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Hollywood Games In China

April 21, 2013 14 comments

Just like Shashi Tharoor was well-grounded in the West, son @ishaantharoor is learning how to push Western interests..

Po, the Panda confronts Shen the despotic  ruler of Gongmen city.

Po, the Panda confronts Shen the despotic ruler of Gongmen city.

Before we get to the main story, let us have the basics out of the way.

Back To Basics

What is India’s national bird? Peacock.

Where does the panda come from? China.

Which country was the world’s largest producer of gunpowder elements till 100 years ago? India.

How did India take advantage of its gunpowder production  to wage war, conquer nations, enslave people and loot? The British did that.

What about India’s export of steel in medieval and colonial eras? India’s Wootz steel to global markets.

For how long has India ruled over China, Tibet, Iran in the last 2000 years? Nil.

America’s Story For China

In May-June 2011, Hollywood released a much anticipated sequel to a successful film. The original film had grossed more than US$25 million in China alone. The sequel was expected to do much more – and finally grossed nearly a US$100 million (official figure – US$91.5 million) in China. Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, (an American from Korea) the sequel was named the most successful film made by a woman.

In ancient China

Here is the storyline.

Despotic Peacock Prince Shen, of the benign Peacock clan returns from exile, usurps the throne. Despotic Peacock Prince Shen expands armament production, disrupting military balance based on hand-to-hand combat.

Despotic Peacock Prince Shen plans to turn fireworks into war materiel, manufacturing cannons. Despotic Peacock Prince Shen would like to make his Gongmen city kingdom into an imperial force, threatening Valley Of Peace, home of Po, the Panda. Despotic Peacock Prince Shen soon after usurping the kingdom, captured all the metal and made it into large cannons and guns.

The film – Kung Fu Panda-II.

One of the Top 3 films in China for 2011 – grossing nearly a US$100 million in China. Made by Spielberg’s Dreamworks, released by Hollywood, let us see what this film is actually telling us.

This film shows the Peacock prince (India), as a historical oppressor. Prince Shen, misusing the Chinese ‘invention’ of fireworks-gunpowder for war, using metal and gunpowder for oppression of China. Po, the Chinese Panda battles and defeats the Peacock Prince (India).

The Plot Thickens

This imagery was probably the reason why this film evoked protests and boycott in China. Since Hollywood has such low traction in India, this film has not provoked any reactions in India. Or possibly since most Indians swallow Western propaganda hook-line-and-sinker, having an image of a benign West, drilled into their thinking.

Who’s funding Steven Spielberg’s movies? When it seemed that Dreamworks would fold!

Anil Ambani.

Who’s funding Anil Ambani’s  power plants in India. China. Will someone in Dreamworks pay for this gross insult? Wonder if Anil Ambani has been briefed about this ‘game’ by Spielberg?

Remember Spielberg’s story on how he lifted the Satyajit Ray script for ET. Some readers have traced Spielberg’s antipathy to India, as depicted in Temple of Doom, to being ‘caught’ out in this ‘inspiration’.

Maya’s Apprentince

Many among India’s leadership have links to Western citadels of maya. Many leaders today ensure that their children are well-grounded in Western culture, education, industry, media academia. These apprentices will then try and take over papa’s fiefdom.

These ‘prince-lings’ are being well-educated by Western ‘specialist’ in maya. Propaganda.

No wonder, even before the bombed street is released, clean in Boston, Ishaan Tharoor is outlining how America can blame Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran Korea, China, Syria – everyone, except US.

Or as can be seen by the tutoring being given to Ishaan Tharoor by a Western academic.

Is this not how the West wants to keep India & China apart, glowering at each other.

Is this not how the West wants to keep India & China apart, glowering at each other.

Beijing officials are increasingly worried about India’s ambitions. If you look at the writings of Chinese experts, they refer to Indian military posturing in the Indian Ocean and also to military partnerships India is developing with several countries in Southeast Asia and East Africa. In the public realm, Chinese Netizens’ views of India are very negative. You get the sense the Chinese never seemed to expect India to climb up to the ranks of the great powers. Now, as India attempts to make that leap, the Chinese are very worried of its impact on China’s primacy in Asia.

It wouldn’t first be open war. China and India are building up their interests in conflict-prone and unstable states on their borders like Nepal and Burma — important sources of natural resources. If something goes wrong in these countries — if the politics implode — you could see the emergence of proxy wars in Asia. Distrust between India and China will grow and so too security concerns in a number of arenas. It’s an important scenario that strategic planners in both Beijing and Delhi are looking at.

