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Saturday, April 15, 2017

L’Affaire De Kulbhushan Jadhav-1: A Case Of PARVAZ-E-WAHIYAT (Unmitigated Flight Of Nonsense)

If the public administration motto of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ‘maximum governance, minimum government’, the exact opposite holds true for his Pakistani counterpart Mian Mohd Nawaz Sharif, i.e. maximum government, near-zero governance’. And that is because the Pakistan Army (PA), while not being in the driver’s seat, is very much so the sole provider of driving cues, i.e. it is 100% involved in Pakistan’s national governance. Only this can explain the volte face on April 14, 2017 by Sartaj Aziz, the Pakistani Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and Pakistan’s de facto Foreign Minister. For, it was on December 7, 2016 that Aziz had told the Pakistani National Assembly’s Senate Committee of Foreign Affairs chamber that the dossier on alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav contained mere statements, and that additional evidence needed to be collected. “So far, we have just statements about the involvement of this Indian spy in terror activities in Pakistan…now it is up to the concerned authorities how long they take to give us more matter on the agent,” Aziz had said, adding that “more evidence was needed, and that the United Nations had been given a dossier about the Research & Analysis Wing’s (R & AW) involvement in Pakistan”.
And this was the very same Aziz who shared Pakistan’s charge-sheet against Kulbhushan Jadhav and a timeline of his trial in a media briefing on April 14, 2017. Aziz also asked why Jadhav, who was handed the death sentence on April by an in-camera Field General Court Martial (FGCM) for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities inside Pakistan, had been carrying official documents under an alias at the time of his arrest. “I would like to ask India why he Jadhav was using a fake identity and masquerading as a Muslim. Why would an innocent man possess two Passports—one with a Hindu name, and one with a Muslim name? Since India has no credible explanation about why their serving naval commander was in Balochistan, it has unleashed a flimsy propaganda campaign,” he said. Aziz also condemned India’s “baseless allegations”, adding that India’s lack of cooperation and refusal to provide Pakistan legal assistance were the reasons Jadhav had not been granted consular access. “Inflammatory statements and rhetoric about pre-meditated murder and unrest in Balochistan will only result in escalation, serving no useful purpose,” he added. Aziz further said that steps had been taken to ensure transparency during the trial of Kulbhushan Jadhav under Pakistan's Official Secrets Act 1923’s Section 3 and the Pakistan Army Act 1952’s Section 59. Elaborating on these steps, Aziz revealed that Jadhav’s confessional statement had been recorded before a Judicial Magistrate under Section 164 of Pakistan’s Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), whereas the proceedings had been conducted under the Law of Evidence. Jadhav was also appointed a qualified legal officer to defend him in court proceedings. Witnesses recorded their statements under oath in front of the accused, who was allowed to question them. It should be clear from these details that Kulbhushan Jadhav was tried under the law of the land in a fully transparent manner,” Aziz said. “His sentence is based on credible, specific evidence proving his involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan. A Letter of Assistance requesting specific information and access to certain key witnesses was shared with the Government of India on January 23, 2017. There has been no response from the Indian side so far. Kulbhushan Jadhav still has the right to appeal within 40 days to an appellate court. He may also lodge a mercy petition to the PA’s Chief of the Army Staff within 60 days of the decision by the appellate court and may file a mercy petition to the President of Pakistan within 90 days after the decision of the COAS on the mercy petition”, Aziz added.

Aziz revealed that Jadhav had been held responsible for the following terrorist activities in Pakistan:
· Sponsored and directed Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and grenade attacks in Gwadar and Turbat.
·  Directed attacks on a radar station and civilian boats in the sea opposite Jiwani Port.
· Funded subversive secessionist and terrorist elements through hawala/hundi for subverting the Pakistani youth against the country, especially in Balochistan.
·  Sponsored explosions of gas pipelines and electric pylons in Sibi and Sui areas in Balochistan.
·  Sponsored IED explosions in Quetta in 2015, causing massive damage to life and property.
· Sponsored sectarian attacks on Hazaras in Quetta and Shias en route to and back from Iran.
· Abetted attacks through anti-state elements against law enforcement agencies, the Frontier Corps (FC) and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) in areas of Turbat, Punjgur, Gwadar, Pasni and Jiwani during 2014-2015, killing and injuring many civilians and soldiers.

Aziz also provided a timeline of the trial and proceedings against Jadhav:
· Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016, 21 days before his arrest was officially announced by Balochistan’s provincial Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti on March 24, 2016
· Confessional video statement recording of Kulbushan Jhadav—March 25, 2016
· Initial FIR filed with the Counter-Terrorism Department in Quetta—April 8, 2016
·  Conduct of initial interrogation—May 2, 2016
·  Conduct of detailed interrogation—May 22, 2016
·  Joint Investigation Team constituted—July 12, 2016
·  Confessional statement under Section 164 of the CrPC—July 22, 2016
·  Recording of summary of evidence—September 24, 2016
·  1st proceeding of FGCM—September 21, 2016
·  2nd proceeding of FGCM—October 19, 2016
·  3rd proceeding of FGCM —November 29, 2016
·  4th proceeding if FGCM—February 12, 2017
· Death sentence endorsed by FGCM—April 10, 2017

Aziz’s press-briefing 24 hours ago raises several questions about the veracity of his revelations due to the changing Pakistani narratives on L’Affair Kulbhushan Jadhav over the past 13 months. For instance, Pakistani says that when Jadhav was apprehended inside Balochistan, he was in possession of an Indian Passport, L-9630722, identifying him by the pseudonym of Hussein Mubarak Patel, born in Sangli, Maharashtra. This Passport had been issued on May 12, 2014 from the Thane Regional Passport Office (RPO) and was valid until May 11, 2024. Pakistan also alleges that Jadhav is concurrently serving with both the Indian Navy (IN) and the Indian Union Cabinet Secretariat’s R & AW, and that he will be retiring from the IN only in 2022. While Aziz also disclosed on April 14 that Jadhav was nabbed while trying to cross the border from Saravan city (the capital of Saravan County in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province) into Mashkail in Balochistan, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director had on March 29, 2016 claimed that Jadhav was picked up by Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies in Balochistan’s Chaman Border Crossing Point near the shared border with Afghanistan, and that Jadhav had entered Balochistan from Afghanistan a total of 12 times, and that he had been in Balochistan for 15 days distributing millions in cash of different denominations among Baloch insurgents, and that he was carrying Pakistani and Afghani SIM cards and navigational maps. In a crowded hour-long military-civil press conference held in Islamabad on March 29, the ISPR released a ‘confession’ video of what it alleged was an Indian spy in Pakistan’s custody. In the 6-minute video, Kulbhushan Jadhav, 46, ‘confessed’ to launching covert operations against Balochistan province while operating from Chah Bahar port in southeastern Iran.

Earlier, on March 25, the then Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary summoned the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad, Gautam Bambawale, and handed over a Démarche over the arrest of Jadhav, describing Jadhav as someone who was indulging in “subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi”. On March 26, a day after the start of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s first official two-day visit to Islamabad, the then Director General of ISPR, Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, had tweeted that when the PA’s then COAS Gen Raheel Sharif met President Rouhani, he had raised the issue of R & AW’s involvement in Pakistan’s internal affairs, especially Balochistan. A subsequent statement issued by the ISPR said: “There is one concern that R & AW is involved in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan, and sometimes it also uses the soil of our brother country Iran.” On March 27, the very next day, the President Rouhani at a press-conference in Islamabad denied having discussed any matter with Gen Sharif, saying that “there was no discussion about Indian spy during my meeting with Gen Raheel”, and adding that “whenever Iran comes close to Pakistan, such rumours are spread”. Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Mehdi Honardoost had then slammed the leaking of the details of Jadhav’s arrest instead of the issue being discussed between the security agencies of both countries.

When news of Jadhav’s arrest broke, the well-connected Afghan journalist Malik Achakzai tweeted to report that Jadhav had been abducted. On the same day, in Karachi, a former and very knowledgeable German ambassador to Pakistan Dr Gunter Mulack, said “that the Indian spy recently arrested in Balochistan was actually caught by Taliban and sold to Pakistani intelligence.”

Questions that arise from the above-mentioned Pakistani narratives are:

1) If Sartaj Aziz on April 14 stated that when Jadhav was apprehended inside Balochistan, he was in possession of an Indian Passport (L-9630722) identifying him by the pseudonym of Hussein Mubarak Patel, why did he contradict himself in that very same press-conference by asking: Why would an innocent man possess two Passports—one with a Hindu name, and one with a Muslim name? Where is the second Passport and why has it not yet been shown by Pakistan?

2) Why should anyone carry two Passports at all when it is a well-known rule that any person found in possession of two Passports—even showing identical identities but of different nationalities or differing identities with the same nationality—is a criminal offence?

3) Why is Pakistan not disclosing the material evidence which shows that Jadhav is still employed with the IN and R & AW? Does Pakistan possess Jadhav’s naval service records which say that Jadhav will retire in 2022?  

4) If indeed Jadhav was apprehended while trying to cross the border from Iran’s Saravan city into Mashkail in Balochistan, why did the ISPR on March 29, 2016 claim that Jadhav was picked up by Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies in Balochistan’s Chaman Border Crossing Point near the shared border with Afghanistan?

5) If Jadhav had indeed been ‘entrapped’ by Pakistan inside Balochistan, then why is it that the ‘Kaminda’—3,500-tonne Dhow that he owned, had also disappeared at the same time as Jadhav and remains untraceable? Is it possible for this Dhow to be operated by a single person, or did it have an on-board crew complement? If the answer is yes, where is it now?

6) Is is really possible for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate and its proxies to pull off a successful ‘enforced abduction’ and smuggle the entrapped target over land from Iran’s restive Sistan-Baluchestan province into Balochistan when that entire Iranian province is crawling with covert operatives of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (Pasdaran), the Basij Mostazafan, and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (Vezarat-e-Ettela’at Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran)?

7)  If Jadhav’s ‘confessions’ have enabled Pakistan to destroy the underground networks of several Pakistan-based separatist and terrorist networks, then why is there no news about any such Pakistani citizen or citizens being tried along with him as co-accused/co-conspirators via the FGCM route?

8) Was it possible for the ISI to monitor Jadhav’s cellphone conversations between Chah Bahar and any other place in India? If not, then what was the most probable area-location for the ISI to use its COMINT capabilities for listening to Jadhav’s cellphone-based communications?  
The above-mentioned questions can only be answered AFTER one examines in detail 1) the business activities of Kulbhushan Jadhav; and 2) the operating environment in and around Chah Bahar FTIZ. Born on April 16, 1971, Jadhav is the son of Sudhir Jadhav, and a resident of B-502 Silver Oak Point, Hiranandani Garden, Powai, Mumbai, in Maharashtra. He secured admittance into the Khadakwasla-based National Defence Academy in 1987 (Charlie Squadron, 77th Course), following which he was commissioned into the engineering branch of the Indian Navy in 1991 (Commissioning Number 41558Z). According to the Govt of India’s statement made on March 27, 2016, Lt Cmdr Jadhav took premature retirement from the Navy in 2003 and thereafter went into business as a merchant marine entrepreneur. Jadhav sank his life’s savings into his company, named Kaminda Trading Pvt Ltd and struggled to make ends meet, stumping up only meagre business ferrying scrap-metal, gypsum, tractor parts, bitumen, rice and wheat between the ports of Kandla and Porbandar in India, and Bandar Abbas and the Chah Bahar FTIZ in Iran. These were all transported by the‘Kaminda’—a 3,500-tonne Dhow that Jadhav’s company owned. All this while, Jadhav was apparently using a Passport (E-6934766, issued in 2003) registered in his true name. Jadhav’s maritime freight business picked up steam from 2012 onwards after Iran was slapped with crippling UN-mandated trade sanctions by the US and EU member-states. In fact, Iran during this very period dramatically increased its exports of commodities and crude oil-related downstream byproducts to India, while at the same time proportionally increased its imports of finished agricultural and chemicals-related products from India, which led to an annual bilateral trade of US$4 billion by 2014. In 2014, following the expiry of validity of his Passport, Jadhav decided not to renew the validity and instead chose to obtain a new Passport (L-9630722), this time giving his name as Hussain Mubarak Patel (born on August 30, 1968 in Sangli, Maharashtra), whose certified address was that of a flat in Thane owned by his mother, Avanti Jadhav. This Passport was issued on May 12, 2014 and was valid till November 5, 2024. He also succeeded in obtaining an Iranian business residency permit (valid till June 2016) for entering and residing in Chah Bahar FTIZ, located just 75km west of the Pakistani deep-sea port of Gwadar in Balochistan province.

The reason why Jadhav had to give the Thane address of his residence was for the sake of identity verification by the Thane Police’s Special Branch and the District Intelligence Bureau (DIB), which is a mandatory process whenever any Indian citizen applies for a Passport for the very first time. In Jadhav’s case, since he was assuming a new identity then, the earlier security authentication carried out by the Mumbai Police’s Special Branch and the DIB when Jadhav had acquired his first Passport in his original identity was now no longer valid.
The question that arises here, and which has not yet been explained either by Jadhav’s next-of-kith-and-kin or by the Govt of India, is what made Jadhav assume a new identity and that too at a time when his marine freighter business was doing quite well? Was it because it was brought to his attention by some authorities of either India or Iran that there was a high possibility of him being kidnapped in the high seas in an act of piracy—this probability being based on certain SIGINT/COMINT chatter of Pakistani origin that had been picked up by either Iran or India? After all, the waters between Balochistan province and Oman are the favourite operating areas of Baluchi smugglers like the notorious Baloch drug smuggler Haji Wali Mehmood Baloch, who operate in these waters and have close links with the ISI as they are always used to ferry consignments of compressed heroin (that are produced in Pakistan from the raw opium originating from Afghanistan) to various Arabian ports in the Persian Gulf. In fact, it is this drug trafficking business that sustains the Afghan Taliban’s Pakistan-supported guerrilla warfare inside Afghanistan. It is perhaps this possibility that prompted India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to state on March 29, 2016 that Jadhav was most likely kidnapped. However, for obvious reasons, The MEA stopped short of identifying the most likely location where the kidnapping took place.   
But this much is sure: Jadhav WAS NOT kidnapped from Chah Bahar or anywhere else inside Irannian territory. His last cellphone conversation was on February 29, 2016 in Chah Bahar, following which it was left unanswered. It is therefore highly probable that as he along with the Kaminda was heading back eastwards toward India, his vessel was stealthily boarded by some highly skilled Pakistanis (who had definitely rehearsed this act of piracy a few times in advance, probably between July 2015 and January 2016) at nighttime in international waters just outside Iran’s territorial waters in such a manner that neither Jadhav nor any of his crew-mates had absolutely no time to respond by transmitting an SOS distress signal from the vessel’s bridge. After forcibly commandeering the Kaminda and taking its crew complement hostage, the sea-assaulters then set sail for the nearest Pakistani coastal belt of Jiwani (34km east of the Iran-Pakistan maritime boundary) where Jadhav and his crew complement were offloaded. Thereafter, either the Kaminda was scuttled, or was repainted for assuming a new identity. This is the only plausible explanation for the continued disappearance of the Kaminda. So what became of the Kaminda’s crew complement? Have they too been tried by the Pakistan Army’s FGCM as co-conspirators or facilitators? If yes, then is Pakistan waiting for a suitable opportunity to reveal their fate?

There is some reason to infer that this could well happen since Balochistan’s Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri had subsequently claimed in 2016 that at least 15 more ‘operatives’ of R & AW had been arrested from his province,  based on the leads provided by Jadhav.

In addition, the mere fact that despite specific provisions in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, India has been denied access to Jadhav 15 successive times only confirms beyond any doubt that Pakistan does not want the truth to be revealed about the place and manner of Jadhav’s forced abduction. Consequently, the prospect of Jadhav securing his release from captivity and returning back to India too has now become an impossibility.
Coming now to the operating environment in and around Chah Bahar FTIZ, it needs to be noted that the Iranian province of restive Sistan-Baluchestan province is Iran’s most securitised area. This is because it is the favourite hunting ground for Pakistan-based extremist Baloch Sunni tanzeems like the Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), the Jundullah (Soldiers of God), the Sipah-e-Sahaba or Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (which was traditionally dominant in South Punjab but is now also ascendant in Parachinar, Kurram Agency) and of late the Jamaat-ud-Dawa headed by Hafiz Saeed. These rabidly anti-Shia tanzeems have since the late 1980s engaged in several barbaric sectarian massacres of Shias residing in both Pakistan and  Sistan-Baluchestan, and are also known to be in cohorts with the Quetta Shura of the Afghan Taliban. Together, they all are active throughout the 936km-long Iran-Afghanistan border and the 909km-long Iran-Pakistan border. Consequently, these two today constitute of the world’s most heavily fortified land borders. The already-constructed Iran-Pakistan Barrier (built by Iran from 2007 till 2013) features a three-foot thick, ten-foot high concrete wall extending across 700km of forbidding desert terrain. The actual wall, however, is merely one part of an elaborate system of barriers that include several parallel structures running along much of the border, which evidently consist of deep canals, linked embankments and ditches. Fortress-like garrisoned observation towers too exist in several areas, as are extensive road and track networks. Since the barbed-wire fences, walls, berms, dry moats, and other fortifications are all built on the Iranian side of the border, Pakistan has voiced no objections to such projects.
The official purpose of the Iran-Pakistan Barrier is two-fold: to stop illegal border-crossings and to curtail the flow of narcotics into Iran. The latter issue is certainly serious, since Iran has the world’s highest rate of opiate addiction by a substantial margin, with an estimated 4 million regular users in a population of roughly 73 million. Afghanistan is the ultimate source of narcotics entering Iran, but Afghan opium is often processed in, and exported from, Pakistan as compressed heroin. As there is only one legal crossing-point between the two countries—at the small oasis town of Taftan—Teheran has banked on hopes to gain control over the flow of narcotics and other smuggled commodities by hardening the Iran-Pakistan border.
The issue of illegal border-crossings by Pakistanis is more complicated. Iran is a much more prosperous and less densely populated country than Pakistan—circumstances that often result in a large flow of surreptitious immigrants. And indeed, the westward movement of undocumented migrants is substantial. It is also apparently increasing, despite the Barrier stretching from Taftan to Mand. But most of the people illegally crossing the border evidently aim to pass through Iran on their way to either Europe—a region with substantially higher wages and benefits—or to Iraq, Syria or Turkey in order to join the ranks of ISIS. The illegal movement of drugs and people, however, is not the main reason for the construction of the extraordinarily expensive barriers by a cash-strapped Iran. More important is the desire to quell the Baloch rebellion. The boundary between Iran and Pakistan also divides the land of the Baloch people, a distinct ethno-linguistic group some 9 million-strong. The bulk of the Baloch, a Sunni Muslim people, live in Pakistan, but as many as 1.5 million reside in southeastern Iran, with another 500,000 or so in southwestern Afghanistan. The Baloch in Pakistan have been engaged in a low-intensity insurgency for decades, while those of Iran have become increasingly restive in recent years. In 2003, Iranian Baloch separatists along with their Pakistani counterparts formed a violent tanzeem called Jundullah (Soldiers of God), dedicated to fighting on behalf of Sunni Muslims against the Shi’ite regime of Iran. Pakistan, by the way, just does not bother about narcotics trafficking by the Afghan Taliban and their Baloch facilitators, but is highly concerned about smuggling from Iran, but of a different kind: alcohol. 
To curtail such activities, Pakistan’s FC has built the highly securitised ‘Pakistan Gate’ at Taftan in Balochistan’s Chagai district and it went operational on August 14, 2016). Iran has already constructed a parallel securitised gate inside its border at Mir Java in Zahedan, capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province.
In light of the above, it is therefore impossible for anyone to abduct/entrap/kidnap a person inside Iranian territory and then have him smuggled into Pakistan. Any such action that promises 100% success and 100% plausible deniability can only be conducted in international waters along the Pakistani coastline. 
Why Is Iran Paranoiac About Sindh & Balochistan?
In response to the alarming spread of Wahabism/Salafism throughout Pakistan during the civil war in Afghanistan between 1980 and 1988—when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) along with Pakistan’s then military dictator-cum-Army COAS Gen Mohd Zia-ul-Haq went on to create anti-Shia cults like the Sunni Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith inside Pakistan to counterbalance the threat of Shiism—the Islamic Republic of Iran, since the mid-1980s, has been engaged in waging proxy wars against the KSA-financed Pakistani Sunni adherents of Wahabism/Salafism throughout Pakistan.This in turn has, over the years, led to complex relationships of opposing extremist ideologies, cross-border smuggling networks, and alliances based on religio-ethnic faultlines and among several militant Pakistani tanzeems.

The Sunni-Shia sectarian divide is 1,400 years old worldwide, with adherents of Shi’a Islam in Pakistan making up 25% of the country’s population, while the remaining 75% practice Sunni Islam. This makes Pakistan the country with the second-largest Shia community after Iran by number of adherents (India hosts the world’s third-largest Shia community). Globally, Shia Islam constitutes 15% of the total Muslims, while the remaining 75% practice Sunni Islam. Sunni militant tanzeems inside Pakistan include the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba (now known as the Ahle-Sunnat Wal Jama’at or ASWJ), Jundullah and its the Jaish al-Adl/Jaish al-Nasr offshoots, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (affiliates of Al-Qaeda and supporters of the Afghan Taliban), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and the Khorasan chapter of ISIS (Daesh). On the Shia side, Maulana Mureed Abbas Yazdani formed the Sipa-e-Muhammad Pakistan in the early 1990s. This is the armed wing of Tehreek-e-Jafria Pakistan and has been involved in the assassinations of Sunni Ulama and violence against Pakistan’s Sunni community in Shia-dominated areas of the country. It was banned in Pakistan by President Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2002. It is accused of killing the central leadership of the Sipa-e-Sahabah, starting from Haq Nawaz Jhangvi to the subsequent assassinations in Karachi and Rawalpindi. Its headquarters is in Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore, and its leader is Syyed Ghulam Raza Naqv,i who was imprisoned in 1996 and released in 2014. It is also alleged to be behind the massacre of students of a Sunni madrassa and the burning down of Madrassa Taleem-ul-Quran in Rawalpindi in 2013.

According to Pakistan’s Federal Ministry of Interior, Punjab province alone has 122 Saudi-funded madrassas and 25 Iran-backed ones. In Balochistan and Peshawar, funding is mostly flowing from KSA, while in the Shia-dominated northern territory of Gilgit-Baltistan inside PoK, money comes almost exclusively from Iran. Pakistani cities like Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Multan are also home to large Shia communities. The majority of Pakistan’s Shia community adheres to the Twelver cult, while other sub-sects/cults are the Ismailis, Khojas and Bohras. Most of these are not easily distinguishable by either name or identity. Among Twelver Shias, however, the most vulnerable is the Hazara community in Quetta region as its members are easily recognisable due to their ethnicity and language. Quetta is home to nearly 6,00,000 Shi’ite Hazaras, who have been the victims whenever extremist Sunni tanzeems have gunned down buses packed with pilgrims heading to Iran via the Pakistan-Iran border at Taftan ever since Pakistani Sunni clerics since the mid-1980s began issuing fatwas that declared the Shias as heretics and apostates. In Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the Bangash, along with the Orakzai and the Turi, are the only Pashtun tribes with significant Shia population and they are concentrated around the Parrot’s Beak area of Parachinar in the Upper Kurram Agency, as well as in Hangu and Kohat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Opposing them is the Mehsud—a big Karlani Pashtun tribe based in South Waziristan Agency alongside the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe. The centre of Mehsud tribe’s population is the Makeen-Laddah-Tiarza-Sarwakai belt in South Waziristan. However, the Mehsuds also live in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank and it is they who have provided support for the Iranian Baloch cadres of the Jundullah, almost all of whom are from the Rigi tribe and are also graduates of madrasses located in Karachi and interior Sindh. Between 2003 and 2016, 2,558 Pakistani Shias were killed, while around 600 Shias were killed between 1999 and 2003 and approximately 500 Shia doctors fled the country as a result of the assassination of more than 50 of their colleagues in Karachi alone.  In 2012, more than 400 Shias were killed in target killings and bombings, making it possibly the bloodiest year in living memory for the Shia population of Pakistan.

The Jundullah (the name in Arabic stands for ‘soldiers of God’) was created in 2003 by an Iranian Sunni Baloch named Abdol Malek Rigi in Sindh. This tanzeem was also known as the People’s Resistance Movement of Iran He had a Pakistani national identity card by the name of Saeed Ahmed, son of Ghulam Haider. He and his deputy Hamza were arrested by Pakistan (with US help) on February 23, 2010 while on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan, and were subsequently extradited to Iran where they both were executed on June 20, 2010. Abdol Malek Rigi had been educated at Karachi’s Binori Town madrassa and all his murderous activities were focussed on Sestan-Baluchistan, which is Iran’s only Sunni-majority province. Since the previous decade, Jundullah has carried out a number of high-profile terrorist attacks in Iran.  These include a 2005 attack on then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s motorcade in Sestan-Baluchistan (one of Ahmadinejad’s bodyguards was killed); a 2006 attack on a bus in Sestan-Baluchistan that killed 18 members of the IRGC (Pasdaran); the abduction and execution of 16 Iranian policemen in 2007; a car-bomb attack on a security installation in Sestan-Baluchistan in 2008 that killed at least four people; a 2009 ambush in Sestan-Baluchistan that killed 12 Iranian policeman; a 2009 bomb-attack on a mosque in Sestan-Baluchistan that killed 25 people and injured 125; and a suicide-bomb attack on October 18, 2009 in Sestan-Baluchistan that killed 42 people, including several senior IRGC officers. All in all, Jundullah since 2003 was responsible for the killing of 154 members of Iranian security forces and other innocent people and wounding of 320 people, Abdol Malek Rigi’s younger brother, Abdol Hamid Rigi, was captured in Pakistan in June 2008 and after being extradited to Iran, he was executed in May 2010 in Zahedan. Abdol Sattar Rigi, another brother of Abdol Malek Rigi, along with Abdol Salam Rigi (who is the cousin of Abdol Malek Rigi)bwas arrested by Pakistani authorities in March 2015 following a tip-off about his movements and consequently the bus they were travelling in was intercepted some 50km south of Quetta. While Abdol Salam Rigi used to head the Jaish al-Adl, Abdol Sattar Rigi headed the Jaish al-Nasr. In February 2014, Jaish al-Adl had abducted five Iranian border-guards outside Sarbaz, a town in Sestan-Baluchistan. The guards were taken to Pakistan and one of them was reportedly killed in captivity while the remaining four were released two months later. Although Iran has since March 2015 been demanding the extradition of both Abdol Salam Rigi and Abdol Sattar Rigi, Pakistan has yet to respond positively and has privately insisted that Teheran curb the activities of India’s Consulate in Zahedan, which it suspects is extending moral, financial and political support to separatist Pakistani Baloch movements like the Baluchistan Liberation Front.

In light of the above, it is not surprising at all that Iran has a multitude of field operatives operating throughout Pakistan, and especially inside Sindh and Balochistan, on various information-gathering and counter-intelligence missions. One such example is a 39 year-old Pakistani Baloch national called Uzair Baloch. On December 28, 2014 Uzair was detained by INTERPOL in Dubai as he was travelling by road to the United Arab Emirates from Muscat, Oman. He was later deported back to Pakistan (prior to this Iran was demanding his return since Uzair was travelling on a genuine Iranian Passport but another an assumed identity) within 30 days where arrest-warrants had earlier been issued for his involvement with targetted killings and extortion. Uzair was formally arrested by Pakistan’s Sindh Rangers on January 30, 2016 on the outskirts of Karachi and was subsequently charged with spying and anti-state activities. On April 12, 2017 he was taken into military custody under the Pakistan Army [and] Official Secrets Act.

The gangster was born on October 10, 1977, to an Iranian Baloch family in a neighborhood of Lyari, outside Karachi. During judicial investigations in 2016, Uzair disclosed that one of his aunts was permanently settled in Iran and was a dual-nationality holder of Iran and Pakistan. In 1987, she had obtained photographs of her nephew (Uzair) in order to make his fake birth certificate under the name of her deceased son, Abdul Ghani, who had died seven years ago at the age of 14. This was a time when it was not mandatory for Iranian birth certificates to have a picture; therefore, forged documents could be easily made by a simple cut-and-paste. In 2006, during on-going operations by the Sindh Police against the criminal gangs of Lyari, Uzair along with his cousin Jalil fled from Pakistan to Iran via Oman. There he applied for and acquired an Iranian National Identity Card and Passport, which was again managed by his aunt. It was in 2011 when the validity of Uzair’s Iranian Passport expired, he along with his associate Abdul Samad, Baloch returned to Iran via road and was able to renew his Passport’s validity through the help of an Iranian friend, Sabir alias Sabri. By 2012 Uzair had been declared a proclaimed offender and a Pakistani court had ruled that proceedings against the offender would be conducted in absentia under Section 19 (10) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. In 2014, after the Sindh Rangers initiated full-fledged anti-crime operations in Karachi, Uzair was living with his friend Malik Baloch near Chah Bahar, Iran. There he reportedly came into contact with an individual named Haji Nasir. Uzair has allegedly revealed that Nasir was a resident of Tehsil Mand of Balochistan’s Kech district and was a dual-national of Pakistan and Iran. He was settled in Teheran and owned business and property there. Haji Nasir offered Uzair to relocate to Teheran where he would be provided with a bungalow to reside in. He also told Uzair about his close ties with Iranian intelligence officers and offered to make an introduction. With Uzair’s consent, Haji Nasir arranged a meeting with the Iranian intelligence officials, who asked him for information about Pakistan’s armed forces. He was also asked to brief them about the general security environment of Balochistan and Sindh. Haji Nasir’s name popped up again in a multi-agency joint investigation team (JIT) report of Ahmad Saeed alias Saeed Bharam, an MQM political activist arrested by the UAE’s in March 2016. During investigations after his arrest, Bharam confessed to his connections with Nasir and of interactions with Iranian intelligence officials.

