Monday, January 23, 2012

Pakistan And Israel

Pakistan maintains ties to Israel without having diplomatic relations. These are not full diplomatic ties but are meant to convey messages on critical issues to avoid misunderstandings. For example, Pakistan went on a high alert after our nuclear tests in 1998 when we received information India was considering allowing Israeli fighter jets to fly from Indian air bases to attack Pakistani nuclear installations. There was information that Israeli air force was present somewhere in India for that purpose. Pakistan conveyed to the US a warning: If Israelis participated in an Indian attack on Pakistan, then Pakistan will retaliate against both and not just India alone. This got the Americans worried and they arranged for a direct contact between the Pakistani and Israeli ambassadors in Washington. The Israelis gave the highest assurances they had no assets in India to be used against Pakistan. That contact diffused the immediate tensions.

Of course Pakistan was not imagining that Israel has a close military cooperation with India. Israel does have such cooperation.

In 1999, elite Israeli military units helped India avert a certain defeat in the Kargil heights of occupied Kashmir. The Israel military contribution in that small war was secret and largely remains so, but it was important enough to change the course of conflict. We are still not sure at what point Kashmiri and Pakistani fighters faced off with Israelis on the opposite side in Kargil in occupied Kashmir. Maybe Pakistani military would have more information on this. This Israeli participation in a Pakistani-Indian conflict would have remained a secret had not some Israeli diplomats in India alerted some Indian journalists, possibly as an attempt to show Indians how grateful they should be to Israeli assistance and, consequently, ensure more Indian orders for Israeli military hardware.

Israel is keen to have diplomatic relations with Pakistan. It is in Israel’s interest to win over a large Muslim nation. But whatever Pakistani contacts with Israel, Islamabad is not very keen on any immediate relations and can wait until Palestinians and Arabs sort out the dispute over Palestine and especially the question of Al-Quds, or Jerusalem, where Israelis want to control holy sites for Christians and Muslims.

A real Pakistani concern is how much Israel bolsters Indian military capabilities. In 2002, Pakistan Air Force shot down an Israeli-made unmanned Indian surveillance plane. So one can imagine Pakistani military planners are not happy with Israelis getting too much involved with the Indians.

We also need to be concerned about Israeli policy hawks who want an alliance with India because they believe the two countries can work together against Muslim nations. Many wiser Israelis and Indians understand such a policy would be suicidal for both. But such wise thinking is not enough unless it actually stops such an alliance from materializing. The verdict on this count is yet to come. One encouraging sign of this would be for Israel to hold back some technologies and weapons that India is sure to buy for one express purpose: to target Pakistan and fortify the brutal Indian military occupation in Kashmir. Let’s see how the Israelis balance this.

Overall, Israelis are keen to avoid talking or acting against Pakistan in public. They don’t want to see Pakistanis retaliating by helping Israel’s enemies. So you won’t see Israeli politicians or media condemning Pakistani nuclear program the way US officials and media do.

A little known fact: You can make telephone calls from Israel to almost all Arab and Muslim countries, possibly including Pakistan. But you can’t call Israel from Pakistan. Not that it really matters in the age of internet, but it gives you a clear idea where we and the Israelis stand in terms of policy red lines.

[Adapted from a note on Facebook where a young Pakistani politician asked about Israel’s interest in ties with Pakistan]

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One Of The Best Comments On Bruce Riedel's Pakistan Theories

Bruce Riedel is a former CIA. He is trying to make a living perhaps by renting himself out to Indian lobbying machine in Washington. Otherwise why would any sane person advise Obama to start a confrontation with nuclear armed country of 170 million over a bunch of Islamists ranting on the streets. Isn’t it enough to show how sound his scholarship is?
Beyond the usual platitudes on military and Islamists, or smoldering hatred of a religion and a country, what is there that is new or thought provoking in this article? Any sane person, with the exception of Indians of course, would know that it is just puffed up sensationalist garbage. 
A comment left by a reader who identified himself as Polar Bear on an article written by Riedel titled, Pakistan's Jihadist Threat: Obama's Terrorism Challenge In 2012, in December 2011.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hateful Indians At It, Again

Pakistan faces a political crisis, the result of a failed democracy and fake democrats. But who is more excited about this? It is the Indians, who surface like autumn frogs at every story concerning Pakistan. They offer themselves as top experts on anything Pakistani. And their arrogant refrain is becoming laughable to everyone: 'Since we're a democracy, we can lecture Pakistan as experts.'