At the same time, India won’t let itself be drowned in America’s orbit. It’s important for India to have its strategic independence. It has a very long and historically close relationship with Russia, which in turn is close to China. So it’s a little more complicated. I don’t think the Americans have thought very strategically about all of this.

via China-India Competition: Is a Military Clash Inevitable? – TIME.

Boston Marathon Bombings: Did AQ Khan ‘Celebrate’ The Rise Of ‘Hindu’ Terrorism?

April 20, 2013 2 comments

Did AQ Khan cheer the hoax ‘identification’ of Sunil Tripathi as the Boston Marathon Bomber?.

Twitter - DrAQ_Khan- @yaqubimmegret @qasimaskari ... 2013-04-20 07-58-59

Twitter – DrAQ_Khan- @yaqubimmegret @qasimaskari … 2013-04-20 07-58-59

Wpparently, some who spread the hoax story of Sunil Tripathi as the Boston Bomber are India (+Hindu) haters.

Some like Pakistan’s nuclear scientist, did this for amusement – as he clarified early and clearly.

Some may question AQ Khan’s taste, but it was sarcasm.

Probably, PEW should do a Pakistan study again, using a different questionnaire. The clarifications and questions that came his way, were from Pakistanis.

Probably, this twitter exchange show that as neighbours, it is not essential to love each other.

Civility can be an adequate, even necessary and lone condition.



America’s Secret Police: Who’s in control of CIA? Anyone here …

Can the CIA simply tell the American Secretary of State, that their position and authority is irrelevant – if it clashes with CIA-operations..

Over the last 40 years, the mantle of Spook King has passed on from Hoover's FBI to Director-CIA  |  Cartoonist Christopher Weyant in 2007 on CIA

Over the last 40 years, the mantle of Spook King has passed on from Hoover’s FBI to Director-CIA | Cartoonist Christopher Weyant in 2007 on CIA

I

f the ISI Chief in Pakistan were to assert his authority over the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, no one will be either shocked or surprised.

Take A Walk …

If the Israeli Mossad were to push their point of view over Israel’s Foreign Minister, it would not raise too many eyebrows.

Can the MI6 in Britain question the authority of the British Foreign Minister? Media reports make it seem unlikely.

Can the head of RAW question the policy and authority of India’s Home Minister or Foreign Minister? Such a situation has never been examined or discussed in public, by the media or polity.

But, the CIA can simply tell the American Secretary of State, that their position and authority is irrelevant – if it clashes with CIA-operations.This is what has been reported by the American newspaper, New York Times.

The perils of this approach were laid bare on March 17, 2011, the day after Davis was released from prison and spirited out of the country. C.I.A. drones attacked a tribal council meeting in the village of Datta Khel, in North Waziristan, killing dozens of men. Ambassador Munter and some at the Pentagon thought the timing of the strike was disastrous, and some American officials suspected that the massive strike was the C.I.A. venting its anger about the Davis episode. More important, however, many American officials believed that the strike was botched, and that dozens of people died who shouldn’t have.

Other American officials came to the C.I.A.’s defense, saying that the tribal gathering was in fact a meeting of senior militants and therefore a legitimate target. But the drone strike unleashed a furious response in Pakistan, and street protests in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar forced the temporary closure of American consulates in those cities.

Munter said he believed that the C.I.A. was being reckless and that his position as ambassador was becoming untenable. His relationship with the C.I.A. station chief in Islamabad, already strained because of their disagreements over the handling of the Davis case, deteriorated even further when Munter demanded that the C.I.A. give him the chance to call off specific missile strikes. During one screaming match between the two men, Munter tried to make sure the station chief knew who was in charge, only to be reminded of who really held the power in Pakistan.

“You’re not the ambassador!” Munter shouted.

“You’re right, and I don’t want to be the ambassador,” the station chief replied.

This turf battle spread to Washington, and a month after Bin Laden was killed, President Obama’s top advisers were arguing in a National Security Council meeting over who really was in charge in Pakistan. At the June 2011 meeting, Munter, who participated via secure video link, began making his case that he should have veto power over specific drone strikes.

Panetta cut Munter off, telling him that the C.I.A. had the authority to do what it wanted in Pakistan. It didn’t need to get the ambassador’s approval for anything.

“I don’t work for you,” Panetta told Munter, according to several people at the meeting.

But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to Munter’s defense. She turned to Panetta and told him that he was wrong to assume he could steamroll the ambassador and launch strikes against his approval.

