16 January 2013

Pak savagery on the Line of Control in J&K

Date : 16 Jan , 2013 

An anti-terrorist post being manned by infantry soldiers in Doda District, J&K 

Pakistani troops crossed the Line of control ( LoC ) in the Poonch Sector of J and K and killed two India soldiers. It is not so much the killing but the savage act and heinous crime of mutilating the bodies of these soldiers, which has caused widespread indignation and outrage in India. There is nothing unusual for casualties to take place, on both sides of the L of C due to sporadic firing from either side. It is the crossing of the Loc and committing the brutal and un-soldierly act of mutilating the bodies and beheading one of our soldiers, that has created such uproar in India. 

Pakistan army had tremendous tactical advantage in the area, but Indians took the necessary steps to nullify that advantage and cater for such an eventuality. 

Such cowardly acts are normally the wont of Taliban. On all accounts, Pakistan army has been through a phase of Talibanisation. Shooting women, stoning them to death as a dispensation of justice is reprehensible practice followed by the bigoted and the savage. Whereas soldiering, is an honourable profession where gallantry and chivalry is the hallmark of a good army. It is also in the interest of discipline and good morale that the troops are required to conduct themselves in a dignified manner, both in peace and during operations. 

In the same sector, in early nineties, Pakistani troops crossed over the L of C and established a post in the upper part of Kirni village. A few days later, Pakistani troops were evicted from this post. While the enemy was thrown back, it left behind dead bodies of a soldier and an officer. Next day at a flag meeting at Poonch and in the presence of a few thousand civilians from both sides, the dead bodies were handed over to Pakistan military, observing complete religious rites and with full military honours. Because, for Indian army it is an article of faith that enemy dead must be honoured and the unarmed done no harm. Those who violate this code of conduct are hauled over the coals. 

After border killings, India says it can’t go back to ‘business as usual’ with Pakistan

Published: January 15 

NEW DELHI — Nine days after a fatal cross-border incident involving Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said ties between the two neighbors cannot be “business as usual” and described the reported beheading of an Indian soldier as “unacceptable.” 

Army officials say Pakistani troops crossed the border into Indian territory in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir and killed two Indian soldiers, mutilating the body of one and cutting off the head of the other. 

Pakistan has denied the accusation, which was levied by India two days after officials in Islamabad accused Indian soldiers of crossing the same border and killing a Pakistani soldier in an unprovoked attack.

In the wake of the incidents, the Indian government has come under huge political pressure to abandon the fragile talks the nuclear-armed neighbors have warily conducted over the past two years. Indian media are fanning the flames of outrage, even as one news report suggested that India has beheaded Pakistani corpses in the past.

“After this barbaric act, there cannot be business as usual. I hope Pakistan will realize its mistake,” Singh told reporters at a military function Tuesday. “Those responsible for this act will have to be brought to book. The future of the peace process depends on Pakistan taking appropriate steps.”

The mountainous region of Kashmir, over which India and Pakistan have fought two wars, has been relatively calm in the past year. But there have been several tit-for-tat violations of a cease-fire agreement along the border in recent months. 

In response, India says it has put on hold a new visa-on-arrival program for elderly Pakistani citizens that was negotiated by the two countries in September as part of confidence-building measures. 

A Level-Playing Field that Isn’t: How India’s Defence Offset Procedures Could Discriminate against Indian Bidders

January 15, 2013 

Indian industry stakeholders have long advocated the need for a level-playing field with foreign bidders in defence procurements. Important industry concerns in this regard include: customs duty differentials vis-à-vis excise and other taxes levied by States/Central Government that impact relative price competitiveness of Indian bidders; the relatively higher costs of technology acquisition by Indian bidders given the wide persistence of grants and cost-sharing R&D contracts among established players in other countries in the defence manufacturing sector; and many other tariff- and non-tariff-based commercial issues such as discriminatory export control regimes. 

Overall, various important provisions of India’s Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP-2008 and its later updates) appear to be unconcerned with domestic manufacturing possibilities: a position that is vastly different from those adopted among developed countries. For instance, the Unites States’ Federal Acquisition Regulation requires government contracts to be mandatorily set aside for domestic industry participation if such set-aside decisions enhance the domestic industrial base. In contrast, India’s DPP does not contain any such mandate, and treats categorisation of procurement cases into Buy(Global) or Buy(Indian)cases as a mere procedural formality, with no sensitivity analysis requirements as to how different SQR and categorisation combinations could differentially impact participation of Indian manufacturers for the platform under acquisition while still yielding acceptable results. 

One such obvious inequity that has existed since DPP-2008 was issued relates to indigenisation requirements imposed on Indian vendors, including their joint ventures, for being eligible for participation under “Buy(Global)” procurement cases, as compared to the relatively easier requirements levied on foreign bidders. For capital acquisition cases where the indicative value of procurement exceeds Rs. 300 crore, an offset obligation is imposed on foreign bidders under the DPP requiring them to make investments and/or product purchases where the value-addition requirement/ totals a minimum of 30 per cent of the value of the main procurement contract.1 It is unclear as to how this value-addition requirement can operate in the context of FDI by a foreign vendor into the equity of an Indian company, and it therefore appears that the maximum effective rate of value-addition requirement on foreign vendors is 30 per cent of the value of the main procurement contract. 

