Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby Samudragupta » 04 Jun 2013 08:35

Iran and Japan the two pillars of security of the subcontinent...If Iran falls in the West..India will be threatened in the Western Border...this is the history for 5000 years....Fall of Japan will allow the Eastern invaders to reach India through East ....this is the reality in this century ...Hindukush is an Indian internal affair....Curzon understood more than a century ago of this geographical reality......

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby brihaspati » 04 Jun 2013 20:00

Greater dhimmification, more virtual jizya, and playing submissive bovine to the Bull from the eternal city to hopefully play off the crescent and the cross - this has been the decision of Prithviraj III's modern successors.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby ramana » 04 Jun 2013 20:42

X-post...

ShauryaT wrote:
ramana wrote:ShauryaT, The world problem right now is the collapse of nation-states in the Islam dominated regions in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The region stretches from north africa to Indonesia and the only bastion standing is India.
Its turning out to be quite a khamsin instead of the gentle breeze supposed to ease the dictators and usher in democracy and secularism!


The model can either work with a strong man or with liberal values, well entrenched amongst the elite and its peoples. Strong men do not last and liberal values in the region is a near impossibility. Keeping them broken and fighting is in Indian interests, in the near term. As long as its two strongest states, Turkey and Persia do not get to dominate the region, I am happy. The worst will be both Iran and Turkey emerge stronger, a distinct possibility, if the west disengages. The regional split between Sunni:Shia is close to 1:1, if one excludes South and SE Asia. There was a strong reason, why I was jumping up and down like yo-yo for Indian military participation in Afghanistan.



Keep this in mind while looking at TSP.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby ramana » 05 Jun 2013 03:11

From post by jhujar in WANA thread:

WSJ: There is an understanding that Syria is geographically far from India and the conflict does not have any impact on the domestic matters of the country, hence there is no real need for India to be involved.

Mr. Abhyankar: The conflict may be taking place in the Middle East, but it can have wide consequences in the Gulf. If the conflict starts affecting the Gulf or if it creates a sense of insecurity, India has a reason to get involved. The total number of Indians in Gulf countries is over 7.5 million. Any clamor or insecurity there will have a direct impact on India’s domestic policy, politically as well as economically as remittances from non-resident Indians are a major contributor to the domestic economy.The Iraq-Kuwait invasion during the first Gulf war led to the evacuation of more than 150,000 Indian nationals living in Kuwait within a week. The Lebanese civil war went on for 10 years with regional proxy wars as well. Who can predict the same will not be repeated with Syria? If the conflict lingers from the Middle East to the Gulf, it can also find its way to Pakistan, which is already brimming with Shia-Sunni sectarian violence. It would not take too long then to find resonance in Kashmir.



Before that its TSP that will be rent asunder. The nation-state systems is collapsing in Islamic countries.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby devesh » 15 Jun 2013 21:59

http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/ ... 05178.html

The India vs. China Border Standoff

A pattern can be deciphered: Gradually trespass into an area of interest over a period of time and set a routine that evades notice and serious attention thus avoiding any significant protest or challenge. Down play protests or apprehensions if any. Exploit unchallenged border encroachments as an opportunity to consolidate position and stake a claim to the area at an appropriate moment through precipitous military coercion and intimidation. On close evaluation this pattern can be discerned in the construction of dams across Brahmaputra.


Territorial interest and positioning

Indications are that China and Pakistan have reached an agreement to lease the Gilgit-Baltistan area to China for 50 years. China, it appears has already positioned 7000 to 11000 PLA soldiers in the Baltistan area who are working to construct the railway line from Gwadar to Xinjiang which runs parallel to the Karakoram Highway. The highway it is believed is being frantically upgraded. Reports of construction of 22 tunnels along the route to establish a gas pipeline from Iran to China are abound. These tunnels can act as a storehouse for missiles. Information relating to construction of huge housing complex in the area and a cemetery at Danyor 10 km across Gilgit river has also surfaced indicating that the Chinese are planning to stay in the area permanently - a clear indication that de facto control of the area has surreptitiously been ceded to China by Pakistan.

With its physical presence in all the four cardinal directions and India being in the South, China's interest clearly is in closing the gaps in the areas bounded by Gilgit - Baltistan in the west, Xinjiang in the North, Aksai Chin in the East and India to its South. That will facilitate free movement within the area. Securing the Karakoram heights along with this action will thwart any threat from India. There lies the Chinese interest in the Saltoro ridge in Siachen.


What are the strategic interests of China in securing the areas under discussion?

Besides providing freedom of movement, logistics and security, the area also provides the much needed buffer between India and the Chinese mainland. The Karakoram Highway which passes through this area connects China and Pakistan. The highway that connects Pakistan to Tibet and Xinjiang is also significant in that it opens up the strategic possibility of an alternative shorter route for uninterrupted energy supplies from the Gulf through Gwadar Port avoiding Afghanistan and the Chinese Muslim majority Uyghur dominated Kashgar area. Importantly, it also guarantees access to Afghanistan and Central Asia where China has invested heavily in energy and copper. In nutshell, with Gwadar port under their control, this area has become the key to China's access to the Arabian sea through Karakoram Highway and their investment opportunities in Afghanistan.
Last edited by devesh on 15 Jun 2013 22:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby devesh » 15 Jun 2013 22:04

the above author goes on to recommend some steps for India:
http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/ ... 178-3.html

Lessons: Diplomacy and Friendship

Diplomacy especially with China does not work without military power, economic robustness and a strong leadership. The effect of DBO like incidents and the lack of firm response will have very adverse effects on India's influence on its smaller neighbours.

Considering the Chinese military strength, economic prowess and the investments made by them towards the development of infrastructure in the disputed areas, it would not be very easy to recover territory illegally occupied by them. Soft options are therefore unlikely to work.

As a matter of rule, India has adopted a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries. However, if the burden of a country's human rights violations falls at its own doorstep as had happened in 1971 in erstwhile Pakistan, India may have no option but to provide moral, material and financial support besides highlighting and promoting the cause of the affected in various international bodies and institutions.

India has sheltered over 120,000 Tibetan refugees. These refugees are in India because their political aspirations and demands have remained unanswered even after 60 years. It may be recalled that China invaded the de facto independent Tibet in 1950 resulting in the incorporation of Tibet as a part of Republic of China. Since then, human rights violations have been perpetrated against the Tibetans to suppress their claims for independence. The number of Tibetan Buddhist self-immolation cases in the recent past stands testimony to the fact. It is time China learns to respect the sensibilities of people.

The unrest in the Uyghur dominated Xinjiang Autonomous region and in the Gilgit-Baltistan areas too open up a number of options for India. Chinese calculations of economic prosperity through Gwadar Port in Baluchistan can be nullified by providing moral, material and financial support to Baluchistan independence movement.

China is India's second-largest trading partner and their combined trade was $50.9 billion in the April-December period, according to Indian government figures, India may have to provide incentives to countries like Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, and other western countries to promote their trade interests in India while restricting entry of Chinese goods and services through various measures.

DBO like incidents will prompt the Indian people to demand that India align with countries which are subjected to similar provocation. India may also have to weigh its options of supporting the US and other countries to limit Chinese influence and hegemony in the region. The US Asia pivot too may need a relook.

While accusing the US of trying to forge anti-China alliances, China should take a close look at its own aggressive show of strength which are forcing countries to go in for countervailing alliances. If indeed such alliances are formed, China cannot blame anyone but itself.

Exchange of maps indicating the perception of LAC on both sides should be expedited. India needs to work out its strategy to force Chinese to accept an equitable and a reasonable solution to the border dispute at an early date, failing which India should not hesitate to work on hard options suggested.



China has a concrete plan of action. they've thought about what they need to secure, why to secure it, and how to secure it. they are thinking in concrete terms of land and resources. they've zeroed-in on the specific land targets that they feel are very essential for their future expansion plans. and they are using the offensive tactics and strategy in going about securing those areas.

against such an opposition, India will have to do similar thinking. sit down and figure out what are the geographical areas where the future will require concrete on-the-ground control and dominance, and go about acquiring it. the measures favored by the author are useless if there is no basic understanding of the importance of land and routes to important areas. the author remains stuck in the paradigm of "border protection" and "keeping enemy out of our borders". this is an extremely defensive mindset which is unlikely to work against an opposition like the Chinese who are executing an offensive plan of action.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby brihaspati » 16 Jun 2013 19:32

The degree of control by the Islamic institutional network power to mobilize, even by the manifestation of fear in North Indian parties to potentially antagonize the "Muslim vote" as shown by Nithish, or MB in WB, and the Congress in general, - shows how much Islamism already influences or controls Indian state apparatus and the political class that partakes of that apparatus.

Part of this power comes from the transnational alliance of Islam with the west, [the "war against terror" is an apparently paradoxical but natural consequence of the internal struggle for leadership of the jihad - by the west or the Saudis and Iranians, not really over jihad itself], and its oil power, but a major part comes from the succesful lobbying by Islamists in extracting state protection of its core violent memes as a respected and not-to-be-undermined/deconstructed theology.

Its the potential threat of organized violence on a large scale by Muslims, international sympathy and support for such ventures, and the Congress's Brit inherited fear of the possible mobilization of the "Hindu" as an independent value and political entity as a threat to personal power of the Congress leadership - have led to an inevitable and perhaps irreversible slide towards the loss of the north and parts of the south to the transnational Islam-west plans.

Will BJP's split from Nithish in Bihar be a lesson more for the "Hindu" than it is for the BJP?

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby member_23692 » 19 Jun 2013 06:21

For the rabid anti-Americans, a day to rejoice. But in my view, this is the biggest victory for Pakis in history. They humbled the biggest power in history, no doubt in equal part due to the great stupidity and hubris on part of the Americans. In fact, this is the second biggest victory for Islam in history, after Salaluddin the Great's victorious stand against Richard the Lionheart, which essentially ended not just the third crusade, but all crusades and set the stage for massive and highly successful Islamic expansion outside of the Arabian peninsula, which continues to this day.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Humbled-US-makes-concessions-to-Taliban-to-start-talks/articleshow/20653104.cms

Humbled US makes concessions to Taliban to start talks

WASHINGTON: The United States will begin formal talks with Taliban, including the Haqqani network, in Doha, Qatar, in a couple of days, Obama administration officials said in a major announcement on Tuesday. The engagement, the first of its kind since the post 9/11 conflict, follows key concessions made by Washington, including dropping the pre-condition that Taliban immediately break ties with al-Qaida, in return for much broader, generic, self-serving commitments by the unyielding terrorist group.

In a conference call from Northern Ireland where President Obama is attending the G8 summit, US officials said they expected Taliban to issue a statement opposing the use of Afghan soil to threaten other countries (which implicitly meant not sheltering al-Qaida); and second, that they support an Afghan peace process.

As it turned out, the statement released by the Taliban was stunning in its implied rejection of even the minimum US demands and assertive in its own assumption of Afghan leadership and how it would achieve its objectives: "It is well known to all that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has been waging jihad to put an end to the occupation and form an independent Islamic system," it said, interposing itself in the Afghan leadership position and projecting the US,and not al-Qaida, as the problem.

It also said "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considerers it its religious and national duty to gain independence from the occupation and for that purpose has utilised every legitimate way and will utilise it in future too," while making no commitment or reference to the Afghan constitution, the current US-backed leadership in Kabul, or the rights of women and minorities.

Earlier US officials had already reeled back on their expectation. "We've long had a demand on the Taliban that they make a statement that distances themselves from the movement from international terrorism, but made clear that we didn't expect immediately for them to break ties with al-Qaida, because that's an outcome of the negotiation process," they said, explaining the concessions made to the nihilistic outfit, which, surprisingly, includes elements Washington has repeatedly described as, and officially designated as, a terrorist group - the Haqqani network.

US officials had also maintained that they had got enough and the "statement that we expect today is this first step in distancing them, distancing the movement from international terrorism" although they conceded "it's not as far as will demand them to go at the end of the process."

The negotiating group, which calls itself Taliban Political Commission, are the "fully authorized representatives of the movement, and authorized by Mullah Omar himself" administration officials said against the backdrop of Washington having been previously fooled by elements claiming to represent Taliban. "We don't know the exact makeup of the Taliban delegation, but we believe that it broadly represents, as authorized by Mullah Omar, the entire movement to include the Haqqanis," they added.

The officials were cautious about the outcome of what they said was a first step in what could be a complex, long, and messy dialogue. "I think we need to be realistic. This is a new development, a potentially significant development. But peace is not at hand," one official said.