“No, Hillary,” Panetta said, “it’s you who are flat wrong.”

There was a stunned silence, and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon tried to regain control of the meeting. In the weeks that followed, Donilon brokered a compromise of sorts: Munter would be allowed to object to specific drone strikes, but the C.I.A. could still press its case to the White House and get approval for strikes even over the ambassador’s objections. Obama’s C.I.A. had, in essence, won yet again.

via How Raymond Davis Helped Turn Pakistan Against the United States – NYTimes.com.

How serious is this?

After reading this excerpt, the question that came to my mind was – How important is the US Secretary of State?

Well …

With the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General, the US Secretary of State are regarded as the four most important members of the US cabinet, headed by the POTUS.

But this history is not surprising.

Looking back …

J Edgar Hoover was probably the most powerful man of 20th century, who no one knew. Founder-Director of FBI, from May 10, 1924, till his death on May 2, 1972, Edgar Hoover ‘persuaded’ twelve US President’s to let him continue as FBI Director.

With a file on everyone, from John Lennon to JFK, Edgar answered to one.

During Hoover’s reign over FBI, the world was regularly fed with sleaze-and-scam about the CIA.

We now have a CIA that ‘approves’ criticism by the media on the US-President. Globally respected newspapers like the nytimes.com submit their stories to CIA for pre-clearance from CIA.

Coming Back To Pakistan

More people are killed due to gun-related violence in the US than in Pakistan.

Christian fidayeen killers roam schools, theaters, shopping malls, killing other Christians – just like in Pakistan.

People in US are proposing that US schools should become Christian madarsas – similar to Taliban proposals in Pakistan.

There have been cases in Pakistan and USA, where differences in political opinion were settled using guns – instead of ideas and words.

Thick wall of currency apart, what is the difference between US and Pakistan?



Elections In Pakistan: What Can, What If, What’s Up?

March 31, 2013 2 comments

Pakistani media and polity seem to be addressing mostly urban issues. How will the rural voter respond?

Phuttt, phutt, phut ...! This is a make or break election for Pakistan. Probably the best organized  |  Cartoon by Sabir Nazar on March 30, 2013; image source & courtesy - tribune.com.pk

Phuttt, phutt, phut …! This is a make or break election for Pakistan. Probably the best organized | Cartoon by Sabir Nazar on March 30, 2013; image source & courtesy – tribune.com.pk

Pakistan attracts stereotypes to the mind like a swarm of flies.

Inviting Images

Among others, civil war, terrorism, bomb blasts, fundamentalist Islam are common stereotypes about Pakistan. Some of these stereotypes are valid – and some are downright irrelevant.

For instance, more people die in the US due to gun-related violence compared to Pakistan. For another, it is worthwhile to remember and understand that Pakistan has never (in its limited election history) elected a fundamentalist party.

The different sides of Pakistani Polity  |  Cartoon by Sabir Nazar on August 25, 2008; image source & courtesy - dailytimes.com.pk

The different sides of Pakistani Polity | Cartoon by Sabir Nazar on August 25, 2008; image source & courtesy – dailytimes.com.pk

This will be the first time in Pakistan’s troubled history that an election will pave the way for transfer of power – and not a coup or martial law. For the first time in nearly seventy years, Pakistan has evaded the ritualized murder of Pakistani polity by the Pakistani army.

The short-shrift given by Pakistan’s power centres to orderly elections and transfer of power is not a stereotype.

This Sauce is Different

The three most significant differences in this election, compared to previous elections are in the manner that Pakistan’s polity has acted to protect the poll outcome. It seems unlikely that there will be any significant post-poll dissonance due to three measures.

Who will do the electioneering for PPP - with Bilawal out of the country?  |  Cartoon by Sabir Nazar on March 28, 2013; image source & courtesy - tribune.com.pk

Who will do the electioneering for PPP – with Bilawal out of the country? | Cartoon by Sabir Nazar on March 28, 2013; image source & courtesy – tribune.com.pk

It does seem like this will be an election that Pakistan will be proud of.

One – is the appointment of a non-competitive caretaker administration at national level – headed by retired Justice Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, and at the provincial level in Punjab with the appointment of Najam Sethi.

Two – Voter lists have been rigorously updated. Some 3.5 crore voter records were found invalid and deleted – and some 3.9 crore new voters added.