In addition, this offset obligation on foreign vendors is indirect, i.e., the value-addition need not necessarily be related to parts, components and sub-assemblies of the weapon platform under acquisition, but can be discharged in completely unrelated areas such as electronics and ground support equipment for some other category(ies) of defence/civil aerospace/internal security equipment or related services. This discharge of a vendor’s offset obligations can be staggered over the entire duration of the main procurement contract, since the offset contract is coterminous with the main contract,2 and the year-wise staggering is left to the complete discretion of the foreign vendor without any mandatory requirements of proportional discharge over the duration of the offset contract in sync with deliveries under the main contract. 

Kashmir border: Pakistan says India killed soldier

16 January 2013

Pakistan's military has accused the Indian army of killing one of its soldiers with "unprovoked firing" in the disputed territory of Kashmir. 

A military statement said the "ceasefire violation" occurred along the Line of Control (LoC) in Hot Spring and Jandrot sectors. 

India has denied the allegation. 

Tensions have risen following deadly exchanges along the border last week, in which two Indian soldiers and two Pakistani soldiers died. 

The violence has plunged the neighbours into the worst crisis in relations since the Mumbai attacks of 2008, which were blamed on militants based in Pakistan. Both sides deny provoking last week's clashes. 

The Pakistani army's director of military operations will call his Indian counterpart and "protest strongly" about the latest incident, a statement issued by the army said. 

Pakistan said a soldier, identified as Naik Ashraf, was killed in "unprovoked" firing by Indian troops on Tuesday night. 

Indian army spokesman Col RK Palta told the Associated Press news agency that Pakistani troops had fired at Indian soldiers using small arms and mortars in the Poonch area. 

"Our troops didn't fire at all," he said. 'Barbaric act' 

Earlier on Tuesday, Indian PM Manmohan Singh said the killings of the Indian soldiers last week - one of whom India says was beheaded - was "unacceptable". 

"After this barbaric act, there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan," he said. "I hope Pakistan realises this. I hope Pakistan will bring the perpetrators to book." 

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said India was "war-mongering" and this was "detrimental to the peace process between the two countries". 

"It is deeply disturbing to hear statements which are upping the ante, where one politician is competing with the other to give a more hostile statement," Ms Khar was quoted as saying in New York by the AFP news agency. 

India: How Soft on Pakistan for Aman

Paper No. 5367 Dated 16-Jan-2013 

By Bhaskar Roy 

The gruesome killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops and beheading one of them along the line of control (LOC) on January 8 was a planned and calculated act. 

The reason is that killing of Indian soldiers by firing across the LOC would not lead to such outrage in India to threaten the peace talks between the two sides. It had to be a stomach churning incident. Almost all religions believe that the last rites of a person are not complete if the body is headless. To the family of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, who was beheaded, the situation has gone beyond the worst surrealistic nightmare. 

The Pakistani government reacted in an expected manner. There was total denial from Pakistani foreign minister Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar and the rest of the establishment. Even this was not surprising. But what was surprising was Ms. Rabbani’s emphatic declaration that an inquiry was conducted (and completed in less than twenty four hours!) and all proclaimed not guilty. The Pakistan government took a stiff if not hard line. Again, not surprising. Their military forces designed to counter enemy no.1, India, were put on alert. Trade across the LOC was shut down. The intention from the Pakistani side, at least from those who call the shots, is to ratchet up tensions. Why? 

Did the Indian army fall for a carefully laid trap by Pakistan? Beheading of Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops has happened before, but the Indian army kept the news under wraps. However, something gave way this time. 

Despite some domestic criticism, the Indian government has decided to keep steadfastly on the road to peace and amity with Pakistan. New Delhi froze certain talks with Pakistan following the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks. 

Gradually, the Indian government decided that “no talking” and holding to a rigid position was not going to resolve anything. Concessions to and accommodation for Pakistan began. India officially acknowledged that Pakistan too, was a target of terrorism. The fact that Pakistan was suffering at the hands of terrorists it had created, was swept under the carpet. 

Assessing Pakistan’s Transgression on the Line of Control

January 16, 2013 

On 8 January 2013, Pakistani soldiers came across the Line of Control (LoC) into Indian territory and ambushed a patrol, killing two soldiers. Unlike past instances of violations of the 2003 ceasefire agreement, which involved firing from across the LoC by Pakistan, this incident was more on the lines of a well planned operation by a Border Action Team (BAT). BATs are small groups of specialised troops, supported at times by terrorists, which target bodies of troops and isolated posts across the LoC. The aim of such actions is to create the fear of unknown, uncertainty and a defensive mindset, thereby gaining moral ascendancy. BAT operations are specialised in nature and need detailed planning, preparation and support since these are conducted in the close vicinity of enemy posts across the LoC. Pakistan’s 8 January action, besides being a ceasefire violation, also involved physical transgression of the LoC and the gruesome killing of two Indian Army soldiers, including the mutilation of bodies and carrying away of the head of one as a trophy. The incident came two days after an exchange of fire between India and Pakistan in Uri sector. That was described as “Indian forces raided Pakistan’s ‘Sawan Patra’ security check-post”, resulting in the death of one soldier.1 However, given that planning and preparation are required for any BAT action, even as the Pakistani operation inside Indian territory was aimed at regaining moral ascendancy in the sector, a number of other factors indicate the linkage of the incident with the larger aim of using Kashmir as a domestic and diplomatic tool. 

