India launches Israeli-made satellite for eyes in the sky

April 20, 2009

India launched an Israeli-made spy satellite on Monday that will help it keep a close eye on its borders stretching from Pakistan in the west to China in the north and east.

The launch is significant for several reasons. First off, the all-weather advanced satellite that the Israelis themselves use for surveillance on nations such as Iran is an eye in the sky that Indian security planners have been demanding for long. India has its own sophisticated satellite imaging programme that gives pretty high resolution pictures, but, as a defence scientist once told me, they tended to go a bit blind in bad weather, especially during the monsoon.

The Israeli satellite is supposed to be an all-seeing all-weather platform that at a height of 550 kms lets you see things like a motorbike on the street. New Delhi apparently asked the Israelis to speed up the satellite after the Mumbai attacks in November when gunmen arrived on the shores of the country’s financial capital in boats.

The idea obviously would be to watch the borders, both land and sea on the west. But satellites such as these can also tell you about troop movements. Logically any big movement on the border with China would fall under its footprint.

Secondly, the launch underscores the tightening defence links between India and Israel, which, in the space of 17 years when India gave diplomatic recognition to Israel, stand transformed. Israel is India’s second biggest defence supplier, behind Russia which had long enjoyed a virtual monopoly.

For Israel, India is the biggest arms market.

Israel is also giving India the Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control System, a force multiplier seen as so strategic that the Americans leaned on Tel Aviv to abort a similar deal with China.

It is not just a one-way street. Last January, the Israelis wanted to launch their military satellite like the one that went up on Monday. They chose the Indians to launch it, in a show of confidence  in the Indian rocket. More significantly reports at the time said the Israeli satellite was meant for reconnaissance over Iran, causing irritation in Tehran which has had long standing ties with New Delhi.

But the ground has been shifting since the mid 1990s, especially after India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party  took power and reached out to Israel, seeking its expertise in a range of areas especially high-tech capabilities to fight militants.

For years India, home to one of the world’s biggest Muslim populations, had shunned any public dealings with Israel, and stood firmly behind the Arab bloc in its long running dispute with the Jewish state.  But the BJP said India and Israel were natural allies and set about making up for the lost decades.

The Congress, which had traditionally followed a pro-Arab posture, continued the policy of deepening engagement with Israel when it took power five years ago and indeed has fast-tracked arms supplies from that country to meet the security challenges.

There also seems to be a great deal of public support for closer ties with Israel. A poll said to have been ordered by the Israeli Foreign Ministry found that Israel enjoyed the greatest support in India, ahead of the United States, Russians and Mexicans

[India launches Israeli-made satellite on Monday and file picture of protest in Kashmir against Israeli strikes in Gaza]

 

 

 
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Comments

Umair writes: “India is playing it very wise, we hyave to admit. It is making the right choice by going for technological upgrades needed to tackle the challenges. Also, India knows this will give an edge over Pakistan and advantage is with India. Between the countries, both of them consider themself vulnerable against each other. For now India is one “UP” with advantage.”

No. We are upgrading to keep ahead of Burma. Sorry, but Pakistan is not being considered for competition with us. We are desperate to stay ahead of Burma in every front. Indians feel really insulted when they are compared with Pakistan. Thought I’d let you know.

 

Umair writes: “During recent elections the people of Pakistan overwhelmingly elected moderate parties to power. Even the conservative religious parties like Jamat-e-Islami didnt do better than previous elections. The people of Pakistan do not support Taliban and Taliban do not enjoy any local support.”

Jinnah and his cronies faced the same situation. There was absolutely no support for a separate nation for Muslims from most Muslims in the sub-continent. So they used the same method that the Taliban is using today – violence. They called it “Direct action.” So nothing really has changed. It only takes a few gun toting criminals to drive the general population like ducks in any direction they want. Support is one thing, power is another. People may not like something, but they will reluctantly submit to power. Even during the British days, most people in the sub-continent did not participate in the freedom movement. They just left it to a few people who organized protests, movements and so on. When independence came, they just went with it as well. No one wants to put effort. So mass public support is not something people with militant minds are looking for. They will take power if they can do it.

“Despite this, I still feel it is for only Pakistan to decide what is best in antional interest.”

Agreed and best wishes for that.

 

India is playing it very wise, we hyave to admit. It is making the right choice by going for technological upgrades needed to tackle the challenges. Also, India knows this will give an edge over Pakistan and advantage is with India. Between the countries, both of them consider themself vulnerable against each other. For now India is one “UP” with advantage.

- Posted by Umair

There’s no doubt that the satellite will aid in India’s ‘War on Terror’ However, you don’t build billion dollar space programs to take on guys with AKs. Much of India’s defence modernization is aimed at China. If you don’t believe me, look at the proportions going into the Indian Navy and Air Force as opposed to the Army. That’s because India is worried about Chinese intrusions into the Indian Ocean and the development that’s on going in western China. I (and nearly all of my western counterparts) agree with the Indian posters here that India is focused on China not Pakistan.

Aside from that, as India rises economically, it’s going to have a bigger and better armed forces. Just like China. The challenge for Pakistanis is to understand that point and its implications. The conventional parity today is enormous. Even most Pakistani officers agree that Pakistan would loose any conventional war with India. If Pakistan wants to maintain conventional parity then it’s going to have step up economically.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Keith
The question of Pakistan’s soverignity:

Spec ops raids into Pakistan halted – Army News
US ARMY TIMES SEPT, 2008

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/Ar my_border_ops_092608w/ – 38k –
You know very well about the Angoor Adda raid by US special forces in Sept last year, what was the fall out? Pakistan Army was ordered to open fire on intruding forces on the western border. Pakistan did fire on NATO choppers, also on one occassion on US forces. That was a dangerous escalation, flares were fired to warn NATO choppers that mistakenly strayed into Pakistani air space. Pakistan threatened to sever the logistical supply line of NATO and also at one point breifly closed it. US had underestimated the vehemence of Pakistani response, but it wisely called off any further planned ground ops.