Three – The centre of debate is Pakistan’s economy. Nawaz Sharif is talking of an economic explosion – unlike the nuclear explosion last time. PPP is depending on an income-support scheme for the poor that they have implemented. Imran Khan’s 6-promises are all about bringing peace back to the nation. It has been speculated that the Iran-Pakistan oil pipeline agreement signed by the ruling-PPParty, is to reassure restive voters that it has a solution for electricity shortages plaguing Pakistan.

Pakistani media and polity seem to be addressing mostly urban issues.  |  Cartoon by Zahoor on February 03, 2010; image source & courtesy - dailytimes.com.pk

Pakistani media and polity seem to be addressing mostly urban issues. | Cartoon by Zahoor on February 03, 2010; image source & courtesy – dailytimes.com.pk

Is Popularity Enough?

Imran Khan is by far ahead of all other leaders in Pakistan in terms of personal popularity. His first rally after elections were notified, attracted 1-lakh people – closer to 1.5-lakh people according to some other estimates.

Will Imran Khan’s popularity convert into votes?

In India, for decades, election rallies by Nehru-Gandhi family, starting with Indira Gandhi could attract voters for election rallies – but after 1989 elections has not been able to convert voter turnout into votes.

Is Imran facing a similar challenge? Equally, many popular leaders have converted their personal popularity to votes – especially in South India.

Look Who’s Talking

Radio Pakistan seems to be giving good coverage to Imran Khan going by these tweets.

Print media and Pakistan’s huge satire ‘industry’ however is quite dismissive of Imran Khan. Including the like of MajorlyProfound (now probably under the handle of majorlyp).

https://twitter.com/InvincibleHeart/status/317651280866721792

Many from the English-media are quite dismissive of Imran Khan

Apparently, Musharraf has lived up to his earlier threats. He has returned - to what? A nation that cannot imagine a role for him?  |  Cartoon by Zahoor on August 15, 2009; image source & courtesy - dailytimes.com.pk

Apparently, Musharraf has lived up to his earlier threats. He has returned – to what? A nation that cannot imagine a role for him? | Cartoon by Zahoor on August 15, 2009; image source & courtesy – dailytimes.com.pk

Gear Ratios In A Democracy

PPP may get more women’s votes due to BISP income support scheme. Imran Khan has connected to Pakistan’s youth. Nawaz Sharif is appealing the mature male voter who wants the Pakistan economy to do better. None of these constituencies form a majority.

Finally, the winner may be the party that can get its constituents to come and vote at the polling booth.

The Players

Ex-general Musharraf seems to be n0n-starter and non-entity in Pakistan.

Pakistanis sought to drive home the point that Indians held the former Army chief in greater esteem that his own fellow nationals.

The kind of media coverage his return got in India, and the frequency with which he appears on Indian television channels and gets invited to conclaves organised by the media across the border has raised eyebrows here often enough

via Proud of Kargil operation, says Musharraf – The Hindu.

Which political unit is connecting to this Pakistani?  |  Cartoon by Zahoor on March 03, 2006; image source & courtesy - dailytimes.com.pk

Which political unit is connecting to this Pakistani? | Cartoon by Zahoor on March 03, 2006; image source & courtesy – dailytimes.com.pk

Interestingly, Imran Khan’s campaign is well-funded according to some reports.

They were drawn from all over the country through a well-financed and heavily advertised campaign. But they were also drawn, they said, by a simple yet nebulous message. “We want change,”

via Pakistan: Ex-Cricket Star, Ex-President Kick Off Election Campaign | TIME.com.

Imran  Khan’s acceptance by Pashtuns, FATA, Pakhtunkhwa makes him a rare leader with acceptance across various segments.

There are concerns among some of Khan’s supporters about his attitude to the Pakistani Taliban – wanting to negotiate with them – and the decision to work with the Jamaat-e-Islami, a hard-line religious party. But the mere fact that he represents a political force that hasn’t been compromised by power works in his favor — as does Khan’s celebrity. “He won us the Cricket World Cup,” says Shah, “he built us a cancer hospital, and he’s really good looking.”

via Pakistan: Ex-Cricket Star, Ex-President Kick Off Election Campaign | TIME.com.

Will this man get taken in shiny projects?  |  Cartoon by Zahoor on November 22, 2005; image source & courtesy - dailytimes.com.pk

Will this man get taken in shiny projects? | Cartoon by Zahoor on November 22, 2005; image source & courtesy – dailytimes.com.pk

Numbers talk you know …

After 2ndlook called the 2009 Indian election correctly, among many other correct calls, encourages 2ndlook make an attempt at reading Pakistan’s election.