Expectedly, the Pakistani establishment termed the accusation of killing Indian soldiers across the LoC as “baseless and unfounded”.2 This follows past Pakistani attempts of describing regular army intrusions and operations on Indian soil either as the handiwork of “irregulars”, “Kashmiri freedom fighters” or “mujahideen”.3 The series of lies perpetuated after the Kargil conflict, including disowning soldiers belonging to the Northern Light Infantry (NLI) battalions and mutilation of the body of Captain Saurabh Kalia, exposes the credibility of Pakistani statements.4

In order to understand the series of incidents on the LoC in the last few weeks, it is important to assess the circumstances in which the incident occurred. 
Assessment of Incident 

First, the description of the incident as a terrorist-led or- planned operation can only appeal to those who are unfamiliar with both the capabilities and modus operandi of the so called “mujahideen”. The information available through the media indicates that this was not a chance encounter. It was a planned operation, clearly with the aim of disturbing the status quo and raising temperatures on the LoC. 

Powerful Car Bomb Explodes Outside Afghan Intelligence Agency

Published: January 16, 2013 

KABUL, Afghanistan — Suicide bombers riding in minivans struck the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence agency Wednesday, detonating a powerful car bomb and raising questions about how insurgents could pull off such a bold attack in one of the most heavily guarded areas of the city. 

S. Sabawoon/European Pressphoto Agency 

A man who was injured in a bomb attack targeting the Afghan intelligence agency headquarters in Kabul on Wednesday. 

The explosion went off around noon at one of the gates of the National Directorate of Security, and could be heard for miles around the site. The attack, which was followed by sporadic gunfire, was believed to have claimed several lives and left dozens injured, though officials have not confirmed any numbers. Injured victims were seen staggering down the street, many covered in blood, after the attack. 

Sadiq Sadiqi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said that six insurgents mounted the attack from minibuses, with the first bus exploding in front of the gate of the agency. The second vehicle, which contained five armed fighters, was stopped by NDS guards at the gate before it could be detonated and all the insurgents were killed, Mr. Sidiqi said. 

The Taliban later claimed it was responsible for the attack. 

Karzai: Afghan security will not be compromised when US leaves

By Alexandra Zavis 
Los Angeles Times 
Published: January 15, 2013 

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai passes and reviews U.S. troops as he is welcomed to the Pentagon on Jan. 10, 2013. 

Glenn Fawcett/Department of Defense 

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday sought to reassure an anxious public that security will not be compromised when the bulk of U.S. forces leave next year, saying the country needs American aid, not troops , to fight the Taliban.

Karzai said he expects the U.S. to continue training, equipping and paying salaries for Afghan national security forces

“Afghanistan will be more secure after the foreigners leave,” Karzai said at a news conference in Kabul. “We do need foreign assistance, but we don’t need the presence of their troops.”

Karzai’s comments did not convince critics who contend that he returned from three days of meetings in Washington last week largely empty-handed.

“He cannot afford to tell the truth,” said Daoud Sultanzoy, a Kabul-based political analyst. “The truth is that when ... that many troops leave, the economy of this country will be affected, the security of this country will be affected.”

President Barack Obama’s announcement Friday that the timeline for Afghan security forces to take lead responsibility for safeguarding the country has been moved forward to the spring has aggravated concerns in Afghanistan about whether the national army and police are up to the job.

Obama has pledged to bring home nearly all 66,000 U.S. troops by the end of 2014.

Shukria Barakzai, a member of the Afghan parliament’s defense committee, said she was hoping for more specifics on the kind of military equipment and backing that will be provided to the national security forces.

“I believe Karzai went with a list” of requirements, she said.

Karzai said U.S. commitments include providing 500 vehicles, 20 helicopters, four C-130 transport aircraft and drones for intelligence gathering.

Suicide bombers target Afghan intelligence agency

The AFPAK Channel

By Jennifer Rowland 
January 16, 2013

Coordinated attack

Suicide bombers in minivans packed with explosives attacked the headquarters of the Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Wednesday (NYT, Reuters). Initial reports on the death toll indicate the explosion killed at least two NDS guards and wounded 22 others.

Afghan Defense Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi said Tuesday that he believes the United States "will not leave Afghanistan alone," and will remain invested in Afghanistan's security, not making the same mistake made in the 1980s, "in which they forgot Afghanistan" (AP). Mohammadi had accompanied President Hamid Karzai on his recent trip to Washington for talks with U.S. officials on the future of cooperation between their two nations.

Violence continues

Pakistan accused Indian soldiers of firing across the Line of Control in the divided Kashmir region on Tuesday and killing a Pakistani soldier, marking the fifth deadly clash between the armed forces of the two countries in the region in a week (BBC, NYT). Just hours before that purported attack, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said there cannot be "business as usual" with Pakistan after the skirmishes (which each country has blamed on the other). And speaking from New York, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar accused India "warmongering" (AJE).

