revealed all those dirty secrets which the US, Karzai or the PPP government had been trying to hide. Now we know for sure that Karzai has been protecting and supporting terrorists of Baluchistan Liberation Army and funding the insurgency in Baluchistan. We also know that US had withheld all the military support which Pakistan so desperately needed in times when insurgency was at its peak and the army was fighting a fierce war with the Indian and Afghan backed insurgents. The leaks also show how grossly wrong the US analysis of the insurgency in Pakistan was. The Americans had estimated that it could take 15 years to clear the country of all insurgency. In reality the army took only two months to take back regions larger than Britain, and have now broken the back of the

Angry and frustrated allies NATO's Lisbon summit

insurgency. It is these kinds of weird and detached from reality assessments, which have caused the US to lose the war in Afghanistan as well. Foreign forces know neither the Afghan local culture nor are they sensitive to history. There is a reason why they have lost the grip on the war inAfghanistan. These leaks have exposed the Achilles heel of the foreign forces in Afghanistan. The foreign support to insurgencies in Pakistan has also been confirmed beyond doubt. US betrayals of Pakistan are now in the open. There is a reason why the US is panicking and Pakistan army is on the offensive. However, certain developments in the second week of December have alarmed us. There is a sinister game about to unfold in Afghanistan. The US has given 2014 as the probable cutoff year for their withdrawal from the graveyard of empires. Right now, their situation is hopeless. They have not been able to secure the country nor tame the Taliban. Large territories of lands are getting out of control with Taliban gaining ground every day. So how can the US plan to invest almost $7bn dollars in a pipeline from Turkmenistan to India? This was the original Unicol gas pipeline project for which the Americans invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Karzai was the consultant for Unicol and thus was the point-man for negotiations with the Taliban. Only when the Taliban refused to allot the contract to Unicol and gave the project to the Argentinean Company Bridas, that the plans for invasion, under the pretext of war against Al-Qaeda,

was launched. But then the war went horribly wrong and the country could not be harnessed. But then suddenly, the pipeline emerges again from nowhere! Who is going to build it? How are the Americans going to secure the territory from where the pipelines have to cross? How and who will guarantee security when even Pakistani Baluchistan is under an active insurgency, attacking the energy lines? The secrecy, ease and the confidence with which the four heads of States, out of which Karzai and Zardari remain the weakest US stooges, have signed this pipeline, stinks of a bloody phase II of the ongoing war in the region. Before we analyze this, let's see what the situation is on ground for the US forces and the plans they are unfolding. The Battlefield Situation: Situation in Afghanistan hopeless: US cable By Our Correspondent WASHINGTON, Dec 9: Australian officials believe that the situation in Afghanistan is hopeless and that US efforts to defeat the Taliban are not working, say a new set of WikiLeaks cables. The cables, released to Australia's Fairfax group of newspapers, show that Australia's top diplomats and officials are worried about the prospect of success in the war in Afghanistan... US dependence upon Pakistan: The US remains heavily dependent upon Pakistan to fight the war for them. Now the US wants Pakistan to do the dirty job for them. Pakistan is still resisting fighting for the Americans. The Americans are increasing the pressure and want a direct collision between Pakistan army and Afghan Taliban. The PPP government has already succumbed and has agreed to do the US bidding. But would the military allow? Then, suddenly the agreement is signed! How would they guarantee security? So, what does the US plan now to achieve this seemingly impossible fantasy project under the

present hostile conditions in Afghanistan? This is the million dollar question. Following are the few, very difficult options that the US has, despite the almost impossible odds: 1. The US will try to drag Pakistan into fighting theAfghan Taliban. 2. If this option does not work, the US would try to use Pakistan to cut some sort of a deal with the Afghan Taliban for the breakup of Afghanistan's power centers. The Taliban could rule the southern regions and the US would maintain presence in Kabul and the North, along with the NorthernAlliance. 3. If this option also does not work, the US would try to cut a physical corridor through Afghanistan by concentrating its firepower and forces in the 440 KMs of Afghan territory that is required to build this pipeline. As the map below shows, the pipeline region is the Taliban stronghold and unless the US builds strong bases and fortresses in the region, it cannot make or secure the route. It simply means that in the next few months, the US is going to do a fair bit of killing inAfghanistan! Massive use of force and politics, even dragging Pakistan into the quicksand to either crush, tame or bypass the Taliban resistance. This is the new endgame, now going to unfold inAfghanistan. However, the US has started to face setbacks before the game has even begun. Its point man for the region, Richard Holbrooke, is now critical and is not expected to play any significant role in the future. Obama will have to find a new man or wait for his recovery, losing precious time. Secondly, the Russians have again become aggressive in the region, creating an alarm in Washington. Russia is trying to create its own power block with regional players, bypassing the US influence. Under the pretext of fighting drugs, Russian has now made ingress into the region. Welcome to the Great Game again! So, while Pakistan will be under severe pressure from the US, Islamabad still has options to exploit the US weakness and vulnerability in the region. Pakistan has to decide now whether to remain a part of the US game

plan or to form a regional, political and economic block with Russia, China and Iran. The time for Islamabad to decide has arrived. The crisis is still totally manageable in the shortest possible time. The problem is sharply defined and the solutions are clear. Assets are available, resources are in hand, military strength available to enforce political decisions and the global and regional geo-politics rapidly turning into Pakistan's favor, the military gaining ground against internal threats and beginning to hard bargain with the foreign forces, but still we see a complete lack of coherence in the national policies. The ship remains rudderless and in seriously turbulent waters. The crisis of leadership is phenomenal, undoing all the sacrifices and the advantages gained on ground. If saving Pakistan means bringing a regime change in Islamabad first, then so be it!

