Sunday, August 18, 2019

Imran Khan Continues Tirade Against Modi Government, Says 'India Captured By Hindu Supremacist Ideology'


Hitting out at the Narendra Modi-led government over the Kashmir issue, the Pakistan PM said that India has been captured by a “fascist, racist Hindu supremacist ideology and leadership”.

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has been venting out his ire against the Narendra Modi-led government since the abrogation of Article 370, on Sunday launched a fresh attack at the Central government in a series of tweets.

Slamming his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi over the Kashmir issue, the Pakistan PM said that India has been captured by a “fascist, racist, Hindu supremacist ideology and leadership”.

“India has been captured, as Germany had been captured by Nazis, by a fascist, racist Hindu Supremacist ideology & leadership,” he wrote on Twitter.

Asserting that RSS ideology is inspired by that of Nazi's, the Pakistan PM tweeted, “One can simply Google to understand the link between the Nazi ideology & ethnic cleansing & genocide ideology of the RSS-BJP Founding Fathers.”

Mounting his attack, Khan said, “Already 4m Indian Muslims face detention camps & cancellation of citizenship. World must take note as this genie is out of the bottle & the doctrine of hate & genocide, with RSS goons on the rampage, will spread unless the international community acts now to stop it.”

He also warned the international community of threat from India's nuclear arsenal, which, according to him, is in the control of the "fascist, and Hindu supremacist Modi Government".

“The World must also seriously consider the safety & security of India's nuclear arsenal in the control of the fascist, racist Hindu Supremacist Modi Govt. This is an issue that impacts not just the region but the world,” he said in another tweet.

Earlier this month, Khan had said that the ideology of the PM Modi-led ruling government will lead to suppression of Muslims in India.

The Pakistan PM also alleged that the "curfew, crackdown and impending genocide of Kashmiris" is an "attempt is to change demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing."

“I am afraid this RSS ideology of Hindu Supremacy, like the Nazi Aryan Supremacy, will not stop; instead it will lead to suppression of Muslims in India & eventually lead to targeting of Pakistan. The Hindu Supremacists version of Hitler's Lebensraum,” Khan had said in a tweet.

Ever since Prime Minister Modi-led government has revoked Article 370 and bifurcated J&K into two union territories -- J&K and Ladakh, Pakistan has been approaching several foreign countries and international communities seeking their support and intervention in Kashmir issue. Besides China, no country extended support or agreed to mediate between India and Pakistan on the "bilateral" issue.

Recently, Pakistan had sought United Nations General-Secretary, Antonio Guterres' intervention in the matter, however, he rejected to mediate between New Delhi and Islamabad, citing the Simla Agreement that prohibits third-party intervention in Kashmir issue.


India Will Hold Talks With Pakistan Only On PoK: Defence Minister


Speaking at a rally in Haryana’s Panchkula, the defence minister further said that dialogue with Pakistan will only take place if it stops sponsoring and nurturing terrorism. Rajnath slammed Pakistan for seeking the intervention of foreign countries and United Nations on Kashmir

Panchkula: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday hit out at Pakistan for seeking the intervention of foreign countries and United Nations on Kashmir and said that India would now hold bilateral talks with the neighbouring country only on Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK). 

Speaking at a rally in Haryana’s Panchkula, the defence minister further said that dialogue with Pakistan will only take place if it stops sponsoring and nurturing terrorism.

“Article 370 was abrogated in J&K for its development. Our neighbour is knocking doors of international community saying India made a mistake. Talks with Pakistan will be held only if it stops supporting terror. If talks are held with Pakistan it will now be on PoK,” Singh said, clearly rejecting any future possibility of talks with Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir.
“Few days ago, prime minister of Pakistan said that India is planning to take an action bigger than Balakot. It means that Pakistan PM acknowledges what India did in Balakot,” he added.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government revoked Article 370 and bifurcated J&K into two union territories. Following the developments, Pakistan reached out to several countries and international bodies requesting them to mediate on the Kashmir issue.

On Friday, the UNSC held a closed-door meeting over Kashmir issue after Pakistan and China called for a discussion over India’s move to abrogate Article 370. The meeting that took place for the first in over 50 years to discuss Kashmir issue, however, concluded without any outcome or statement from the council.

After the UN meeting, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin had said that matters related to Article 370 of the Constitution are entirely an internal matter of India and these have no external ramifications.

"India remains committed to ensure that the situation in Kashmir remains calm and peaceful. We are committed to all the agreements that we have signed on this issue. We note that there are some who try to project an alarmist approach to the situation, which is far from the ground realities,” he had said while briefing the media after the meeting.

"Of particular concern is that one state is using terminology of jihad and promoting violence in India, including by their leaders. Violence is no solution to the problems that all of us face,” he added.

Earlier, the United Nations General-Secretary, Antonio Guterres had rejected Pakistan’s request to mediate on Kashmir issue, citing the Shimla Agreement that prohibits third-party intervention in Kashmir issue.

According to the agreement, also known as 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

Source>>

Brave Woman Indian Journalist Earns Praise For Retrieving Torn Tricolour From Cowardly Pakistani Protesters In UK


The Independence Day celebrations by the Indian diaspora in London was disrupted by Pakistani protesters, who pelted stones and eggs on Indians gathered outside the embassy building. Indian journo snatches tri-colour from Pak man, earns praise. The journalist, identified as Poonam Joshi, said she couldn’t withstand what was taking place and decided to take quick action

Poonam added that she has covered many protests in her career but never before had she witnessed such ugly and disrespectful behaviour by protesters

An Indian journalist has earned immense praise for standing up against a Pakistani’s despicable act of vandalising the Tricolour during a protest outside the Indian High Commission in London.

