Pakistan, India hold talks on Siachen

May 29, 2011

Of  the many issues dividing India and Pakistan, resolving the conflict in Siachen has always been seen as potential game-changer. Compared to the big intractables like Kashmir and what India calls the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan, the Siachen conflict is easier to solve. 

But the conflict is also a big enough cause of tension that its resolution would give real momentum to the peace process revived by India and Pakistan this year. An agreement on Siachen, moreover, would allow Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make a long-awaited visit to Pakistan, giving him something of substance to announce during his trip.

For those reasons, the talks on Siachen starting on Monday between the defence secretaries of India and Pakistan have an importance beyond the conflict itself. No one is expecting an early resolution of the war which erupted in the Karakoram mountains above the Siachen glacier in 1984, and which has been both literally and figuratively frozen since a late 2003 cease-fire.  But the talks will help gauge how quickly India and Pakistan will move on what is for now a very slow but steady peace process.

The war over Siachen was one that neither India nor Pakistan meant to fight for so long. Lying in the undemarcated mountains and glaciers beyond the Line of Control (LoC), the ceasefire line which divides the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and ends at grid reference NJ9842, the Siachen region has no real strategic value.

But after the Indian army occupied the ridgeline above the Siachen glacier in 1984 — for what was meant to be only a summer stay of a few months — Pakistani troops hauled themselves up the mountains to fight them. That began years of fighting as soldiers from both sides spread out across the mountains, often above 18,000 feet, seeking to occupy the high positions on the world’s highest battlefield. 

India won control of most of the higher positions, and both countries had pretty much fought themselves to a stalemate by the late 1980s  - when they began their first serious talks to resolve the dispute. At issue was not whether India and Pakistan should withdraw – both wanted to bring their troops down from mountains so inhospitable that far more died from the impact of the environment than from fighting. But India insisted that having fought and won control of the higher positions, it wanted these recorded on a map. Pakistan refused to give India that acknowledgement. Diplomatic solutions were kicked around over the years – the most promising being that India and Pakistan would sign an agreement on a withdrawal, and the Indian positions would then be recorded on separate annex. 

That remains more or less where things stand today - with an agreement in principle to withdraw, awaiting the diplomatic form of words that would allow India to have its positions recorded, without Pakistan being required to acknowledge the legitimacy of those positions.  But if it were that simple, an agreement would have been reached years ago.  That this has not happened explains a lot about why Siachen is such an important dispute – so much so that in 2010 The Hindu newspaper reported it been a deal-breaker in attempts last year to get India-Pakistan peace talks up and running.

The deadlock is sometimes attributed to strains between the Indian army and the government on a withdrawal from Siachen. The army has told the government that if it wants its troops to withdraw, it must not expect them to go back up again if Pakistani soldiers move into the vacated positions – there is nothing harder than fighting in high mountains when the enemy occupies the higher positions.

But the reasons for the conflict dragging on for so long run deeper than that. Pakistan has always seen the Indian occupation of the mountains above Siachen in April 1984 as an act of Indian aggression – a breach of the 1972 Simla agreement under which both countries promised they would not try to change the Line of Control by force.  As the country usually presented as the trouble-maker in the region, Pakistan could point to Siachen and argue – with some but not total justification - that in this case, it was the aggrieved party.

Many years later, in 1999, Pakistan responded to that perceived aggression by occupying the mountains above the town of Kargil on the Line of Control, allowing it to train its artillery on the road used by India to bring supplies from Kashmir to Siachen. The idea of closing the supply routes to Siachen – rather than fighting hopeless battles with Indian troops on the mountains themselves - had been around since the 1980s. Yet by the time Pakistani troops occupied the mountains above Kargil, it was already too late in the day.

The Kargil war, coming only a year after India and Pakistan had announced they had tested nuclear weapons, so alarmed the world that the Pakistan army was forced into a humiliating withdrawal. Yet to this day, from the point of view of the Pakistan army, any deal on Siachen which legitimised the Indian positions while leaving it looking like the guilty party on Kargil would be nearly impossible to stomach.

From the point of view of the Indian army, however,  Pakistan’s occupation of the mountains above Kargil was an act of perfidy – breaching understandings about respecting the Line of Control. In the brief and intense conflict over Kargil — the first India-Pakistan conflict to be broadcast through television footage into middle-class living rooms across India – Indian soldiers were remembered for extreme acts of heroism.  As Pakistan had learned in Siachen, the Indian troops were fighting near impossible battles to dislodge the enemy for higher positions.

Since the Kargil conflict, the Indian army has been much more rigorous about posting troops throughout the year all the way along the Line of Control. They now form an unbroken chain with its soldiers in the Siachen region, stationed on what is known as the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL). 

As a result, for geographical, logistical and emotional reasons, it has become very difficult to end the Siachen conflict in isolation. It needs to be part of a broader de-escalation on the Line of Control – or at least that part of it which snakes between Ladakh on the Indian side and Baltistan on the Pakistani side towards point NJ9842, and beyond it, Siachen.

Siachen is not, as sometimes argued, the “low-hanging fruit” of the India-Pakistan peace process. That does not mean that India and Pakistan will not, sooner or later, find a way to bring their troops back down from Siachen. It does mean, however, that when they do, it will be far more significant than the absurdity of fighting over the Siachen region itself would suggest.  It will be a catalyst for further peace-making and also a reflection of how far they have come.