campaign against the PPP regime. But Nawaz Shareef has maintained a strong anti-army stance in his rhetoric and that dismisses him as the next candidate for any political power slot. His brother may be a different story. The government is now in panic. IMF controls its jugular and is demanding the harshest of tax implementation and increase in power and fuel charges. The government has no other revenue generation plans other than the IMF loans on the highest interest rates, or imposition of criminal, backbreaking taxes on the common people according to the IMF dictated terms. The PPP government knows that the system has become untenable and now they cannot continue to tax the common man. The debt servicing is almost eating up the entire budget. The call to waive off the national debt was made in desperation but was withdrawn in equal haste after a growl by the IMF. It is not just shameful; it is outright sinful as well. The IMF and the World Bank have drawn out daggers now and are fully threatening the PPP regime to comply or suffer the consequences. The other donors have refused to cough up any money due to massive corruption and financial mismanagement of the regime. The PPP government is now on their knees willing to accept any term at any cost for more money, through begging, borrowing or stealing. It is the poorest citizens who now bear the brunt. Massive corruption continues in all departments of the government, even in the Ministry of Religious Affairs. No one is willing to stay behind in this staggering display of shamelessness and nepotism. If former President Musharraf was hoping for a comeback, sensing the collapse of this regime, his hopes have been dashed now. The US used him and then dumped him. Now he has no chance. He is an unpopular man within the US administration as well as within the country and the armed forces. The US is, however, terrified of the prospects of a military takeover again as the present regime continues to slide into total anarchy. It is a crisis in which anything can snap anytime. The government is visibly nervous as the IMF driven economy and the corruption driven politics both have brought the governance and financial management to a stall. The Army Chief continues to remind the government that the military may not remain neutral for long if the system continues to collapse as it is. The government is now

Political / Economic Axis:

Final nails are being driven into the fate of this regime. People are now almost on the verge of rebellion over massive taxation, inflation and shortage of food and fuel supplies. The failure of the regime is total. In fact, they are minting billions of dollars as the nation and the common man desperately struggles to stay alive. These are truly dangerous times for the government as even a spark can trigger a street tsunami. The corruption continues with shameless audacity. The rich and the powerful are making windfall profits as the country reels under food crisis and inflation due to massive swindling of the national resources. After sitting on the fence since the last 2 years, PML (N) is now reluctantly testing the waters to start a

Anarchy in the making


Running Pakistan Economy IMF & The World Bank

genuinely in panic as IMF is insisting upon RGST and the resistance to the new backbreaking tax is growing in the country. The government is now pushing the new tax forcefully through the houses, threatening harsh measures and using political blackmail to get the opposition in line. New taxes and power rate hikes are also being shoved down the people's throats so rapidly that it is actually surprising why the people have not yet come out aggressively on the streets. It is clear that corruption and backbreaking taxes have created a powder keg in the country, which only needs a matchstick to explode. The powerful players are involved at all levels to make windfall profits. Each and everyone in the government is corrupt right down to the religious ministry. This is the dilemma being faced by the judiciary and the armed forces at the moment. If the present regime collapses, then how and who will replace it? Elections are out of the question in this environment due to the law and order and financial crisis. Also, criminal corruption cases have again been opened against almost all the political leadership. Caretakers can only come for 90 days as per the constitution. Can that duration be increased to 3 years legally in order to allow a stable caretaker setup to stabilize the security and economic situation? It seems that the political pundits continue to debate on these issues, the economic collapse and the law and order crisis would trigger a street tsunami, which would undo the system violently. The signs are all pointing in that direction.

The Chief Justice needs to tread carefully here. He is supposed to nab and nail the corrupt PPP regime's criminal corruption. Here we see him getting into a collision course with the secret services of the country. If that happens, it would sadly be a victory for the PPP regime and the Americans. In 2007 also, The Chief Justice had ordered the release of terrorists from Lal Masjid siege that later went to Swat and joined the rebellion there. In the absence of any judicial system to prosecute the terrorists, it is often a very tricky situation for the security forces and intelligence agencies to neutralize the terrorist threats. Last thing the forces want is to get into a mess-up with the Bench. On the sectarian axis also, these are very risky times for the government and the country. Frustration has already begun to spill over on the streets as Sufis/Barelvis took to the streets in thousands to protest against the government and terrorism. Clashes have been reported from Islamabad to Lahore between protestors and the Police. As we have said, the government is in a perpetual crisis and if it has survived thus far, it is simply due to the fact that the patriots have not found a viable alternate yet. Due to Wikileaks expose, the government is in total panic now. All the corruption, wheeling and dealing and their slavery to the US has now been exposed. We had been saying all along that the US has been brewing a witch's cauldron in Islamabad. Now all the major players have been caught red handed and red faced. Pakistani politicians are now terrified to talk to the US diplomats. This is a good sign that for some time at least, the US will not be able to continue casting its spell in Islamabad which it had been doing since years now. This is an interesting development and can allow the army to bend the politicians in the absence of their US mentors. There is no doubt that this government has turned the country into almost a banana republic. There is absolutely no respect for the law. Corruption is becoming aggressively cancerous. Governance is zero. Justice is only a dream. The President himself visits and apologizes to an accused murderer and the President's best friend's wife is being protected at all costs despite the stunning corruption, and the Ministry of Information is spending billions from secret funds. PML(N) is now seeking midterm elections, sensing that the collapse may invite the military to either come themselves or bring in a caretaker setup. The Revised GST is also becoming a major issue in the hands of the