The incident, which took place on August 15, saw a young Khalistani supporter making his way into where a group of Indians stood. He then managed to grab the Tricolour and threw it over to the Pakistan side before returning to his own group.

Here’s the video:
A video, which has now gone viral, showed another Pakistani man mutilating the Indian flag and challenging Indians to retrieve it. While the security present at the location turned a blind eye to the despicable act, an ANI journalist crossed over to the Pakistani side, snatched the Tricolour from the man’s hands and brought it back to the Indian side. The heroic act was caught on camera and shared on Twitter.

“Journalist Poonam Joshi covering for ANI the #IndianIndependenceDay celebrations outside Indian High Commission in London, where Pro-Pak & Pro-Khalistan protests were also underway, snatches 2 torn parts of tri-colour from Khalistan supporters who had seized it from Indians,” news agency ANI wrote on Twitter.

The journalist, identified as Poonam Joshi, said she couldn’t withstand what was taking place and decided to take quick action.

“As I was standing outside the police cordon, I instinctively ran over to the Pakistani side, grabbed the first part of the flag off the floor and the second part from the other man's hands,” Poonam was quoted as saying by ANI.

Poonam added that she has covered many protests in her career but never before had she witnessed such ugly and disrespectful behaviour by protesters.

The Independence Day celebrations by the Indian diaspora in London was disrupted by Pakistani protesters, who pelted stones and eggs on Indians gathered outside the embassy building. After the incident, London Police arrested four people and confiscated a foot-long dagger from one of them.


After Fresh Incidents of Violence And Protests, Restrictions Reimposed In Parts of Srinagar


Restrictions were eased in 35 police station areas of the Valley while 17 telephone exchanges, out of the total 96, were made functional, J&K Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal had said on Saturday. Reports of protests and incidents of violence in certain areas led to the re-imposition of restrictions. Restrictions were imposed in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the abrogation of Article 370. The government said that it will lift restrictions in J&K in a phased manner

Srinagar: A day after restrictions were lifted in several areas of Kashmir, fresh curbs have been reimposed in some parts of the Valley after reported incidents of violence.

On Saturday, restrictions that were imposed in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the abrogation of Article 370 were eased in some parts of the Valley. Landline services and 2G internet services were also restored in several areas of the city yesterday.

However, reports of protests and incidents of violence in certain areas led to the reimposition of restrictions.

According to officials, the protests took place at around a dozen places in which several protesters were injured, news agency PTI reported. The number of injured people is not known yet, they added.

On Saturday, J&K Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal had said the restrictions were eased in 35 police station areas of the Valley while 17 telephone exchanges, out of the total 96, have been made functional. 

"The process of providing relaxation and easing out of restrictions is already in progress. Relaxation has been provided in 35 police station areas across the length and breadth of the Valley and so far, there are no reports of any untoward incident. The public transport is plying and we have encouraging reports of a lot of public movement," said Kansal. 

"The endeavour is to make at least half of the exchanges in the Valley functional by today evening and by tomorrow evening, all of the exchanges, barring few in the vulnerable areas, would be made functional," he added. 

However, later in the evening, clashes broke out between groups of youth and security forces in several places, leading to the re-imposition of the curbs.

Protests took place at six places in the Valley in which eight persons suffered injuries, Kansal said on Saturday evening.

The government had earlier said that it will lift restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in a phased and gradual manner. The restrictions were placed in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 that granted special status to the state. 

"Keeping in view the evolving situation and cooperation of people, we are now taking measures to ease the restrictions in a gradual calibrated manner after the reports that today's (Friday's) prayers have gone quite peacefully. There would be easing of restrictions in the next few days in an orderly manner and restriction on movement would be removed area by area," news agency ANI had quoted J&K Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam as saying.


Appointment of CDS Will Boost India’s National Security And Power Projection Capabilities


CDS will be a stepping stone to remaking how India aggregates its manpower, deploys its firepower, allocates its funds and prioritises its long-term security goals

by Sreeram Chaulia

While the entrenched tradition of bureaucratic stasis and pettiness will not vanish overnight, Modi’s momentous decision to form the CDS is a welcome top-down blow to vested interests.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day announcement to create a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for improving coordination among the army, navy and air force is a historic boost to India’s national security and power projection capabilities. It is a long-due reform of higher military management in the larger national interest, and a forward-looking step for India to keep abreast of international trends in defence modernisation.

The idea of CDS had been mooted decades ago in India, but it was stymied by bureaucracy and narrow, self-interested objections of stakeholders. Anxieties of individual service chiefs about losing turfs to their peers, and cussedness of civilian officials who feared transfer of influence to a single “Super General” had held India back. While the entrenched tradition of bureaucratic stasis and pettiness will not vanish overnight, Modi’s momentous decision to form the CDS is a welcome top-down blow to vested interests.

The advantages of a CDS are myriad. For India’s military to be more effective in combat and in deterring dynamic enemies, its forces must integrate and enmesh.