Comments

India’s chance to nail ISI down

http://expressbuzz.com/opinion/editorial s/india%E2%80%99s-chance-to-nail-isi-dow n/279038.html

The New Indian Express
Last Updated : 30 May 2011 12:44:03 AM IST

The lawsuit filed by the relatives of Rabbi Gavriel Noah Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, victims of 26/11, in a New York court to demand declaration of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI as a terrorist group provides India an opportunity to nail it down. They have provided documentary evidences to prove that the 2008 Mumbai attack was planned, coordinated and executed by the ISI in collaboration with the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).

Even those who initially gave the Pakistan government the benefit of the doubt are amazed that a government agency could use mass murder as its policy. Understanding the ISI and its diabolic operations is not the same as fixing responsibility for the Mumbai attack on the agency and its LeT collaborator. A state which could bluff the US about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts for years while sheltering him all the while cannot be expected to take action against any of those whose names India has given to Pakistan.

By impleading itself in the lawsuit filed by the Rabbi’s relatives, India can provide proof about the involvement of the ISI in several other terrorist attacks. If the federal court in New York is convinced about the ISI’s involvement and declares it a terrorist organisation, it will be a validation of India’s stand.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

> As the country usually presented as the trouble-maker in the region, Pakistan could point to Siachen and argue – with some but not total justification – that in this case, it was the aggrieved party.

Myra,

As the author of a book on this subject, you should know that the Pakistanis were not guileless victims of Indian aggression on Siachen. If India had not pre-empted them, the Pakistanis would have occupied Siachen first.

http://bit.ly/mGj7Ov

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

The Indian government would be demonstrating irresponsibility to Indian citizens (to whom they are ultimately accountable ) if it made any major concessions in signing a peace deal in today’s climate. Pakistan is busy tearing itself apart, so the correct thing to do is wait and watch until that country settles to a new level of stability, and then negotiate with the remaining entity/entities. When you are in a position of strength, you do not squander your advantage for the sake of a rosy vision which the other side doesn’t believe in anyway.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

It has taken many soldiers’ lives and sacrifices to keep off Pakistan from taking over Siachien. Barren or not, a territory has to be defended. We have no trust of Pakistan which has gained fame for duplicity, lying shamelessly and double dealing. I hope Man Mohan Singh does not offer his back to be stabbed by Pakistan. I’d wait and watch what is going to happen to Pakistan itself. I don’t know where they are getting money to stage an expensive high altitude war with us. This is something the funding nations should start looking at and tell Pakistan not to waste foreign aid on impossible missions of this kind. Siachien is Indian territory and there is no further arguments on it. We will defend every inch of our territory.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@GP
You actually read the article written by Nishan-e-Pakistan ?!
you have a great sense of humor :-)

@KPSingh
Subedhar Bana Singh who was decorated for his heroics in Siachen is saying the exact same thing. There is a news item in DNA daily.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

I had stopped commenting on Myra’s articles for past 1 year…now forced to respond due to uncorroborated and blatantly incorrect assertions!

Source: Wikipedia (a truly global gold standard as an information resource – unlike an one-sided book)
Title: Siachen Conflict
URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siachen_con flict
Relevant section: “At army headquarters in Rawalpindi, Pakistani generals decided they had better stake a claim to Siachen before India did. Islamabad then committed an intelligence blunder, according to a now retired Pakistani army colonel. “They ordered Arctic-weather gear from a London outfitters who also supplied the Indians,” says the colonel. “Once the Indians got wind of it, they ordered 300 outfits—twice as many as we had—and rushed their men up to Siachen” [Source: "War at the Top of the World". Time. November 7, 2005.]

Also relevant – the issue began in 1967: “The United States Defense Mapping Agency (now National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) began in about 1967 to show, with no legal or historical justification or any boundary documentation, an international boundary on their Tactical Pilotage Charts available to the public and pilots as proceeding from NJ9842 east-northeast to the Karakoram Pass at 5,534 m (18,136 ft) on the China border”

I wish Myra would stop trying to pass off her personal agenda as facts in “her” Reuters blog – it not only defeats the purpose of having an intelligent discussions but also renders her sometimes valid points as apriori suspect.

Posted by truthalonewins | Report as abusive
 

“But the reasons for the conflict dragging on for so long run deeper than that. Pakistan has always seen the Indian occupation of the mountains above Siachen in April 1984 as an act of Indian aggression – a breach of the 1972 Simla agreement under which both countries promised they would not try to change the Line of Control by force. As the country usually presented as the trouble-maker in the region, Pakistan could point to Siachen and argue – with some but not total justification – that in this case, it was the aggrieved party”

When has Pakistan not claimed that it is the aggrieved party in any dispute? Hpowever, the facts are not as bland and as straight forward as made out here. The other side of the story – both parties never thought there would be an inhabitation or point in inhabiting territory beyond a certain point. I know there is specific mention of it, but Im too lazy to refresh my memory now over it. However, in the late 1970s or thereabouts Pakistan tried to establish de facto claim to it being their territory and started issuing visas and permissions for mountaineering expeditions etc thus trying to establish that the area was theirs. So if India breached the Shimla agreement, as claimed, in 1984, they learnt from the Pakistanis how to do it!

