Possible Indian Military Scenarios - Part V

Shankar
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Postby Shankar » 29 Apr 2006 22:31

BAGRAN AIR BASE -40 KM NORTH OF KABUL
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Major srinath watched the last of nato c-140 starlifter dissappear into night sky till the flashing navigation lights dissapeared in night sky over the mountains of hindukush . And with that last act the responsibility of all the aid workers all over afganistan along with remaining nato troops still in charge of law and order duties in the major cities of afganistan along with soon to be deployed indian army contingents fell squarely on indian airforce.His being the first group into bagram after that short but brutal air war over peshwar fell the responsibility of securing the soon to be major staging post of indian expeditionary forces .

The plans were in his key chain drive right down to the last minutest detail superimposed on the latest iknoss imagery recieved courtesey leaving nato forces .The basic plan consisted of 4 layers of concentric barbed wires seperated by a radial distance of 50 mtrs from the adjoining ones . The outermost ring was more of a warning ring posted with standard notices in pushtu clearly stating the danger of any any unauthorised crossing.Between the second and third ring was to be the dense mine field mostly anti personnel and anti tank mines with overlapping swathes of explossion which could be triggered by the intruding personnel or vehicles or remotely by the scores of infrared or microwave signals that criscrossed the area between 2nd and third rings . For extra protection he also planned putting on a dozen odd 4 barrel shilkas at the four corners having adequate overlapping and more important clear field of fire .With a firing rate of more than 6000 rounds per minute nothing the afgans possesed was expected to survive a blast from this monsters.The shilkas will also be linked to a number of surface scan radars developed by BEL specifically for this kind of situation and when in auto mode capable of any air/ground targets once the radar has a lock on and the intruder is not emmiting the corect sqwak code .

Four 120 mm mortar groups will be placed just inside the 4th layer of barbed wire fencing and shall get into action whenever any intrusion group attempted to cross over ..

Once the hawks arrive they shall be also deployed on randon area scan missions to detect and alert the defending force of any incomming raid which may include main battle tanks and then the fixed wing aircraft can engae the larger targets far away from the air base perimeter.

The 12.7 mm heavy machine gun detachments will join the present shilka groups as they became available . The entire base defense shall be coordinated from one of the underground bunkers emptied out by the rangers just few days back.

Apart from above during night dog squads will be deployed between third and fourth ring of wire fences .The afgans who were known to face a t-72 laughingly with a rpg 7 were also excessively afraid of dogs .And major srinath wanted to exploit this weakness to the hilt.

Outside the barbed wire fences a earthen berm will be quickly built up upto height of 10 mtrs + to prevent any one taking pot shots within the base with high power sniper rifles and regualr but random interval guard patrol will be introduced once forces become available .As far major srinath was concerned the bagram base should become invisible to any passerby and as impregnable to any guerrila attacka s humanely possible .
He knew the afgan militants will make atleast one attempt to infiltarte the base may be more in the initial stages of the operation and he intended making it as costly as possible to act as a natural deterence.It was not a question of if but rather when.

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Postby Dileep » 30 Apr 2006 21:32

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

INS Sujata has just sighted the lighthouse at Tanjong Balai, signalling the end of her escort run in the malacca straits. She was providing protection for a convoy of ships led by the super tanker Exxon Lay and super carruer Hanjin Orion. Piracy was still a problem in the malacca straits, and a multinational force consisting of American, Indian and Malaysian ships constantly patrol the straits and provide escort to high value vessels like the Exxon Lay. INS Sujata's current run was from the Andaman sea till the point of Tanjong Balai, whereafter the ships bound to Singapore turned north and those continued onward northeast to South China sea to Hong Kong and Osaka went straight to join up the next patrol ship beyond the island of Bintan.

The XO Lt Cmdr Srinivas Rao had the bridge. He was glad the patrol was uneventful. Captain Madan Lal had briefed him about some reports of pirate presence around the Medang point. The previous escort by the Royal Malaysian Navy craft KD Perkasa had actually chased a boat away that was suspected of pirates. Thankfully, nothing notesworthy happened during the run. Srinivas was looking forward to docking at Singapore and having a shore leave for a day. After a week and a half turn running back and forth the deadly malacca strait, this was really something to look forward to.