Pakistan in the past did assert its soverignity, against external forces as well as the millitants. Ofcourse, Pakistan has from time to time undertaken various military offensive to clear areas from the Taliban too. We need resources to fight, we need ammo. Insurgencies are not cheap to fight and US knows this. If US has not been able to stabilize Afghanistan from last 8 years, atleast give us reasonable amount of time to deal with it.
I understand the sense of urgency on part of Obama administration, Pakistan is as much a foreign policy challenge for US as the US is for Pakistan. Both countries need to work together and Mr. Holbrooke stated recently that Pakistani American interests run in parallel. There is greater understanding in the US, the President is hosting Both Mr. Zardari and Mr. Karzai in May i guess in Washington for further discussion. No one needs to make efforts to get the Pakistani security forces moving, we will act decisively when it matters. We are not sitting idle now either.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Mauryan
India is holding on to petty behavior, the world keeps talking about INADIA AND PAKISTAN, INDIAN AND PAKISTAN RIVALRY, why? the question is not that Indians feel ashamed of being compared to Pakistan. The question is Pakistanis feel screw India if the make atom bomb, we will build two. If India gets MiG 29s I want F-16s, If Indian has MBT(Main Battle Tanks) so do we, never mind India test fired a 1500KM range nuclear capable ballistic missile, we will respond with 1501 KM one. Pakistan test fired 6 nuclear on 28 May why? To level the score in response to the 5 tested by India 17 days back and the one tested back in 1974(smiling bhudda). The score was settled in one day and on 30th May Pakistan test fired another one.
So I thought I’d clarify while India keeps competing with China, for Pakistan, India is the benchmark. So dont feel ashamed, as long as we remain rivals, we will keep playing catch up with you and the world will keep comparing you with Pakistan since we match and sometimes exceed you in capability.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

No plan to establish state within state: TNSM
THURSDAY GEO NEWS

SWAT: Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) spokesman Amir Izzat Khan has said that the Constitution of Pakistan is very much Islamic but steps are not being taken strictly according to its provisions.

“TNSM has no intention to set up a state within state…. on the contrary, we want to give Pakistan’s Ideology a practical shape,” Izzat Khan said while talking to media after the holding of talks between NWFP government and TNSM leaders on the situation emerged in the wake of implementation of Nizam-e-adl Regulation in Malakand Division.

TNSM spokesman said: “We want to keep the Swat peace deal intact at all cost.” However, he said the deadline given for establishment of Qazi courts and also Dar-ul-Qaza has not been withdrawn.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair, just when it was beginning to look like, you are getting out of your mode of delusion & denial, it seems, you’ve taken a complete U-turn and are back to your Indo-centric line of thinking & your hallucinogenic ways. As much as, you’d like to see Pakistan compared to India & want the world to see the two, as rivals, the truth is that nobody sees it that way except, Pakistan. Over the last decade, India has risen tremendously in the world order & unfortunately, Pakistan has gone backwards. India’s rivalry & competition on the global stage, be it defense or economy, is China. Pakistan is not a rival for India in any field. It’s just a menace next door.

Keith, I agree that India is the most, at danger, with the current situation in Pakistan but I would say that the rest of the world, including the US, is also very much in danger. It might be dismissed as a conspiracy theory but many believe that Pakistan & the ISI had an implicit involvement with 9/11 & the Bush administration simply covered it up, so that we can invade Iraq. Check out this video:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1d6m4_ 911-the-pakistan-connection_news

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Mortal
No one is denying the facts, I have stated time and again India deserves its rightful place in the global arena. We would not like to get in their way. For us, if we can simply preserve our soverignity and freedom, be economically stable abd have a strong defense and independent foreign policy, it would more than suffice. Can you see the respect Turkey enjoys? It has good relations with NATO and EU, even Israel. It is aspiring to join the EU. It has most of the time played mediation role in the Middle East conflict because Turkey is impartial and secular, it is trusted by all parties.
That is the role model Pakistan aspires to be in the Muslim world. The problem arises when a minority in India shows a hostile attitude towards Pakistan. Lets hope for lasting peace between the two countries. So, Pakistan always engaged in an arms race with India because it felt vulnerable against India. India too, has shown a stubborn attitude because of lack of trust and vulnerability it feels against Pakistan.
You reduce Pakistan as a menace next door, that is the problem. The moment you recognize Pakistan as your neighbour things will change for better.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Govt to revisit Swat accord if peace not restored: PM
http://www.geo.tv/4-23-2009/40511.htm

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Panicking about Pakistan

April 23, 2009 1:35pm FINANCIAL TIMES UK
http://blogs.ft.com/rachmanblog/2009/04/ panicking-about-pakistan/#more-664

In late 2004, when it was already clear that the Iraq war was going badly wrong, I got talking to a European official who had just visited the White House, and held meetings with Condi Rice and Dick Cheney. “Were they panicking?”, I asked. “These are not people who panic,” he replied gravely.

I wouldn’t have put Hillary Clinton down as a panicker, either. But her Congressional testimony on Pakistan yesterday sounded distinctly alarmed. Pakistan, she said, now faces an “existential threat” from Islamist militancy and the Pakistani government has “basically abdicated to the Taliban and the extremists.” This was positively cheery compared to the committee chairman, Howard Berman, who claimed that “Pakistan could collapse in as little as six months.” I was planning my next visit to the country for October, so it sounds like I’ll be just in time.

But is all this alarm really justified? Jason Burke of The Observer once pointed out to me that people have been predicting the imminent demise of Pakistan for years – but it hasn’t happened yet. I used to take some comfort from the fact that the hardline Islamist parties generally do pretty badly in the elections.

However, the militant takeover of the Swat valley did not rely on votes or popularity – it was based on violence and intimidation. And while the original deal was “just” that sharia law would be imposed, it now appears that the Pakistani Taliban have essentially taken over the administration of the area. This has two additional malign consequences. First, it provides a new safe haven for the armed militants who used to have to shelter in the tribal and border areas. And since Swat is part of Pakistan proper – and not regarded as remote, bandit country, it is much harder to take military action against them in these new areas. Second, it now looks like the Pakistani Taliban are intent on using Swat as a new base, from which to expand their zone of control.