Yes India reached the heights before the Pakistanis because it had got wind of a Pakistani operation to do exactly the same. Whether because the route from the Indian side was easier or whatever, I do not know, but the fact is the Indians beat the Pakistanis by a few days only. And so it has remained. Where Myra got the information that it was a summer expedition only, I am not aware of. But knowing how trustworthy the other side is, Indian troops will not to vacate unless there is something like a cast iron guarantee. Or there is sufficient trust built up. Again if I recall correctly, subsequently in the 1990s Pakistan made several attempts to get to the high ground and was repulsed. Can such an adversary be taken at his word?

The tragedy is both sides are losing lives, not to bullets but to the fury of nature, in ever increasing numbers. Life is cheap in these parts, specially of the unfortunate foot soldier.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

@Myra
The world community should not trust these antagonists for talk peace on their own. They are used to century old love hate relatioship and have not got the faintest understanding of what peace imlies. The regional players such as Iran and China as well the UNO representative should also participate in the discussions.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Shadow boxing time! This time in North Waziristan! The US went in and took some of the Haqqanis. No one in the brave nation of Pakistan had the backbone to raise a whisper! Thighs are trembling already in GHQ. ISI’s rogue wing is clueless.

http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-mat rix/archives/2011/05/is_pakistan_going_t o_attack_th.php

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

A host of Geopolitical factors led to Siachen conflict.

1.This was a time when America was completely involved itself in Afghan war, the single objective of destroying the soviet threat and had to tolerate the belligerence of pakistan and mute support for Pakistan against India.

2.The Tactical Pilotage Charts led to confusion and mute responses by India led pakistan believe that India is not claiming the ridges and by occupying them, it could effectively threaten the ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir while at the same time closing any strategic blind spots in the region for pakistan, i.e) if you carefully study the region, you will see that India has all the defensive positions while Pakisan has the offensive positions across LOC except of course Siachen, where we can push deeper into karakoran range of pakistan where the prized Gilgit and Baltistan lie.

3. Indian political leadership blame the Military and vice-versa for the stalemate as after occupying the highest peaks, Indian army did not go down the peaks well into karakoram range which would have given India more strategic space to manoeuver. The reasons in my opinion is military rather than political as logistics would have been impossible to deliver over the ranges and it had become de-facto border.

4.Incidentally, The Siachen conflict in 1984 was the last operation by a professional pakistani military. Like the pakistani establishments previous overconfident operations, this too was planned with the understanding that a young leader (Rajiv Gandhi) was inexperienced in matters of strategic policy. But the Indian Army had clearly outlined the near impossibility of reclaiming the glacier once Pakistan Army has taken over. Without much of a choice of one-sided compromise (like in 65 or 71) the political leader has given the nod for military operation without any political strings attached.
also this is the time when Pakistan could not blackmail nuclear war as it was still in the process of aquiring them.

5.Some passes (chorbat la) were under the control of pakistan and it feared if siachen is not controlled by pakistan, India could encircle the pakistan in these passes and the option of either closing the passes or invading pakistan from these passes lies with India.

6.Pakistan knows rather than fighting India on the plains it is better to fight at the ridges (owing to its offensive positions and India’s status quoist attitude) and to win militarily it will have to invade through some region around kargil (which it incidentally did in 1999!) which is India’s soft underbelly in the region. For this to succeed, Pakistan needs to have control of siachen where Indian army would not invade to counter their kargil invasion.

7. It is in a sense a defining moment for pakistan army where it realized the resolve of their adversary(Strangely though 1971 or 1984 doesn’t dominate the mind the pak military to saner options rather military started to believe itself as clever rather than powerful/invincible). From the point on, Pakistani military has abandoned this unidimensional tactic of fighting India. Instead it turned to even more dangerous policy of Cross border terrorism which it displayed in kargil, calling the armed militia as Freedom fighters and refused to accept the bodies of Pakistani soldiers.
The desperation shows the lack of options for pakistani army to defeat India militarily.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

6.Pakistan knows rather than fighting India on the plains it is better to fight at the ridges (owing to its offensive positions and India’s status quoist attitude)
Indeed it had successully defended the borders which are shadowed by mountains throughout its independent history.

Unlike what many Indians believe, India did not (for pakistanis ‘could not’) attempt any major military operation on the western border along punjab plains. All major operations were east (in bangladesh) or in longewale battle which is by far a smaller conflict relative to the entire conflict of 1971. Hence, the Generals believe and make people believe that Pakistani military is the only option defending the country and it is because of them India had not yet Invaded!