When he reported at Captain Lal's cabin, he almost casually mentioned that "some intelligence guy from Singapore" wanted to board the ship and talk to them. "Got the buzz from Delhi. Maybe the bugger want to bust some drug runners or something". The captain obviously was trying to hide his own displeasure. The son of sea never liked anyone who did not smell like salt, especially the self important types in the intelligence. "Probably they wouldn't take too long" Srinivas hoped.

He was mistaken. Two guys, named Natarajan and Ramanathan showed up toting laptop bags and an LCD projector. And the next two hours outlined the detailed plan for a search and intercept mission. Srinivas could almost hear his Captain screaming "Cut the chase and come to the point" inside his brain. These MBA types can be a big pain in the ass. They think they know everything, show up with a bunch of gadgets, and tell us how to do a S&I in great detail, as if we are a bunch of cadets under training. The problem is, after two hours, they have not mentioned whom or what they are going to S&I! As if reading his thought, the Captain broke in between two slides.

"I'd appreciate if you would cut all the BS and tell us WHAT you want done, NOT HOW to do it".

Now Captain Madan Lal, to put it mildly, can be very convincing! He normally have a very pleasant personality with a good sense of humour. A very sociably and accommodative person, more respected and loved than feared by his crew. But everyone who ever worked with him knows it is time to be careful when his face changes. Srinivas curiously looked on to see what is going to happen.

The darker guy, named Natarajan, who was sitting silently watching the presentation by the other lifted his hand to hold his colleague. "I apologize sir. We are looking for a boat". He said with a tinge of understatement with the "boat". "I would guess as much", said the captain. "But why? And why do you need US to do that?".

Natarajan took a deep breath. "Sir, allow me to use the cliche, I am not at liberty to tell you. All I COULD tell you is that we are looking for a boat named Mehnaz sailing from Banjarmasin. It is an arabian Bakhla class vessel, 85 feet, 64 tonnes, with twin diesels. Estimated top speed 18 knots. We can only intercept them in international waters, and yours is the only vessel we have around that can do it."

During the next hour the LCD projector was off, nav-charts were apread on the table, and a plan was created that was totally different from that was originally presented. The day ended with Natarajan sipping a full glass with the Captain and Srinivas, while the other guy, stiff as a statue, brooded over his fruit punch.

To be Continued

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Postby Rahul M » 02 May 2006 01:03

dileep man real great going!! :)

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Great Work Shankar...

Postby nits » 02 May 2006 02:05

Hi Shankar...

Great work.. your work is really good and thrilling... Really admire you men....

What about the Indoenasia... problem... bring it back.. i cant wait for it...

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Postby Dileep » 02 May 2006 09:08

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

The small fishing boat painted in bright green and white lingered around the mouth of the Barito river. Anyone who is familiar to the area would have wondered what a fishing boat is doing there, because it was not a place with a lot of fish around. The three men who were aboard seemed to laze around, after casting a few lines. It looked like they are there to kill time rather than do fishing. One of the men abroad, and Indian, was repeatedly scanning the incoming river channel. Obviously he was waiting for the Mehnaz to show up. After loosing the insider contact at the Usman Faruq boatyard, the only information available was from the outside observation. It was not prudent to show up anywhere near Jalan Depen Jaram, so someone had to make many boat trips up and down the river Barito to get updates. So, they saw the boat being launched from the yard, and being finished outfitting at the jetty. It looked like they would meet the maiden voyage date as informed by Rashid. So, they decided to wait at the mouth of the river, while the Sujata lingered around Surabaya, around 200 miles to the south, ready to turn either east or west according to where the Mehanaz turned. Captain Lal had left the bridge to Srinivas and retired to his cabin. He couldn't tolerate the presence of Ramanathan on his bridge.

It was a long wait. The men in the boat cursed themselves. It is a pity there is nobody to alert them the start of the boat from the jetty. So, they must keep in position and watch. The boat didn't have a radar either, so all they could use was the pair of binoculars.

The wait came to an end finally. The gleaming Mehnaz came into view, with her Green and Red sides shining in the bright sun. The first spontaneous response was "Wow! isn't she beautiful" and the next was "Darn! she is fast!"

Hitting the open stretch of the sea, and finally free from the restrictions of the Barito channel, the Mehnaz put on speed, and majestically turned eastword. Setting course around the island of Java.

