A rising nation at cross roads must think out of the box and take risks. Helmut Kohl Chancellor of Germany (1982-88) displayed courage to bring down the Berlin wall after a ‘Reconciliation Payment’ to Soviet Union to remove troops. Germany went through pain, but Germany rose as a power. Maynard Keynes ‘Motor Biked From King’s College Cambridge to London’ to advise the Bank Of England and saved Britain’s economy after WW 1. Adam Smith changed rules on defence spending by saying, “Security is the first economic duty of a Sovereign”. So did Ashoka to consolidate, India and as Chankaya advises.
India is at cross roads as a rising power, but is slowed by its neighbors. The Government led by PM Modi has shown Pakistan’s PM Shariff many ‘open hand shakes’ for friendship and also fists to its Army with no side efforts for resolution between the nuclear armed powerful militaries or new CBMs or doctrines which worries Obama too. Pakistan’s spokesman Nafeez Zakaria has offered to talk CBMs after Obama’s statement who advised both to develop ‘military doctrines’ so that they do not “continually move in the wrong direction” at the Nuclear summit, where PM Narendra Modi spoke well. PM Shariff ducked the event citing Gulshan E-Iqbal Park attack but must have been cautioned by the Army Chief and advised by NSA Gen Janjua.
The High Commissioner of Pakistan Basit the mouth piece of Pakistan and its military in India ticked off India on talks after Pathankot NIT visit and arrest of an Ex Naval officer by Pakistan. Indian and Iranian Intelligence must know the truth of this supposed kidnap and Counselor access to Jadhav is denied as many truths will tumble out. Pakistan’s economic and political condition is precarious, so people leave its military alone, as the nation’s savior. PM Shariff has got embroiled in the Mossack Panama allegations. Musharraf is in Dubai for supposed military treatment and Shariff had to relent. That’s struggling Pakistan !
Yet the Indo-Pak relationship poses the biggest challenge for India’s 1.2 mill Army and 100,000 para forces on the border with disparate and separate disjointed Commands, Controls, equipment directed from two separate air conditioned Ministries in Delhi. From the powerful Home Ministry under a BJP head Rajnath Singh busy with elections and the MOD under an amiable approachable BJP politician from Goa Manohar Parrikar. Funds come from a strident former 6 month Defence and now Finance Minister who has taken away funds and denies OROP.
This is what Lt Gen Subrata Saha, Deputy Chief Of Army Staff (P&S) has to say !
“On the ‘Line of Control’ in J&K, we are constantly in a state of `No War No Peace’. Troops are deployed 24x7x365 in an eyeball to eyeball contact configuration. Multiplying the challenge manifold for us is the constant and desperate attempts to infiltrate terrorists from launch pads in ‘Pakistan occupied Kashmir’ (POK). We need technology and equipment for our soldiers to stop infiltration, monitor their communications, a qualitatatively superior fence than the one we have, ability to locate and follow their movements”.
What Subrata and his Army Chief neglect to tackle for starters is the basic Command and Control and Intelligence on LOC. The Strategy also appears lacking in Indo Pak relations. Only the Navy has issued a Maritime Stand Lone Strategy to plan.
As seen with experience, the second largest professional military in the world with over 120 nuclear bombs has is denied say in policy, no CDS, lacks strategic direction has no joint doctrine and this is seen by the world, that now banks on India as a big defence and consumer market, as China slows. It wants stability and reforms.
Saha does not add the Army is the now more and more the first responder in floods, disasters, aid to civil power and political unrest, which has increased, but much is controlled and ordered by a powerful brilliant ex Intelligence chief as NSA as an officiating tactical CDS with an Army manned crack NSG at his command under a Police Officer, as was seen by Pakistan’s JUD attack in Pathankot for response.
THE PAKISTANI ARMY COMMANDS AND CONTROLS
Pakistan’s Army and its Army Chief control Pakistan’s Intelligence, Foreign Policy especially towards India, AFPAK and USA, which is true. Pakistan’s Army Chief through its nine Corp have jurisdiction and oversee Pakistan’s 120 strong nuclear arsenal’s trigger with tactical Nasr missiles in the ready for counter force attack, if Red lines it has set for India are crossed. This is their insurance to create nuisance attacks and deterrence from India’s superior conventional strike and get away.