In fact, officials said the first meeting is likely to be just an exchange of agendas rather than any substantive, detailed discussion. "We'll tell them what we want to talk about; they'll tell us what they want to talk about; and we'll both then adjourn and consult on next steps, and then have another meeting in a week or two later," they said. Among the things the US will want to talk about from the beginning is how Taliban going to cut ties with al-Qaida — the group that attacked US on 9/11 and was sheltered by the Taliban — "how quickly, exactly how they're going to do it, what it means."

Washington's dramatic outreach with the Pakistan-backed Taliban came even as US - and Nato-led international coalition handed over the lead on security to Afghan National Forces at a formal ceremony in Kabul, marking a milestone in the protracted conflict in the land-locked country. It also came on the eve of secretary of state John Kerry's visit next week to India (and Pakistan), where the latest developments will be part of the talks' agenda. Officials said Pakistan was supportive of the dialogue and had played a key role in bringing Taliban to the table.

They however implicitly maintained that despite the diminishing American military footprint, engaging Taliban did not mean Washington would abandon its core interests. It would continue to protect its equities Afghanistan.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby brihaspati » 19 Jun 2013 06:37

A quick recap of whats going around the neighbourhood:

(1) TSPA - Nawaz in power. Pakjabi component of the ISI-Taleb structure gets formal legitimacy again.
(2) AFG - USA has, as my repeated suggestion was, have gone into rehabilitation of Talibs in preparation for abandoning the region to a secondary regime that will for the foreseeable future not hurt US interests of securing the Gulf. The direct talks in Doha has opened under the triumphalist banner of "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan". They have not promised to lay down arms while mumbling about not wanting conflict with other nations. No mention of Karazai. Hence the upping of the Gitmo ante by US in giving out the blacklist. All for bargaining for domestic political scenario within USA.

(3) In BD, the major urban centres have returned the overt-Islamist front of 18 party alliance - against incumbent AL led front - in the mayoral elections. With huge margins. Speculations, even from the "civil society" - which normally tries to avoid mentioining "islamism" as having any role in electoral politics, are openly acknowledging exactly such a role. This was again a confirmation for my own hunch that the next elections would go largely against AL, at best a tie and at worst a clean sweep by the current opposition in spite of all Rabindrasangeet, and apparent "progressive" thinking in BD, and "investments" from India.

(4) Nepal - Maoists are back on track. One of their returning rallying cry is against "India". This is from ground sources and not media.
(5) SL - rumoured move to scrap 13th amendment to the Constitution. Possible media testing of waters. Fallout on India.

The polarization and pawn placements are going on - but are not so obvious unless the moves on the larger geo-political chess board is looked at.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby brihaspati » 19 Jun 2013 06:46

rsangram wrote:For the rabid anti-Americans, a day to rejoice. But in my view, this is the biggest victory for Pakis in history. They humbled the biggest power in history, no doubt in equal part due to the great stupidity and hubris on part of the Americans. In fact, this is the second biggest victory for Islam in history, after Salaluddin the Great's victorious stand against Richard the Lionheart, which essentially ended not just the third crusade, but all crusades and set the stage for massive and highly successful Islamic expansion outside of the Arabian peninsula, which continues to this day.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Humbled-US-makes-concessions-to-Taliban-to-start-talks/articleshow/20653104.cms


Its part of a larger pattern of the USA getting involved in the wars and regimes that rose out of the colonial concerns of the Brits, the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese in the IOR. From Gulf to India, this was and remains Brit interest. USA in asense has been the fool, and was more easily led by the more wily ancestral culture - UK. UK had made a wise appraisal of the situation post WWII, and saw that it needed US might to retain a toe-hold in IOR. But at the same time it wanted the USA to slowly bleed. This dual policy agenda resulted in the clever use of colonial networks of collaborators to infiltrates post-colonial state structures and manipulate conflicts as well as geo-politics in line with the long term twin goals. Bolstering rabid islamism is a hallmark of British sadism and a much deeper fascination with islamism, than the merely tactical utility adopted by USA.

This is exactly what has happened in AFPAK. UK has won, through the ISI and Pindi regimes while USA has bruised itself.

In these threads - I think we have brought up pointers to apparent UK connections to the Talibs.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby member_23692 » 19 Jun 2013 09:22

brihaspati wrote:
rsangram wrote:For the rabid anti-Americans, a day to rejoice. But in my view, this is the biggest victory for Pakis in history. They humbled the biggest power in history, no doubt in equal part due to the great stupidity and hubris on part of the Americans. In fact, this is the second biggest victory for Islam in history, after Salaluddin the Great's victorious stand against Richard the Lionheart, which essentially ended not just the third crusade, but all crusades and set the stage for massive and highly successful Islamic expansion outside of the Arabian peninsula, which continues to this day.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Humbled-US-makes-concessions-to-Taliban-to-start-talks/articleshow/20653104.cms


Its part of a larger pattern of the USA getting involved in the wars and regimes that rose out of the colonial concerns of the Brits, the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese in the IOR. From Gulf to India, this was and remains Brit interest. USA in asense has been the fool, and was more easily led by the more wily ancestral culture - UK. UK had made a wise appraisal of the situation post WWII, and saw that it needed US might to retain a toe-hold in IOR. But at the same time it wanted the USA to slowly bleed. This dual policy agenda resulted in the clever use of colonial networks of collaborators to infiltrates post-colonial state structures and manipulate conflicts as well as geo-politics in line with the long term twin goals. Bolstering rabid islamism is a hallmark of British sadism and a much deeper fascination with islamism, than the merely tactical utility adopted by USA.

This is exactly what has happened in AFPAK. UK has won, through the ISI and Pindi regimes while USA has bruised itself.

In these threads - I think we have brought up pointers to apparent UK connections to the Talibs.


British have sometimes been manipulating the Americans to serve their interests. However, in this case, I for one, dont see much British interest in instigating a war in Afghanistan. Americans got involved in Afghanistan as a direct result of 9/11 as they should have. But in their stupidity and hubris they either failed to identify the real enemy, which was Pak or were too afraid to take on the Pakis directly ( a fear, quite unjustified and very reminiscent of Richard the Lionheart's fear of Salaluddin, nevertheless, a fear that the Americans suffer from). As a result either out of fear of taking on Paki or their inability due to a mental block to accept Paki fully as the main enemy, the Americans started resorting to bribing their main enemy, and merely went through the motions to fight the Pak proxies, which ultimately led to their(American) downfall. This downfall was wholly unnecessarily. The Pakis, on the other hand played their hand beautifully, consistently punching way above their weight, sometimes brazenly, and blatantly. We all mocked them for being so brazen and openly two timing, but they are having the last laugh, as Islam has consistently been for the past 1000 years.

The cause of this defeat lies squarely at the Americans' own doors. In this case, it was not the British, it is all American's.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby SwamyG » 19 Jun 2013 18:05

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/mu ... 820565.ece

An article on minority politics, and reinforces the fact that muslims are differentiated in India by caste.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby brihaspati » 19 Jun 2013 18:13

The Anglo-Afghan connection goes for a very long time, and continues. If Pak is the key, then UK has the greatest coziness with Pak - much greater than even USA. It might be worthwhile to build in a hypothesis of Brit MI having interfaces or handles within the Paki establishment as well as the ISI. Sometime ago Brit MI assets were caught out carrying money for Talibs in AFG. So on.

If AFG is in war, it is actually to the advantage of UK. USA's overconfidence in winning the AFG civil war against USSR had to be neutered - to retain a Brit role in the region, even though it did curtail the Soviets to the right degree - which again was in brit interest [all the while they maintained a two-timing relationship with both USA and USSR throughout the cold war].

Eventually USA has to be toned down to the right degree of lukewarm enthusiasm, as well as sap the basis of USA's global domination - for the Brits to feel comfortable about their never-really-given-up imperial dreams.

The Talib-appease policy was formally launched in London - even though people might say that it was done to entice the confidence of the jihadis. But that is exactly the point as to why the Brits are seen as more comfortable to do business with by the jihadis? Doha - opening of the Talib office - again a pointer. All the Gulf regimes, minus the current one in Tehran - [even there there are questions] have solid Brit connections.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby rsingh » 19 Jun 2013 21:35

rsangram wrote:For the rabid anti-Americans, a day to rejoice. But in my view, this is the biggest victory for Pakis in history. They humbled the biggest power in history, no doubt in equal part due to the great stupidity and hubris on part of the Americans. In fact, this is the second biggest victory for Islam in history, after Salaluddin the Great's victorious stand against Richard the Lionheart, which essentially ended not just the third crusade, but all crusades and set the stage for massive and highly successful Islamic expansion outside of the Arabian peninsula, which continues to this day.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Humbled-US-makes-concessions-to-Taliban-to-start-talks/articleshow/20653104.cms

Humbled US makes concessions to Taliban to start talks

WASHINGTON: The United States will begin formal talks with Taliban, including the Haqqani network, in Doha, Qatar, in a couple of days, Obama administration officials said in a major announcement on Tuesday. The engagement, the first of its kind since the post 9/11 conflict, follows key concessions made by Washington, including dropping the pre-condition that Taliban immediately break ties with al-Qaida, in return for much broader, generic, self-serving commitments by the unyielding terrorist group.

In a conference call from Northern Ireland where President Obama is attending the G8 summit, US officials said they expected Taliban to issue a statement opposing the use of Afghan soil to threaten other countries (which implicitly meant not sheltering al-Qaida); and second, that they support an Afghan peace process.

As it turned out, the statement released by the Taliban was stunning in its implied rejection of even the minimum US demands and assertive in its own assumption of Afghan leadership and how it would achieve its objectives: "It is well known to all that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has been waging jihad to put an end to the occupation and form an independent Islamic system," it said, interposing itself in the Afghan leadership position and projecting the US,and not al-Qaida, as the problem.

It also said "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considerers it its religious and national duty to gain independence from the occupation and for that purpose has utilised every legitimate way and will utilise it in future too," while making no commitment or reference to the Afghan constitution, the current US-backed leadership in Kabul, or the rights of women and minorities.

Earlier US officials had already reeled back on their expectation. "We've long had a demand on the Taliban that they make a statement that distances themselves from the movement from international terrorism, but made clear that we didn't expect immediately for them to break ties with al-Qaida, because that's an outcome of the negotiation process," they said, explaining the concessions made to the nihilistic outfit, which, surprisingly, includes elements Washington has repeatedly described as, and officially designated as, a terrorist group - the Haqqani network.

US officials had also maintained that they had got enough and the "statement that we expect today is this first step in distancing them, distancing the movement from international terrorism" although they conceded "it's not as far as will demand them to go at the end of the process."

The negotiating group, which calls itself Taliban Political Commission, are the "fully authorized representatives of the movement, and authorized by Mullah Omar himself" administration officials said against the backdrop of Washington having been previously fooled by elements claiming to represent Taliban. "We don't know the exact makeup of the Taliban delegation, but we believe that it broadly represents, as authorized by Mullah Omar, the entire movement to include the Haqqanis," they added.

The officials were cautious about the outcome of what they said was a first step in what could be a complex, long, and messy dialogue. "I think we need to be realistic. This is a new development, a potentially significant development. But peace is not at hand," one official said.

In fact, officials said the first meeting is likely to be just an exchange of agendas rather than any substantive, detailed discussion. "We'll tell them what we want to talk about; they'll tell us what they want to talk about; and we'll both then adjourn and consult on next steps, and then have another meeting in a week or two later," they said. Among the things the US will want to talk about from the beginning is how Taliban going to cut ties with al-Qaida — the group that attacked US on 9/11 and was sheltered by the Taliban — "how quickly, exactly how they're going to do it, what it means."

Washington's dramatic outreach with the Pakistan-backed Taliban came even as US - and Nato-led international coalition handed over the lead on security to Afghan National Forces at a formal ceremony in Kabul, marking a milestone in the protracted conflict in the land-locked country. It also came on the eve of secretary of state John Kerry's visit next week to India (and Pakistan), where the latest developments will be part of the talks' agenda. Officials said Pakistan was supportive of the dialogue and had played a key role in bringing Taliban to the table.

They however implicitly maintained that despite the diminishing American military footprint, engaging Taliban did not mean Washington would abandon its core interests. It would continue to protect its equities Afghanistan.


