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Thread: Stone pelting a conspiracy by Pakistan and its agents in Kashmir

  1. #361
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Even split


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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Good job


  3. #363
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    ^ I will post some articles that PA's planning for attacks on India is already done. They want mass casualties in Kashmir, and then would highlight it as Kashmiri violence against the Indian state.

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    That video has since been removed. Do you remember who removed it? Farhan Virk, yep that kid, who was banned in here for using racist language against Indians many years back. The whole community in Pakistan is on Cocaine & Mullahs Chants.
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    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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    Why Srinagar? Why not Delhi? Hassan Nisar has a fabulous word for them - jahil quom.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  6. #366
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    Pakistan reviving days of Kashmir militancy by pushing Afghan terrorists into India: Intel

    New Delhi: A chapter from Kashmir’s bloody militancy days is likely to make a comeback, with intelligence reports suggesting that Pakistan is making an attempt to push as many as 100 battle-hardened terrorists from Afghanistan into the Valley.

    The reason, according to defence sources, is the “low shelf-life” of local Kashmiri militants, who don’t have adequate training and are frequently killed in encounters.

    The intelligence inputs suggest that, over the past two weeks, nearly a dozen potential infiltrators of Afghan origin have been identified at a terrorist launchpad at Lipa valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), opposite Uri and Tangdhar sectors of Jammu & Kashmir.

    This is seen as part of the Pakistan deep state’s response to the Modi government’s decision to remove Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir into two union territories.

    Defence sources said the aim is to ensure attacks in Kashmir, targeted at government forces and officials.

    A JeM-Taliban nexus
    The fresh intelligence inputs also referred to a meeting in Pakistan’s Bahawalpur, where the Masood Azhar-led terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) is based, on 19-20 August, which was attended by “launch commanders” or terrorist handlers.

    The meeting, according to the inputs, was chaired by Azhar’s brother Rauf Asghar, and aimed at working out ways to push these foreign fighters into India.

    The inputs also talk about a 10-day refresher training course held recently in Mansehra at PoK, where a recruitment drive was also held.

    The JeM is responsible for the 14 February terrorist attack in Pulwama, carried out by a local youth, that killed 40 CRPF personnel. Amid the ensuing international outrage, India succeeded in getting a UN global terrorist designation for Azhar.

    The intelligence inputs about the planned infiltration by Afghan terrorists come months after a dossier put together by India following the Pulwama attack hinted at a developing nexus between JeM and the Taliban, the primarily-Pashtun terrorist organisation that has waged bloodshed in Afghanistan for years.

    To internationalise Kashmir
    Pakistan’s fresh bid to push foreign fighters into India is reminiscent of what it did in Kashmir in the early and mid-1990s, when Afghan terrorists were pushed into the Valley at the height of militancy.

    Intelligence inputs received in the wake of the Article 370 move suggested that the Pakistan army was expected to pump in arms and terrorists into Kashmir, besides orchestrating an attack.

    It is expected that as and when a peace deal is struck between the Taliban in Afghanistan and the US, many of those fighting the American forces could actually be moved towards Kashmir.

    Pakistan has been pushing hard to internationalise the Kashmir issue, something India is completely opposed to. According to sources in the security establishment, Pakistan believes that other countries will be drawn in if violence intensifies.
    How does internationalising Kashmir though terrorist attacks help the Pakistan Army? These illiterate madrasah educated rent seeking army has lost their collective mind.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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  7. #367
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    Jaish-e-Mohammed Active Again: Pakistan’s ‘Plausible Deniability’?

    The Islamic Emirate urges both India and Pakistan to refrain from taking steps that could pave the way for violence and complications in the region....Linking the issue of Kashmir with that of Afghanistan by some parties will not aid in improving the crisis at hand, because the issue of Afghanistan is not related nor should Afghanistan be turned into the feather of connection between other countries”.

    The message has caused mixed reactions, the most common being highlighting the irony of it: a terror group that has thrived on a policy of violence was calling out two sovereign states for maintaining restraint. And maintaining restraint on an issue that, despite the explicit de-linking, has been closely linked for years, both by Pakistan and by the Taliban: who actually set up their centres in Pakistan-administered-Kashmir last January.

    JeM’s Close Ties With Afghan Taliban
    The JeM in fact, has maintained close ties with the Afghan Taliban, and has been providing them with a continuous stream of Pakistani recruits from the provinces of South Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. The JeM’s training camps, including the one at Balakot, have supplied a sizeable number of battle-hardened fighters that have aided the ground successes of the Afghan Taliban.

    According to sources, in February 2019, a delegation of the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network commanders held a meeting with JeM leader Masood Azhar at Markaz Subhan Allah in Bahawalpur, where the Taliban have been offering to shift Azhar to a safer location in Afghanistan.