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

8. This was the same time India was on a back foot owing to sikh militancy (which had taken its Prime Minister),moral bankrupsy vis-a-vis pakistan for supporting (atleast being mute to) soviet invasion of Afghanistan and more importantly a bankrupt economy owing to failed fabian socialist policies.
Pakistan did think this as the right moment but its desperation and hubris led to disaster.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

8. This was the same time India was on a back foot owing to sikh militancy (which had taken its Prime Minister),moral bankrupsy vis-a-vis pakistan for supporting (atleast being mute to) soviet invasion of Afghanistan and more importantly a bankrupt economy owing to failed fabian socialist policies.
Pakistan did think this as the right moment but its desperation and hubris led to disaster.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

India should simply keep up the pressure and let Pakistan bleed. Pakistan does not have the money to sustain its end of the conflict. It is important to keep them engaged at many fronts and keep the grip tight. Without a sound economy and resources, they will fall. They do not trust us anyway and do not want lower their guard on their Eastern border. Let them beg for negotiation and settlement rather than us going after them. It has made them arrogant. Let us expose their emptiness.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

@KP
“Let us expose their emptiness.”

Is anything left to be exposed!!

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

1.It is absolutely the wrong time to offer one sided concessions at this time just as Ganesh,KP and others noted. I don’t know who the advisors of Prime Minister are but they are as delusionists as some Pakistani politicians are. At one time, they even suggested the We (India) give concessions to Pakistan as it is in a bad period! Now this supposedly bad period is not due to because of floods or earthquakes but the voilence in the form of terrorism which had started to feed the hand of its own benefactors!

2.I am not really sure which fool is advicing the prime minister who says “If he could normalize relations with pakistan, he could consider his job well done”. Now! thats very very strange at this point of time because Pakistan is in the midst of Security emergency where terrorists have free run over their Mehran naval base, which is combined force projection of army,navy and airforce.
3.Wrong time to offer dialogue when its in the midst of heavy ostracisation from the world and even from China on its state policy on terror.
4.It only makes us asses when pakistan is under untenable pressure of wrapping its state sponsored policy of terror, we offer dialogue of peace. Somehow, the lameduck prime minister is diverting the public attention from his domestic failures.

5.Wrong time to offer dialogue when world has slowly but steadily reconciled to the fact of irrelevance of balance of power in south asia.

6.The tactic should have been showing freindly gestures towards pakistan without any strong initiative at the bilateral level, which can give good impression before the world but giving a message to pakistan effetively that even it can play the double game of smiling lips but a wrinkled temple.

7.Moreover any serious bonhomie will infuriate the mad terrorists and can make one more attempt to kill innocent citizens. We must continue this jelly relationship where we neither cement our ties nor break them further to avoid seriously disturbing the deep state of pakistan. It should be our strategy because Pak Army thinks we get too close to comfort if we start serious dialogue and if we keep absolutely away then Pak army with inferiority complex thinks, if you dont care us we will be even more nasty to make you think about us!

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

sensiblepatriot: “It is absolutely the wrong time to offer one sided concessions at this time just as Ganesh,KP and others noted.”

Not much will progress. It has not done so for the past 60 odd years. If we make concessions, Pakistan like to take them and give nothing in return. They are good at violating all accords and treaties. They did not obey the UN resolution in 1948. They have ignored the Simla accord completely. So if our stupid politicians make any room, it will be ignored very quickly and Pakistan will walk in and take over all of Siachien. And they will declare victory on top of it. The same problem with settling Kashmir. Jihadis will shift camp into Kashmir if let go and will start their campaigns from there. And they will be much closer to Delhi.Right now all over politicians are busy with Lok Pal bill and Baba Ramdev’s fast. As a result, no opposition party has come forward to voice its concerns about making deals with Pakistan. Everyone must be consulted and national consensus has to be reached on matters of this kind. No individual should be allowed to make his own decisions which can mess up things for us in the long run.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

A classic move by India to test the level of China’s involvement with Pakistan on Siachen?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

In case you all didn’t notice, inviting Pakistan for talks IS the consession ;-)

Rest of it is for the consumption of international media.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

Indian army hurdle in way of Siachen solution

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/02/indian-ar my-hurdle-in-way-of-siachen-solution.htm l

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

“Indian army hurdle in way of Siachen solution”

Good. Our military knows your military. As soon as the diplomats sign any deal off, our military obeys orders and does what it is told. Your military ignores all civilian deals and does what it does. If we back off from Siachien, your military will change the map permanently. My preference is to keep the grip tight. Your nation is running out of money and it does not have the juice to keep up this conflict. At some point, it needs to look at wasteful engagements and Siachien is one of them. We simply need to wait it out. Hope the civil servants see this situation. Pakistan has another nation inside its borders – its military. We are not dealing with it across a table. We are dealing with it with guns and mortar.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Indian army is a professional army unlike the Pakistan army. People don’t even konw who the Indian Army Chief is. Being under the civilain control doesn’t mean, the civilian leader are supposed to take decisions without consulting military men.

About the expenses, US should stop all aid immediately, unless the US politicans still want to pursue the same old failed policies.

US should test
1)how much money China will spend to prop up the Pakistan on life support

2) What will China demand in return from Pakistan

On both scores Paks are going to be in a big shock. There is an unfortunate news item about Britain giving 1.4 billion punds (!!) to the Terrorists. This is pretty bad and helps perpetuate terroristani aggression.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

Indian diplomats and politicians need to understand the importance of the Siachen. It is the only region where India holds offensive postions along the Loc called Actual Ground Position Line which I elaborated in my previous post.
This is the fundemental reason why Pakistan is willing to move on Siachen because the status-quo is a losing proposition to it. Have people realized why pakistan which never wants to hear anything other than ‘Kashmir’ from India actually goes on to take the dialogue forward on Siachen!