A new visa policy that would allow elderly Pakistanis to receive visas to India upon arrival at the border has been shut down, and nine Pakistani hockey players who were supposed to play in a private league in India have been sent back to Pakistan (Reuters, AP).

An estimated 3,000 people gathered in front of the home of the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Peshawar on Wednesday to protest the killing of 18 villagers in an overnight raid they say was conducted by Pakistani security forces (AP). But one Pakistani security official in the area said the villagers had been killed by militants.

-- Jennifer Rowland

Pakistan: Countering Militancy in PATA


Islamabad/Brussels, 15 January 2013: To overcome the security challenges and curb extremism in Pakistan’s Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA), its national and provincial leaderships should reclaim the political space ceded to the military. 

Pakistan: Countering Militancy in PATA, International Crisis Group’s latest report, assesses the impact of the military-led response to extremist violence on PATA’s security, society and economy. More than three years after military operations sought to oust Islamist extremists, the region remains extremely volatile. 

The military’s continued control over the governance and administration of the region and the state’s failure to equip the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) police with the tools they need to tackle extremist violence lies at the heart of security and governance challenges. 

“While the militants continue to present the main physical threat, the military’s poorly conceived counter-insurgency strategies and failure to restore responsive and accountable civilian administration are proving counter-productive”, says Samina Ahmed, Crisis Group’s South Asia Project Director. “Neither the federal nor the provincial government is fully addressing the security concerns of residents”. 

Although some serious efforts have been made to enhance police capacity, they remain largely insufficient, and the KPK force is still not properly trained or equipped and lacks accountability. The larger challenge remains the reform of the region’s complex legal framework, which makes upholding the rule of law a daunting task. 

While formally subject to Pakistan’s basic criminal and civil law and falling under the provincial KPK legislature, PATA is governed by various parallel legal systems that have isolated it from the rest of the province. Instead of reforming a legal system that undermines constitutional rights and the rule of law, the military has been vested with virtually unchecked powers of arrest and detention. Pressing humanitarian needs remain unmet because of continued instability and short-sighted military-dictated policies that include travel restrictions on foreigners and stringent requirements for domestic and international non-governmental organisations. 

Islamabad and Peshawar should end PATA’s isolation and fully integrate it into KPK, removing the region’s legislative and constitutional ambiguities and revoking all laws that undermine constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights. The military’s control over the security agenda, governance and security must be replaced by accountable, responsive civilian institutions. A deteriorating justice system needs to be strengthened and the police force given the lead in enforcing the law and bringing extremists to justice. 

“The state must restore the trust of PATA residents by convincing them of its sincerity, effectiveness and accountability”, says Paul Quinn-Judge, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. “Helping them to rebuild their lives and livelihoods, free of the fear of militancy, would go a long way toward inoculating them against extremism and should be at the heart of counter-terrorism strategy”. 

Black Cloud Over Beijing

By Monica Tan 
January 16, 2013 

Beijing— Air pollution in China's capital city reached record levels over the weekend. According to the U.S. Embassy twitter @BeijingAir, at 8pm on Saturday PM 2.5 readings surged to 886 µg/m3, exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency’s highest grading of "hazardous" which is anything between 301-500, and far beyond the level deemed acceptable by the World Health Organization, which is a 25 µg/m3 mean over a 24 hour period. 

The fact that many Chinese cities, not just Beijing, suffer terrible air pollution is common knowledge. And every day there are millions of people in the country who step out their door and see a heavy blanket of smog with their own two eyes. But how do you explain why the vast majority of these same citizens walk the streets, ride their bicycles and carry on their day without protection (such as an N95 face mask)? 

Seeing is different than understanding, and that is the critical shift we are slowly beginning to witness in China. 

It has never been easy to cloak the air pollution problem in China – unlike the host of other environmental concerns that are so easily exported out into the countryside. But until recently that public knowledge has been skin deep. Building a detailed picture of just how severe the pollution is and the impacts it is having on the country is a critical step for those trying to amass the momentum required to push for change. 

Last month Greenpeace, along with Peking University's School of Public Health, contributed to this public understanding of the country's air pollution problem with a new study that measures the human health and economic impact on China's largest cities. It found that last year an estimated 8,572 premature deaths in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi’an and Beijing could be linked to PM2.5 air pollution. And in the same period these cities suffered a combined total of U.S.$1.08 billion in economic loss. 

Back to Basics: Reenergizing Intelligence Operations

Journal Article | January 16, 2013

The most frustrating moment for the J2 occurs when the operations summary contains more useful intelligence-producing data than the official intelligence reporting. The common excuse, that the Counter Insurgency (COIN) environment moves too quickly and the real intel exists in the human terrain, acts like a soft landing for an unimaginative staff. The intelligence infrastructure stands idly by and watches it unfold in reporting as teams conduct discovery learning at every turn. 

Granted, nothing replaces the intimate knowledge of village idiosyncrasies like boots-on-the-ground presence and weeks of political courtships. There always exists a gap in knowledge until the teams share a cup of tea with a village elder. But all too often, our Special Operations Forces (SOF) teams responsible for Village Stability Operations (VSO) walked into unfamiliar areas with limited or worthless reporting guiding their operations. I know for sure it happens throughout the country. To a point, intelligence teams can better prepare the SOF operators for the inevitable expansion into unknown areas. Intelligence operations must find a way to get out ahead of the fight. 