    JeM Chief Refuses To Leave Pakistan
    However, Masood Azhar declined to leave Pakistan, while assuring the Taliban of his continued support from Pakistan. A significant number of hardcore JeM cadres were anyway shifted to Afghanistan after India’s strikes on their training camp in Balakot on 26 February 2019, and the Taliban and the Haqqani Network accommodated a number of these cadres.

    In Afghanistan, it has set up bases in Kandahar, and in the north of Helmand province. JeM’s cadres are currently active in Ghazni (Logar, Nawa), Geelan, Helmand (Sangin, Marja) and Nangarhar ( Kot, Momandara ) areas of Afghanistan.

    Pakistan’s Sham Of An Action Against Home-Grown Terror
    Following the threat of FATF blacklisting looming over Pakistan, the government claimed to have taken action against terror groups in the country, including the JeM. But they did it of course, Pakistani style or, to quote the Americans, in a totally “reversible” way. Therefore, while the group’s Al Rehmat Trust (ART) was formally banned on 10 May, the JeM leadership is already in the process of setting up a new 'charity' front for the organisation.

    The magazine will continue to have the ‘Rang-o-Noor’ section carrying articles by Masood Azhar. In the past week or so, apparently the ISI gave a go ahead to its army of jihadis. And the Jaish-e-Mohammed cadres resumed their work in full mode.

    JeM’s Social Media Activity In Full Swing After A Lull
    JeM’s social media activity, that had slowed down in the past few months, is again in full swing, and updates on the ongoing situation in Jammu and Kashmir are regularly being posted.

    While referring to the ongoing hostilities at the Line of Control along the Indo-Pak border and to the death of many JeM cadres, Masood Azhar said: “One chapter of Ghazwa-e-Hind and of Jihad Kashmir has been completed. Alhamdulillah, the Mujahideen of Kashmir got victory in Kashmir. Now the next chapter begins. Vast, sublime and victorious,” — wishing the ‘mujahideen’ to succeed against their enemies in the near future. According to reports, Ibrahim Azhar, Masood Azhar’s elder brother, has been moved to Pakistan-administered-Kashmir. And Rauf also, the other brother, could have been sent to take charge of the operations in the area.

    Pakistan Can’t Afford Another ‘Lost War’
    Activities of JeM’s Markaz Usman Ali and Markaz Subhan Allah in Bahawalpur have resumed, and JeM cadres have been noticed also in their Markaz Syedna Bilal in Muzaffarabad in ‘Azad Kashmir’. Days ago, Imran Khan warned that “Pulwama-like incidents are bound to happen again”.

    Pakistan cannot afford another lost war, and cannot even afford to end up being blacklisted by FATF, using once again terrorists as a foreign political tool. But, as the former US Army Colonel Lawrence Sellin recently commented: this could be “an attempt to establish plausible deniability, distancing Pakistan's government from its terrorists' action.”
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    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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    Domestic, Regional Implications of Pakistani Army Chief’s Term Extension - Mh. Taqi

    Pakistan’s chief of army staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, was given a three-year extension in his term, through a three-line notification, by Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this week. Bajwa had assumed charge in November 2016 and was originally set to retire this coming November. The notification states that the “decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment” pointing implicitly to the developments in Kashmir and an impending US deal with the Afghan Taliban.

    Bajwa is not the first Pakistani army chief to get an extension and probably won’t be the last one. Compared to a single six-month extension to the Indian army chief Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in 1972, this would be Pakistan’s sixth COAS to get an extension, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani being the last one. Out of the six, four also declared martial law, granted themselves extensions and usurped the presidency as well.

    The pretext then, as now, was regional security. Still, the Generals Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, and Pervez Musharraf lost both wars and territory. General Zia-ul-Haq partially lost Siachen but scored a pyrrhic victory in Afghanistan, with a jihadist blowback so severe that Pakistan is still reeling under it. So much for continuity and a steady hand at the helm.

    The real motives of dictators, and army chiefs who did and did not get an extension, have always been domestic, and it is no different this time around. In periods between direct military rule, the Pakistan army has wielded power from behind a civilian façade. After Musharraf was forced to doff his uniform and then leave the presidency, after massive popular protests, the army under Kayani opted to rule from behind the scenes.

    It maintained a chokehold over all key areas of policy and governance, especially foreign and national security policies. Kayani and his Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI) Directorate, general Ahmed Shuja Pasha undermined and weakened the democratic dispensation consistently but did not induce a fall. Similarly, General Raheel Sharif and his ISI chiefs Generals Zaheer-ul-Islam and Pasha, rocked the former PM Nawaz Sharif’s government through engineered street protests led by Imran Khan.