Inter-service rivalries over weapons acquisitions, budgets, deployment of hardware and tactics, and claims of relative credit for battlefield achievements have cost many countries, including India, dearly in both war and peacetime.

For example, infighting between India’s army and the air force during the 1999 Kargil war on attack helicopters and what role each wing should play in repelling Pakistani intruders caused critical delays that prolonged India’s eventual victory.

Residual tensions between the army’s Aviation Corps and the air force, and between the navy and the army over the meagre budgets allocated to the former, have dented India’s readiness to be competitive amid the advent of global military doctrines like “AirLand Battle” and “Air-Sea Battle”.

As Modi said, in today’s changed world and altered landscape of warfare, India cannot afford to think in fragmented ways. His reference was to how established powers around the planet have recognised the inadequacy of separate service commands and operational planning, and undertaken structural efforts towards fusion.

The US reworked its military command structure in 1986 by granting centralised power to its Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and forging interoperability, wherein each geographically organised command catering to a specific region of the world would include a mix of ground, naval, marine, air and special operations personnel.

China’s revolution in military affairs (RMA) concept has benefited from President Xi Jinping’s aggressive push to enhance “jointness” among the wings of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In 2016, Xi appointed China’s first ever Chief of the Joint Staff and scrapped the outmoded system of officers of land, air and naval branches reporting to their respective headquarters. Instead, he bundled them together under geographical theatre commands aimed at designated countries and threats. For example, China’s western command headquartered in Chengdu has an operational focus on India, Central Asia and Islamist terrorism.

Xi was inspired by the American model and it is evident that Modi has learnt from the Chinese model of reorganisation through top-down political will. The anomaly of India’s fragmented eastern commands of the army, navy and air force located far apart from each other in Kolkata, Visakhapatnam and Shillong respectively vis-à-vis a sharp and singular western command of China is glaring.

Now that CDS is a reality, Modi must plough ahead and pursue joint theatre commands. Individual branches of our military do have their own distinct sub-identities, sources of pride and philosophical characteristics. The task ahead is to retain those specialised attributes and affinities while bringing about a cultural and attitudinal shift in all the wings and civilian paraphernalia to serve the unified goal of securing India and carrying it to great power status.

CDS should be a stepping stone to remaking how India aggregates its manpower, deploys its firepower, allocates its funds, and prioritises its long term security goals. Thanks to Modi, the door to transformation is open.


Nuclear Rethink: A Change In India's Nuclear Doctrine Has Implications On Cost & War Strategy


A nuclear doctrine states how a nuclear weapon state would employ its nuclear weapons both during peace and war. After the 1998 nuclear test when India declared itself a nuclear weapon state, it also enunciated a doctrine of 'no first use' of nuclear weapons

by Harsh V Pant & Yogesh Joshi 

During his recent visit to Pokhran, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh argued that India's adherence to the principle of 'no first use' of nuclear weapons is not sacrosanct. As Singh stated to the media, "Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atalji's firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to 'no first use' doctrine. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances." Singh's comments, coming against the backdrop of recent Pakistani threats, have only intensified an already heated debate enveloping the future of India’s nuclear doctrine.

A nuclear doctrine states how a nuclear weapon state would employ its nuclear weapons both during peace and war. By communicating to the enemy its stated intentions and resolve, nuclear doctrines help states to establish deterrence vis-à-vis its adversary during peace and once deterrence fails, guides the state’s response during war. After the 1998 nuclear test when India declared itself a nuclear weapon state, it also enunciated a doctrine of 'no first use' of nuclear weapons. Put simply, Indian decision-makers categorically rejected the idea of initiating the use of nuclear weapons in any conflict scenario. India’s nuclear doctrine was purely retaliatory in nature. New Delhi would avail the nuclear option only in case it was attacked first. But once attacked, India’s response would be massive. Since then, for almost two decades, ‘no first use’ has remained a core organising principle of India’s nuclear deterrence.

Lately, however, the sanctity of 'no first use' has been called into question not only by strategic analysts but also high-ranking government officials. In 2016, then defence minister Manohar Parrikar raised doubts on India’s adherence to the policy of 'no first use' by saying that New Delhi cannot "bind itself" to 'no first use' for eternity. Whereas political leaders have tried to insert an element of ambivalence into India’s nuclear doctrine, retired government officials have been far more categorical.

Lt. Gen. BS Nagal, a former strategic forces commander, has been consistently arguing for revocation of the NFU pledge on the grounds that it allows Pakistan to take the initiative while restricting India’s options. Militarily, ‘no first use’ puts India in a disadvantageous position. Amb. Shivshankar Menon, former National Security Advisor, has written that India may have to resort to first use in case it has definitive information on Pakistan’s intent to launch first. Pakistan’s low nuclear thresholds and its policy of using its nuclear umbrella to foment sub-conventional conflict in India is the principle reason behind the debate around India’s ‘no first use’ policy.

The case to revoke the NFU pledge has also been made keeping in mind India’s other nuclear adversary: China. Given the increasing asymmetry of conventional military power between the two countries, some analysts believe that India should revoke its “no first use’ policy. Where India’s fails to deter China conventionally, it should leverage its nuclear capability.

Yet, revoking the NFU would have its own costs. First, India’s image as a responsible nuclear power is central to its nuclear diplomacy. Nuclear restraint has allowed New Delhi to get accepted in the global mainstream. From being a nuclear pariah for most of the Cold War, within a decade of Pokhran 2, it has been accepted in the global nuclear order. It is now a member of most of the technology denial regimes such as the Missile Technology Control regime and the Wassenaar Arrangement. It is also actively pursuing full membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Revoking the ‘no first use’ pledge would harm India’s nuclear image worldwide.