Today there is a political crisis of sorts in Pakistan, where a pro-US government faces collapse thanks to an angry public opinion, corruption cases in courts, and decisions by this government that amount to serious national security breaches. 

You would think American news organizations would invite Pakistanis to speak about their country and explain it to the world. Not so. The purpose of most US officials, think tanks and media these days is to demonize Pakistan. So some of these anti-Pakistan Americans prefer to invite hateful Indians to do the job of explaining Pakistan to the world. 

The latest frog to leap, so to speak, is Mr. Sadanand Dhume, a self-styled Pakistan expert working for American Enterprise Institute. American think tanks receive a lot of funding from various US government departments. They have turned anti-Pakistan a decade ago as part of a plan to paint Islamabad as the enemy, ally US with India, contain China and occupy Russia's central Asian backyard. 

In fact, there is a consistent effort to put the US on a warpath with Pakistan.

In the last decade, the American academia and media has churned out more anti-Pakistan stories than India ever did. To solidify the new anti-Pakistanism in the United States and brainwash the good American people into hating one more country and people, a large number of hateful Indians have been recruited into the think tanks and media organizations. 

So there is a political crisis today in Pakistan, the result of a government working on protecting the interests of a foreign country, the United States, more than the interests of Pakistan. No wonder the vast majority of Pakistanis are up in arms against this government. A key aide in this government, a former envoy to Washington, faces possible treason charges for allowing hundreds of CIA operatives into Pakistan and turning this country into another American war zone and weaken it in favor of Indian strategic interests. Go to Pakistani online forums of every stripe and color and you will hear the worst things said about the government of President Zardari.

But the hateful Indians working in the US are up in arms defending this government.

Mr. Dhume appears today in the Wall Street Journal. This is a professional business paper. But its editors appear to have outsourced its Foreign Desk to CIA analysts, old and serving colleagues of leading independent thinkers like Bruce Riedel, for example. Tho Foreign Desk of this paper is anti-Pakistan and often acts as conduit for CIA planted stories on Pakistan, Russia, China and other countries. 

Pretending to be a Pakistan expert, Mr. Dhume begins his masterpiece today with this boring cliche:

'Who gets to decide when a democratically elected government's time is up? To the average Japanese, Indian or American, the answer is obvious: the same people who voted it into office in the first place. Not so for the average Pakistani.'

I have issue here with India's democracy, which I will explain shortly. 

The Indian writer claims that an elected government in Pakistan will not complete its term because the military will topple it. 

In all honesty, he is either lying or is a propagandist on an agenda.

Either Mr. Dhume lacks information and research skills, which brings into question his positions as researcher and columnist at AEI and WSJ. Or he is outrageously lying for disinformation purposes, which simply proves he's one of those seasonal Indian frogs that leap out on every Pakistani story. 

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan [HRCP] is often accused of being anti-military. I find many of their reports biased against the military and supportive of anyone working against Pakistani military, even if they are terrorist recruits into anti-Pakistan groups that enjoy refuge in US-controlled Afghanistan. 

But a senior director of HRCP, Mr. I. A. Rehman, concedes in an op-ed in The News International on Sunday that Pakistani military is abiding by the law in dealing with the pro-US government of President Zardari. 

Here is a quote:

'[Chief of Army Staff] General Kayani, the army chief, has given the country’s politicians a lesson in tactics. While politicians often opt for knee-jerk responses to serious matters or follow their staffers’ improvisations, the general has chosen to play by the book. He was prompt in answering the Supreme Court’s notice and thus distanced himself, in this case at least, from the politicians who are getting flak for avoiding compliance with the judiciary’s directives. He sent his statement to the Defense Ministry, as per rules. If the ministry did not follow the procedure laid down in the Rules of Business inscribed in a moth-eaten file of 1973, he cannot be blamed. That makes the PM angry at a time when he needs to be cooler than cucumber.'