The JIT report, signed by representatives of the Sindh Police, Sindh Rangers, ISI and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), was sent to the Federal Ministry of Interior’s Home Department on April 29, 2016 for “perusal and necessary action”. According to the JIT report, Uzair was involved in “espionage activities by providing secret information regarding army installations and officials to foreign agents (Iranian intelligence officers) which is a violation of the Official Secret Act of 1923”. It was only after nearly 15 months of his detention-without-trial with different Pakistani law enforcement agencies that he was formally arrested and chargesheeted on January 30, 2016.

So, is there a connection between Iran’s on-going proxy wars inside Pakistan and its still undisclosed policy standpoint regarding L’Affaire Kulbhushan Jadhav? Is it in Iran’s and Afghanistan’s interests to keep Pakistan’s Balochistan province on the boil? If yes, will either Afghanistan or Iran even consider allowing anyone from India to use their soil for engaging in subversive activities inside Balochistan and Sindh? If not, then what were Pakistan’s intentions/motivations behind/for kidnapping Kulbhushan Jadhav?  And what did it hope to achieve through this incident? 
How A Faustian Bargain Was Struck
To get answers to these questions, one first has to map out the mindsets of Pakistan’s military elite in the post-1971 era and the consequent actions of Pakistan’s armed forces against both India and Afghanistan. After December 1971, the vanquished PA developed a deep sense of low self-esteem (and the follow-on inferiority complex) due to the discrediting of the ‘Two-Nation Theory’ (this being the foundational ideology of Pakistan) that led it to conclude that Pakistan’s armed forces could never take on their Indian counterparts in head-on confrontations, i.e. all hopes of attaining and maintaining strategic military parity with India were dashed forever. Concurrently, there was a rise, especially after 1976, of deep-rooted anti-US sentiment that led on November 21, 1979 to the storming and burning  of the US Embassy in Islamabad by Pakistani students who were enraged by a mischievous radio news-report claiming that the US had bombed the Masjid-al-Haram, Islam’s holy site in Mecca. This was followed by the creation of Pakistan’s first ‘jihadi tanzeem’, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami, in 1980. Such anti-US passions got further amplified from 1990 onwards after the US decided to go by the book when it came to implementing the provisions of the Pressler Amendment. At that time, the PA also decided to further fuel the fire raging inside the Kashmir Valley in J & K by raising, equipping, financing and mentoring various terrorist tanzeems (operating inside both Afghanistan and J & K) like the Afghan Harkat-e-Inquilab-e-Islami, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (which merged back with the Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami in 1993 to form the Harkat-ul-Ansar),Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). Yet, by 1997, India’s security forces had succeeded in marginalising the effectiveness of the terror campaigns of these tanzeems inside the Kashmir Valley. This, coupled with the steady growth of India’s economic prowess since 1991, forced the PA to conclude that in both politico-military and economic terms, the ever-growing differential between India and Pakistan was such that leave alone strategic parity, India would for all intents and purposes become the permanent ‘big brother’ in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the greater Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Thus, from 1997 onwards, Pakistan has always, without fail, referred to India as South Asia ‘hegemonistic regional bully’ in almost all multilateral fora. Such sentiments became further deep-rooted after mid-1999, following the conduct of OP Vijay/OP Safed Sagar/OP Trishul by India’s three armed services in response to the PA’s OP Badr. This then led a badly-bruised PA to initiate an information warfare (IW) campaign using anti-Islam religiosities that actively encouraged all three armed services and the various paramilitary forces of Pakistan to be extremely scornful about their ‘Kafir’ Indian counterparts—this being the only way of shoring up the morale of Pakistan’s demoralised armed forces.  
In the post-9/11 era, during the reign of Pakistan’s President-cum-COAS Gen Pervez Musharraf, this IW campaign was coupled with double-dealing and perfidy at all levels. For instance, while Pakistan from January 2004 till mid-2008 began to discourage the HuM, JeM and LeT from staging ‘fidayeen’ attacks against Indian military targets inside J & K (which began in 1999 and lasted till late 2003), there was a proportional increase in targetted attacks against Indian citizens inside Afghanistan. On November 8, 2003 an Indian telecommunications engineer working for the Afghan Wireless Co was shot dead. On December 9, 2003 two Indian engineers—P Murali and G Vardharai—working on a road project in Zabul province were abducted but were released on December 24 after intense negotiations by Afghan tribal leaders with the Pakistan-supported Afghan Taliban militia, which was demanding the release of 50 imprisoned militants in return for the Indian engineers. On November 19, 2005 Maniappan Kutty, a driver working with India’s Border Roads Organisation’s (BRO) Zaranj-Delaram highway-building project, was abducted and his decapitated body was found on a road between Zaranj, capital of Nimroz, and an area called Ghor Ghori, four days later. On February 7, 2006 Bharat Kumar, an engineer working with a Turkish company, was killed in a bomb-attack by the Taliban in the western province of Farah. On April 28, 2006 an Indian telecommunications engineer working for a Bahrain-based firm in Zabul Province, K Suryanarayana, was abducted and subsequently beheaded after two days. On May 7, 2006 an explosion occurred near the Indian Consulate in the fourth police district of western Herat Province. On December 15, 2007 two bombs were lobbed into the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province. On January 3, 2008 in the first-ever suicide attack on Indians in the country, two Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) soldiers were killed and five others injured in Razai village, Nimroz province. On April 12, 2008 two Indian nationals working for the BRO, M P Singh and C Govindaswamy, were killed and seven persons, including five BRO personnel, sustained injuries in a suicide-bomb attack in Nimroz province. On June 5, 2008 an ITBP trooper was killed and four others injured in an attack by the Afghan Taliban in Nimroz. On July 7, 2008 a suicide attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul killed 66 persons. The killed included two senior diplomats, Political Counsellor V Venkateswara Rao and Defence Adviser Brigadier Ravi Datt Mehta, and ITBP soldiers Ajai Pathaniya and Roop Singh. A day later, on July 8 a bomb was found on a bus transporting 12 BRO personnel in Zaranj.

The above-mentioned events prove beyond a shadow of doubt that between 2004 and mid-2008 while the PA on one hand was trying to give the impression of downscale its involvement in abetting/sponsoring/mentoring terrorism inside J & K due to the back-channel negotiations between the governments of India and Pakistan on a four-point formula that had been proposed by Musharraf in mid-2001 as the optimal way of resolving the issue of J & K, on the other this very same PA under Musharraf was hand-in-league with the Afghan Taliban, i.e. double-dealing, when it came to sabotaging in every possible manner India’s national reconstruction projects inside Afghanistan. This then leads us to ask: what was the justification provided by both Indian PM Dr Manmohan Singh & President/Gen Musharraf for signing the declaration of an ‘irreversible’ peace process on April 18, 2005? Or was the ‘peace process’ then visible/identifiable/definable to/by only Singh and Musharraf and their present-day proponents like Mani Shankar Aiyar, Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, Sudheendra Kulkarni etc etc?  
By this time inside Pakistan 80% of its citizens were opposed to their government’s cooperation with the US-led multinational coalition’s ‘war on terror’ because most of the Afghan/Pakistani jihadi tanzeems were now financing and facilitating the terror activities of Al-Qaeda and its various franchises inside Pakistan. During Musharraf’s tenure as the PA’s COAS, two major military campaigns—al-Mizan and Zalzala—were conducted between 2002 and 2006, Operation Silence in July 2007, Operation Mountain Viper in October 2007, and Operation Rah-e-Haq in November 2007 in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) as well as in the Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province. Within the PA, Musharraf was facing increasing criticism from all officer ranks and especially his nine Corps Commanders because they all were finding it extremely hard to explain to their subordinates why a Muslim army was required to kill fellow Muslims when both believed in waging jihad in the name of Islam and that too only against non-Muslim ‘Kafirs’. In other words, the institutional contradictions facing the PA were both ideological (religiosity-based) and doctrinal (because the PA was never trained to conduct population-centric counter-insurgency operations, but rather to engage in low-intensity conflict (LIC) of the type it has been waging in Balochistan province). Consequently, since 2004, the PA got sunk into a quagmire in which it was forced by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to wage a three-front war against the TTP and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in South Waziristan (which also included Chechan and Uighur militants; against the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan in the sensitive Darra Adam Khel-Kohat area of KPK (formerly NWFP) and the Shia-dominated Kurram Agency of FATA; and, against the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), headed by Maulana Fazlullah, and the JeM in the Swat Valley of KPK. The TTP’s cadre base then was more than 20,000 tribesmen and the Abdullah Mehsud from the Alizai clan of the Mehsud tribe from South Waziristan commanded about 5,000 combatants. Other militant groups within the TTP included Maulvi Nazir from the Kaka Khel sub-tribe of the Ahmadzai Waziri tribe (South Waziristan), Hafiz Gul Bahadur from the Ibrahim Khel clan of the Utmanzai Wazir tribe (North Waziristan), the Haqqani network using manpower from the Mezi sub-tribe of the Zadran tribe (North Waziristan), Mangal Bagh (Khyber), TNSM (Swat, Dir, Malakand), and Faqir Mohammad (Bajaur). To top it all, the PA, in order to maintain the morale of its officer corps, began usurping an increasing quantum of fertile land-holdings in both semi-urban and rural areas throughout Pakistan so that these could be doled out at a later day to those officers who were destined for either superannuation or premature retirement due to injuries sustained in the LIC campaigns. This led to an acute sense of alienation and a spike in anti-PA sentiments among Pakistan’s rural masses.
It was this prevailing ground reality that called for a change in the top echelons of the PA in order to usher in a paradigm shift in the PA’s strategic orientation, purely for reasons of institutional self-survival. This resulted in President Musharraf resigning his post as the PA’s COAS on November 27, 2007 after 47 years of military service. He remained as President and was sworn in to a new five-year term, but as a civilian President his power was greatly diminished. The new COAS, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, 55, was previously the Vice-COAS and prior to that he was the DG of ISI. In order to ensure institutional coherence, Gen Kayani had then sought the coalition federal government led by the Pakistan Peopke’s Party (PPP) to take the political responsibility for going after the various jihadi tanzeems so that the PA’s then-prevailing unpopularity didn’t worsen. But though the PPP-led coalition came up with a joint strategy, the opposition PML-N party led by Mian Mohd Nawaz Sharif Sharif refused to oblige because much of its vote banks was among the jihadi tanzeem-supportive religious clergy in Punjab province. A beleaguered Gen Kayani, then faced with an insurgency that threatened to overwhelm the Pakistani state, consequently began to cultivate the anti-India jihadists as well as political Islamists as his valuable allies. Concurrently, this stratagem also served the purpose of eliciting the PML-N’s political ownership of the PA’s on-going and future LIC campaigns against the anti-Pakistan jihadi tanzeems. This ultimately led to the ultimate Faustian bargain: while both the PPP and PML-N wanted the PA to ensure that Musharraf permanently disappeared into political wilderness (albeit in a face-saving manner acceptable to the PA), the PA in turn secured a pledge of reciprocal support from these parties of: 1) the PA’s subversion and ultimately reversal of the Musharraf/Atal Behari Vajpayee-initiated India-Pakistan ‘peace process’, 2) Articulation of Pakistan’s securitised policies dealing with geo-politics and geo-economics by the Rawalpindi-based GHQ and not the Islamabad-based Foreign Office. 3) Ensuring military supremacy of the command-and-control protocols of Pakistan’s nuclear WMDs. This in turn led to an all-party declaration in Pakistan’s National Assembly in early August 2008, which stated that all legislations/agreements/processes (including the India-Pakistan ‘peace process’) enacted during Musharraf’s reign in power were illegal and invalid. In return, Gen Kayani in the second week of August 2008 tried to persuade Musharraf to step down as President and when the latter refused, the former used coercion by placing Musharraf under virtual house-arrest for a week until Musharraf resigned as President on August 18, 2008 and left Pakistan for London via Dubai. Hence, Gen Kayani’s subversion and consequent reversal of the ‘peace process’ wasn’t some kind of mindless perfidy by any stretch of imagination.
In late August 2008, as part of a sustainable perception management exercise, Gen Kayani made arrangements for Riaz Hussain Khokhar (who was Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary from June 2002 till February 2005 and was previously Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India from 1992 till 1997) to give a series of lectures in all cantonments throughout Pakistan to the mid-level /senior-level officer cadre of the PA that sought to totally demolish all aspects of the ‘peace process’ while amplifying Pakistan’s existential fears of a ‘duplicitous, anti-Muslim and hegemonistic India that was hell-bent upon helping Afghanistan stand on its own feet and thereby ensuring that Kabul would in the not-too-distant future label Pakistan as being the regional hegemonistic bully that actively sought to sabotage all efforts by Afghanistan to attain politico-economic stability. This new IW stratagem of the PA also found support from the People’s Republic of China, which saw this as yet another strand of the collusive threat that could be posed by a China-Pakistan combine in both Central Asia and the IOR against India. The stage was thus set for not only a spike in anti-India terror strikes inside J & K and Afghanistan, but also a surge in the PA’s LIC campaigns throughout FATA between 2009 and 2012. In case of the latter, the PA conducted Operation Sherdil in August 2008, Operation Sirat-e-Mustaqeem in June 2008, Operation Rah-e-Rast in May 2009, Operation Brekhna,  Operation Eagle Swoop , Operation Mountain Scanner and  Operation Mountain Sweep between June and September 2009, Operation Rah-e-Nijaat in October 2009, Operation Khwakh Ba De Sham in March 2010, and Operation Koh-e-Sufaid in July 2011.
Inside Afghanistan, anti-India terror strikes began to spike. On October 8, 2009 the Indian Embassy in Kabul was attacked once again when a suicide-bomber blew up an explosives-laden car outside the Embassy, killing 17 persons and injuring 80+ persons, including three ITBP soldiers.. On October 13, 2008 Simon Paramanathan, a 38-year-old man from Kalakurichi Village in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram District, working with a food store attached to Italian soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, was kidnapped by the Afghan Taliban in Herat province. Simon died while in the custody of his abductors after four months. On February 26, 2010 nine Indian doctors, including two Major-rank Army officers, who were residing in the Arya Guesthouse (also known as Hamid Guesthouse) in Kabul were killed.  At least 10 others, including five Indian Army officers, were injured in the strike that killed eight others, including locals and nationals from other countries. The bombers, believed to be three in number, struck at the guest houses, particularly at Park Residence, rented out by the Indian Embassy for its staffers and those linked to India’s developmental work in Afghanistan. On October 11, 2010 two Indians were killed in a RPG-7 attack launched by the Afghan Taliban on an Indian NGO’s office in Kunar province. On May 10, 2011 the spokesperson of Afghanistan’s the Riyasat-e Amniyat-e Milli (National Directorate of Security, or NDS), Lutfullah Mashal, revealed that the ISI hired two persons, identified as Sher Zamin and Khan Zamin, to kill the Indian Consul General of Jalalabad province. In March 2013 the Afghan tried in vain to try to blow up the under-construction Salma Dam with 1,300kg of explosives On August 3, 2013 during a suicide attack intended to target the Indian Consulate at Jalalabad, nine Afghans, including at least eight children, were killed, and another 24 were wounded. On May 23, 2014 the Indian Consulate in Herat was attacked by heavily armed LeT gunmen. By that time, 219 armed personnel of the ITBP were catering not only to the main Embassy complex in Kabul, but also to the consulates in Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, Kandhar and Herat. On January 3, 2016 India’s Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif was attacked.
The conduct of anti-India terror strikes inside Afghanistan from late 2003 till today has been directly proportional to India’s increasing economic and military assistance to Afghanistan. In 2003, India signed a tripartite agreement with Iran and Afghanistan for preferential trade practices that would eventually ply through Iran’s Chah Bahar FTIZ and in 2013, committed US$100 million for Chah Bahar port’s development. On January 22, 2009 India handed over to Afghanistan the strategic Delaram-Zaranj highway (Route 606 AH-71) on the main Herat-Kandahar highway. Built at a cost of Rs.600 crore ($135 million), the 215km-long highway was handed over by India’s then External Affairs Minister (now President) Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of the then Afghan President Hamid Karzai and then Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta. A total of six Indians, including a BRO driver and four ITBP soldiers, and 129 Afghans were killed in attacks during the highway’s construction. Besides the highway, India had by then also constructed 58km of inner city roads in Afghanistan. The project was initially estimated to cost Rs.740 crore but the BRO completed it for Rs.600 crore and six months ahead of schedule and in three years with the help of 339 engineers. Due to construction of this black-top road, the journey between Delaram and Zaranj was reduced substantially from 14 hours to 2 hours. This highway also established direct road access to four of the major cities of Afghanistan—Herat, Kandahar, Kabul, and Mazar-e-Sharif. On its part Iran has since built a new transit route to connect its city of Milak to Zaranj in Afghanistan, and has also completed an important bridge over the Helmand River. These road-building projects in Iran and Afghanistan have shortened the transit distance between Chah Bahar and Delaram by 600km, thereby giving Afghanistan-origin exportable commodities/goods duty-free access to Chah Bahar. 
India’s state-owned Power Grid Corp also successfully completed a four-year effort in 2011 to build a 202km-long transmission line from Pul-e-Khumri near the Salang Pass on the Hindu Kush mountain range to bring electricity to power-starved Kabul after another 462km-long transmission line was built from the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan border to Kabul. Much of this fell in the ‘snow zone’ at heights reaching up to 3,800 metres ASL. As many as 613 towers have been erected, and these were designed in India to withstand inclement weather. Pakistan had refused the use of its territory for transporting these towers which then had to be sent via Iran. Also, heavy-turbine equipment was moved in what was among the largest Indian airlift operations to Kabul. Until this, the city was running on a single gas-turbine and some 25 heavy-duty diesel generators for which the US was providing $100 million of fuel per annum. Kabul had long power-cuts and matters became worse during winter. With the commissioning of the transmission line and the Chimtala sub-station near Kabul, there is now 120mWe available, which is enough for Kabul. There is now excess power and the Afghanistan government wants India to help start an industrial estate near Kabul. This may be the next big project for India because it has already funded a well-equipped tool-room for skills training.
Also in 2010, Indian water resources management experts were contracted by Afghanistan to draw up feasibility studies and detailed engineering project viability analysis of 12 hydro-power projects with capacity to generate 1,177mWe to be built on the Kabul River. Once the 12 projects get completed, they will store 4.7 million acre-feet (MAF) of water, thereby squeezing the river’s water-flow that reaches Pakistan. After completing the tendering processes, Kabul will initiate construction of the 12 dams with the help of the World Bank (WB), which will provide $7.079 billion as funds.  Since Pakistan has failed to construct the Munda Dam on the Kabul River, its case against Afghanistan’s resolve to build the 12 dams has considerably weakened.  Four hydro-power projects will be constructed in the Punjshir sub-basin. These include the $332 million Totumdara project that will generate 200mWe and have water storage capacity of 332,510 acre-feet; the $1.174 billion Barak project that will generate 100mWe and store 429,830 acre-feet of water; $1.078 billion Panjshir (100mWe) project with the capacity to store 105,4300 acre-feet of water; and the $607 million Baghdara (210mWe) project with the capacity to store 324,400 acre-feet of water. In the Logur Upper Kabul sub-basin on the Kabul River, four more dams are to be built that include the $72 million Haijana project (72mWe) with water storage capacity of 178,420 acre-feet; $207 million Kajab (15mWe) project with water storage capacity of 324,400 acre-feet; the $356 million Tangi Wadag (56mWe) project with capacity to store 283,850 acre-feet; and $51 million Gat (86mWe) project with water storage capacity of 405,500 acre-feet.  Four more dams will be built in the Lower Kabul sub-basin, including the $442 million Sarobi project (210mWe) with the capacity to store 324,400 acre-feet of water; the $1.434 billion Laghman project (1,251mWe) with water storage capacity of 233,568 acre-feet; and the $1.094 billion Konar (A) (94.8mWe) and Kama projects (11.5mWe). After all these projects are completed, Pakistan will suffer a 17% drop in water supply from Afghanistan when the Indus River sleeps during wintertime every year. Pakistan and Afghanistan currently share nine rivers with annual flows of about 18.3 million MAF of which the Kabul River accounts for 16.5MAF, while the River Chitral, which originates from Pakistan, contributes about 8.5 MAF. After it enters Afghanistan this river is called River Kunar. It joins the Kabul River near Jalalabad and then re-enters Pakistan. However, 90% of Afghanistan’s land area is located in the five river basins namely: Panj-Amu Darya River Basin, Northern River Basin, Harirud-Murghab Basin, Helmand River Basin and Kabul River Basin. The total storage capacity of these dams is around 4.7 million acre-feet. It is further estimated that the planned dams will utilise 0.5 MAF water to irrigate an additional 14,000 acres of land. Afghanistan has the right to utilise waters from the Kabul River since the total flow of Kabul River is 21,000 million cubic metres. But the Kunar River, which contributes 15,000 million cubic metes to the Kabul River, originates from Pakistan. Afghanistan’s National Security Council in March 2014 instructed the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance to convey Afghanistan’s concerns to the WB regarding Pakistan’s planned construction of the Dasu Dam on the Kabul-Indus River in KPK province. Kabul has since urged all financial donor institutions, including the WB, to prevent the flow of funds for this project without the written and formal agreement of Kabul. The $7 billion Dasu hydro-power project is expected to be completed by 2037. It will be constructed in two stages and four phases and will generate 4,320mWe. The first phase will comprise the installation of the full dam and three of the planned 12 turbines, while phase two, three and four will involve the installation of three more turbines in each phase.
India has already helped build the Salma Dam under a 10-year effort on the upper reaches of Hari Rud River in Herat province. The Rs.1,775 crore project, implemented by India’s state-owned Water & Power Consultancy Servicxe India Ltd (WAPCOS), a company owned by India’s Ministry of Water Resources, involved the construction of a 107.5 metre-high earth-and-rock-fill dam and a 42mWe power house with three units of 14mWe each. It also has a provision for releasing water for the irrigation of 75,000 hectares of land. The reservoir water spreads about 20km in length and 3.7km in width. The gross capacity of the Dam is 633 million cubic metres. The height of the Dam is 104.3 metres, length is 540 metres and width at the bottom is 450 metres. The dam is located 165km east of Heart. All equipment and material were transported from India to Iran’s Bandar-e-Abbas port via sea and then along 1,200km by road from there to Islam Kila border-post at the Iran-Aghanistan border and then a further 300km by road to the site. Kabul o June 4, 2016 renamed the Salma Dam as the Afghan-India Friendship Dam.  When the Salma dam began to fill in 2015, in a unique gesture of goodwill and appreciation, hundreds of Afghans braved security threats to build a human chain that held a 100 metre-long Indian Tricolour all the way to the Indian Consulate in Herat.
When it comes to Afghanistan-Pakistan economic ties, there has been a steady downward slide since 2013. For instance, according to IMF statistics, exports from Pakistan to Afghanistan grew from $142 million in 2001 to $2 billion in 2012. In August 2013 Afghanistan assessed that informal bilateral trade totalled an additional $2 bi8llion above what was officially reported. In 2012 32% of Afghanistan’s total exports went to Pakistan, while only 8% of Pakistan’s total exports went to Afghanistan. Of Afghanistan’s imports, 23.5% came from Pakistan, while less than 1% of the latter’s imports originated from Afghanistan. Though trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan has increased substantially from $0.83 billion to $2.38 billion between 2007 and 2013, yet owing to a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTB) mutual trade between the two countries has been declining since 2012. Afghanistan is now the 6th biggest export destination for Pakistan, compared to being the 2nd biggest destination in 2011. Moreover, the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC), which was established in 2003 to improve bilateral economic cooperation, has proven to be a total failure. The JEC’s 9th session in Kabul in late February 2014 and the earlier 8th session held in January 2012 in Islamabad, tended to be for form’s sake rather than producing anything of substance. Earlier, though the two sides had also signed an updated version of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) in 2010, this allows Afghanistan to transit duty-free goods overland through Pakistan and via Pakistani ports for export and import to other countries, but does not permit India to transit goods through Pakistan for export to Afghanistan, The incentives given to by Kabul Indian and Iranian exporters over the past 10 years have also contributed to the rise of their exports that has shrunk the market for formal exports of Pakistani goods. Iran’s exports to Afghanistan reportedly stood at $1.18 billion in 2013. Afghan traders have also rejected the APTTA banking and procedural instruments for payment in US$ since March 17, 2013. Security problems on both sides of the border have greatly hindered Pakistan-Afghanistan trade. Traders moving goods through Pakistan and Afghanistan often have to pay protection money to the Afghan Taliban to ensure that their goods can move safely, which increases the cost of trade. Afghan traders moving goods from Karachi to the border crossings at Chaman in Balochistan and the Torkham Gate in FATA have to pay extortion fees ranging from $960 to $1,900 per container, often at checkpoints in FATA. The US government has acknowledged that the private contractors who transport military supplies pay off the Afghan Taliban in order to move them safely through Afghanistan. Merchants in Afghanistan also are frequently required to pay off the Afghan Taliban to ensure that their goods are not harmed. Although traders often provide bribes to Pakistani and Afghan Customs officers to evade official duties and levies on their goods when crossing the 2,450km-long (1,519 miles) Durand Line, guards on both sides demand bribes from people moving across and subject them to harassment if they refuse, which has further discouraged cross-border trade. In addition, over the last 15 years, Pakistan has closed its border-crossings multiple times, with the frequency tending to rise when relations between the two countries are at a low ebb. For this reason, most Afghans believe that Pakistan uses border-crossing closures as a bargaining chip to force concessions from Afghanistan. Time and time again, such closures by Pakistani authorities have tended to force prices in Afghanistan higher, as a big chunk of Afghanistan’s imports and exports came through Pakistan.
Due to the above-mentioned reasons, since 2014, Afghanistan’s trade volume with Pakistan has dropped by about 80% but conversely, trade with India and Iran has increased significantly. The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI) said recently that Iran has now replaced Pakistan as Afghanistan’s single biggest trading partner. According to the ACCI, 25% of Afghanistan’s total trade volume is with Iran. It added that Afghanistan’s annual trade volume tops $8 billion of which nearly $2 billion is exchanged between Afghanistan and Iran. Construction materials, raw materials and food are the primary goods Afghanistan imports from Iran. In addition to these goods, large quantities of salt, fuel and gas are imported into the country illegally and illicit trade between Afghanistan and Iran amounts to almost $1 billion annually. Having become a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Afghanistan can now import from and export to 163 countries. Consequently, unlike in the past, despite the key Af-Pak border-crossings being closed by Pakistan for almost two weeks at least thrice every year since 2015, prices on Afghan markets have remained stable. And the longer the border-crossings remain closed, the less its impact on Afghan markets becomes, since Afghan businesspeople now have more time to substitute imports from Pakistan with those from Iran, India, China, and Central Asian countries. Consequently, trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan has declined from $3 billion a couple years ago to just $500 million in early 2017. This best showcases how Pakistan’s unwritten policy of closing border-crossings as a means of putting pressure on Afghanistan has failed to produce any tangible results.  In the meantime, Afghan-Iran trade volume has increased 25%, from $1.5 billion to $2 billion, and now accounts for a quarter of Afghanistan’s total annual trade. As trade with and through Pakistan has become more troublesome, Afghan businesspeople have tilted toward Iran. A number of factors now point to growing commerce between Afghanistan and Iran: the continuing deterioration in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan; the lifting of international sanctions against Iran; construction of a rail-road between Iran and Afghanistan; and India’s building of berthing facilities in Iran’s Chah Bahar FTIZ and the Zaranj-Delaram Highway in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Afghanistan and India are also working on ways to expand bilateral trade. In 2016, at the Heart of Asia Summit in Amritsar, Afghan and Indian officials looked at establishing a commercial air-corridor so that both countries would no longer have to rely on Pakistan for overland transit trade. As of October 2016, Afghanistan’s exports to India amounted to $79.81 million, with imports at $151.94 million. When Chah Bahar’s berthing facilities become operational in mid-2018, those figures (currently about half the Afghan-Pakistan trade volume) will rise. Unlike Pakistan, which continues to alienate Afghan businesspeople, India has liberalised its visa policy for Afghan businesspeople who can now obtain one-/five-year business visas, and can stay in India for up to 180 days continuously. This has also resulted in a significant drop in Afghan medical tourists visiting Pakistan. 
The Collusive Conspiracy Explained
For China, Pakistan is low-cost secondary deterrent to India while for Pakistan, China is a high-value guarantor of security against India. This became evident as far back as 1997, when a date was fixed mutually for the meeting of the Division Commanders of the IA and the PLA Army in Leh. At the last moment, the PLA Army sent word that its Division Commander will not be able to go to Leh and that the meeting should instead be held in New Delhi. IA HQ, then headed by the IA’s COAS Gen Ved Prakash Malik, felt that such a meeting will not serve the intended purpose. He, therefore, called off the proposed meeting. The reason behind this change was not Chinese accessibility to Leh, but because Pakistan did not like a senior PLA Army officer visiting J & K. In the latter half of 1999, after OP Vijay/OP Safed Sagar, when all foreign Defence Advisers were invited to visit Drass and Kargil, only the PLA’s Defence Attaché did not avail this invitation. Later, when Gen Malik asked him the reason for his absence, he said informally that the PLA did not want to hurt feelings in Pakistan.
Now, fast-forward to February 25, 2009 when Asif Ali Zardari, the then President of cash-strapped Pakistan, returned home from Beijing for the second time in a few months virtually empty-handed, without any commitment from China for any form of financial aid. During his first visit as President in October 2008, Zardari had failed to secure financial support from Beijing to stave off a balance-of-payments crisis, with Beijing flatly rebuffing a request for concessional loans. It was after this rebuff that Pakistan reluctantly reached agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $7.6 billion loan facility, which in turn paved the way for Beijing to grant $500 million in bridging loans at market-value interest rates. These loans, however, received only conditional approvals, meaning Pakistan had to offer something in return. And that something was the securing by China of an overland access route to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea via the port of Gwadar in Balochistan, plus a safe air-corridor for evacuating Chinese citizens from either Africa or the Middle East during emergencies. Thus, the seeds of what is now known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were laid. But for all this to become a reality, both China and Pakistan needed to give a legal framework to the latter’s claim over PoK. And the related first shot across the bow was fired by Beijing in early August 2009 when, without any explanation, it began issuing stapled visas to all Indian citizens hailing from J & K who were scheduled nto travel to destinations inside China. As if on cue, Pakistan followed on August 29, 2009 with a formal plan to annex the Gilgit-Baltistan component of PoK. For providing a legal cover to this land-grabbing scheme, Pakistan’s then Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani disclosed that the ‘Northern Areas’ will henceforth be called Gilgit-Baltistan, which will have a 15-member Administrative Council that will choose the Chief Minister. There will be six Ministers along with three Technocrat seats and two women seats. This grouping will formulate and approve Gilgit-Baltistan’s annual budgets. In reality, it was just a case of old wine in a new bottle since it involved the mere change of designations of different office-bearers and giving them some additional but marginal rights. Previously Islamabad used to appoint the Chairman, and now that post has been upgraded with the title of Governor, which continues to be appointed by Islamabad. Similarly the Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) has been upgraded to the status of Assembly, and existing NALAs Advisers have become Ministers. The post of the Chief Executive has been upgraded to the post of Chief Minister. Furthermore, Gilgit-Baltistan now has an Auditor General and an Election Commissioner that are Pakistanis appointed from Islamabad, as is the case with Lent Officers in Pakistani Administered Kashmir. Lastly, Islamabad-appointed politicians from Gilgit-Baltistan can now sit in Pakistan’s National Assembly, but only as observers.
In December 2010, China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency, desribed the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control (LAC) as being only 2,000km-long, thereby ignoring the entire 2,056km-long length of that portion of the LAC stretching from Ladakh all the way up to Afghanistan Wakhan Corridor. Xinhua’s reference to the LAC issue was based on an official briefing by the then Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue. When India retaliated by firstly refusing to officially reiterate her support for the ‘One China’ policy and following this up with the abrupt cancellation of the work-permits of 26,000 Chinese expatriates working in India in various business sectors, China blinked and consequently, in April 2011, Beijing quietly agreed to stop issuing stapled visas of J & K residents. Pakistan, however, continued to be China’s proxy and on May 30-31, 2011 during official talks held in New Delhi regarding the demilitarisation of areas around the Siachen Glacier, Pakistan unsuccessfully pushed for China to be represented during negotiations since it is China that, according to Pakistan, controls the Shaksgam Valley.
Another noteworthy partnership between China and Pakistan has been the conduct of The Shaheen series of bi-annual exercises between the PAF and PLAAF, which commenced in 2011 when, for the first time ever as part of Shaheen-I, a PLAAF contingent with four Su-27UBKs from the 8th Flight Academy (also known as ‘Blue Army Aggressors’) deployed to Rafiqui airbase in Shorkot, Pakistan. This exercise, lasting for over two weeks starting March 11, saw the PAF fielding its Mirage VEFs and F-7PGs executing various various air-to-air and air-to-ground combat scenarios. Since then, a total of six such bilateral air exercises have been conducted inside both China and Pakistan, with the scope and scale of such exercises increasing with each successive exercise. 
Seeking Moral Equivalence
Soon after the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) returned to power in 2008, its Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari (who had by then replaced the deposed Pervez Musharraf as President) articulated the case for focussing first on economic and trade relations with all its immediate and other regional neighbours. Zardari did done what no other civilian Pakistani politician had ever mustered the courage to do. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal, he declared that India was no longer his country’s arch-enemy: indeed “India has never been a threat to Pakistan”. This was a truly extraordinary statement—if not of strategic reality or political assessment, then at least of intent to terminate Pakistan’s six-decades-long all-encompassing and compulsive hostility with India, rooted in an adversarial self-definition of the Pakistani state by much of its civil/military ruling elite, and expressed in a continuous hot-cold war for most of this period. Not only were Zardari and his “democratic government” not “scared of Indian influence abroad”, he also went a step ahead and called J & K’s and PoK’s militant separatists “terrorists” and had no objection to India’s 123 civil nuclear deal with the US: “Why should we begrudge the largest democracy in the world getting friendly with one of the oldest democracies in the world?” Apart from lavishing generous compliments upon India, which no other Pakistani leader had done till then, Zardari even made Pakistan’s “economic survival” conditional upon better ties and unrestricted trade with India: there’s no other strategy “for nations like us”. Within Zardari’s scheme, Pakistan’s cement factories would cater to India’s huge infrastructure needs, its textile mills would produce textiles to feed India’s growing demand, and Pakistani ports would help India relieve congestion at its own ports. However, for this bold departure from conventional wisdom in Pakistan, Zardari was quickly rebuked by the PA and shown the red-lines by being told in no uncertain terms that while the PA had no intention of being the government, it had every intention and the will to be involved 100% in national governance.