Parting away with NFU would also be costly otherwise. A purely retaliatory nuclear use is easier to operationalise. Nuclear preemption is a costly policy as it requires massive investment not only in weapons and delivery systems but also intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) infrastructure. The latest estimates of India’s nuclear weapons by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists point to a small arsenal of 130-150 nuclear warheads even though it has enough military grade plutonium to produce 200 warheads.

In fact, when compared with the estimates a decade earlier of 70 nuclear warheads, there has only been a modest increase in India’s nuclear inventory. If India does opt for first use of nuclear weapons and given that it has two nuclear adversaries, it would require a far bigger inventory of nuclear weapons particularly as eliminating adversaries’ nuclear capabilities would require targeting of its nuclear assets involving multiple warheads. The controversy around the supposed low yield of its Hydrogen weapon test in 1998 further complicates this already precarious calculation.

Similarly, first use of nuclear weapons would require a massive increase in India’s nuclear delivery capabilities. There is yet no evidence suggesting that India’s missile production has increased dramatically in recent times. Moreover, India is yet to induct the Multiple Reentry Vehicle (MRV) technology in its missiles, which is fundamental to eliminating hardened nuclear targets. Finally, India’s ISR capabilities would have to be augmented to such a level where India is confident of taking out most of its adversary’s arsenal. According to a senior officer who had served in the Strategic Forces command, this is nearly an “impossible task”. Finally, India would have to alter significantly its nuclear alerting routine. India’s operational plans for its nuclear forces involve a four-stage process. Nuclear alerting would start at the first hints of a crisis where decision-makers foresee possible military escalation. This would entail assembly of nuclear warheads and trigger mechanisms into nuclear weapons. The second stage involves dispersal of weapons and delivery systems to pre-determined launch positions. The third stage would involve mating of weapons with delivery platforms.

The last and final stage devolves the control of nuclear weapons from the scientific enclave to the military for their eventual use. Canisterisation of missiles has combined the dispersal and mating of weapons into a single step, cutting down the effort required for achieving operational readiness. Even then, this model does not support first use of nuclear weapons as it gives ample warning to the adversary of India’s intentions. There is certainly a need for a reappraisal of India’s nuclear doctrine.

All doctrines need periodic reviews and India’s case is no exception. Given how rapidly India’s strategic environment is evolving, it is imperative to think clearly about all matters strategic. But if Indian policymakers do indeed feel the need to review the nation’s nuclear doctrine, they should be cognisant of the costs involved in so doing. A sound policy debate can only ensue if the costs and benefits of a purported policy shift are discussed and debated widely.


Kashmir A Nuclear Flashpoint: Pakistan Army Spokesman Asif Ghafoor


Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said India could review its nuclear no first use policy. The UN Security Council on Friday said India and Pakistan should sort out their differences bilaterally

New Delhi: Pakistan army spokesman Asif Ghafoor on Saturday described Kashmir as a “nuclear flashpoint", a day after defence minister Rajnath Singh said India could review its nuclear no first use policy.

Ghafoor’s comment, quoted by news reports, could be seen as another attempt by Pakistan to internationalise the Kashmir dispute between the two countries and invite offers of mediation. Western nations have always been wary of tensions flaring up between the two countries that have nuclear weapons.

Ghafoor’s comments also come after the UN Security Council on Friday said India and Pakistan should sort out their differences bilaterally after closed-door consultations. This came after China sought the meeting on Pakistan’s behalf after India revoked a provision in its constitution giving special status to Kashmir.

In his remarks on Saturday, Ghafoor also said Pakistan was ready to repulse any Indian attack, the news reports said.

On Friday, during a visit to Pokhran, defence minister Rajnath Singh said, "Till today, our nuclear policy is 'No First Use'. What happens in future depends on the circumstances," media reports said quoting the minister who was at an event in Pokhran, the site of India’s nuclear tests in 1998.

The comments followed heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after the Indian government revoked Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan had condemned the move.

In a tweet, Rajnath Singh added, "Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of 'No First Use’. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances."


Donald Trump Reiterates Importance of India, Pakistan ‘Direct Dialogue’


In response to a question from a reporter, President Trump had made the offer during Prime Minister Khan’s White House visit in July, saying even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate -- a claim that was swiftly and summarily denied by New Delhi

US President Donald Trump on Friday finally put to rest a controversy he had stirred himself by telling Prime Minister Imran Khan in a phone call that Pakistan and India should reduce tensions over Jammu and Kashmir through a “bilateral dialogue”. There was no reference to his earlier offer to mediate.

In response to a question from a reporter, President Trump had made the offer during Prime Minister Khan’s White House visit in July, saying even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate -- a claim that was swiftly and summarily denied by New Delhi, which also reiterated that the Kashmir dispute can only be resolved bilaterally, and only after Pakistan stopped supporting terrorism. Trump repeated the offer in response to a question from reporters a few days later.

Both the White House and the state department had sought to walk back that offer, but ever so delicately so as to not appear to be contradicting or reversing the president. So there was no change in the US position that the Kashmir dispute must be resolved through “direct dialogue” between India and Pakistan, and that the United States stood ready to assist.