This analysis is not unique. Most observers in Pakistan agree that the military has done the right thing. It has given its opinion to the government through proper channels on matters concerning national security. It refrained from destabilizing the government.

It is also a fact that, under the current Chairman Joint Chiefs, Army Chief, Air Force and Navy chiefs, the military as a whole has become apolitical more than ever. 

The current crisis in Pakistan is not about 'civil-military relations' or 'civilian authority over the military' as Indian propagandists like Mr. Dhume are trying to portray. 

This is a crisis about an incompetent government that has lost the trust of the people who voted for it.

Is the military trying to overthrow this government?

If anything, it is this failed democratic government that is doing everything it can to provoke the military into a coup. This government has gone as far as misleading a Chinese newspaper into publishing an interview with Zardari's prime minister attacking Pakistani military [The Chinese paper has withdrawn the interview since.] The military is trying to help this government complete its five-year term. The ruling PPPP can ensure this by removing tainted characters from its senior positions and replacing them with cleaner people. Let the tainted, corruption-ridden people face the courts without destabilizing democracy. But this is not happening because the party is firmly controlled by the tainted and the corrupt. 

Now I come to the Pakistan obsession of hateful Indians, like Wall Street Journal's Mr. Dhume.

India has the world's biggest concentration of poverty and disease. The world's biggest genocide against baby girls occurs in India every year. See India's Deadly Secret at . By virtue of the size of the poor, India faces a host of other gigantic problems related to public hygiene and health. The Indian government is rich, with up to $300 billion dollars in savings. But it won't share this money with the poor. Instead, the money is being spent on militarization because Americans [such as AEI that Mr. Dhume works for] are busy convincing India it is destined to be a superpower, crush Pakistan and take on China. Despite massive arms purchases, the Indian military is yet to deliver. See Indian Military Might Is Overplayed at .

The quality of Indian democracy is questionable. Low-caste Hindus are raped and murdered with impunity. Girls are buried alive. All non-Hindu minorities are persecuted. Most British and American news bureaus in New Delhi hide the truth from readers back home mainly because London and Washington want to see India continue to challenge China and act as an Anglo-rented soldier in Asia. That's cheaper than sending US and UK soldiers to die in faraway lands. 

All of this should have left serious academic men and women like Mr. Dhume busy for the next decade. But no. They are busy with Pakistan because they are working on an agenda. 

Nowhere is that agenda clearer than on Twitter, where hordes of Indians are busy with nothing else except Pakistan. See Twitter Is Infested With Indians Campaigning Against Pakistan at .

India saw the first genocide of 21st century, in 2002, when more than 2000 Indian citizens were butchered and burned alive in a single Indian city in the course of three days. Their mistake was believing in the wrong religion. Hindu extremist mobs have also burned alive an Australian missionary and his two under-ten boys as they slept in their car. Their crime? The father and sons used to distribute clothing and food to poor Indians. They were Christian. This crime occurred in 2000 and extremist Hindu groups that were involved continue to operate with impunity. 

In 2007, some 50 Pakistanis believed Indian claims of peace and booked seats on a 'peace train' traveling to New Delhi from Pakistan. They were burned alive midway and the attack was blamed by the Indians on Pakistani intelligence. It turned out that Hindu terrorist groups collaborated with serving Indian intelligence officers to kill the Pakistani visitors. India is yet to punish the culprits and the blood of 50 Pakistanis remains unaccountable with a pro-US government in power in Islamabad that refuses to pursue the case. 

The US is turning into an exporter of extremism. Last year activists had to force Harvard University to expel an Indian politician who used his teaching course to spread hate. See Harvard Drops Indian MP Subramanian Swamy's Courses at . Why would Harvard harbor a hatemonger like that? For the same reason that Wall Street Journal invites an Indian like Dhume to explain Pakistan.

The Norwegian massacre suspect Anders Behring Breivik said last year his hate ideology was influenced by American evangelists. 

Good Americans and Indians need to watch these promoters of hate and war and stop them. Mr. Sadanand Dhume can begin with getting busy with improving the lives of hundreds of millions of poor Indians instead of promoting war at his well-paid jobs at AEI and WSJ.