Despite this, the wily Zardari refused to be intimidated and accordingly, he instructed the executive branch of the Govt of Pakistan, then led by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, to authorise Pakistan’s then newly-appointed Ambassador to the US, Dr Husain Haqqani, to begin work on a plan to convince the US State and Defense Departments of the need to do everything possible to ensure civilian supremacy over Pakistan’s military establishment. In this, Dr Haqqani succeeded brilliantly and the consequent result was the five-year Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009—popularly known as Kerry-Lugar–Berman Bill—that was signed into law by then US President Barak Obama on October 15, 2009. The Bill required periodical, once every six months assessments by the US Secretary of State to provide certification that Pakistan’s military wass not subverting Pakistan’s political and judicial processes. These assessments had to include a “description of the extent to which civilian executive leaders and Parliament exercised oversight and approval of military budgets, the chain of command, process of promotion for senior military leaders, civilian involvement in strategic guidance and planning, and military involvement in civil administration“. The assessments also had to verify whether the US$7.5 billion in non-military aid wass being diverted “directly or indirectly” to expand Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme. The Bill also asked Pakistan to cease support for terrorist groups on its soil, dismantle terrorist camps in Quetta, Muridke and other areas that threaten its neighbours. In addition, the Bill asked Pakistan to provide information or direct access to the proliferation network operating in Pakistan without mentioning disgraced nuclear scientist Dr Abdul  Qadeer ‘Bhopali’ Khan by name. Needless to say, such provisions were viewed by the PA as being “highly intrusive” and it officially raised its concerns and reservations at a meeting of Corps Commanders, chaired by Army COAS Gen Kayani in late October 2009. Unknown to everyone then, behind-the-scenes, the stage was being set by Gen Kayani and the then DG of the ISI Director, Lt Gen Ahmed Shuka Pasha, to bring the PPP-led civilian coalition government to its knees through a series of political subterfuges.
Meanwhile, by mid-2008, Commander Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri of the JeM (formed after breaking up with the Harkat-ul Jihad-i-Islami, or HUJI) had appeared on the horizon. Born in Bimber (old Mirpur) in the Samhani Valley of PoK on February 10, 1964, Ilyas had passed the first year of a mass communications degree at Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad. He did not continue because of his involvement in jihadi activities. The J & K separatist movement of the early 1990s was his first exposure in the field of terrorism. Then there was the, and ultimately his legendary 313 Brigade. This grew into the most powerful terrorist group in South Asia, with a strongly knit network in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Little is documented of Ilyas’ life. However, he was invariably described as the most effective, dangerous, and successful guerrilla leader in the world. Kashmiri left PoK in 2005 after his second release from detention by the ISI, and headed for North Waziristan in FATA. He had previously been arrested by Indian security forces inside J & K, but had broken out of jail and escaped. He was next detained by the ISI as the suspected mastermind of an attack on then-President Gen Pervez Musharraf in November 2003, but was cleared and released. The ISI picked Ilyas up again in 2005 after he refused to close down operations inside J & K. His relocation to the troubled border areas sent a chill down the spines in Washington DC. The US realised that with his vast experience, he could turn the unsophisticated battle blueprints in Afghanistan into audacious modern guerrilla warfare. Ilyas’ track record speaks for itself. In 1994, he had launched the Al-Hadid operation in New Delhi to secure the release of some of his captured jihadi comrades. His group of 25 included Sheikh Omar Saeed (the abductor of US journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi in 2002) as his deputy. The group abducted several foreigners, including British, US, and Israeli tourists, and took them to Ghaziabad near Delhi. They then demanded that the Indian authorities release their colleagues. Instead the Indian security forces attacked their hideout. Ilyas escaped unhurt. On February 25, 2000, the Indian Army, as part of a retaliatory cross-LoC raid, killed 14 civilians in the village of Lonjot in PoK after its SF (Para) forces had crossed the Line of Control (LoC). They returned to the Indian side with abducted Pakistani girls, and threw the severed heads of three of them at the Pakistan Army soldiers manning their side of the LoC. In retaliation. Ilyas along with 25 HuJI combatants in the early hours of February 27, 2000 attacked the Indian Army’s Ashok listening post in the Nakyal sector at Nowshera, Rajouri district, and ambushed and killed seven Indian soldiers, and beheaded 24 year-old Sepoy Bhausaheb Maruti Talekar of the 17 Maratha Light Infantry and left behind his decapitated body. Talekar’s severed head was then paraded in the bazaars of Kotli in PoK. Soonm thereafter, Ilyas was felicitated by Gen Pervez Musharraf and rewarded with Pakistani Rs.1 lakh for bringing back “the head of an Indian soldier” (Ilyas was reportedly killed on June 3, 2011 by a CIA-mounted drone strike against a compound in the Ghwakhwa area of South Waziristan).

Ilyas’ deadliest operation took place in the Akhnoor cantonment in J & K against the Indian Army in 2002. In this, he planned attacks involving 313 Brigade divided into two groups. Senior Indian Army officials were lured to the scene of the first attack of which two were injured (in contrast, the PA did not manage to injure a single Indian Army General in the previous four wars), and some were killed. This was one of the most telling setbacks for India in the long-running insurgency in J & K. With Kashmiri’s immense expertise in Indian operations, he stunned Al-Qaeda leaders with the suggestion that expanding the theatre of war was the only way to overcome the present impasse. He presented the suggestion of conducting such a massive operation inside India that it would bring India and Pakistan to war. With that, all proposed operations against Al-Qaeda would be brought to a grinding halt, he opined. Al-Qaeda excitedly approved the proposal to attack India. Kashmiri then handed over the plan to a very able former PA Major from the Special Service Group (SSG), Haroon ‘Ashik’ Rasheed, who was also a former LeT commander and was still very close to LeT chiefs Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi and Abu Hamza. Haroon knew about a contingency ISI plan for a low-profile routine proxy operation in India to be executed by the LeT in the event of an all-out war between India and Pakistan. It had been in the pipeline for several years prior to 9/11, but was eventually shelved. The former Army Major, with the help of Ilyas Kashmiri’s men, hijacked this very ISI contingency plan and turned it into the devastating 26/11 attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. It was almost identical to 9/11 in that it aimed to provoke India to invade Pakistan in the same manner as 9/11 had prompted the US to invade Afghanistan. The purpose of 26/11 was to distract Pakistan’s attention from the ‘War on Terror’, thereby allowing Al-Qaeda the space to manipulate its war against NATO in Afghanistan.

As a result of subsequent investigations conducted by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), 20 militants associated with the LeT were chargesheeted for being actively involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and they still appear in the ‘fugitives’ category. They—all Pakistani nationals—include Muhammad Amjad Khan from Karachi, Iftikhar Ali of Faisalabad, Sufyan Zafar of Gujranwala, Muhammad Usman Zia of Rawalpindi, Muhammad Abbas Nasir of Khanewal, Javed Iqbal of Kasur, Mukhtar Ahmad of Mandi Bahauddin, Ahmed Saeed of Batagram, and Muhammad Khan of Balochistan. To this must be added Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum who are now undergoing trial in Pakistan. Four others—Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz—were also detained after being picked up from the Muzaffarabad-based Baitul Mujahideen HQ in PoK, but were not chargesheeted. However, according to India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), the following were the key players behind 26/11: Brigadier Riaz, Major Sajid Mir, Major Samir Ali, Major Iqbal, Major Abdur Rehman Hashim (Pasha), Major Haroon Ashik, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Muzammil Bhat, Mazhar Iqbal (Abu Kafa), Abdul Wajid, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed, Younis Anjum, Abu Qama, Abu Hamza, Yakub, Ehsanullah, Saad Shabbir, Kasim, Hassan, Rashid Abdullah, Abu Usama, Imran, and Abu Shoaib. The last one is Indian citizen Zabiuddin Ansari  alias Abu Jundal. In August 2009 India has shared its sixth and last dossier given to Pakistan and all these dossiers were also shared with as many as 16 countries including Australia, US, UK, France, Israel, Germany, Canada, Japan and Singapore and others whose citizens were killed in the attacks.

What, however, remains unexplained till this day is the NIA’s inability till this day to link the perpetrators of 26/11 terror-attacks with those responsible for the Samjhauta Express bombing on February 18, 2007, when IEDs packed into suitcases located in the upper compartments in coaches GS-03431 and GS-14857, both filled with passengers, just after the train passed Diwana station near the Indian city of Panipat, 80km north of New Delhi. Sixty-eight people were killed in the ensuing fire and dozens more were injured. Of the 68 fatalities, most were Pakistani civilians. Both the Indian and Pakistani governments had then condemned the attack, and had speculated that the perpetrators intended to disrupt improving relations between the two nations, since the attack came just a day before the then Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri was to arrive in New Delhi for talks with Indian leaders.  An official US report had subsequently declared Arif Qasmani to be involved in this attack (Read:

Birth Of A New Offensive Psy-Ops/Information Warfare Stratagem
The year 2009 began with a stinging, globally publicised lecturing to Pakistan by the then Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in Yekaterinburg in Russia on June 16, 2009. where he was attending the Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summits.  “I am happy to meet you, but my mandate is to tell you that the territory of Pakistan must not be used for terrorism”. This was how Dr Manmohan Singh began his crucial meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on that day. This statement, made in the full glare of the assembled global mass-media (which also recorded these soundbytes and subsequently broadcast them), hit Zardari like a well-aimed arrow as the terribly embarrassed Pakistani President quickly interrupted the PM to ensure that the assembled members of the mass-media were asked to leave the meeting room. Those few dramatic moments had served Dr Singh two crucial purposes: firstly, Pakistan could no longer showcase the meeting as proof that it was again business as usual between the two countries. Secondly, Dr Singh managed to preclude any criticism back home that India had capitulated before Pakistan. Several diplomatic obeservers had then priminently speculated if Dr Singh’s acerbic comments were by “design or happenstance”.
But unknown to India as well as Pakistan’s civilian government at that time, as part of a sustainable perception management exercise (that included elaborate psychological/information warfare components initiated by Gen Kayani immediately after he took over as the PA’s COAS and entrusted for implementation to both the ISI’s DG and to Maj Gen Athar Abbas, the then DG of the Inter Services Public Relations, or ISPR (from January 2008 through to June 2012), all-out efforts were being made to portray Pakistan not as a perpetrator of state-sponsored terrorism, but rather as a victim of state-sponsored terrorism being perpetrated by Afghanistan and India together as part of a stratagem of collusive coercion, i.e. Islamabad was striving for both moral equivalence with India, as well as mounting a full-spectrum counter-attack in the information warfare domain. The ISI and the ISPR were instructed to work consistently and creatively to turn the tide in terms of public imagination in favour of Pakistan’s armed forces, this being a counterweight to the corrupt, unaccountable and inefficient image of the country’s political class. The PA’s COAS was thus projected as being liberal, progressive, thoughtful, professional and inspirational, while on the other hand various social media tools and SMS texting were employed for spreading rumours with the intent of destabilising political opponents and keeping the political class, the judiciary and civil society deeply divided. Such deliberate and manufactured acts were also the hallmarks of manipulating Pakistan’s highly clientelised and politicised print/electronic/social media structures for the purposes of controlling the securitised national narrative and establishing a new national discourse.
Thus, there was a clear securitised strategic objective behind such image/event/perception management exercises: building capacity domestically and internationally to compete in a media war with India, whose first and seconds round were globally won by India in both 1999 (when the PA was successfully portrayed as being a rogue institution) and again in November 2008 when Pakistan was typecast as a failing state that was being overwhelmed by regressive religiosity. The period from 2002 till 2012 had seen a dramatic growth of Pakistan’s private broadcast and electronic media: 89 private TV channels were launched and 26 foreign channels were given broadcast rights. In addition, 138 licences for FM radios were granted, of which 115 were started by 2012. Consequently, exercising total control over them in order to capture discourse formulation was deemed imperative by the ISI. Hence, the ISI/ISPR combine’s perception management exercises imposed certain red lines that one was not supposed to cross, and ideological contradictions that served as fodder for various internal conflicts in all the provinces as well as inside PoK were to be presented as being externally driven. The image of a nationalist soldier who is highly professional and yet upholds the religious and cultural values of an Islamic republic had to be integral to the national discourse both inside Pakistan as well as abroad. Consequently, by 2010 the ISPR established a private radio broadcast channel, called 96 International Radio Network, which was the second largest after state-run Pakistan Broadcasting Corp, and creation was in contravention of the Rules of Business of the Govt of Pakistan. Till today, no verdict has been delivered by the judiciary in response to various petitions that were filed to challenge the functioning of this FM radio channel. Concurrently, the ISI/ISPR began a process of cajoling various Pakistani academic institutions into inviting military-friendly journalists to intellectual debating events in order to propagate the securitised national narrative of the country’s armed forces. The narrative stated that since the country cannot survive without its armed forces or cannot stand up to the existential threat emanating from India, it must bear all costs (like eating grass for 1,000 years if need be) for sustaining a strong militarised defence. Such an Indian-centric national security agenda was/is over-arching and will not allow national security to be defined in any other way than as an external threat. This in turn means that the state’s imagination of itself and the region around it remains captured by a sense of insecurity from India, which in turn signifies the dominance of defence over development, i.e. a martial rule mindset that is extremely scornful about any notion of a welfare state. On the external front, the ISPR began identifying and facilitating non-Pakistani, usually Anglo-Saxon scholars, to write military-friendly books. In addition, an endowment fund was created by the ISI to fund scholars in select think-tanks located in the US and European Union. 

First indication of Pakistan’s new psy-op/information warfare counter-offensive came on July 3, 2009 when Lt Gen Pasha at his HQ in Islamabad met with the Indian Defence Adviser posted at the High Commission on during which it was reportedly communicated to India that the ISI had in its possession certain materials connected with India’s support for separatist/subversive Baloch movements. Matters subsequently became crystal-clear on July 16, 2009 when India’s then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh met with his Pakistani counterpart, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, on the sidelines of NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) Summit at Sharm-el-Sheikh. The subsequent joint statement stated: “Both Prime Ministers recognised that dialogue is the only way forward. Action on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite Dialogue process and these should not be bracketed. Prime Minister Gilani mentioned that Pakistan has some information on threats in Balochistan and other areas.” While the Indian PM was heavily criticized back in India for acceding to Pakistan’s point-of-view, his Pakistani counterpart was jubilant because he had secured moral equivalence by inserting the world ‘Balochistan’, meaning he had verbally raised the issue of India’s alleged moral support for non-violent Baloch separatist movements.

By then, the PA’s LICs against the TTP and its Al-Qaeda supporters inside Swat Valley and FATA were in full swing and hence, in order to provide some cosmetic relief to a still-enraged India, Lt Gen Pasha on September 10, 2009 attended an iftar hosted by India’s then High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal on behalf of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. He was among the earliest guests to arrive at the maximum-security five-star Hotel Serena and stayed on for nearly 45 minutes, chit-chatting with the invited Pakistani and foreign guests from the diplomatic world and their Indian hosts. Wearing a black sherwani over a white shalwar, the small-built Lt Gen Pasha blended in with the other, mostly Pakistani guests. Many did not even notice his presence until it was brought to their attention. Lt Gen Pasha broke his fast with a bowl of fruit; he was seated at the head table along with Sabharwal and several other Pakistani guests, including the former Foreign Minister, Gohar Ayub Khan (the late Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s son), ANP leader Hashem Babar and some well-known TV anchors. The guests in attendance included former diplomats, foreign Defence Advisers, local journalists, politicians, lawyers, civil society representatives and businessmen. “It’s a huge gesture by him,” said the former ISI DG, Lt Gen (Ret’d) Asad Durrani. When asked if things will improve between the two countries, Lt Gen Pasha answered: “Yes, I think they certainly will”. When one TV anchor-person, Hamid Mir, arrogantly said that he was sure they would not, the good-humoured riposte by the ISI’s DG was: “You seem to be giving a fatwa”. Lt Gen Pasha stayed to offer namaaz after breaking his fast, and left soon after in a flurry of bodyguards and Indian officials who escorted him to the door. This was the first time that a serving military official, let alone the ISI’s DG with a well-known dislike for India, has attended an official sponsored Indian event in Islamabad. And he took this step not due to any new-found love for India, but to demonstrate to one and all that Pakistan no longer had to lose face to India because the latter too was now well on the way to being branded, portrayed and painted as a country that was no longer being perceived as either the sole aggrieved party or the one with moral ascendancy.
By the last quarter of 2009, Gen Kayani was at the centre of five projects that were critical to the long-term objectives of the PA: 1) Guaranteeing the political and societal primacy of the Pakistan Army. 2) Extricating the PA from an unwinnable counter-insurgency quagmire by finding ways to manoeuvre a face-saving exit. 3) Escalating support to the Afghan jihadist networks striving to create an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan so that after securing political power in a future regime in Kabul, their influence could be used to scale back the PA’s conflict with the TTP at home. 4) Linked to this objective, Gen Kayani then also began working to heal his predecessor’s historic rupture with the rogue domestic jihadists (dubbed as ‘miscreants’ by the ISPR in all its press-releases of that timeback in early 2004—a constituency that was once standing shoulder-to-shoulder with state-mentored tanzeems like the LeT and Je-M, but had subsequently been increasingly supporting the TTP. 5) Re-inventing of Pakistan’s India-centric securitised national narrative so the purpose of uplifting the fighting morale of the highly confused/demoralised land warriors of the PA. For this, extensive use was made of the contents of a booklet called On India: A Study in Profile (commissioned by the PA’s Faculty of Research & Doctrinal Studies and published by the military-owned Services Book Club in 1990) that had been authored by Lt Gen Javed Hassan—who as FCNA had played a key role commanding the combined PA/NLI forces during OP Badr in 1999. The resultant narrative for all serving officers of all the three armed services was that “never-ending instability in South Asiais driven by the incorrigible militarism of the Hindus. For those that are weak, the Hindu is exploitative and domineering.”

