Operation Parakram: Another Analysis

ramana
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Operation Parakram: Another Analysis

Postby ramana » 01 Mar 2005 23:29

Col. Anil Athale writes in ReDiff: We were ready to punish Pakistan
--------------
Many details here that should be analyzed.



'We were ready to punish Pakistan'

Colonel Anil Athale (retd) | March 01, 2005 | 14:07 IST

The December 13 attack on the Indian Parliament by Pakistan-backed Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists brought the subcontinent to the brink of war.

Despite the campaign of disinformation promoted by the Indian doves, everyone knows the Lashkar is not a secret organisation.

Headquartered at a sprawling campus at Muridke, near Lahore, its annual rallies are attended by a million people. The outfit gets donations from across Pakistan on Muslim festive occasions, and is known to have close relations with the Pakistan army.

{Immediate cause for the deployment}

Thanks to the bravery of the guards at Parliament and a slice of luck (the car bomb failed to detonate), the attack that aimed at killing/taking hostage a large number of MPs failed, though the vice-president had a narrow escape.

This failure saved the subcontinent from war. It is doubtful if war could have been averted if they had succeeded in their mission.

In the next 48 hours, India ordered the mobilisation of its armed forces and began to move them to battle stations on the Indo-Pak border. The operation was codenamed Parakram.



Under normal circumstances, the armed forces expect at least 7 days notice before being ordered to deploy for war.

{Indicates response time for major decisions- OODA loop. Hence the Cold Start doctrine to reduce the overall OODA loop.}

That is the job of India's external intelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing). But this time, both RAW and the Intelligence Bureau (responsible for internal security) were caught napping, and the armed forces had to move without any warning.

{Once again. The KRC reforms were only of an organizational nature. I think its IB and local police job to monitor terrorists. The RAW should have expected some thing after the J&K Legislative Assy attack in October 2001 to relieve pressure from jihadi elements. This inability to plan for six sigma events is a constant problem with heirarchial organizations.}

India's major strike formations, including the armoured units, are located at least 800 km away from the border. Soldiers stationed in the east are even further away.

{One outcome is the stationing of such formations closer to the borders.}

The Navy too needs that kind of time to move to battle stations.

The Air Force can be ready relatively quickly, but even they have to reposition maintenance units as per battle plans.

In the best of circumstances, this move to the border and preparations last anything between two to three weeks. Thus it would be fair to assume that the armed forces were ready and raring to go only by the first week of January 2002.

Parakram cost put at Rs 6,500 crore

Neutralising Pakistan's nukes

To be fair, the attack on the Indian Parliament apparently came as a surprise to Pakistan as well. The immediate Indian deployment and threat of conventional attack caught Pakistan on the wrong foot.

{Why didnt the TSP expect Indian mobilization? Because they thought the presence of US troops offered them immunity. The terrorist strike was a signal to the jihadis that they still would take care of India even though they were emasculated by the US presence. The non-mobilization was to provide plausible deniablity. What would the sequence of events be if the Indian leadership suffered massive casualties? Chai in Delhi dreams?}

Despite its advantage of shorter lines of communication to the border, Pakistan was slow to react to the Indian move. Since India initiated the move towards conflict, it is to be assumed that Indian nuclear weapons were also kept in state of readiness.

Crucial info/insight.}

While India's stated policy is of no first use, it does not mean we have to wait for the first Pakistani nuke to fall on an Indian city. With satellite and MiG-25 based surveillance in place, India must have been closely monitoring the movement of Pakistani nukes.

Given that Pakistan has a smaller arsenal and also a small geographical area for its deployment, the only chance for Pakistan to use its nuclear weapons is to launch them in a surprise attack without warning and then hope to stall the Indian retaliatory strike with a combination of world pressure for restraint and its own defensive preparations.

In the case of Operation Parakram, as India moved first, a surprise attack was not possible. World pressure now mounted on Pakistan to observe nuclear restraint.

With a huge presence on Pakistani soil and in the Arabian Sea nearby, the Americans were in good position to prevent Pakistan from using its nuclear weapons.

India thus achieved a major success by virtually neutralising Pakistani nukes and gained space to fight a conventional war on its own terms, where it has a degree of superiority.

{Rather India calculated that the US presence was a disincentive for TSP to use nukes.}

According to Major General Ashok Mehta (retired) the Indians were ready by January 7, 2002, while Pakistan was still off balance.