Our J2 team, at the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A), created a comprehensive intelligence support package that increased baseline knowledge for VSO future operations. This paper outlines our tested methods and shows how a developed Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) plan serves as a conceptual playbook for intelligence support to any planned operation. With Priority Intelligence Requirements (PIR) accurately reflecting the commander’s decision points and focus, a sustainable and candid four dimensional multi-INT collection plan, and means for discovery of consumable intelligence products, this outlined method for intelligence support to VSO expansion proves that intelligence still drives some operational decisions in a COIN fight. 

[Figure 1: Intimacy and depth of knowledge. The teams maintain the depth of knowledge for the VSP, while the CJSOTF maintains the breadth of knowledge across the SOTFs.] 

The Problem Set 

Multiple articles, and even some YouTube videos, describe VSO quite accurately. Captain Rory Hanlin’s 2011 article best describes the lines of effort, difficulties and specific examples of a team’s actions. “The VSO methodology is a bottom up approach that employs USSOF teams and partnered units embedded with villagers in order to establish security and to support and promote socio-economic development and good governance.” While CPT Hanlin stresses that his team’s approach represents the specific nature of the villages he encountered, the paper accurately reflects the concept of VSO country-wide.[1]

FP Exclusive: Did Assad cross a red line by using chemical weapons? Israeli analyst: it’s more likely a form of tear gas; Hagel, on his way; Panetta to the Pope: “pray for me”; Jakes is back at Hack n’ Flack and a little more.

JANUARY 16, 2013 

Did Assad use chemical weapons last month? An American cable from U.S. diplomats in Turkey says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad likely used chemical weapons against his own people Dec. 23 in the city of Homs. The Cable's Josh Rogin reports that American diplomats in Turkey conducted a previously undisclosed, intensive investigation into claims that Assad used chemical weapons and made what an Obama administration official who reviewed the cable called a "compelling case" that Assad's military forces had indeed used a deadly form of poison gas. The cable was signed by the U.S. consul general in Istanbul, Scott Frederic Kilner, and sent to the State Department in Washington last week. The story was picked up by The New York Times and other sites. 

Kilner's report detailed the conclusions of a series of interviews with activists, doctors, and defectors in what Rogin was told by an administration official was one of the most comprehensive efforts by the American government to investigate claims by internal Syrian sources. The interviews included one from a defector named Mustafa al-Sheikh, who was once a major general in Assad's army and a key official in the Syrian military's WMD program. Rogin reported that the symptoms seen in Homs match the effects of Agent 15, a CX-level incapacitating agent. Two doctors who were on the scene Dec. 23 in Homns whom Rogin interviewed said it may or may not have been Agent 15, but it was definitely a chemical weapon, not tear gas. 

An Obama administration official to The Cable: "We can't definitively say 100 percent, but Syrian contacts made a compelling case that Agent 15 was used in Homs on Dec. 23." 

But the White House and Pentagon dismissed the report, responding based on the similar talking points: "Media reports regarding alleged chemical weapons incidents in Syria have not been consistent with what we believe to be true about the Syrian chemical weapons program. The Secretary of Defense has said that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, or fails to meet its obligation to secure them, they will be held accountable," the Pentagon's Lt. Col. Steve Warren told Situation Report. 

Israeli analyst Ely Karmon told Situation Report that he does not believe that Assad used chemical weapons in the incident described by the American cable. "Perhaps he used some stronger tear gas," Karmon said, adding that in certain conditions such gas can be fatal. Karmon is a senior research scholar at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. He lectures on terrorism and teaches a course on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear terrorism and serves as an adviser to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. 

Japan Breaks Through Ceiling of Self-Imposed Pacifism

Paper 5368 Dated 16-Jan-2013 

By Dr. Subhash Kapila 

“A resurgent Asian nation (Japan) has elevated hawkish nationalists to the pinnacle of power. Its maritime conflicts with neighbors raise the risk of military confrontation along key corridors of world trade. Memories of past national greatness infuse officials with determination to compete for regional leadership. The country’s re-emergence could rewrite the geopolitical map of Asia,” 

“Tokyo has worked creatively to forge new strategic relationships that could reshape its region. The emerging debate over national identity will drive the country’ evolution from pacifism toward a more assertive regional posture”--------Richard Fontaine and Dan Twining in ‘The Wall Street Journal’ December 2012. 

Japan today is in a resurgent mode as 2013 sets in, prodded not by United States strategic pivot to Asia but by China’s military brinkmanship and military provocations impinging heavily and directly on Japan’s much valued ‘National Sense of Honour’. The Samurai which went somnolent after 1945 has finally risen and taken the call for a more resurgent regional role against the backdrop of rising military aggressiveness and brinkmanship of China. The first steps, not shaky or hesitant, but deliberate and graduated in response, have been taken by Japan to break through ceiling of self-imposed pacifism. 