Trump has reversed himself now.

“The President conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through bilateral dialogue regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said in a statement on the phone call.

Earlier this month, India nullified Article 30 and Article 35 A of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and reserved benefits such as government employment and property ownership for people deemed to be permanent residents of the state. Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union territories -- J&K and Ladakh.

The two leaders also discussed “how they will continue to build on the growing relationship between the United States and Pakistan and the momentum created during their recent meeting at the White House”, he added.

There was no reference to the mediation offer in the readout, and it could not be immediately ascertained if the Pakistani leader had brought it up or not, because Khan has, in fact, sought to build on Trump’s earlier offer and has publicly called upon him to proceed on his suggestion.

Details of Khan’s conversation with Trump were first made public by Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who said, according to state-run Radio Pakistan, “Prime Minister Khan conveyed Pakistan’s concern on recent developments in Kashmir and the threat they pose to the regional peace.” Qureshi went on to say Khan had also called leaders of other United Nations Security Council (UNSC) permanent members.

The effort was clearly aimed at pushing Pakistan’s request to the UN and the UNSC, in letters from Qureshi, to call for an open and formal meeting of the Security Council to discuss Pakistan’s grievances on Kashmir developments. Pakistan had also sought to be allowed to address the body.

Backed only by China, Pakistan got only closed-door informal consultations, which are not recorded and reported. And are not aired live. And it also did not get a chance to address the members.

Neither Indian nor Pakistani officials were present at the consultations.


Nothing Scares Pakistanis More Than The Possibility That India Could Succeed And Pakistan Fail




The core problem is that if India becomes a mighty economic superpower and Pakistan remains a bankrupt nuclear power, then the whole exercise of breaking India to make a nation for the ‘pure’ could become meaningless.

There is nothing that the military men next door would like more than to see the Indian economy collapse once more into that socialist sluggishness that kept us behind Pakistan right up to the end of the Licence Raj.

Some years ago when relations with Pakistan were in a good season, the Indian cricket team went on tour to the Islamic Republic. When they played in Lahore, many Indian cricket fans crossed the border to lend the team support. The Indian economy in those days was bursting with animal spirits. So among these fans were Indian industrialists who descended in private jets. A Pakistani friend said later that it was when they saw those private jets arrive that they first realised how far ahead of Pakistan the Indian economy had gone. It was good to see, she added, that it was not just Arab billionaires who were having all the fun. But, I knew from the way she said this that actually most Pakistanis were not happy about this.

As someone who knows Pakistan well, I learned long ago that nothing frightens Pakistanis more than the possibility that India could succeed and Pakistan fail. It may seem from Imran Khan’s recent rantings about the ‘fascist, Hindu Supremacist Modi government’ that it is Kashmir that Pakistanis care about more than anything. This is not true. Kashmir is not the ‘core problem’ between India and Pakistan as military men and jihadists next door like to say. The core problem is that if India becomes a mighty economic superpower and Pakistan remains a bankrupt nuclear power, then the whole exercise of breaking India to make a nation for the ‘pure’ could become meaningless.

India is already stronger economically, but we would have been much, much stronger if we had not reverted to economic policies that seek to redistribute wealth without first creating it. This is why for me the most important point that the Prime Minister made in his Independence Day speech was his tribute to India’s ‘wealth creators’. They are ‘the wealth of the country’, he said. True. And, they have been treated like criminals by regulators and tax inspectors who have been emboldened because of the search for ‘black money’ getting more importance than the creation of wealth.

The Prime Minister is now showing signs that he has noticed why the economy is in gloomy mode. He gave his first interview after winning his second term to a financial newspaper last week and said, “I want to motivate our industrialists to believe in the India story and in the long-term potential of the Indian market… I reassure all honest and law-abiding businesses of all possible support from our end.” There is a catch in the latter part of this message that he would do well to think about. The officials who adjudicate on which businessmen are ‘honest’ are often dishonest, greedy extortionists who revel in harassing people who create wealth.

This is why we have seen businessmen publicly humiliated. They like to arrest people at airports. They like to conduct tax raids with TV reporters following their every move. What seems to add spice to their jobs is the fifteen minutes of fame they get from being momentarily in the public eye. This is probably why they never investigate why black money exists in the first place. If they did, they would quickly discover that at the root of it lie bad laws, asphyxiating red tape and intrusive regulations. Since the Prime Minister has now made it clear that he respects the men who create India’s wealth, it could be time for him to set up a task force in his own office to examine these things.

India has the capacity to become the richest country in the world if the business of doing business is left to businessmen. When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was prime minister, he unleashed the private sector and it was in that happy time that those private jets landed at Lahore airport, making Pakistanis nervous about what us infidels were up to. When they saw that it was prosperity that we were in search of, the planning for 26/11 began. It is no accident that it was Mumbai that was attacked and that Hafiz Saeed’s jihadists were sent to attack the Oberoi and the Taj. No accident that they had orders to target foreign tourists.

There is nothing that the military men next door would like more than to see the Indian economy collapse once more into that socialist sluggishness that kept us behind Pakistan right up to the end of the Licence Raj. I remember that when I first went to Lahore in 1980 I was stunned by how prosperous it looked compared to Delhi. At the height of those bleak socialist days, our capital city was defined by those bhavans at the foot of Raisina Hill. In their smelly, ugly corridors, officials beavered away at making India a place in which no businessmen would want to invest and no tourists would want to come. Those were times that were the exact opposite of ‘Achche Din’.