200 miles away, Sujata woke up from her sleep and set course ENE, to get in range to track the Mehnaz. Ramanathan, sitting on an uncomfortable chair in a corner of the bridge, didn't move an eyelid when the order for full ahead was given. He just sat there looking at infinity. Srinivas didn't know what to do with this guy after all.

To be Continued

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Postby Cybaru » 02 May 2006 21:41

Dileep .. Great job dude!

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Postby Shankar » 03 May 2006 21:22

PRIME MINISTERS OFFICE -NEW DELHI
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The soft spoken prime minister of worlds largest democracy looked at the mass of intel papers and pile of military deployemnt plans for afganistan and to cap it all disturbing reports have started emerging from recent sat images both indian and us about some kind of naval build up most likely in the form of a limited invasion of the northern australian coast . Though the visit of australian ambassador was like all diplomatic visits did not specifically request for any military assiatance the undertone was clear

Only good factor in the whole equation was pakistan ,who were so occupied with internal trouble that they hardly had any resource to commit to so called insurgency in kashmir and china still trying to become worlds number one economy was not likely to stir up any big trouble on the eastern front atleast in near future .

Afganistan was a total diffrent ball game altogether.The indian prime minister though not a very active sportsperson in his younger days because of his close association with american educational and multilateral financial institutions teneded to think with typical american slangs whenevr alone since for him it has a very precise ability to summarise a situation accurately .

The targetting of indian community was nothing new and started with the infamous hijacking of IC817 which on a routine flight from kathmundu to delhi was hijacked by taliban supported militants and taken to kandahar via amritsar lahore and dubai . While the hijacking itself was a shocking incident what perhaps was more shocking of indian security forces in thier response to the hijacking as it streched along for days and a weak political leadership of those days simply refused to act the way it should have. Onwards from kathmundu to amritsar a flight time of the ill fated airbus 300 for more than 2 hours IAF was not instructed to intercept and force it down in an indian airbase and then storm the aircraft by specially trained commandoes whcih would not have required any clearence from any forieghn govt. The first oppertunity to act proactively was thus lost and with it the valuable 2 hrs whcih could have used to plan a counter attack atleast when the aircraft was forced to land at amritsar airport .

What followed was even worse .Once the aircraft was in amritsar ,it was allowed to take off for lahore . No one has clearly answered why the air craft was not immobilised by just blowing up its tyres or the runway blocked with emergency vehicles and the the large aircraft could no way have taken off for lahore from where fully refueled it took off for dubai and finally to its ultimate destination kandahar the strong base for talibans

The most shocking thing was yet to follow when then the prevailing govt allowed release of hardcore militants in exchange for the lives of hijacked passengers thereby giving the broadest possible signal to world terrorist organisation that it will if force negotiate with those wielding guns over the civilians .

All these when the miliary relations with israel was booming and our military trade with israel only second to that with russia.There is no doubt israel would have extended all possible assitance if required to achieve release of the hostages . They in fact showed the world what a nation should do when its citizens are held hostage by terrorists in a foreign land in this case uganda thousand of kilometers away and in middle of an ugandan air base . The rescue of israeli citizens from right under the nose of psycopathic military dictator idi amin was what the special forces of the world read as holy bible whenever a difficult hostage situation arised and tell themselves if israeli force acn do it in entebe we can do it too.

The flying distance from srinagar to kandajar was much less than between tel aviv and entebe still the indian leadership did not allow the special forces to act the way they would have liked to - blow the fundamentalist ba----- to hell.Overflight permission over pakisatn even if not available il-76 s could have made it easily over arabian sea and united arab emirates . Pakistan being pakistan could have been warned off by us to keep absolutely quite of any indian military aircraft movement or face being branded a state sponser of terrorism .From the reports available till date about 1000 talibans were there at the kandahar airport equipped with some primitive sams,rpg 7s ,a few bmp and t-55s . It was not aformidable force by any standard.

in short nothing known till date indicates why a rescue mission could have been mounted even after dismal management of the crisis at amritsar airport . But then that was history and india paid a terrible price in the years to come for deciding to negotiate with the terrorists.

In the years to come the appoach to terrorists underwent a pardigam shift .Which included the incorporation of provision which clearly stated ina similar situation IAF will be authorised to shoot down an indian civilain airliner over indian air space which have been hijacked and the terrorists refusing to allow the pilot to land at nearest indian airport .