The regional strategic and security landscape in East Asia is set for a definitive transformation along with its ripple effects on the Asian strategic setting as a whole. In the last decade one has constantly maintained that Japan’ discard of self-imposed pacifism was inevitable when viewed against the backdrop of the evolving Chinese military might and its military aggressiveness. It was also maintained that this policy transformation would also arise from Japan’s increasing strategic consciousness that it would have to cater in its strategic formulations that Japan ultimately would have to stand militarily strong on its own self-reliant capabilities rather than on United States-provided security crutches. 

Japan’s resurgence and breaking through its self-imposed pacifism needs to be analysed from the political and military perspectives as manifestations of resurgent transformation are found in both these fields. Japan was so far being held in a pacifist straitjacket by political factors rather than a lack of self- reliant military capabilities provided by advanced indigenous defence R&D and production infrastructure. It was also being held back by strong pressures within successive United States policy establishments goaded by two strategic misgivings centered on US appeasement policies towards China and US fears that military revivalism of Japan needed to be capped. 

Water:Towards a Paradigm Shift in the Twelfth Plan

Vol - XLVIII No. 03, January 19, 2013 | Mihir Shah

The Twelfth Plan proposes a fundamental change in the principles, approach and strategies of water management in India. This paradigm shift was the outcome of a new and inclusive process of plan formulation, which saw the coming together of practitioners and professionals from government, academia, industry and civil society to draft the Plan.

Wait and watch forever

Wed Jan 16 2013 

A small stream snaking through the Haji Peer pass serves as the Line of Control at Silikote village in Uri sector. And four layers of barbed wire are the only barrier between Indian and Pakistani soldiers on either side of the LoC. 

A ceasefire in November 2003 had brought years of silence to the forward posts along the 980-km Line of Control from Poonch to point NJ 9842 in Ladakh. The silence lasted until October last year, when it was broken by firing and mortar shelling in Churunda village. Since then, the ceasefire has been violated frequently in the Uri and Poonch sectors, the latter only 40 km from Silikote village. 

And it has made the always vigilant soldiers warier than ever. From fortified stone and steel bunkers, men in olive, who hail from various states, keep an eye on Pakistan’s bunkers along the Haji Peer pass. The jawans in the Silikote bunkers are particularly alert, because it is from the Pakistani bunkers here that Indian pickets in Churunda, as well as those in Silikote itself, have been targeted with 82 mm and 60 mm mortars and machine fire. 

Earlier this year, three civilians were killed when Pakistani soldiers targeted Indian pickets at Churunda village. “Whenever firing starts on the LoC, an alert is sounded across all bunkers,” says Lieutenant Anees-ur-Rehman of Manipur, who was commissioned into the Army only three months ago. “It is always they who start the firing; we retaliate,” he adds. 

The young officer’s duties have been hectic since his posting here, either leading preventive missions by night, heading patrols by day, or going through training sessions with jawans. “Our duty hours are 24×7,” says Rehman, while preparing for a preventive night ambush with a group of jawans. “Laying a night ambush is a daily activity on the LoC to prevent infiltration. It is sort of an adventure and yet tough on a jawan or an officer, who has to stay put at one place for eight to 12 hours without making a sound.” 

An insensitive political class

Public anger at the decline of governance
by G Parthasarathy

While the world celebrated the advent of the New Year and firecrackers lit the skies, people across India heaved a sigh of relief that the year 2012 had finally ended. The last year was marked by a declining economic growth rate, continuing high inflation, anger at growing corruption and a gang rape in Delhi that shamed the country, for being insensitive to the safety and security of women. More importantly, what irked people most was the belief that they were being ruled by a government and a political class, insensitive to their aspirations and concerns on corruption, inflation and the growing crimes against women. The credibility of the political class was not enhanced by the fact that 162 Members of Parliament face criminal charges, including two charged with sexual assault and abuse.

While public anger at the decline in the standards of governance grew, India saw a decline in its own international standing as a fast-growing, “emerging” economy. There was considerable international attention focused on corruption scandals like “Coalgate”. But, India had to face the ignominy, for the first time in its history, of a virtual censure by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who condemned violence against women and called for “steps and reforms to deter such crimes and bring perpetrators to justice”. This was all the more agonising as it came for an individual who had lived three years in India and has an Indian son-in-law. The New York Times described India as a country “which basks in its growing success as a business and technological Mecca, but tolerates shocking abuses of women”. But, the most telling comment came from Pakistan’s “Braveheart,” the 15 year old Malala Yousufzai. Alluding to the suffering of the victim, Malala remarked: “The rapists dumped her on the road. The Government dumped her in Singapore. What’s the difference?”

The year 2012 also saw the lustre of being an “emerging economic powerhouse” that India had assiduously built up over the last decade, fade. In June last year, Moody’s scaled down its forecast of India’s economic growth to 5.5% as against 6.5% in the last fiscal year. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh responded by saying: “I am hopeful we will do better than the 6.5% growth performance of last year”. With the RBI forecasting a growth of less than 6%, even the most optimistic today will acknowledge that growth this year is going to be well below last year. 

More importantly, those who look at the economic scene in India are convinced that with elections due in 2014, the government will return to its propensity for fiscal profligacy, with schemes like food security, and that it will not be able to reach its target of reducing the fiscal deficit. On December 11, international ratings agency Standard and Poor’s warned that India still faced a one in three chance of a downgrade of its sovereign rating to “junk grade” in the next 24 months, citing its high fiscal deficit and debt burden.