opposition to defy the government. The political confrontation is further aggravated as now the inflation is touching record levels. Opposition parties are afraid to go along with the government when people are almost on the verge of coming to the streets. The Army has maintained a dignified posture. So far nothing extraordinary has come out to embarrass the military. In fact, it has been shown that the military does not want to take over power and wants to remain behind the scenes. This may change now when the country continues to slide towards economic and social anarchy. The Supreme Court is struggling with the cases and the defiance of the government, trying to recover what has been robbed but the pileup is so huge that even the SC is now overwhelmed. Anything can snap now when the government is also reluctant to be seen with and confide in the US embassy. This government is already living on borrowed time.

Backed by CIA and RAW BLA terrorist The terrorists need to be terrorized now. But as long as this government remains in place, there is no hope of this happening. Meanwhile, the entire pressure to bring peace in the tribal areas is on Governor Owais Ghani and the army. In recent days, the TTP has gone ballistic and is on a rampage in the tribal areas as tribes try to resist the terrorist outfit and cooperate with the government. The TTP wants to punish and terrorize all those tribes who are signing peace deals with the government. It has been a bloody period and more is expected to come. Lots of blood has been spilled in multiple terror strikes. There is no doubt that TTP's funding and logistical routes are coming from foreign secret services. Simultaneously, in Baluchistan, BLA and TTP have gone ballistic too. In one week, both the Governor and the Chief Minister have been attacked. The Army has made one smart move by finally invoking the Army Act against some terrorists. The only way this threat can be neutralized is to invoke the military court martial for the terrorists as per the army act. The judicial system of the country has collapsed and the terrorists operate with full impunity and audacity. The Army is now beginning to consider this option. This would be a game changing decision in the army's favor if the terrorists can be brought to justice through the military courts. Pakistan needs a government which is going to be ruthless against corruption and terrorism. Everything else can be managed in no time. ******************

Internal security Analysis:

The TTP is now active again and more ruthless though they have lost their manpower considerably. The new strategy to get their comrades released from the jails, is the hostage exchange strategy. The CIA has gone hyper in its drone war inside Pakistani tribal regions. They are mostly targeting Afghan Taliban, Haqqani group and their allies. The TTP, which fights against Pakistan, is not being targeted. Clashes and bomb attacks on security forces as well as strikes against other sects are the preferred strategy of TTP. They are taking hits from the army but their supplies are open from Afghanistan, hence remain effective. Karachi took one such direct hit last month. This is how this criminal regime has weaponized the society through staggering corruption and lawlessness. The entire government setup is involved, not just in financial embezzlement, but also in supporting criminals and terrorists. Hundreds of thousands of arms licenses have been issued by the MQM to its workers in Karachi as well. With not a single terrorist receiving death sentence by the courts in the last 10 years, the entire judicial system has also collapsed under this corrupt system. Containing terrorism is not a serious crisis at all if the law is enforced and applied and justice is visibly delivered. Every major law and order crisis in the country is selfcreated through corruption and incompetence.

The CIA's Eastern Outreach

By: Zaki Khalid

The CIA, which is considered America's Central Intelligence Agency, is more of a 'Covert Intercontinental Agency' that keeps itself engaged in surveillance, espionage and secret operations in various countries around the globe. It has a record of carrying out clandestine operations without regard to their effects on the ordinary public and what their adverse consequences would lead to. Their prime areas of attention are global drug trafficking (from which they earn the major part of their income) and making sure Pentagon's puppets perform well as their masters in Washington want them to. The recent dump of raucous diplomatic cables by Mossad in the guise of 'Wikileaks' has put the American credibility at stake. Diplomats and military personnel around the world are raising eyebrows at the White House, Pentagon and especially the CIA. Stubborn and ruthless that the CIA is, it has pledged to counter any considerable retaliation that might prop up from countries wherein they operate and which can pose risks to their vested interests in the region. On December 8, 2010 CIA Director Leon Panetta delivered a talk before an academic audience at the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Studies of Language. The focus of the talk was geopolitical regulation overseas and for that, Panetta put stress on American students to make themselves proficient in languages which not surprisingly hail from countries that are at a crossroads with hegemonic US policies in the Eastern Hemisphere: Arabic,