But the terrorist strikes continued not just in india but abroad too like in afganistan even when afganistan was under control of nato troops for all practical purposes like the brutal killing of border roads organisation personnel and indian engineer working for a baharain based multinational.

Slowly the intensity of afgan fundamentalist militants increased in tempo as the nato troops started leaving afganistan and indian presence in the mountain country increased and taliban regrouped as the us pressure was slowly turned off .It was obvious there was no option but to assert the nations sovreign right to protect the lives of its civilians from violent threat and reprisals.

The prime minister did not really pay much attention to the military details since that rarely interested him but looked quickly at the projected cost estimates for the 6-12 month long military operation code named Afgan Hound and scibbled his initials on the document -commiting indian troops to a difficult battle .

As for the australian situation ,he decieded no to act for the time being .

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Postby Shankar » 04 May 2006 00:44

IAF STATION AGRA
--------------------------
The six il-76 candid looked impressive under spotlights of the loading ramp .The convoy of artculated trucks or trailers as it is commonly called have just pulled up along side after the standard security check at the main guard room and now the loadmasters were busy preparing the aircrafts for loading whcih was tricky affair to say the least.One by one the bmp3s rolled up the plank backwards into the belly very very slowly so as not to damage the delicate loading ramp hydraulics . The overflight permission to pakistan was expected in a few hours time and the nessecery rolling letter of credit have already been established by the indian govt in favour of pakistani civil aviation ministry once the final nitty gritty of the overflight pact was cleared.The special forces group which included a large contingent of navys marine commandoes were sitting nearby on the ground while thier officer in charge was explaining or rather briefing on the do and donts in an aerial emergency (which was not rally required all of them being expert para troopers and quite capable of jumping out of an il blinfolded ) but then rules are rules and in army you dont bend the rules .

IAF STATION PATHAN KOT
--------------------------------
The 12 hawks looked toylike by comparison . They were not carrying any weapons . Both the hardpoints were taken up by 500 ltrs drp tanks for this extended range mission along with the 6 il-76s expected to be overflying their position at first light when the hawks would join them and take the approved route to bagram . Only means of self defense /offense they had with them were the nose gun pod and 150 rounds of ammo which was not much considering inherent hazzard of the route they will be taking .The weapons will catch up with them later -they were told .

Amonst the 12 pilots in the first batch only 4 had previous combat experience that too when few years back indian airforce had to respon to an emergency close air support mission in kashmir just as the hawks were being inducted . They then used napalm with deadly effect to save an indian army column from certain disaster . the rest of the pilots were all young some would say too young and have just finished flight training .But then they say war is the greatest teacher and the fresh pilots will soon learn it the hard way in a matter of weeks of them landing in afganistan .

BAGRAM AIR BASE -AFGANISTAN
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IAF did not take chances .While overflight agrement with pakistan was in place still the two su-30mkis and 2 mirage 2000s which had come in with the first group of special forces were already on operatioanl ready platform and would monitor the aerial convoy overflight all the way while still inside afgan aorspace and if required do the needful within pakistan once again. The softlight of new moon reflecting on the curvy airframe of flankers with full battle load of 6 r-77 and r-73 each looked deadly even in near darkness . The pilots and wso s lazed nearby infull flight suit ,helmets with life support and radio connectors nearby .The runway will be closed to all trafic once the signal came in about the convoys course change over srinagar for the short hop over pakistani airspace .

IAF STATION -SRINAGAR
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Just like in bagram ,on the hardened aircraft shelters of srinagar 6 mig 35s (the latest aquisitions of IAF) stood ready for flight .They will be following the il/hawk flight into pakistan but unlike the hawks carried the usal complement of 4 r-73 and 2 r-77s along thier airframe . No one really expected another entanglement with PAF but if that should happen well thr r-73 sill surely come in handy .