Hear the silence of our human rights activists

15 Jan 2013 

Maoists plant explosives in the abdomen of CRPF jawans and put them to brutal death. But the regular band of bleeding hearts that cries out when the state targets Red terrorists, has not squeaked a word in protest now 

Above the sound of gunfire and improvised explosive devices was the deafening silence of the human rights industry. Binayak Sen, Arundhati Roy, Mahasweta Devi et al, quick to berate Government for alleged atrocities against Maoist marauders, did not squeak when Maoists in Jharkhand planted IEDs in the bodies of two CRPF jawans last week; 17 persons including 12 jawans lost their lives in the operation in the Latehar district forests. 

Two issues are pertinent in this regard. First, Jharkhand Director General of Police has said that the Maoists are receiving support from outside India. Second, the connection between mineral wealth and the Maoist or Red Corridor can no longer be ignored. In Latehar district alone, there are 20 coal blocks, eight of which are in the private sector. 

The situation calls for deep introspection. In Africa, countries have been torn apart by rebel militias that have seized control of rich mines by terrorising the countryside; they are exceedingly well- armed and have links with international corporations. In India, Maoists thrive in the mineral-rich districts of Odisha (15), Jharkhand (14), Bihar (7), Andhra Pradesh (10), Chhattisgarh (10), Madhya Pradesh (8), Maharashtra (2) and West Bengal (1). According to conservative estimates, they extort over Rs14 billion from these districts annually. 

Human rights activist Suhas Chakma warns that Maoists acquire huge amounts of explosive substances and detonators from mining companies and pose a major threat to the country. In a presentation to the parliamentary Standing Committee on Coal and Steel in 2011, he said the security forces recovered 1,50,940kg of ammonium nitrate explosives, 60,511 detonators, 8,000 rings for grenade making and 1,964kgs of gelatin and 1,918 gelatin sticks from Maoists between January 2009 to September 2010. In the same period, security forces say the Maoists snatched 54,500kgs of explosives. These figures are only indicative. 

It is pertinent that all these explosives are issued from Government factories to various licencees. The easy access to explosives has enormously empowered the Maoists in recent years; they no longer need to confront security forces but can simply plant mines through detonators obtained from the mining industry. In large swathes of Maoist-affected districts, the writ of the Indian State is confined to fortified camps of the security forces. 

But in these same districts, mining companies operate successfully. Possibly Maoists force the mining companies to handover/provide explosives to them. The flip side — which deserves investigation — is that Maoists help the companies engage in illegal mining (beyond the licensed area) by keeping locals and snoopy officials at bay. 

Water:Towards a Paradigm Shift in the Twelfth Plan Vol - XLVIII No. 03

January 19, 2013

The Twelfth Plan proposes a fundamental change in the principles, approach and strategies of water management in India. This paradigm shift was the outcome of a new and inclusive process of plan formulation, which saw the coming together of practitioners and professionals from government, academia, industry and civil society to draft the Plan.


NRIs are demanding more accountability from the Indian State 
Diplomacy K.P. Nayar 

Three things stood out at the eleventh Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Kochi last week, the first to be held in Kerala where 44 out of 100 households have a non-resident Indian in its fold, according to statistics compiled by the state. Perhaps the most significant of the three notable aspects of the 2013 version of the annual gathering of overseas Indians is that the country’s networking with its pravasis is rapidly becoming decentralized: states are vigorously wooing their non-residents and are no longer leaving the job of engaging pravasis exclusively to the ministry of external affairs or even to the ministry of overseas Indian affairs, the designated organization at the Centre for dealing with Indians abroad. 

It did not, therefore, come as a surprise that a session in Kochi, which featured chief ministers, had to be called off. There was a time when such a session used to be the highlight of the entire three-day proceedings of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. NRIs used to run after their respective chief ministers for a word or a nod, but no more. It is the other way round now: states like Punjab and Gujarat routinely have their own programmes to draw pravasis from their respective states. 

That these separate programmes take place on the margins of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and are dependent on the coat-tails of the ministry of overseas Indian affairs to attract them all the way to India and to provide the institutional framework for their participation is proof that what started more than a decade ago as a ragtag gathering of favour-seekers from faraway lands, or overseas Indians looking for photo opportunities with leaders back home, has evolved into an enduring institution that is mutually beneficial for India and its sons and daughters who have adopted foreign countries as their homes. 

The second feature of this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was that it represented grassroots democracy in action. At a half-day session devoted to “NRIs in the Gulf”, which preceded the formal opening of the proceedings by the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, a number of Kerala ministers handling key portfolios interacted intensely with migrants to the Gulf, mostly Keralites, on their day-to-day problems. 

Green Books, red herring and the LoC war

Published: January 16, 2013 T 
Praveen Swami 

Photo: PTI FOCUS: India must become aware that a more muscular response to Pakistani aggression on the LoC will come with a price that probably isn’t worth paying. The picture is of commanders of the Indian and Pakistani Armies at a flag meeting in Poonch recently. 