Pashto, Urdu, Persian, Russian, Korean, and Chinese. If one looks a few months back, Xe LLC (formerly Blackwater) had posted recruitment vacancies for Americans who were fluent in speaking the languages mentioned above. Now, it has become a need of the hour. The $50 million that Joseph Biden allocated for a specific portion of the mainstream Pakistani media to tone down on anti US news is going to run out soon. Another such generous fund seems highly unlikely. A few notable media giants in Pakistan are already broadcasting the Urdu version of the CIA's 'Voice Of America' for spin-doctor purposes. Since all of that is being shadowed by the Wikileaks headlines every other day, the best alternative for them to further their resolve in psy-ops and perception management is training and installing their qualified agents on important strategic points in the Middle East, Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China who can work covertly in putting leashes on news corporations that tend to manufacture 'propaganda material' (as in 'propaganda' for neocon lobbyists). During his address, Panetta iterated: For the United States to get to where it needs to be will require a national commitment to strengthening America's foreign language proficiency Where does the United States want to go where 'it needs to be'? Panetta is referring to the Zionist bankers who wish to set up a fresh Arcs of Crisis in the Middle East and SouthAsian region. The near East and South Asia are the theatre-ofBRASSTACKS 46

forces are striving to create an Arc of Crisis in North Waziristan that will be referred to as an imperative citation for public infiltration into Pakistan's northern tribal areas by US marines and navy seals. The CIA's recruitment policy now says 'Language skills are now a stricter requirement for promotion to CIA's senior ranks'. The more an agent acquaints himself with a subject (country), the better his prospects in covert ops and maintaining low-profile. In May 2009, Panetta launched a five-year Language Initiative, which aims to double the number of Agency analysts and collectors who are proficient in foreign languages and increase by 50 percent the number of officers with the right language skills serving in jobs that require foreign languages. This proposition was much appreciated by the Zionist lobby and received handsome funds from the Congress and the Office of the Director National Intelligence at the start. The CIA's operational statistics have shown there has been an increase in the number of officers proficient in mission-critical languages by 11 percent. Urdu, Arabic, Pashto, Persian and Chinese are the languages in high recruit-demands since the past two years. The CIA also offers hiring bonuses of up to $35000 to agents who are up to the mark in this domain (as mentioned in USAtoday dated 19April, 2009). To penetrate and destabilize an enemy, one has to truly 'know' the enemy and what his environment and medium of communication are. This is exactly what the CIA is doing. It is strongly advised that Pakistan's intelligence agencies keep a more rigid watch on foreign elements that are operating across Pakistan in various public domains and embassies. It comes as no surprise that the bearded tribal people arrested near Kahuta a few months back by the ISI turned out to be Americans who were fluent in Pashto and disguised as wayfarers. That was just one part of the many startling revelations that still await us. ******************

CIA Director Leon E. Panetta operations for the coming times. Before 2014, the neocon Zionist lobby of Israel wants to wreak considerable havoc here. In the Middle East, the focal point of their Arc is at the Gulf of Aden in Yemen (Red Sea region) which can pose as a major hurdle to the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline deal since the region of Yemen and around it will be in the clutches ofAl-CIAda (Al Qaeda, the CIA puppets). They initiated this venture when Colonel Mohammed Abdel Aziz Bou Abess of Yemeni intelligence was assassinated according to a devised plan. Also, this is being carried out to keep a check on Pakistan's influence in Somali resistance against the CIA. In the South Asian region, NATO and American

Zaid Hamid

Angels and Demons

The Paktika battle front led by Hizb Commander Khalid Farooqi was bursting with hyper excitement in preparation for the upcoming battle. After the last engagement just a few days earlier, in which the enemy had brought the battle to the Mujahideen, taking them by total surprise, costing us the precious lives of Daud and Baryaley, there prevailed a seething sense of anger and a desire for revenge. Everyone in the camp was hurt deeply over their Shahadat. The Communist army had gotten the wind of this planned Mujahideen assault and had launched an invasion to thwart this attack. However, our own plans remained unchanged, and the Mujahideen got busy with troop distribution, ammunition dumping, gun position preparations and mine clearing operations. This was also to be the last major engagement of the year before the snow would signal the close of the war season, hence the preparations were even more aggressive in order to make it a final and fierce parting shot, till the combatants would engage once again, with full force in early spring next year. For the Soviets, the war inAfghanistan was death by a thousand cuts, as one Pakistani army officer later described it. The previously undefeated, ruthless Soviet bear was trapped in a hopeless situation in the gorges of Afghanistan, surrounded by the hungry and ferocious mountain tigers that were attacking with stealth and speed from all sides, raking away its flesh slowly and painfully with every attack. With almost hundreds of attacks all over the country against the Soviet forces on a daily

basis, the cumulative damage to the morale and the fighting capacity of the army of the Soviet Empire, was severe. Fighting would even continue in winters but on a reduced capacity for the resistance. The lack of winter survival equipment, blockage of routes and mountain passes due to snow and difficulty in logistics would create a relative lull in fighting in the mountainous regions. In plains and deserts, the operations would still continue in winters but ammunition dumping had to be done in the summer season when the passes were still open, as fresh supplies from Pakistan would be a logistical nightmare for the resistance. In regions where snow would make it impossible for the resistance to move freely for large scale operations, the focus would only be on maintaining the defensive positions and on harassing actions against the enemy posts or convoys through rocket or artillery fire or by planting landmines on convoy routes. The Soviets had the upper hand in winters. Snow has always been their ally throughout the history of warfare. Napoleon was defeated by General Winters. The German military offensive during the Second World War also froze in the Russian snow. In Afghanistan also, they had the advantage of technology, mobility, logistics and firepower against the resistance, which was highly vulnerable and