{Wasnt this the time Lt. Gen K. Vij made his moves with 2 Corps and made the TSP send SOS to US?}

Op Parakram: The balance shifts

It is likely that to stall the Indian offensive, around that time, Pakistan may have made some moves to ready its nuclear weapons for use. In response to this then Indian Army chief, General S Padmanabhan, went public with an explicit threat on January 11, 2002.

'As long as I am alive, if nuclear weapons are used against India, or Indian forces, or the forces in the seas, or our economic interests, the perpetrator of the particular outrage will be punished, punished so severely that his continuation in any fray will be in doubt,' the general said.

{Any one recall his exact words about having the enemy by the tail?}

Indian generals rarely speak, and when they do, the Pakistanis take them seriously.

It appears that the general-speak had the desired effect, and Pakistan lost the nuclear initiative.

General Musharraf's speech on January 12, 2002, accepting some of the Indian demands may well have resulted from this nuclear standoff.

It is obvious that India was not satisfied with Musharraf's concessions. There also may have been a school of thought that this time around India must act.

India was on brink of war twice

India's options

January/February is the ideal time for India to act against Pakistan. Due to the snow bound passes of the Himalayas, the chances of Chinese intervention are minimised. This also enables India to thin out the troops from that border.

But despite the rhetoric of 'Aar Paar Ki ladai' (decisive battle) it seems clear that India may well have wanted to only 'punish' Pakistan, and not destroy it.

{Change in war aims?}

There are several options on the J&K border to carry out a limited offensive.

Attacks in the direction of Muzzafarabad or Skardu are well within Indian capability. But doing this could invite a retaliation elsewhere. The Indian deployment all along the border was essentially to forestall this possibility.

Army planned offensive in PoK in January?

The most likely scenario worked out in 1987 (during the Brass Tacks exercise) was a Pakistani counterthrust in the Sialkot area. To respond to this India could use its superior tank force to advance in Sindh and cut Pakistan into two.

These moves and countermoves as well as behind the scene diplomacy went on throughout January and February.

With the neutralisation of Pak nukes and the readiness to deal with conventional threat in Punjab by February 2002, the Indian army was well set to 'punish' Pakistan on the Kashmir front.

But then Godhra happened.

{ Kaluchak happened later in May 2002}

Image: Uday Kuckian

Next: Did Godhra Save Pakistan
Last edited by ramana on 02 Mar 2005 00:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby A Sharma » 02 Mar 2005 00:00

'As long as I am alive, if nuclear weapons are used against India, or Indian forces, or the forces in the seas, or our economic interests, the perpetrator of the particular outrage will be punished, punished so severely that his continuation in any fray will be in doubt,' the general said.


Made my day

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Postby svinayak » 02 Mar 2005 00:02

With the neutralisation of Pak nukes and the readiness to deal with conventional threat in Punjab by February 2002, the Indian army was well set to 'punish' Pakistan on the Kashmir front.

But then Godhra happened.


Looks like the author has correctly made the conclusion that Godhra was a plan to releive pressure on TSP during the strike window.

Indian influence and justification of war was being heard in ME.

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Postby ramana » 02 Mar 2005 00:07

BR Archives Links:
1) Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

2) IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Yes he seems to have made the link that Godhra helped TSP. Question is who helped facilitate Godhra? I am talking about the attack on the train. The later was reaction. But lets discuss this when he posts his take.

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Postby VikramS » 02 Mar 2005 00:17

acharya wrote:[Looks like the author has correctly made the conclusion that Godhra was a plan to releive pressure on TSP during the strike window.

Indian influence and justification of war was being heard in ME.


And I remember getting a lot of flak on the board when I suggested that Godhra was not only a tactical setback but also a strategic setback. At that time there were reports that the local Godhra mosque had been taken over be extremist, out of town "Kasmiri" godmen who had won a power struggle with the existing local maulvis. In retrospect it seems that it was a calculated move by the TSPA to create internal chaos and unrest.

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Postby Umrao » 02 Mar 2005 00:36

Folks >> dont forget that Mushy sent a black mail note via callin povel during that time that there were many sleeper ISI cells that could be activated to blunt India.
Last edited by Umrao on 02 Mar 2005 00:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby ramana » 02 Mar 2005 00:52

Umrao jaan, Many undesirable elements/networks were exposed and neutralized. So lets keep it to the facts we know.
-----------
VikramS, Have you read Gen. Paddy's book?