Results of this 5-point project became visible from early 2010. It was in February 2010 that Gen Kayani told a select band of Pakistani journalists (that had been pre-identified by the ISPR as being pro-establishment) that the PA was an ‘India-centric institution’, adding that this “reality will not change in any significant way until the Kashmir issue and water disputes are resolved”. On April 30, 2010 during the first-ever Martyrs’ Day celebration staged by the PA’s GHQ at the Yadgaar-i-Shuhada memorial, Gen Kayani self-righteously declared that “the Army is the nation, and the nation is with the Army” (i.e. Pakistan’s citizenry will have to endure even the unendurable, if need be, in support of realising the goals of a military-centric/securitised national narrative). He went on to explain that “there is no greater honour than martyrdom, nor any aspiration greater than it. When people are determined to achieve great objectives, they develop the faith needed to trust their lives to the care of Allah. We are well aware of the historical reality that nations must be willing to make great sacrifices for their freedom. I am proud that the nation has never forgotten the sacrifices of its martyrs and holy warriors”. In saying so, Gen Kayani had clearly equated all the state-sponsored jihadi tanzeems of Pakistani and Afghan origin with the PA. When a furious India, represented by Foreign Minister S M Krishna, expressed outrage against such a brazen declaration by the PA during his talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad on July 15, 2010, a bruising showdown ensued between the two, which in turn further undermined the fragile dialogue between the two countries. The PA’s GHQ, on the other hand, was overjoyed because it was of the view that such talks were counter-productive unless and until India stopped deliberately dismissing Pakistan’s fears about an accretion of Indian military forces inside J & K post-1999, and the embracing since mid-2004 of the Indian Army’s ‘Pro-Active Strategy’, which was dubbed by the global print/electronic media as the ‘Cold Start’ warfighting doctrine. It needs to be explained here that mutual adherence to the November 2003 ceasefire along the LoC was based on an unwritten agreement, which in essence stipulated that neither side would reinforce its fortifications along the LoC—a measure first agreed to after the 1971 war. In 2006, the two sides exchanged drafts for a formal agreement. Since then, the negotiations had stalled over differing ideas on what kind of construction was permissible. Efforts to sign a formal agreement, though, had collapsed in 2006 itself, amid disputes over the rules governing the construction of new defensive fortifications. In essence, while India accepted that there should be no new construction, she wanted to be allowed to expand counter-infiltration measures and expand existing infrastructure. India was insisting that she needed to expand counter-infiltration infrastructure because of escalating operations by Pakistan-mentored jihadist tanzeems across the LoC. Pakistan in turn was arguing that India’s own figures showed a sharp decline in operations by foreign jihadists in J & K, to which India’s response was that it was the fencing of 550km out of the 778km-long LoC and the multi-sensor/multi-tier Indian counter-infiltration grid that was responsible for a drastic reduction in LoC infiltration-levels. In the first quarter of 2010, Pakistan as a confidence-building measure had proposed that medium-artillery assets of both countries be moved back by 30km into the rear on either side of the LoC. But this too was dismissed by India. And on July 24, 2010, following intense lobbying by the Obama Administration, Gen Kayani successfully secured an extension of his term as COAS by three years. This was followed by Lt Gen Pasha, who was appointed as the ISI’s DG in 2008, being granted a one-year extension in March 2011 and was scheduled to retire on March 18, 2012  Lt Gen Pasha had requested Gen Kayani in December 2010 to relieve him of his duties as the DG of ISI. 
Unravelling The Cross-LoC Beheadings
The PA’s desire to go on the counter-offensive against the ruling civilian political elite became a reality in the most unexpected manner. Following the conduct of OP Neptune’s Spear on May 2, 2011 by the US inside the Abbottabad Compound, a full-blown civil-military crisis emerged that led to the subsequent ‘Memogate Affair’. Dr Husain Haqqani is alleged to have written a memo to the then US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, asking for his assistance in installing a ‘new security team’ in Islamabad that would be friendly to the US. After initially denying any knowledge of this memo, Admiral Mullen’s spokesman confirmed that he received it but had ignored it because it was not credible. Dr Haqqani insisted that he had nothing to do with the memo. If the memo was authentic, it would had reinforced politically toxic charges that the PPP-led coalition federal government was colluding with the US against the interests of the PA. In addition to the memo’s contents, transcripts of Blackberry messenger conversations between Dr Haqqani and Mansoor Ijaz, a US citizen of Pakistani origin who claims to have delivered the memo to Admiral Mullen via an intermediary, on the orders of Dr Haqqani, also emerged in the public domain. The conversations showed Dr Haqqani allegedly discussing the wording of the memo with Ijaz and telling him to go ahead. “'Ball is in play now. Make sure you have protected your flanks,” Ijaz allegedly told Dr Haqqani after handing over the memo. The memo had also accused Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani of plotting to bring down the civilian government in the aftermath of OP Neptune’s Spear, which in turn led to intense and highly unusual domestic criticism of the PA. The memo had asked Admiral Mullen for his “direct intervention” with Gen Kayani to stop this. However, many have questioned the logic of this, suggesting that the ‘Memogate Affair’ was a conspiracy cooked up by the PA to either embarrass the government or remove Dr Haqqani as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US.
Meanwhile, ties between India and Pakistan had been on a mend, thanks to some Indian initiatives aimed at strengthening the hands of Pakistani’s civilian government. Dr Singh had invited Yusuf Raza Gilani to watch the Cricket World Cup semi-final that was being played at Mohali on March 30, 2011
A day before the meeting of the two PMs, Union/Federal Home Secretaries from both countries were scheduled to meet to discuss the progress on the 26/11 terror-attack probe by Pakistani agencies. Focus was also on economic ties. In April 2011, the Commerce Secretaries had met in Islamabad. The thrust was on Pakistan granting the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, and India removing the non-tariff barriers to Pakistani products destined for India. On July 27, 2011 Pakistan’s then Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, within hours of her arrival in New Delhi, met separatist APHC leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others at the Pakistan High Commission. Later, delegation-level talks were held, with the Indian side led by then External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and accompanied by then Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, then Foreign Secretary-designate Ranjan Mathai, the then Joint Secretary in-charge of Pakistan in the Ministry of External Affairs Y L Sinha, India’s then High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal and other senior officials. Khar’s delegation included the then Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, the then DG for South Asia in Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry Zehra Akbari, and Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik. Khar had then stated that this meeting promised a new era in bilateral cooperation since Islamabad was committed to the process of normalisation of bilateral relations. “The two Ministers held discussions on the issue of J & K (meaning when the issue came up on the agenda for discussion, the Indian side asked when was Pakistan going to withdraw from PoK in accordance with Step-1 of the UNSC Resolution No.47, upon which the Pakistani side would baulk at it and say that it had something else in mind, upon which the Indian side would say if that’s the case then UNSC Resolution No.47 would remain unimplementable and hence there was no point in any further discussions on this issue during this meeting, and it was therefore time to move on to the next item on the agenda) and agreed to the need for continued discussions in a purposeful and forward looking manner with a view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences and building convergences,” said the ensuing joint statement. Later, Khar said: “It is our desire to make the dialogue process uninterrupted. Pakistan desires to open a new chapter of amity and understanding with India”. But unknown to Khar (who was honestly implementing Asif Ali Zardari’s vision for regional economic integration with all of Pakistan’s immediate neighbours and she had even manged to get the ‘yes’ nod from GHQ), the PA was in no mood to oblige the civilian government and allow it to move on to the next step, which was seamless regional connectivity within SAARC for facilitating overland transportation of goods. And this was because the PA was dead-set against offering overland transit trade rights that would have enabled India to send goods to Afghanistan. The India-Pakistan bonhomie had therefore to be sabotaged at all costs and if possible, even reversed, which in turn would cause severe embarrassment and heartburn among the civilian government functionaries, while the Govt of India would once again be forced by public opinion to freeze all its interactions with its Pakistani counterpart. And what better way to achieve this other than the staging of a barbaric, horrific incident and then claiming plausible deniability? Nor would this be the first time in recent years along the LoC despite the prevailing ceasefire.
On June 5, 2008, the PA’s troops attacked the Kranti border observation post near Salhotri village in Poonch, killing 2/8 Gurkha Regiment soldier Jawashwar Chhame. The retaliation, when it came, was savage: Pakistani officials have since alleged that Indian Army troops beheaded a soldier and carried his head across on June 19, 2008, in the Bhattal sector in Poonch. Four Pakistani soldiers, UNMOGIP was told, had died in the raid. On the afternoon of July 30, 2011, the PA’s Border Action Team (BAT) struck a remote post near Karnah in Gugaldhar Ridge in Kupwara. The Indian Army subsequently hushed up the beheading of Havildar Jaipal Singh Adhikari and Lance Naik Devender Singh of 19 Rajput Regiment. The BAT stormed the post while a handing-taking over was on between 19 Rajput and 20 Kumaon in 28 Division’s area of responsibility, conducted the beheadings and took the heads along with them to the other side. The BAT had used rafts to penetrate India’s defences along the LoC. The bodies of the two dead soldiers were sent to their families in Uttarakhand in sealed caskets as they were badly mutilated, and cremated as such. A few days after the beheading, the Indian Army discovered a video-clip from a Pakistani militant who was killed in an encounter while crossing into J & K, showing Pakistanis standing around the severed heads of Adhikari and Singh displayed on a raised platform. After repeated recce over two months, the Indian Army launched the retaliatory OP Ginger on August 30. Five Indian and three Pakistani soldiers were killed in a shooting between August 30 and September 1, 2011 across the LoC at the Keran sector in Kupwara district/Neelum Valley. On the night of August 31, an Indian border post was fired at by Pakistani troops. On September 1, 2011 three PA soldiers, including a JCO, were beheaded in an Indian Army raid on a post in the Sharda sector, across the Neelam Valley in Kel. Maj Gen S K Chakravorty, the then GOC of 28 Division, had planned and executed this operation. To carry it out, at least seven reconnaissance—physical and aerial surveillance conducted by Searcher Mk.2 MALE-UAVs—missions were carried out to identify potential targets. Consequently, three PA posts were determined to be vulnerable: Police Chowki, a PA post near Jor, and the Hifazat and Lashdat lodging points. The mission was to spring an ambush on Police Chowki to inflict maximum casualty. Different teams for ambush, demolition, surgical strike and surveillance were constituted. The operation was deliberately planned for being conducted just a day before Eid-ul-Fitr as it was the time when the PA least expected a retaliation. About 25 soldiers from the SF (Para), reached their launch-pad at 3pm on August 29 and hid there until 10pm. They then crossed over the LoC to reach close to Police Chowki. By 4am on August 30, the planned day of the attack, the ambush team was deep within enemy territory waiting to strike. Over the next hour, claymore mines were placed around the area and the raiding party took positions for the ambush, waiting for clearance through a secure communications channel. At 7am on August 30, the raiders saw four PA soldiers, led by a JCO, walking towards the ambush site. They waited till the Pakistanis reached the site, then detonated the mines. In the explosions all four were grieviously injured. Then the raiders lobbed grenades and fired at them. One of the PA soldiers fell into a stream that ran below. The raiders then rushed to chop off the heads of the other three dead soldiers. They also took away their rank insignias, weapons and other personal items. The raiders then planted pressure-IEDs beneath one of the bodies, primed to explode when anyone attempted to lift the body. Hearing the explosions, two PA soldiers rushed from their post but were killed by a second raiding team waiting near the ambush site. Two other PA soldiers tried to trap the second team but a third raiding team covering them from behind eliminated the two. While the Indian raiders were exfiltrating, another group of PA soldiers were spotted moving from Police Chowki towards the ambush site. Soon they heard loud explosions, indicating the triggering of the pressure-IEDs planted under the body. At least two to three more PA soldiers were killed in that blast. The operation had lasted 45 minutes, and the Indian team left the area by 7.45am to head back across the LoC. The first team reached an Indian army post at 12pm and the last party by 2.30pm. They had been inside enemy territory for about 48 hours, including for reconnaissance. At least eight PA troops had been killed and another two or three more may have been fatally injured in the action. Three Pakistani heads—of Subedar Parvez, Havildar Aftab and Naik Imran—three AK 47s and other weapons were among the trophies carried back by the SF (Para) raiders. But this was not without the heart-pounding moments. 28 Division HQ got a message on its secure line that one of the raiders had accidentally stepped over a landmine and blew his finger while exfiltrating. He came back safely with his buddies. The severed Pakistani heads were photographed, and buried on the instructions of senior officers. Two days later, the GOC of  XV Corps turned up and asked the team about the heads. When he came to know that they had been buried, he was furious and asked the SF (Para) to dig up the heads, burn them and throw the ashes into the Kishenganga, so that no DNA traces are left behind. Those instructions were complied with.
Such cross-LoC decapitations had been going on since the late 1990s. On the night of March 26-27, 1998 the LeT had massacred 29 Hindu villagers at Prankote and Dhakikot by slitting the throats of their victims, which included women and infants. In late April 1998 the massacre of 21 villagers in Binda Mohri Sehri, 600 metres across the LoC inside PoK, and the bombing in June of a Lahore-bound train, shortly after an explosion in Jammu, are both believed by Pakistan to have been carried out by Indian security agencies. Pakistan admitted on May 4, 1998 that an Indian special operations forces unit had killed 22 civilians at the village of Binda Mohri Sehri in Bandala, in the Chhamb sector. Two villagers were decapitated and the eyes of several others were allegedly gouged out by the raiders, who comprised a dozen men, all dressed in black. They struck in the middle of the night and dropped leaflets to mark the attack. “Vengeance Brigade,” one leaflet said. “Evil deeds bear evil fruit,” said another. “Ten eyes for one eye, one jaw for a single tooth,” said a third. The PA claimed to have recovered an India-made watch from the scene of the carnage, along with a hand-written note which asked: "How does your own blood feel?" In late 1999 Capt Gurjinder Singh Suri, posted on the LoC with 12 Bihar Regiment took a team of Ghaataks across the LoC to take out Pakistani posts in retaliation of an earlier attack. While Captain Suri was killed in the assault, he was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second-highest military gallantry award. Another raid, authorised by then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2000, and conducted by India’s 9 SF (Para) on the night of January 21-22, 2000, seven PA soldiers were alleged to have been captured in a raid on a post in the Nadala enclave, across the Neelam River. The seven soldiers, wounded in fire, were allegedly tied up and dragged across a ravine running across the LoC. The bodies were returned, according to Pakistan’s complaint, bearing signs of brutal torture.  This raid was intended to avenge the killing of Captain Saurabh Kalia, and five soldiers–sepoys Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Arjun Ram, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh–of the 4 Jat Regiment. On March 2, 2000 when LeT militants massacred 35 Sikhs in Chattisinghpora, a raiding team from 9 SF (Para) was sanctioned by Vajpayee to carry out a raid inside Pakistan. Led by a Major, the team went into Pakistan and came back after killing over 28 Pakistani soldiers and militants. On September 18, 2003 Indian troops, Pakistan alleged, killed a JCO, or junior commissioned officer, and three soldiers in a raid on a post in the Baroh sector, near Bhimber Gali in Poonch. The raiders, it told UNMOGIP, decapitated one soldier and carried his head off as a trophy. 
On October 22, 2011 an Indian Army SA.315 Lama/Cheetah helicopter was launched from Leh airport, the HQ of the Army’s XIV Corps, to repair a Dhruv ALH helicopter that was stranded at Drass. About 30 minutes into the flight, the pilot and co-pilot realised that they were low on fuel and decided to refuel at Kargil and had apparently spotted the Kargil airport from air. The SA.315 had only about 20 litres of fuel on board. However, the Magellan GPS navigation receiver on the SA.315 was giving a different reading. After a quick consultation, the aircrew decided to override the GPS coordinates and shift to manual flying using prominent terrain features as a guide. The aircrew then spotted a second airfield and its fuel-oil dumps. The SA.315 landed on this airfield, and much to the surprise of the aircrew, they were approached by a man wearing a Pathani dress. Although perplexed to have been met by personnel who weren’t in Army uniform, the aircrew—perhaps in a hurry to reach Drass—asked for the SA.315 to be refuelled. And seconds later, they allegedly realised that they had inadvertently crossed over to PoK and landed in an area containing the PA’s 90 Medium Regiment. Meanwhile, another independent mistake happened. The Air Observation Post (AOP), positioned along the LoC, picked up a helicopter flying into Pakistan and reported back to XIV Corps about an alleged Pakistani intrusion into Indian airspace (because at that time the PA too was operating SA.315s). Air intrusions do happen and at times, are deliberately done to test the response systems of the enemy. As the XIV Corps got busy in determining a response to the Pakistani air intrusion, another separate input reached the XIV Corps HQ as well at about 1.15pm—it said that an Indian SA.315 was missing. For the next 45 minutes or so, till the Pakistani media reported that an Indian military helicopter had been brought down in the Kargil-Olding Sector, India at that time had no clue that the SA.315 reported missing and the alleged Indian airspace violation by Pakistan were one and the same. The Army’s HQ Northern Command informed Army HQ soon after about the goof-up. Army HQ then alerted the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Director General of Military Operation (DGMO)—who has a hotline to his Pakistani counterpart—was on the phone as well. By this time, the two aircrew of the Indian Army Aviation Corps were in the Officers’ Mess of 90 Medium Regiment. The CO of the Regiment and other senior officers of the PA rushed to the airfield. And, even though there were some doubts in the initial hours of the crisis as to how Pakistan would react to this incident, the situation at the airfield was different. The Indian aircrew were told soon after they landed that mistakes do happen when flying through such terrain. Soon, however, by about 3pm, Pakistan decided to send the aircrew and the SA.315 back. The SA.315 was refuelled—as was the original idea—and given clearance for takeoff. The PA, however, kept back the grid-map that was used by the aircrew to navigate to Kargil airport.
From Military Dominance To Full-Spectrum Hegemony
Throughout the latter half of 2011, in a bid to keep Pakistan’s ruling political elite deeply divided and on tenderhooks, Lt Gen Pasha was covertly meeting some people of the corporate world and requesting them to join either the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Imran Khan, or the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) led by Maulana Muhammad Tahirul Qadri, the Canada-returned Pakistani Islamic cleric. Several Colonel-/Brigadier-level serving officers of the PA were also participants of such meetings.  Lt Gen Pasha was also encouraging sit-ins by both the PTI and PAT to stage countrywide protests against the increasing lawlessness and deteriorating economic situation inside Pakistan.  For instance, the big rally organised by Imran Khan’s PTI at Minara-e-Pakistan in Lahore in October 2011 was a show at the behest of Lt Gen Pasha for which he mobilised financial resources for PTI from Pakistan’s corporate world. The ISI’s DG was at that time also engaged in efforts for uniting Imran Khan and Maulana Qadri under a single platform and trying to convince them both to capture power in Islamabad through unconstitutional means by 1) the PTI mobilising the country’s youth. 2) the PAT mobilising its devout supporters from the Barelvi school of Islam. Those were also the days when Imran Khan was justifying the Afghan Taliban’s jihad in Afghanistan against NATO forces and was also accusing the so-called Jewish/Israeli lobby of attacking Pakistan’s nuclear WMD programme (both these being in sync with the PA’s over-arching securitised national narrative that had been drafted under Gen Kayani’s instructions). On December 15, 2011 Kayani for the first time acknowledged the existence of the memo, describing it as conspiracy against the PA as well as national security, and demanded a thorough probe. He made these comments in an affidavit filed on December 21 with the country’s Supreme Court, which was then hearing petitions related to the matter under the constituted Abbottabad Commission. In a separate affidavit, Lt Gen Pasha stated that he was satisfied with evidence given by ‘Memogate’ whistleblower Mansoor Ijaz. No affidavits were filed by anyone from the civilian government. Gen Kayani’s affidavit also stated that Lt Gen Pasha had briefed him about the memo on October 24, and that the PA’s COAS had requested Prime Minister Gilani on November 13 to call Dr Haqqani back for an inquiry and clarify the government’s position. While the Rules of Business required both Gen Kayani and Lt Gen Pasha to have their affidavits vetted by the Ministry of Defence, this regulation was brazenly violated by both the men-in-Khaki.
Consequently, on December 23, 2011 in one of the most audacious speeches by a sitting Pakistani Prime Minister in recent memory, Gilani unexpectedly let loose a barrage of accusations and reservations against the PA. First at a public exhibition, and later on the floor of the National Assembly, Gilani not only voiced concerns over “conspiracies being hatched against the incumbent government,” he also questioned the credibility of the armed forces over the Osama bin Laden (OBL) debacle that resulted in questions being asked on the global stage about Pakistan’s sincerity in battling terrorism. Gilani, in a direct reference, hit out at the PA by saying that a “state within (a) state will not be acceptable,” referring to the military’s dominance in governance. “If the Army considers itself a state within (a) state, then it is unacceptable,” Gilani said while responding to a point-of-order raised by the then Leader of the Opposition, the PML-N’s Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. “We will have to come out of this slavery. If we remain subordinate to this system, then there is no need for Parliament,” Gilani said. “We are being asked by the judicial (Abbottabad) commission about issuance of visas (to Americans). But I want to ask how Osama bin Laden lived here for the past six years? On what type of visa was he living here?” Gilani asked. Up next, he took on his own admission of weakness—the Ministry of Defence’s response to the Supreme Court wherein it claimed that operational matters of Pakistan’ armed forces do not come under its domain. “If they say they are not under the Ministry of Defence, then we should get out of this slavery,” Gilani said. “Then this Parliament has no importance, this system has no importance, then you are not sovereign. They are being paid from the state exchequer, from your revenue and from your taxes. All institutions are subservient to Parliament, and we have made them accountable to Parliament,” Gilani said. His conclusion was terse. “If somebody thinks they are not under the government, they are mistaken. They are under the government and they shall remain under the government, because we are the elected representatives of the people of Pakistan.” Gilani also reiterated past events where, he said, the government had stood by the armed forces at the bleakest of hours—over a storm of US pressure after the OBL raid, the NATO attack at the Salala border post on November 26, 2011 and the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks. “The democratic government has always emboldened and motivated the image of security forces on all issues,” Gilani said. Realising the sacrifices of our soldiers for the cause of the country, the government raised their salaries by 100%, he added.
The tipping point of the civil-military crisis was reached on January 12, 2012, triggering fears and doubts of what may come next, when Gilani sacked the then Defence Secretary (Ret’d) Naeem Khalid Lodhi for “gross misconduct”. But the sacking was not a straightforward affair, and the government’s Law Division and Ministry of Defence were at loggerheads over the issue. It was the Law Division’s legal advice to Gilani that resulted in the abrupt sacking. On the face of it, Lodhi was fired for causing what the government called a “misunderstanding” between the Prime Minister and the top military brass. The sacking came moments after the PA, through an ISPR press-release, denounced Gilani for accusing it of violating the law by directly responding to the Abbottabad Commission, bypassing the Law Division. The Division and Ministry had a difference in opinion over Lodhi’s move of submitting the affidavits by Gen Kayani and Lt Gen Pasha. 
Lodhi had submitted his written reply to Defence Minister Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar a week ago, explaining his constitutional position in the submission of the affidavits. Lodhi stated that his action was neither a violation of the Constitution nor the Rules of Business. He cited Gen Ghazi’s case as a precedent in support of his explanation, wherein the latter submitted the affidavits. “My action of directly submitting the two affidavits to the Supreme Court was in line with my duties and authority as Defence Secretary,” he claimed in his explanatory statement. Mukhtar forwarded Lodhi’s explanation to Gilani with favourable comments, terming the Defence Secretary’s explanation ‘satisfactory’. However, Gilani, in turn, forwarded the explanation to the Law Division for vetting. In its vetting, the Division sharply disagreed with the Defence Minister and proposed an exemplary disciplinary action, which included Lodhi’s dismissal as Defence Secretary. Charged over the hard-hitting ISPR response over his subsequent interview given to China’s Xinhua news-agency where he termed the two affidavits as ‘illegal’, Gilani put his foot down and sacked Lodhi as Defence Secretary. The then Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi was subsequently handed over additional charge of Defence Secretary. On March 18, 2012 Lt Gen Zaheer-ul-Islam, 56, took over as the new DG of ISI from Lt Gen Pasha. The former was born into a military family and belonged to the Punjab Regiment. He had passed out from the 55th PMA long course. He had also served as the ISI’s Deputy DG between 2007 and 2008. Lt Gen Pasha subsequently took up a job as a security consultant with the intelligence agency of the United Arab Emirates.
At that time, India and Pakistan had no formal bilateral trade agreement. Though India had granted the MFN status to Pakistan in 1995, Pakistan had yet to reciprocate. A composite dialogue between India and Pakistan started in 1998, but was suspended fater mid-1999. It resumed in April 2010, with a bilateral trade dialogue being re-initiated in April 2011. In November 2011, Pakistan decided to extend MFN status to India amid widespread domestic protests from ISI-mentored jihadi tanzeems and the ISPR-tutored mass-media. The decision was taken at a Federal Cabinet meeting in which the then Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood set his Ministry’s proposal in a historical perspective by pointing out that Pakistan had first given MFN status to India during Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s time. Mahmood added that World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments mandated that Islamabad reciprocate India’s gesture. He also clarified that the granting of MFN status would not alter the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement that allowed Afghan goods to cross from Pakistan into India and not vice versa. At the same time, he added that Indian goods were allowed to move into Afghanistan over land through Pakistan between 1959 and 1965 as per an Af-Pak agreement. The 56-year old President, Asif Ali Zardari, met Dr Manmohan Singh Singh during a visit to India on April 8, 2012. Being the first Pakistani Head of State to visit India in seven years, he made a brief stopover in New Delhi to join Prime Dr Singh for a lunch that was preceded by a one-on-one meeting during which they discussed crucial bilateral issues. Zardari, who had landed along with his son and heir apparent Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, then Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik and other senior officials on a day-long ‘private visit’, following which he flew to Ajmer to pay obeisance at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. The two also met on the sidelines of the XVI Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Teheran on August 30, 2012. Earlier, on May 26, 2012 the two countries had failed to sign the eagerly awaited and widely expected agreement on a relaxed visa regime in Islamabad, but decided to explore the feasibility of establishing a hotline between the two Union/Federal Home Affairs /Interior Secretaries and begin discussing a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). Though India went prepared to Islamabad for signing the agreement that provides for group tourism visas and visas-on-arrival for the elderly and children, besides easier business visas, Pakistan from the first day of talks indicated that while it was in agreement with all that had been jointly decided at earlier meetings, it needed more time. And it eventually became clear that there would be no visa agreement, with Rehman Malik announcing after meeting Indians then Union Home Affairs Secretary R K Singh that the liberalised visa regime would not be signed at this meeting. Indicating that Islamabad would prefer the agreement to be inked at the political level, the Malik said that he would be glad if India’s then Union Home Affairs Minister P Chidambaram came to Pakistan for signing it. However, a joint statement issued at the end of the two-day talks attributed the delay to internal approvals that Pakistan needed to secure (from the GHQ, of course). In New Delhi, India’s then Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said that R K Singh the Home had gone “fully prepared” to sign the agreement as per the decision taken during the discussions between Dr. Singh and Asif Ali Zardari on April 8. He also confirmed that Malik wanted political participation in the signing of the agreement, adding that Chidambaram had said he would visit Pakistan at a convenient time.
In June 2012, Maj Gen Athar Abbas, the then DG of ISPR from January 2008, retired from service and handed over the ISPR’s reins to Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, who would remain the DF of ISPR till  was DG ISPR till December 2016. On September 8, 2012 during a three-day visit to Islamabad, S M Krishna began crucial talks with Hina Rabbani Khar to review the second round of resumed bilateral composite dialogue. The one-to-one meeting between Krishna and Khar was followed by delegation-level talks between the two sides. Indian officials had earlier said that terrorism will form the core of New Delhi’s discussions, particularly the slow pace of the 26/11 case trial in Pakistan. Other issues included those concerning prisoners as well as trade and border issues. The talks were to culminate in the inking of much-awaited new liberalised visa agreement to boost people-to-people contacts. Also for the first time, group tourism was to be part of the new pact which was also to have other new categories, including multiple city one-year visas for businessmen and visa-on-arrival for people aged 65 years and above. Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani were also present at these talks. Both Ministers also co-chaired the Joint Commission Meeting, which was revived in 2005 after a gap of 16 years. This was Krishna’s second visit to Pakistan in over two years. Also, Foreign Secretary-level talks were held during which the two sides discussed all aspects of the resumed dialogue, apart from reviewing the entire expanse of the discussions held so far. The two sides described their discussions as “positive and frank”. They acknowledged that progress has been made in bilateral ties but agreed that “much more needs to be done“. Later, the two sides also inked an agreement on culture between the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and its Pakistani counterpart. On September 27, 2012 in reference to remarks by Asif Ali Zardari on J & K at the UN General Assembly (saying “Kashmir remains a symbol of failures, rather than strengths of the UN system,” and that  “resolution of the issue of Kashmir can only be arrived at in an environment of cooperation. We will continue to support the right of the people of J & K to peacefully choose their destiny in accordance with the UNSC’s long-standing resolutions on this matter"). This was akin to waving a red rag at India. S M Krishna termed Zardari’s reference to UNSC resolutions on J & K as ‘unwarranted’, asserting that J & K was an integral part of India. Pakistan, determined not to let this go without a retort, gave a rejoinder, also known as a right-of-reply (RoR) in diplomatic parlance. A bristling India next came up with her own rejoinder. Not to be outdone, Pakistan refused to let the UNGA close for the day without registering its second RiR. The battle eventually boiled down to one thing: India saying “J & K is ours” and Pakistan retorting “It is not”. This high-voltage exchange between India and Pakistan at the UNGA was in sharp contrast to the reconciliatory tone of S M Krishna’s last visit to Islamabad. Then, he had expressed satisfaction with Pakistan and its actions. Then, the sides had said: “The Ministers held discussions on the issue of J & K and agreed to the need for continued discussions, in a purposeful and forward looking manner, with a view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences and building convergences.” After Krishna’s speech at the UNGA taking exception to Zardari’s reference to J & K, the Pakistani mission sent an RoR through the then Deputy Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar, who said: “The reference to the J & K dispute in the President of Pakistan’s statement was not unwarranted. Let me also make it absolutely clear that J & K is neither an integral part of India and nor has it ever been.” Vinay Kumar of the Indian mission responded: “J & K is and has always been an integral part of India. It is ironical that these comments have been made by a country which is persisting with its illegal occupation of a part of the Indian state of J & K. These references constitute a clear interference in the internal affairs of India.” The Pakistanis responded again to Kumar’s assertion: “Mr President, the disputed status of J & K is established by UNSC resolutions and agreed upon by both Pakistan and India. Characterisation of J & K or any part of its territory as part of India is, therefore, untenable. The people of J & K have yet to exercise their inalienable right of self-determination.” India, however, was determined to get in the last word. “The people of J & K have peacefully chosen their destiny in accordance with democratic practices and they continue to do so. We, therefore, reject in their entirety the untenable comments from the distinguished delegate of Pakistan,” said India as a weary UN closed for the night. This was the first time in three decades that India formally and loudly made her legal claim to PoK.
On December 14, 2012 Rehman Malik, who was supposed go a month earlier to New Delhii but had to postpone his trip because of the impending execution of 26/11 perpetrator Ajmal Kasab, arrived at IGI Airport on a three-day visit. He next inked the agreement on operationalisation of the liberalised visa agreeent between India and Pakistan with his Indian counterpart Sushilkumar Shinde. He then headed for the Taj Mahal in Agra to belatedly spend his 61st birthday (which fell on December 12) with his wife Saeeda Rehman. 
On December 27, 2012 Indian and Pakistani diplomats met to discuss the draft agreement for a formal ceasefire along the LoC, but they could make no headway. By the end of that year, 72 terrorists, 24 civilians and 15 security personnel had been killed in terrorist violence in J & K—lower, in total, than the 521 murders recorded in Delhi alone. In 2011, the figures were, respectively, 100, 40 and 33; in 2010, 232, 164 and 69. There were 117 violations (93 on the LoC) in 2012, as against 61 in 2011, and 57 in 2010. Cross-LoC infiltration attempts, too, increased, with a multi-security agency assessment putting the total number of infiltration bids to 121 in 2012, against 52 in 2011. Infuriated by India’s refusal to formalise the November 26, 2004 ceasefire agreement along the LoC, the PA was waiting to impose costs on India to such an extent that:
1) India would be forced to yet again suspend the Composite Dialogue process.

2) This in turn will force Pakistan’s civilian government to stop granting MFN status to India.

3) Increased infiltration by Pakistani jihadi irregulars across both the LoC and WB will keep the bulk of the Indian Army’s deployment in J & K (which by then accounted 30% of the Army’s total standing manpower strength) focussed on internal security duties, instead of training for offensive military campaigns.