How come all knowing NSA and super duper MI8 could not read the emails of mullah who were promising US delegates honey and resins? This shows desperation and helplessness in state dept. These poor chaps have no idea which side they are on :rotfl: . Heck even dirt poor third world country like India would not be fooled in such way. Our babus would have required 5 carbon copy duly attested copies before they put press-shy spokesperson to announce the deal.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby member_23692 » 19 Jun 2013 23:57

^^^^^

And clearly any victory for Pak and Islam is a defeat for India and Hindus. A massive victory for Pak and Islam, as is the case in Afghan today, is another massive strategic defeat for India and Hindus.

But of course, we still have democracy and freedom and ten per....., oh no never mind, we don't have the 10% growth anymore either, which was supposed to have solved all our problems including negating the past 1000 years of one strategic defeat after another.

How does it matter to India and Hindus, whether the Americans were duped by the British or lost in Afghan due to entirely their own stupidity and hubris. Either way, they are stupid, right and either way, we Indians lose, right ? I will give you this, though. We may lose strategically, we may lose territory, we may lose it all, but we will still be the best at parsing and splitting hair on whether we lost because of the British or American hubris. Of course, we never lose because of our own stupidity. Who, me ? stupid ? How dare you, you western stooge, you dimmified, deracinated, dhoti shivering, macaulyite, you.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2013 00:22

rsangram, In Telugu there is asaying:

"Kanda kosina kathi peeta ku leni durada, veeniki enduku?"

Kanda is elephant yam or suran. In raw form it gives itching sensation.

Kathi peeta is the tradtional cutting board used in Indian homes.

So it translates to

"Why the itch that even the cutting board doesnt feel when cutting yam?"

IOW out of bounds sympathy or takleef for non impacting events.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby devesh » 20 Jun 2013 20:17

crossposting from West Asia thread:

asprinzl wrote:The only real winners in the conflict will be the Kurds. The Syrian army withdrew from Kurdish regions in exchange for Kurdish militia cooperation in interdicting wespons transhippments heading to the rebels. The militia now are the rulers of Kurdistan. Though they are not 100 percent effective in controlling weapons flow but the Kurds are in in charge of their own lands. In Turkey, their population grows at three times the rate of ethnic Turks which means in about three to four decades they would be majority population in Turkey. With the Kurdish area in Iraq virtually a free country, the two other Kurdistans emerging from Turkey and Syria could end up forming a Kurdish superstate. There are no powers that could slow down this forth coming event. Not even Iran because the ethnic Persian population in Iran is declining with low birth and emmigration while on the other hand Turkic population is exploding...

Eventually, the strife in Syria is going to stabilize along ethnic/religious/cultural lines. The Alawis/Shia would maintian their mountain coast region around Tartus/Latakia axis, the Kurds with their Kurdistan and Sunni where they dominate. Whatever Christians or Druze or Yezidis still remaining may retreat into Alawi/Shia controlled territories due to the more secular leanings. In effect Syria would be partitioned on the ground even is the powers that be wont recognize it.
Avram



V_Raman wrote:Ralph Peters map is beginning to form in front of our eyes...



vina wrote:Well Austin Powers, the Middle East is going the route that Ralph Peters postulated.

His Before and After maps seem uncanny.

Image

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby devesh » 20 Jun 2013 20:26

how the h*** can the rump West Punjab and Sindh be protected if the hill areas are under Taliban control?
it is an untenable plan. and any power which asks India to protect the rump leftovers of Pak while simultaneously letting the Talibs control the high grounds and the Khyber is asking India to fall into a trap.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby Atri » 20 Jun 2013 20:31

I do not think this will materialize. If it does would be extremely unstable. Althouhh this is their gmaeplan, then so be it. It is increasingly difficult to predict after second move.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2013 21:02

We need to know we are in a game. Unfortunately Indian elite doesn't understand that.

The beauty of this is that the West/US does announce its plans yet people are surprised when it happens.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby V_Raman » 21 Jun 2013 00:28

I don't know if Indians have any role to play. It looks like Europe has a need to refashion Persian Gulf to avoid the gaze on them. As long as we get/keep South Asia in our gaze, we should be fine. South Asia has almost all the natural resources needed within itself.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby member_23692 » 21 Jun 2013 02:21

X-posted from another thread.

In their haste to get out of Afghanistan, it looks like the US has dropped all pretense now. There are no "Vietanam-esque" declarations of victory and no "Iraq-esque" claims of creating democracy in Afghanistan . By now starting direct negotiations with the Talibs behind Karzai's back and by backtracking on all pre-conditions that they had imposed on Taliban for commencement of talks, the Americans have come out completely in the open now and shamelessly thrown Karzai, the non pashtuns and the anti-pakis under the bus. In a sense, they have thrown India under the bus.

What is India doing about all this ? Perhaps India is being the ultimate Chankian. It does nothing. It seems that the Indian winning strategy is to win it all by losing all its territory and allowing the conversion of all its people. It is way beyond simpletons like me to even comprehend, leave aside conjure up, such brilliance.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby brihaspati » 21 Jun 2013 08:32

The Indian elite are perhaps quite aware of reality and trends, balance of forces etc. But what matters is that they no longer have any of the values that would make them go against what is happening.

The dangers or perhaps effectiveness of vacuum ideologies as state ideologies - like explicit and constant shifting of position to appear "neutral" and "non-aligned", implies a constant readjustment of principles and values, opportunistic justification of any and all moves, and no hard grasping of things to protect, things not to compromise on. No red-lines so to speak. This is also helped a lot by mercantilism of values - that everything is to be measured against quantitative monetary prices.

Of course there are a few non-quantitative things on which there can be no compromises : Congress and its dynastic founding of the apparatus of state power on the apparatus of personal power, the protection of onlee those "minority" religion theological institutional infrastructure that has affiliations or sympathies with foreign imperialist power centres, and the deconstruction and delegitimization of corresponding "Hindu" religious infrastructure that shows signs of future political mobilization a la the existing minority ones.

Because these are three things on which the state becomes most consistent, persistent and coercive - it is not that difficult to see that the three issues are perhaps linked together by a common historical, political and financial thread that has possible transnational connotations and is intimately linked to any regimes' survival in state power.

Under this opportunistic and contextual value system, loss of territory or conversion is no longer important - as long as sufficient monetary compensation can be shown one way or the other.

When political forces start a propaganda world view that is not real, but that helps them gain or retain power - it is not always that damaging as long as they group itself recognizes that it is lying. When it starts believing in its own false propaganda, that is when things unravel.

The best that we can hope for in the North - in the three driver states of UP, Bihar and WB - is that "Hindus" become more aware of the institutional strength of Islamism and assorted transnational or local allies, and they at least "split" into the pro-Islamism and anti-islamism factions, with a clear awareness of who are "us" and who are the "them". The anti-Islamism aware faction will be a minority - as the majority will take the risk-avoidance route of sheer opportunism : of the type which bashes "Hindu fanatics" who do not recognize the good in "all" "religions", but get hysterical against any proposal of a merger with the hugely-civilizationally-contributing-inherently-peaceful inheritors of subcontinental Islam across the border in Pak or BD.

But a split - in a body politic - with even a minority taking the correct historical understanding and correct current assessment of trends and balance of forces, is a huge step forward. I hope that the recent moves in Bihar will contribute to some extent in that direction.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby brihaspati » 30 Jun 2013 20:57

Here is something that should be a good piece of the method to understand "Hindu" bashers, all the dynamics involved - external and internal. In a uncannily similar way - the hatred of the "Hindu" goes on and the constant attempt to undermine it as an identity, to overrun, to displace, to convert and erase, perhaps stemming from an awareness of a primordiality or primogeniture not available to the later claimants to authority.

http://www.thecommentator.com/article/3873/return_of_the_yellow_star
Nothing is new beneath the sun. King Solomon the wise discerned that everything existed from the beginning, so that ‘new’ things are really very old things, manifestations of eternal concepts; like the badge of shame that Jews have been made to wear.

To many the yellow star, inset with Jude, Juif, or Jood, brings to mind the Holocaust. Yet the idea and its applications predate Hitler’s Third Reich by a millennium or two. Already in medieval times Jews were compelled to identify themselves by wearing badges of sorts. That opened up all kinds of possibilities, beginning with treating Jews like the pestilence. Isolate them, concentrate, deprive and deport them, or kill Jews on demand, as the need might be. [the first known instances were invented in north Africa after fall before Islam in the 8th century]

Now that society bends over backwards to absorb religious minorities, surely the yellow star is a curiosity to ogle at behind glass in a cold exhibition hall.

If only that were true. Some technical or tactical adjustments may alter the substance or appearance or method, but never the essence of an eternal obsession to quarantine Jews. It squats in our global village as it squatted in the medieval hamlet, though not nakedly. The Jew badge system of the new millennium lives behind a veil, a light one to penetrate, luckily. To see through it simply ignore the meaning of words and focus on what words mean.

Two great linguists harped on the idea that words may serve a tactical purpose. One was the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who wrote that anti-Semites like to devaluate words. By making absurd remarks they intimidate and disconcert adversaries, which is both quicker than persuading by rational argument, and easier. Indeed, the more absurd the remark, the wilder the fib, the bigger the advantage gained.

The other linguist is Noam Chomsky. His focus is not anti-Semites but “manipulative totalitarian regimes.” Totalitarians use words not to communicate but to provoke an effect.


Chomsky’s own trademark style is to do exactly that: be provocative. His statements are so provocative and improbable that adversaries are at a loss whether he wants to be taken seriously or not. He calls the United States one of the leading terrorist nations in the world, and opines that George Bush’s crimes vastly exceeded Bin Laden’s. Are we meant to take Chomsky at face value? Or are we being disconcerted and intimidated for a brilliant man’s delight and purpose?

Back to the yellow star; what is the tactical word for Jude? What caricature now gets up everyone’s nose? In the post Holocaust era it is infra dig to hate Jews, publicly at least. So the Jude that everyone loved to hate has transmogrified into a Zionist. Nowadays people don’t hate Jews, they hate Zionists.

Often when their guard is down they’ll admit that one means the other. Be careful to say Zionist, warned Azzam Al-Tamimi, Director of London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought, believing he was out of earshot. “There is an organization called MEMRI, and it monitors your channel, as well as Al-Jazeera TV, Al-Hiwar TV, Al-Quds TV… all the channels…. Therefore, my advice to my brothers in Al-Aqsa TV and the other Arab channels is that we must be very careful when we use the term ‘Jews’.”

Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, dropped his guard differently. “The Zionists have been inflicting very heavy damage and suffering on the whole of humanity for over 2,000 years, especially over the last four centuries.” Of course 2,000 years ago, or even four centuries ago, there were no Zionists to inflict damage and suffering. There were only Jews, and it was them Iran’s Ayatollah meant.

But there is yet a second euphemism for ‘Jew’. Thanks to Anis Mansur, one of Egypt's top journalists, and confidant of the late president Anwar Sadat, we know that word: ‘Israeli’. "There is no such thing in the world as Jew and Israeli. Every Jew is an Israeli. No doubt about that.”

Tuvia Tenenbo wrote a book on rampant anti-Semitism in modern Germany. The head of the publishing company, from one of Germany’s top families, went into a rage. “He told me I couldn’t write and that the book needed serious editing. I asked him to show me what good writing was. He did. If there was a line in the book about people not liking Jews he demanded that I change the word to Israel.”

Hence to the formula: Zionist = Jew = Israeli.
The book I wrote in 2012, Hadrian’s Echo, provides at least half a dozen more proofs that the terrible twins are the Jew of old.

Now to the second of the tactical words: ‘Anti-Semite.’ Expelled from one fortress the anti-Zionist will hurry to the next. Heavy with ridicule he’ll decry that no one can be critical of Israel without being called anti-Semitic. How that shot brings adversaries up short. Yet how flimsy the fortress from where it is fired.

Two quick questions and the game’s over for the protesting critic: 1) Why would a critic want Israel destroyed? And, 2) Why would a critic want Jews killed?

For wanting both those things a boycott supporter could not be anything but a deadly enemy of Israel – of the Jews. “Implementing the right of return means eradicating Israel," said Amos Oz, the author and left wing peace advocate. "It will make the Jewish people a minor ethnic group at the mercy of Muslims, a protected minority, just as fundamentalist Islam would have it."

Nevertheless Oz (being politically correct?) stops mid way through. What some Muslim groups have done, and are doing to minor ethnic groups, on three continents, means that the right of return would eradicate more than Israel, it would eradicate Jews. Dismantling the security barrier would act likewise, though at a slower rate.