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Postby Babui » 02 Mar 2005 01:44

I'm not sure if Pakistan was ever 'off balance' militarily or if its nuclear posture was 'virtually neutralized'. I don't have the time to Google but I remember reading Paki newsmedia which mentioned that the Pakis had fully mobilized as soon as we had and their formations (all 3 services) had moved to wartime locations. Also, their Mujahid batallions had mobilized fully. Since they have a 'shorter' ride to the frontier - their complete mobilization was quicker than ours.
As for nuclear weapons being 'virtually neutralized' - I remember, distinctly, some Paki officer making it publicly known to some Italian (?) media that Pak had some 'red-lines' that could not be crossed. I suspect this played a major role in Indian decisionmaking since the 'red lines' could very easily be crossed whithin a few days.
I'm not sure if Godhra had any role to play in deciding to 'strategically' retreat to not. I suspect that our leadership weighed the pros and cons of a conventional battle and decided that the objectives to be achieved were not the costs. Specially after Kaluchak. Didn't India Today have an article on '100 gun' battles and ripostes in Kashmir and which concluded that objectives (raids on terrorist positions) would have a high failure rate. Also, there were numerous articles in the media that our economic growth would be severely affected (didn't Thomas Friedman say something on it). I guess Vajpayee/BJP didn't want to ride the tiger - once unleashed.

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Postby viveks » 02 Mar 2005 03:40

I just tried reading previous threads on parakram-2. oh gosh....it looks like it is an epic. :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o

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Postby Sunil » 02 Mar 2005 04:05

Hi,

I don't know where Col. Athale is going with this so let me get off a shot across his bow.

After 9-11 the Pakistanis were asked to fold up their end of Al Qaida and the Taliban. They agreed to fold up their end of the Taliban but left their options open on the Al Qaida thing. There was a distinct possibility that Musharraf would then encourage the returning Jihadis to create a problem for India. The Americans, famous for their short attention span would very easily have gone along with that. This was undesirable from the Indian pov.

The need of the hour was to tell Musharraf to keep his problems with the US to himself and not pour them out on us. The held notion uptil 9-11 was that the Pakistanis were "babysitting" Bin Laden and Co for someone in the US- given the vast number of opportunities the US "missed" trying to nail him. When Sept 11 happened, there was considerable speculation that the Pakistanis were no longer in control of the Islamists and that there would be an Islamist takeover in Pakistan. This would create unmanageable problems there. An onset of instability was imminent - the NDA was left with no option but to plot a path that would create a manageable instability.

All this talk of invading Pakistan appears to have been part of a calculated strategy to tell the Pakistanis the following:

1) Keep the Islamists under control - do not dump them into Kashmir (i.e. stop infiltration)
2) Keep your problems with the US confined to Pakistan (do not get ideas about having the terrorists nuke India to send the US a message).

To make the talk of invading Pakistan seem credible there was pre-mobilization of sorts that happened on Sept 11 - this was followed by an official call for a mobilization immediately after Dec 13th after it was feared that sections of the Pakistani elite wanted an escalation and moreover this section of the Pakistani elite wanted to carry out a decapitating strike on India. Such an act could have served as potent warning to the US to submit to the Jihad machine's will.

All this talk of IB and RAW being caught napping is complete nonsense. There was an alert out for terrorist acts in the capital. There was a failure of perimeter security at the Parliament and that is how the terrorist attack of Dec 13th occured. Given the vast nature of the country, it is impossible to stop every terrorist cell from acting. The NDA understood this and as a result a limited war plan for the Kashmir theatre was set up which was ready for action by the last week of december 2001. The sheer size of the Indian military put the Pakistanis at a disadvantage. Their ground intelligence units simply could not keep up with the larger numbers. That is what put the fear of God into Musharraf and caused him to act against the Jihadis in the context of Kashmir in Jan 2002.

The events of Kaluchak subsequently caused people to question Musharraf's intentions again and to that end the threat of a larger punitive strike across the international border was held out to refocus Gen. Musharraf's attention. The two displays had a salutory effect on Musharraf who quickly fished out his nuclear card to ensure his personal survival and offered the jihadis as human sacrifices for his political survival. This ultimately caused severe fissures between Musharraf and the Jihadi leadership which in turn benifited India.

