A few Interesting news Item for Readers:

China woos saffron parties; Tibet, Arunachal on agenda. 



Five bigwigs of Bharatiya Janata Party, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Shiv Sena are on a six-day visit to China on an invitation from the Communist Party of China.

The BJP-RSS-SS delegation is led by Bal Apte, BJP member of Rajya Sabha. Ram Madhav, member of RSS executive council, Chandan Mitra, editor of Pioneer, Balbir Punj, senior journalist and BJP leader, and Suresh Prabhu, Shiv Sena leader from Maharashtra, are part of the delegation On December 5, the delegation met members of the Politburo and also the head of international department of the communist party, who is often considered more senior than China’s foreign minister.

Wang Jiarui, minister of International department of CPC and Vice Minister Liu Hongoai met the delegation in Great Hall near Tiananmen Square in Beijing [Images]. Later, a lunch was hosted for the visiting delegation by the CPC.

In their interactions, both sides exchange views on Tibet [Images], Arunchal Pradesh and the economic melt down.

Talking to rediff.com from Shanghai, Ram Madhav said, “We represented national consensus over the issue of Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh.”
The delegation was also taken to political school of CPC. Every Chinese leader has to attend this school. Indian leaders also met members of China’s think-tank.


India warns Obama against focusing on Kashmir  http://www.defence.pk/forums/strategic-geopolitical-issues/19430-india-warns-obama-against-focusing-kashmir.html


Congressional report warns Obama against focus on Kashmir  http://www.ptinews.com/pti%5Cptisite.nsf/0/10BE40E69B545E99652575380040D16F?OpenDocument


Surgical strike syndrome




“The pupose of war is not to die for your country. The purpose of war is to ensure that the other guy dies for his country”. (General Patton)

“It is foolish to hunt the tiger when there are plenty of sheep around.” (Al Qaeda Training Manual 2002)

“War is a competition of incompetence – the least incompetent usually win”. (General Tiger (Pakistan) – after losing Bangladesh).

“Everyone wants peace – and they will fight the most terrible war to get it”(Miles Kington -BBC Radio 4/02/95)

The writer is a former air vice-marshal of the PAF. Email: ikram_bhatti@yahoo.com


A surgical strike, mostly through air power, is a military attack to cause damage to only the intended target, with no, or minimal, collateral damage. Weapons used for this purpose are invariably precision-guided. Examples of surgical strikes are the

Israeli bombing of PLO targets in Tunis in 1985 and Israel’s 1981 Operation Babylon against Iraq. A third example is the bombing of Libyan targets by US in 1986.


When Israel attacked the PLO in Tunis in 1985, the UN Security Council passed a resolution US abstention condemning the action. Even the US expressed its disapproval but abstained. In any case, Israel could get away with it.

Though it was not a classic surgical strike, the botched US rescue attempt in Tehran in 1980 was launched to rescue US nationals. However, the hidden objective of President Carter was to ensure the release under his administration and eventually win the Democratic nomination for the presidential election. Iran released the held personnel immediately after Ronald Reagan took office.

The last requisite for surgical strikes is there is little possibility of retaliation, or for the retaliation to be bearable. In addition to likely international criticism, the victim country is bound to react to such an attack. This reaction would understandably depend on its politico-military capability and readiness for a response. Therefore, besides a diplomatic campaign, the victim country could opt to launch reciprocal attacks. These attacks will have to take place only minutes later, or there would be international intervention and the victim country would be prevented from resorting to this course of action. Hence, a retaliation would almost be certain. Furthermore, military activity may not end here and there would be a serious danger of a snowball phenomenon leading to a limited or even all-out war. A surgical strike would, therefore, become an option for a country when it has evaluated and discounted this requisite.

In the India-Pakistan context, it was in the third week of December that the readiness and willingness of the Indian air force for surgical strikes became apparent. Realising the seriousness of the situation the PAF immediately deployed its defensive elements at strategic locations and started 24-hour patrolling of the designated areas. This was further backed up by a declaration by the Pakistani government that an attack of this nature will be taken as an act of war and that Pakistan would respond and without delay. Meanwhile, the government’s crackdown was already going on against the organisation declared terrorist by the UN. This crackdown has resulted in the arrest of several individuals and the closing down of numerous premises. By these three actions Pakistan was able to not only neutralise the legitimacy of the Indian cause for the attack but it also clearly indicated to the Indians that such an adventure would be very expensive. Therefore, a clear message was sent out by Pakistan to the west that it was seriously responding to the UN’s call but no Indian adventurism would be accepted. Seeing this, the tone and tenor of the Indian leadership and their media has undergone a positive change. India

is also accepting foreign envoys to discuss and resolve the situation. An Indian surgical strike has thus become less likely.

While it is airpower that is employed for surgical strikes, such an attack could be best countered by air power. The PAF would thus be responsible for defence against such an Indian attack. The PAF has always fought against India outnumbered by the IAF. Nevertheless, the PAF always enjoyed a technological or qualitative advantage over the IAF. This edge has, however, eroded due to sanctions on Pakistan in different periods of time. On the other hand, the planners of the PAF have earnestly worked and, despite limited resources, the PAF has upgraded all its aircraft, weapon and sensors. It does have some weaknesses which are in the process of being addressed. On exhaustion of other options, disputes between nations are being settled today not by occupying territory but by inflicting pain. Appreciating the significance of air power as the weapon of first choice in present-day warfare, the government has been providing requisite resources for the accomplishment of the PAF’s development programmes. If the government maintains this support, the PAF is poised to regain its qualitative pre-eminence in the near future.

Though its likelihood has reduced to an extent, a surgical strike in the Indo-Pakistani scenario remains a clear and present danger. Nonetheless, India can opt to resort to it anytime because in the Indo-Pakistani scenario there will never be dearth of reasons and justifications. The Pakistani government and the PAF have sent out clear messages demonstrating their resolve to fight terrorism and their intent to defend Pakistan at the same time. Now it is up to India and the western world to understand and act.



‘ISI killing US troops in Afghanistan’
Fri, 19 Dec 2008 06:01:29 GMT




President Bush declared war against Afghanistan right after September 11. The title of this war was “ War on Terror”.


Pakistan’s powerful spy agency is working with groups that support the Taliban and are killing American troops in Afghanistan, a US report says.

“All of this suggests that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is no longer certain the coalition forces will prevail in Afghanistan and that it is using militants groups in an attempt to expand its own influence,” the report said.

The report by the bipartisan Pakistan Policy Working Group also cites the Afghan government’s allegations that ISI-supported elements that orchestrated an assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and that the ISI had a role in the July 7 car bombing of Indian embassy in Kabul.

The 43-page report notes Pakistan may be the greatest challenge for US President-elect Barrack Obama.

the ISI had been cleared of any involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attacks by the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). According to Karachi-based Dawn, FBI agents


ISI was accused of being involved in the Mumbai attacks due to its past associations with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which received CIA and ISI support to fight the soviet-backed government in Afghanistan.

Pakistan‘s President Asif Ali Zardari said the US and its Western allies promoted extremism as a tool to counter the influence of the Soviet Union in the region.

“The world worked to exploit religion against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan by empowering the most fanatic extremists as an instrument of destruction of a superpower,” Asif Ali Zardari wrote in an opinion piece for The New York Times.

ISI is the first line of Pakistan’s defense apparatus.