Unfortunately stern words from Hillary Clinton seem unlikely to persuade the Pakistani government to reverse course and abandon the appeasement of the local Taliban. If President Zardari cannot be persuaded by the assassination of his own wife, the destruction of the Marriott in Islamabad and the terrorist attacks in Lahore that caused the abandonment of the Sri Lankan cricket tour – it is difficult to believe that shouting from Washington is going to change his mind. The Americans have leverage in the form of the huge amounts of aid that they shovel towards Pakistan every year. But the Obama administration’s new policy was greatly to increase aid, in the hope of bolstering the Pakistani economy. It would be quite a reversal suddenly to start cutting aid, in the hope of exerting some pressure on the Pakistani government.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair, Turkey would be a good role model for Pakistan & I sincerely hope that your guys can achieve or exceed that kind of status on the global stage.

Forget about the right wing minority in India. Such lunatics exist in every country, including the US. I can tell you that a majority of Indians have always wanted good relations with Pakistan. If you remember, India-Pakistan relations were doing good before the Mumbai attacks. Indians had opened their hearts for Pakistani cricketers, musicians, actors etc. but as I said before (& I think, Mauryan did as well), the Mumbai attack was a big jolt for Indians & we felt betrayed & violated. we felt like, no matter how much good-will we show towards Pakistanis, we’ll always be paid back with terror attacks on our citizens.

Anyways, I also hope that you can overcome the current wave of extremism in your country & defeat the Taliban. And after that, you can become a moderate, tolerant & progressive Islamic country like Turkey.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Fear mongering and panicking about Pakistan? while life goes on as normal inside pakistan. Lets tone down the rhetoric and playdown the threat, I think the problem is confined and controllable.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

“So I thought I’d clarify while India keeps competing with China, for Pakistan, India is the benchmark.”
–Umair

–Umair: Keep all factors in place, including $$$$$.
“for Pakistan, $$$$$$ is the hurdle and Pakistan is told by the donors where not to put money”

@on the statement/Saxena Article that Taliban are not aging global Jihad: Taliban hosts those who wage global Jihad–Afghanistan remember and now Mullah says “brother Osama” is most welcome here. I call this part of the terroism problem.”

@Umair: Is there a way that Pakistanis, examplified by you, quit this Kashmir issue? you do not have to stick with Jinnah’s “jugular” idea of 1947. Times have changed plus he dreamed much more than Kashmir issue–achiving those dreams is in direct conflict with K-issue.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Someone left an interesting comment on Financial Times Blog I wanted to quote:

———————————————————
Re: a rogue Pak nuke in London

Oh please! Stop fear mongering. There are some very smart Pakistani engineering students at Imperial but the suicide bomber-type are probably more “sports studies” (flunked) types from Bradford.

I would say London is safe. We have more to fear from suicide investment bankers peddling toxic security-bombs to the banks (did you see how much Darling is going to have to borrow?) than suicide engineers peddling nuclear. And the with the demise of structured securities the engineers will probably go on the producing something useful for export.

So, there’s hope!
—————

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Here is another one from a reader in Belgium:
———————————————————
Pakistan is so precariously poised. Aid given to Pakistan has to be monitored very carefully. Hillary Clinton is extremely astute and knows the pit-falls of placing too much faith on the Pakistani government. President Zardari is in a very difficult situation and needs to walk a very fine line. One wrong step and he could be out of power. So his is a deft balancing act to stay in power and contain the rising tide of terrorism and prevent the Taleban from gaining a stronger foot-hold in the country.In addition he has many enemies who would like to unseat him. Pakistan is going through a tumultuous time, a period of confusion and violence which the Taleban is trying to exploit. The Taleban control part s of Pakistan especially in the Swat Valley region where they have implemented strict Sharia Law. So one has to sympathize with President Zardari as he tries to take Pakistan down the path of democracy. But is the time ripe for such measures as the political stability of the country is in such deep doubt? Only time will tell!
—————————————

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “Pakistan in the past did assert its soverignity, against external forces as well as the millitants.”

Can you give some examples? Pakistan lost its Eastern half in 1971. It crushed internal rebellion for independence in 1972 in Sindh and Blochistan. But that was not an external aggression. Militants? I thought it was an export commodity from Pakistan. Which militants come into Pakistan? Just want some answers, I am not trying to pick on you.

“Ofcourse, Pakistan has from time to time undertaken various military offensive to clear areas from the Taliban too. We need resources to fight, we need ammo. Insurgencies are not cheap to fight and US knows this.”

Simple. Take all the ammo and resources that you have kept in Kashmir and turn them around in Swat. Tell them that they will get Kashmir and all the women and boys there, if they can take out the Taliban. You got both you wanted – Fighting insurgency with insurgents and ammo/logistics/resources. Pakistani military can return to safety and play snooker. Just a friendly suggestion.

 

Umair writes: “So dont feel ashamed, as long as we remain rivals, we will keep playing catch up with you and the world will keep comparing you with Pakistan since we match and sometimes exceed you in capability.”

Still we feel ashamed. And tell your military bosses not to list all their inventory for all to see. This is all you’ve got? Ch.. ch.. ch.. How about swords, horses, machetes, knifes, swiss knives, butter knives, plates, forks, pencils, staplers, sticks, stones, pebbles, sling shots, paper planes, toy tanks? Cricket bats? I am not trying to pick on you again. We don’t want to know all your secrets about entire inventory. It seems pretty empty :-)

Ok. For a small nation, I guess that is adequate.

 

Umair, if you’re interested in global comments about Pakistan, here’s a whole bunch of them from today’s Times (NY):

http://community.nytimes.com/article/com ments/2009/04/24/world/asia/24pstan.html

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “You reduce Pakistan as a menace next door, that is the problem. The moment you recognize Pakistan as your neighbour things will change for better.”