Sixty and seven months ago, when Musharraf was on rampage in Pakistan and Imran Khan was no one in Pakistan’s politics, 2ndlook examined the idea of Imran Khan’s rise in Pakistan.

  1. It is worthwhile to remember and understand that Pakistan has never (in its limited election history) elected a fundamentalist party – unlike say, Egypt.
  2. Since none of the three main players are making a fundamentalist Islamic pitch, this factor will affect no one – except some fringe parties.
  3. What if Imran-PTI consolidate the fringe-parties vote banks – and eat into PPP+PMLN? To me this model of voter behaviour, seems more likely than the static vote bank of PPP+PMLN theory.
  4. In this election, the main contenders, as per opinion polls in descending order are Nawaz Sharif’s PMLN (32%), Imran Khan’s PTI (18%) and Zardari’s PPP (14%).
  5. Not many have tried to make a model for opinion polls in Pakistan – which remain unreliable and have limited value. With this caveat made, raw data seems to suggest that PMLN-Nawaz Sharif are in a pole position for this election.
  6. Most of election analysis stops at Pakistan’s urban centres – while 60% of Pakistani voters are rural. Nawaz Sharif’s Lahore Metro Bus implementation in 11-months has made many political parties nervous. But will the rural Pakistani be impressed?
  7. Will PPP’s BISP attract more rural voters than Imran’s tsunami? Remember, how Chandrababu Naidu paid a price for ignoring the rural voter.
  8. After the fresh voter enrollment, nearly half of Pakistani voters now listed, have not voted before. Since most of these young voters are young, they are likely to be drawn towards Imran-PTI.
  9. Will the Lahore Metro make a difference to Nawaz Sharif? Outside Lahore? Seems unlikely.

Keeping the above factors in mind, what are the likely outcomes.

In the name of the poor and dispossessed ... |  Cartoon by Zahoor on September 02, 2008; image source & courtesy - dailytimes.com.pk

In the name of the poor and dispossessed … | Cartoon by Zahoor on September 02, 2008; image source & courtesy – dailytimes.com.pk

Scenario-1

Imran-PTI emerge as the single-largest party, with a thin majority – or miss becoming the single largest party by a few seats. Imran dithers. Announces that he will sit in the opposition, as he does not have a clear mandate. PTI MPs defect or PTI splits. Most likely PPP wins over the defector faction. Makes a claim to form government. Zardari agrees. Protests engulf Pakistan.

Scenario-2

As per opinion polls, PMLN emerges as the single largest party. Wins over MPs from PTI-Imran and others. Forms government.

Scenario-3

Opposite of opinion polls, PPP emerges as the single largest party – riding on women’s vote. Wins over MPs from PTI-Imran, PMLN and others. Forms government.

Senario-4

One of the three main parties gets a parliamentary majority – and forms the government. Seems like the most unlikely scenario.

Seemingly, Imran is preparing for a narrow victory. Most importantly, is Imran preparing for a narrow loss?


China:The Limits of Central Control

Chinese Govt drives a consensus with regional govts – using mostly persuasion, sometimes post-facto ratification, rarely central diktat..

China lifts Uncle Sam; cartoon by rodrigo; on September 02, 2009  Published at www.expresso.pt on August 25th, 2009; source & courtesy - toonpool.com

China lifts Uncle Sam; cartoon by rodrigo; on September 02, 2009 Published at http://www.expresso.pt on August 25th, 2009; source & courtesy – toonpool.com

China’s governance, in reality is contrary to the image widely projected or popularly understood.

Instead of a monolithic, unitary, autocratic dictatorship the Chinese central Government drives a consensus with regional governments – using mostly persuasion, sometimes by post-facto ratification, rarely by central diktat.

Smoke On Water

Probably the worst example of Chinese governance is production and promotion of tobacco smoking by regional governments. As cigarettes are a large part of the revenue for regional governments, cigarette smoking has been passively encouraged. Sometimes even actively.

China’s expenditure on internal policing and law & order is larger than China’s defense expenditure. If the control of the China’s central government was so strong, why is its expenditure on internal security so high?

There are many other elements to the Chinese puzzle.

Bit by bit

Earlier posts had examined the Chinese economy that thrived on exports for the last nearly twenty years aided by and supported with a cheap yuan. Will China go the Japan way?

The mysterious manner in which the Buddhist monk has disappeared from Chinese movies is an ominous feature. Especially when the Buddhist monk has been replaced by gangsters. To this add, how Tibetan protests in the form of self-immolation by priests and nuns have unnerved the Chinese administration.