Why haven’t they come forward on Trade nor Rann of kutch nor security nor even water even though they are more important! Because the war mongering pakistani military thinks that If Pakistan had to cross the kashmir border (they would create an excuse of political alienation and repression of kashmiris), they would not be countered by pushing Indian troops to the lower side of siachen into POK. Although India has not cross the LOC even during kargil.
This defensive mindset of India will let the belligerant pakistan to threaten the Ladakh region of kashmir.

Although it is not economically stronger to take up that
adventure right now, with growing radicals inside its state, it desperately tries to divert their anger and bigotry onto their favourite hating nation.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

kpsingh01:”Your nation is running out of money and it does not have the juice to keep up this conflict”.

kp, Thats in fact what we hope will be the outcome, devoid of any more resouces to fund this futile conflict with India. Pakistani establishments sees light at the end of the tunnel. But fools like these who have made careers will not let it happen so easily.
http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/02/dangerous -to-abandon-pakistan-mullen.html
Even though US donated 20 billion dollars to Pakistan (In trade you need to export your way to 200 billion to earn a reasonable profit of 10% to earn that money, the same reason china wont do aids) and its useless hope of changing pakistan’s focus towards its own development, bureaucrats like these would not take a much tougher line on pakistan.
Inspite of raging terrorism and internal economic emergency where only 1% of pakistanis pay taxes and its tax-gdp ratio lowest in the world even lower than Africa.
The military and its asorted strategic experts who pervade on the web are in a grand denial of the millenium.
http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/02/pakistan- to-reel-in-tax-evaders-shaikh.html
With fools like mullen who needs reformers!
The real danger for India lies when Americans leaven and pakistan miraculously implements reforms brings its growth rate to sustainable phenomenon and diverts the money against India in strengthening insurgencies inside India.
The gameplan for India is to talk to countries who are the biggest trade partners for pakistan and convince them that terrorism as state policy by pakistan is a danger to even their own security interests and if they refuse to budge on that, we must make a veiled threat that we will discard sharing of any intelligence information concerning them and indeed pay the mercenaries of terrorists against their country (this is specifically only to china).

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

I have been away on vacation for four weeks so you had time to solve all problem. Is there some body who would update me on salient events which happened while I was gone. Thanks

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive
 

“Is there some body who would update me on salient events which happened while I was gone.”

Surely –

1. Osama Bin Laden is dead. And no one in Pakistan ever knew he lived comfortably in their country for close to 5 years, very close to Islamabad, right near the military academy.

2. David Coleman Headley and Tawahur Rana are out doing each other to expose the ISI involvement in Mumbai attacks during the Chicago trial.

3. Paradise seekers invaded a naval base at Mehran near Karachi. They prayed and said, “Open sesame” and the door opened. They walked in and decided to send some kafirs to hell. And they managed to stay on for 17 hours. Some of them decided to go to paradise later and ran away. Again no one knows how they managed to get in and wreak havoc on unbelievers.

4. A journalist who seemed to have info on ISI link to Mehran debacle was taken from home, given nice massage. His body was found a few days later. People are wondering who could give such a nice massage other than the ISI.

5. Geelani went to China and declared that Pakistan and China are one nation and two countries. It probably would not have changed the meaning if he had said the two are one country and two nations. You figure. The Chinese have not made any moves towards more weapons and money.

6. Kayani’s feelings are very hurt. Pasha is also very depressed. They have no clue who is running the rogue wing of the ISI. So they are preparing small nuclear warheads that can be launched with 6 mile range missiles. A stinger launched nuke would even be better.

7. There is no money again. This is especially needed for military which is getting ready to go into North Waziristan (after safely moving out all Haqqani guys, Hekmatyar, Mullah Omar et al to other places like Abbotabad or Karachi).

8. Pakistanis are very hurt about the whole thing. Do not ask me which one. Everyday there is something new. Imran Khan has even gone out and said that the American offensive in Abbatobad feels as humiliating as an innings defeat at the hands of Bangladesh.

9. Nothing is going on in Kashmir yet. Stones are being collected and packed. Dead bodies have to be set up. Come on!

10. Ah Siachien! Indians are unnecessarily defending the barren glacier from higher vantage points. So diplomats are working on settlement where India and Pakistan will vacate their troops first. Six months later, depending on who is running Pakistan, it will be occupied again due to extenuating circumstance, by Pakistani troops or non state actors or both. This will help India save money first. Since India has started making money, it makes more sense for them to chase that first.

11. Myra is still writing the same way.

If I have forgotten anything, please forgive me. You always have the ever resourceful cave dweller in Germany. Or he might be busy tackling ecoli bacteria there.

Other than that, life is normal as usual.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

And I forgot one more thing,

Pasha has already identified targets inside India.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

“Indian army hurdle in way of Siachen solution”

If Pakis are so innocent, pure, kind hearted dove birds then why dont they agree to India’s demands of marking the Siachen positions on Map. If Pakis are not going to “grab” the glacier then how does it matter to them if it is marked as Indian position.

I think KP has already put forward India’s position and nothing needs to be added to that.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

@KP
ROTFL!