exposed to the extremes of weather. The Soviets would try to exploit this Mujahideen weakness in winters to dislodge them from their mountain top dugouts and bunkers. In these times, the Soviets had even started to use stealth technology like Night Vision Devices (NVD's) and Silencers on their weapons in order to launch night time daring Special Forces raids on the hopelessly ill equipped Mujahideen outposts, which were totally cut off due to snow or were completely blinded due to blizzards in dark nights. Once the poorly equipped, freezing and disoriented night sentry was killed by the Soviet snipers using silenced weapons and NVD's, the fate of the entire Mujahideen group, which was sleeping at the post, was sealed. In 1987, a year later, in the province of Kunar, I witnessed the gruesome proof of such a deadly, winter night raid on a Mujahideen front line post, where the resistance group was caught unawares and dozens of men were butchered in their sleep by the Soviet Special Forces. This was the reason why all small Mujahideen outposts were called back in winters from the vulnerable regions and consolidated into strong, fortified bases or Ghunds, like Jahadwal and Zawar, in Paktia where I had gone earlier in March. The Mujahideen were purely a volunteer militia and the most ill equipped resistance group in the world. The farmers, shepherds, students, shopkeepers and nomads had signed in to form lose bands of militia under six larger parent Organizations in order to fight the mightiest army of the world. These six parent groups were based in Peshawar, called the Six Party Alliance, and their battle field commanders were manning thousands of posts, bases and bunkers spread all over Afghanistan, waging a fierce and protracted guerilla war. Every group would wage an independent decentralized uncoordinated war against the Soviets, making it absolutely impossible for the Soviet military to identify and neutralize the centre of gravity of the resistance. Since the resistance was so loosely coordinated and was operating independently as various groups even on a single battlefront, under commanders from different parties, it possessed incredible flexibility as well as the tenacity to sustain the Soviet military pressure. Even if one group from one party was penetrated through intelligence and spies or decimated through military action by the Soviets, the groups from other parties were always there to replace

Paktika Landscape the loss and to offer the resistance. It was a highly frustrating war for the Soviets. The advantage of surprise was always with the resistance. The Soviets had to fight on hundreds of fronts and posts every day, taking severe losses in men and material as their troops remained under constant fear of death, ambush or capture. They would often win in the battle and were able to beat off almost all frontal attacks, but in the end they lost the war! It was more of the psychological, emotional and mental stress than physical defeat or military weakness, which crippled their capability to sustain the occupation. Perpetual fear of the unknown is the biggest enemy of a soldier. It eats away the very will to fight, despite having the advantages of technology and superiority of weapons. The pressure had forced many Soviet soldiers to turn to drugs, defection or surrender, and sometimes even to commit suicide. By the time I joined the resistance in 1986, the morale within the Soviet ranks was fatally low. The Soviet army launched a last ditch effort in early 1986 to snatch the Afghan theatre from the resistance and deployed latest weapons, including armoured aircraft and novel battle tactics, deploying audacious use of Special Forces. The Mujahideen had taken serious hits in March, when their strong bases had fallen to Soviet Special forces in Paktia, but that was the final serious spark in the Soviet military strategy and operational tactics. By mid 1986, the resistance had acquired the stinger anti-aircraft missiles and that broke the back of the Soviet air power as well as their military advantage. The losses incurred while attempting to sustain the occupation for almost a decade, had not just crippled their army as well as the economy, it also ultimately led to the destruction of their empire, which they had so painstakingly built in the last 400 years! For the Soviets, it was a mistake of staggering proportions to confront the wrath of the Afghans. Today, it's deja vu for me, when the US and NATO soldiers are going through a living hell in the killing fields of Afghanistan and feeling the precisely similar, dreaded emotional and physical trauma of occupation as the Soviets had gone through a couple of decades ago. The same ferocious Afghan resistance under the contemporary brand name of Afghan Taliban, has once again picked up arms and has simply gone to business against another occupation force, doing precisely what they do best wage a ferocious, ruthless, decentralized, protracted guerilla war, delivering death by a thousand cuts, once again! I have been there, done that. Today, the Western forces in Afghanistan are hopelessly on the wrong side of history as they look down theAfghan gun barrels. Driven by the Islamic ideology and the fiercely patriotic desire to liberate their homeland, the resistance forces during the Soviet occupation days,

Natural born fighters were never paid for fighting the war. In Islamic law, there are codes to financially sustain such volunteer armies. The parent organizations of the fighters had deployed those laws on the battle fronts wherever possible. Whatever war booty was captured during the fight, it was divided into five parts. The parent organization would take one part and the four parts would be divided amongst the resistance to sell and make their living. If an attack delivered 10 AK-47 rifles as war booty to the fighting group, the parent organization, say Hizb-e-Islami, would keep 2 rifles and 8 weapons were sold and their proceeds distributed within the fighting group. Fighters were allowed to sell them into the open market in the arms bazaar in the Pakistani tribal areas or the parent organization itself would buy those weapons from the fighters and increase their own armoury for future wars. It was much later that some of these Mujahideen parties, on a few battlefronts, formed their own semi regular battalions, which were given monthly salaries and not the share from the war booty. In the Hizb-eIslami post where I was deployed, all the fighters were volunteers from very poor backgrounds and were dependent upon either their war spoils or would return back to Pakistan in winter season to look for jobs and to spend time with their families. Normally these fighters were natives, fighting on their home ground. Not just that they knew the valleys and the mountains