Coming to foreign policy, Indian media paints a unreal picture of the Chinese threat. Even in the past, in the 1965 and the 1971 India-Pakistan Wars, China  maintained a distant attitude towards Pakistan, providing little more than verbal support to Pakistan. Indian Navy in the South China Sea, in alliance with Vietnam, is a significant counter-measure to aggressive posturing by China in the Indian North East.

Catching on and catching up with the emerging China picture.

The reality is that power in China is much less concentrated than it was in the days of Mao and Deng.

Far from being the all-powerful behemoth that some in the west admire for its omnipotence, the central government can often be oddly ineffectual and powerless.

A slightly frivolous but nonetheless instructive example is the government’s complete ban on the construction of golf courses that has been in place since 2004.

Since then the number of golf courses in China has nearly quadrupled. The point is that Beijing produces many well-intentioned laws and regulations that are often not implemented or enforced unless they directly align with the interests of cadres at the lower levels of state power.

The central government can impose its will and mobilise the nation when it absolutely has to but it uses up an enormous chunk of political capital every time it does that.

Because of this, China’s leaders tend to spend a lot of time giving positive speeches but they only really swing into action when faced with a serious crisis.

A good example was the Sars epidemic that emerged from southern China almost exactly 10 years ago and presented the now outgoing administration of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao with their first big test at the outset of their time in office.

After trying first to cover it up they finally responded by mobilising the entire country and eventually brought the disease under control. Mr Xi and his team have not yet been tested with their equivalent of a Sars moment but when they are it will provide more of an insight into their ability to govern the world’s most populous nation

via Xi’s task exposes limits of central control – FT.com.


Kargil: Breast Beating In Pakistan

February 21, 2013 1 comment

Kargil Misadventure: Pakistan’s superficial ‘analysis’ and breast-beating after each defeat hides a deeper problem.

India operated Hawker Hunter Mark 56 (designation for Hunter F.Mark 6) bought from Britain that was phasing out these aircraft.

India operated Hawker Hunter Mark 56 (designation for Hunter F.Mark 6) bought from Britain that was phasing out these aircraft.

In the India-Pakistan War of 1965, there was a real risk of China joining in with a third front against India. Thundering in the parliament, Pakistan’s foreign minister at that time, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto assured the Pakistani nation of China’s support.

In the event of war, Pakistan would not be alone. Pakistan would be helped by the most powerful nation in Asia. War between India and Pakistan involves the territorial integrity and security of the largest State in Asia. (Z.A. Bhutto, Foreign Minister, Pakistan, in the National Assembly; July 17, 1963).

Though China was neutral, India had its hands full. Pakistan as member of SEATO and CENTO, was brimming with the most advanced arms – supplied by the US. As a part of the Baghdad Pact, Britain was on Pakistan’s side.

When PAF Was In Better Shape

In the 1965 War situation, Pakistan was part of the CENTO and SEATO alliance, armed by the US with the US F-104 Starfighters, F-86 Sabres that were significantly superior to Indian Airforce (IAF).

The US attached, like in Vietnam, Laos, Norway, Cambodia what was then called a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to Pakistan. A few months before Pakistan commenced hostilities, the US head of MAAG was changed. In May 1965, General Robert Wiygul Burns became chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group, Pakistan. Over the next two years, in the face of increasing evidence of the US role in the 1965 war, the MAAG was withdrawn from Pakistan in July 1967. After neo-colonial wars in  Korea, Vietnam, Indo-China, the MAAG became infamous. Mostly renamed as United States Military Groups (USMILGP or MILGRP), MAAGs continue in some Latin American countries such as Peru, the Dominican Republic. Also MAAGs can be found in Africa for instance in Liberia.

Two years later, under a new name, US military advisers were back in Pakistan. Star pilots and trainers like Chuck Yeagaer were sent by the US to Pakistan – to help Pakistan prepare for a battle against Soviet weapons being used by India in 1971 War.

Hands Tied

Comprising of Vampires of WWII vintage, the French Mirage Mysteres, the Anglo-Hawker Hunters and Canberras or the Anglo-Gnats, the IAF went into the 1965 War at a disadvantage. By the 1971 War, the IAF had re-configured tactics, using numbers, altitude to overwhelm the Sabres with inferior Gnats – starting with the airfight at Boyra.

Compared to the nearly 10,000 Sabres that were manufactured world-wide, less than 450 Gnats were built; mostly bought by Indians. The Yugoslavs bought second-hand F-86s in preference to the Gnats. The RAF itself did not buy Gnat for any conflict role – but only for aerobatic, trainer usage.