India Studying Early Chinese Proposals On Boundary Issue


National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is evaluating the “early harvest” proposals sent by Beijing to build trust between the two sides ahead of the meeting

Senior Chinese diplomats said Beijing was very serious about getting the longstanding boundary issues with both India and Bhutan out of the way.

The 22nd round of the India-China Special Representatives dialogue on the boundary issue will take place in New Delhi in mid-September. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is evaluating the “early harvest” proposals sent by Beijing to build trust between the two sides ahead of the meeting.

Dates for the meeting between Doval and Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi, the interlocutors, haven’t yet been finalised, Hindustan Times learns from Chinese and Indian diplomats.

The foreign ministers dialogue on August 11-13 in Beijing and the Special Representative talks are precursors to the October 11-12 informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in India for which Varanasi is being considered as the potential venue.

Senior Chinese diplomats said Beijing was very serious about getting the longstanding boundary issues with both India and Bhutan out of the way, and that Wang had sent “early harvest” proposals to India.

Neither side is willing to share the contents of the proposals. However, Beijing, as indicated by HT’s conversations with Chinese diplomats, is showing no signs of changing any positions with New Delhi, be it India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) or full political support to its “all weather ally” Pakistan.

The trust factor between the two sides has also taken a hit after China, joined by the United Kingdom, still living in its imperial past, supported Pakistan in the informal United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Monday against the Narendra Modi government’s decision to nullify Article 370 and Article 35 A of the Indian Constitution pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir.

The overall sense from the UNSC meeting was that both countries were hopelessly outnumbered and outmanoeuvred in their quest for a formal outcome by the remaining 13 members led by the US and France.

In his meeting this month in Beijing with State Councillor Wang, who is also foreign minister, external affairs minister S Jaishankar had made it very clear that both countries should be sensitive to each other’s core concerns. “If Beijing wants India to support One China that includes Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, then it also must support One India,” said a top official.

Indian diplomats based in the US said the latest Chinese move in support of Pakistan on Kashmir will lead to a cooling of ties; Article 370 and Article 35 A have nothing to do with beaching either the UN Charter or the 1972 Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan, they say. Despite Chinese diplomats vehemently denying it, Beijing wants to play elder brother to South Asia as the dominant power in the region and will support Pakistan for its own economic and strategic interests.

In the circumstances, mutual trust between the two countries can only be built if President Xi, or Xi Dada (elder brother as he is called), can overrule the status quoists in Beijing and opt for a mutually beneficial and mutually acceptable solution to the long-pending dispute over the boundary.


India Keeping An Eye On Su-57 Jets As Russia Displays Its Export Version At MAKS-2019 Air Show


In what may provide the Indian Air Force with another option to procure latest fighter jets, Russia will present the export versions of its latest fifth-generation Su-57E fighter jets at the MAKS-2019 air show.

Along with the Su-57 fighter jets, the IL-112VE light military transport aircraft will also be put on display at the aforementioned air show. The Indian Air Force which currently has a shortage of fighter jets squadron might just be keen to have a look at these latest multi-purpose fighters developed by Rosoboronexport. 

Alexander Mikheev, the CEO of the manufacturer stated that all the necessary documents required to export Su-57E are ready and the fighter jets could be readily attained by foreign buyers. The MAKS-2019 air show will be hosted by Moscow from August 27 to September 1. 

What Does The Su-57E Have To Offer? 

The Sukhoi Su-57 is a modern-day beast with stealth capabilities. It is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation fighter jet being developed since 2002 for attaining air superiority over enemies.

The design has been deliberated upon keeping in mind features like super-cruise, super manoeuvrability and stealth. The aircraft is expected to have a service life of around 35 years and will replace Su-27 and MiG-29 in the Russian Air Force after the development program is officially completed. 

Russia has already offered India to enter into a defence partnership for the co-development of Sukhoi Su-57 fighters. India which was initially a part of this co-development program had withdrawn from the joint venture in 2018 after Russia refused to share the source code of the jet’s mission software and flight systems. Will India reconsider its position on this being made time and again by Russia?


Reliance-Saudi Aramco Deal A Heartache For Pakistan


The billion-dollar deal between Reliance Industries Ltd and state-run Saudi Aramco on Monday came as a heartache to Pakistan which has been seeking the support of foreign powers, including Riyadh, over India's historic move to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir.

The deal came just days after New Delhi decided to revoke Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani Twitter users were quick to link the deal with the developments in Kashmir, with most calling out Saudi Arabia for getting into agreement with an Indian company.

"There is no brotherhood and No Religionism. Only Business Partners...!" one Pakistani wrote on Twitter.

"That's pathetic! Brothers don't back stab or join hands with the enemy. Shame on Saudi's!" another said.

Forging a new investment venture with the Reliance Industries Ltd., Saudi Aramco will invest 75 billion US dollars in the conglomerate and have 20 per cent stake in its oil to chemicals (O2C) business.

"That's a painful reality. Only if Saudi Arabia may just have given a hint to reconsider this investment to India in the backdrop her treatment to Muslims and Kashmir," said a disgruntled Pakistani Twitter user.

"In case anyone was wondering about #Saudi silence on #Kashmir," another user wrote.

"Special Friendship indeed," he added.