Every boycott supporter – Christian, Jew, Muslim or secularist – fully understands that his demands amount to the shedding of Jewish blood. And if he calls that a lie, or tut tuts, or coughs disdainfully, remind him to address the two questions. And while he’s thinking up a diversion, ask him why he never protested when Palestinians bombed, shot, and knifed Jews to death.


So to the character of the latter day yellow star. Borne instead of worn it sets not only Jews apart but products like Ahava cosmetics of Jewish origin. Boycotted by stores and shunned by shoppers, products must carry the warning label, ‘Made in Israel’ or ‘Made in the Occupied West Bank.’ Like tobacco products and alcohol, consumers are warned and weaned off the deleterious effects of Zionist-made products.

Along with Jewish products Israeli academia finds itself shunned like the devil: “All Israeli academic institutions, unless proven otherwise”, the manifesto of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel reads, echoing Hitler’s Nuremberg Decrees to strip Jews of their basic rights and begin the process of separating them from the population. A professor at the University of Manchester wrote to her Israeli colleagues: “I will always regard and treat you both as friends, on a personal level, but I do not wish to continue an official association with any Israeli.”

As it was dangerous in Nazi Europe to associate with Jews, today it’s ill-advised to associate with Zionists. Israel’s deputy ambassador in London noted, "The last time that Jews were boycotted in universities was in 1930s Germany."

Academies, in the words of French author Julian Benda, have become

“an arena for the intellectual organization of political hatreds’. He wrote this in 1927, but how presciently. Rhodes University, South Africa, is a living model of the intellectual organization of Zionist hatred. Fear-ridden pockets of Jews who came out in support of Israel were branded racists, Islamophobic, apartheid supporters, problems to be gotten rid of, disgraceful.


To be sure the new model yellow star exempts, for now, ‘good Jews.’ They are Jews canny enough to set themselves free by excoriating Zionism or Israel or still better, both. Effectively they sell their Jewish identity and reap a decent return, both in kind and in cash.

The boycott movement is flush with funds, though it keeps who the funders are close to the chest. ‘Israel-bashing is the contemporary key to acceptance,’ observed Professor Robert Wistrich. How right. Even a humble saxophone player may aspire to minor celebrity status. “It is Gilad Atzmon’s blunt anti-Zionism rather than his music that has given him an international profile,” wrote the Guardian.

Anti-Zionist Jews are nothing if not materialistic. They never sell themselves short, but think nothing of selling out the rights of their Jewish brethren – rights to freedom of speech and association. At the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, a concert with an Israeli-born pianist was invaded when boycotters burst onto the stage blowing vuvuzelas and forcing the event to be abandoned.


Even then, we have not touched the limit of yellow star-exempt Jews. If motivated at bottom by human rights, one might overlook their failings. But that’s the problem: boycotters have no concern for Palestinian rights. Or they have, when Israel is in the equation, but take Israel out of the equation and boycotters dissolve to nowhere. If they had a credo it would be the following: What Muslims do to Palestinians is Muslim business; what Palestinians do to Jews is no one’s business; what Jews do to Palestinians is criminal.

But let the idol of Israel-bashers, Noam Chomsky, put it for us squarely: “The current BDS movement's hypocrisy rises to heaven.” And let them deny it: Boycotters are not concerned with Palestinian rights; they are concerned with trashing Jews – sorry, Israel, where the tribe lives, and thrives.


We need to just make the substitutions : "Hindu" = "Hindu fundamentalist" = "saffron" = "Hindu right wing" == "Indian" for the corresponding ones for Jew/Zionist/Israeli. Even an "occupation" motif is available - in J&K.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby devesh » 03 Jul 2013 09:38

speculation on "youth protests" spreading to India:

http://thediplomat.com/2013/06/30/will- ... mocracies/

India is infamous for its corruption, while simultaneously praised for its quality education. That contradictory combination practically guarantees disappointed youth lapsing into either apathy or street anger. India’s democracy is robust, but its political parties are poorly institutionalized, frequently rooted in ethnic and local affiliation, and prone to elite control – family control even, in the case of Congress. They are poor vehicles for the transmission of shifting policy preferences rather than tribal identities. And governance – the actual provision of services – in India is notorious, as the recent global attention on the poor police and state response to sexual violence has made clear. Indeed, one might argue that Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign was a local analogue to the Occupy movement in the West and precursor to the recent events in Brazil and Turkey.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby vera_k » 03 Jul 2013 20:42

ramana wrote:It took me a long time to realise this. JLN was very clever when he pitched for universal adult franchise based on liberal ideas of freedom etc.

With one stroke he empowered and entrenched his cohort from Ganga plains who hadn't done much for the freedom struggle which was led and fought from the periphery: Bengal, Punjab, Maharastra-Gujarat, Bihar and South India.


This would work only under a strong Central state. Would also explain why confederation was ruled out, and Jinnah had to be exiled. A EU style confederation or even equal representation for all states would have prevented this outcome.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby svinayak » 03 Jul 2013 21:47

devesh wrote:
India is infamous for its corruption, while simultaneously praised for its quality education. That contradictory combination practically guarantees disappointed youth lapsing into either apathy or street anger. India’s democracy is robust, but its political parties are poorly institutionalized, frequently rooted in ethnic and local affiliation, and prone to elite control – family control even, in the case of Congress. They are poor vehicles for the transmission of shifting policy preferences rather than tribal identities. And governance – the actual provision of services – in India is notorious, as the recent global attention on the poor police and state response to sexual violence has made clear. Indeed, one might argue that Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign was a local analogue to the Occupy movement in the West and precursor to the recent events in Brazil and Turkey.

This entire analysis is bogus. India and its media have been discussing corruption for more than 15 years and having political changes for the last 15 years unlike all the other countries.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby ramana » 05 Jul 2013 01:23

Bji, Is development another Hegelian quest?

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby member_23692 » 05 Jul 2013 02:25

Acharya wrote:This entire analysis is bogus. India and its media have been discussing corruption for more than 15 years and having political changes for the last 15 years unlike all the other countries.



That is correct. India is having political changes for the last 15 years unlike any other country. Our politics and political situation has gone from bad to worse to the gutter, and so has the country and so has the corruption level and the morals of the Indians.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby devesh » 05 Jul 2013 03:04

Acharya wrote:This entire analysis is bogus. India and its media have been discussing corruption for more than 15 years and having political changes for the last 15 years unlike all the other countries.


yes it is. but that's beside the point. the narrative is something to understand. they are trying to form the narrative. and they have to start from now, if there is to be a serious attempt in the future.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby Klaus » 05 Jul 2013 06:51

^^^ One could argue that the narrative was already set with Western reporting and spin on female infanticide and the resultant "single young angry male" either resorting to warfare with friendly neighbors or internal mayhem.

Of course, there are not too many who would question this Western attempt at correlating TFR, demographics and internal unrest and how that model spectacularly fails in the case of the Arab Spring (&Summer and Winter).

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby Samudragupta » 10 Aug 2013 00:26