like the back of their hands, they also had the added emotional incentive to liberate their own homes, villages and districts. This blend of romantic Islamic ideology, fierce national patriotism and dreaded tribal sense of revenge, created that fiery combination that the Soviets found too hot to handle back then, and now the US and NATO forces are experiencing its heat firsthand. *********** I was with Dr. Awwal Jan at a post that was a front line screening position and was to be totally abandoned after the planned attack and during the winter season. At our position, there was not much to do as such, and mine clearing in the proposed battlefield around the targeted post, remained our main objective. However, watching the men silently clean their weapons, bring in ammunition and prepare for the anticipated action had created an aura of serious excitement and anticipation as well as a degree of fear. I was trying to remain calm but I knew I had become somber and a touch nervous. The deaths of Daud and Baryaley just a couple of days earlier had brought me face to face with the harsh reality once again. I thought about my own death, my parents and family. There was no turning back now but no matter how hard I tried, the knot in my stomach would just not go away. **************** On the battlefront, it was a mortal crime to show that you were afraid. It was a harsh, brutal war with no

place for boys or weaklings. The proud Afghans were a martial race and natural born fighters and had, by default, adapted to their new life of war after the Soviet invasion. It was an incredible phenomenon how an entire nation had risen in arms across all sectarian and ethnic divides in all regions of the country, once the call for Jihad was given against the atheist invaders. It is also equally fascinating to note that the bulk of the fighters and their commanders were either illiterate, rural men or students from universities who had abandoned their studies to join and then lead the resistance. The affluent, middle and upper urban classes of the Afghan society had either sided with the Soviets or left the country to avoid the conflict. Therefore, most of the commanders or leaders who were called Doctors or Engineers were not exactly graduate professionals.Almost all of them, with very few exceptions, were actually medical or engineering students, who had joined the resistance but were called by their titles as a sign of respect in a society where education was a rare luxury reserved for the very privileged. Hekmatyar was called Engineer too but in reality he was an engineering student when he decided to come to Pakistan to get help against the communists, with Ahmed Shah Masood, another engineering student, way back in 1975 even before the Soviet invasion. On this Paktika front as well Dr. Awwal Jan had not completed his education but was still called by the respected title. It was not long before even I was being called 'Engineer sahib', once they knew I was from an engineering university, though I felt very awkward at this unexpected promotion since I was only in the third semester and hardly knew anything about engineering. If the boys back in my university had known that I had been awarded this laurel without having to toil for it, they would have ragged me to pulp; but I must confess that the ego boost was quite satisfying at being elevated to such grand heights in a fighting group where almost all were illiterate village boys and young men. My pocket radio, camera, pencil torch, reading glasses, medicine pack, pen and diary and even my tooth brush and toiletries were objects of sheer amazement for these simple and humble souls. They would touch them with respect, almost bordering on reverence or envy. I was an entity they were curious to know about. They would ask me innocent questions

like, How many classes have you studied? And when I would tell them that I had studied 14 classes so far and intend to study more, they were awe-struck at my high level of knowledge and education. They would be mesmerized in admiration when I would write my diary in English and listen to BBC English service. They would ask me about my monthly income and when I gave them a figure of just a few thousand rupees, which was my father's tiny pension from the army, they would hold their breath in silence at the fortunes I possessed. They would ask me why I had come to these killing fields when the Soviets had not invaded my home, and unlike them, I had no compulsion to fight or to leave the comforts of my home. I told them that I was there to be by their side in these testing times under the call of my faith, at this response some doubted my motives, some considered me insane, and others revered me as an angel. My green eyes and fair complexion, thanks to my Kashmiri mother, would lead them to believe that I was an Arab, hiding my identity for security purposes. There were times when I got frustrated trying to convince them that I was a pure blooded Pakistani, to which some of them would politely remind me that lying was a sinful habit and would promise to keep my secret if I told them which country of Arabistan I came from. They would test me with whatever few words of Urdu they themselves knew, to check if I were really a Pakistani. When I would pass their test, they would be impressed and then would tell their comrades, whispering in Pashtu that this Arab guest had also learnt Urdu! They would ask me to take their pictures and when I asked them how and where they wanted me to send those to them after being printed from Peshawar, they would look at each other in puzzled silence at this awkward question, for only then they would realize that they had no return postal address. Then they would excitingly come up with a brilliant solution: You take our pictures and keep them yourself. They would be healthy and fit as mountain tigers but suddenly would fall awfully sick en mass, when I would open my medical pack, loaded with first aid medicines. Each mujahid would come to me with a new disease and ask for medicine. In the beginning I