    PM Sharif, though weakened and ceding political ground, had declined to leave the office. His tacit and open views about asserting civilian supremacy were simply not acceptable to the army. Months before Bajwa became the COAS, a cache of documents, which became known as the Panama Papers, was released in which PM Sharif’s children were named for their offshore holdings.

    The army got its lucky break in the form of the Panama Papers and orchestrated a series of legal proceedings against PM Sharif on graft charges, even though he was not named in those documents. He was convicted and dismissed from the high office, paving the way for the army to roll out its Imran Khan project.

    While the dictators and assorted army chiefs are blamed for destabilising and toppling democratic governments, the fact is that it is an institutional policy decision to preserve the army’s praetorian preeminence. An army chief is essentially the primus inter pares, bound to uphold the institutional interests. For example, Pervez Musharraf was in the air, en route home from Sri Lanka, when the army launched a coup against Nawaz Sharif in 1999.

    Though Bajwa is given the dubious credit for the Imran Khan project, it is an institutional undertaking. Barring some personality-driven conduct, even the chiefs can do only as much as their outfit wants them to. As the army’s internal chatter indicates, they had been toying with the idea of Chinese or Bangladeshi model i.e. a soft coup and thinly-veiled martial law, wherein the army and the ruling party are joint at the hip and are assisted by the judiciary to weed out allegedly corrupt politicians.

    Bits and pieces of this template were released through incumbent COAS’ informal meetings with journalists and also by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), and came to be known as the Bajwa Doctrine. Though never formally enunciated, the doctrine is a hotchpotch ranging from pledging support for democracy, to musings about economy and geopolitics. What, however, became evident in practice, was that the army was wrestling back every inch of the political space and each bit of freedoms, it had been forced to cede to the democratic dispensations since the ouster of Pervez Musharraf in 2008.

    Just like Ayub Khan had come up with a ‘Basic Democracy’ model, Yahya Khan’s minion General Sher Ali Khan Pataudi plotted to bring “patriotic factions” to power, and Zia-ul-Haq had a party-less national assembly, the army’s plan under Bajwa is to have a watered-down, controlled democracy. This saves the army the hassle of imposing martial law and dealing with its domestic and international fallout. In fact, the army has only imposed martial laws when it could not manipulate and mould the political system to its will.

    The project came to fruition when in 2018, Imran Khan was installed as the PM through an election heist. That is not it, however, as the project is supposed to have Imran Khan or an Imran Khan-like fig-leaf, for ten years, which ostensibly is the timeframe deemed necessary to consolidate and cement these gains.

    A move that had pointed to the long-term nature of the project, and Bajwa’s extension, was the relatively recent appointment of the DG ISI Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed Chaudhry, who was the chief’s junior in Baloch regiment. General Faiz (known thus in Pakistan) was first appointed in-charge of the ISI’s political cell by Bajwa and is widely perceived to be the architect of giving the out-going Nawaz Sharif government a final jolt through protests by his propped-up religious zealots, and then engineering the electoral victory for Imran Khan by pre-poll and polling-day rigging.

    Faiz was elevated to the chief spook slot, within 4 months of becoming a Lt. General, ousting General Asim Munir who lasted about nine months in that position, indicating that he was hand-in-glove with the COAS. More interestingly, Faiz would be one of the senior-most generals in November 2022, when Bajwa eventually retires, making him a top contender for the COAS, as thanks to Bajwa’s extension, a whole crop of current generals and corps commanders, would have retired by that time. It’s a doctrine that keeps giving!

    By locking up political opponents like two former PMs, Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, an ex-president Asif Ali Zardari, Pashtun nationalist parliamentarians Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir, and even Maryam Nawaz Sharif, and gagging the tele, electronic and print media, the junta and its minion Imran Khan, are trying to ensure that no protest movement can gain steam and portend a threat.

    While it is a tall order for the battered and bickering opposition, the historical experience has been the bigger and longer the army’s overt political role becomes, the people at large start detesting it. While the army might think that it is behind a civilian veneer, the perception is that it has taken an in-your-face position not seen since Musharraf’s days. In Musharraf’s final years, the public anger against the military was such that the army had to send out a directive that officers and men should not frequent civilian areas, while in uniform.

    The situation, however, is so grim, and censorship and repression so severe that only a few newspapers opted to offer a measly critique of the general’s extension. No politician of note has categorically castigated the move either. So, until the opposition gets its house in order, Pakistan, the region and the world would have to deal with the army under Bajwa. And the US is already at it.