X-post...
Samudragupta wrote:The Next Decade of Jihadism in Pakistan

By Tufail Ahmad

In the run-up to the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, two trends within Islamism in South Asia are likely to have far-reaching implications for regional politics and security. First, jihadist movements in Pakistan and its neighborhood are increasingly emboldened; their leaderships and core organizations remain largely intact, and their expectations for greater power are rising amid the emerging security vacuum. Second, jihadist movements and the Islamists sympathetic to their goals are increasingly seeking to use political means, including negotiations and elections, to capture power and impose Sharia rule.
Islamism may be described as an ideological orientation which seeks to reshape society and politics through the imposition of a radical understanding of Islam. In the wake of the Arab Spring, Islamists in South Asia have increasingly sought to use not just armed struggle but political means to advance their cause. In Afghanistan, the Taliban appear inclined to accept elections and referendum as a means to capture power and rewrite the country’s constitution. In Pakistan, the success of Egyptian Islamists inspired Dr. Tahirul Qadri, the religious scholar, to end his self-imposed exile in Canada and threaten to unseat the Pakistani government through staging a Tahrir Square-like mass uprising in Islamabad in January 2013.[1] The Islamists’ current turn toward politics does not mean that they have embraced democratic principles or the rule of law. What it does indicate, however, is the Islamist movements' increasing cohesiveness, mobilization capacity, and desire to achieve power.
This paper examines the essential ideological unity of jihadist groups in Pakistan and its neighborhood. These movements include the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the Haqqani Network, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Moreover, it examines how the forthcoming U.S. troop withdrawal has emboldened jihadist commanders, who hope to expand their Islamist struggle to a wider region, including to Kashmir, India and Bangladesh, and possibly also to the Middle East and the United States.
Jihadism’s Essential Unity
Afghan Taliban fighters work under the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) headed by Mullah Mohammad Omar. The Pakistani Taliban militants are united under the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), led by Hakimullah Mehsud. Almost all reports in the Western media describe these organizations as separate and ideologically different; and, there has been widespread expectation in Western capitals that some of them could be persuaded to work against others. In 2010 or 2011, the White House secretly contacted the Haqqani Network to convince them to hold peace talks.[2] In October 2011, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also warned of military action against the Haqqani Network in a bid to force it to negotiate.[3] When attempts for peace talks did not materialize, the U.S. sought to create a wedge between the Haqqani Network and the Mullah Omar-led IEA. The fact that Western media reports began describing the Haqqani Network as aligned with al-Qaeda and "operationally independent" of the Taliban led by Mullah Omar indicates how US policy changed.[4]
Although these groups are active in operational domains, they work for the same ideological objectives. Furthermore, they also share their resources and capabilities in planning and conducting operations. As individual movements, they work to impose Sharia rule in their respective domains, but with the expectation that their Sharia state will ultimately form part of a larger caliphate. As such, they consider themselves to be different parts of the same struggle. Generally, jihadist groups in the Middle East also consider Mullah Omar as Emir-ul-Momineen, or the leader of the faithful, leading the supposed global Islamic caliphate. Even the slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had offered bayah (oath of allegiance) to Mullah Omar. The TTP’s letterhead shows Mullah Omar as the Emir-ul-Momineen and Baitullah Mehsud as its founder.
In a January 2013 video, the TTP Emir Hakimullah Mehsud clarified the distinction between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. He responded, “As regards the Afghani Taliban, Emir-ul-Momineen is our Emir too, is Emir of the Afghan Taliban, and is Emir of al-Qaeda too.... He is Emir of all Muslims. And all praise be to Allah, we have accepted him as Emir with a true heart. There is no question of relations regarding this.”[5] He explained the Taliban's relationship with al-Qaeda: “We are waging jihad under the command of only one Emir. Similarly, al-Qaeda men are our brothers. And we are ready to offer any type of sacrifice with them. They are our muhajireen [immigrants] brothers and we are their ansar [supporters].[6]… When respected Emir Sheikh Osama bin Laden was martyred in Pakistan, our first emotion was that we will take his revenge, and we took it and we will continue to do so in future.”[7]
The IEA has published statements reiterating that the Haqqani Network is part of the Taliban. In 2011, Sirajuddin Haqqani released an audio interview to counter propaganda that his group was not functioning under Mullah Omar, stating, “The respected Emir-ul-Momineen Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid is our supreme leader. We follow his directives. We are representing a particular area under the umbrella of the Islamic Emirate and act accordingly. We follow directives of the shura in planning and financial matters. In such a situation, there is no question of running a separate organization, group, or entity.”[8] In mid-2012, Haqqani reiterated, “The stance of the Islamic Emirate never changes, and, we follow the Emir-ul-Momineen in the framework of Islam, without seeking status or material gain. This is enough to assure the world that our organizational affairs are completely controlled and run by the Islamic Emirate.”[9] He also told the Taliban magazine Shariat, “I am known by the name of Khalifa among mujahideen. I am the governor of Khost province in accordance with the thought, suggestion and order of Emir-ul-Momineen.”[10]
The 2009 bombing of the CIA base in Khost province is evidence of the unity of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Abu Dajana, a triple agent who had been working for al-Qaeda as well as for the Jordanian and U.S. intelligence agencies, carried out the attack. Dajana coordinated the bombing with TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud and the Haqqani Network. Afterwards, a video appeared on the Internet in which Abu Dajana sits alongside Mehsud to record a statement before the attack.[11] A January 7, 2010 statement from al-Qaeda also noted that the CIA’s Khost base was attacked “to avenge the death of Baitullah Mehsud” in a U.S. drone attack.[12] A November 2012 Taliban video noted that Hakimullah Mehsud and Omar Al-Britani, a British militant also known as Abbas, were involved in planning the Khost attack.[13] In November 2012, a U.S. State Department statement on the Haqqani Network’s chief of suicide operations Qari Zakir noted that he was involved in the Khost attack.[14] These pieces of evidence strongly suggest that the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda were involved in the Khost attack.
The Punjab Hub
There are three formidable organizations in Pakistan that have worked both separately and together to advance the jihadist objectives: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT a.k.a. Jamaatud Dawa or JuD), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), which also functions as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ). The LeT and JeM are focused on India, especially on liberating Kashmir, while the SSP/LeJ/ASWJ conglomerate aims to eliminate Shiism by systematically killing Shiites. All these groups enjoy some form of support from the Pakistani military intelligence.
Though these organizations have a presence in all areas of Pakistan, their respective leaderships are all based in Punjab province. Punjab has emerged as a major jihadist hub where at least 170 madrassas were involved in militant activities in 2010.[15] In southern Punjab, Pakistani intelligence reported the presence of 29 al-Qaeda-linked terror groups in 2010.[16] Like al-Qaeda and the Taliban, these groups believe that Shiites are infidels. Furthermore they share al-Qaeda's and the Taliban's objectives against America, Israel, and India.
Some other formidable groups banned by Pakistan include Harkatul Mujahideen, Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and two which have been active in the Khyber region, Lashkar-e-Islam and Ansarul Islam.[17] Over the past 12 years, Pakistan has banned 48 organizations for their role in militancy and sectarianism, while in 2007 it also put the Barelvi organization Sunni Tehreek on watch.[18] Roughly speaking, about four dozen jihadist organizations are active across Pakistan, with varying capabilities in teaching and training Pakistani youth in jihadist objectives, in planning terrorism and providing a supply chain for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The three main organizations likely to have a long-term presence in Pakistani society—Jaish-e-Muhammad, Sipah-e-Sahaba, and Lashkar-e-Taiba—are examined below.
Jaish-e-Muhammad
Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) is led by Maulana Masood Azhar, a militant released by India in exchange for the passengers of a plane hijacked to Kandahar in 1999. From its headquarters in the town of Bahawalpur, JeM leads a Pakistan-wide network of organizational units managed by militant clerics. When addressing students in 2010, JeM cleric Maulana Mufti Abdur Rauf Asghar criticized secular trends in Pakistani society which teach students how to use computers and mobile phones while forgetting to teach how to use the “arrows and swords” of Islam.[19]
In a lecture available on YouTube, Azhar explains a saying of Prophet Muhammad on Ghazwa-e-Hind, the Battle of India. (Pakistani groups widely cite the prophet’s saying on Ghazwa-e-Hind.) Azhar claims that mujahideen will one day rise from India and arrive in present-day Israel to fight alongside Jesus against the non-Muslims. He explains,
The Lord the Benefactor has chosen the Muslims of Kashmir for a very big fortune/blessing. I haven’t come to tell you a lie. I cite a hadith of the Prophet [Muhammad]. The Prophet of Allah had promised to his companions that ‘a group of my Ummah will wage jihad in Hindustan [i.e. India]’.... The prophet said, ‘for the two groups of my Ummah, Allah has decreed salvation from Hell: one that will arrive alongside Jesus and will wage jihad alongside Jesus, and one [i.e. the second group] that will wage jihad in Hindustan.’[20]
In recent years, the JeM has organized lectures on the “jihadist verses” of the Quran. In 2010, operating under its charitable arm Al-Rehmat Trust, JeM organized these lessons in towns across Pakistan where clerics, including Maulana Masood Azhar, justified jihad and qital (battle). Over 13,000 people and 2,060 students took lessons in jihad.[21] These lectures were held in Karachi, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Mirpur, Sukkur, Haveli Lakha Okara, Peshawar, Wah Cantonment, Rawalpindi, Swabi, Nawabshah, Quetta, Mansehra, Bannu, Tando Allahyar, Kohat, Sargodha and Khyber Agency. The location of these towns show that JeM’s outreach has sought to encompass the length and breadth of Pakistan. According to a report, “common people participated in these meetings regularly and [were instructed in] lessons that taught translation and interpretation of more than 558 verses on jihad.”[22] The lectures on “jihadist verses” are annual events.
The JeM organized such lectures in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, it held 21 sessions. At one event, the militant cleric Maulana Talha Al-Saif eulogized Taliban leader Mullah Omar, stating, “Tell me—is it possible to separate the concept of jihad and qital and Islamic dignity when we see the life of Emir-ul-Momineen Mullah Muhammad Omar? Is it possible that the name of Maulana Muhammad Masood Azhar is called somewhere, and the very concept of jihad does not come to our minds?”[23] In 2012, JeM organized a 40-day course. A report about an event in Bahawalpur noted, “It is perhaps the incident of the Thursday night [in March or April 2012], when there was a transaction of billions of dollars in the entire world to wipe out jihad. Millions of soldiers with lethal weapons were at the borders to wipe out the Muslim Ummah. Thousands of TVs, nets, and radio channels were speaking against jihad. At that time, the Masjid Usman-o-Ali [mosque] in Bahawalpur was resounding with persuasion to jihad. There was a speech contest on the topic ‘History of Jihad.’ There were thirty-six speakers representing Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan, NWFP [now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa], and unoccupied [Pakistani] Kashmir.”[24]
Of all Pakistan’s jihadist groups, JeM is most active in preaching jihad among students of school-going age. It regularly publishes such content on its websites—alqalamonline.com, fathuljawwad.com, rangonoor.com, musalmanbachay.com—as well as in its print magazine Haftroza Al-Qalam and other booklets. It is also using mobile phones to deliver MP3 messages on jihad to youth.[25] After a decade of relative peace in Kashmir, it was reported in 2011 that JeM has revived its terror plots in India.[26]
Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan/Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
Over the past few decades, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) has been known for its murderous campaign against Shiite Muslims across Pakistan. Its members have been working alongside the Taliban and al-Qaeda. After the Pakistani government banned the SSP and its military arm Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), it began operating as Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan, which was subsequently also banned. Currently it operates as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), and is headed by Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi. The militant leaders of SSP/ASWJ have enjoyed some form of financial and political support from the provincial government of Punjab under Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
In 2011, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah admitted that the government gave financial aid to the family of LeJ commander Malik Ishaq, who is involved in scores of murders.[27] He allegedly masterminded the 2009 attack on a Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.[28] In 2010, Punjab’s liberal governor Salman Taseer was so skeptical about the government’s protection of ASWJ leaders that he asked the chief minister to make it clear whether he was in favor of or against terrorist organizations. Taseer also pointed out that Law Minister Sanaullah shared a car with the militant leader.[29] In an editorial, the Dawn newspaper slammed the Sharif government for its “ideological affinity” with militants.[30] Under the Sharif government, the SSP/ASWJ fighters burned Christian localities in Gojra and Lahore and killed Christians and Ahmadi and Shiite Muslims in scores after implicating them on fake blasphemy charges.[31]
More recently, SSP militants have engaged in pulling passengers from buses, checking their identity cards to verify their Shiism, and then shooting them dead. SSP has also targeted and beheaded prominent Shiite Pakistanis and bombed Shiite congregations. In August 2012, at least 20 Shiite Muslims were pulled out of a bus at Babusar Top, 100 kilometers from Islamabad, and killed.[32] Earlier that year, on February 28, 18 Shiite Muslims were pulled out of a bus and shot dead on the Karakoram Highway in Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province,[33] while on April 3 another nine Shiites were dragged out of a bus by a mob and killed in Chilas, near Gilgit.[34] On February 16, 2013, a bomb ripped through a Shiite Hazara neighborhood of Quetta, killing over 80 people.[35] The attack was claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.[36] Fears are now emerging that the Islamist killers of minorities in Pakistan are aspiring to commit genocide.[37]
In March 2013, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik stated that the LeJ is involved in attacks “throughout the country” and is using Punjab as a hideout.[38] A review of the social media accounts of the SSP/LeJ indicates that though the SSP is banned, it holds regular events and elections in Pakistani towns to elect leaders. A review of the movement’s publications via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and other websites reveals that it is inculcating among Sunni youth hateful doctrinal interpretations such as, “The Shiite is a nasl [race/offspring] of Jews”; “The Sipah-e-Sahaba calls the Shiite a bigger infidel than the Jew”; “Shiites are the killers of Sunnis”; “Sunnis, have respect; end friendship with Shiites.”[39] In 2013, the SSP/LeJ combine appears more powerful in its countrywide presence than the TTP. In March 2013, it took a giant step by publishing an English-language magazine, endorsing al-Qaeda’s jihad and revealing its intent to take its fight globally.[40]
Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaatud Dawa
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is a fearsome jihadist organization founded by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. The movement’s members are located in Afghanistan, India, Iraq and the United States. Following a Pakistani government ban, LeT renamed itself as Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) to work as a charity. The LeT and JuD were banned by the UN Security Council after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. After the ban, the group emerged as the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF). However, the cadres and leaders of these organizations use the JuD flag. The FIF, too, was designated as a terrorist organization in 2010 by the United States.[41] Hafiz Saeed, along with several other militant commanders, is wanted by India.[42]
Following the UN Security Council ban, the Pakistani government came under international pressure and shut down the group’s websites and publications. However, the group began using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The JuD launched a website in mid-2012, releasing a video in which Hafiz Saeed observed, “Media is a two-sided sword. Instead of it having an impact on us, we want to use it in an effective way. Allah willing, [we] want to convey our message of Dawah [Invitation to Islam] and jihad to the people through it....”[43]
The LeT/JuD/FIF conglomerate has organizational units across Pakistan. In recent years, it has used every opportunity to preach jihad, including at flood relief camps. In August 2010, Rajiv Shah, the chief of the U.S. Agency for International Development, visited one such relief camp and sparked a controversy.[44] At another relief camp in 2011, Saeed stated, “The Pakistani press has aligned itself with foreign intelligence agencies and is promoting anti-jihad sentiments among the youth of this country… Jihad is the only chance for Pakistan’s survival.”[45]
Hafiz Saeed is an ideologue of jihad, and carries a U.S. reward of $10 million for anyone who could provide information leading to his prosecution. In speeches and articles, he has warned India, “One Mumbai [terror attack of 2008 is] not enough”; “Jihad is the only option left, as India will never let go of Kashmir”; “Islam is a religion of peace and security, jihad in the path of Allah is an important part of it.”[46] In 2011, Jamaatud Dawa leaders addressing a rally in Lahore demanded that the Pakistani government establish a “ministry of jihad” and offered that the “budget for the ministry of jihad will be provided by Jamaatud Dawa,” which “will provide one million trained fighters.”[47] Of all the groups, LeT/JuD enjoys the most comprehensive support of the Pakistani military.
The Next Decade
Despite 12 years of the U.S.-led war against terrorism, the jihadist organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan remain intact, with their organizational and leadership capabilities flourishing. Ahead of the U.S. withdrawal in 2014, these groups sense a new opportunity, viewing the exit as America’s defeat. The strengthening of jihadist organizations creates not only a dangerous long-term situation for Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also expands the jihadist threat for Kashmir, India and Bangladesh.