Village hospitality, Mujahideen tea party was baffled at this strange behavior. How can they all get so sick so quickly all at once just at the sight of my medical pack? It was only later that I realized that that they would pretend the sickness to take medicines for diseases they might suffer from in future but then I may not be around with my medical pack, so as a preemptive measure would simulate the disease now and take the medicine for the ailment that might befall them in the future! It was impossible not to be touched by their childlike innocence; I would be amused, sometimes baffled, sometimes irritated. It is almost a surreal phenomenon that this war against the mightiest army of the world was fought and won by such amazing breed of illiterate, innocent village boys. It was almost impossible to change their outlook, ideas and views of the world around them and even more difficult not to fall in love with these humble souls and the beautiful country they were fighting to liberate. Their preconceived ideas, cultural, tribal and social values and single-minded focus to eject the foreign invaders, were as solid and resolute as the mountains they dwelled on. Here, I was a guest, and all guests were a privileged class in Afghan culture even in the theatres of war. Almost, to every Afghan front I went, I found this

identical social pattern. Paradoxically, Afghans are an exceptional breed of war machines, with a remarkable human touch, provided you are not on the wrong side of their guns. However, they collectively possessed one stunning quality, without any exception, which I envied, respected and craved to have the most. In those killing fields, I would have happily given up all my worldly possessions just to be blessed with an iota of the quality they possessed so naturally, but the acquisition of which was a constant struggle for me. Despite all my education, exposure to the world and the respect they would show to me, ultimately it was I who was humbled before them: It was their raw courage, their unbelievable fearlessness, and bizarre ability to smile in the face of death! We were going for battle very soon. I was beginning to get nervous as the D-day approached. For the first time since my Afghan adventures had begun, I felt it strongly, within my soul that I may not survive this battle. I was inwardly embarrassed for my fears. My mind kept warning me that the odds were heavily against us this time and that I still had time to back off while my heart convinced me to stay firm and hold my ground. The battle within me raged fiercely as I tried to fight my own demons.

People often ask me today if I had ever felt fear when I went into battle. To be honest, there were occasions when I was not afraid I was terrified! Despite all the valor, chivalry and romanticism of Jihad, we were humans. Young boys from urban streets who had never been exposed to the brutalities of the real war and had to go through the crushing experiences of fire and sword in real life, in a very short span of time. I matured and grew in wisdom on the battlefronts, learning that feeling fear or terror is a natural human response towards oncoming violence, no matter how courageous or emotionally charged you are about the wars you fight. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to overcome that fear with grace and dignity. During the initial days of my very first visit to Afghanistan back in March, I was with a group of inexperienced young Arab boys and we were all trapped in a ravine by a formation of Soviet bombers, were rocketed by Soviet gunship helicopters and pounded by their artillery, resulting in numerous casualties. Within a few hours, the shockwave engulfed us and we all wept bitterly at the hopelessness of our situation, with death staring us in the face. We were shaken, nervous and close to breaking down. But somehow, the group held together and we managed to hold our ground, overcoming our fears and shame, defeating our demons within, participated in the combat and even survived to fight another day. The desire to return to the safety of Pakistan was strong, but the urge to stay and confront the enemy was stronger. There was safety in returning but then the shame and guilt would have killed us. There was great risk in staying but the dignity we felt within was exhilarating. There is a very thin, razor sharp line between shame and dignity; we opted for dignity. Jihad has taught me this invaluable lesson by putting me through the test of fire and blood, that feeling fear is natural, succumbing to it is cowardice and overcoming it is courage. No one knows this better than a soldier in the battlefield. There is no shortcut to experience this phenomenon, but to see death in the eye and then try to hold your ground. A brave man is not the one who feels no fear but the one who has the courage to overcome his fears, and then risk his life for the higher ideals and values he so strongly believes in. Even the bravest feel fear but what transforms them

into legends is that they opt for a life of dignity and a death of honor. Only faith in Allah (swt) and belief in ones moral values and sacredness of ones mission, gives the strength to overcome the demons within, not the weapons that one carries or the training one has received. The American and NATO forces are suffering the same trauma as the Soviets did two decades ago. Fear of death is a mortal disease. On the Sarobi battle front, I was about to be shaken severely once again. While the Mujahideen prepared for the upcoming assault, I decided to discuss the battle plans with Dr. Awwal Jan and what he had to say me, made me genuinely concerned. I could see a massacre in the making. It was a very strong tactical enemy post with about 200 Afghan army men based there with armoured cars, tanks and artillery. There were no Soviets in it. The post was tasked to block the Mujahideen penetration from Pakistan, ambush and interdict Mujahideen supply convoys going into central Afghanistan, and to intercept Mujahideen wireless conversations in order to gather intelligence on the resistance. It had the backing of other Afghan army units from the neighboring posts and garrisons, and could even call in air strikes from the Soviet and Afghan air forces. In simple words, this post was a serious pain in the neck for the resistance since long and needed to be dealt with severely. It was this very post which had spearheaded the previous attack on our position just a couple of days back. Geographically, it was in the middle of an open plain on a slightly higher ground. The plains around it had no cover and offered no protection from air strikes. The post had a grand and panoramic view of the entire valley, foothills and the mountains all around it with a dirt road leading towards it. The terrain in the plains around the post was not exactly flat but had many smaller hills, ditches, water drains, dried riverbed as well as some undergrowth and foliage. One, at the most two men could get very close to the post without being noticed, but it would be impossible for a large fighting group to remain undetected in daylight if they tried to approach the post. Getting caught in the open by Gunship helicopters would have been a nightmare. The entire terrain around the post, except the road leading towards it, was heavily infested with antipersonnel landmines. The minefield stretched from