    Bajwa had accompanied Imran Khan on his recent visit and not only sat in the PM’s meetings with President Donald Trump but also held his own parleys at the Pentagon. While the US doesn’t get to have a say in the extension matter, so early in a potential thaw, a wink and nod is not outside the realm of possibility. The current centrepiece in the perennially transactional US-Pak relations is the impending US agreement with the Taliban and a subsequent withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan.

    Pakistan allowing the Taliban leadership to come to the table with the US, could not have happened without Bajwa i.e. the army’s consent. The quid pro quo seems to be Pakistan getting the US backing for a reprieve at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is holding its feet to fire, and the IMF, which has just thrown it a financial lifeline. Pakistan army, of course, wishes to return to the 1990s where it had a field day through its Taliban proxies, after the US left the hapless country, to the neighbour’s devices.

    The precipitous withdrawal policy being sold in Washington, D.C. by Zalmay Khalilzad, needs to be reviewed. Khalilzad has the dubious distinction of misleading three US presidents. Right after their rise to power in 1996, Khalilzad tried to sell the Taliban to the US as a group that “does not practice the anti-US style of fundamentalism”. He was also representing an oil company’s interests at the time, making the sales pitch even more slippery. The recent assassination of the Taliban lynchpin Mullah Haibatullah’s brother Hafiz Ahmadullah, inside Pakistan, indicates that the sanctuaries and the jihadist project are intact.

    It is also clear that the current Afghan government and the population at large are not willing to revert to the Taliban’s brutal rule. Trump’s two key objectives in the withdrawal are firstly, to make it a bragging point in his re-election bid, and secondly, to curtail the cost to the US exchequer. As a recent US Congressional Research report shows, the overwhelming ongoing costs are incurred by the US troops and logistics, not the Afghan forces and state.

    No doubt, that the US and allies would need to support the Afghan state and security apparatus in the foreseeable future, but that would be at a massively reduced cost in the event of a withdrawal. To achieve that objective, the US need not throw the Afghans under the Pak-Taliban bus. The report itself identifies the support model deployed by the erstwhile Soviet Union after its 1989 withdrawal, which helped the Afghan government to fend off the adversaries for nearly three years and faltered only after the collapse of the USSR.

    Unlike the cash-strapped Soviets, the US can easily support the Afghan state and the people, who are already fighting the jihadist terror. The US planners need to consider that Pakistan and its Taliban proxies are in it for the long haul and willing to wait them out, as Bajwa’s extension and his doctrine indicates.

    While some have suggested that Pakistan may divert some of the jihadist proxies from Afghanistan towards Kashmir, it is highly unlikely. Even at the height of its hegemony in the Taliban era, Pakistan used Afghanistan for training its India-oriented jihadist. Deployment of the Afghan Taliban even to Kashmir was unheard of then. However, faced with blacklisting by the FATF, which would also have a bearing on the IMF loans, Pakistan would not be able to prosecute jihadism ad libitum, in the early part of Bajwa’s next phase.

    That is not to say that something like the Mumbai attacks, is completely off the table. The developments since Uri and Pulwama have also forced Pakistan to recalibrate its escalation grid and rethink flaunting nukes at the drop of a hat. The country’s diplomatic isolation under the Bajwa-Imran clique is worsening that not even the Arab Islamic countries have come out in its support after India virtually annexed Kashmir. In fact, the United Arab Emirates has feted Modi.

    While the Indian actions in Kashmir, are disastrous for the people’s rights and freedoms there, Pakistan appears to be boxed-in to the extent that it hasn’t even paraded its usual right wing zealot hordes, who used to come out ostensibly in protest, only to destroy life and property at home. A frustrated Imran Khan lamented, quite visibly from a position of extreme weakness, that after requesting Modi for talks for a year “there’s no point talking to India”. Pakistan’s disastrous jihadist militarism has really hurt the Kashmiris’ cause to the extent that Narendra Modi is getting away – at home and abroad – with his highly unconstitutional move and despicable repression.

    One more thing that General Bajwa and his selected PM’s shenanigans have destroyed, is Pakistan’s economy. And it is likely to get worse. While the country’s current account deficit might have shrunk a bit, all other economic indicators are pointing in the wrong direction and would continue to do so, as the government has maintained an unparalleled record of incompetence and mismanagement.

    The consumer, investor and business-owner confidence in Pakistan’s economy is at the lowest ebb, GDP growth rate trails Bhutan and Nepal, and inflation is in double-digits. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which was trumpeted as a cure-all for the economy, has stagnated, indicating that without opening regional trade, its potential cannot be realised.

    But instead of solid economic reform, the Khan government has relied on populist sloganeering and targeting opposition politicians over trumped-up charges of graft and stashing abroad hundreds of billions of dollars, none of which has been proven.