We do try to recognize Pakistan as a neighbor. But then we see events like Mumbai attacks. We see cross border terrorism in the guise of freedom struggle. When that is the case, wouldn’t anyone call your country a menace next door? Or should we just ignore it and go on about our lives? Your generals are blaming India or external forces even if they get constipation now-a-days. Weren’t you the one who claimed that India has 7 embassies in Afghanistan and never gave the information when I asked for it? So what you are saying is that you and your country will do whatever it wants from spread mis-information about our country and encourage terrorism inside India, and we should treat you as a trustworthy neighbor. Great! Even Afghanistan is complaining about your country and its irresponsible acts that are not allowing them to build their nation. So may be you should look at your country for a change instead looking outside of it all the time.

 

After playing ‘carrot’ with Pakistan, for a while, the US has decided to finally start playing some ‘stick’.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/80 15604.stm

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Mauryan
If you google Pakistan and weapons of mass destruction, Pakistan missile capability, you will find pretty dangerous toys we keep. It will take very little for us to bring down ‘mighty global super power’ of the future (India) NOW. Though that kind of destructive behavior is not something anyone is suggesting.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

‘Taliban pushing towards Pakistani Capital’

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30361451?GT1 =43001

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Umair quotes: “There are some very smart Pakistani engineering students at Imperial but the suicide bomber-type are probably more “sports studies” (flunked) types from Bradford.”

Read about Omar Sheikh, linked with Daniel Pearl’s murder. He was a student at London school of economics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Omar_ Saeed_Sheikh

 

Umair quotes about someone from Belgium: “Pakistan is so precariously poised. Aid given to Pakistan has to be monitored very carefully. Hillary Clinton is extremely astute and knows the pit-falls of placing too much faith on the Pakistani government. President Zardari is in a very difficult situation and needs to walk a very fine line. One wrong step and he could be out of power. So his is a deft balancing act to stay in power and contain the rising tide of terrorism and prevent the Taleban from gaining a stronger foot-hold in the country.In addition he has many enemies who would like to unseat him. Pakistan is going through a tumultuous time, a period of confusion and violence which the Taleban is trying to exploit. The Taleban control part s of Pakistan especially in the Swat Valley region where they have implemented strict Sharia Law. So one has to sympathize with President Zardari as he tries to take Pakistan down the path of democracy. But is the time ripe for such measures as the political stability of the country is in such deep doubt? Only time will tell!”

Replace the name Zardari with Musharraf, then by Zia Ul Haq and then by another ruler before that and read it again. It will read the same. What came out of this ignorant analysis is that the cold war powers dumped money and arsenal into Pakistan for decades. The end result never went the way they expected. Pakistan squandered away all the money and equipment in its single goal of matching up with India and fighting it. And the western powers are still remaining ignorant.

 

20 year old Omar Shiekh son of a Lahore origin British Pakistani merchant, volunteered for a humanitarian organization on a trip to Bosnia to help suffering muslims at the hands of Serbs who perpetrated genocide while the champions of human rights and democracy. Bosnian war, remember? Serbrenica massacre? Gen. Ratko Mladic and Rdovan Karadic, now in the international criminal court in the Hague for war crimes. Many Omar Sheikhs would have not been radicalized had the NATO stopped the war criminals of Serbia.

It was enough to turn a smart London School of economist student into a radical.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Fearmongers panick about Pakistan, Islamabad is going business as usual. No one needs to interefere in the internal matters of a soverign state.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair claims: “If you google Pakistan and weapons of mass destruction, Pakistan missile capability, you will find pretty dangerous toys we keep. It will take very little for us to bring down ‘mighty global super power’ of the future (India) NOW. Though that kind of destructive behavior is not something anyone is suggesting.”

Good. Keep them. But it is very clear to me that what you are claiming here has been Pakistan’s goal all along – bring down India. For the past 62 years, this has been the aim of everyone in power in Pakistan – “Ladke Hindustan lenge hum!” slogan is famous.

But WMDs should not used as threatening words every time. We know our strength and we don’t advertise it. Your bragging of WMDs might prove counter productive soon. The US and Israel are not going to sit there and slice cheese. They are going to come after your nukes. They know that Islamic radicalism and WMDs make the deadliest combination. More than India, Israel might be working out a plan to dis-arm your country from WMDs. The US executes Israel’s wishes. It did in Iraq. And there there was only a rumor about WMDs. In Pakistan, WMDs are real and perceived as a global threat – leaking nuke secrets to rogue nations, Al Qaeda and Taliban’s expansion. So frame them in your home. Your country is going to be freed of nukes soon. This is not because everyone is against Pakistan. It is just that Pakistan itself is on the verge of collapse and might lose its control over the nukes. More than the Taliban, Washington is worried about the WMDs now. Do not think they trust Pakistanis this time. Those days are over.

 

Mauryan
First there is no crusade in Pakistan against India, no one is suggesting that. Second, both Israel and Pakistan are officially US allies, so dont worry about them going after Pakisatn. Every country has its interests, just because Indo-Pak relations are not good, Israel or US will not simply attack Pakistan. So come out of that dellusion.
Lastly, i will restate that we have nothing against India. we have our own aspirations. We would rather be like Turkey. Modern Islamic country, respected and possessing an independent foreign policy.
As for WMDs, they are only a ‘minimum credible detterent’ against any external agression. If there is denuclearization as per CTBT and NPT than Pakistan would give up WMDs along with India.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “Many Omar Sheikhs would have not been radicalized had the NATO stopped the war criminals of Serbia. ”

Let me quote from Ahmed Rashid’s book titled “Descent into chaos”:

“On June 9, 2004, in the midst of karachi’s morning rush hour, the convoy of the city’s corps commander, Lt Gen Ahsan Saleem Hayat, was ambushed. Gunmen raked the vehicles with machine gun fire and exploded grenades. The general escaped, but his driver, seven soldiers and three policemen were killed.