Indian officers /soldiers atop captured Pakistani Patton tanks at Kemkaran. About 100 Patton tanks were left behind by the retreating Pakistan Army. These captured tanks were used to set up Patton Nagar war memorial.

Indian officers /soldiers atop captured Pakistani Patton tanks at Kemkaran. About 100 Patton tanks were left behind by the retreating Pakistan Army. These captured tanks were used to set up Patton Nagar war memorial.

Though believed, Pakistan’s more modern Patton tanks were not as superior to the Indian Centurions. At the end of 1965 War, India captured 97 Pakistani tanks – and set up a war memorial called Patton Nagar with these captured tanks.

India’s Diplomatic Position

India’s relationship with the Soviets had not yet reached the levels of the 1970s.

What and who stopped China from joining Pakistan in its assault on India? Stalin’s lukewarm response to Nehru’s overtures and the alleged CIA plot to kill Nehru in 1955, temporarily brought Nehru close to Eisenhower. After the 1965 War with Pakistan, India-Soviet alliance grew in strength.

Wailing & Breast-beating

The last one year has seen a lot of ‘analysis’ in Pakistan, about Pakistan’s misadventure in Kargil.

Pakistan’s superficial breast-beating after each defeat hides a deeper problem. Can a nation born out of blackmail – apart from hate, prejudice, have a foreign policy that makes sense.

ISLAMABAD, Feb 16: Former corps commander Lahore Lt-Gen (retired) Shahid Aziz on Saturday said problems in the armed forces are increasing as the army chiefs have been trying to cover up issues fearing it would defame the organisation.

He was speaking at the launch of his book Yeh Khamoshi Kahan Tak at Islamabad Club on Saturday.

Gen Aziz, who played a role in Pervez Musharraf’s coup and also held an important post in the army and ISI at the time of the Kargil war, said his aim to write the book was to guide the new generation.

It may be noted that Gen Aziz also worked as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for about two years after his retirement from the army in 2005.

Gen Aziz said while taking part in the coup he knew that he was violating the law.

While in service, he added, so many times he had to disagree with the decisions of his seniors and even resigned from the staff college.

He claimed that he was against the decision of following the instructions of United States but Musharraf insisted that only he could see the full picture of the situation. “Even today the policy of Musharraf is being followed,” said Gen Aziz.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Ashraf Sarab of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), said when the Kargil adventure was started the Kashmiris were asked by the army to take to the streets because they (forces) had decided to enter the Indian held Kashmir.

“But after sacrificing a number of soldiers, the army went back,” he added.

“I talked to then Minister for Kashmir Affairs Majeed Malik but he said Kashmiris should not have started protests.”

It showed that the Kargil war was either a strategic mistake or launched on the directions of someone else, because after the war India and US came closer to each other, he observed.

Engineer Mumtaz from the research and development wing of the armed forces told Dawn that Gen Aziz was the key person during the Musharraf coup. Gen Musharraf used to get his input regarding every decision, he added.

via Army covering up issues, claims ex-general | Newspaper | DAWN.COM  .


In A G-0 World, Can BRICS Show Leadership?

February 19, 2013 1 comment

For the world now, instead of ‘G-7, or G-8, or G-20, the more apt description is G-0’ – per Joseph Stiglitz. Can BRICS offer that leadership – starting Afghanistan.

From 1970s, when Pakistan started meddling in Afghan affairs, by how much have Soviet or the American invasions helped Afghanistan?  |  Cartoon By Jeff Darcy, The Cleveland Plain Dealer - 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM  via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

From 1970s, when Pakistan started meddling in Afghan affairs, by how much have Soviet or the American invasions helped Afghanistan? | Cartoon By Jeff Darcy, The Cleveland Plain Dealer – 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

With NATO turning tail and leaving, Afghanistan is not much better off than before America’s invasion.

Pakistan, as the sole Islāmic nuclear power, has assigned itself the role of an arbiter of Afghan destiny – a hold over Afghanistan’s future. With its dubious distinction of being a failed State, should Pakistan have any role in Afghanistan?

After ruining Afghanistan with 40 years of disastrous interventions, the West playing the victims is an offensive act | Cartoon By Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico - 9/7/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

After ruining Afghanistan with 40 years of disastrous interventions, the West playing the victims is an offensive act | Cartoon By Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico – 9/7/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

The West, under NATO’s military command, is walking away from Afghanistan with nothing to show for this invasion.