The Pakistanis were militarily unprepared for the situation that manifested along their border after India mobilized because

1) the Pakistanis had failed to estimate the speed of the Indian mobilization,
2) the Pakistani Army had failed to drill for anything besides a mad dash to the border; as a result their engineers worked like crazy to build new defence lines, and
3) the logistical situation was adverse as they had not drilled even the most rudimentary logistics.

All this made the success of the punitive campaign by India imminently possible and that is why Musharraf reached into his pants to fish out his vaunted nuclear deterrent.

The NDA knew that the Pakistanis would not use the nuke pre-emptively given American presence on their soil and that the Americans could be convinced to lean on the Pakistanis if the invasion did not actually take place. The NDA knew that Musharraf would follow American orders. The NDA also knew that the Americans would paint this outcome as a "victory" for US diplomacy and a "victory" for General Musharraf and the Pakistan Army. The only thing that the NDA did not know is which channels would the Americans use to crow about these "victories". That is becoming increasingly obvious as the time wears on.

The disaffection in the Indian armed forces at not being allowed to act out their desire to rip the Pakistanis a new one is understandable and indeed laudable but excessive criticism of the NDA's leadership is misplaced.

Added later.

An aspect of the standoff that most observers seem to have missed is that the World which usually compares India and Pakistan to each other, suddenly for the first time saw the incredible difference between them. As Musharraf spent the bulk of his time waving his nuclear deterrent in public, the quiet confidence of the Indian political and military leadership stood in stark contrast. This set the stage for opening discussions on de-hyphenation. The exact consequences of this will become more obvious as the decade passes and Pakistan becomes more and more irrelevant.

It is to India's good fortune that we found as capable CCS and as capable a COAS that understood the exact need and nature of the use of force.

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Postby Singha » 02 Mar 2005 08:54

Mushraff sure helped us eliminate around 30 top ranking terrorist leaders
one after another within a short span in 2002-03. Like ducks in a gallery they were all shot, no arrests.

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Postby RajGuru » 02 Mar 2005 09:14

Singha wrote:Mushraff sure helped us eliminate around 30 top ranking terrorist leaders
one after another within a short span in 2002-03. Like ducks in a gallery they were all shot, no arrests.


He also helped in exposing the ISI safe houses in Hyderabad and else where. In Hyderabad, they were simply liquidated and thrown into Hussain sagar lake and their bodies were found in government hospitals as unclaimed bodies for medicos to do their stuff :wink:
What a JackA$$!!

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Postby Sanjay » 02 Mar 2005 13:17

Ramana,

I'd just be careful about reading too much into this. I've been following Athale's writing for a while and there are times when some of his "insight" is actually opinion.

Nonetheless, it's a very good second take on what happened in 2002.

I've realised that many of the ex-servicemen who portray themselves as "experts" have little idea of the actual state of the armed forces as a whole and their ability to fight a war.

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Postby Singha » 02 Mar 2005 14:07

Sanjay, good last line. same problem as employee of a large distributed MNC with multiple products, locations and lines of business. Each employee knows a few things well, knows where to ask for a few others and has no knowledge of the rest.
One would hope however that as people rise up the ranks they acquire this global view when responsibilities and exposure increases. A full-bird Colonel leads a batallion...800 "employees"....I guess he should be up the mark there.

"I know what I don't know... and to this day I don't know technology and I don't know finance and accounting." - Bernie Ebbers, Ex-CEO, WorldCom

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Postby Sanjay » 02 Mar 2005 14:52

Singha, the trouble is that many of them appreciate the limitations of their experience and temper and moderate their views accordingly.

However, many of the "experts" don't. Your point about a Colonel is well taken. His knowledge and experience after that is based entirely on his own ability to learn and analyse.

The truth is that the really good ones aren't slimy enough to pose as "experts".

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Postby Sunil » 02 Mar 2005 20:02

I try to put myself in Musharraf's shoes and ask myself who would I sacrifice if India were to put the pinch on me?

I would sacrifice the shooters. They are easily replaceable. I would not sacrifice the intelligence officers and the principal officers as they are very hard to replace - you will have a lot of trouble finding a replacement for someone like Bakht Zameer Khan or a Ilyas Kashmiri but a "Ghazi Baba" type guy - you can make that up in a day.

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Postby ramana » 02 Mar 2005 21:21

Athale is not of the DDM Major genre. Also just because he retired as Colonel doesnt mean he was shuffling papers. One should read each report and learn from it. Every time the curtain rises on a new aspect. BTW, Sunil very good and masterly summation of the events after 9/11 vis a vis TSP and India.