Recently, two leading jihadist commanders have re-emerged after a decade of hiding, possibly at the behest of the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). In March 2013, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, chief of Al-Umar Mujahideen and one of the three militants released by India in the 1999 Kandahar hijacking case, emerged from a decade of hiding. In an interview, Zargar indicated U.S. troop withdrawal was a source of inspiration, stating that, “India must remember that the U.S. has been defeated in Afghanistan. It’s a success for Al-Umar Mujahideen, too. In four months’ time, India will see what we are capable of.... We have been going wherever Muslims face oppression, and we will continue to go there. We are fighting in the name of Allah. After Kashmir, we will fight in Chechnya and Palestine.”[48] He also noted, “We still run [terror] training centers on both sides of the LoC [Line of Control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan]. Nothing has changed on the ground.”[49]
On March 23, 2010, Abdul Wahid Kashmiri, who took over as the Lashkar-e-Taiba chief from Hafiz Saeed after it was banned in 2002, emerged from nearly a decade of hiding, addressing a rally with jihadist commander Syed Salahuddin at Kotli in Pakistani Kashmir. These militant commanders cannot be operating above ground without the ISI’s support. At the rally, Wahid Kashmiri warned of a global fight: “It is the right of mujahideen to fight the invaders and oppressors across the world. The mujahideen who are fighting the occupation forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Kashmir are fully justified in doing so under religious obligations... The secret of success and freedom from the oppressor lies in jihad and not at the negotiating tables.”[50]
In all likelihood, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar will focus his energy on Kashmir and India, with support from like-minded organizations such as the LeT, the JeM and the ISI. Abdul Wahid Kashmiri and Syed Salahuddin, the Supreme Commander of Kashmir-focused Hizbul Mujahideen, are likely to work together with Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Masood Azhar. Sheikh Jamilur Rehman, the Emir of Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, warned in November 2012, “The day the U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan, India must leave Kashmir in humiliation.”[51] Syed Salahuddin advocates jihad against America, stating explicitly, “In the prevailing situation, jihad has become mandatory for every Muslim. Political and religious parties of Pakistan should jointly launch jihad against the U.S.”[52] All these jihadist organizations have survived because the Pakistani military chooses to fight against some militants, like some TTP commanders and al-Qaeda’s Arab fighters, while allowing others like the LeT/JuD, JeM and the SSP/LeJ to operate freely.
While the SSP has retained its focus on killing Shiites, in March 2013, it revealed its intention to wage global jihad by launching an English-language magazine, Al-Rashideen, for an international audience. In an editorial, it indicated that the magazine is also intended for youth in the West whose first language is English, noting, “We present you this first issue of Al-Rashideen. We hope this to be a platform where relevant issues facing the Ummah are studied/analyzed upon by students of colleges and universities, and Muslim youngsters whose first or second language is English.”[53] In endorsing al-Qaeda’s global jihad, it stated, “[The] only good news... is the rise of the mujahideen movements and their resilience and courage to move on despite heavy odds. And what is driving them? One reason is the spirit of jihad and shahadat [martyrdom] which is expressly present [and permitted] in the Koran and Sunnah [deeds and sayings of Prophet Muhammad].”[54] In 2013, the group’s leader, Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi, was contesting parliamentary elections for two seats in Jhang, an SSP stronghold.[55]
The three movements—LeT/JuD, the SSP/LeJ and JeM—have acquired a permanent presence in Pakistani society through their countrywide networks and organizational units. It is difficult to imagine how the Pakistani state will have the capacity or the will to curb these three groups anytime soon. Indeed, there are now fears that these groups could join hands and eventually come to influence the Pakistani state the way Hizbollah and Hamas have done so respectively in Lebanon and Gaza. Speaking about the long-term role of Lashkar-e-Taiba, U.S. National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper told a March 12, 2013 hearing of the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence that the LeT “will continue to be the most multifaceted and problematic of the Pakistani militant groups. The group has the long-term potential to evolve into a permanent and even HAMAS/Hizballah-like presence in Pakistan.”[56]
Speaking about the U.S. troop withdrawal and the Arab Spring, Hafiz Saeed spoke about post-2014: “As the U.S. flees Iraq and Afghanistan, we will get Kashmir…If people took to the streets as they did in Egypt, the governments in India and Pakistan too would have to go.”[57] At a rally in Lahore, he also warned of a global jihad against America, stating, “Atomic Pakistan will shine on the map of the world, Allah willing, and those who try to wipe Pakistan out will be wiped out.”[58]
In a January 2013 video, TTP Emir Hakimullah Mehsud spoke about the Taliban’s post-2014 objectives: “I would like to say that in 2014 when the American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, after that, Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, who is our Emir, who is our Emir today and [will take over Afghanistan and] will be our Emir in future too…. Whatever will be the policy of Emir-ul-Momineen Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, we will pursue that policy. Even today, we support his policies, and even after that [i.e., after 2014] his policy will be our policy….”[59] In a sign of global jihadist ambitions, Mehsud also described the TTP as an international organization in the same video.[60] In January 2013, Mehsud and his deputy Maulana Waliur Rehman appeared on another jihadist video and vowed to fight for enforcing a Sharia-based system in India and in Kashmir.[61] The TTP and al-Qaeda have also warned of a jihadist response to the killings of Muslim minorities in Myanmar and in Assam, India.[62] For example, in 2012, Ustad Ahmad Farooq, the chief of al-Qaeda's Media and Preaching Department for Pakistan, warned New Delhi that:
after [the killings of Muslims in] Kashmir, Gujarat, and Ahmadabad [also in Gujarat], if you wish you may add to the long list of your evil deeds Assam as well, but don't forget that taking revenge for every single oppressed Muslim living under your subjugation is a trust on our shoulders. These arrogant actions of yours only provide impetus for us to hasten our advance towards Delhi.[63]
He added:
I would like to request the scholars and people of Bangladesh to step forward and help the oppressed Muslims living in their neighborhood and increase pressure on their heedless government to open its borders for Burmese Muslims and stop its oppressive actions that only make life more difficult for the oppressed Muslims of Burma and Assam.[64]
More recently, a Pakistani official confirmed the Taliban's growing international reach, noting that the TTP has successfully recruited fighters from as far as Fiji.[65] In 2012, after the shootings in Toulouse, France by Mohamed Merah, there were also reports of white jihadists receiving training in Miranshah, Mir Ali and the Datta Khel areas of North Waziristan.[66]
The TTP has a demonstrated ability to orchestrate attacks in the United States: it was the organization which had recruited and financed the activities of Faisal Shahzad, who perpetrated the failed bombing on May 1, 2010 in New York’s Times Square. Evidently, the attack was planned to coincide with a video statement of TTP Emir Hakimullah Mehsud in a bid to rebut Western media reports at the time that he had been killed in a drone strike in Pakistan.[67] In his January 2013 video, Hakimullah Mehsud pledged to send fighters to the Arab Spring countries, stating, “we are ready for every type of assistance so that the democratic and secular system [in Arab nations] comes to an end; the kufri [infidel] system ends, and an Islamic system is established.”[68] Locally, the TTP and non-Taliban militant group Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) united in April 2013, appointing LeI chief Mangal Bagh as their joint head for Khyber Agency.[69] In 2012, Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab—a mixture of Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami, JeM and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen—vowed to re-launch the Kashmir jihad.[70] The TTP also works alongside the anti-People’s Republic of China East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).[71]
While the TTP is positioning for a global fight, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is focused on capturing power in Afghanistan in 2014. In 2011, an identified Pakistani security official, speaking about the strength of the IEA’s Haqqani Network, stated, “There are no signs of it getting weaker. In fact, its strength is growing.” The group has “between 15,000 and 25,000” fighters and sympathizers.[72] The Western assessments in 2010 indicated that the Afghan Taliban constitute about 20,000-30,000 fighters, with 10 percent loss of fighters in U.S. military operations.[73] In April 2012, Indian media reported that the Haqqani Network has 4,000 hardcore fighters.[74] After IEA, the second largest militant group in Afghanistan is Hizb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who has sought to capture power both through negotiations and fighting while working alongside the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Ahead of the U.S. exit, the IEA has begun describing Afghanistan as an Islamic Emirate. Key militant organizations have held talks to agree on a power-sharing deal in 2014. According to the Urdu daily Roznama Ummat, Taliban commander Sirajuddin Haqqani and Kashmir Khan, representing Hekmatyar, attended a conference somewhere in Afghanistan in mid-2011.[75] Some points agreed upon included the following: permanent U.S. military bases in Afghanistan are unacceptable and jihadist organizations will boycott talks and increase resistance if the United States insists on maintaining bases; jihadist groups reject the U.S. offers of excluding Mullah Omar or Jalaluddin Haqqani from a future setup in Kabul; all Afghan militias will be abandoned; all NGOs and those preaching Christianity will be banned; all foreign security agencies will be banned; local people will be involved in the formation of government; and neighboring countries will be asked to stop interference in Afghanistan.[76]
Over the next decade, the Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh-based branches of Hizb ut-Tahrir—which works to establish the Islamic caliphate—will pose a unique threat. In South Asia, the movement advocates for jihad in Kashmir, stating, “Kashmir can only be liberated through organized jihad.”[77] Despite the ban on the movement, it has held public rallies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hizb ut-Tahrir is ideologically similar to the Taliban, the Punjab-based jihadist organizations and al-Qaeda, although there are clear differences among these groups on matters of tactics. It is difficult to assess the size of Hizb ut-Tahrir's membership; its small events and reliance on press statements indicate that its members number in the hundreds, not thousands. Nonetheless, Hizb ut-Tahrir specializes in recruiting military officers with the goal of launching a revolutionary coup and imposing Islamic rule. Its members have been arrested in Bangladesh for plotting military coups.[78] Recently, top Pakistani military officers have been arrested for their links with Hizb ut-Tahrir.[79] In recent years, al-Qaeda, too, has penetrated the Pakistani military, with some ex-officers working for al-Qaeda while some jihadist organizations in Pakistan are working as extensions of the Pakistani military.[80]
Conclusion
The general strengthening of jihadism in South Asia ahead of the 2014 NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan combined with the prospect of Islamist groups using elections and referendums to capture power in Kabul are now working in favor of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Over the next decade, these trends and the Taliban’s potential success will also strengthen Pakistan-based Islamist movements. After 2014, the above-discussed jihadist organizations will be left with substantial organizational capabilities to conduct attacks and, more importantly, with the strength and prestige to influence populations across the region. Inspired by the Arab Spring, these movements have increasingly looked to political means to capture power and impose an Islamist order. Taken together, these trends will have far-reaching implications for the South Asian Islamist landscape. Mainstream religious organizations such as the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan are known for their ideological sympathies for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In the past, however, the Jamaat-e-Islami has been opposed to the encroachment of such armed jihadist organizations because the latter’s reliance on violence has threatened to destroy Pakistan itself. For the nationalistic Jamaat-e-Islami, such an outcome would not be acceptable. However, if the aforementioned jihadist movements were to cease violence even as a tactic and commit to politics, nationalist groups like Jamaat-e-Islami will mostly welcome such a move, and especially if a coalition among them would generate greater political power for Islamists. In coming years, if the LeT, JeM, SSP and the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan were to join hands for an electoral bid, they could likely acquire the tacit support of the TTP, and Pakistan could well emerge as a jihadist state and transform the face of South Asia. Such a development would be in keeping with the popular Islamist narrative holding that Pakistan will become the “Madina-e-Saani”—or the “Second Madina,” after the first Islamic State founded by the Prophet Muhammad.
During 2007-2008, British diplomats made the first attempts for talks with the Taliban through the mediation of Saudi Arabia. After the Taliban captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl in 2009, a series of contacts between the Afghan Taliban and the United States began, with a political office being set up in Qatar. However, the Taliban saw the contacts as tactical moves that offered them diplomatic and political legitimacy. They described the talks first as contacts for the exchange of Bergdahl with Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, and later called them a diplomatic front in addition to the Taliban’s military front.[81] At times, the United States appeared willing to hand over three Afghan provinces to the Haqqanis for a peace agreement.[82]
Toward the end of 2012, it appeared that the Taliban would consider participating in elections under an interim government in Kabul in 2014 if such a government setup were to result from the talks involving the Taliban, the U.S., the Karzai government, and Hizb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. At a December 20-21, 2012 conference in Chantilly, near Paris, the Taliban adopted some positions that appeared to have been influenced by the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Taliban representatives Mawlawi Shahabuddin Dilawar and Dr. Muhammad Naeem gave a presentation indicating that Mullah Omar does not intend to monopolize power, and, that Afghanistan's constitution should be Islam-compliant and should receive the approval of the people, possibly through a referendum.[83] In March 2013, Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim, a confidant of Mullah Omar, said the Taliban may launch a political party, adding, “The Taliban leaders whose names have been removed from the U.N. black list will play an important role in the political process.”[84] Sensing that a political vacuum could emerge in 2014, some anti-Karzai politicians are also maneuvering for talks with the Taliban.[85] Pakistan, too, has freed over two-dozen Taliban prisoners believing that this will strengthen Islamabad's influence in Kabul.[86]
Taking a cue from the Afghan Taliban, the TTP was reportedly in contact with Pakistani officials throughout 2011, although these contacts produced little or were intended as tactical moves.[87] Ahead of the May 2013 elections in Pakistan, however, the TTP and some Pakistani leaders were more inclined to negotiate. In December 2012, the TTP offered a conditional ceasefire provided Pakistan re-wrote its constitution to make it more Islamic and ceased its role in the war on terror.[88] In all likelihood, the Islamist victories in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring influenced the Taliban’s new willingness to negotiate. At the same time, their primary objective is not entering into a democratic political process, but the imposition of Sharia rule. TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan noted that “a few clauses” do not make the Pakistani constitution Islamic.[89] Afghan Taliban, too, adopted a similar stance. Syed Muhammad Akbar Agha, the chief of Jaish-ul-Muslimeen, a faction of the Afghan Taliban, said in February 2013 that the Taliban’s demand for enforcement of Sharia rule in Afghanistan is “non-negotiable.”[90] In the jihadist reckoning, referendums and elections are merely a means to capture power to impose Islamist rule. This quintessentially Islamist understanding of elections and democracy as a means and tactic to capture power in order to impose Islamic rule was best articulated by Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, when he stated: "Democracy [is] a train from which you get off once you reach the station.[91]
Over the next decade, jihadism’s prospects in South Asia will be shaped to a large extent by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that backs them. The ISI's role in creating and nurturing jihadism in South Asia was irrefutably made clear by Adnan Rasheed, a former Pakistan Air Force commando and now a top-ranking Taliban commander, in a May 2013 interview with the Taliban magazine Azan. Rasheed had been imprisoned following an assassination attempt on Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf; however, Taliban militants freed him in a daring jailbreak in April 2012. In the interview, Rasheed described how he came to the realization that the terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad was a sub-unit of ISI. As he stated: “[It] was revealed to me that neither [JeM chief] Masood Azhar nor [militant commander] Haji Abul Jabbar was officially appointed Emir for Pakistan [by Mullah Omar, as Adnan Rasheed was led to believe while in the PAF]; they were working under the ISI. So, I went to my Emir of Idara[t-ul-Pakistan, a jihadi unit in PAF], Dr. Y and told him that, 'Brother, we are wronged! There is no difference between us and Jaish-e-Muhammad. We are soldiers in uniform and they are soldiers without uniform. How strange it is that we follow them and they take instruction from our institutions – the ISI!"[92]
Jihadism's appeal runs deep in the Pakistan military. The Afghan jihad of the 1980's , the Kashmir jihad of the 1990's, and the jihad of the post-9/11 era have all had an immeasurable impact on recruitment into the Pakistani military. In the wake of the anti-Soviet war, anti-Western Pakistani sentiment rose to its zenith. Many of the soldiers recruited during these past three decades were exposed to and deeply influenced by jihadist ideology. Their continued rise to senior positions in the military will likely strengthen the hands of already serving pro-jihadist officers wield considerable influence on the country's foreign policies.[93]
The ISI has demonstrated that it is unwilling to repeal its support for jihadist organizations; in fact, in 2010 when U.S. drones began targeting the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan, the ISI shifted the network to a new base of operations.[94] Almost all leading Pakistani newspapers have called for holding the ISI accountable for terrorist activities in the region.[95] The ISI regards itself as the guardian of the Islamic State of Pakistan. As a result, in the next decade, it is unlikely that the ISI, will either stop supporting jihadism or obstructing the efforts of Pakistani officials from fostering good ties with India. The machinations of the ISI and pervasiveness of political Islamism that will inevitably follow will prove to be an enormous obstacle to prosperity and democracy in Pakistan.