4) It will severely curtail all socio-economic developmental activities within the Kashmir Valley—especially if the Sarpanches with power to disburse developmental funds are targetted for assassination—which in turn will lead to widespread social upheavel and alienation.  
On January 8, 2013 a 15-member BAT of the PA, wearing black combat uniforms, crossed the LoC from across in Krishna Ghati sector (falling under 10 Infantry Brigade in Mendhar, Poonch district). Earlier, this BAT had been stationed at Barmoch BOP in PoK across Atma Post (manned by 13 Rajputana Rifles) a fortnight before and was watching the daily movements of Indian Army jawans. On that day, Lance-Naik Hem Raj and Lance-Naik Sudhakar Naik of 13 Rajputana Rifles were on a routine area domination patrol in Barasingha in Mendhar sector, 200km north of Jammu. Daybreak was still several hours away, the night was dark, the fog thick, and visibility almost zero. Patrolling there involved walking around over a stretch that was beyond the fence that protected India-held territory. Every border sector had been divided into grids, each under a commanding officer. There were four to seven forward posts (beyond the fence) every kilometre, with five to eight soldiers in each. The posts were alerted about the patrols; while on patrol, the scouts did not talk, smoke, use flashlight or carry cellphones. They did not even use aftershave, the smell of which could be picked up by dogs accompanying the jihadis. The patrol that included Hemraj and Sudhakar was playing safe, by not venturing far beyond the fence. They mostly remained nearly 500 metres short of the LoC. The party had seven troopers and as per the decades-old practice, had divided themselves into three pairs, with the commander attaching himself to one. Each pair was to remain within line-of-sight of another, but that was impossible in the thick fog and the thick woods. The result: the pair that was to keep Hemraj and Sudhakar in its line-of-sight did not see who were shooting at them in the fog; they only heard reports of automatic firearms firing away. As the second pair leapt for cover, before rushing to reinforce Hemraj and Sudhakar, they, too, came under fire. This fire, they realised, was not coming from the woods, unlike the bullets that had felled Hemraj and Sudhakar. This was cover-fire, coming from the hilltops on the Pakistani side of the LoC. Very unlike jihadis, and very much military-like. The Jihadi infiltrators would have fired at everyone in sight. Here, the enemy was killing only two; the cover-fire was being provided only to keep the rest of the patrolmen away. The intention was to kill two, and only two, and then seize their bodies. Indian posts returned fire; the exchange lasted several hours, well past daybreak. As the fog cleared by 10.30am, a couple of remaining patrolmen saw the enemy—clad in dark black, the uniform of the PA’s Special Service Group (SSG), known as the Black Storks. The cover fire, the patrolmen knew, was being provided by 29 Baloch Regiment, which had been there for several months. As the firing finally ended at 11:32am, the sight in front froze them. Hemraj and Sudhakar lay dead and frozen in pools of blood, far away from each other. Sudhakar’s head was missing; Hemraj had deep slashes on his neck, indicating a failed beheading bid. This happened between Chhatri and Atma posts in Mankote area of Krishnaghati. The beheading was done by one Anwar Khan, a resident of Jabbar Mohalla of village Sher Khan (Rawlakote) who also was the local guide for the SSG. He ran a shop in Barmoch Gali in PoK, and he was also involved in the beheading of an Indian Army Captain in 1996 in the same Mendhar area. Till January 9, the BAT was camping at Tattapani and was also involved in planting anti-personal mines in Helmet, Chattri, Dayal Top, Atma and Rocket BOPs of 10 Infantry Brigade. The consequent phone call was short and sombre. Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, the then DGMO, spared pleasantries and told his Pakistani counterpart, Maj Gen Ashfaq Nadeem, that India did not want to escalate tensions, but Pakistan had to respect the LoC. Before he hung up, Lt Gen Bhatia reiterated that Pakistan must probe and take appropriate action against its soldiers who violated the LoC and mutilated the bodies of two Indian soldiers. This was the third hotline call between the two DGMOs since a localised confrontation had begun on January 6. While the Indian Army had immediately retaliated with increased mortar-based artillery firepower, New Delhi tried to stop tensions from spiralling out of control. It advised the Indian Army to stay calm. However, it was aware of the anguish and anger within the Army over the mutilations. Dr. Manmohan Singh chose the Army Day celebration at the Indian Army COAS’ residence on January 15 to send a strong message to Islamabad: “After this dastardly act, there can’t be business as usual with Pakistan,” he said. “Those who are responsible for this must be brought to book. I hope Pakistan realises this.” What this meant was that payback time was guaranteed at a time and place of the Indian Army’s choosing.
On January 30, 2013 Pakistan’s Federal Cabinet ratified a $1.5 billion agreement with Iran for the laying of nearly 500 miles of pipeline in Pakistan that would connect the country’s gas infrastructure to Iran’s massive South Pars natural gas fields. The pipeline would potentially add over 750 million cubic feet of gas per day to Pakistan’s grid at a time when the country was facing crippling energy shortages, with some cities suffering frequent protests against 20-hour long power outages. Iran had offered cash-strapped Pakistan $500 million in project financing to lay the Pakistani section of the pipeline after several private and sovereign foreign entities backed out of the plan over fears of incurring US ire for participating in the project (and when Pakistan refused to award contracts to some without bidding). The Iranians offered even more funding if the Pakistanis demonstrated seriousness in going ahead with and completing the project. Pakistan, in return, awarded the contract for the construction of the Pakistani segment of the pipeline to an Iranian company called Tadbir Energy.

On July 27, 2013 a PA soldier was reportedly killed and another seriously injured in “unprovoked” firing by Indian troops across the LoC on Rawlakot’s Nezapir sector, according to the ISPR. On July 28, 2013 Zafran Ghulam Sarwar, Wajid Akbar, Mohammad Wajid Akbar and Mohammad Faisal left their homes on the Pakistani side of the LoC in the Neelam Valley and never came back. India said that she had no idea what happened to the men. Not long after they disappeared, though, five still-unidentified men were shot dead by Indian troops in the same area, 500 metres inside the Indian side of the LoC. On the night of July 30, 2013, four Pakistani men were killed near Katwar post in India. India said that the men were “intruders” and “militants”, but Pakistan disputed that claim and said that the men were “local civilians” plucking herbs and had strayed close to the LoC when they were abducted by Indian soldiers. On August 6, 2013 PA troops killed five Indian soldiers in a cross-border strike in Poonch. The five Indian soldiers were sitting ducks in a well-planned ambush by a BAT about 450 metres inside Indian territory. 14 Maratha Light Infantry (MLI) had just arrived in the Sarla battalion area of the 93 Infantry Brigade, stationed along the LoC north of Poonch, to relieve 21 Bihar Regiment. An Indian patrol headed out from Cheetah, a post 7km west of Poonch, along the Betad nullah, or moutain stream, which heads towards the LoC. They were headed for Delta, an occasionally-occupied position half-way to another major post, code-named Begum. These posts guarded the areas around the village of Khari Karmara, facing the PoK village of Bandi Abbaspur. 21 Bihar Regiment’s Shambhu Sharan Rai, Vijaykumar Ray, Premnath Singh and Raghunandan Prasad, and 14 MLI’s Pundlik Mane and Sambhaji Kute, were sent out on a patrol to familiarise the newcomers with the terrain. Elsewhere on the LoC, troops would have been extremely cautious about resting in the course of a patrol. The troops had no reason to expect trouble, though: the Chakan-da-Bagh sector, home to a trading post where cross-LoC trade is conducted, had long been peaceful. Late on that fateful night, the men bivouaced at a position some 450 metres across the border fencing that runs some distance away. Kute was put on guard duty, while the other men rested. Kute, the only survivor, later said that he saw the patrol come under fire from multiple directions. He was, however, unable to provide substantial further detail—bar saying he thought some 20 men, some in uniform—had executed the pre-dawn ambush. Forensics later showed that the slain men were killed with single shots, fired at almost point-blank range, evidence of a surgical, well planned ambush. Kute’s less-than-complete testimony led the then Indian Defence Minister A K Antony to issue an ambiguously-worded statement soon after the attack, saying that it was carried out by “20 heavily armed terrorists along with persons dressed in PA uniforms”. Antony’s statement appeared to refute an earlier statement by the Indian Army, saying the killings were carried out by terrorists “along with soldiers of the PA”. Earlier in January, after the beheading of Lance-Naik Sudhakar Naik, Antony had expressly charged Pakistan’s SSG with the outrage. Following protests in Parliament, Antony issued a fresh statement blaming the PA for the killing. Indian Army officials claimed that elements of the 801 Mujahid Battalion were also involved in this attack. Subsequently, 21 Bihar Regiment’s Commanding Officer Col C S Kabsuri, under whose command the patrol team operated; 91 Infantry Brigade’s Commander Brigadier S K Acharya, who was Kabsuri’s immediate boss and Acharya’s boss and 25 Infantry Division GOC Maj Gen V P Singh—were in the  gunsights of a Court of Inquiry probing the incident. So was the GOC of the Nagrota-based XVI Corps, Lt Gen B S Hooda, who was then commanding these officers.
On September 26, 2013, audacious strikes in quick succession by Pakistani jihadi irregulars on Indian security forces killed 13 people inside Jammu along the busy Jammu-Pathankot national highway. They had crossed the LoC at Haria Chak village, at the junction of the Punjab-J & K state border and were looking for men in police or CRPF uniform. This same team first attacked the Hiranagar Police station, killed three and injured two men. It later targetted the 16 Cavalry’s and 168 Mechanised Infantry Brigade station in Samba in. The terrorists had a free run for close to two hours from the first attack at Hiranagar to Samba camp around 20km away. The tempo of these attacks built up steadily from 2008 till 2013, culminating with major skirmishes at Charonda and Shalabhattu, and along the Samba–Kathua belt.

Eighty per cent or 540km LoC fencing along the LoC has to be replaced each year, metre by metre. Hollow cement blocks, concertina wire and metal poles all have to hauled up by foot and pony—40 tonnes of equipment for each kilometre of wire. Israel-supplied hand-held thermal imagers are ineffective in fog, and their battery-life drops sharply in extreme cold. Battlefield surveillance radar isn’t always able to pick up movement in the rocky gullies cutting up the mountains. There’s no option but to build the wall, metre by painstaking metre, and walk it, every day. At 16,700 feet, with up to 30 feet of snow at minus 25 degrees Celsius, it isn’t easy to conduct patrolling and hauling perishable supplies from the supply base at Macchel to the HQ of 53 Infantry Brigade at Zamindar Khan Gali. It takes at least 10 men, with avalanche rods and spades, five hours to beat a path through the snow to get to Katwar, down the valley. Then, the post there takes over. It takes them another five hours to Dapal—and a third party then takes five more hours to Dudhi. Finally, the party at Dudhi marches the last stretch, to Macchel. It was in this area that a local skirmish began less than a week before September 27, 2013, with Indian troops being engaged in a murderous fight to oust PA troops and their jihadi irregulars who had occupied a ghost village of Shala Bhata along the LoC. The intruders were using abandoned homes to fire on Tndian troops attempting to clear the area. The intrusion took place on the night of 23 September, 2013 by taking advantage of gaps in patrolling, which took place when troops of the 20 Kumaon Regiment were handing over charge to the 3/3 Gurkha Rifles. The intruders took cover in unoccupied observation posts overlooking a nullah, or village stream, as well as abandoned homes. Shala Bhata, some 20km as the crow flies from the district headquarters at Keran, looks over the Kishanganga River, and is perched on a strategically-vital arc that overlooks Pakistan’s main line of communication to the northern stretches of the LoC. Meanwhile, in northern J & K’s dense Kalaroos forest, 53 Infantry Brigade despatched troops to search the area. The 28 Infantry Division too fanned out across the sprawling Kalaroos forests—terrain pockmarked by caves and boulders, and cloaked in dense Deodar trees that reduces visibility to just a few feet.

Both these attacks (in September) were clearly aimed at derailing the forthcoming meeting between the PMs of India and Pakistan in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA. On September 28, 2013 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that his statements on the J & K issue at the UNGA was based on historic facts and stressed that the UN should honour its own resolution. “What I have said is factual truth. I have tried to remind the UN that it should implement the resolution passed by its Security Council,” Sharif said in New York. In his address, he had stressed that the UN must continue to remain attentive to the issue of disputed J & K, and realise the right of its people to self-determination. He had also pointed that the sufferings of the Kashmiri people cannot be brushed under the carpet because of power politics. On September 29, the PMs of both countries agreed that they needed to stop the recent spate of attacks inside J & K in order for peace talks to advance. They also both accepted invitations to visit each other’s countries, but no dates were set. Dr. Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif had met for just over one hour. It was their first face-to-face meeting since Sharif was elected as PM in May. 
On November 29, 2013 Gen Kayani, 61, stepped down as the PA’s COAS after handing over the command baton to Gen Raheel Sharif, who became the PA’s 15th COAS (till his retirement on November 29, 2016). 
On December 24, 2013 the DGMOs of both countries met in Wagah after 14 years—their first meeting since mid-1999. Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia and Pakistan’s Maj Gen Aamer Riaz also decided to hold two flag meetings between the Brigade Commanders on the LoC. By then, however, ceasefire violations along the LoC and Working Boundary (WB) had sharply spiked. In 1998, there were 5,153 ceasefire violations, while in 1999 there were 2,896 violations prior to May 1999. In 2011, there were 86 firing violations along the WB and LoC; 230 in 2012; 414 in 2013 (India says that there were 199 ceasefire violations along the Loc and 148 along the WB); plus 175 along the LoC. There were 275 infiltration bids in 2013, and 95 infiltrators are estimated to have entered J & K. The PA, however, was most unlikely to attempt any form of escalation along either the LoC or the WB since it by then had a deployment ratio of 54.6%, resting and re-equipping ratio is 12.7%, & the remaining 33% undergoing the training cycle.
(to be concluded)

FC-1B/JF-17B OCU Trainer Makes Its Maiden Flight At Chengdu


Anonymous said...

This blog spot has argued India's justified case like A BRILLIANT lawyer would in
Defence of an innocent Ex Cdr Jadhav doing legal business in Iran and
Indian must get Iran to support India's case as Iran's intelligence agency and the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran SAVAK IS PROFESSIONAL (Persian: وِزارَتِ اِطّلاعات جُمهوریِ اِسلامیِ ایران Vezarat-e Ettela'at Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran) and Iran's POWERFUL Revolutionary guard (Navy) at Chah Bahar will know all about JADHAV and his work.

One word from Iran will clear the matter for the world.

BLOG misses the point that Pakistan's ISI issues white lies and
has a very pro active dirty tricks department and that has used
India Pakistan issues. Every good national does a bit of reporting but its
not spying which is a mandatory task. Jadhav needs defence from Iran.

VINOD KUMAR said... now Iran rejects Pakistani claims and why Pakistan accused Iran of conducting espionage activities in Blochistan?

panic said...

Sir dont you think Kulbhushan might have been caught at hig seas along with his Dhow by pakistani Maritime agency ? like they catch our fishermen.
Then cooked up a stupid spy story ?
Sir can India put some international pressure on pakistan, like the way Italy did to India.

ambrish u said...

Prasunda what the hell is going on in Pakistan? Either they don't know the might of India or they are putting themselves above everyone. I think it is time that we have to push for Independence of Sindh and Baluchistan.

VINOD KUMAR said... Sir,what is your assessment on this news,suddenly a lot of alleged indian agents started emerging in Pakistan,is Pakistan is doing propaganda to brainwash its public?

Kaustav said...

Can Article 370 be suspended in the Kashmir valley alone, not entire J&K, in national security interest and demography be changed in the valley by settling ex-servicemen who could be given land parcels, weapons and security? The same for the Kashmiri Pundits who also could be given an enclave of their own.

The land is beautiful and could attract willing settlers backed by monetary subsidy. An excellent start was made by the enterprising officer who lashed the alleged stone pelter to the jeep. Such strong arm tactics would be feasible given the fatigue with Islamic militancy. Tibet is a good example and the way Khalistani and Naxal movements were controlled by breaking the will of those involved with harsh reprisals on the tone pelters and confiscation of their family property.

Black box said...

Hi prasun,
In the above article it mentions upgrade for the sub, since it's a new sub under construction what upgrade are required ?

Asmit S. said...

After reading this article,few questions in my mind.....

1.You commented in earlier article that Pakistan won't hang Jhadav.But SUPPOSE,if they do, what do you think should be India's response?
2.Do you think that India should chop-off it's relations with Pakistan from Embassy level to just consulate level?
3.Do you think that Modi Government is having better policy with Pakistan(little-bit tougher)?
Few off-the topic questions...
4.Do you think that India should make Marine Corps just like US or China for Overseas deployment for Future possibilities?
5.How powerful is China's ABM ability?

Thanks in advance.....

Unknown said...

Sir, do you believe that the missing Pakistani lt colonel from Nepal is in our custody. If yes why our government is not making it public. What are the chances of a swap taking place?

Vikram Guha said...

Prasun Da,

SUBHO NOBO BORSHO to you and all your loved ones. Bhalo thakben.



SUVO said...

Thanks for the article.


Valo thakben.

Rao said...

A few more flaws in the Pakistani naarative

1. Why did the Pakistan government had this year approached India for assisting in the investigation process, if they already have the all the evidence on the charges levelled against Kulbhushan Jadhav?

2. Abdul Basit had claimed that Kulbhusan's trial lasted three and a half months but Military courts in Pakistan were disbanded on Jan 7 after a sunset clause.

And it was only on March 28 that Pakistan senate passed the 28th Amendment to reinstate the military courts.

So the entire legality of Kulbhushan's trial and the FMCG proceedings which they claim was conducted on 12th March is questionable if not illegal.

Jed I said...

Pierre Zorin said...

One small correction: you got it nearly right but the correct title should be L'affaire de Kulbhushan Jadhav :)

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Have uploaded Part-2 of the narrative. Will upload the concluding part tonight, which may well answer some of the queries raised above.

To VIKRAM GUHA & SUVO: And the very same to you & all your loved/near-n-dear ones.

To UNKNOWN: In such tradecraft, discretion always gets the desired results. It is also possible that not just one, but more than 1 Pakistani has gone missing & this is not yet being disclosed, just as there's no word about the location of Kulbhushan Jadhav's 3,500-tonne Dhow & the identities/locations of its crew complement.

To BLACK BOX: A hull design is always evolving, both internally & externally. The most likely upgrade will therefore be the AIP plug-in. Whether this plug-in will be of DCNS-origin or India-origin remains to be seen. But news-reports like this will definitely make folks like JOYDEEP GHOSH & VED extremely happy since they have asked several times before about the prospects of follow-on orders for the Scorpene SSK.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Subramanian Swamy claims that the US and China have come to some sort of an agreement on Jadhav incident which will essentially limit India's response. What are your thoughts on that.

Best regards

Shankar said...

Dear Sir ; Do you think Americans have Brokered a Peace deal between India and Pakistan

Because we have Not seen ANY More Flare ups on the LOC

The Earlier Assumption was that Once the Summer starts there will be Renewed Hostilities

ALSO PLEASE Write about India's Retaliatory Options Once Jadhav is dead

Infact many believe that He is already dead

Pierre Zorin said...

But what were Pakistan’s intentions/motivations behind/for kidnapping Kulbhushan Jadhav? And what did it hope to achieve through this incident? - obviously a few things. Bring Kashmir issue up by comparing it with Balochistan problem they are facing. Please China and keep the rift between Beijing and New Delhi gaping; use KJ as a pawn for Pakistani prisoners; show Pakistan is dead set about CPEC; draw some form of military retaliation from India thereby showing to the US India is an aggressor - just to name a few. Await your informed conclusion though.

Anonymous said...

prasun sir, can sm-6 engage low flying cruise missileand ballistic missile?
2.please explain how advance is spy-6 radar compared to mf-star and its range?

Best regards,

AVIRAL said...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAJ: That nutcase has since the early 1990s been one of those who excel in portraying the Chinese as being 9 feet-tall. He, to me, is an intellectually bankrupt entity who spends his time weaving cobwebs of conspiracy theories based on mere rhetoric and minus any factual narrative.

To SHANKAR: Cross-LoC exchanges of fire are a regular affair & they had resumed last month itself. Why should Jadhav be dead when he is far more useful being alive since the Pakistanis can make use of his existence for propaganda purposes to suit their domestic propagandist agendas?

To RITWIK: I’s sure you can come across some credible literature on such matters by making Google your friend.

To JED I & AVIRAL: All these Op-Eds were quickly written & had to be concise. Therefore, the narratives are high on conspiracy theories & less on analytical content backed up by facts. Kindly read the latest uploaded part of the narrative above.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To UNKNOWN: LoLz! There are many who have always underestimated the power & capabilities of India’s clandestine services. Maybe these will open their eyes:

Merchants of cyber spyware:

In India, Iran & Syria, IMSI catchers & IP Intercept Systems have been used as tools of industrial espionage. Private Indian companies and individuals allegedly smuggled an estimated 2000 IMSI catchers into India (made in Israel, China, the UK, France, and Sweden) through Nepal and Bangladesh, and used the devices illegally to intercept cellphone conversations. Over 90% of the devices were imported by the private sector. The devices cost approximately Rs.18,000 (about $350) and could record 10-12 conversations simultaneously within a 2km radius. In an attempt to eradicate their private-sector use, the Indian government banned IMSI catchers in 2012. It also created a period in which the devices could be turned over to the government without prosecution, but none were presented. In the Indian case, the IMSI catcher has become part of an intensely competitive entrepreneurial culture, in which companies exploit any strategic advantage to succeed in the marketplace. Indian intelligence agencies started importing 927 IMSI catchers in 2005. Cellphones of top political leaders, ministers, VIPs, bureaucrats, businessmen and ordinary citizens were tapped without written authorisation from India’s Union Home Secretary, as mandated by law. M K Narayanan, the then NSA was instrumental in bringing the new tapping technology to India in 2005. During a demonstration at an NTRO facility in Delhi on January 7, 2006, his phone was tapped successfully. The whistleblowers also shared details of how the illegal tapping actually takes place and how NTRO functions. The whistle-blowers even offered to depose before a joint parliamentary committee and provide documentary evidence. The one condition they insist on: that they be provided complete legal immunity.

IMSI Catcher:

Ability Inc, Israel:

CISCO Systems, USA:

Milan-based AREA SpA, Italy:

IPS SpA, Italy:

Hacking Team SpA, Italy:

BTT, Turkey:

ROLTA International Inc:

VASTech SA (Pty) Ltd

Semptian Technologies Co Ltd was founded in 2003 with headquarters in Shenzhen, China.

Raman said...

What a post !! Mind boggling.....

just wonder where all this go.......and what a mess Pakistan is....

Anonymous said...

Hello sir, how are you?

1) I was wondering if you could educate me about Integrated Battle Groups and their capability?

Also, are they independent divisions or are they allocate to some parent formation like a Strike Corps?

I was wondering whether IBG act first and the Strike Corps follow later or IBG actually themselves are ready to act formations under strike corps (as two strike corps already present near border)

2) There was sound about basing second division of MSC at Pathankot?
Why? Is it because of already present infra to house units there?
Or rail/road infrastructure available to quickly mobilize troops to Chinese front?
I understand it is a costly practise to have all your assets particularly strike formations near front, but wouldn't placing it at say Delhi, UP, Bihar or Tripura for example make more sense?

3) Can truck launched Land to sea version of brahmos be used as mobile coastal battery? What would it need as support to track hostile ship at such distance as 450 km?

4) Comment about our defensive capabilities at A&N islands against background of any Chinese amphibious threat?

5) Progress in designing of new reactor and next gen SSNs? Who will be the likely builder?

6)How critical is our submarine shortage and our ASW assets like ships, heli and fixed wings shortage against background of submarine developments in our two most probable enemies? What can we do in short to medium term?

7) In last post you said we need assets which enable the groups to continuously manoeuvre in battlefield and not lose the momentum or get tied up at the same time not have five turrets. Which are those?

I hope you can kindly tell me about this stuff, looking forward to learn from you.

Thanks in advance.


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAMAN: VMT, but rest assured that the best has yet to come. The concluding part will reveal how all this began way back in 2008 & the contextualisation of those developments in a chronological manner. As for where will all this go & what will happen to Pakistan, it is all explained here about why & how Pakistan's educated youth--totally disillusioned with the country's distorted foundational ideology--are now joining ISIS in droves:

And how the DG of ISPR was yesterday trying his best to sideskirt the issue of a losing battle:

And here's a prime example of how Pakistan's military elite still insist on justifying proxy wars & totally lose their cool when confronted with stark realities:

And here are some detailed investigative reports into the various sectarian massacres that are now being blamed on Kulbhushan Jadhav, but all of which are outgrowths of Pakistan's totally flawed & distorted foundational ideology:

All of the above clearly indicate that Pakistan's ruling civilian/military elite are a demented/retarded lot who have collectively brought about this mess. The end-game for Pakistan will therefore be horribly catastrophic & I really have no reason to think or hope for anything better. It is not what I wish for, but even I'm totally powerless against a strategic inevitability. So, if this is what Allah has willed, then so be it.

Xeno said...

The horribly catastrophic end-game for Pakistan a strategic inevitability?

Can you elaborate upon this theme.....

flanker143 said...

Prasun Sir,

1-if weight was never a concern with Arjun then why this major weight saving exercise ?

2- will Arjun mk2 get the new 55 cal smooth bore gun or continue with the current rifled gun ?

3- its seems logical to have a common APS suite for both Arjun mk2 and t90, any update/hope in this regard.

4-when is Arjun mk2 going to be inducted ?

5- sir u have said Army will go for around 500-600 mk2 (if im remembering correctly), now that we dont have any upgrade plan for t72s, isnt it logical to order more arjuns instead of t90s

6- Any update/hope for the Tank EX ?? (recent vid from drdo on their new arty piece had a tank ex in the background)

7- with RHA being replaced with HNS, is this change going to have an effect on armor protection of the tank ?

The Indian said...

Can you enlighten us on Doval's talks in America, Russia and today's Mcmaster's talks with India.Why had he come? I find it difficult to believe that he had come here just to discuss and enlighten us on Trumps views!Will the discussions help Kulbhushan Jadhav if at all he is alive?China seems to be too upset with The Dalai Lama's visit to Tawang which I find hard to digest.There is some other reason for it.Can you enlighten us?What is in the offing?Something big for sure!

Venkat said...

We keep discussing mountain corps for china border. How himlayas and high altitude are tough terrain to fight.
What lessons does Maginot line have for us ? Is Himalaya our Maginot line ? How can it be bypassed say through Burma ?

Anonymous said...

1> Vice Admiral DM Deshpande, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition, said that the deal for 12 MCMVs and 4 LPDs will be signed this year. Since all the 6 MCMVs currently operational in Indian Navy will be retired by 2018, and the new NCMVs will start coming only by 2021-22, how will the IN cope with in the meantime? For the LPD, which one do you prefer, L&T-Navantia Athlas or the DCNS-RDEL Mistral?

3> CVRDE recently invited bids for 1500hp engines. Is it for the Arjun Mk3 or for the FMBT?

your views,

AJS Chirp said...

Hi Prasun,

Isn't the Govt. being too defensive in the valley? Surely there is more that can be done than to send the hapless CRPF and J&K police to stand there and take it from the stone throwers.


Senthil Kumar said...

Dear Prasun,

Whole Pakistan are thinking the same. Everyone is believing ISI planted stories that INDIA is destabilizing Pakistan without checking the facts.

Now Colonel Habib is missing. Pakistan is telling RAW Kidnapped. India didn't response.

Now What are the possible Scenarios.

1) Kulbhushan can be hanged
2) kulbhushan & Colonel Habib exchanged.
3) Kulbhushan will be kept in the jail indefinitely and can be used for future
bargaining chips.
4) China/US interfere and solve the issue.

Please give your possible outcome.

S.Senthil Kumar

The Indian said...

The aims of the ISI behind kidnapping Kulbhushan Jadhav could be:
1. Access to the information in Kulbhushan's head;
2. Use of the Kaminda for nefarious designs of its own;
3. Access to the Kaminda's identification system for finding out its secrets and its utilization to fool the Indian Navy surveillance system to enter Indian waters and carry out their nefarious designs;
4.Try to embarrass India;
5.Affect Indo-Iran relations and the Chabahar port arrangement if possible;
6.Use of Kulbhushan and his crew as a bargaining chip during Indo-Pak Talks;
7.Utilize the Kaminda in order to gain intelligence of Indian or Iranian waters;
8.Brainwash Kulbhushan and his men to make them subservient to their aims;
9.Mount another attack on India like the Mumbai attack.
Any additions?However I agree that with what is going on in Pakistan analysis of this issue defies logic!

Abhinav said...

What is Stealth Wing Testbed (SWiFT)??

Rajesh Mishra said...

Your chains of logic are superb but who is going to listen to it? Please reply.

I hope they reach to the right persons and institutions.

AVIRAL said...

Prasun Da,
ADA in its annual report has mentioned that they will be testing technology developed for Ghatak on a Tejas aircraft. How come ADA has mentioned Ghatak in their report for what I know is that ADE is developing Ghatak?? Is DRDO developing unmanned Tejas to test autonomous flight control technology for Ghatak??

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun da

am i happy, indeed i m happy but i will be happiest if GSL builds not 2 but 4 Talwar class frigates



this link mentions haji baloch the smuggler who may have been responsible for la affair kulbhushan jadhav and it seems the dhow blown up sometime back by ICG is a reason behind all this

2. do you really think current leadership of North Korea or Syria wont last beyond dec 2017

3. your views on the stone thrower tied by IA major on a jeep to save others. indeed it was smart thing but i think will fuel more unrest and hope not make the valley Indias Palestine. i think a golden chance was missed between 2010 to 2014 to end the unrest in the valley


Joydeep Ghosh

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAJESH MISHRA & RAMAN: Have uploaded additional portions of the narrative above & will upload the concluding part later today.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: 1) That is total higwash. 2) I don't have access to their horoscopes. 3) What are the machinations of the Almighty, they always happen for a bloody good reason. So don't increase your BP-levels on such issues. 4) LoLz! GSL won't build them, but rather will build their modules & have them shipped to MDL for final-assembly/integration. Reliance too will build some modules. GSL does not have the on-shore fabrication facilities for warship hulls of this size to be integrated, rest assured.