The terrorists belonged to a new group, called Jundullah, or the “Army of God,” made up of educated middle class professionals, including doctors and lawyers, who trained in south Waziristan with Al Qaeda. Jundullah’s leader, Attaur Rehman, had a master’s degree in statistics from Karachi University….”

And so on. Umair, it is not the illiterate and the drop outs that are populating the militant groups. Those days are old. Come to the real world. It is getting ugly. Educated cadres are a lot smarter, can plan well and can easily be trained. Looks like Al Qaeda is pulling in educated class into its cadres. I don’t think you know the depth of what you are standing in the middle of.

Suffering of others should not turn one into a criminal. That is the wrong message given by the religion. Suffering should make a spiritual person forgive others and work hard to prevent atrocities that they have witnessed. Your response is a justification for the actions of Omar Sheikh. This tells me that you too can easily be converted into a radical militant by a very manipulative person in a very short time. There are plenty like them in today’s Pakistan and there are many like you who are on the edge.

 

Mauryan
I am not vulnerable teenager you are thinking of. I have morals, I have education, I have a career and a way of thinking. Why would I submit to someone else, for me my parents gave me the guideline, I was taught in schools by my teachers, I am a muslim and knows what Islam truly stands for. I know how to face the world and its challenges. I may not be perfect, no human being is.

However, the educated ranks joining in the Jihadis know whats going on in the world. Al Qaida doesnt have to recruit them by much effort. That is where I feel there is a need for ‘dialogue of civilizations’ an initiative taken by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. A dialogue with the Muslim world. Do you know how sensitive the Palestine and Kashmir issues are?

And tell you an amazing thing, Abdul Qadeer Khan was just another physics student in Europe. He witnessed Pakistan dismembered in 1971 and told himself, boy this is humiliaitng. Let me do something for my country. He was a nationalistic I would say.
Somewhere some doctor or engineer or pilot would see a news item of an Israeli air raid on Gaza and dead bodies of children and would call it a day in his profesion and join the ‘Jihadis’. This is what I mean by stating lets get to the root causes of problems and tackle them.

And also I mentioned about Omar Shiekh being just 20 when he went to Bosnia.

Now here is something more for you, just google OMAR KHADR,a Canadian citizen and read his life story and who is he and then let your views known.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

India had always supported the Arab cause. The Islamic terrorism emanating from Pakistan only had made India turn to Israel.
US and Pak are friends. Us and Israel are best friends. But Israel and Pak are foes?????. Some damn logic here!! Alright US and Iran are bitter enemies. India and US go well-they signed a nuclear deal. India wants gas from Iran and Iran wants to give it. Finally India launches a spy satellite on Iran for the sake of Israel. Still India and Iran are friends. Still India wants gas and Iran wants to give gas. ‘Aaargh’ Who is responsible for all these conflicting relations? US or Islamic terrorism?

Posted by mitchell | Report as abusive
 

Umair – “And tell you an amazing thing, Abdul Qadeer Khan was just another physics student in Europe. He witnessed Pakistan dismembered in 1971 and told himself, boy this is humiliaitng. Let me do something for my country.”

So, AQ Khan witnesses the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971 & decided that he wanted to make nukes, in order to take revenge on India? That’s neat!

Was he dumb or oblivious to the fact that Bangladesh was created because of Pakistan’s own shortcomings?
Did he not know about the genocide of 3 million bengalis, committed by the Pakistani army?
Was he unaware of the fact that in spite of winning enough seats, to form a Government in the center, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami league, wasn’t allowed to do so, by Bhutto & the army?

No sir, in typical Pakistani fashion, Mr. AQ Khan proceeded to blame the creation of Bangladesh on India & swore revenge on it. What a Nationalist, indeed!

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

First off I don\’t believe that solving Kashmir would solve anything. Imagine that you woke up tomorrow and Srinagar was in Pakistan. Would Pakistan say, \’That\’s it. We are happy,\” and start drawing down their defence spending and focus on development? Nothing, I have seen would suggest that. This is the problem with the defence industrial complex that has taken over Pakistan. It needs a threat to justify it\’s existence. What would those Generals do without India?

Second, I don\’t buy that India is expansionist. The proof is in the Simla agreement. If the Indians were expansionists, not only would they have kept the net territorial gains they made in West Pakistan (and in Kashmir in particular) but they could have also forced the new state of Bangladesh to hand over a few choice morsels too. They didn\’t. Regardless of the emotions of Pakistanis, this example should at least count for some evidence that the Indians can bargain honestly and fairly.

But since Kashmir is an important issue let\’s look at it. Every Pakistani I meet will always say that we have to solve Kashmir. Fair enough. The question is how do you do it? A plebiscite today is absolutely useless. Both areas have seen their demographics change so much that it\’s hard to see a plebiscite fulfilling the original intention of the UN resolution. And what would happen if Ladakh or Jammu vote to stay in India? Would Pakistan be happy getting the Valley back and nothing else?

Next is territorial exchange. India is not going to hand over their bit of Kashmir and it\’s useless to expect them to. Would Pakistan hand over territory to Afghanistan? They don\’t accept the Durand line. And the Afghans will often say that this is a problem that needs to be solved. So should the world expect Pakistan to hand over the FATA and parts of NWFP to solve the \’Durand problem\’? Of course not. The same then applies to both parties of the Kashmir dispute.

The only real solution is to sign a peace agreement and implement a soft border. This way crossing over for Kashmiris would be no different than crossing the Canada-US border or crossing the border across Lorraine (a territory once disputed as much as Kashmir) between Germany and France. But to accomplish that both sides will have to give up their territorial ambitions on all of Kashmir. It will take a huge leap of faith to accept that the Indians are trying to break up Pakistan. Conversely, the Indians will have to trust that Pakistan is not going to foment trouble in India anymore. I don\’t know how these two countries will get there but I don\’t see any other option.