Recalling when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan drove Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his own limousine, the same Twitter user, added, "Driving the Prince from the airport not as cool as having a USD 75 billion company."

"Delhi's illegal actions in Kashmir", the "brotherly" Saudis go ahead with the "largest investment - USD 75 billion - in Indian history," taunted another Pakistani twitterer.

Tensions between India and Pakistan spiralled after the Indian Parliament on Tuesday passed a resolution to revoke Article 370 and a bill bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

Rattled by New Delhi's decisions, Islamabad "rejected" the move and said it will exercise "all possible options" to counter the steps.

Pakistan last week had also decided to downgrade bilateral ties with India and suspend all bilateral trade activities with the neighbouring country in the aftermath of the scrapping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Agencies

Ladakh To Welcome PM Modi, Amit Shah Soon : MP Namgyal, Promises Grand Celeberations


Ladakh: Buoyed by the Union Territory status granted to it recently, Ladakh is planning host a grand welcome for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the duo considered main architects of defanging Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and allowing the government to split Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories -J & K with legislature and Ladakh without it.

Speaking to ANI, Ladhak MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said, "We will invite Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah along with all those who have made possible the separate status for Ladakh."

The dates would be finalised only after confirmation from Prime Minister and Union Home Minister.

"We have waited 70 years for this moment and now we are planning a grand celebration for them. Let the Prime Minister and Home Minister give us dates, " said Namgyal.

Namgyal has been tasked by the party to reach out to the various communities and satiate their apprehensions about opening the region to the investors. In pursuance, he is extensively touring various areas and attending to the doubts of the leaders of the various communities, regarding their future and how it would be protected by the Union.

The MP stated that marathon meetings have been planned for allaying apprehensions like "takeover of land by outsiders" among other fears.

"I have been collecting feedback from various stakeholders. You can see those in the tourism sector have apprehension as to how they protect their business interests. But for a few sectors, people are concerned. IT sector, education field, Geo-thermal, herbal plants and solar are few fields that are unexplored, on which locals have not worked. So, if the investment is coming in these sectors should we accept it and most importantly what will be the terms of accepting it, " said the MP.

Ladakh was accorded a status of union territory by the parliament along with abrogation of article 370 in the recently concluded budget session of parliament.

However, there is some reservation among people of the region possibly due to which the government has so far delayed the investment summit in the region. Jammu and Kashmir that got status of UT the same day as that of Ladhak will be hosting investors summit from October 12 - October 14.

"Local stakeholders sentiments and aspirations are to be taken into consideration. One big concern is of ownership of land. Should it be given or not. But I have had interactions with them and locals have nothing to worry about. The right of land is with Autonomous Hill Council. We may give land on a lease basis. How much reservation will our locals get? What could be the percentage of royalty given to the council, " said Namgyal.

"We are having discussions on all these issues with the people. It will soon be finalised and a report on the same will be handed over to the government, " claims Namgyal.

Agencies

Chandrayaan-2 To Land On Lunar South Polar Region On Sept 7: ISRO


Chandrayaan-2 will explore a region of the moon where no mission has ever set foot. The spacecraft will be the first Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface

New Delhi: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday stated that India's indigenous moon mission - Chandrayaan-2 is on course to land on the lunar south polar region on September 7.

"Hello! This is Chandrayaan 2 with a special update. I wanted to let everyone back home know that it has been an amazing journey for me so far and I am on course to land on the lunar south polar region on 7th September. To know where I am and what I'm doing, stay tuned," read a post on the official Twitter handle of ISRO.

Chandrayaan-2 will explore a region of the moon where no mission has ever set foot. The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover together referred to as "composite body".

The spacecraft will be the first Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface. This mission will make India the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to carry out a soft landing on the moon.


Jingoism Over Nuclear Weapons Childish: National Herald

A Chinese supplied nuclear capable ballistic missile, trusting the author has taken note of this

Long after Cold War, nuclear deterrence is still based on MAD doctrine. This means that any debilitating 1st strike will be responded with massive retaliation, fear of which should instill good sense

by Mohan Guruswamy

It has been reported that the Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC), at a meeting chaired by the then defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has approved the “acceptance of necessity” (AoN) for the acquisition of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) worth around $1 billion from the United States. However, in 2002, the US had vetoed India’s bid to acquire the Israeli Arrow-2 missile interceptor system. Consequently, DRDO began developing the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD), which will provide long-range high-altitude ballistic missile interception during an incoming missile’s mid-course phase as well as interception during the terminal phase. At various times these systems had different monikers, like ballistic missile defence (BMD) or anti-ballistic missile system (ABM).

The people who decide on such things reside in New Delhi, and understandably their safety gets priority. So it is the NCR that will get the expensive and exaggerated sense of protection such systems tend to generate. But no air defence system can be deemed impenetrable. The Americans and Russians realised much before the Cold War ended that the costs involved will be prohibitive, even for them, and made a virtue of necessity. But the idea was seductive. Even as the Cold War was waning, Ronald Reagan toyed with the idea of a Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI), which envisaged an ABM system stationed deep in space, that would launch on picking up a launch. It seemed so far-fetched and futuristic that quite a few commentators took to calling it Star Wars.