China sides with Pakistan with an economic corridor being constructed to Gwadar to inherit a warm water port in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) after D’joubiti and elsewhere to check India. The corridor runs through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and India rightly objects but is impotent to act. China is irked by India’s objections and also the charge, that China’s International Border Agreement for resolution with Pakistan signed at Rawalpindi on 26th March, 1965 to take Shakshgam valley, which is in POK is not legal. China argues that Article V of the agreement provides for the peaceful resolution of future disputes. And Article VI states “The two Parties have agreed that after the settlement of the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, the sovereign authority concerned will re-open negotiations with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, so as to sign a Boundary Treaty to replace the present agreement”. The agreement was entered into force with the signature of both sovereign parties in Article VII. India was not informed or consulted. .
The Pakistan Army Chief directs the ISI, Pakistan’s premier Inter Service Intelligence Agency to plot and engage India in low intensity warfare through clever moves, that Pakistan’s leadership calls ‘Non State Actors’ and suicide bombers over which they claim they have little or no control, and judiciary fears the organizations that fund these non state NGO actors (LET JUD JEM) under the garb of doing good work for the needy in Pakistan, which they do, at other times.
With differences over Kashmir’s status and disputes over the water of rivers that flow from India into India and terror attacks by Pakistan Indian civil and MEA leadership been engaged in talks for resolution for six decades with Pakistan’s political leadership not military and has also engaged in strategic dialogues. But with the overhang of Pakistan military for decision making except in a brief period when President Musharraf was also Army Chief, India’s MEA and leaders and now NSA till lately have been dealing with impotent political entities in Pakistan.
Though all world leaders engage and meet the powerful Pakistan military leadership of Pakistan, India’s MEA shrilly states a democracy does not talk to a military. This needs introspection and revision in India’s national interests as India emerges as a regional and world power demanding respect and to be heard. Its military needs to be heard, though Chiefs can be sacked without recourse to law (Art 310/311) or ticked off for over stepping.
The retired Pakistani Armed Forces officers of the India Pakistan Soldier’s Initiative (IPSI) set up by late Gandhian peacenik Nirmala Despande MP and led by Gen Nasr Akhtar on that side tell the IPSI India chapter led by Adm L Ramdas and Gen Moti Dar in meetings, that Pakistan’s leadership sees no options but to abdicate many powers to Pakistan’s Army for its territorial survival and wants Armies to meet over talks and Golf. They go further and elaborate.
The Pakistani Army and most Pakistanis , believe and mortally fear that India’s Army plans to militarily snatch POK (1994 Indian Parliament resolution, also ) and break Pakistan (Ambassador Robert Blackwill’s plan and support to Baluchistan) and hurt Pakistan’s economy, A La Op Parakarma ( To Make War ) post the attack on Parliament in December 2001, which tied India’s obedient and loyal Armed forces in knots for a full year.
Indian Army sacrificed 738 souls in the mines clear up operation , with few only political or military lessons learnt then, or after Kargil including no CDS to guide India’s military and interact with the Government. NSA has been injected for advice and control of the strategic forces, not heeding steps to enhance joint effectiveness.
The First Schedule of Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 (Clause 3 of Art 77 of Constitution of India) states that the Business of Government of India would be conducted by the Departments mentioned in the First Schedule. The Service Headquarters are departments of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and all the Departments are headed by bureaucrats Secretaries and hence the Defence secretary acts as an administrative CDS and NSA as the operational. With subservient Service headquarters integrated only in letter heads.
Its time India’s military leadership which fights terror is told what is India’s strategy as Art 257 of Pakistan’s Constitution seeks Kashmir and two militaries need to be brought in to allay fears and seek CBMs for better peace efforts or the stalemate will continue to drag India. The cancer cannot be cure but can be controlled.