Good one.

p.s Do you really think Matrixx was not checking news when he was on “vacation”? ;-(

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

You missed some points, KP:

> 5. Geelani went to China and declared that Pakistan and China are one nation and two countries. It probably would not have changed the meaning if he had said the two are one country and two nations. You figure. The Chinese have not made any moves towards more weapons and money.

5b. Pakistani Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar announced a very public invitation to China to take over Gwadar and establish a naval base there, which would have been dramatic rather than comic if the Chinese had not issued a clarification the next day that this issue had not been discussed before and the Pakistani minister’s statement was the first time they had heard about such a proposal. (Apparently, Pakistani sovereignty is either violated by its allies or spurned by them when it is offered on a platter.)

5c. The all-weather friend has expedited the supply of 50 fighter planes but has demurred on the question of financial aid. The friendly Chinese suggestion has been to approach the US or the IMF for that. The Pakistanis have been very grateful for this suggestion, since it shows that the friendship is indeed higher than the mountains and deeper than the ocean.

12. After asking the US to drastically reduce its footprint in Pakistan, Pakistan has asked the US to replace the two P3C Orion aircraft that were destroyed in the Mehran attack. Since neither nation has any sense of irony, the US is expected to do so shortly.

13. Since the destruction of the P3C Orions primarily benefitted India, the latest conspiracy theory says India is behind the Mehran attack. This accusation has boosted the morale and self-esteem of Indian citizens everywhere since they have tended to believe their government’s competence is best exemplified by the accuracy of the list of 50 terrorists that it provided to Pakistan. It has been nice for Indians to know that Pakistanis have a higher opinion of their competence than they do themselves.

14. Admiral Noman Bashir has said that the attack on PNS Mehran was not a security lapse (!), leading to obvious comparisons with “Ulysses and the Cyclops” when the cyclops screamed, “Noman has blinded me!” (http://anse.rs/iT397M)

15. Pakistani Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has announced the grim news that Pakistan, with a growth rate of 2.5%, has failed to achieve its growth target of 4%. Pakistanis are consoling themselves with the fact that India has also failed to achieve its growth target of 10%.

16. News headlines continue to be witty since there has been “no thaw on Siachen”. One might add that talks continue at a glacial pace.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

P.S. Matrix, I’m surprised you had no access to the news during your month-long vacation. Were you in China?

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Singh/ Prasad
Let me clarify that I was in Istanbul and Tehran during my vacation. You would be surprised that there were no English newspapers and even hotel TV was mostly local languages. There was Aljazera English broadcast which I did watch but it is very light on South Asia. I really liked Istanbul because it is very friendly, good food, full of historic places,old style shopping, comfortable and on the sea of Marmara. It beats Dubai by miles.
Tehran is more like New York. Block after block of condos and they are building freeways like crazy. I had easier time talking to people because I could understand Farsi half way. Overall I enjoyed both places.
I might go to China next year to strengthen the friendship.
Months ago, I told you that geopolitical landscape is changing and I think we one-third of the way. All the things that happened during last one month don’t surprise a bit. I need to catchup on reading and think thru as to future trends.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh

I had seen in the past when you have advocated peace between India and Pakistan and now you seem to loose faith in that approach. From my perspective Pakistan cannot afford continued hostility with India, on the other hand India with a whole bunch of disputes with its largest neighbour cannot reach its full potential. The only way forward is peace for both nations, however if you ever think Pakistan will be weakened internally overtime and a waiting game will ensure that Pakistan drops its stand on certain key disputes, that is simply not going to happen. If a devastated, humiliated and defeated Pakistan loosing a civil war and half of its territory can still come back, what makes you think Pakistan can be brought back to its knees now? A desire for peaceful talks must not be seen as a weakness, rather a positive step.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

KP:2. David Coleman Headley and Tawahur Rana are out doing each other to expose the ISI involvement in Mumbai attacks during the Chicago trial.

3. Paradise seekers invaded a naval base at Mehran near Karachi. They prayed and said, “Open sesame” and the door opened. They walked in and decided to send some kafirs to hell. And they managed to stay on for 17 hours. Some of them decided to go to paradise later and ran away. Again no one knows how they managed to get in and wreak havoc on unbelievers.

11. Myra is still writing the same way. KP, I just laughed until I fell down. :-)

13. ….since they have tended to believe their government’s competence is best exemplified by the accuracy of the list of 50 terrorists that it provided to Pakistan. It has been nice for Indians to know that Pakistanis have a higher opinion of their competence than they do themselves.
Remarkable sense of humour, I just laughed loud after reading this.
And of course this.
15.Pakistani Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has announced the grim news that Pakistan, with a growth rate of 2.5%, has failed to achieve its growth target of 4%. Pakistanis are consoling themselves with the fact that India has also failed to achieve its growth target of 10%.

matrixx :Let me clarify that I was in Istanbul and Tehran during my vacation.
Matrix, welcome to the Site. We would happy to know more places you visited in Turkey and Iran. I always had a fetish to visit these places. These I heard where the combination and evolution of Eurasian cultures met where one can happily get lost. Back here we’ve always see the stark difference in cultures between us and the west. Hope you elaborate on this on your next posts. :-)

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

India with a whole bunch of disputes with its largest neighbour cannot reach its full potential.
Posted by Umairpk
=

This sentence doesn’t make sense. Which is India’s largest neighbhour? Is Umair referring to Gilani’s “we are tow countries but one nation” theory?