    Khan’s quid pro quo with Bajwa seems to be that he has been given a free hand to victimise their joint political opponents. In return, his inept governance and shoddy performance are forgiven. General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Imran Khan have been swimming together, but chances are that they would also sink together, if the current economic plunge continues.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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    Their marriage of convenience: With Pakistan the springboard for China’s containment of India, J&K helps cement that axis - Brahma Chellaney

    Like a typical school bully, China doesn’t have a lot of friends. Having joined with the US to impose international sanctions on its former vassal, North Korea, China has just one real ally left – an increasingly fragile and debt-ridden Pakistan. China, however, has little in common with Pakistan, beyond the fact that both are revanchist states not content with their existing borders. Despite China’s brutal repression of its Muslims, Pakistan remains Beijing’s tail-wagging client. The marriage of convenience between the world’s largest autocracy and the fountainhead of jihadist terrorism is founded on a shared strategy to contain India.

    In the latest example, China engineered an informal, closed-door UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Jammu & Kashmir and then, despite the absence of a joint statement, presented to the media a phony summary of the discussions. Few would be surprised by Beijing’s conduct or by its attempt to aid Pakistan’s effort to internationalise the Kashmir issue, including by obscuring China’s own status as the third party in the J&K dispute. China occupies one-fifth of the original princely state J&K, including the areas it seized up to 1962 and the trans-Karakoram tract ceded to it by Pakistan in 1963.

    China’s UNSC machinations highlight the fact that the longstanding Sino-Pakistan nexus has been cemented on the issue of J&K, where the borders of India, Xinjiang, Tibet, Pakistan and Afghanistan converge. The Chinese-built Karakoram highway, since it opened in 1978, has epitomised this nexus. The highway passes through J&K’s Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan region, just like the axis’s new symbol: China’s so-called economic corridor to Pakistan.

    Not content with stationing thousands of its own troops in Pakistani-occupied J&K, ostensibly to protect its strategic projects, China is working to enlarge its military footprint in Pakistan. China’s “economic corridor” seeks to turn Pakistan into its land corridor to the Indian Ocean, with Jiwani (located near Gwadar and just 170 km from Iran’s India-aided Chabahar port) likely to become a Chinese naval hub. China has already secured naval turnaround facilities at Karachi.

    Slowly but surely, Pakistan is becoming China’s colonial outpost, primarily aimed at checkmating India. After the Pulwama massacre of Indian paramilitary soldiers, Beijing came to Pakistan’s help by shielding it from international calls to take concrete anti-terrorist steps. For a decade, China vetoed UN action against Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar, until it could no longer sustain its obstruction. But China still blocks India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, asserting that – as happened in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – India’s entry must be counterbalanced with Pakistan’s admission.

    Indeed, China has long played the Kashmir card against India. For example, in 2010, it started the practice of issuing stapled visas to Indian citizens from J&K and denied a visa to the Indian army’s Northern Command chief for a bilateral defence dialogue on grounds that he commanded “a disputed area, J&K”. It also officially shortened the length of the border it shares with India by purging the line separating Indian J&K from Chinese-held J&K. The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned that, “Beijing could be tempted to use India’s ‘soft underbelly’, Kashmir.”

    Although J&K is divided among three countries, only India was maintaining special powers and privileges for its portion. Even if India had maintained J&K’s special constitutional status, the Sino-Pakistan J&K pincer movement would have continued. This is why China shields Pakistan’s proxy war by terror against India, even though it has locked up more than a million Muslims in the name of cleansing their minds of extremist thoughts. In fact, like Pakistan, China wages asymmetric warfare against India. This is in the form of a “salami slicing” strategy of furtive, incremental territorial encroachments in Ladakh and elsewhere.

    Turning Ladakh into a Union territory will likely advance India’s effort to counter China’s hostile manoeuvrings, including increasing military forays and incursions. The J&K constitutional change also compartmentalises India’s territorial disputes with Pakistan and China centred in that region, although India today faces Chinese troops on both flanks of its portion of J&K because of Chinese military presence in the Pakistan-occupied areas.

    India, however, needs to recognise the difference between being cautious and being meek: The former helps avert problems, while the latter invites more pressure. China has the temerity to talk about human rights in Indian J&K and chastise India for unilateralism, while India stays mum on the Tibet repression, Xinjiang gulag policy and Hong Kong excesses. Indeed, Beijing has sought to masquerade as a neutral party because India is loath to remind the world that China, in unlawful occupation of parts of J&K, is directly involved in the dispute. India has shunned even indirect criticism, such as reminding Beijing that those living in glass houses should not throw stones.