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Postby Sunil » 02 Mar 2005 22:21

Hi,

Thanks for the compliment Ramana.

The Pakistanis keep falling for the DDM cr*p that Parakram was a failure. They miss the following points:

1) The equivalence between India and Pakistan is no longer sustainable - even within Pakistan itself. Everyone in the world increasingly sees Pakistan as a terrorist state. Everyone inside Pakistan knows that without nuclear weapons Musharraf cannot defend Pakistan.

2) To ensure Musharraf's survival Pakistan had to foreclose its option of sustaining a Jihad in Kashmir. Now a Jihad in Kashmir can be resurrected but only at the cost of Musharraf's head. When Musharraf goes - so does the bulk of America's support.

3) Throughout the Parakram standoff - India maintained its attractiveness to business and investment! The Indian economy continued to grow despite the "cost of the mobilization". Compare that with the situation in 1962 where the War caused food and petrol shortages in the bulk of the country!

4) The Indian political elite had to restrain the military elite from acting out its desire to rip Pakistan to shreds and mounting Musharraf's head on a pike. The only reason why India's military elite feel so strongly about doing this is because the Pakistanis have been sponsorring terrorism in India. Most of today's generals in India are veterans and victors of India's war against Pakistani sponsorred terrorism. In the lower ranks hatred for the Pakistan Army is a very very very real thing - too many of the the junior officers and men have seen their friends killed by Pakistani sponsorred terrorists. If Pakistan continues down the road of sponsorring terrorism in India - the Indian political elite will simply not feel obliged to restrain the Indian military. Everyone talks about the "political will" to use the resources demonstrated in Ex. Divya Astra - but everyone misses the fact that all it really takes now is a lack of political will to save Pakistan's H&D and the rest automatically follows.

5) After Parakram what little advantage Pakistan may have enjoyed on account of its shorter communcation lines is *now* gone. Indian military formations have already dumped supplies enough to fight a war of attrition for months close to the border. There is no economic dividend to bringing these back to their peace stations. The formations will remain deployed at the border for the foreseeable future. The next War is literally at Pakistan's door.

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Postby Y. Kanan » 02 Mar 2005 22:30

Sunil wrote:3) Throughout the Parakram standoff - India maintained its attractiveness to business and investment! The Indian economy continued to grow despite the "cost of the mobilization". Compare that with the situation in 1962 where the War caused food and petrol shortages in the bulk of the country!


Not to nitpick but I think you meant to say 1965. Anyway, good point but of course, in 1965 we actually went to war.
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Postby Abhijit » 02 Mar 2005 22:30

Can there be a disconnect between the Indian armed forces' reading of the reply to a future terrorist attack and the reading of the Indian political estabilshment? In other words, can there be a situation where the pols may still want to hold back while it is very very difficult to hold back the forces? I know that Indian armed forces are not like the Paki counterparts but then there could be one kaluchak too many.

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Postby A Sharma » 02 Mar 2005 23:41


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Postby SaiK » 02 Mar 2005 23:57

^^

The effect on Operation Parakram

On an average, a division covers close to 50 to 75 km of border. The loss of close to two divisions obviously weakened the Indian threat of action against Pakistan.

*
Almost two army divisions are withdrawn from border, creating a gaping hole in the defences, weakening the threat of armed action against Pakistan.

It was only towards early May 2002 that the troops rejoined their comrades on the border. By then, the window of opportunity was shut, as the snows in Himalayas would melt, and a Chinese threat had to be factored into the planning.

On May 14, 2002, terrorists struck at Kaluchak in Jammu area. The gruesome attack targeted the wives and children of the soldiers. The sheer audacity of the act was to show to the world India's 'impotence'. The terrorists achieved their aim as thanks to the Gujarat riots, the army was not in a position to react.


====

Q: WHY DID WE HAVE TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM THE FORWARD POSITIONS TO GODHRA? I FIND THAT DECISION MORE SILLY AND ILL-NATURED THAN BLAMING PAKISTANI PLANS.. THIS IS LIKE GIVING INTO THE PLANS OF PAKISTANIS. I AM NOT SURE OUR PLANNERS ARE THAT SILLY AND WOULD DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS.