Are we seeing the New Hong Kong on the block? :-)
Paks are moving on from TNT to TCONT (Two Countries but One Nation Theory)?

Moving on from Iqbal’s Arab identity to Han Chinese identity!

I visualize Kayani, the representative of New Hong Kong sitting inside the Chinese parliament “National People’s Congress” tapping the stick he holds muttering “Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah”. The Chinese Gestapo comes near him and asks him “Say what”. And Kayani meekly responds “gai ge kai fang”. :-)

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

“Moving on from Iqbal’s Arab identity to Han Chinese identity!”

Quoting from Jinnah (revised according to changing times):

Pakistan will be a country where a Chinese will cease to be Chinese, a Sunni will cease to be Sunni, a Shia will cease to exist, an Ahmadi will also cease to exist. Ideology, be it religion or Communism, will have no place in the affairs of the state. Pakistan, a nation created to protect the militants, will strive to live up to its promise and potential.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Umair said:

> Ganesh, I had seen in the past when you have advocated peace between India and Pakistan and now you seem to loose faith in that approach.

Unfortunately this is true. I regularly read all media, including Pakistani media, and it gets very frustrating when the reporting constantly shows that Pakistanis are unwilling to face the truth about their own armed forces. The army has been creating this bogey of India and fuelling hatred for India among their countrymen for decades just to keep themselves in power. In the process, they have not only bankrupted Pakistan but also unleashed terror within the country. It’s not the US, Israel or India that’s at fault. It’s the army, ISI and the ISI’s S-Wing.

As long as common people treat these villains as heroes, there cannot be peace in South Asia.

(I suppose you guys have no choice. Anyone who questions them may end up like Syed Saleem Shahzad).

The day one Mr. Umair Malik begins to accept the possibility that his country’s army may in fact be the bad guys in the story will be the day I can believe that South Asia has truly turned the corner.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

Matrixx said:

> Let me clarify that I was in Istanbul and Tehran during my vacation. You would be surprised that there were no English newspapers and even hotel TV was mostly local languages.

Don’t they have Internet cafes? Iran is one of the world’s most cyber-savvy nations, I’m told.

Your brief descriptions were very interesting, though. Please write some more.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

“I visualize Kayani, the representative of New Hong Kong sitting inside the Chinese parliament “National People’s Congress” tapping the stick he holds muttering “Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah”. The Chinese Gestapo comes near him and asks him “Say what”. And Kayani meekly responds “gai ge kai fang”.”

More on Gilani’s visit to Beijing:

When Gilani raised the one nation slogan, Rehman Malik was confused. He said, Pakistan was formed on a two nation theory. So Gilani corrected it and said, “Yes, two nations and one country”. This confused Wen Jiabo, who has difficulty with English, especially when spoken by South Asians. He first felt offended about indirect hints on Tibet. Rehman Malik was quick to understand the sentiments and tried changing the topic. But a couple of Tibetan monks nearby began to raise the two nation – two nation slogan. Wen Jiabo turned to them and did a “sh..sh..”, with his index finger across his lips. Gilani saw this and thought the Premier was trying to whistle. He patted Wen Jiabo and said,

“Brother Wen, that is not how you blow a whistle, watch this”. He put two fingers inside his moth and blew a whistle that could be heard as far as Karakoram pass. Somehow, in the moment of brotherly affection, Gilani forgot that such a whistle is a signal for Mujahideen hiding under the plane of the Prime Minister. When they emerged, ready to take on the Hindus, they were confused. They found themselves in a strange place with Chinese looking people. They tried checking their GPSs and called Major Iqbal. They were told to go back into their luggage containers as this was not a mission planned.

Chaudhry Mukhtar Ahmad had tears blocking his eyes and did not see all the confusion generated by Gilani’s whistle. He quickly sensed what happened and had to divert the attention towards diplomatic issues on hand. He hugged Wen Jiabo suddenly and kissed his cheeks in affection. Wen Jiabo was frightened and offended the same time and his wife standing nearby looked vexed. She always had a suspicion that Wen had another life, which was now confirmed. Wen had more to worry. He did not know for how many days this man who hugged him did not bathe. Mukhtar Ahmad saw this and had the presence of mind to control the situation. He said, Gwadar is Chinese capital in South Asia from now on. Chinese can come and go as they like, take what they like, vacation in the calm deserts of Makaran coast, park their cruise ships, missiles, submarines, and what not.

Wen Jiabo was frightened by this move. Until now it was convenient to have the Americans muddy themselves. Now China is close to falling into the mud. That was a scary thought. More later.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Ganesh: “Don’t they have Internet cafes? Iran is one of the world’s most cyber-savvy nations, I’m told.”