To AVIRAL: A lot of the sub-systems for platforms like the FGFA & stealthy UAS like Ghaatak are identical. Hence ADA's involvement while ADE remains the final systems integrator-cum-lead design authority.

Anonymous said...

This post is a master work, in its exhaustive research and in brilliant analysis. Rarely one finds such detailed report; even in NY Times and Washington post. Enjoyed reading every bit of it. Thank you. Kane

Anonymous said...

What is the current progress on other river dam projects in Afghanistan over Kabul river?

Do you think that we are making a mistake by not utilizing even our rightfully allocated water under IWT and by not building storage facility of 3.6 MAF as permissible under the treaty?

If only we could divert more water to stave off upcoming water crisis.

- Vsj

bhoutik said...

what cyber warfare capabilites do the Indian services have, in terms of numbers and capabilities? would you do a comparative assessment with peers and adversaries...

Srinivasa Nanduri said...

hi prasun,

Really really a very good read. The narrative was like some sort of game of thrones episode. Quite addictive. :)

What do you make of the below interview by Ram Madhav:
He was quite brazen and giving his version in a very bold and undiplomatic way. But it felt honest on his part to agree that they messed up in last 7 months.

And the Juvenile thing that China did, renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh. What do you make of it?

I am still trying to connect the dots regarding CPEC and indo pakistani peace deal derailment. Even if china was seriously about CPEC in 2007, Pakistan would have kept G&B and even got some legal sanctity to it. Why would china derail it. Does it mean they were never really interested in peace in south asia and wanted pakistan to always remain a military headache to India.

And what will be the end game. They want India to negotiate, but what. Give further land away? Tawang and Kashmir valley at the least. Is that the end game. Its raises so many questions? But still thanks for such a detailed information of what transpired and how it has unfolded.

One last question, regarding OBOR meeting in China, india is sending a delegation, looks more like a face saver then anything. Is this going to be a failed meeting with most of the world leadership not attending it? And in last few days China warning India against protectionist measures against chinese electronics manufacturers. Is india really doing anything against Chinese dumping and under cutting indian goods?

Srinivasa Nanduri

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SRINIVASA NANDURI: VMT. Have already uploaded the next-in-line portion of the narrative, with 2 more to go. Will answer all you queries as well as those outstanding ones from others later today.

Bhaskar said...

Dear Sir ; With Regard to Pakistan Army One thing is very clear that
They only understand the language of Force

When Man Mohan Singh was the PM ; the Indian Army's restraint was taken
as weakness

Today they are Mortally afraid of MODI

That is easily seen in their TV Talk shows

We should allow the Use of 120 MM Mortars and 105 mm Artilerry
by Batallion Commanders

Only a Liberal ; and Frequent use of Heavy Shells will keep them in their Senses
on the LOC

And if they escalate lets us Move on to MBRLs and 155 MM
to show them their " PLACE "

By the way How do we deal with this Pakistani Sniper Problem

rad said...

hi prasun
fantastic write up and analysis.

Do you think china would have let the pakis fly the su 30? to get familiarization ? will i t make a diff in combat ? will they have let them push the su-30 to the corners of the envelope?
how is the super su-30 deal progressing?

why cant we name tibet in our maps as occupied tibet? or the original Tibetan name if any ?.

and name taiwan as free china? they only know tit for tat.

Manu Singh said...


Karan Thapar seems to be bringing a new theory in the Jadhav affair !!!

Anonymous said...

This thread is a great summary and at the same time there is enough detail to understand the events over the past decade. It must have taken quite a lot of time and effort. Thank you!!!

Reading many articles on Kashmir, I sense there is a change in the general mood there. They have targeted and killed Ikwan people and making political workers leave their parties. These are the people who helped the forces in the 90's. Are there any options of protecting these peope, otherthan moving them to Jammu as we have been doing to serving police and army families?

Is there a part that Pak are playing in the current uprising?

Also, what do you make of the reports that ISI actually captured Ehsanullah Ehsan in Afghanistan and took him to pak over a month a go? if true I am greatly impressed.


asd said...

Dear Prasun ji,

Is there any one in India other than you to carry out relevant analysis on techno/ politico issues? Is there any name that you recommend?

Srinivasa Nanduri said...

Hi Prasun,

Found this nice explanation of the what transpired during recent Bye-Elections:

Seems our Security forces are being outfoxed by the seperatists that are steering up the crowds anger and our policiing methods are only helping them more.

And your thoughts on Al jazeera's coverage of Kashmir tensions. They are brazenly pro pakistani. why do our govt. give them access to Kashmir. They go there and give such negative reporting of us.

Srinivasa Nanduri

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BHASKAR: Perceptions are based on the quantum of FACTS available to one. Even if 90% of the facts are available, it still becomes impossible to fathom the TRUTH. For instance, your assumption that UPA-1/UPA-2 exercised military restraint. The outstanding 3 parts of this narrative will reveal that this is not true at all. Pakistan has been afraid of India since 1971 as I’ve clearly explained above & not after May 26, 2014. And yet it continues to formant subversion inside India by all possible means, regardless of who is the Indian PM. Unfortunately, this NDA-2 govt is being pulled in several directions by various internal centrifugal forces that are opposed to one another & both the PM & his party leadership are finding it extremely difficult to achieve coherence in what ought to be an over-arching national narrative. On one hand, the RSS, VHP & other offshoots of such NGOs keep on ranting unconstitutional soundbytes while on the other the BJP tries to do the firefighting by disowning such rants. This is certainly not the hallmark of a balanced & intellectually sound political leadership.

To MANU SINGH: LoLz! Almost all the questions he raises have already been answered by me in the narrative above. All that he now needs to do is connect the dots to get the BIG PICTURE. But the mere fact that he hasn’t yet been able to can only mean that such folks have totally forgotten how to use common-sense, i.e. a brain devoid of intellect.

To ASD: LoLz! How the hell am I supposed to answer that!!!

To RAD: On April 21, 2017 the Indian Navy successfully test-fired the BrahMos-1’s Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile version from a Project 1135.6 Batch-2 FFG INS Teg on a target on land. Land Attack variant of BrahMos-1 provides IN warships the capability to precisely neutralise selected targets deep inland, far away from coastlines, from standoff ranges at sea.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SRINAVASA NANDURI: Ram Madhav’s rants were only to be expected from someone who has yet to appreciate the BIG PICTURE. What he should have said that, firstly, conditions need to be created where the IA in coming to a civilian power’s aid during peacetime will do so only in the aftermath of humanitarian disasters, & should never get invo9lved with maintenance of law-n-order, for which lakhs of CAPF personnel are available. Secondly, while the IA Major exercised his initiative to the best of his ability & tied up an innocent Kashmiri to a 4 x 4’s front end, thereby ending up saving the lives of several others, this had to be balanced by an admission that a wrong was done for the larger good & therefore wisdom demands that moral/financial restitution be done to the aggrieved person whose only fault that fateful day was to step out despite intimidation & exercise his constitutional right to vote. In such a scenario, the IA Major & his CO should have, after that incident, been shown visiting the aggrieved person & meeting him to seek his symbolic apology & give him some financial compensation for the physical injuries sustained by him. This meeting ought to have been video-graphed & telecast later, which would have cooled down tempers & would also have prevented criticism of the IA, thereby ensuring the IA’s moral ascendancy in the information warfare (IW) domain. But alas! To expect such common-sensical intellect oozing out from the likes of Ram Madhav is an impossibility, because the brains of such folks are devoid of any form of intellect. Hence, to expect such folks to display wisdom is to expect the impossible.

I don’t regard Al Jazeera’s coverage of the J & K incidents as being pro-Pakistani. In the IW domain today, transparency is a vital tool that can be used against the adversary at the right time. Al Jazeera was also one of the first to get access into Srinagar’s main mosques during the Friday sermons & show to the whole world how the audience was provoked by Muftis like the Mirwaiz. And in today’s world, great majority of countries worldwide have no pity or sympathy for such anarchist Intifada. Thus we must thanks such TV channels for exposing these anarchists, since Indian TV chyannels are never allowed access inside Srinagar’s mosques on Fridays.

Raman said...

What a post/update !! of your best ever........

Thanks/await the updates.

Anonymous said...

Sir, what is the difference between Ashm and Ship launched Land Attack variant of Brahmos technically?

Do warships carry both types of Brahmos? Or the sea-to-land and ashm missiles are interchangeable in roles? I.e. same missile used in both roles?

- Vsj

Anonymous said...

What are you thoughts on giving Mr Bugti an asylum in India? if we want this to happen we have to stand by them. I believe if we do not this fighting will soon die down in Balouchistan. If he wants to lead the fight for his nation he needs to be nearby or there fighting.


Rajesh Mishra said...

BTW I think that if someone is not satisfied with the clarifications provided here then he can consult Sri Bh. Kumar for best guidance. Lol...

AKS said...

Sir what is preventing us to take our own land back from the usurpers when we have the absolute proof i. e. IOA from the maharaja. We have been stabbed in our back many times, but still we aren't mustering the courage in squashing the snake's head?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAMAN & SUVO: VMT. For your weekend viewing, do watch these 2 recent interviews of the PAF's CAS:

India-Israel Relations:

Pakistan's Nuclear Assets in Danger:

To VSJ: Structurally & physicallym they are identical. Only difference is the target recognition software of the SGH SAR seeker.

To MONKEY: Brahmdagh Bugti's outfit is waging a non-military movement. The ones who have surrendered had belonged to the London-based Harbyar Marri.

To AKS: Because the Almighty gives only 3 opportunities to do so. When the 1st opportunity was there in mid-1948, Pandit 'Chacha' Nehru for reasons unknown to the rest of us went to the UN for a ceasefire. Then in 1965 when the 2nd chance was given, India squandered that too by stupidly trying to capture real-estate in Lahore & Sialkot instead of focussing on PoK. This was repeated in 1971 for equally mysterious reasons. Then out of the blue came OP Badr in 1999 when again we could well have crossed the LoC & captured great chunks of territory because at that time Pakistan was financially bankrupt & morally no one would have protested against an India seeking to inflict punitive damages on Pakistan by capturing additional territory. Even that opportunity was squandered. So now even the Almighty has become totally fed-up with these 'Netas' who are spineless & lack any form of conviction & therefore they are incapable of providing visionary guidance/war directives to the courageous.

Pierre Zorin said...

You can see from Daniel Carmon's interview - Israel has a focused leadership. He was talking from the heart, based on reality rather than mincing on political spin doctors. Israel should be a model of learning for India. If India had a leadership like Israel on those 3 occasions you mentioned, Indian flags would be flying above Karachi and there would be no "Golan Heights" threats in Kashmir.

Pierre Zorin said...

On behalf of all bloggers on this site based on your demonstration of knowledge and reason you are hereby awarded a Virtual Vidyasagar Award!

Anik said...

Prasun da,
1)PAF CAS said that they are trying to procure 5th generation aircraft and will try to develop one. Do you really think that they are capable of developing 5th generation aircraft.
2)PAF has never operated any twin engine aircraft. Do you think they can operate 5th gen jets which are costly to maintain.
3)Why he said that PAF is superior than IAF??
4)ADA released a report which said that AMCA will be developed by the joint venture between ADA, Foreign Aircraft House, and Indian Aircraft House. You have since long advocated that ADA should establish joint venture for this program. How will you view this program now?????
5) Lakshya PTA crashed in Balasore two days ago.(Although, looking at its pictures I think It landed at a wrong place after deploying parachute and its structure was intact). Any air defence missile test was planned???

Senthil Kumar said...

Dear Prasun,

Please go through the above articles. Nowadays so much of articles & you tube videos
are posted about Jesus Christ saying he is a Buddhist, he is Tamil Hindu and questioning christian faiths etc.

What is happening in Christian world. Are Rome lost faith on Jesus Christ.
One Book was written by RSS Founder in 1940 "Jesus Christ Was A Tamil Hindu".
Is there anything planned by RSS to stop Conversion or truly Christ is a Hindu.

Please give your comments.

S.Senthil Kumar

Xeno said...

""""Because the Almighty gives only 3 opportunities to do so"""

But Prasun, Pakistan gives that opportunity every 3 years or so.

Don't you think the BJP Netas are sure to capitalise upon any future opportunity to carry out the "end-game" ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da,

Thank you for the youtube links. My urdu is rudimentary, luckly a family member still speaks and understands some urdu. Can you please confirm if this is correct?

He mentioned that they are going to focus more on making things at home, even the next gen aircraft? He compared the JF-17 to F-16, saying its has good and that its next version will be the main one. Of which they will order 200?

I was impressed by the whole setup. They give the impression of being really really professional, even the interviewer.

Kind regards,

Anonymous said...

The Taliban attack on army camp in Balkh has strong ISI imprint and was aimed at hurting Af army morale & avenging the US bombing in Achin. It is also similar to attacks by LeT terrorists dressed as Indian army soldiers on our army camps

why did US failed to stop this mission


Kaustav said...


Events in Kashmir could not present a better picture. The image of the Army as a no nonsense organisation and that of India as a hard country prepared to take tough decisions and strong stand has got reinforced specially after the bonnet strapping incident. The proactive initiative of the young Officer and the publicity it has received will help us greatly. Today, no country dare condemn India's efforts at combating Islamic militancy. We shall break the spirit of these separatists soon as fortunately we have no credible international voice against us. We also finally have a public break in the united Muslim narrative with the Shia Sunni divide and even pro & anti Wahabi divisions in the Sunni camp coming to the fore. All in all, inspire of our political leaders' ineptness, India is sitting pretty with respect to the Kashmir situation. If only, our political dispensation could now do a Tibet in the Kashmir valley

SUVO said...

Here is some interesting Timings:
(1) The deadly taliban attack at the Balkh province came days after U.S N.S.A HR McMaster discussed the Afghan situation with leaders in Kabul,Islamabad & New Delhi & nearly a week after the U.s military dropped MOAB.
(2) According to Newsweek report:Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is hiding in Karachi.

....Your views.

Xeno said...


Xeno said...

Kaustuv, This is what China had been doing in Lhasa, Tibet.

And to for combating those mini militants and mutineers this is what is needed to bring into the fore

Xeno said...


Xeno said...

Prasun, do you believe India should now send upto a division level peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, to tackle the Taliban threat?

And in case any one missed these

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PIERRE ZORIN: Have just uploaded 2 more sections. Another 2 more to go: 1 dealing with the Nawaz Sharif/Raheel Sharif period & one dealing with future scenarios.

To XENO: Afghanistan doesn't require IA manpower. It requires training, expertise, & non-combatant pilot instructors, plus product support, since the US can no longer buy spares from Russia (due to sanctions imposed since 2014 after Russia's annexation of Crimea) & therefore the US is giving money to India for buying the spares & shipping them to Afghanistan. That's why the Gen John Nicholson somes to New Delhi every 3 months & that's what was also discussed by the visiting US NSA in the recent past.

To SUVO: I had stated some 4 years ago that the remaining Al Saeda leaders had obtained sanctuary in Pakistan's cities. Now if you go to GoogleEarth & look for the US & UK Consulates in Karachi, you will see how close they are to the coastline & how both have enough space & sprawling compounds required for heavylify helicopters to land & takeoff. Now just put two & two together & join the dots & you will see a pattern emerging.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANIK & CHADA: Those programmes were both in Urdu, meaning they were meant for domestic consumption. Reality is totally different & I am reposting what I had stated last month:

According to the latest data obtained from PAC Kamra, it has so far overhauled 3 x JF-17 that had entered service with the PAF in 2007. Since this tantamounts to a a mid-life refurbishment/overhaul, and assuming that the JF-17 has been logging in an average of 25 flight-hours per month, this translates into an airframe half-life of 9 years or 108 months or 2,700 flight-hours. Consequently, the total-technical service life of the airframe is 18 years, or 216 months or 5,400 flight-hours. However, the Klimov RD-93 turbofan has a half-life (TBO) of 700 hours, or TTSL of only 1,400 hours of operation. This in turn means 4 x RD-93 will be required to power each JF-17 throughout its service-life. And to date, only 200 RD-93s have been ordered by AVIC/CATIC from the Moscow-based Chernyshev Machine-Building Plant subsidiary of United Engines Corp (UEC), with an option to procure 300 more. Thus, if this option is exercised, it will give enough RD-93s for powering no more than 110 JF-17s, since some RD-93s will be used by the Myanmar Air Force’s FC-1s, as well as by AVIC/CATIC-owned FC-1 prototypes at Chengdu.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KAUSTAV & BHOUTIK: You may find this interesting:

Meanwhile, that raheel Sharif fella has quietly slipped out of Pakistan & is now in Riyadh. It is expected that if the UNSC authorises the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force in Yemen, this KSA-led military alliance will provide the boots-on-the-ground. Another PoV is that if the UNSC resolution doesn't come, then the KSA-led Sunni alliance will enter Yemen on its own to defeat the 'Houti terrorists'. So far this alliance has produced neither a mission statement nor any terms of reference, leading Iran to be highly suspicious. The Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan last week met the PA's COAS TWICE to discuss all these issues. But it seems that when push-comes-to-shove, Sunni majority Pakistan will choose the KSA-led alliance. This then leaves Iran free to use Afghanistan for formenting high-intensity civil-unrest in Shia-majority Gilgit-Baltistan.

To BHOUTIK: In terms of monitoring capabilities in cyberspace, the hardware & human resources are adequate & are comparable to the best. But if you're asking about offensive capabilities capable of causing kinetic destruction of the type done by Stuxnet, I'm afraid the capabilities & capacities are ZERO at the govt-level. But that could change anytime if India were to outsource such capabilities/capacities from Israel.

Raman said...

What an excellent update - you should write a book on this !!

Murkier and murkier...........what a mess Pakistan is.....look forward to the next 2 updates.....

In the meanwhile: what happens to:

(a) Poor ole Kulbhushan Jadhav;
(b) Kashmir new unrest..........where does it (or we) go from here...

Siddharth said...

Prasun da,

Your reply to AKS regarding getting the POK back in India (The Lord Almighty given 3 opportunities to do so...).

It seems present Government is no more different and will also follow the same legacy.

john said...

Is it wise to spending money on jet engine development when it's future looks bleak. It will take a decade to master it. Electric Propulsion is developing fast.

"The other impressive factor is simplicity. Helicopters, planes cost a fortune to maintain with expensive blades, gearboxes and engines. They can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars per hour for larger ones, just in maintenance. You also have reliability problems with so many moving parts. This design reduces capital costs dramatically , reduce maintenance cost 100 fold and improves reliability."

Is DRDO or any other Lab working in this front?

Rohan said...

Dear Sir

I have a Feeling that Pakistan is planning something like 26/11 AGAIN
AND that too with Chinese Blessings

China wants to Tease TRUMP and INDIA at the same Time

Add to it Saudi support for Pakistan because of Raheel Shareef

Anonymous said...

Iran is on the defensive wrt Pakistan at the moment. They are offering pakistan everything and saying that they will not do anything against it (if internet is to be believed). Their ambassador is always explaining Iran's position. They are shit scared that ISIS will start attacking them from Afghanistan. The last thing they will give is an excuse to pakis to turn the public opinion against them. I fear the pakis have played the game far better than us by aligning with China and Russia. And USA can only stay in Afghanistan with pakistans help or body bags will increase again. Trumpy has decided to increase aid to them already. They are in demand, needed by the GCC, USA, Iran, China and even Russia. Prasun it feels like the 80's again. This time we must not only watch from the sidelines. We need to help the Afghans with material and men.


asd said...

Dear Prasun ji,

24 CRPF men killed fighting with the naxals be today; once upon a time CRPF was described by the naxals as chicken; I am not getting why CRPF men love to attain martyrdom. If army is superior, rather army should take over the charge.

Rajesh Mishra said...

If stone throwing in Kashmir is a real problem then why not the Gofan wielding youths from Jhabua and alike can be very effectively used against them?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAMAN: The last 2 installments will connect all the dots, rest assured. There’s nothing to worry about J & K since the unrest is limited to a piece of territory that accounts for only 3% of J & K & 5% of the Kashmir Valley.

To ANTHONY: How can ISIS come inside Iran from either Afghanistan or Pakistan when Iran has already constructed impregnable obstacles all along its borders with both countries, as explained above? ISIS entering or attacking Iran is therefore a physical impossibility. And how can Pakistan align itself with China or Russia when it has already taken a stand by joining the Islamic Military Alliance that specifically targets Shia-majority Iran & Syria? In fact, by joining this Alliance, Pakistan has taken a clear stand against Russia. The only two Shia-majority countries that have joined this Alliance are Azerbaijan & Bahrain. Within Pakistan, there is now increasing apprehension among several senior retired PA officers about a full-blown sectarian war breaking out. Body-bags begin accumulating only when locations are garrisoned. But when the forces are mobile & conduct intelligence-based operations, then the heat is turned on against the Afghan Taliban attackers, as was the case earlier this decade when the Afghan Taliban leadership was targetted & very high number of casualties resulted, that in turn led to the Afghan Taliban getting disenchanted & they subsequently pledged allegiance to ISIS.

To ASD: It is all about training & superior information-gathering capacities. That’s how Grey Hounds achieved total success & now Telengana & Andhra Pradesh are both devoid of Maoists. Hence, this has nothing to do with the IA. The CRPF has a lot to learn from the Grey Hounds, which is a police force.

Jed I said...

Prasun, with DSSC wellington issuing a tender for joint war gaming simulation last year, and India holding a tri service wargame with Russia later this year, and also the armed forces having prepared a new joint doctrine 11 years after the last one at 2006, do you think that jointness within the Indian Armed forces is coming of age?

Also on La affaire de Kulbhushan Jadhav or rather the whole Pakistani Qaum's silsile-e-wahiyaat, I hope you would eventually come to the prognsis part after the diagnosis part.

AVIRAL said...

Prasun da

This report states India is raising SFF. Is the government really increasing number of ACT personnel or the Chinese are doing guess work. Also there were reports that SFF is facing recruitment problems with Tibetians. Is the problem solved??
2)26 CRPF soldiers have been killed in an ambush by Maoists. Want you to start the next thread related to naxalite problem in India in next few weeks as per your own convenience.
Thank you

Xeno said...

Arre kaise baat kar rahe hain Rajesh Mishra ji!! kya hamein patthar ka jawaab patthar se dena chahiye? And in turn make Kashmir a huge mound of stones!?!? Back 2 stone age mentality now are we?

Instead, there are far more ingenious ways, like:

Skunk bombs should be particularly effective as the forces can whiff them out later and send them to prison where they belong.

Xeno said...

Also have a look
The Active Denial System

Kapil said...

Prasun da, very heartening to know that IA avenged the killing of our soldiers and Hindu and Sikh civilians from 2000-2011. Please do a segment about IA combat action during 2013 and 2014-15 border skirmishes. Thanks.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ASD: Why are these massacres taking place? Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Firstly, the mere fact that the Union Home Minister has used the word ‘Vidambana’ means he is out of ideas & is demoralising the CRPF by uttering such words. This to me is criminal negligence on his as well as his deputy Kiran Rijiju’s part. So accountability should start from the top. Secondly, why is the CRPF without a Director-General for the last 50 days? Didn’t anyone in Union MHA know when the last DG was retiring? Thirdly, have a look at the terrain whgere such Maoist ambushes take place:

As is evident, the terrain is flat but full of shrubs & forested areas. This in turn means that the Maoists can easily concentrate in such areas without being detected by UAVs since optronic sensors cannot penetrate foliage. This also enables the Maoists to achive shock effect through swarm tactics in order to overwhelm the perimeter defences that are usually manned by only 150 CRPF troopers. . BTW 70% of the 300 Maoist attackers this time were women. Lastly, the Maoists certainly have facilitators from among the local inhabitants who provide information about the CRPF’s convoy movements & deployments at least 3 days in advance. What follows then are these:

76 CRPF troopers & 8 Maoists killed in Dantewada, Chattisgarh on April 6, 2010
26 CRPF troopers killed in Narayanpur, Chattisgarh on June 29, 2010
27 civilians killed by Maoists in Sukma, Chattisgarh on May 25, 2013
11 CRPF troopers killed in Sukma on March 11, 2014
12 CRPF troopers killed in Sukma on March 12, 2017
26 CRPF troopers killed in Sukma on April 25, 2017

In 2016, 135 Maoists were killed versus 45 security personnel who died. This year, 36 Maoists have been killed to date.

The solution? Whenever the CRPF personnel are posted in static pickets, they have been vulnerable unless they can sanitise an area within a 1.5km radius. In forested & jungle terrain this is impossible, but it can de done if a 6 x 6 truck containing a raisable hydraulic mast (up to 50 metres in height) is equipped with foliage penetration radar (FOPEN). Lightweight FOPENs capable of persistent surveillance are already available & one was shown by the Telephonics/Mahindra Defence partnership. This is my advice to Rajnath Singh in case he wants to rid himself of his ‘Vidambana’. Most importantly, once the intelligence game is won, everything else also winds. That’s how WB eliminated the urban Naxalbari insurrection in 1971-1972 within a mere 6-month period, & that’s how the Greyhounds also hounded the Maoists out of AP & telengana.

Watch this as well:


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAJESH MISHRA: LoLz! I’m sure you never really meant it. BTW those very stone-pelters are also the ones that go by the tens of thousands to volunteer for service with the IA. So where then is the problem? It’s all about employment opportunities or the lack of them. Since 2010 tens of thousands of Kashmiri youth who used to go abroad through the GCC i8n the Middle East as expatriate migrant workers have been unable to go abroad due to reduced employment demands in these Arab countries. On the domestic front, from 2011 the jihadis from PoK have been assassinating all the vollage Sarpanches in Kashmir Valley, due to which development funds for self-help projects are left unspent. Thirdly, Mehbooba Mufti took 3 months to decide whether or not she wants to become the CM, leaving J & K leaderless. In administrative governance, this is criminal negligence & such voids in leadership always create the space for anarchists & trouble-makers. Lastly, the ones who provoke are the Muftis who deliver the Friday sermons in the mosques & are also in control of disbursing Hawala funds for stone-pelting. If one takes these Muftis out of circulation, all the brainwashing stop. For, as KAUSTAV observed earlier, if France can bomb ISIS targets inside Syria with Rafales armed with AASM PGMs in retaliation for the Paris bomb-attacks, then India too can morally justify her right to take the strictest action against those who deliberately violate public order & cause material damage to state-owned/privately-owned property. And that’s why the world at large isn’t bothered at all about what’s happening inside the Kashmir Valley.

To JED 1: You must be referring to this tender:

This is for what is known as Joint Information Operations Room (JIOR), similar to what the US CENTCOM has in Qatar & Bahrain. Essential;ly, it is a Corps HQ with its land, air & naval component commanders. In the Indian context, the Corps-level JIOR has an Air Commodore as the IAF Component Commander. This has been the practice since the 1980s & he liases with the IAF’s theatre commands to raise daily requests for immediate air support/battlefield air interdiction sorties, which can be anything between 35 & 140 missions by either combat aircraft or attack helicopters or armed utility helicopters on a single day. And yes, the diagnosis will be followed by the prognosis.

To AVIRAL: The SFF was raised way back in 1963 itself in Chakrata with the CIA’s help & mentoring & is also known as Establishment 22. From then on till the early 1980s, Tibetans who had fled TAR were recruited into SFF but after that Ladakhis & Indian Nepalis have formed the bulk of the manpower base.

To XENO: Manali-Ladakh Rail Link:

To KAPIL: Will do. So have, I’ve covered events only till 2012. The follow-on installments will cover the rest.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Baloch Fishermen Oppose Gwadar Relocation:

Pierre Zorin said...

Ajeeb dastaan hei yeh- this US-India relations hard to fathom Kahan Shuru kahan Khatam!Early days yet - but it appears Mr Trump being a businessman is making business decisions rather than long term foreign policy decisions and India once again lost between want and need. Somehow the Indian leaders seem to await "grace " and "mercy " from world leaders instead of pushing forward assertive policies. Like Mister Jim Hacker said in Yes Minister - "we have a policy not to have a policy " or as Sir Humphrey called it a "No Policy Policy ". Perhaps India is better suited to follow the PM's reference to Yaari Hai Imaan Meri, Yaar meri zindagi and stick to Russia (Mere Humdam, mere dost) as even though they too would do what is best for them not India - at least the mere geographical and political situation warrant their proximity and reciprocity. Much less fickle than US - who appears to be a Mere Huzoor and Swapno ka Saudagar - foreign policy which would depend on their President and shifting priorities. At the end of the day though India needs to be its own muqaddar ka sikandar. More Barood and Himmat than Garam Hava. More strategic Dostana than Mastana. I hope you got my drift :)

Jed I said...