FURTHERMORE, FOR THE TYPE OF RIOTING PEOPLE, ANY OTHER TYPE OF SECURITY FORCES OR RESERVE POLICE BATALLIONS OF VARIOUS STATES ARE QUITE GOOD ENOUGH TO HANDLE. PERHAPS SOME TEAMS FROM CALCUTTA, KERALA, TAMIL NADU AND PUNJAB JOINED TOGETHER WOULD HAVE HANDLED THE SITUATION.

I DON'T THINK ANY SANE MILITARY CHIEF WOULD ORDER TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FOR SOME OTHER RISK TAKING EFFORTS. SOMETHING IS BASICALLY WRONG IF THE ARTICLE FINDS IT TRUE AND OUR MILITARY AND BABOO-DOM SUCCUMB TO PAKISTANIN DESIGNS.

IT SHOWS OUR WEAKNESS VERY CLEAR HERE.

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Postby VickersB » 03 Mar 2005 00:07

I agree with Krsna. - the bold part,
Two things come to mind - firstly why did they need to move
TWO divisions from the border (with all the reserve forces)
and secondly was the decision politically motivated and thrust
upon the army?
If it was indeed politically motivated then who were the players
behind the move to leave a gaping hole at the border and why?
regards,

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Postby Anand K » 03 Mar 2005 00:45

I don't buy his argument that the invasion option was closed since two divisions were withdrawn to Gujarat from the border (opening a hole)......without the planners doing something to offset that gap (if there was any!)

Check out this article by Lt General Narasimhan in the Hindu
Godhra: a strategic appraisal.
Some things in this article are diametricaly opposite to what Col athale says now...For instance
The pulling out of army formations from their defensive and offensive postures would degrade the strike potential of the Indian Armed Forces. Indeed Pakistan succeeded to a certain extent with the Indian Army having to pull out about a division for internal security duties when they were poised for operations against Pakistan. It goes to the credit of the planners at Army HQ that the defence potentia l was not degraded and at the same time they provided adequate forces to contain the violence. Under the circumstances the response was commendable.


Col Athale seems to be trying to reinforce his theory by showing that he was right about the US offensive axis in GW-1......Is he defending himself against the BR brigade attack on early March 2? :P

BTW, can anybody give me the listing of the Army units sent into Gujarat during the riots? Their mother division/corps ..where they were positioned during Parakram and all?
Thanks.
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Postby Anand K » 03 Mar 2005 00:50

Isn't that article by Narasimhan a frontal assault aginst the DDM/Pinko crowd? :)
I'm surprised that the uberrag Hindu would give space for such a "non conformist" view....

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Postby Sunil » 03 Mar 2005 01:08

Hi,

That part about moving the divisions to Gujurat reducing the effectiveness of the Parakram forces is incorrect.

The IA's posture was unaffected by the Godhra Ahmedabad cycle. Had the cycle escalated nationwide perhaps then there would have been an effect - but the violence was contained to Gujurat.

I always find it amusing when experts try to tell us Indians that somehow having a division or so suppressing rioting "erodes India's ability vis-a-vis Pakistan" but somehow despite being neck deep in governance issues, the Pakistan Army's ability to "resist an Indian attack" is "undiminished".

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Postby Arun_S » 03 Mar 2005 01:44

Sunil wrote:I always find it amusing when experts try to tell us Indians that somehow having a division or so suppressing rioting "erodes India's ability vis-a-vis Pakistan" but somehow despite being neck deep in governance issues, the Pakistan Army's ability to "resist an Indian attack" is "undiminished".


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: You said it.

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Postby svinayak » 03 Mar 2005 01:52

Sunil wrote:
I always find it amusing when experts try to tell us Indians that somehow having a division or so suppressing rioting "erodes India's ability vis-a-vis Pakistan" but somehow despite being neck deep in governance issues, the Pakistan Army's ability to "resist an Indian attack" is "undiminished".


Asia TImes had lot of articles suggesting such things.
Ehasan and Sultan were the two authors who kept writing that from Kabul to Kolkotta there would be turmoil due to Afghan invasion and then the ripple affect on Dec 13 and Godhra events.

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Postby svinayak » 03 Mar 2005 03:07

Make public Narayanan-Vajpayee talks: Cong Add to Clippings

PTI[ WEDNESDAY, MARCH 02, 2005 10:43:38 PM ]
Sign into earnIndiatimes points
NEW DELHI: The Congress party on Wednesday accused the erstwhile Vajpayee government of lowering the authority of the country's highest office by ignoring the then President K R Narayanan's repeated plea to deploy the army to check post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat.