    Worse still, New Delhi has allowed China to reap a growing trade surplus with India that has more than doubled in the past five years and now dwarfs India’s total defence spending. This, in effect, means Beijing is able to have its cake and eat it too. India must subtly change tack, or else the fire-breathing dragon will be emboldened to step up hostile acts.
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    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

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    DE, your Medium article is being questioned.

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    Should India open communication channels with the Taliban? The better question would be, is India talking to the Taliban? Taliban = Pashtuns. Taliban follow Deobandi Islam (originated in India), have never attacked India. Pashtuns claim Pashtunistan on both sides of the Durand line. So...???
    Last edited by Oracle; 24 Aug 19, at 15:28.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

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    By giving General Bajwa an extension, Imran Khan has lost the leverage he held - Gul Bukhari

    When Imran Khan rode to power on the support of General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his team in July last year, everybody knew that the Pakistan Army chief was here to stay. His tenure extension was a foregone conclusion. Yet for a whole year, much air time and ink were spent on debating a question that was moot.

    Now that the extension has been announced, Imran Khan has lost the leverage he held.

    Contrary to what most experts and Pakistanis think, and indeed what Imran Khan himself thinks – that Imran Khan is here to stay for nine more years – I believe he has become more dispensable now than ever before and has plausibly shortened his own political life with this extension to General Bajwa.

    PM & army chief on same page
    In Pakistan’s history, military dictators have often decided their own tenures, be it Ayub Khan, Zia-ul-Haq or Pervez Musharraf. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was the first army chief to get an extension under a civilian government, but only after a tug of war between the civilian president and the military chief.

    But this time, the civilian and the military heads were on the ‘same page’ on General Bajwa’s extension. It was a historical first for a prime minister in Pakistan wanting to give an extension to the army chief to assure his own political survival, as he hangs on to power by a thin majority cobbled together for him by the army chief and his team.

    Sources close to Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), say that General Bajwa’s extension became a matter of discussion right after the party came to power.

    And according to senior journalist Talat Hussain, by March this year, the question was not whether the extension would be given, but for how long.

    The General’s hubris
    Yet, it wasn’t as linear and straightforward as it may seem now.

    Many believed that General Bajwa to an extent was also dependent on Imran Khan. After all, Khan now possessed the ultimate power – he could choose not to extend the General’s tenure.

    And the dynamics of this power equation played out interestingly over the last few months.

    So, opposition leaders, bureaucrats, and several other people were placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) and charged with corruption, and put away in prison awaiting trial. Many of them had never criticised and resisted the ‘miltablishment’ nor were they caught in its crosshairs. In fact, many of them are even known to be close to the military.

    So, what went wrong?

    I called up one such person who had ended up on the ECL with ‘trumped up’ corruption charges despite having cordial relations with the military. How did this happen? I asked.

    I found his response entirely unbelievable: “Gul, things are not linear. It’s a game of give and take (between military and the PM)”.

    Imran Khan was getting to be the playground bully and punching above his weight, being vindictive with the opposition or whoever came in his way, because he held the key to General Bajwa’s extension.

    It would be entirely reasonable to ask why the Pakistan Army chief would be so desperate to please Khan to ensure his own extension when he could easily get rid of the puppet and put another less demanding yes man in his place and get the extension.

    The answer to that lies in the General’s hubris to prove that his choice of Prime Minister is right – to change him so soon would be an admission of a huge blunder. It’s another matter that all the key positions in the Imran Khan cabinet have now been taken over by military’s men and women.

    Puppet and the puppeteer
    According to the commonly held belief, with General Bajwa getting a three-year extension and Lt Gen Faiz Hameed being appointed as the ISI chief (he is tipped to be the next army chief), Imran Khan is set to rule for two terms easily.

    But I contend ‘ye hava kisi ki nahi’ (this wind belongs to none) – the wind is a metaphor for military loyalty. If Imran Khan is unable to deliver, or if the military takes fancy to another politician-in-the-making, it will replace him before he gets a chance to say ‘what’.

    The more important question here is not how long the political puppet will last, but how long will be the political tenure of the puppeteer.

    Months before his retirement, the 21-gun salute to the Pakistani General in the US signalled Trump administration’s support for an extension. The US President has clearly put his eggs in General Bajwa’s basket to provide his country a face-saving exit from Afghanistan.

    The UK also appears to have bought Bajwa’s pitch, hook, line, and sinker despite history advising against it.

    What remains to be seen is whether the General has the will or the capacity to actually deliver on the wild promises he made to the US and the UK that helped bolster his bid for longevity.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  14. #374
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    New ISI chief Faiz Hameed a manipulator picked by army chief Bajwa to be his master’s voice - AYESHA SIDDIQA

    The Pakistan Army’s strategic intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, got a new chief this week, Lt General Faiz Hameed, making the world wonder what has he done to deserve the position. Or what will now be the fate of one of the most talked about intelligence agencies in the world.