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harbans
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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby harbans » 10 Aug 2013 03:08

3 decades after UPA 3:

TNN Bangalore: April 5, 2039: The Shahi Imam of the Islamic Republic of Uttar Mughalistan (formerly known as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) announced the deeper than oceans and taller than mountains relationship with China on the 20th anniversary of Chinese reclamation of Bodh Gaya . The announcement came from the rebuilt ramparts of the Grand Babri Masjid destroyed by Hindu fanatics decades ago at Islampur (formerly Ayodhya) at a function held for the Chinese Ambassador to Uttar Mughalistan (Comprises Bihar minus Bodh Gaya, Uttar Pradesh and former Uttaranchal). 20 subversive Hindu extremist Nepalese leaders were handed to Chinese police at a border checkpost South of Kathmandu, highlighting close anti terrorist cooperation between China and Uttar Mughalistan.

The President of UM endorsed the controversial move of handing over Mukteshwar, Ramgarh and upper reaches of Uttaranchal to the Chinese in a deal done last decade and declared that Nepal has always been a part of China from the principle of extended Sovereignity. India's aggressive takeover of Noida in a pre-emptive military maneuver prior to formation of Mughalistan and subsequent building of an electrified fencing is one of several major disputes with Uttar Mughalistan. Britain and US have condemned India's aggression over the NOIDA territory. China endorses a peaceful resolution of the NOIDA dispute. Both countries claim that territory that includes Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida.

The President also opposed the electrified fencing off Jharkhand, Chattisgarh with Mughalistan by India and requested China to supply 200 J 40 fighters to help maintain the balance of power in the region. Many parts of Chattisgarh, MP and Rajasthan borders are disputed. Artillery firing over several sectors has made life for local villagers unbearable. Respected peace Laureate Aruna Roy in Guardian mentions increased defense spending on both sides to be a major cause of poverty in both feuding nations.

Reports also mentioned the Chinese leadership displayed disappointment with Indian leadership over misuse of Chinese myths by Indian citizens, specially naming people and places after Shiva and Vishnu. Prof Ravichandran Guha, a leading expert in China studies has argued credibly that the Chinese have a point. Just like companies in China are not allowed to brand products as Apple as Appal or Appel, brand equity for Chinese ownership over the Myths of Shiva and Vishnu is diluted as Shiva has clearly been proven to reside In Chinese soil at kailash/ Mansarover, contrary to some Hindu extremists claims. The Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurram says constructive talks with Chinese leaders are on this issue. When pressed by reporters on Chinese issuing staple Visas to those whose names are are Vishnu, Shiva, Gautam he was emphatic that India has taken a strong stance and had issued a Demarche to the Chinese Ambassador in the Indian Capital city of Bangalore. He said that despite Shiva being Chinese, like Gautama Buddha and the entire Dharmic canons, it is important we HIndu's realize that this is a sensitive issue and name children to not cause conflict. Farid Mohammed and Mohammed Digavijaya said Islam as a culture welcomes HIndu's naming Children Mohammed or Nurul or Islam, but insisted that they had strongly conveyed to the Chinese authorities that time must be given to the people to adjust gently to these nomenclature changes to avoid social conflict. Chinese diplomats have been reported to be extremely understanding in private on this issue, though in public they still exhort faster movement. Md Digvijaya feels that understanding must be appreciated from the Hindu point of view.

Foreign Minister Khurram urged the visiting Chinese Junior Minister of State to use his good offices to request Uttar Mughalistan to issue visas to pilgrims for the Kumbh Mela at Allahabad, a practice discontinued for 2 decades. Last year Mughalistan executed 7 Indians who crossed illegally to take a dip in the Ganges. The Minister said India had strongly protested the outrage and also then given a dossier and demarche to the Mughalistan Ambassador and presented a 300 page dossier. The Minister Li Shiu (the Hindu surname Shiv is considered to be a malappropriation of this ancient Chinese surname) remarked to his Bangalore hosts that China believes that religious freedom is important and it will talk to Uttar Mughalistan on the matter, but cautioned this is an internal matter of a friendly state.

Mani Swamy Aiyer since has made several trips on track 2 diplomacy and says "the hospitality received in Mughalistan is over whelming and the people are just like us. We need to engage with the peace lobby in Mughalistan. Religion and politics must not come in the way of brotherly relations between the two nations."

Meanwhile India has received a loan from IMF to put storage tankers at sea and produce much needed fresh water. Under the Ganges Yamuna Treaty of Mughalistan, India gets 5% of waters which are not enough for it's need. Even that Indians claim is being violated. Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurram thanked China for voting in India's favor and thus helping secure the IMF loan. There were no negative votes for India. Even Mughalistan did not vote against the loan for India, though experts off the record say is due to Chinese pressure. Leading GCC experts have pointed that a sign of growing maturity in diplomatic behind the scene consultations between the GCC, Islamabad, Islampur and China with Bangalore. A sign many in the Indian media and establishment say point to the fact that despite Indo-Chinese differences, we can work together to solve our problems. In that light JNU Professor R. Guha has acknowledged the success of the border treaties with China South of Simla. The Indo-Chinese borders south of Dharmasala and The East-West Siliguri belt are cited were cited as examples of mature cooperation between the 2 nations after a century of mistrust. He mentioned that this was despite India's military defiance in preventing Chinese take overs in Bhutan, Sikkim and protesting against the incorporating of former NE India into China.

Hardline Hindu nationalists demanded in the Indian parliament taxing the Mughalistan-Pakistan Road corridor in lieu of more water rights. India which had acknowledged the demand and provided a transit fee free corridor between Mughalistan and Pakistan decades ago said there was no question it would dishonor the treaty of free transit. Talks were on also between Islamabad, Islampur, Bangalore on the question of illegal immigrants misusing the free transit corridor. Both Pakistan and Mughalistan maintain there were no illegal migration and misuse. They blame India for blocking the passage of 40 Tanks and 136 heavy artillery vehicles from Islamabad to Mughalistan. The case has been taken to the International courts. Indian sources say they have a strong case of blocking the artillery and tanks. The ruling they say will probably be restricted to 2 tanks and 20 heavy artillery pieces every week as a face saving gesture for Islamabad and Islampur at the maximum.

Indian Hindu nationalists also created an uproar in parliament on news that the Indian PM decided to de link talks and terror. Coming soon after the massive attacks in Chennai, Vizag, Cochin the leadership stressed that we will have to continue to live as neighbors and terror affects both countries. Aruna Roy in landmark article in the Guardian had earlier stressed that Saffron terror and misuse of Chinese symbols was a major cause of distrust between these neighboring nations. Many Indians have stopped naming Children after Gautam, Shiva and Vishnu (NDTV has issued a notice to it's employees regarding this possibly as a result of their being allowed to open branches in Beijing, Kathmandu, Dehradun and Shimla).

Noted leftist Mr Banerjee in the Hindu even suggested making a list of names and seeking approval from Chinese authorities which ones would be acceptable. Mr Guha approves of such venture and talks as they will bring trust and show China, that India is sensitive about Chinese legacy issues on misuse of names like Gautama and Shiva. Leaders and experts are of the opinion that violence and war are not an option or solution to the development and improvement of ties.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby brihaspati » 11 Aug 2013 06:11

Is Budesh still in Manama or shifted base? It seems that D' is declining. His empire might be handed over to something like Budesh. Can someone track Sunny V, Kerala and the D-Budesh dynamic, in the backdrop of Bahrain-Saudi-UAE linkages and of course with our netas?

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby ramana » 20 Aug 2013 20:54

X-Post from GDF....
panduranghari wrote:
ashashi wrote:
Zomia is a subject of few academicians who have nothing better to do. Not to worry.

Back to the regularly scheduled programming.....


Zomia: Whose idea is it anyway

With the rise of India and China as the great Asian powers in this Asian century, the western think-tanks as well as strategists are worried and fabricating every possibility to weaken these core states of Asia. Since, by promoting Zomia as the stateless, ungoverned, romantic geographical as well as historical space, a powerful movement can be unleashed creating a shatter-belt across Eurasia that can make both India and China to engage against frontier-enemies with perceived trans-border support. This can derail any approaching accommodation between two Asian giants and China and ASEAN nations. Academic weaving of a narrative is moving in tandem with grassroots movement for Zogam. Moreover, US is planning to pullout from Afghanistan very soon, and the focus is again shifting to Asia’s mosaic of ethnic conundrum. Obama administration has announced ‘return to Asia” strategy and their primary focus is shifting to Vietnam ,Thailand and Myanmar. These are the nation-states where the zomia is still a powerful state-repellent space.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby RamaY » 04 Sep 2013 23:57

Didnt see this post before...

If the blind leadership of India was any smart, they would have got POK back and contained China to its space.

Now China is doing it to India instead.

Peregrine wrote:
"BijuShet"

From "The News" article (posting in full). Another pearl in the Chinese string circling India.
China assumes charge of Gwadar Port

May 23, 2013 - Updated 1535 PKT
From Web Edition

ISLAMABAD: China has formally assumed charge of Pakistan’s deep-water Gwadar Port following an agreement signed between the two countries in February this year.

Three companies including China Port Holding, China Merchant and Cosco Shipping would be responsible for the handling of Gwadar port.