One last point on this issue. Before you make your counter-argument I want you to put yourself in the shoes of the Indians. Likewise of course, I would recommend that Indians ponder the Pakistani position and the importance of Kashmir to the Pakistani national self-image. At the end of the day though, there really is only one solution…the one I pointed out. We can implement it now or a century from now after thousands more have died as a result of continued animosity between India and Pakistan.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Now here is something more for you, just google OMAR KHADR,a Canadian citizen and read his life story and who is he and then let your views known.
- Posted by Umair

As a Canadian I will tell you that he’s not worth much in this country. Our newspapers and media refer to the Khadrs are the Al Qaeda family (actually that’s what one of the Khadr brothers nicknamed the family in the interview).

Although I’d like to see Omar repatriated, there is not much sympathy for him. He’d better stay out of sight if they ever bring him back to Canada.

To most Canadians the Khadr family are traitors. The parents pulled their kids out of good public schools in Canada and took them to Al Qaeda camps in Pakistan. The father got killed by Pak forces. The sons were forced to fight. And Omar allegedly killed a US medic (which by the way could be considered a violation of the laws of armed conflict). To most Canadians, that medic could have easily been a Canadian so it’s hard for Canadians to feel sorry for Omar….Indeed, his own mother showed no remorse, going on national tv and saying that Canada was a terrible country and that Canadians were terrible, immoral people (and she wonders why the government isn’t rushing to help Omar). She stated that she dreamed of her sons being jihadist. Well it came true.

And by the way a previous Prime Minister already bailed out the family once…..

Anyway, Omar is a poor example of radicalization. His parents forced him to fight.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Umair – “And tell you an amazing thing, Abdul Qadeer Khan was just another physics student in Europe. He witnessed Pakistan dismembered in 1971 and told himself, boy this is humiliaitng. Let me do something for my country.”

Pakistanis should be a little more reserved in their pride for AQ Khan. He is loathed by the West. For a country that calls itself an ally of the US to go around proliferating nuclear secrets to virtually every US enemy is not something Pakistani should feel proud about. And they especially should not feel pride in the guy who facilitated all that trading (with the military’s consent of course).

Aside from that, recent evidence shows that Khan was a terrible scientist. At best he was a good project manager who put the whole shabang togehter. But as far as being a physicist, there’s probably a few Pakistanis who are not getting the attention they deserve right now.

Anyway, life’s probably poor for Khan. He’ll never leave Pakistan ever again. If he leaves, you can bet that he’ll find himself in an interrogation in room in Langley in no time.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Umair says:

“However, the educated ranks joining in the Jihadis know whats going on in the world. Al Qaida doesnt have to recruit them by much effort. That is where I feel there is a need for ‘dialogue of civilizations’ an initiative taken by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. A dialogue with the Muslim world. Do you know how sensitive the Palestine and Kashmir issues are?”

Umair, with all due respect, FxxK you. Please don’t forget that almost 30-100 millions of Hindus were genocided when the Arab invaders occupied India. Kashmir is nothing my Paki friend. You are living on ancestral Hindu land. With you Paki’s it is always a one-sided highway and you preach victimhood as always, what about the lives of non-muslims? Are they not worth anything because the Koran tells you they are not?

With all due respect, again Fxxk you. If my life is not worth anything as a non-muslim, yours is equally worthless. So shut the hxll up about Kashmir, you have no basis discussing it, until you Paki’s apologize and formally acknowledge and make amends for genociding 2.5 million hindus, that is why you will never get a stage for Kashmir discussion, because you Paki’s lack compassion towards Hindus.

Why does the muslim world not give a rats axs about 2.5 million dead hindus? Muslims have a double standard when it comes to human rights, they don’t feel a non-muslims’s life is worth anything, you know in India we have a saying called Karma, do you understand the concept of what that means in a global context?

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Suffering of others should not turn one into a criminal. @That is the wrong message given by the religion. Suffering should make a spiritual person forgive others and work hard to prevent atrocities that they have witnessed. Your response is a justification for the actions of Omar Sheikh. This tells me that you too can easily be converted into a radical militant by a very manipulative person in a very short time. There are plenty like them in today’s Pakistan and there are many like you who are on the edge.
- Posted by Mauryan

–Such radical militants in many other posts from Pakistanis have been mentioned as “not-true muslims” since Islam teaches peace.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Umair wrote “And tell you an amazing thing, Abdul Qadeer Khan was just another physics student in Europe. He witnessed Pakistan dismembered in 1971 and told himself, boy this is humiliaitng. Let me do something for my country.”

You are again conflicting yourself, You had said a million times that Bangladesh was a result of Mukti bahini and NOT Indian Army.

Are you trying to say AQ is surely a clown who made the bomb to confront wrong party.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

Kieth
“Anyway, Omar is a poor example of radicalization. His parents forced him to fight.”

First of all its great to learn you are from ‘Great White North’ Canada. Look, Stephen Harper should take his stand on this. The neo-cons down south have already lost power due to failed policies. All Canadians are equal, Canada is known for its good things. Omar Khadr and Maher Arar cases damaged Canada’s reputation. Omar Khadr was forced by his parents, but what was his own fault. Why should Canada discriminate against any of its citizens? Omar has still not stood trial, no proper charges have been brought up against him, he has not been proven guilty and remians a suspect only. The compund he was in was bombed by USAF F-15 Eagles, even it is not known if the medic was killed by Omar’s grenade since someone testified that Omar was holding a grenade in his hand. Omar lost his eye as well in that battle. Omar is still young, he can come back to Canada, face trial, be acquitted , rehabilitated and stands a chance to contribute to Canada and live a normal life. Please support him out of Gitmo.

Wish you sunny days!