By the looks of it, its for a full fledged wargaming simulation software for upto a formation of three corps per force. It says, for Navy, it should be able to support a total of 1000 units/entities including warships, merchant ships, aircrafts, UAV, submarines and special forces and for the Air force, a total 2200 units including fighters, helicopters, transport aircrafts, AWACS/AEWS and UAVs/RPAs. The system should incorporate facility for creation of various scenarios and vector layers. The system should also support 500 players who would be part of the formation and 250 computer terminals to start with.

I'd like to know which companies can or may have already delivered, such a system.

Also this Pakistani NDU webpage says that "it has developed a state of the art National War Gaming Centre (NWGC) equipped with NATO standard computers assisted war gaming system, Known as Joint Theater Level Simulation System (JTLS). NWGC is also used by the three services for running of war games under different scenarios, which provides a simulated environment for War planning, military operations other then war and disaster management scenarios."

Can you tell us more about it?

Xeno said...

Chardham Highway

Jammu-Udhampur Highway

Bogibeel Rail-cum-Road bridge

Dhola-sadiya bridge

Chinese presence near Nathu La, Sikkim

Pierre Zorin said...

Those interested : Full RAAF assets on display at the Avalon Air show - shows a small network centric air force but very potent
F-35 display
RAAF Super Hornets
Finally the venerable F-16

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JED 1: In the sub-continental context, theatre-level doesn't equate to Army Command-level & therefore Blue Force/Red Force multi-Corps wargaming simulation is used. Both wargaming simulation softwares of both countries involve theatre-level wargaming involving both Blue Force & Red Force formations & hence the high number of PC-based workstations. When wargaming simulation takes place, it is never one-sided. Both Blue Force & Red Force have to be part of such simulation exercises.

Anik said...

Left-leaning intellectuals have frequently justified this violence through the perverse logic of end justifying the means. However, when the end itself is a study in moral depravity, the entire argument in favour of Left-wing violence collapses like a pack of cards. We must remember that Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad or other sundry organisations involved in similar Islamo-fascist movements do not enjoy even a fraction of intellectual backing that these Left-wing terrorists do in India.
Many of these backers of Left-wing terrorism, crucially, continue to maintain a stranglehold on the ‘liberal’ establishment and ports of entry in academia leading to a further reinforcement of such support among intelligentsia. As long as these ports are secure, students traversing these paths will be suitably brainwashed to normalise Maoist violence. And there will be enough amplifiers in mainstream media to give legitimacy to their perverse paradigm. Any rational voice against this depravity will be summarily dismissed as ‘Right-wing reaction’. The state shall always be at the losing end of the debate as the ‘monolithic force’ against which these ‘Gandhians with guns’ are plowing a brave furrow. What do you think prasun da??

SUVO said...

You have excellent insight.
Rajnath ‘Vidambana’ Singh is now busy with "COW ADHAR CARD".

Aviral said...

Prasun da,
A senior Chinese official was quoted as saying: “China needs two carrier strike groups in the Western Pacific and two in the Indian Ocean. So we need at least five to six aircraft carriers.” We too will soon have a robust and modern navy at sea, but without a national security doctrine or strategy, will we know how to use it as an instrument of state policy?

Rajesh Mishra said...

Thanx To Sri PKS and Xeno for the kind concern.

BTW, Is there any verbal or App connectivity between Sukma (Baster) and Kashmir?

Jed I said...

Obviously, any wargaming simulation will represent two sides. Infact the tender's minimium technical specification mentions "Facility to represent upto ten different force sides" So in all probability, it can not only simulate a two-front war but also a war involving multinational coalitions if I'm getting it right.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JED 1: 10 force sides means 10 IBG-type formations involved inside the tactical battle area (TBA). 'Force Side' thus means opposing tactical formations from both sides, meaning the wargaming simulation is meant for refining the 'operational art' that finds application within the TBA of a Corps. One has to distinguish between the frontage of a TBA & the combined frontage along either the IB, LoC or LAC. The video-clip I had posted in the previous thread on the Qatar0based JIOR of CENRCOM clearly shows the number of operator workstations required for a Corps-level JIOR. Use that for reference. Lastly, I know all the Indian ICT entities who had posted bids for this tender because at least 3 of them had contacted me for conducting peer reviews of the operations analysis for their proposals. FYI I'm also involved with a similar exercise for the proposed NDU coming up in Guragram (Gurgaon) that will have a national tri-services wargaming centre (about which I had prepared a proposal for the NSAB way back in 2012).

To FLANKER 143: 1) Weight-budgeting is reqd because of the MBT’s pre-planned product improvement schedule. In future these very MBTs will have to be retrofitted with smoothbore barrels of higher calibre, plus APS fitments. 2) Not 125, but 120mm smoothbore cannon. 3) Yes. The LEDS-150 APS being proposed by TATA Power SED & SaabTech are meant for both MBTs. 4) Not before 2020. 5) T-72M1s are still being upgraded in successive tranches to T-72 CIA standard. Even the first 310 T-90S are overdue for mid-life upgrade. 6) TANK EXD & ARJUN Catapult are history. Let them RIP. 7) No effect at all. Only difference is that HNS will offer same protection as RHA but HNS will be much lighter.

To SUVO: LoLz! And guess what! those UID/Aashaar cards for the cows too will contain this statement: This crad is only proof of identity, & not of nationality (just as this same statement appears in call UID cards for human beings! One really wanders how & why one's nationality does not constitute part of one's identity in this era of nation-states.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAJESH MISHRA: The truth is finally out quite quickly this time on the latest attack by Maoists. Here, watch this:

Two reasons for the continuous ambushing of CRPF: 1) Deliberately neglecting the standard operating procedures. 2) Conspiracy by the Chattisgarh State Govt against implementation by the State's Governor of the 5th Schedule of the Constitution, all for the sake of garnering vote-banks.

And this is how the political nitwits try to cover up the truth:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Height of thanklessness, insensitvity & selfishness:

And some good news:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Interesting discussion on the misuse of social media inside J & K:

Meanwhile, there has been a move within the PDF to remove Mehbooba Mufti, who seems to caught within a time-warp, from the party's leadership position. As the saying goes, kingship knows no kinship.

Anonymous said...

Chinese Type-001A full details Engine,gearbox,propulsion,equipment?


Kaustav said...

In an ideal asian utopia, tongue firmly in cheek, Chinese Shipyards would build the aircraft carriers with typical efficiency and Indian Navy would operationalise them with professional competence; and ofcourse pigs would fly.

blackurrant said...

Tellis like it is..

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RON: Propulsion will be all-gas turbine, just like IAC-1/Vikrant. But what about the on-board complement of MRCAs? What will they be? After all, Russia has clearly stated to China that since the Liaoning CV-16 is a training vessel, ot can have J-15 clones of the Su-27 family on-board, but no J-15s will be allowed on board any operational aircraft carrier. And China cannot say NO because all the J-15s have AL-31F turbofans impoirted from Russia. The day Russia stops supplying turbofans, that's the end for all clones of the Su-27 like the J-11B & J-15. So, let's wait & see what MRCA China decides to put on board the Type 001A Shanding.

To KAUSTAV: It was during the late 1990s that I first met that nitwit Dr Subramanian Swamy when he was passing through KL, Malaysia, after a visit to China. He was all ga-ga then about the PRC. Then I told him what a Senior Col from the PLA had told me a year earlier: in China once everything is decided at the top, there's no room for questioning even for improvements to the original plan. At least in India such questioning enables one to come up with an optimal refined product. Upon hearing this, the nitwit fell totally silent, as if he was awaiting the blast-effect from a MOAB explosion. So, with a smirk on my face, I let him know that I had consumed far more salt than all the rice he could have possibly consumed to date.

And here's Ehsanullah Ehsan’s Confessional Video:

And here's A S Dulat making a fool of himself on a Pakistani TV talk-show:


To PIERRE ZORIN: Who needs cranes from Komatsu, Caterpillar or Hyundai when one has these:

And here's Beer Yoga:

To RAMAN: 2nd last installment of the narratibe has just been uploaded.

Shankar said...

Dear Sir

AT the end of your Ongoing narrative Could you please Write a Paragraph
or Two about India's OFFENSIVE capabilities and Options along the LOC

The Fact of the matter is that Anytime we can see an out break of Hostilities

All this reading about the past only reaffirms the point that
There can never be ANY peace with Pakistan

Raman said...

Thanks..........what a read !!

looking forward to the next update/installment.

Pierre Zorin said...

You won't think that would happen in any international border would you! Cranes from those respectable companies will never be used for such low life criminal activities.

Unknown said...





Pierre Zorin said...

Further demo of network centric operation and reversing manoeuvre by C-130

Sidharth said...

Prasun da,

Latest news report about Agni-3 missile says, the latest version of Agni-3 weights only 22000 Kg - 26000 Kg less then its predecessor.

How much true is the report or again Sudh Desi Report.

asd said...

Dear Prasun ji,

Another dot is created: today a captain along with two other soldiers are killed. Now what? Surgical strike?

Rafale-lover said...

I noted one thing that PA or BAT was having less casualty then Indian side.I mean,they just killed 20 of our boys and why couldn't we strike them same way?
If Indian side do have many technology loopholes or other loopholes for securing LOC, same should be for the Pakistani side.If they could keep the LOC heated-up that much, why couldn't we do the same?What technology or skills do the Pakis have that we don't?

Xeno said...

1) Kabul has reportedly sought artilleries, mortars, armoured vehicles, tanks, 105 mm howitzers, and some AN-32 transport planes. Do you think India will oblige?

2) The question of Durand line hangs on Afghanistan's claim that the Durand line agreement copies in Pashto and Dari specified the treaty as valid for only a 100 year term. But it has failed to provide the Dari and Pashto language versions of the original agreement. Will it ever surface? Britain has claim that no such copies have been found in their archives. Does it still exists?

3) What do you make of the recent meeting between Sajjan Jindal and Nawaz Sharif.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SHANKAR: That will form part of the prognosis. Hostilities won’t break-out anytime. If orders for emergency stocks of weapons & ammo were procured from January this year, then it means all such deliveries will be completed only by June at best. Only then any offensive AirLand campaign be launched. The same had happened in 2002 during OP Parakram. And that’s why 25% of the PA’s reserve forces (culled from the two Strike Corps) have already been forward-deployed since last December. This in turn has further stretched the PA due to its streadily expanding deployment along the Durand Line. These forward-deployed forces are called ‘FIXING FORCE’ the PA’s counterpart of the IA’s Pivot Corps-level formations.

To UNKNOWN: VMT. The best analysis for what a future scenario might look like in the Korean Peninsulas is available here:

Any AESA-MMR with swashplate mechanism for the array can scan a far greater volume of airspace than any other AESA-MMR with fixed array. Hence, all AESA-MMRs from Selex Galileo with swashplates are the best available options in the market today. As for J & K, yes, the greatest value of it is as a Muslim-majority state that can exist & flourish within secular India, which is exactly what Pakistan wants to demolish because if J & K exists within India in peace & harmony, then it means that Pakistan’s foundational ideology about offering a secure homeland for those Muslims who gail from India stands totally demolished. As it is the minorities of Pakistan are being tortured & persecuted beyond belief, as explained here:

To SIDDHARTH: A-3 or A-5?

And do watch these:

National Geographic documentary on the Karakoram Highway:

80-foot Tunnel in India-Bangladesh Border:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ASD: Not surgical strikes, but punitive strikes will soon follow. And after June this year, expect high-intensity limited war. And this time, Chicken’s Neck won’t be returned back. It is from this area that underground tunnels are dug for LeT & JeM fidayeen squads to enter Jammu. Therefore, the UN General Assembly’s Resolution 2625 (XXV) and the UNSC Resolution 1373 (2001) does allow India from taking action in defence of her citizens, even if it means captured enemy territory. No wonder why the PA has now deploted one LY-80E MR-SAM/LOMADS Battery in that area facing Jammu, while another one is now in the Muzzafargarh field firing range in Cholistan for test-firing purposes.

To RAFALE-LOVER: Of course when punitive cross-LoC raids are condicted, they are meant to impose proportional damage if that operation isn’t officially acknowledged & publicised. Only when there’s official acknowledgement of such an operation like the one on September 29 last year) can far greater damage be inflicted, which is what will happen if the GoI authorizes the commencement of a sustained 6-month campaign involding both infantry assaults & direct artillery fire-assaults.

This will give you a good idea of what the LoC is like:

To XENO: 1) India has a huge surplus of USSR-origin weapons that can easily be transferred to Afghanistan, inclouding 122mm howi8tzers, BTR-60 APCs, BDRM-2 recce vehicles, BM-21 Grad MBRLs & T-54/T-55 mediumk tanks. 2) Only Kabul & London know the answer to this. 3) You must be referring to this (Sajjan Jindal Meets PM Sharif in Murree):

Sajjan was called to Murree by Nawaz Sharif & he wasn’t sent by NaMo. As to what Sharif wanted to convey to NaMo will be known in the coming days. It apparently has something to do with Pakistan purchasing electricity from India from the latter half of this year till the end of 2018, because all of the electricity generation projects of Pakistan are mired in delays & f this situation continues to prevail, then the PML-N will definitely lose the next general elections. But will the PA allow such temporary arrangement of buying electricity from India? If yes, then will the PA then reciprocate by converting Jadhav’s death sentence to a life-behind-bars sentence? Or is the PA just digging another hole for Nawaz Sharif just like it had pretended outwardly to support the PPP-led coalition govt’s efforts in 2011-2012 to grant MFN status to India, but behind-the-scenes, was determined not to let this happen by angering India through the staging of cross-LoC beheadings by the SSG’s BATs? Common-sense suggests that it will be the 2nd option (that of pushing Sharif into a bottomless pit) that will turn out to be true.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

First prototype of the FTC-1/JFT-17 OCU Trainer made its maiden flight at Chengdu earlier this week. Have uploaded the photos above.

Anonymous said...


1) Are we certain to win a high intensity limited war with Pak ? What about Chinese supplied to bolster Pak/ direct Chinese intervention ?

2) Would there also be authorization for the 6 month campaign you mentioned above ?

3) What was the purpose in our testing the A3 yesterday when it is not a system we intend to deploy ?


rad said...

hi prasun
you mentioned that the ly-80 sam system was placed opp jammu . What would be the best way to take them out . cruise missiles could be shot down. Is the kh-31 p as good as the Harm missile,? is it good enough to target a PESA radar?.

does the 2 seater trainer of jf-17 have a fbw?

why dont we start blasting the pakis with heavy fire power every time a fidyeen attack takes place ?., why do we keep quite and encourage them to do more?

you think the isi officer missing in nepal is in our custody?

i feel the shourya was never meant to be a nuke ballistic missile but a carrier killer anti ship missile a good counter to chinese anti ship ballistic missiles doing 5+ mach. what are your views?.The yanks seem to be more concerned about the flat trajectory
of the shourya.

is the hq-9 sam on chinese ships capable of intercepting mach 5 missiles?

if selex can make a swash plate aesa radar then why is no one following suit?

can the brahmos be programmed as a ARM , can it hit the c3 center of t he ly-80?


thanks you sir for your replies, excellent analysis for korean peninsula.

1. Recently visited an air base in kutch , and saw first time the SPYDER deployment there.Whats the pro and cons of spyder wrt LY 80E MRSAM.

2. does rafale has any swashplate technology??
as per this link << >> even captor radar of eurofighter has such technology and even a slightly different type proposed for pakfa

2a. Also if the enemy aircraft flies perpendicular or parallel to mechanical radar is it not visible to it???

3. How does this aesa el/2052 mmr is in comparison wrt selex es05 raven .

4. Also recently HAl tendered for lca mk1a radar and ew system, considering all available technologies which is the best mmr radar and ew system for lca mk1a,


On a lighter note just like Dr. Sue Mi Terry, korean analyst are you associated with any intelligence agency analyst.... I believe you must be associated considering the detailed and depth of the subject you cover in your writings

Rafale-lover said...

You said in one of the above comment that there can be High-intensity limited war after June.But are we prepared enough?I mean last time I checked, we were having shortage of Equipment according to CAG. So how will we fight the war if we don't have sufficient weapons?

Anonymous said...

ur assesment and is it real or fake news saying it was undetected by S-300 of Ruskies


Kaustav said...

Some loon checked in at Delhi Intl Airport from Dubai claiming to be an ISI Agent en- route to Nepal...Either the Lt.Col is back or we have a madcap on our hands...Lol..

Rajesh Mishra said...

Was Agni-3A tested day before at the request of Israel/Saudi Arab?

Are we waiting for Trump and Kim Jong-un really getting engaged??

Rajesh said...

When US & USSR were engaged in Cuba, China went belligerent successfully against India. When US and China are engaged now at Korea, India can go belligerent successfully against Pakistan. Kindly furnish your opinion.

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun da

a few things

1. Whoever gave the idea to get a passport in the the name of hussain mubarak patel to kulbhushan jadhav is the real shitbag, i think the moment jadhav accepted the advice his entrapment was started. My guess is that person is a indian, as if this idea was given by person of another country jadhav being a ex service man would have smelt the rat, since that is what they are trained at. Also since jadhav wanted to spy for RAW (which was duely rejected) he would have been weary of foreigners if they had give the idea

i also think it is that shit bag whom jadhav trusted too much to the point that the shitbag led the abductors to his rest place or while he was on his dhow Kaminda

2. i think SM Krishna & Hina Rabbani Khar had done a great job at normalizing the situation between India & Pak but for the hardline stance of GHQ rawalpindi post 2011 and Delhi after 2014 has messed up the situation. I think once both sides take hardline stance it becomes impossible to turn back for any of them.

3. what do you make of this ISI agent who landed like a apple in Indias lap, i think this man is a hoax or if he is genuine then he is a double agent working for ISI but also secretly working for RAW and once he thought his cover will be blown he handed himself to RAW

4. You say Pak is more worried about alcohol coming from Iran ??? are you sure I dont think Iran makes alcohol post 1979

5. You say future battkle will bne short and swift in such a way that the enemy will be blasted pulvarized from standoff distance by the IA/IN/IAF using long range weaponry in that sense the tanks will become useless, why IA keeps operating nearly 4000 tanks

6. If ever Balochistan becomes free from Pak it will have to accept Afghanistan's deal to ced territory when pashtuns doominate in northern areas, and also Iran who will want territory where shias dominate, which ever way Balochistan will be the net loser. these ceded territories may well act as buffer zones for Iran Afghanistan

7. I think Pak will be happiest if USA attacks North Korea as that will take the focus away from them.

8. I think your wish has been granted

9. but alas an0other wish has not been granted as India Russia decide to start production of 200 Kamov helos

your views please

thanks Joydeep Ghosh




Anonymous said...

Hello sir
1) How many T90 tanks including direct purchase and license assembly after TOT have been ordered till date?

2) What percentage of standing army strength is currently deployed in J&K?

3) Does LOC fencing require similar maintenance today as you have mentioned above? What are the costs involved? Any new development in that field?

4) This report came three days before Ehsanullah's confession and subsequent Pakistani media frenzy. Your comments please.

Thanks in advance


Pierre Zorin said...

Joydeep Ghosh- the trouble is Hina Rabbani Khar creates a "hard"line for any males let alone GHQ :)

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SATYAKI: 1) It was sometime in 1998 itself that all the Gods of Yore, including Allah, got together to discuss the future of Pakistan & other countries that had named themselves as Islamic Republic or Islamic Emirate. They then unanimously decided that those countries that had labeled themselves as being ‘Islamic’ but in reality were anything but Islamic, had to be taught the lesson of their lives. Consequently, Allah set the required plans in motion, starting with OP Badr that was staged by Gen Musharraf, which in turn exposed all the chinks in not only Pakistan’s armour, but in India’s armour as well. But while in India’s case the powers-that-be woke up from their deep slumber & began hectic conventional force modernization, in Pakistan’s case it proved to be just the opposite & it thus got embroiled in domestic sectarian strife, making enemies with the US & EU member-states, a downward spiralling of its economy, crippling electricity outages, unprecedented droughts & floods alike, etc etc etc. Neighbouring Islamic Republic of Iran fared no better & the same has been the case with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan post-2001 as well. So yes, trust Allah to do the needful & no one need not have any worries about it. As for China, it had not reinforced failure in either 1965 or in 1971 or in 1999 & will never do so & therefore will not intervene in any way in Pakistan’s favour.

2) Authorisation was given in the 3rd week of September last year itself.

3) Always ask the most commensical questions first. For instance, why were NO photos of the two test-firings of the A-3 released bu the PIB on either April 27, 2017 or on April 16, 2015—dates when the 2 test-firings took place? What was there to hide?

To RAD: At a time when ISTR tools like Recce-Lite & ELM-2060 pods are available for acquiring real-time optronic & SAR imagery of such SAM installations from standoff distances & that too in ways where no type of camouflage will be effective, where the hell then is the need for Kh-31Ps or anything else? Just fire eight BrahMos-1 Block-3s & be done with the LY-80Es. The only input reqd for targeting will be the direct overhead GPS coordinates accurate to the 7th decimal point, for which my long-range recce sorties/services (which are undetectablke in RF/visual/IR/UV spectrums) are already available.

Yes, the tandem-seater FC-1B/JF-17B has the same FBW-FCS as that of the single-seater. Punitive artillery fire-assaults always take place everytime someone from the IA if martyred, rest assured. The Shourya was being proposed as a conventional-strike ballistic missile at a time when some nitwit Joint Secretary asked the IAF why buy Rafales for deep-strike when the Shourya can do the job. This question was asked by that nitwit at the behest of some other nitwits from the DRDO. But when the IAF proved to the officials that Shourya will NEVER be able to achieve pinpoint accuracy, the nitwits fell silent & thus the Shourya TBM was allowed to RIP. HQ-9/FD-2000 is a supersonic LR-SAM, not hypersonic. The Ruskies have also developed a swashplate-like mechanism for the NO-35 AESA-MMR for the Super Su-30MKI.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AMIT BISWAS: SpyDer-SR can’t be compared to LY-80E. Former is SHORADS & the latter is MR-SAM. 2) No. 2A) That depends on the steering envelope in azimuth of a mechanically scanning radar antenna. 3) Selex 850, Captor, ES-05 Ravaen-E are all members of the same family of AESA-MMRs. They all are superior now to all other existing single-antenna AESA-MMRs that don’t possess swashplate mechanisms. 4) The Selex 850 AESA-MMR/Skyward IRST combination is the best there is for a light MRCA. Without IRST sensor, Tejas Mk.1A will suffer from severe shortcomings during defensive counter-air operations. Therefore, the IAF anytime now will release a supplemental ASQR asking for internal IRST sensor for Tejas MK.1A.

I run a 1-man information gathering & intelligence analysis show. The declassified stuff I share on this blog is eagerly digested by several intelligence agencies—that’s a given. Take, for instance, the news I shared yesterday on the PA’s LY-80E LOMADS deployment. A panicked PA COAS on the same day went & had urgent consultations with his Gujranwala Corps GOC & also visited Sialkot’s Pasrur cantonment that sits opposite southern Jammu near Chicken’s Neck. Watch this:

The reason I conduct such activities is that there’s no one else willing to do so. For instance, all those RSS card-holders wearing Khaki pants only want to wield their bamboo sticks & don’t want to stand in harm’s way. Similarly, self-styled anarchists/hoodlums take solace in intimidating others & making money by becoming cow-protectors. Then we have the pseudo-cultural nationalists who recently got buggered-up when the Tamilians fired an ultra-heavyweight torpedo as a warning against imposing Hindi language on that part of the Inhdian peninsula to the south of Nagpur. Reminds me of Dr Christopher of DRDO who to date has never spoken a word in Hindi whenever he has been interviewed by any Hindi-language TV channel. I guess that’s exactly what these delusional pseudo-cultural nationalists need: the horn of rhino being thrust inside their buttocks. Therefore, to sum up, on who else can I rely on to take the necessary risks in support of the country’s security forces? Bahubali? Kattappa? Lingam? Basha? Baby? Phantom? Phelu Da?

To RAFALE-LOVER: Those shortages were WRT waging all-out conventional war, not high-intensity limited war. Since late 2014 several shortfalls especially in ammo stocks have been eliminated.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAJESH MISHRA: That is very much a possibility, if one wonders why not a single photo of the last 2 test-firings of the A-3 were released by the PIB.

To RAJESH: Communist China had never reinforced failure in either 1965 or in 1971 or in 1999 & will never do so & therefore will not intervene in any way in Pakistan’s favour in any military manner.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: 1) You’re unable to connect the dots. To get a genuine passport under an assumed identity, one has to A) furnish a new birth certificate & 2) furnish proof of residence that can be verified by the Police’s Special Branch & the DIB. Only someone who is genuinely worried about his/her safety will go to such lengths to legitimize his/her new assumed identity. Secondly, a spy is someone who successfully blends in with the societal environment of the country he/she is targetting & for this to happen, he/she has to be based INSIDE the country where he/she is operating. Sitting in a neighbouring country like Iran or India won’t produce any value-added spywork. That’s why the chargesheet of the PA’s military court does not accuse Jadhav of spying, rather it accuses him of providing material assistance to Baloch separatists & sectarian tanzeems. Do once again read the chargesheet that I had posted in the narrative above. Thirdly, can a single person operate a 3,500-tonne freighter? If not, then where’s the crew complement of that freighter since that freighter too has disappeared. What was the last reported datum of that freighter since that vessel, being registered in India, had an AIS transponder that was beaming the vessel’s navigational coordinates to the Indianh Navy-operated IMAC Centre in Guragram (Gurgaon)? Has anyone in India asked all these questions? If not, then why? Is it that folks like Karan Thapar are way too stupid to ask such commonsensical questions? Maybe they indeed are extremely, acutely stupid. 4) The alcohol goes from Oman to Chah Bahar & Gwadar by sea & from there by land to destinations inside Pakistan. 5) MBTs will never become useless for as long as they are supported by combat support vehicles like the BMP-T. I had already explained this concept in detail before. 8) Not a wish. I had brought this to the attention to the powers-that-be last February itself. 9) Both have been deciding for the past 3 years. And they will continue to decide but will never be able to conclude the process of deciding. That’s the difference. Money doesn’t grow in trees & priorities have to be set immediately. Hence, the IAC-2 project too has been shelved for at least the next 6 years & instead money will be spent on the four LPHs.

To AMIT BISWAS: Those are used for jamming both airborne & battlefield communications. China too has them in the form of Y-8G.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Just after Aero India 2017 I had proposed the procurement of FOPEN (mounted on raisable hydarulic masts from a 6 x 6 truck) for the CAPFs. This FOPEN was shown at Aero India 2017.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD, RAFALE-LOVER & KAUSTAV: If an ISI operative wants to switch sides, he can easily do so at India’s Consulate in Dubai itself. Therefore, what he is requesting for is political asylum. Until his antecedents are established, no one will believe his motive. He can easily be a contract-killer on the run from Pakistan & if that’s in deed the case, then thePakistani High Commission in Delhi should be granted consular access for verifying this man’s identity & he should then de deported to Pakistan viw Wagah. But first & foremost, one has to establish the authenticity of his Passport & his NADRA UID card, if he has one.

To RON: Not possible. To date only the F/A-22 Raptor has had that distinction. Here’s a videoclip of a F-35 simulator:

Excellent documentary on the Hollywood-style assassination of Kim Jong-nam:

Kaustav said...

A very Good Morning Prasunda and wish you and the Nation on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya the beginning of critical successful ventures.

Does McMaster's visit to Delhi-Kabul-Islamabad, in that order, portend interesting times ahead in our corner of Asia? You do have the last installment coming up....Thanks in anticipation.

Anonymous said...


Could it also be that the last two so called Agni III tests were tests of something else, like the A-5? After all, China also tests most of its ICBMs within its territory from Taiyuan to somewhere in Xinjiang (about 2500 km away or so). What stops us from issuing a NOTA out to about 3000 km, testing what we want and announcing an Agni III test ? Of course, the US would still know, but the rest would know only if the US chooses to reveal.



1. Sir only u (real)and phelu da( imaginary ) are satyanweshi. rest all are self centred commercial jingoism.

2. recently us has slashed visas for it sector and due to other volatile global issues and technological advances job prospects for incumbent and future generations are at risk of job loss in it sector.

2a. everyone believes it is becoz of u.s govt policies and on ground people are criticizing the mum of modi govt on this issue. do you think if india retaliates by targetting commercial interests of u.s to this u.s gesture( which looks certain , if not then pheku will lose young indian votes ), u.s govt will still maintain sound counter intelligence and security cooperation now going on.

2b. in that scenario hot pursuit by u.s and indian armed forces due in 2018 wont be jeopardised??

3. could you please enlighten us about the electronic warfare capability of indian tri services vis a vis western adversary???

4. modi is visiting israel in july, i believe he needs guidance from yourside to negotiate for technologies to be required by indian army and bsf for effective border management and strategic and tactical systems to be inducted by indian forces... can you share some of it with us

5. did you got any info about the performance of desi embraer 145 aewc vis a vis saab 2000 aewc of adversary???