Beijing would help Islamabad construct a road, which would link the port with the Coastal High Way. Beside this, China would also provide financial add to complete the project.
---------------------------
BijuShet Ji :

The viability of the Port of Gwadar can be "judged" by the following Roads being constructed by China especially the Makran Coastal Highway :

Image

Mods : Should "Gwadar" be discussed on this Thread or would you like to "Create" a New "Nukkad" Thread for Gwadar?

Cheers Image

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby muttukur » 08 Sep 2013 03:05

Something for us to learn and leverage upon
http://www.ted.com/talks/thomas_barnett ... peace.html

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby devesh » 08 Sep 2013 08:40

what barnett is saying is interesting. but I find it hard to believe that US will ever implement that kind of separation between Defense and "everything else". simply b/c even the ongoing moves wrt the "arab spring" are in the same mold of wiping out the target and leaving the rest to fend for themselves, and essentially paving the way for Islamic takeover.

I think the real change post-Iraq, was the USA giving up any attempts at peace creation. they will simply handover to whoever they believe has the "enforcement" capability to put together a coercive peace.

I think Barnett is missing out on the point that the lesson learned by the US politicos is different from what he is arguing. the politicos and intelligence guys agree that they can't win peace with the current DoD structure. but, unlike Barnett, they have no interest in creating such a force within the US DoD or Govt. they are outsourcing "peace" to Islamics.

this is why NoKo will never get outright attacked by USA. they can't be the peacekeepers. and they are not sure who has the coercive power to put together a peace. if PRC does it, it's a slap on US face. So, they have to handover to SoKo. this means empowering the new SoKo to a great extent. meaning, making Japan more paranoid. also making PRC more unstable. meaning ultimately Asian Pacific becomes to confusing to handle.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby ramana » 11 Sep 2013 20:41

Who Killed Rajiv Gandhi?



Imagine this scenario.

Rajiv Gandhi is on a come-back trail. Certain vested interests within India and abroad don’t want it. But they are all respectable people and are constantly under public and media gaze. So they need an expert agency which can carry out the assassination. Why not an Indian or foreign terrorist outfit which has a known enmity against Rajiv Gandhi? The LTTE fits the bill, but so do several terrorist outfits from Punjab, Kashmir and north-eastern India .
But before they strike a deal with anyone, they need cover — somebody who can negotiate with the terrorists and keep in touch with them at a regular basis. A prominent jet-setter with pretensions of being a religious figure is willing to be the middle-man between the real conspirators and executioners.
Enter international arms dealers and drug traffickers at this stage. They open their coffers in lieu of political patronage and other material benefits which come as a by-product. Secret accounts in Switzerland and dubious banks as the now-collapsed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) are used to finance the operation. The LTTE is promised an uninterrupted weapons supply for doing the job. The LTTE is tasked. Perhaps other outfits also were, but the Tigers struck first.
This may not be pure fiction.



Also RG had made statements that he would look into the nuke weapon decision if he were to be elected. So cant rule out anyone.
Looking at all the ties and linkages it could be the ASs.

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Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -I

Postby ramana » 12 Sep 2013 06:26

X-post....

Rudradev wrote:
Karan M wrote:
-------------------------------------
quote="ramana"
Putin's gambit has saved Syria for now. But need to see how long Assad is able to stay in power and consolidate the state. This will turn the jihadis on their sponsors.

-----------------------------------------

Is this the continuation of the Shia-Sunni fight all over again?

AlQ+ FSA/ Sunnis+ Chechens + Iraqis/assorted Islamists on one side versus the Syrian Army, Iranian Army and Hezbollah on the other.

I wonder what the Russians are doing in terms of weapons, training and techniques.


Karan ji, indeed. In fact, the alignment of forces is in some ways reminiscent of the situation in Europe exactly 100 years ago.

On one side, a Shia "Triple Entente" of Iran, Iraq and Syria with Russia and maybe China (more on this later) backing it. Unconventional assets include Kurdish militias, Hezbollah and other Qods Force-trained militias in Syria and the Peninsular Arab states.

On the other side, a Sunni "Double Alliance" of GCC (KSA, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Oman) and Turkey with the US, France, and Israel backing it. Unconventional assets include Hamas, FSA, and various Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Qaeda affiliated groups.


It is the unconventionals, of course, who will make this a little bit different from WWI. They have a presence in almost every country and they will be the leading edge of the fight, rather than a mere trigger as with Gaviel Princip.

Now from an Indocentric perspective, a primary matter of concern is how AfPak squares into the situation.

It could be said that the US has an additional reason (apart from downhill skiing) to see Afghanistan in Talib hands when the shooting starts. Taliban-controlled Afghanistan will side with the Sunni Double Alliance against Iran, rather than remain neutral as Karzai would. As for Pakistan itself, as Carl ji observed previously, there's no doubt that it will end up on the GCC/Turkey side of the war. In fact, it will likely become a primary front in a Shia-Sunni war against Iran, because of many factors. Firstly, the Saudis hate to fight any of their wars themselves, and because they are one of the Pakis' four-fathers, there is little question that they would demand (and get) full Paki cooperation in such a conflict. Secondly, it is quite possible that Saudi Arabia paid for Nawaz Sharif's election; certainly they paid for the Tanzeems who selectively failed to target Sharif's candidates during the election campaign. Thirdly, even if Pakistan is officially reluctant to go to war against Iran, the Tanzeems of Pakistan know on which side their naan is buttered; their money comes from Saudi Arabia and GCC, not the bhikari Pakistani state.

If Pakistan does get involved in a shooting war with Iran, this is of course a good thing for India. Firstly, the Taliban and Paki Tanzeems will be too preoccupied fighting the Iranians to pay much attention to J&K (in fact, such a war might provide the perfect opportunity for India to reclaim POK, and especially Gilgit-Baltistan, where the tribes are predominantly Shia.)

Secondly, the idea of cooperating with India in an anti-Taliban axis becomes more attractive from an Iranian-Russian point of view, since the open alignment of Taliban with GCC will obviate any possibility of a Teheran-Islamabad-Kabul-Beijing-Moscow "understanding" regarding the post-US dispensation in Afghanistan.

Thirdly, the atmosphere of a long and protracted shooting war in the region will queer the pitch for China in many ways. China wants to establish connectivity to the Arabian Sea via the Karakoram-Gwadar corridor... but this region, of course, will be on the frontlines of a Pak-Iran conflict. China wants to position itself for the economic exploitation of Afghanistan after US withdrawal... but this prospect will be equally skewered if the Taliban is fighting Iran and Iranian/Russian proxies in the area. The ideal situation for China is one in which it could take advantage of Paki connectivity and the post-US Afghan dispensation to build an overland pipeline from Iran to China, or facilitate easy access to Iranian oil via Gwadar, or both. Such a situation would make China safer from Indian (or other) interdiction of the Malacca Strait chokepoint upon its energy lifeline. If the Great Shia Sunni War begins, all of these Chinese pipedreams go for a toss.


Another thing to recognize is that moves are *already* being made to determine, through different kinds of international pressure, what role (if any) India would play in the coming Great Shia Sunni War. I am sure you will all laugh when you first read this... because we all know MMS is incapable of doing anything in India's long-term interest. The US has bought and paid for him with the Nuclear Deal... so much so that Putin gave a hint of his barely concealed contempt for MMS at the G20 summit, when he remarked how the Indian PM "unexpectedly" opposed the US proposal to strike Assad!

However, in the realm of international relations, other countries do not regard India from the prism of assuming MMS will be there forever. The measures other countries take vis a vis India are determined by New Delhi's perceived capabilities, not its perceived intentions. And that's why we're already seeing such measures being taken:

1) From Saudi/UAE/GCC, we've seen the unexpected gift of three most wanted terrorists: Tunda, Bhatkal, and Abu Jundal. The message being sent to Delhi is: we would-be Sunni Caliphs respect your concerns on terrorism, so don't join any axis against us even if we have the Pakis and the Taliban on our side of a future war. The GCC is genuinely concerned that we will to some or other extent take the Shia side in such a war. We have many reasons: shared concerns with Iran and Russia about the Taliban returning to Kabul, and also traditional ties to Russia which many of our veteran babus in the MEA still hold dear.

2) From Iran, we have not seen anything in the open, but there is no doubt they are angling heavily for India to take their side. As bargaining chips they offer continued access to Afghanistan via Chahbahar-Zaranj-Delaram, and renewed cooperation against the Taliban (should it come to power in Kabul and begin uprooting the infrastructure and Indian presence we've cultivated there over the last decade.) From our side, we could potentially offer the Iranians many things short of actually joining the war against the Sunni Double Alliance. We could at the very least keep Pakistan off balance and make it difficult for them to maneuver against Iran. As a step up from that, we could offer port facilities, landing and overflight rights etc. to Iranian ships and aircraft. As a step even further up, we could facilitate Shia militancy in Pakistan and POK; and still further, we could actually attack Pakistan and attempt to reclaim POK. Once again, don't think of MMS doing these things and laugh... for all the world knows, it may be Modi running the show in India when the Great Shia Sunni War begins in earnest.

3) From the Pakistani side, we're seeing something interesting. Pakistan's own Caliphate dreams are not quite in sync with either the GCC's or the Shia Triple Alliance's. They favour a Greater Khorasan model including AfPak, Iran, and many countries of Central Asia as the seed-land of the 21st Century Caliphate. War with Iran doesn't at all suit a powerful section of Paki Islamists in the TSPA and ISI, who have advocated developing closer relations with Iran and China in opposition to the traditional alliances of Pakistan with US and GCC.

However, the Pakis are realizing that they may not have a choice, because as I mentioned previously, GCC has bought and paid for many of their Tanzeems, their nuclear programme, and very likely for Nawaz Sharif's election as well. GCC is also their primary source of charitable energy, and a major contributor to keeping their excuse for an economy afloat. And GCC doesn't care a fig for their Khorasan pipedreams.

The Pakistanis see what is coming and want to take desperate measures to avoid it. Their worst nightmare is a situation where the Paki govt watches helplessly while Saudi-sponsored Tanzeems and Taliban militias rush westward to join the war against kufr Shias. This is not something they will be able to solve by GUBOing and double-timing, which has been their preferred tactic with Unkil for 12 years.

Therefore, the Paki Islamists (specifically, the Hamid Gul/Mirza Aslam Beg inspired faction of the TSPA/ISI, who are very anti-US and pro-Khorasan) have taken matters into their own hands and tried to change the course of events by heating up the border with India. This, I think, is a big reason why we have seen incidents like the Jalalabad attack, and the beheading and repeated incursions along the LOC. If Pakistan gets into an ongoing situation of border tension with India, it can beg the Saudis to let them keep out of the Great Shia Sunni War against Iran, using the "Islam Khatre Mein Hai" excuse. Such a situation will also help them to rein in the Tanzeems and bring about some semblance of unity, helping to avoid a situation where the Tanzeems race off westwards to fight their own jihad against Teheran.

Thus, I believe recent Paki policy towards India has been guided, at least in part, by the need to pre-empt involvement on the GCC side of a Great Shia Sunni War against Iran. Conversely, US and GCC pressure on India to "keep talking to Pakistan" may be interpreted in this light as well... they do not want India giving Pakistan an excuse to stay out of a war against Iran.

4) Finally, China. We've all been wondering, what exactly is behind the recent hostility exhibited by PLA on our borders? The prospect of a Great Shia Sunni War offers a few potential answers. First, they want to keep India off balance militarily, and discourage India from intervening to its advantage (e.g. trying to reclaim POK/NA) if Pakistan gets involved in a war against Iran.

Secondly, they sense that the outcome of the Great Shia Sunni War will be an unprecedented deficit of energy security for China; of course, India will suffer an energy shortage as well, but China in particular will become especially vulnerable to future Indian retaliations at the Malacca chokepoint. If China wants to prosecute a war against India and change the borders in its favour, they have a limited window before the shooting begins in West Asia.


So really, there are three, not two different factions of interests in the ongoing situation.

A) Those who want the war to happen: GCC, Turkey, Israel, the US and some of its Western Allies including France. They would like to see Iran subdued and a stable GCC-led Sunni Caliphate formed that is inextricably linked to the West by bonds of economic and security interest.

B ) Those who do not want the war to happen right now (since they are at a relative disadvantage), but will fight willingly to prevent West Asia becoming dominated by a GCC-led Sunni Caliphate: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia.

C) Those who really, really do not want the war to happen, and will do anything they can to prevent or delay its occurrence, because they stand to lose the most as a consequence of Great Shia Sunni Conflict: Pakistan and China :mrgreen:


Good summary of Indian interests in 'faraway Syria"!!!


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