Pakistan’s military literature makes clear that its generals are seeking to provoke a crisis. India is pushing itself into their trap 

Late one night in the summer of 2009, four improvised 107-millimetre rockets arced over the Pul Kanjari border outpost in Punjab, and exploded in the fields outside the village of Attari. For the first time since the war of 1971, there was an attack across the India-Pakistan border. In September that year, four more rockets were fired; then, in January 2010, there was a third assault. 

Now, as Indian and Pakistani troops trade fire along the Line of Control (LoC), it is more important than ever to understand the significance of those events. The rocket attacks, believed to have been carried out by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, represented a glimpse into a grim future that India’s policy of strategic restraint has been designed to avert — a war of attrition waged by jihadists that would turn India’s western frontiers into a kind of nuclear-fuelled Lebanon. 

Ever since January 2008, two months after General Pervez Ashfaq Kayani took over as chief of the Pakistan Army, clashes along the LoC have escalated. India reported 28 ceasefire violations in 2009, 44 in 2010, 60 in 2011, and 117 last year. The traditional explanation — that these clashes are linked to terrorist infiltration across the LoC — borne out by the data: during this period, Jammu and Kashmir has become significantly less violent, not more. 

New doctrine 

Pakistan’s military literature provides some insight into what is going on. The country’s generals, it shows, hope heightened tensions with India will help rebuild their legitimacy, extricate themselves from a domestic insurgency they are losing, and push jihadist groups now ranged against the Pakistani state to turn their energies eastwards. India, driven by a barrage of ill-conceived war polemic, is pushing itself into this trap. 

The cleric and the cricketer Rafia Zakaria

Published: January 16, 2013

AP APPEARANCES: Tahir-ul-Qadri seems to have evaded all usual categories that have exhausted and enraged Pakistanis. Supporters of Tahir-ul-Qadri at a meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday. 

AP Imran Khan at a rally in Mianwali, north Pakistan. File Photo 

Tahir-ul-Qadri could well be called Imran Khan with better timing, a beard and a more religiously appealing resume 

Whether or not the neatly bearded cleric commanding the crowds in Islamabad will succeed in toppling the flailing Zardari government may not be known, but he has undoubtedly been blessed by the benevolence of good timing. The week before Allama Tahir-ul-Qadri began to gather his supporters for the march on Islamabad was bloody even by Pakistan’s recent death smeared standards. On January 10, 2013, the Wednesday before the march, two bomb blasts ripped through the embattled city of Quetta killing over a hundred of the city’s beleaguered Shia Hazara minority. North of Islamabad, in the town of Swabi, another bomb blew up a seminary killing another 20. In the south in Karachi, in the shadow of a 2012 that saw over 2,000 killed in targeted attacks of varied origin, a single hour of the same day saw 11 shot dead outside a homeopathic hospital. Two days in Pakistan and over 200 killed. And those were the extraordinary troubles, the ravages that came atop the fuel strikes in Karachi that routinely paralyse millions of commuters, the natural gas shortages in Punjab that prevent hordes from cooking their evening meals, the measles epidemic sucking life out of hundreds of children in Sindh and scores of health workers felled by the Taliban. 

Pakistan: Countering Militancy in PATA

Asia Report
15 Jan 2013 


Pakistan’s Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA), which include Swat and six neighbouring districts and areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KPK), remains volatile more than three years after military operations sought to oust Islamist extremists. Militant groups such as the Sunni extremist Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) and its Pakistani Taliban-linked Fazlullah faction are no longer as powerful in Swat and other parts of PATA as they were in 2008 and early 2009, but their leaders and foot soldiers remain at large, regularly attacking security personnel and civilians. If this once dynamic region is to stabilise, PATA’s governance, security and economic revival must become a top priority for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led government in Islamabad and the Awami National Party (ANP)-led government in Peshawar – and for their successors following the next general elections. 

While the militants continue to present the main physical threat, the military’s poorly conceived counter-insurgency strategies, heavy-handed methods and failure to restore responsive and accountable civilian administration and policing are proving counter-productive, aggravating public resentment and widening the gulf between PATA’s citizens and the state. Meanwhile neither the federal nor the KPK provincial government is fully addressing the security concerns of residents. 

Public and political support for action against the TNSM and allied Pakistani Taliban networks in Swat and its neighbouring districts remains strong, demonstrated by the outrage against the 9 October 2012 attack by Mullah Fazlullah’s Taliban faction on Malala Yousafzai, a Swat-based fourteen-year-old activist for girls’ right to education. That attack has also further eroded public confidence in the military’s claims of having dismantled the insurgency and underscores the grave security challenges that PATA’s residents face. 

The military’s continued control over the security agenda, governance and administration in PATA and the state’s failure to equip KPK’s police force with the tools and authority it needs to tackle extremist violence lie at the heart of the security and governance challenges. Some serious efforts have been made to enhance police capacity, functioning and presence on the streets, including by increasing the size of the force and the number of police stations, particularly in Swat. However, they are insufficient. The KPK police should be properly trained, equipped, and accountable. Islamabad and Peshawar, KPK’s provincial capital, need to abolish parallel law enforcement entities such as Levies, dismantle state-supported tribal lashkars (militias) and give KPK’s police the lead in enforcing the law and bringing extremists to justice.