Come on Ganesh! The most powerful military in the world did not know that Bin Laden was living inside Pakistan for many years. How do you expect Matrix alone to know that there are internet cafes and CNN in Turkey? The world appears very different to their eyes.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Pakistanis have always claimed that Osama was dead. The Americans only confirmed that. So they are wondering what the big issue is? Pakistan knew he was dead already. They have said that repeatedly for many years and no one took them seriously. It took four helicopters, 48 Navy seals and a few trained dogs to come and confirm it. What a waste of money and resources! This clearly shows America does not trust Pakistan when truth is being told.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Prasad
It is not that internet is not available when one travels. It was there in hotel lobby. I did check my email but did not want to spend much time browsing for news. I was traveling with family. Remember, when you travel to popular places, it is not exactly cheap and you want to see places and mingle with people in bazaars and cafes, even watch the flow of local life.
You should get out and see the world, it is fun.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive
 

KPSingh
I’m not biting even though I’m hungry, need real food. Have you considered writing fiction, you could yet make a name.

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive
 

Top 10 things Paks say when caught with their pants down:

1. Where is the proof?
2. The proof is fake (if offered the proof)
3. How come Americans didn’t know
4. Hindutvadis! RSS!
5. 180 million, more reproduction
6. 100 nukes
7. RAW! CIA! MOSSAD!
8. I was on vacation
9. I had no internet access
10. Gai Ge Kai Fang :-)

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

Netizen
I resent you putting my items at 8 and 9. It should be at number 1 and 2. Please correct. Thanks

Posted by Matrixx | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

I am curious to hear more of your opinion. Strategically, I don’t see what the Indians have to gain from withdrawing from Siachen. The IA is actually getting better at sealing off the border with each passing day. Infiltrations are up, but so are surveillance efforts. If the withdraw from Siachen, they risk opening up another porous sector (since they won’t have overwatch anymore).

I am sympathetic to the Indian Army’s arguments here. It does not make sense to withdraw unless the Pakistanis agree to marking the positions. This is a move that could avoid strategic surprise, a lot of bloodshed in the future, and possible loss of strategic advantage.

From the Pakistani perspective though, it certainly ties their hands. Sign a map and you really can’t argue when your guys are caught on a mountain peak they are not supposed to be on. Nobody’s going to back them then. This pretty much writes off any Kargil type of efforts again. Not so good if you believe that infiltrating the other side is a legitimate way of liberating the land (and people) that you think should be yours. A Pakistan that’s hell-bent on peace would have zero issues with such an agreement. Heck, it would be a good basis for a future treaty on Kashmir. An irredentist Pakistan, however, may find the notion of any deal that restrains their freedom of action to be unpalatable.

I’d say the ball is in Pakistan’s court, rather than India’s.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

@Umair
“The only way forward is peace for both nations,”

Then why cant your PA who are dove birds of course, not agreeing to mark location of Siachen on map? What is stopping them from agreeing to India’s demands if they are not intending to grab the mountain peaks? RAW, MOSSAD, CIA, what??

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

All in all story of Pakistan can be summarised as follows:
(In decreasing order of priorities/importance)

Military > Mullah > Masjid > Martydom > Mazhab > Mulk

Ironically both mazhab and mulk matter the least, given that the mulk was created to protect mazhab in the first place!!

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

I have been saying internal anarchy and pak mobs revolting and mass murdering pak army generals, ISI thugs is the most desirable next step inside Pakistan. This would be along the scale of French revolution, public execution of generals and confiscating all the properties, wealth they looted from pakistani public.

Read Irfan Hussain’s latest column in the Dawn how much public anger is rising.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/04/the-widen ing-gulf.html

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan’s asset eliminated. Ilyas Kashmiri has been killed by US drone. Much like the stinger missiles that undid the Soviet forces in Afghanistan, drones have wreaked havoc on the Islamic terrorists. This is a welcome sign. The only danger is that the militants, being unable to counter the US offensive, will try to take it out on Pakistan. But without prominent leaders, it is going to be very difficult for the militant groups to organize themselves and launch further attacks. Kashmiri’s death must be a huge loss for ISI. This guy was a veteran and an ex-commando in Pak military. He had a lot of experience in organizing terrorist missions. His and Osama’s death must be giving these leaders a shiver in their spines for the first time. Pakistan must learn that there is no good versus bad terrorist and investment in terrorism will come back to bite. Pakistanis must realize how horrible it had been for India when their military unleashed these terrorists into India. By direct experience they must realize that issues cannot be resolved by the barrel of the gun. The same goes for the West. They lived happily when their military engagements unleashed terrorism by products into the neighboring nations. And that terrorism grew big and began to haunt their own lives. Countries can wage wars. But using terrorism or staging coups etc should be banned by the international community much like chemical weapons. Hope the Americans and their European allies have learned from this experience too. There is no such thing as children of a lesser God.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

KP, I’m not so optimistic.

Ilyas Kashmiri was a “bad terrorist” according to Pakistan. He had declared war against the Pakistani state. The PA and ISI are probably rejoicing in his death. It isn’t very much comfort to India. Indians can start to feel happy when Pakistan starts going after the “good terrorists” of the LeT/JuD, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before that happens.

Indians are still children of a lesser god in Western eyes. LeT has emerged onto their radar only because of their potential to create terror in Western cities. A few thousand more Indians dead wouldn’t matter to Westerners. India will have to “show restraint” and “settle Kashmir” in response to any attack, not go after the terrorists the way the US does.

There is nothing India can do but steadily grow its strength with single-minded determination. Deng’s advice to his country to “hide your capabilities and bide your time” is something Indians must also heed.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive
 

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