Indian deployemnt in afganistan was slowly getting into higher gear

PRIME MINISTERS RESIDENCE -NEW DELHI
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The room was full of books of all subjects under the sun including all recent publiactions which dealt with resurgence of indian eco-military capability under the new prime minister. The prime minister of india always spent some tiem after dinner to ponder over the decisions he has taken during day which may have longterm implication on the well being of the nation state .Today obviously it was the correctness of the afgan hound operation and how it may affect the security of the country and its citizens in future .One thing was ofcourse very clear in PM s mind -the primary responsibility of any government is to provide security to its citizens in all forms from external attack or internal violence and unless that is offered in concrete form there is no basis on which to build various economic and socially benificial institutions

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Postby Shankar » 04 May 2006 23:29

Current counter terrorism strategies praciced by almost all the states draw heavily on the experiences of states like india facing the threat of terorism in an extended fashion like in northern ireland,israel, srilanka or kashmir and ofcourse afganistan . It must also be noted that the counter terrorism strategies followed in most cases have not been rewarded by any dramatic sucesses and all the so called proven responses is based on controlling the spread of terrorism at best and containg them for short periods at worst.This leads us to believe the strategies may be flawed at some basic level . While the armed forces of any country are essentially trained to fight and win a conventional war the police forces are more equipped to deal with general law and order situation and terrorist activities clearly fall outside their standar level of competence.

The special forces are perhaps best equipped to handle the situation with total and comprehensive support from the regular security forecs ,intel agencies and the govt at all levels.

The main probelm in dealing with terrorism perhaps is the local support the terrorists enjoy not because of any great social deeds they perform but more due to excesses of regualr security forces when dealing with a non conventional military situation by political or religious zealots .The slow alienation of local population cuts of the valuable source of ground intelligence ressulting in dramatic reduction of thier effectiveness in combating terrorism on the long run.

It is never clear whether an act of terrorism is a purely military act or purely criminal act . Obviously when civilians are killed indiscriminately to attain a specific politico objective it is nothing but a criminal activity on the contrary when a military confrontation takes place between the states forces and the terrorists who themselves consider them as freedom fighters the situation becomes less clear cut .

Whatever be the reason or background -it will have to be addressed in an appropriate way whcih is not in conflict to vital natioanl interests like teritorial integrity or braod economic objectives or for that matter security of its citizens eiether in home country or overseas.

More specifically a violent political group becomes a terrorist group as soon as involves lives of civilians or non combatants in its struggle.For example in 1996 an ira bomb devastated londons financial district and disrupted londons financial infrastructure . Though so calle collataral damage was not much this was viewed by british govt as an act of terror where as to the ira it was simply an act of war .

It was a complicated situation and specific ground rules need to be put down on paper so that indian armed forces could meet the objective they have set out to do and return home quickly ,thought the prime minister of india as he leaned forward to jot down his thought ona piece of pristine white bond paper in his characteristic slanted long hand .

1) make no deals with terrorists and never under any circumstances give in to blacmail. Any political leader or senior govt official doing so will be sumarily dismissed from his position and prosecuted immediately in a court of law.
2)Terrorists are criminals and be treated as such. Any person proved to have undertaken any terrorist activity against the state of india shall be pursued to remotest corner of the world and brought to justice . The cost of such person specific missions shall be met out of a special fund to be created for this purpose and also an undercover task force shall be created immediately .
3)maximum pressure shall be applied to states that supprt terrorism and state of india shall do evrything in her power to impose and enforce political,military nad trade sanctions on such countries with help of like minded nations ona reciprocal basis.
4)Maximum effort shall be made to ensure safe return of hostages and cost shall be not a limiting factor in such limited but intense military missions . Local military commanders shall be empowered to initiate such missions with or without pre notification to ministry of defense.
5) Any terrorist who have committed an act against indian citizens will be tracked down and brought to justice no matter where and when he is apprehended. There would be no statutory time limit in such cases.

It was almost dawn by the time the soft spoken prime minister of india finished the first draft legisaltion on counter terrorism which will form the back bone of indian efforts to comabt terrorists not just in india but world wide .

About the same time the first IL-76 took off from agra and headed north west .10 minutes later the second one took off .

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Postby Dileep » 05 May 2006 19:05

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

Stopping a sailing vessel and searching it is not like the police pulling over a car and searching it on probable cause. There are international conventions under UN called United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. According to article 110 of the convention, a warship can stop a vessel only if there is suspicion of piracy, slave trade, illegal broadcasting, or if the ship is not flying any nationality flag. And if the suspicion is proved negative, the vessel must be compensated. Otherwise, a warship can stop a vessel of the same nationality. The USA has tried hard to add Weapons of Mass Destruction to the list, and an amendment is approved in 2007 that included carriage of WMD in the list.