6. in your january post regarding rfp of aesa and ew for tejas mk1a it was observed that most of the ew suites from elta and elbit/thales and mbda/phazotron offered podded version and self protection internal suite, is it not possible the podded ew suite to be integrated in aircraft body like mig 29 upg.

6a.also whats stopping the hal/ade and iaf particular to not integrate passive IRST sensor onboard the tejas?? becoz at this stage the capital equipment of tejas mk1a isnt optimum platform , only way to make tejas a force to reckon with is to integrate world class sensor and avionics package to make it a deadly adversary for jf 17???

7. any update about 3d long range surveillance radar tender for IAF??? recently when i visited kutch i was informed that israeli aerostat have very high leakage of gases and hence its cost of o&m is very high and not sustainable??? what the iaf is doing about it ?? you said next batch of aerostats will be sourced from russia integrated with israeli radar??? will it be better than the currently installed??

7a any updates about the induction of GM 100 radar from thales ordered in last

8. who is the frontrunner for ;LPH/LHD platform lnt and navantia or mdl and DCNS?? any other options from italy and japan and even south korea??

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun da

you said

1) You’re unable to connect the dots. To get a genuine passport under an assumed identity, one has to A) furnish a new birth certificate & 2) furnish proof of residence that can be verified by the Police’s Special Branch & the DIB. Only someone who is genuinely worried about his/her safety will go to such lengths to legitimize his/her new assumed identity. Secondly, a spy is someone who successfully blends in with the societal environment of the country he/she is targetting & for this to happen, he/she has to be based INSIDE the country where he/she is operating. Sitting in a neighbouring country like Iran or India won’t produce any value-added spywork. That’s why the chargesheet of the PA’s military court does not accuse Jadhav of spying, rather it accuses him of providing material assistance to Baloch separatists & sectarian tanzeems. Do once again read the chargesheet that I had posted in the narrative above. Thirdly, can a single person operate a 3,500-tonne freighter? If not, then where’s the crew complement of that freighter since that freighter too has disappeared. What was the last reported datum of that freighter since that vessel, being registered in India, had an AIS transponder that was beaming the vessel’s navigational coordinates to the Indianh Navy-operated IMAC Centre in Guragram (Gurgaon)? Has anyone in India asked all these questions? If not, then why? Is it that folks like Karan Thapar are way too stupid to ask such commonsensical questions? Maybe they indeed are extremely, acutely stupid.

a. It is for this reason i say the shit bag who entraped Jadhav is Indian bcoz unless that happens GoI would have immidiately raised the issue of missing dhow Kaminda. That it is not raising the question of Kaminda implies to me that they probably are worried that that will lead then to Indian shitbag, and THE MORAL HIGH GROUND will be lost.

b. Dont you think when India quickly found tself or through other sources the ship that it transported 26/11 attackers, it could have eaily found out about Kaminda, but not questioning it is reason enough to believe something amiss

important issue, since you have access to powers that be

1.can you please ask them to make it compulsory for men/women while conducting anti terror raids to wear balaclavas. Its a SOP around the world only in India i havent seen that happening. Balaclava will cover their faces and save them and their families from any troubles by other terrorist or their sympathizers

2. Th same idea can and should be applied in J&K when CAPF men/women involved in anti terror raids/searches as well as J&K police men/women involved in tackling stone pelters and protestors can carry on without the fear of harassment to them or their families


Joydeep Ghosh

rad said...

su-30 super going to have a swashplate antenna !! great.

what are the systems that we have to get 7th decimal point gps coordinates?

are we getting more emb-145 awacs th e iaf seems to be pleased for once?

do we have systems for jamming awacs like the russians have?

Pierre Zorin said...

So hard to watch You tube these days unless I choose to ignore dumb comments and trolls. Getting involved in trash debates and as soon as you tell the truth they start with a volley of abuse. The latest is Arjun is a junk because Indians are not mass producing and opting for Russian tanks instead- fuel guzzler, too heavy too expensive to lose in a battle. Indians are rapists etc. Apparently no military expert ever said Arjun tank was one of the best. What do you say Prasun? Ignore or ram it up theirs?

Xeno said...

1) Is it true that "Currently the initial batch of five Y-8Gs are in service with PLAAF (S/N 30x1x) in Southwest China facing India"

2) Do you have any pics of ARC operated Global 5000 and the Gulfstream 500 special mission aircrafts supposed to be equipped with the EL/I-3001 Airborne Integrated Signal Intelligence System(AISIS)? What happened to the requirement for 9 COMJAM - SIGINT special mission aircraft?

3) Does IAF operate a few modified boeing 737 's in ELINT/SIGINT roles?

Xeno said...

And some select videos


Bend It Like Granny

Adani’s Solar Power Plant

Ganga waterway

Sagarmala Project

Team Indus

Raman said...

Prasun: I few silly questions ....if I may:

(1) Kulbhushan Jadhav: what now ?? will they do a 'Sarabjit' on him ??

(2) And the missing Pakistani Colonel ?? gone all quiet..........

(3) When will we get a fulltime RM ?? any guesses who it might be ??

(4) What happened to the Single engine Jet fighter discussions - F16<>Gripen ??
All quiet for a while now. Has Trump backed off ???

(5) And to all the other procurements ?? Like the Jaguar engine upgrade ??


1. ERDOGAN is visiting india ,
jindal visiting pakistan to meet sharif insaan , whats going on sir???

2. I believe the pov of mr joydeep, this jhadav it seems is not " dhoa tulsi pata " or in hindi to say doodh ka dhula to nahi dikh raha hai.....moreover no visible efforts by spymaster pheku gang to get him release from pakistan .....Why can't IA conduct some cross border raid and capture some PA officers for exchange with kulbhushan???

2a. why kulbhushan only many indian POW are still lagging behind in porkistan jails, same thing could be done to get them released????what's stopping the chest thumping spymaster to pull out such efforts....would request you to pursue the cases of POW languishing in pakistan sir too.

3. In this play we all are forgetting surfaced he died.. whats the truth from your sources????

Pratap said...

Chairman of Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy commission says Pakistan has become a safe haven of terrorists. I wonder if Iran's supreme leader and president share his views

Xeno said...
It seems that the govt-military rift in Pakistan is now wide open, the situation almost heading towards an imminent showdown with Nawaz Sharif standing on thin ice. What do you think happens next?

Xeno said...


Xeno said...

Xinjiang: Bob Woodruff's Journey Inside Alleged ISIS Breeding Ground

'Iron wall' approach to address terrorism in Xinjiang

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KAUSTAV: VMT. In dseed interesting times have already begun. The US, Japan, ROK & Taiwan are collectively coercing China WRT North Korea & as a result, the PLA’s acclimatized mountain wrfare forces are nopw pinned down along the Yalu River. Meanwhile, cerrain IA formations were withdrawn last October from the Kashmir Valley so that their defensive counter-insurgency orientation could be replaced by offensive conventional warfare orientation that will be optimal for mountain warfare WRT seizing the vital Haji Pir Pass, Shamshabari Range & the Bugina Bulge. Once 80% of the ammo stocks already ordered sinbce last December are in-country by June, fireworks will begin all along the LoC & will involve swift, surgical operations aimed at capturing & permanently holding those territories. These territories will then serve as firm bases from which surgical strikes lasting 6 months will be conducted deep inside Gilgit-Baltistan (even as far as Chitral). Even places like Khapalu, Skardu & the Deosai Plains are likely to be occupied—all within 7 days. If the PA decides to mobilize in any threatening manner, the IA’s 10 Div & 26 Div in southern Jammu, which contain bulk of the Pinaka-1 & Smerch-M MBRLs, will concurrently, capture Chicken’s Neck within 24 hours (where the PA claims it will use its TNWs since they claim that these weapons are not meant for use against Muslims of Kashmir, but only against the non-Muslims of J & K. Rest assured that ALL their so-called hrabours for storing such MBRLs are more than well-known to India & are bein g surveilled 24/7. In case some of these MBRLs with any TNW-armed rockets are captured intact, 1 rocket each will be sent to Russia, the US, France & UK for examination in order to determine the exact source of origin of their weapons-grade fissile materials—that is in case such TNWs do exist & it will become known only after they’re captured intact.

To SATYAKI: If the DRDO itself has officially stated that those 2 tests involved the Agni-3, then I don’t think we need to speculate about the exact identity of the missile-type.

To AMIT BISWAS: VMT. 2 & 2A) The US didn’t slash visa quotas for ICT professionals. Previously their spouses too were allowed work-visas. From now on that facility has been withdrawn. Even in the EU spouses of Indian expatriates were never permitted to become wage earners there. They could only do social work. 2B) 2018 was never about hot-pursuit. 2018 is all about de-nuclearising Pakistan. 3) It has already been extensively covered in various previous threads. 4) NaMo isn’t going there for obtaining anything like those you’ve mentioned. Those products have already been entering India since 1996. 5) There’s no comparison. One is a turboprop, another is a regional jet. Both have vastly different operating parameters. 6) Not possible on Tejas Mk.1A airframe due to paucity of internal volume space. 7) The aerostats are now being acquired from Russia & they will contain the EL/M-2083 radar. 7A) Had already covered that in previous threads way back in 2011 & 2012. 8) The L & T/Navantia offer is the best one as of now. Reliance/Pipavav is still struggling to deliver the five NOPVs ordered way back in 2012.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: A) You’re continuing to miss the point. Entrapment took place in the seas, not on land. Frequently when private citizens work in high-risk areas, it is the Govt of India itself that helps such citizens obtain new identities that are not fake by any chance. B) It was not India that found out about the vessels transporting the 16/11 attackers. It was the UK’s GCHQ t5hat5 had hacked into the VOIP network opf Zarar Shah & Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

To RAD: LoLz! Any GPS constellation capable of generating navigational coordinates in PY-code can give such navigational coordinates. IRNSS has this capability. But in return the handheld GPS receiver has to be positioned 500 metres vertically above the target so that the coordinates can be obtained & tagged. But in case of the BrahMos-1 Block-3 that uses the SGH seeker with SAR imaging capability, an actual overhead photo (from a height of 500 metres) of the target is reqd. This photo is then digitally converted into a target recognition algorithm & fed into the hard-drive of the SAR seeker for co-relation purposes.

To PIERRE ZORIN: LoLz! Just don’t weaste your precious time arguing with such idiots.

To XENO: 1) No. Not all five. Such platforms are used only for battlefield jamming & therefore are always being used either during exercises or over battlefields. 2) Had already uploaded them way back in 2015. 3) No.

To AMIT BISWAS: President Erdogan Bats for India:

2A) There are also 142 Pakistanis who have already completed their prison terms but are still languishing in Indian prisons. 3) He’s very much alive.

To PRATAP: The Iranians will NEVER forgive Pakistan for 1) massacring Shias in Gilgit-Baltistan; & 2) joining the KSA-led military alliance.

To XENO: It was always meant to be this way. The PA has been trying in vain to sell the narrative about it stopping support for all Jihadis post-January 2004. But the civilian politicianss of Pakistan have been resisting this diktat. Hell, even folks like Najam Sethi & Hamid Mir have now been domesticated by the ISI through coercion to parrot this narrative of the PA on their talk-shows. Fact-of-the-matter is that the PA’s top leadership has been feeding these same lies to their soldiers while saying in the same breath that all these Jihadis are not operating anymore from inside Pakistan, but from ‘Azaad Kashmir’. But when India on September 29 last year carried out cross-LoC raids, the PA’s top leadership was at a loss for words to explain to their jawans why India conducted such raids. Among the soldiers & JCOs, there’s this enormous aversion & reluctance to the prospect of fighting against the IA especially post-1999 after OP Vijay. They have since then been suffering from an inferiority complex & lack of self-confidence & that’s precisely the reason why the PA outsources all their dirty activities to these Jihadis. So when the DAWN Leaks took place, it put the PA’s leadership in a highly embarrassing position. The only option then available to the PA weas to use psychological warfare via the media/social media & try to portray this PML-N govt as being anti-national, i.e. what it had done back in 1989 with Benazir Bhutto & again in 2014 when the ISI was trying to prop-up Imran Khan by supporting his civil disobedience movement. That same thing has begunb yet again, but this time using the Panama Leaks iunvestigations as the excuse for getting rid of Nawaz Sharif. That’s what is actually happening now & it only proives my earlier assertion about the PA having a ZERO presence within the govt, biut having 100% involvement in governance.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAMAN: 1) I’m afraid so & I had already stated this in the narrative above. 2) Yes, him & also the one that surfaced at IGI Airport from Dubai. Here are more updates on this 2nd guy:

3) Your guess is as good as mine. 4) All have gone dead after checking out the spreadsheets for the reqd financial outlay, just as I had predicted. 5) F125s will definitely be ordered this year, perhaps just before NaMo’s visit to the US.

Now watch this brilliant ‘Avoid Curve’ manoeuvre being done by the Bell 407 pilot which saved the lives of everyone on board yesterday:

And the new fund-raising mechanism of the JeM:

JeM Funding

And finally, India’s 2017 Joint Forces wsarfighting doctrine:

Xeno said...

Some saner heads inside Pakistan

Regarding the ISI Defector at IGI, here's the latest

The report says basically that he is a Looney.

Kaustav said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arup said...


It would be excellent if you can give your views/commentary on the joint doctrine.Does the Joint Doctrine reflects the plans vis-a-vis Pakistan in the near term



Shankar said...

Dear Sir

Now that USA is firm on FIXING North Korea and China is seeing the
LIMITS of its Power
CAN the Same SCENARIO be REPLICATED with Respect To Pakistan

Here India ; Afghanistan and Iran can make Life Very Interesting for Pakistan

While USA squares off with China

Or is NORTH Korea some kind of a Dry Run for a Future US Action against Pakistan

Anonymous said...

1)"Even places like Khapalu, Skardu & the Deosai Plains are likely to be occupied—all within 7 days." what will be the triggering point for GOI to launch such strikes and hold areas since GOI always showed restraint in launching such strikes?What about Wakhan corridor?

2)"1 rocket each will be sent to Russia, the US, France & UK for examination in order to determine the exact source of origin of their weapons-grade fissile materials—that is in case such TNWs do exist & it will become known only after they’re captured intact." how exactly they will get to know about if fissile material is from china? dont u think china would covered their identity already?


Rafale-lover said...

As you wrote in one of the above reply,I want to ask you, why are some sane people in Pakistan like Najam Sethi,Hamid Mir,Rauf Klasra, Hassan Nisar,etc are all talking against India and speaking the same lines as other ISI-paid News-persons on Kashmir Situation and Modi-Bashing?And I noticed that it is happening since last 1-2 years.What's wrong with them?

Kaustav said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To XENO: You refer to those who label the US President & Indian PM as 'imbeciles' as saner heads? They are all shit-scared & have been told not to cross certain 'red lines' when it comes to India. The over-arching narrative there is to stoke anti-India feelings/sentiments as the only remaining way of promoting nationalism. If this is not down, then the morale of the PA's average jawan will hit rock-bottom. As it is they have been extremely depressed since 2004 when they saw their own fellow Muslim brethren being slaughtered by other Pakistani Muslims & they have never been able to figure out why all this has been happening.

To RAFALE-LOVER: Because all of them have nowhere else to go & so in order to survive in their own country they have to toe the line. Hence all those who were once claiming back in 2015 that the PA will crack down on the Jihadi tanzeems are the very ones who are now saying that the crackdown will begin later this year. The truth, however, is that no crackdown of this type will take place because these tanzeems constitute the PA's first line of defence against the IA. And of course, one can't expect such Pakistani journalists to be objective or appreciative because in many cases they don't know the truth, & folks like Najam Sethi find it very convenient to develop amnesia & hence he has forgotten those days in 1999-2001 when he was hounded out of Pakistan & he was then given asylum in India. That's how ungrateful such people are & that's precisely why I have labelled them as 'lesser evolved human beings'.

Xeno said...

The unfolding of the situation across the border is along predictable lines and the present protests have once again re-positioned Pakistan Army as the sole savior of Pakistani Qaum. (Though there are genuine protests in their media, which I was pointing to.) Seemingly the govt in Pakistan is facing an imploding crisis and the Army, Judiciary and the opposition are colluding to engineer a soft coup- to replace the govt by an interim Admin blessed by the Army, possibly gearing towards an ultimate takeover of the foreign policy and for custodial control of the nuclear arsenal. Not to say that they want to share the spoils of the CPEC at have their fingers deep in that pie.

Against this backdrop, the military state might try a calibrated escalation of hostilities to deflect the attention from their own vulnerabilities by destabilising the situation further both internally and across our border. A deja vu of the 1999 coup.

Paradoxically, it can be said that India and Pakistan were never so close to a certain normalisation when there was a military ruler in Pakistan and a BJP prime minister, as they were probably closer to any deal than any of their predecessors. So there is a bit of hope of normalisation even if their domestic tussle plays out in the military's favour because when a Pakistani civilian PM talks to India, he is immediately suspected of selling the country to India by the army and all such peace deals are vehemently resisted.

On the other hand the external pressures are also very strong in Pakistan and that they may contribute to keep the country together. It has been true of the American dollars in the past. It is to some extent true of the Saudis support and still somewhat true of the Chinese projects today.

The question is will PM Modi’s government will be willing to risk war unlike its predecessors, with the chances of undoing its wider strategic goal of high economic growth? The Pakistani Generals and strategic thinkers certainly dont think so and are of the view that any war or warmongering will help them rebuild their legitimacy in the coming days.

SUVO said...


1) As India shares friendly relations with both Cyprus and Turkey, are the successive tours of the two leaders deliberate? President Erdogan will be accompanied by a 150-member business delegation that will participate in the India-Turkey Business Forum.What will be the reaction of Pakistan?

2) Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi slammed Pakistan’s government for failing to prevent terror attacks against Iran from its soil, saying the neighboring country has become a “safe haven” for terrorist cells.Takfiri militants shot to death 10 Iranian border guards who were patrolling on the frontier with Pakistan.

So, after Afghan border,Iran border also light up.How many fire they want to set on?


Kapil said...

Prasun, thanks for the update about skirmishes during 2014-15. Some questions.

1) Based on your update, am i right to assume that IA did not avenge the killing of our soldiers as brutally as it did in early 2000s?

2) Am waiting for June and hoping that IA will launch military offensive as you predict. It would be great to have places like Sakardu and Khaplu back, but i have some concerns about demography of these areas. Gilgit-Baltistan has a population of over 2 million, while Ladakh has less than 300K. Its clear that Pakis have changed the demography by settling Punjabis and Pashtuns. So, if IA captures these territories are we going to push the them (Punjabis and Pashtuns) out? or absorb them into India?

3) 2019 is looking like a done deal and in all likelihood BJP will return with majority. By that time it will also have majority in RS. Do you think that in such a scenario Art 370 would be revoked and J&k divided into 3 parts?

Xeno said...

Very revealing - Pakistan police and Rangers operation in Punjab and Sindh, IG Punjab police says the jihadi tanzeems have been gradually 'Mainstreamed' :

What will be most interesting to see is if the Radd-ul-Fasaad's Punjab operation can give the army a real say in the state politics, to have an upper hand so that they can undermine the influence of PML(N) over Punjab politics or whether Punjab government continues to be less amenable to Pakistan army’s presence, in contrast to what we see in Sindh where the corps commander has become a major alternative power centre to the chief minister.

Rafale-lover said...

1.I read your old article related to Kalvari Saga where delays were made due to lack of knowledge of local vendors to make it's parts locally.Now what's it's situation?I mean,in past, it was said that all 6 Kalvari will be ready till 2020.What's current situation?

2.There are recent very credible reports coming out that there could be something very surprising announcement is going to happen in near future related to India's Nuclear Submarine project.What's your guess on it?

3.What's the final goal of K-4 Missile project?I read in wiki that there's MK2 variant of K-4 which will have 5000 KM range.Is it true?

4.Why is many international media channels like NYT,WSJ and BBC are working hard to show India in a very bad image related to Kashmir or any other domestic issues?

5.Are you an Ex-diplomat or something?Cause you wrote somewhere in your previous posts that you played golf with Malaysian PM.

6.Do you think using Pellet Guns in Kashmir is fair?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Rafale-Lover: 1) Not lack of knowledge. Lack of specific proficiencies. Knowledge is always easy to gather. Applying it for practical purposes is a totally different challenge. 2) Are you referring to this:

If yes, then such 'desi' journalists should first show some credible material evidence about China's presence inb Great Coco Island, about which he & the TV channel he works for has been making allegations for more than a decade. 3) IN wants an SLBM design with 8,000km-range. Have already explained this several times before. 4) None of them are showing India in any bad light. All they are doing is showing the ground reality & all the ills of radicalisation & this is precisely why not a single govt in the West is criticising or questioning India's ways of dealing with the law-n-order situation in any way or manner. 5) Is Sajjan Jindal an ex-diplomat too? 6) Do you think throwing stones & indulging in arson is a fair way of earning pocket-money or engaging in civil disobedience?

To XENO: All such efforts ( are easily being neutralised by these:

And yesterday the PA's COAS made his 2nd trip to the LoC after assuming office, this time in the area facing the Uri Bowl:

Whenever Pakistan invites foreign observers into PoK, it does so only for that are it calles Azaad Kashmir. Such invitations are never issued for Gilgit-Baltistan, which remains out-of-bounds.

As for the DAWN Leaks saga, it was Maryam Nawaz who played a key role in the affair & the PA deliberately keep her name out of it because at that time Gen Raheel Sharif was the COAS who struck a deal with Nawaz Sharif. Under this deal, he would not seek a 1-year service extension, but he expressed his wish to be accorded the title of Field Marshal after his retirement so that he could be above all other 4-star military commanders making up the KSA-led Sunni anti-ISIS military alliance. That deal still stands & the announcement about this will be made in the near future.

To KAPIL: 1) No. Proportionate revenge was extracted. 2) All non-Kashmiris will have to go back to Pakistan. 3) Why should Article 370 be revoked? And it cannot be revoked unless & until Indian rule is established over the entire undivided state of J & K.

Pierre Zorin said...

One question: If you know Prasun there are some notable personages reading your blog and as an example you said Bajwa quickly had to have a chat with his army colleagues - how then you reckon the recovery and liberation of Gigit Baltistan and capturing the strategic areas from Azad Kashmir (Chicken Neck, Haji Pir etc.)happen that too within 7 days because won't PA be lying in wait and muster defences? Look at the six day war in 1967. True there weren't EW network as we have today, but within 48 hours Israel preemptively cleaned out the entire Arab Airpower which then made it possible for the IDF to do the rest. If the Arabs got a whiff of the air attacks I am sure they would have removed the planes or had Soviet air defences or something making it harder to wreck the whole air force like that. You see my point?

By the way we all missed it- that name FINCH in this blog was not after Aaron Finch Australian cricketer but guess what - another character from Jasoosi Duniya by the Indian Pakistani Ahmed Asrar who also had Gerald Shastri!

The Indian said...

I wish good hunting for the Indian Armed Forces!Cheers!Its high time that Pakistan was sorted out once for all!Any chance of Balochistan and Sindh becoming independent countries?And how can you identify that particular nuclear warhead material is from China.Please enlighten us?Any action from the Indian Navy involved?

rad said...

hi prasun
please explain the details of the avoid curve maneuver the pilot of the bell chopper undertook.It is an aerodynamic condition that the rotor wash impinges on the lift of the chopper ??. as far as i can see he comes in correctly then yaws and then topples over .

can you give some info on the emb-145 awacs? i hear that the IAF is pleased and wants more??
the lady director says every thing is indian apart from the ESM system, where did it come from ??

Srinivasa Nanduri said...

Hi Prasun,

Yesterday PA COAS visited Haji Pir sector of LOC and today 2 Indian soliders are mutilated, that too when Turkish President is visiting Delhi. Nawaz Sharif is in the dock for Dawn Leaks and Panama Papers, and Pakistani media is baying for his blood. Pakistani media show Bay Laag yesterday analysed that Indian PM sent Jindal to inform Sharif about initiating dailogue during SCO meeting. But why would NAMO do it?

However, it seems that PA is sabotaging any chance of dailogue. So called Stone Pelting and intigation of Armed forces by Seperaatists and Over Group sympathizers is not abetting and continous provocation and violence in J&K by PA & PA Inspired Seperatists and Disguntled Indian Kashmiris is only adding to the perception that we are losing Kashmir.

Why are our jawans so relentlessly targetted. over 200 soliders were KIA in last 3 years. What SOPs needs to be followed to avoid such incidents?

with best regards,
Srinivasa Nanduri

Anonymous said...

One of the most thoughtful articles I have read for a while. Should be compulsory reading for all.


Xeno said...

Barrister Hamid Bashani On Gilgit-Baltistan

An enlightened guy.

Xeno said...

Meanwhile, it seems that UFOs are among the Multinational Coalitions fighting Taliban!

Hope we ally with then against Pakistan.

Kapil said...

Prasun, United Shipbuilding Corporation wants to build a shipyard in Vizag. Is it for India's future Nuclear attack submarines to be built with Russian help?

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun da

1. looks like Pak itself wants its ass wiped so it did a cross border raid killing 2 army men, i think retaliation by IA should be similar, just wish in over excitement IA doesnt do anything silly.

2. the so calld spy arrested at IGI wa labled mentally unstable, now he surely will be deported after due counselor access and other procedure, few things :-

a how did he get access to authentic ISI papers

b. if deported will it result India getting access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

3. The FOPEN radar about it:-

a. to me it looks like it can survey tall shrubs primarily

b. in chattisgarh abhujhmarh area in particular the area between ghat roads and in districts of sukma/bijapur/narayanpur there arent shrubs but teak/sal/arjun trees that are atleast 100 feet tall,

c. naxals use the thick trees as cover and dont use vehicles, so will the FOPEN work there?


Joydeep Ghosh

Xeno said...

Regarding the Naxals being hideous and using the thick trees as cover, I believe that there should be more use of drones for road opening duties. Presently Netra UAVs has fly time of only 30 minutes, hardly enough to scan the vast jungles. NTRO operated Herons based at Bhillai, have already been proved to be incapable

Each company must have two to four smaller drones with them, which can perhaps even replace the advance parties. They should operate bigger drones, operated by Air Force personnel from Bhillai and Jagdalpur, such as these:

These drones should be able to send data to the nearest CRPF camp/parties.

But nothing replaces having local intelligence.

lachit said...


there is a limit to stupidity , on not being too stupid.

"self bambooing in ones own ass" type of cleverness has over the few years got us Indians ass fukked thoroughly.

isnt it funny every indian has a expert opinion on somebody/something except on themselves/ on what they do themselves.

Thehundered said...

Prasun what are your thoughts on these reforms and how big of a impact will they have for India and the armed forces? I recall that you have mentioned the need for a "roll on defence budget" on this blog before. Thanks.

"The panel has recommended a roll-on defence budget to have enough capital expenditure available for modernisation as against the present practice of surrendering unspent capital budget at the end of each financial year.

Performance audit
The committee has recommended a performance audit of the role of non-combat organisations under the Defence Ministry. The organisations include those dealing with defence estates and accounts, the Director- General of Quality Assurance, the Ordnance Factory Board, the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the NCC.

The committee has suggested downsizing or rationalisation of manpower in these organisations, which can lead to significant savings. Another recommendation is the setting up of a joint services war college for training middle-level officers."

“The Shekatkar committee had apparently exceeded its brief with some 200 recommendations. The defence ministry whittled it down to 120, of which some 90 were approved by Jaitley. The ministry expects all the proposals to be implemented in the next two years,” a senior official said.

The ball park figure of Rs 25,000 crore is expected to be saved if the committee’s proposals for rebalancing military expenditure are implemented.

The panel wants the military to move out of non-core areas such as the National Cadet Corps (NCC), remove duplicity among the three services, and make institutions such as the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and ordnance factory boards more accountable through project audits and by shelving outdated concepts.

“For instance, an entire Signals unit was tasked to listen to radio broadcasts from the 1962 war. This unit will be disbanded with the troopers redeployed into other tasks. The recommendations are not aimed at cutting jobs but making the military lean and thin,” the official said.

The Narendra Modi government is expected to clear soon the creation of a CDS post and the strategic partner policy, which will boost the “Make in India” campaign in the defence sector.

rad said...

hi prasun
after watching the chatisgar helicopter crash video again , i am of the opinion that the mishap was caused by loss of tail rotor effectiveness due to adverse wind conditions at ground level which made the heli yaw and then topple over . I would not blame the pilot. please join issue.

Rafale-lover said...

You wrote in your one of the old article about KGB's activities in India in past.
You mentioned a book "The Mitrokhin Archive Volume II: The KGB and the World."So how many volumes do exist which are written by Vasili Mitrokhin, a former senior archivist of the USSR’s civilian intelligence agency, the KGB?

rad said...

hi prasun
surprisingly the live telecast o f the gslv launch was not telecast. On seeing the flight velocity altitude performance graph later on tv, there seemed to be a large deviation from the planned graph and what actually took place , does any one have an answer to that?