The party demanded that the communications between him and the former Prime Minister be made public.

Congress spokesman Anand Sharma said when in power the BJP-led NDA had systematically targeted constitutional offices like the Election Commission, CAG, PAC and other institutions one after another.

"Not only that, the Vajpayee government had ignored the repeated plea of President Narayanan for the deployment of armed forces to check riots in Gujarat," he charged.



This shows that the secular parties were forcing the Indian govt to redeploy and reduce the pressure at the border ignoring the border threat by using the office of the President.

The rhetoric of Sonia Gandhi in the Parliament and others were to reduce India's pressure on TSP at the border.

Vickram - Please read the book by General Paddy carefully to understand all the players in the game.

George J

Postby George J » 03 Mar 2005 07:25

How come no one discusses travel restrictions and phone calls from B'lore in the context of parakram? What that a bogie to disengage or are we really painting ourself into a glistening BPO corner: where national security is beholden to ecnomic security.

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Postby Sanjay » 03 Mar 2005 12:13

Ramana, AFAIK, Athale served as army PR officer in the 1990s.

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Postby ramana » 03 Mar 2005 22:44

Sanjay, The point is? Ususally competent persons are posted as PR.

Another report on the KRN gripe from deccan.com, 3 March 2005
I wrote, Atal did nothing: K R Narayanan

Thiruvananthapuram, March 2: Former president K R Narayanan has severely criticised former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for his inept handling of the post-Godhra carnage in Gujarat.

In an interview to a Malayalam weekly, Manava Samskrithi, the former president said that the Gujarat riots were carried out with the active connivance of the State government. “I had intimated this to Vajpayee several times through letters,” he said. “I also spoke to him about this. But he did nothing about it.”

Narayanan said he had urged Vajpayee to deploy the Army to put down rioting. The Army was sent, but it was not allowed to take on the rioters. “If the Armymen had been allowed to shoot the rioters many massacres could have been avoided,” he added. He said that he had a smelt a “conspiracy” by the Centre and the state government in the Gujarat riots.

Narayanan also accused the BJP of spoiling his chance of becoming president for a second term. The BJP had a hidden agenda in many areas including education and did not like his interference in certain matters, he said. “Murli Manohar Joshi was irked by some of my interventions, though they were democratic and done as per the constitutional provisions,” he said. Obviously because of this, BJP leaders said that their party was in principle oppo-sed to allowing a second term for a person as president.



Knowing that the Army was needed at the borders this Commander in chief asked for them to be sent to Gujarat. Next his charge that the Army did nothing is untrue as Col. Athale(former PR of the Indian Army) says it took two days to deploy and as the units were unfamiliar it took three days to restore order. Yet the former President shows his partisanship by blaming the political leadership at that time. He then gripes about not getting second term.

Its not Godhra that saved TSP but the withdrawl of troops for law and order in the country. It is debatable if CRPF and other units could be sent from other States like TN at that time, but the Presidential intervention at time of external threat to send Army troops should be noted. looks like he was acting in concert, Constitutionally, while ensuring that external enemies find succour.

In a way this is timely as it shows how hard it was for the NDA to conduct the policy. Who needs enemies with people like this on your side?

I think we dont know everything about the events and should hold judgement while we unearth the facts.

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Postby Sunil » 03 Mar 2005 23:17

The only way the Pakistanis could have found succor from the Godhra incident is if someone had told them that in the Godhra incident had led GoI to change its mind about imposing a military cost on Pakistan.

Given that Musharraf had already told the world that even the slightest military provocation by India would result in Pakistan using its nuke, I fail to see how the redepolyment of one division did anything to make it look like India had changed its mind.

One division from the Army was deployed in gujurat *not* the air force or the navy. All it would have taken to undo Musharraf's pyjamas was one airstrike or one naval assault - so how did the Pakistanis know that Godhra had changed the NDA's mind? Considering that the Army commanders on the ground were still sitting with the mobilization order in their hands?

Okay lets assume that the Pakistanis knew somehow.. but the only reason that the NDA would have changed its mind about invading Pakistan because of Godhra would be if the NDA leadership suddenly found the often repeated Pakistani threat of enticing communal violence in India in the event of a war - somehow more credible. But wait... that amounts to admitting that the Pakistanis were responsible for starting the Godhra violence.