The Mehnaz was flying yemeni flag. So, for INS Sujata to stop it, she would have to assert piracy or WMD charges. The problem is, no one, even the guys who actually intercept the correspondence, knows what is going to be on board the craft. All they knew was there is SOMETHING or SOMEONE that has interest of the exiled Pakistani leadership coalition, and those people did not exactly fit the definition of terrorists or pirates.

It was still not clear how they are going to board the craft. One idea was to risk it. What are they going to do? The government of yemen is in good terms with India. They wouldn't care about a silly boat. The future owner would not be in any of the paperwork of the boat, so he can't do anything publicly. So, it is percieved as a low risk issue. That was the general consensus on board. But what exactly he was going to do is known only by the reclusive Ramanathan.

Ramanathan didn't care a damn about the navy folk. In the business of Intelligence, this maverick operative is considered to be the top maritime ops expert in the region. The local agencies like Natarajan's didn't know where exactly he is placed in the structure. No one knew whom he reported to. He was his own office, and normally found at any of the port cities in the region, from Tuticorin to Osaka. You wouldn't be sure if he is really part of the organization, except he answered an e-mail id of domain rhstech.net, and your boss knew he is. He is called upon for any sea based ops by the landlubbers like Natarajan. He could get the job done, attitude notwithstanding.

The experience with Captain Lal was not new to Ramanathan. Most of the masters didn't think his tactics practical. But what they forget is that they are NOT fighting a war. In the end mostly they will end up doing what Ramanathan tells them to do.

INS Sujata was sailing full steam ENE in the Java sea, expecting to see the Mehnaz on her radar in around six hours. Of course she will have to visually verify her, because the shipborne transponder may not be available on board. Ramanathan listened with a sneer in the corner of his lips, and walked back to his cabin, leaving the bridge crew to assume he would be back by that time.

Ramanathan sure was planning to return to the bridge that time. Only thing he didn't expect to see the Mehnaz on the console there.

To be Continued

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Postby Shankar » 05 May 2006 21:33

EXPLORATORY OIL WELL NO 47 C - 37 KM EAST OF KANDAHAR -OIL AND NAURAL GAS COMMISSION
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Sr engineer vaidyanathan looke up at the horizon from his vanatge position almost 100 ft up in the sky on top of the oil rig . The Below him the task of drilling continued day and night seven days a week as the indias biggest oil exploration organisation joined hand with govt of afganistan in its quest for oil and natural gas in the barren desserts of kandahar .The chances of a positive strike was high .The 3d seismic images were very promising and so did the geological structure of the underground terrain whcih had the right combination of impervious rocky bottom ,the possible oil/gas bearing strata or crude resoiver and the top shelf of permeable rock .

Below him the technicians were busy feeding lenghts of casing pipes into the ever deepening well as the continious circulation of cooling muds kept the high speed drilling bit from getting overheated and broke.They have already reached a depth of nearly 2400 mtrs and if those fancy geological studies were right they should be hitting the paydirts anytime between 2-6 days at a projecyed depth of 2730 mtrs to be exact The fancy geologists have also indiacted a possible yield of 10000 barrles of light crude similar to south paras crude of iran per day and that meant ONGC willbe getting its share of 30% or roughly 3000 barrles of crude per day which at current price of nearly 100 dollars a barrel will yield a net revenue of 30000 us a day and then this was just the first . He needed to go and check the blow out preventors at the drill head once more since no one really knew when oil if it is realy there may gush out under a pressure of more than 200 times atmosphere along with natural gas even if they were using the smallest choke to throtle the flow . Nothing is worse than loosing thousands of barrel of preciuos crude because of carelessness . Some distance away huge earthen resoivers were already in position and large dia pipelines already laid out which will collect the raw crude from the well head and store it temporarily in the earthen resoivers till it can be transported by tankers to the nearest refinery just being commissioned by a private indian company to process the imported as well as any local crude to meet the energy needs of a power hungy afganistan .

vaidyanathan decided to have one last look at the setting sun before comming down the steel ladder of the rig and it is then he saw a sand storm which was not there before .As he quickly put the powerful field glasses hanging around his neck to his eyes and adjusted the focus he could clearly see the convoy of about dozen toyota pick up and some motorcycle outriders heading straight towards his camp .None of the riders were wearing the afgan army uniform and he thought he could also see the snouts of medium machine guns mounted on the roofs of the pickups.