    Lt Gen. Faiz Hameed, the new Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, has raised eyebrows not due to his appointment but because he replaced Lt Gen. Asim Munir, who was appointed just eight months ago. This creates an impression that Faiz Hameed brings more to his boss’s table than his immediate predecessor. The change has ensured for him the title of being ‘his master’s voice’ and the fact that this will have an impact on the politics inside the organisation for the short to medium term.

    There were times during Pakistan’s life as a frontline state for the United States when every new army chief would make observers wonder if the new man in was religiously conservative or had liberal tendencies. Notwithstanding that such line of questioning was incorrect, it was inspired by the idea that the army chief during the 1980s, Zia-ul-Haq, had changed the mood of the army. Using Zia-ul-Haq as a cultural-organisational milestone diverted observers away from the reality that the army, like a good armed bureaucracy, may change its outlook depending on the top boss but would remain focused on its strategic goals.

    Thus, a new head of the ISI will not or cannot tamper with its strategic goals. He will not interact with the jihadis on his own or eliminate them because he doesn’t agree with the idea. However, his relationship with the army chief, the ISI and the rest of the army will have an impact on his ability to perform. We know that the former head of the ISI, Lt Gen. (retd) Shamsur Rahman Kallu was outwitted by his organisation and kept out of the information loop because his organisation did not trust him. Kallu was appointed to the position by then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who used her powers to appoint the ISI chief to bring in her own man and replace the hawkish Lt Gen. Hamid Gul.

    Past & present, in Bajwa’s company
    Lt Gen. Faiz Hameed’s relationship with Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa date back to the early to mid-2010s, when the former was a brigadier and posted as Chief of Staff at the Rawalpindi based 10th Corps where Bajwa was the field commander officer. Both Bajwa and Hameed belong to the Baluch regiment. Subsequently, Hameed was promoted as major general and sent to 16th infantry division at Pannu Aqil, which experts believe belie the fact that he was viewed by the army under Raheel Sharif as an average officer who was not given the better 12, 11, and 10 infantry divisions at the same station.

    After completing the command of a division, which is one of the prerequisites of for promotion to the rank of a three-star appointment, Hameed was brought back to Rawalpindi. But Qamar Bajwa, who had taken over the command of the army by then, brought his own man to head the ‘C’ wing of the ISI responsible for counter-intelligence, which means a hand on the political pulse of Pakistan and on the organisational pulse of its army. Indeed, Hameed grew so powerful in that position that many viewed him as the main man running the ISI and not Lt Gen. Naveed Mukhtar, who served as the DG ISI from December 2016 to October 2018. However, Hameed couldn’t be made the head as he was still short of a third star, which he earned in April 2019 and was posted as the Adjutant-General. This is another powerful position within the GHQ hierarchy, especially in terms of contact with the army chief.

    General Hameed could have continued as Adjutant-General had Bajwa not gotten restless and brought him back to the ISI — this time as the top boss of the spy agency to replace Lt Gen. Asim Munir, who has been shunted off to a less illustrious position as the Corps Commander Gujranwala. The shift will certainly leave a mark on the relationship between the army’s spy organisation, Military Intelligence – which is where Asim Munir had come from – and the ISI.

    Not so average ambitions
    Faiz Hameed may be counted as an average officer but he is certainly a man with above average personal ambitions. A three-year stint at the ISI means he would have his hand on the organisational pulse to ensure that he remains in the run for the position of the army chief in the future, depending on when Bajwa decides to doff his uniform. Bajwa’s influence leaped further last week when he was included as a member in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s newly created body for Pakistan’s economic revival – the National Development Council. Though many observers claim that Bajwa will retire from his position of army chief in November this year, Bajwa himself had voiced his intent to stay on for at least another year to his counterparts in the United Kingdom during a visit in October 2018.

    Sources claim that Faiz Hameed qualifies to be in the run if Bajwa gets either a one-year or a three-year extension. In fact, many say that Faiz Hameed has ensured that when it is the turn for his name to be considered, Asim Munir would not qualify for the same due to some critical, though minor, manipulation of his service record. Meanwhile, he will serve his boss in the army, carefully monitoring the impact that an extension may have on the organisation and its corporate ethos. Bajwa’s staying on will have an effect on the careers of 24 lieutenant generals and numerous major generals. The domino effect of Bajwa’s decision will enhance the internal pressure inside the organisation. The level of resentment and the fallback will have to be calculated and minimised.