This thought has been high on the minds of our security establishment ever since it learned that on May 26, 1990 China had tested a Pakistani derivative of its CHIC-4 design at the Lop Nor test site, with a yield in the 10 to 12 kiloton (kt) range. That yield estimate accords with recorded yields of Pakistan’s 1998 nuclear tests, which are somewhere between 5 kt and 12 kt. Refinements in boosting and efficient plutonium use are the normal next steps in weapon improvement, along with miniaturisation of warheads to fit into smaller and lighter re-entry vehicles. Pakistan has done all of these to arm its cruise and ballistic missiles with lighter payloads. Once India deploys the PAD system around its capital, we can be assured that Pakistan too will deploy an ABM around Islamabad. We can also rest assured that China will assist it in “developing” such a capability.

The International Panel on Fissile Materials has estimated that Pakistan has an inventory of approximately 3,100 kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and roughly 170 kg of weapons-grade plutonium. This is enough to potentially produce 200 to 300 warheads. Pakistan has also frequently tested the ranges of about a dozen Chinese-derived missiles from the Hatf (50 km) to Shaheen-III (2,750 km). There is little doubt that Pakistan has planned for all eventualities, from local battlefield use and to feed its desire to have a credible “Islamic” bomb capability, and for that its reach must include Tel Aviv.

Long after the Cold War ended, nuclear deterrence is still based on Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). This simply means that any sneak decapitating or debilitating first strike will be responded with massive retaliation, the fear of which should instill good sense. That after almost three quarters of a century when the nuclear genie was uncorked from the bottle, we have not had a nuclear war or weapon use is living proof of its robust common sense. So much so that when developments in ABM or BMD capability reached fruition, the two Cold War protagonists, the United States and the now-defunct Soviet Union, had a treaty restricting these systems. Ironically, this was even well before they had a treaty on reducing the number of nuclear bombs.

The MAD doctrine was made painfully credible by the development of nuclear arsenal survivability by widespread deployment (at the peak of the Cold War, America and Russia each had over 30,000 nuclear bombs). This credibility got its biggest boost when submarines, initially diesel and then nuclear-powered, capable of firing nuclear armed missiles (SSBN) from the impenetrable dark recesses of the oceans, were introduced. The first of these submarines was the Russian Zulu class submarine capable of firing from underwater an early Scud missile (1955). The Americans were the first to deploy a long endurance, deep diving and very silent nuclear-powered submarine — the George Washington — in 1959. Since then MAD was ensured by the highly accurate missiles in the bellies of such submarines operated by the US, Russian, British, French, Chinese and Indian navies. Pakistan too is now reportedly testing nuclear-capable missiles fired from underwater on modified diesel submarines.

We need to learn from how nuclear weapons strategies evolved during the Cold War, instead of mimicking US and Soviet follies. The notion of deterrence between the US and the USSR was based on no escape from MAD. The march of the Cold War follies peaked with the two protagonists together deploying almost 70,000 warheads each aimed at a specific target. At the height of this madness almost every open ground was targeted as possible tank marshalling or military logistics areas. The last thing we therefore want is getting into a numbers game with Pakistan or China. Credibility depends on reducing the uncertainty of use from the opposite perspective. The Indian PAD missile defence system only increases them. India and Pakistan have ensured a modicum of confidence by not mating the warheads and delivery systems, giving a vital period to roll back the unleashing of Armageddon. But now both nations will have to evolve a launch on warning doctrine.

Clearly, the two South Asian nuclear powers have a local version of MAD in place. The Pakistani doctrine “commits itself” to use battlefield nuclear weapons if an Indian conventional assault threatens its essential nationhood, and thus it has steadfastly refused to accept the “no first use” (NFU) notion. The Indian doctrine emphasises NFU, but also makes it explicit that any Pakistani use of nuclear weapons on India or its forces will be responded with massive retaliation. India may have fewer nuclear weapons, not because it cannot make more, but what it has is enough to ensure the complete annihilation of Pakistan, which is geographically too a much smaller country. China has moved on from NFU to a doctrine now called “credible minimum deterrence”. But how much is credible?

Mercifully, nuclear doctrines these days are couched in such abstractions as MAD that requires a degree of predictability, ironically ensured by opacity. The United States’ “single integrated operational plan” (SIOP) began with the ominous words that its objective, after the outbreak of a general war with the then Soviet Union, was to turn it into a “smoking radiating ruin”. It was written by its certifiable US Air Force chief, Gen. Curtis Lemay Jr, based on whom the character played by George C. Scott in the Stanley Kubrick classic Dr Strangelove was created. But it was people like Gen. Lemay who gave MAD some credibility. Since no one of a sane frame of mind would even contemplate the enormity of the disaster of a nuclear war, uncertainty of use was a key element of MAD. It has been written that Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev used to have sleepless nights thinking of a man like Richard Nixon with his finger on the button.

India’s nuclear strategy documents in detail as to who the nuclear command would devolve to in the unlikely event of a decapitating first strike on New Delhi with the aim of eliminating its national leadership. It is said the chain of nuclear command keeps descending downwards to a major-general, a modern-day Raja Parikshit so to say who will perform the final obsequies. At last count, India had over 600 military officers at that level. Decapitating all of them is a near statistical and physical impossibility. It will take tens of thousands to precision nuclear weapons to annihilate India’s military chain of command, and it can be speculated whether even America or Russia can achieve that, let alone Pakistan.

Ironically, the evocative acronym MAD doctrine is eminently sensible. Good sense should tell us that enough of this madness, and leave MAD alone!