Okay lets assume that is so, but then why stop at two divisions, why not go on all the way and get the whole Army off their backs? If all it takes is a few jihadis to burn up some women and children? whats the big deal? I mean trains are plenty in India and every railway track I know passes through one communally hypersensitive zone or the other - so what stop at one?

If we take all the garbage people are writing seriously - Parakram was fruitless and a complete waste of national funds - I mean - all those Dawood gang people wanted in connection with the Bombay blasts - all those guys magically caught a flight from Dubai to Mumbai and surrendered spontaneously at Sahar airport..
Last edited by Sunil on 03 Mar 2005 23:38, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby RayC » 03 Mar 2005 23:20

I jsut saw some remarks about Colonel Anil Athale.

His rank should not bother anyone about his ability. He is a Phd in Defence Science and has after premature retirement has visited many countries.

I believe he has been consulted in Ireland as also met the US President.

He is a member of Gen Vaz's think tank in Pune.

He got on the wrong side of Gen (the Brig) Rodrigues (in the Staff College) when he sent in an application that he did not want to do the Staff College since it had nothing much to offer.

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Postby VikramS » 03 Mar 2005 23:57

ramana and acharya

I have ordered the book. Will take it a few weeks to come.

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Postby vinodv » 04 Mar 2005 00:00

I was looking through the sequence of events after Godhra on rediff..
http://www.rediff.com/news/godhra01.htm

Feb 27 - Godhra

Feb 28 - 1000 paramilitary sent, army on standby

Mar 1st - Army in Ahmedabad , George F. deploys 2 Army BRIGADES, By this time one brigade(4000 soldiers?) was already deployed of which 9 Columns were in Ahmd. and 4 were sent elsewhere.

So in total about 8000 soldiers were deployed not 2 divisions(3 brig.) or 24,000 soldiers..

I don't see any further deployment of forces.. Does the Col. mean that because of this deployment, the divisions were weakened so much that they ceased to be an effective fighting force? And were the 2 brigades drawn from 2 separate divisions??

Am I missing something here?

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Postby Saurav » 04 Mar 2005 00:11

VikramS wrote:I have ordered the book. Will take it a few weeks to come.


Which book is this, "Writing on the wall"?

Also, where can one find this is in US? Unable to find in the usual bookstores or local library or onlinne.

TIA

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Postby Sanjay » 04 Mar 2005 00:32

Ramana, I was making no insinuations or otherwise to Athale's credentials. I was simply indicating one of the posts he held in the 1990s - don't think that's an insult to him.

If anything, you've missed the key point - he was in Army HQ. He knows what goes on and he's more familiar than most with the decision making process.

There are times I doubt his conclusions, but never that he's badly qualified to make them. That, however, is a matter of opinion - two people can view the same facts and come up with different conclusions.

I would say as a warning to be very careful about "fact" vs "opinion" in anything written.

For us, it is very difficult to ascertain which is which in a situation where we are bombarded with contrary stories.

Most of us are basing our views on an interpretation of facts available to us. Col. Athale is doing the same.

The question we have to ask ourselves is how much does he know about what lawyers sometimes term "facts in issue" regarding the nuclear aspect of Parakram. Did Padmanabhan's statement really mean so much ?

Again, I am not for a moment saying he's wrong, I am just urging everything to be considered as objectively as possible.

Now as to the competence of PR people, I don't think that should be raised.

India's military PR ( sorry Ray Sahib and co. ) is pretty bad at times and was really bad in the 1990s. However, I don't see Athale as being responsible for this in any way.

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Postby ramana » 04 Mar 2005 00:58

OK Sanjay. Fair enough. He also was in a mil delegation to DC in the early 90s. He writes about that experience in ReDiff.

Yes there are some aspects that need further study.

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Postby Anoop » 04 Mar 2005 06:23

Sunil wrote:
5) After Parakram what little advantage Pakistan may have enjoyed on account of its shorter communcation lines is *now* gone.


Sunil, very lucid take on Op. Parakram. I have a quibble with this last statement, though. It is precisely the PA's realization of this fact that has allowed them to argue convincingly to the U.S. that it needs a fresh dose of conventional weaponry and for MNNA status - that would keep the supplies coming in wartime too, wouldn't it? Which is what I suspect the IA's heartburn is - that they were forced to show their cards but were prevented from playing the hand. Anyway, that's all over and done with now and it's time to look forward.


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