Preparing for rocket attack, MBRL position the post towards the plains downwards in a spiral all around it, for up to about 75 yards, making it impossible for any human or animal to approach the post from the plains without getting blown up. From the rear staging area of the Mujahideen to the post, it was a distance of about 3 kilometers, which we had to force march in order to get closer to the launching position. The Mujahideen had no anti-aircraft weapons that they could carry into the battlefield. Stingers had not yet reached this front. The Mujahideen anti-aircraft guns were located on the mountain tops, too far for any effective fire support cover in this action. Our artillery was only 1 multi barrel rocket launcher with 12 tubes of 107 mm rockets. These launchers could release 12 rockets in rapid succession at the maximum distance of 10 km. They would take around 5 minutes to reload and then again would release their salvo. These rockets were not the most accurate weapons and would land in a large dispersal area within the target region. They were affective in a positional war against large army concentrations or against a fortified city, but targeting a rather compact mountain top post would be a major range-finding challenge for the Mujahideen gunners. The infantry group which would then lead the assault after the artillery barrage, was

only to be armed with AK-47 assault rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG's) and light machine guns. The artillery barrages would continue till the post was softened enough for the open infantry assault. This did not mean that we would not face any resistance once the post would be stormed by us. There would always be enough fight left in the defenders within the post to engage us in a bloody battle. They would go deep into the bunkers during the artillery barrages and then emerge once the infantry attack began. For the Mujahideen, success depended upon causing maximum damage to the post fortifications, heavy weapons as well as to the troops in the initial artillery attack in order to shock them physically and psychologically to make it easy for the assault teams. Each Mujahid would carry around 250 rounds, including 4 loaded magazines for their rifles and a few grenades. This kind of firepower with the assault teams was enough for only an hour of intense fight. Resupplying the ammunition during the battle was impossible. That means, that if the defenders in the post could survive the initial artillery and just hold the ground long enough till the Mujahideen ran out of ammunition, even then they would survive and the Mujahideens' mission would fail.

Anti-aircraft gun position Considering that we had no anti-aircraft weapons and we would be in the open plains, the situation demanded that the cover of darkness be used as a tactical ally in the attack. The assault was scheduled after the sunset. But that also created more problems for the artillery observers, as they would not be able to do the real time battle damage assessment after the Mujahideen rocket salvos on the post. The Mujahideen did not have night vision devices hence they were seriously handicapped in observing the accuracy of their fire or damage inflicted on the post from a distance. Also, in pitch darkness, the assault teams would find it almost impossible to watch their steps or detect the minefields. Even loading the guns or bullets into the magazine would be excruciatingly taxing, almost as if being done by blind men. If one was lost or separated from the group in the ensuing confusion, which was bound to happen, there would be no visual contact between the fighters. Identification of friend or foe would be totally impossible once the battle began or assault mounted from the three sides on the target post. There was a high probability that friendly fires would kill fellow fighters, just as Baryaley had been killed a few days ago. From a military perspective, this was a very dangerous mission indeed, with very little chances of success and very high probability of friendly casualties, even a massacre. I could sense the dangers, but was not prepared for what Awwal Jan told me at the end, when I asked him about his plans regarding the minefield around the post. As per his plan, once the assault began from a distance of about 200 yards and the group moved forward under incoming fire, Awwal Jan would lead a small detachment towards the edge of the minefield, and start to clear the mines with his metal detector, and would try to cut a corridor wide enough for at least one man, from where the entire assault team would try to penetrate in a single column uphill, towards the outer walls of the post, which they had hoped to breach through earlier rocket barrages and then from close range, using the Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG's) which the assault teams would carry on their shoulders! I was shocked. How on earth wouldAwwal Jan clear a 75 meter, mine infested piece of territory in pitch darkness, under hostile fire, within

Attacking at Dusk 45 minutes till the time our ammunition lasted and then cut a passage for all of us to charge through to the post? He cannot be serious! I thought, trying to find the humor in it, but Awwal Jan's demeanor was cold as steel. Having seen the desperate battle plan and the hopeless situation we were in, I was left with only three options. I could decide to opt out from this suicidal mission and stay back with the cook, or I could stay at a safe distance at the rocket battery, as Commander Khalid Farooqi had earlier suggested, or I could defeat my demons and opt to go with the assault teams in the open attack. Option 1 and 2 would have kept me safe but killed me with shame. Option 3 was a sure suicide mission, but it would be a death of honor and somehow if I lived to tell the tale, I would live with my head held high and a glorious sense of honor within. This was the most difficult phase in my entire association with the Afghan resistance. Although I faced more death defying situations during my further

adventures, but never did I experience such an intense conflict within, which I suffered that day. I am truly grateful to Allah (swt) that at that moment, His mercy enveloped me entirely and prevented my demons from getting the better of me. I know that at that moment I would have opted for the path of least resistance if Allah's mercy had not held me together. If I had lost to my fears that day, I know that I would have carried the guilt to my grave. Alhamdolillah, I decided to go with the assault teams despite the staggering odds. But there was one, last crucial bit that I needed to do before embarking on this fateful mission. I had a strong feeling that I was not coming back alive from this one. I had to send a parting letter to my parents and that is when I decided to write my will. (To be continued)



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