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Keith
Atleast on Kashmir, I agree with you. I think even Musharraf tried some things, Pakistan had improved relations with India during his later part of government, Musharraf tried the back channel talks with India , he also tried to approach Israel in some limited manner. the solution to Kashmir you suggested seems workable.
On Defense industrial complex in PK, dont you think same was the problem with neo-cons and Northrop Grumman Lockheed Martin Guys in the US when they invaded Iraq?
And regarding borders, I tell you what this will backfire in Kashmir. Due to the prevailing environemnt, it will be inviting infiltration across the two parts of Kashmir, tighter border control is necesary. Even with the implementation of WHTI(Wsetern Hemisphere Travel Initiative) it will become relatively more formal to cross the US-Canadian border back and forth.

And regarding A.Q Khan, he is hailed in Pakistan as a hero. You dont know but unlike you in the west we people here in India and Pakistan have a self esteem problem, We would go for nukes for the prestige. Thats what happened, Khan was infact a very smart guy. He worked in Urenco(company) in Netherlands and had access to classified centrifuge designs etc. People who knew him at that time later revealed it.
Also, you cannot blame Pakistan for nuclear proliferation. Pakistan might have traded nuclear centrifuges design with North Korea in exchange for missile technology, under the Government of western educated Benazir Bhutto.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Kieth
If you have any loved one,friends serving in Afghanistan, i wish them best and hope there are no more sad scenes across the Highway of Heroes. Many Canadian soldiers have laid down their lives in Afghanistan, just like many Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred our side of border. My own dad served in Pakistan Air Force.
Anyways, how are things in Canada after few months back when the Governor General had prorogue the parliament session? The liberals were going after the cons like crazy, but Steve was smart enough to evade the no confidence motion. I am now out of touch with things in Canada since things in Pakistan have kept me occupied with local developments.

Further, I want to say there is much scare mongering about Pakistan. But we are in control and it will come right. Pakistan is an ally, we have gone through crisis before and we should be able to make it through this time also.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Keith,

I read your comments and it was refreshing to read some of your views.

On Kashmir, India was ready to agree on any solution that does not alter the current border – the Line of Control. The plan was to make the border between India & Pak soft and over time make it irrelevant. It may eventually open doors to autonomy in Kashmir, if not complete independance.

In a recent article in the NY magazine, Steve Coll confirmed that India & Pak met on 12 occassions for back-channel talks on Kashmir. In 2007, both were very close on reaching an agreement on the broader disputes in the Kashmir region. Plans were drawn on Manmohan Singh travelling to Pakistan and signing the peace agreement. However, Musharraf wanted more time because he was not sure how to sell the aggreement to Paksitanis. Soon after, Musharraf got engulfed in political crisis and lost his office. Now, the political uncertainty in Pakistan and the Mumbai attacks have stalled the talks.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

As you can imagine, the Omar Khadr case is complex. In fact, you are a bit off base here. Both the Omar Khadr and Maher Arar cases happened when the Liberals were in power. All the Conservatives have done is merely follow policy in the Khadr case. And it was actually the Conservatives who pushed the Liberals to resolve the Maher Arar case.

Although, I support repatriation, it’s hard to feel sorry for Omar while we have people in Afghanistan. I just lost a friend there yesterday. I can accept the fact that Omar shouldn’t pay for the sins of his parents. So I support his repatriation on those grounds. But personally, I think his mother should be charged with child abuse and treason. What kind of nut job pulls their kid out of a nice school in a middle class neighbourhood in Canada and sends them to fight as jihadis in Afghanistan? Moreover, Khadr senior was already pulled out of a Pakistani prison once by a previous Liberal Prime Minister. He went back and ended up in a firefight with the Pak Army. As you can see, this family has a pattern and it’s not one that shows loyalty to Canada. That’s why there’s not much support for Omar Khadr even among liberals. But as far as the policy goes its actually consistent. The Canadian government normally only intervenes after the country’s judicial processes have run through. This is the same for example as the two boys who were accused of murder in Saudi. That has not happened yet for Omar in Gitmo. When it does, they’ll intervene. He’ll be brought home fairly soon. I am confident of that. But as far as having a normal life in Canada. That’ll never happen. I would recommend he change his name and never talk to his nut job mother and sister again.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Umair.

Few points:

Defence-Industrial Complex. Yes, the United States has one. It’s not something to be applauded and it’s certainly not an excuse for Pakistan to have one. At least the States can afford theirs. In Pakistan, people are starving, schools and hospitals are crumbling, while the defence sector by some estimates is responsbile for 25-50% of all economic activity in your country. By no measure is the US even close in that regard. The US military does not run side businesses to fund their activities or provide cushy jobs for retirees.

Soft border. The WHTI might be a bit of a tightening but look at what we have in North America. Canada and the US have the longest undefended border in the world. In most places it’s a dirt road and a two wire fence that you could hop over. In fact most border crossing have no guards, just a phone to US and Canadian customs. You pick it up and tell them that you are crossing. Most of that is not going to change. A lot of these rules apply to major border crossings. And you will just have to keep the documentation on you when you cross. For years all you needed was a birth certificate (without a photo) for native born and a citizenship card for naturalized citizens to cross. To require a passport to go across is not that big a deal…it’s just a big deal to North Americans who can’t imagine roaming around Canada, US, Mexico with a passport. It’s a big change for people use to waving a driver’s license. Imagine if Kashmir had this. Even if it was just a passport. Rural Kashmir could have a simple marked undefended border with phones to Indian and Pak authorities. Border crossings could be like the EU or Canada/US where you either wave through a smart passport or an ID card. How much of an inconvenience would that be for the average Kashmiris if these policies were implemented correctly (smart ID, well staffed crossings, minimal delays, etc.)? At that point I think, few would have to worry about having the territory in their possession. There are so many areas in Europe that were under dispute once upon a time. The European Union has eliminated a lot of those concerns. There is no reason a smart border policy could not do the same for India and Pakistan…and down the road add all the other South Asian countries. Imagine Pakistanis working in Bombay. Or tamils working and living in Karachi. Or Bengalis being able to work in Islamabad, while Pashtuns take up jobs in Dhaka. That’s what you should be working towards….a comprehensive vision. There is no use quarrelling over a line in the dirt. You’ll spend centuries and thousands of lives and succeed at moving it only inches a year. Work towards making borders irrelevant instead. Forget WHTI. The goal for South Asia should be to end up like the EU.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Umair writes: “You dont know but unlike you in the west we people here in India and Pakistan have a self esteem problem, We would go for nukes for the prestige. Thats what happened, Khan was infact a very smart guy.”