    General Bajwa seems to be consistently working on his image as a man with a grand plan to create a new country with a cleaner system of governance. In a recent corps commander’s conference, General Bajwa thundered: ‘mein kisi ko nahin chhorun ga’ (I will not spare anyone). The issue here is not just the ‘corrupt’ civilian, which is how the popular narrative goes, but also men in uniform. Bajwa recently sentenced a three-star lieutenant general to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment and death to a one-star brigadier and a scientist for leaking the country’s nuclear secrets for money. This, in an army that has tried to insulate itself from corruption allegations through instituting an extensive system of perks and privileges for its men, especially the higher echelons. The story of Lt Gen. (retd) Javed Iqbal and Retired Brigadier Raja Rizwan speaks of the breaking down of the business-as-usual method.

    A death sentence to its officers is certainly a rarity, which may have become imperative considering that Raja Rizwan is accused of sharing secrets with India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW). The Lt Gen., on the other hand, was possibly linked with the US effort to locate Pakistan’s strategic assets, particularly after Washington DC grew fearful of militants succeeding in hurting the strategic chain-of-command for decision-making. There was resentment in the military, especially the segments considered as the ‘deep state’, regarding Gen Pervez Musharraf’s closeness with the Americans. The metallurgist responsible for building Pakistan’s nuclear enrichment program, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan recently filed a petition in the Lahore High Court accusing Musharraf of colluding with the US in forcing him to publicly take responsibility for selling nuclear secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

    Reading this news along with the earlier one indicates the worry that there are elements within the Pakistan Army that may be involved in trading secrets with foreign agencies. There are reports of over a dozen officers being investigated in relation with the earlier-mentioned case. Chief Qamar Bajwa could always build a case for securing his own institution against irresponsible behaviour.

    PTI, the important task
    Lt. General Faiz Hameed is certainly no Asad Durrani or Hamid Gul. At best, he is what General Ahmed Shuja Pasha was for his boss, General Kiyani. More than military matters, Faiz Hameed’s greater worth lies in domestic political manipulation, something that he has already proven to do. The role he played in building the 2017 protest of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) to weaken the Nawaz Sharif government, and later manipulating a peace deal with the Barelvi militants, was criticised by the Supreme Court. As the head of ISI, Faiz Hameed would ensure that the new political mechanism namely the PTI survives, and the political influence of the opposition parties is managed well, especially at a time when the risk to Prime Minister Imran Khan can become formidable due to economic pressures the public faces.

    One of Lt Gen. Faiz Hameed’s important tasks would be to ensure that the political pot doesn’t boil over into the streets. This would call for management of resources within the political party system, and generating sufficient amount of fear in the larger civil society to curb any popular political movement emerging, especially in Punjab. According to one keen observer of Pakistan’s security, there will certainly be more news of ‘mysterious deaths’ in the country.

    The other significant players with whom the new ISI chief would have to keep the conversation going are the jihadi groups that are under pressure because of the nature of geo-politics at the moment. While the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a current reality, conditions could change in case of an Iran-US conflagration. Obviously, in those circumstances, the situation will change not just for the jihadis but for the Pakistan military in general. For the moment, Faiz Hameed is in good company with the interior minister, Brigadier (retd) Ijaz Shah, who has links with all kinds of jihadis – from al-Qaida and Lashkar-e-Taiba to Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Taliban – to keep the conversation with the militants going.

    Perhaps, the biggest impact of this appointment will be on the future of Pakistan Army as an institution. If indeed the purpose is to build up and ensure prolongation of General Bajwa’s career, as was done by his predecessor General Kiyani, it points to a shift in the organisational ethos. With every army chief considering himself indispensable, the only result is the eventual weakening of the organisation.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  15. #375
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    You post a lot from twitter can you link the screen shot to the actual tweet as i do? It makes getting to the tweet easier for every one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    ^ I will post some articles that PA's planning for attacks on India is already done. They want mass casualties in Kashmir, and then would highlight it as Kashmiri violence against the Indian state.
    Kashmiri violence on the Indian state isn't as powerful as Indian state violence on Kashmiris.

    A tet is out. An intifada takes too long and requires coordination

    A tianamen or jallian walla bagh however....some way to provoke the state and force an error.

    Mass rallies or demonstrations, then fire some shots and get the police or solders to fire into the crowd. Have cameras ready. Easier said than done perhaps.

    Best way to turn a non communal agitation into one in India is to portray Indian state violence on Kashmiris. Then the opposition will have a go at the govt and others as well. Govt is on the defensive. Helps getting others to condemn India as well.

    This is a bigger bonus than attacking India via proxies which everybody knows comes from there.

    Why do something we are expecting, they should be doing something we don't expect.

    Now what can that be.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 25 Aug 19, at 01:23.

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