After billions in dollars, with more than a million Afghans affected by death, combat injuries, manifold increase in corruption, and a Saudi-Pakistan financed Taliban is on the rise, Afghanistan is West’s biggest failure after Vietnam. Never before in the last 200 years has West’s leadership been in question so much.

In the current State of the world, in the memorable words of Joseph Stiglitz, why ‘talk about the G-7, or G-8, or G-20, the more apt description is G-0.’

Afghanistan was a much better place one millennium ago - as its agricultural exports, arts and crafts will testify. It is the US-Pakistani involvement from the 70s, which has made Afghanistan into a no-man's land. | Cartoon By Jimmy Margulies, The Record of Hackensack, NJ - 10/11/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

Afghanistan was a much better place one millennium ago – as its agricultural exports, arts and crafts will testify. It is the US-Pakistani involvement from the 70s, which has made Afghanistan into a no-man’s land. | Cartoon By Jimmy Margulies, The Record of Hackensack, NJ – 10/11/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

Afghanistan will be the test of BRICS.

Till 1980s, the Soviet Union bordered Afghanistan. Today, while Soviet Union’s successor, Russia no longer shares a border with Afghanistan, as a part of BRICS grouping, it may continue to play a role in post-NATO Afghanistan.

Will China-India tensions come in the way of BRICS to do what is good for Afghanistan? Will China work with BRICS to keep Pakistan out of Afghanistan? When it matters, can BRICS nations put aside their differences and work on common problems – like Afghanistan?

Straightening Pakistan is a matter of hours. What will take time is building capacity among BRICS nations to work together on common problems – and put aside differences, when these differences are not directly relevant.

One thing is for sure.

If BRICS cam make an Afghan solution stick, a new age will dawn in global diplomacy. The current void in global leadership will start getting filled.

Civil war in Afghanistan is directly the result of Western interventions in the last 40 years.  |  Cartoon by By Arend Van Dam, politicalcartoons.com - 10/24/2012 12:00:00 AM  via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

Civil war in Afghanistan is directly the result of Western interventions in the last 40 years. | Cartoon by By Arend Van Dam, politicalcartoons.com – 10/24/2012 12:00:00 AM via PoliticalCartoons.com Cartoon.

With the US and the UK apparently conceding to Pakistan the lead role in reconciliation with Taliban, India is set to hold talks with Russia and China on emerging scenarios in Afghanistan ahead of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force’s withdrawal from the conflict-ravaged country by 2014.

New Delhi is also expected to air its concern over Pakistan’s role in the peace-process in Afghanistan during British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to India scheduled on Monday. Cameron recently hosted Afghan and Pakistan presidents Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari at his country residence Chequers Court. India will get another opportunity to discuss the issues when it will have a trilateral talk with the US and Afghanistan in New Delhi next week.

Sources said India is expected to drive home the point that Pakistan continues to be “a part of the problem” and it cannot yet be seen as “a part of the solution” in Afghanistan. Any hasty careless move to launch the peace process would in fact give an opportunity to Taliban to crawl back to power after 2014. New Delhi is likely to point out that the US itself, in 2011, publicly slammed Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence for its role in fomenting terrorism in Afghanistan.

What worries India is the Afghan High Peace Council’s five-step draft roadmap to 2015, would ultimately give Pakistan the “strategic depth” it always aspired to have in Afghanistan. New Delhi is apprehensive about Washington outsourcing to Islamabad the peace-process with Taliban, before and after the drawdown of the International Security Assistance Force from Afghanistan.

The “draft road map” also seeks to give some key positions in post-2014 Afghanistan to the leaders of Taliban, including that of provincial governors, police chiefs and cabinet ministers.

To facilitate the peace-process, Pakistan, since November, released 26 Taliban prisoners from its jails, ostensibly on request from Afghanistan but without any oversight, triggering fear that some of them might go back to extremism.

When Menon broached the issue during a meeting of the BRICS high representatives for security in New Delhi last month, it was agreed that he and his counterparts from Russia and China would have a separate meeting to exchange views on the peace-process with Taliban and discuss the emerging scenarios in Afghanistan. Sources said the meeting might take place later this month.

New Delhi has made it clear that it is in favour an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process towards peace in Afghanistan but insisted that the “Red Lines” agreed in London Conference in 2010 were strictly adhered to and the extremists entering the process were made to severe all links with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations.

via India to talk to China, Russia on Pak role in Afghanistan.


 

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