Please do not include India with Pakistan. Our nuclear ambitions were not driven by low self esteem. May be it applies to your countrymen. People with low self esteem constantly compare themselves with others and try to ape them even if they cannot afford to do so.

India’s leaders and scientists wanted India to become independent on many fronts. Indigenous technology development was a motto for a long time. In the 1950s and early 60s scientists like Homi Jehangir Baba tried convincing Nehru to join the nuclear club. NPT was not there at that time. Nehru wanted nuclear power only for peaceful means and wanted the Indian scientists to develop the technology by themselves. Many nuclear powers set up plants inside India with an agreement that the material generated will not be used for nuclear weapon development. However, in 1960s China mauled India after taking Nehru for a ride. And they had become a declared nuclear power by 1968. This is when India decided to protect itself and its borders by developing a credible deterrent. India pursued it against international protest and used the generated material to explode nuclear bombs in 1971. There was no such drive to eat grass and somehow make the bombs.

India also went on many other fronts – rocket development and satellite technology for space exploration, and remote sensing. This helped tremendously for its green revolution and weather forecasting. India also set up council for industrial research, national science labs, institutes of technology and so on to provide an all round development that will not only generate scientific and engineering talent, but also provide them with opportunities when they became ready. India has a station set up in Antarctica as well. Everything was not defense related. Atomic bombs happened from the stand point of protecting ourselves from China. Missile development also became necessary for deterrent. We were caught in the cold war geo politics. India wanted to be non-aligned as much as possible. But its situation forced it to align itself with the USSR, as China was courted by the US.

There is no self esteem issue as far as India is concerned. We did not try to match China item to item. I don’t want to say with low self esteem problems for Pakistanis. But kindly do not drag us with you guys. It insults years of concerted effort in all fronts to make India developed in an all round sense. These things takes time and I am glad Indian leaders put their efforts in laying such foundations. We really want to build a successful nation, not out of low self esteem, but out of our potential and capability. Indian scientists and engineers are highly respected and recognized in many countries. I don’t think I have to give you references for that. Some of our institutions of management and technology rank in the top 100 in the world. Please do not spread your ignorance.

 

Umair – “You dont know but unlike you in the west we people here in India and Pakistan have a self esteem problem”

Kindly talk for yourself & your fellow Pakistanis & not for India or Indians.

Umair – “Also, you cannot blame Pakistan for nuclear proliferation. Pakistan might have traded nuclear centrifuges design with North Korea in exchange for missile technology”

So, nuclear proliferation was ‘OK’, just because it was done in a trade-off? What kind of a twisted logic is that?

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Good to see that Kayani has woken up. Now hopefully, he’ll do something about the rest of the NWFP.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/80 15949.stm

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Umair quotes: “First there is no crusade in Pakistan against India, no one is suggesting that.”

History does not substantiate your statement. Pakistan’s eager involvement against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was done with the ulterior plan to use the resources later against India. Taliban was groomed and harnessed as a strategic depth against India. Militant training using foreigners in Afghanistan included plans against India in Kashmir. This crusade never ended. It started in 1947 and it is still there.

“Second, both Israel and Pakistan are officially US allies, so dont worry about them going after Pakisatn.”

You should not bank too much on the word “ally.” This changes according to times and priorities.

In WW II, Soviet Union was part of the allied forces against Nazi Germany.

In Vietnam, they were the enemy along with China against the US.

Iran was a strong US ally once.

US was an ally of Iraq in its war against Iran. When Saddam Hussein dropped chemical bombs on Kurdish people, Rumsfeld was in Baghdad, for business reasons.

Panama was a US ally once.

Pakistan is was an ally in the war against the Soviet Union and now in the war on terrorism.

But truth is coming out. Pakistan has been the source of global terrorism. This is not something your country planned. Your plans were to control and use terrorism as a means to getting even with India. But went out of control. Now Israel has come into the picture.

And Israel is a long time US ally. The US will go against any nation that threatens Israel. So Pakistan must be worried because if whatever that has originated inside Pakistan can become a threat to Israel, your country too can become a target. The US will mislead you and then emasculate your nation. Remember what happened to Saddam Hussein.

This is the reason why India has kept the US at arm’s length and not gone under its wings entirely. Being self reliant really helps in the long run and it has been India’s goal.

 

Keith writes: “Good to see that Kayani has woken up. Now hopefully, he’ll do something about the rest of the NWFP.”

Glad to see this development. But I do not know how these things will play out in the long run.

My guess is that Kayani’s representatives used the “India” word. The Taliban might have been told thus: “Look brother, if we fight each other in this crucial time, our enemy India gets to gain. They have manipulated the US to turn against us. We both have helped each other. Our common goal is to keep Afghanistan under our thumb and wrest Kashmir out of India’s hands. We need to buy time and help our brothers hide and wait it out. The US is beginning to struggle economically. If we manage to prolong the conflict by holding out, they will give up. Then look at what we get to gain! You got Swat. Just hold on to it. We will look the other way and you do whatever you want there. And we will provide you with weapons and supplies that you can use against the Americans. We need to play this game for our survival. Hang in there buddy”

And this would work like a charm. I hope this is not true. But my knowledge of history in this region makes me think this way. Common enemy psyche really works.

 

Umair writes: “Khan was infact a very smart guy.”

So is the thief who can break open any lock. And thieves are pretty sophisticated now-a-days. Will Khan be able to walk free if he left the shores of Pakistan? No. He will be arrested immediately to face charges in a number of countries for stealing technology and selling sensitive information. Scientists are honored abroad and welcomed. Your Khan does not have that kind of a reputation. So what does that tell you? He was a crook. And you guys call him a father of your nation, it only tells one thing.

 

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