Sr engineer vaidyanatahn did not hesitate for a second with memory of attack on indian interests still fresh in his mind ,he speed dialed indian embassy in kabu and asked for the ambassador designate and very precisely expalined the situation and need for immediate assitance .First job over he quickly scrambled down the steep iron adder and strted at the small contingent of armed afgan guards to take up defensive position and close the main gates . The drilling stopped in five minutes and everyone took shelter behind the huge earthen resoiver still to recieve thier first fill as that was the best protection they could think of from a crossfire situation and prayed the small indian contingent just arrived at bagram will be in a position to save thier lives

BAGRAM BASE -AFGANISTAN
---------------------------------
-SCRAMBLE SCRAMBLE -SCRAMBLE blared the public address system in full volume and the mirage pilots were the first to starp on as the ground crew connected up the strarter cart powering up the turbines to spool up with a belch of black smoke

Both the mirage 2000s were configured for ground strike mission mainly with two pods of 16 57 mm rockeys each apart from customary magic2 air to air missiles and full load of 150 rounds each for thier twin defa cannon .They were in fact expecting a taliban strike at the airbase was not muc surprised when the scramble call came over .

- chambal flight - you are cleared for immediate take off -fly runway heading and climb to 40000 ft -request for target vector at altitude-good luck
- tower -chambal flight -cleared for immediate take off -rolling now-over

The two mirage 2000s turned into the main runway and gunned thier snecma engines in perfect unison . The formation take off would have put to shame any peforming teams at any air show and the image they made against the golden rays of setting sun would have made any photographer give his right hand .But sadly on that day in bagram there were no photographers and the nato and indian troops cheered as the mirage 2000s climbed to altitude and turned sharply south wards towards the still unseen target .
- tower -chamabal flight -request target vector and details -over
- chambal flight -tower - target vector 264 - omega nato-gillette-charlie
oil rig under atack - 12 repeat 12 vehicles reported - you are weapons free on all targets - careful about civilians in proximity . over
-message understood - chambal flight - on fast track now

The 18 ft lenght of firey tail blossomed behind the delta winged aircrafts as the pilots quickly pushed the tiny throttle lever all the way forward way beyond the notch representing the reheat gate and the twin sonic booms quickly announced them way past the sonic barrier and very soon they were both flying at twice the speed of sound towards kandahar

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Postby Shankar » 05 May 2006 23:23

FL Ranjita saxena (still the much expected promotion to s/l has not come though if the un official air force grape vine is to be believed her out of turn promotion has been already approved by the air officer commanding and the communication allowing her to put the second white strip on her shoulder is already winging its way towrds bagram)gently moved her fingers over the control stick as she mentally measured the force on her back to the figures on the head up dispaly they both matched and she relaxed a bit as leaning forward she scanned the multiple cathode ray tube based multi functional dispalys acting as the davanced pilot aircraft system interface .The combined head up-head level dispaly was collimated to infinity and all nessecery data strting from flight control,target engagement and weapon firing functions were neatly dispalyed simutaneously for her to do the needful .The radar was on alternate air/surface search mode and so far everything was in the clear as she closed in within 150 kms of the target zone . The post take of inflight brief was really brief and all she knew at the moment was a small group of armed militants were threatening the indian operated exploratory oil rig near kandahar and her flight group was to prevent the field camp being over run at any cost . The distance to target on head up dispaly scrolled down to 117 kms and the air speed indicator still indicated max sustainable air speed of just over mach 2 as ranjita reduced power by another 20% as she clicked on the radar to surface attack mode and armed up the twin rocket pods .Both the weapon stations showed green and she pitched the nose down to a standard 15 dgree glide angle to quickly come down to her prescribed attack altitude of 1200 ft and at the same time reduce power another 10% to better discriminate the moving vehicular targets from the background of red dusty terrain .

EXPLORATORY OIL WELL NO 47 C ONGC -KANDAHAR
-------------------------------------------------------------
the motely group of engineers and technicians looked at the convoy of pick up that have formed a neat semi circle facing the camp main gate and they could see the militants jumping down the vehicles and take up position besides them as one of them over a battery powered loud hailers screamed in pushtu for the security guards to lay down their arms and surrender promising them their lives will be spared if they obey the order explicitly otherwise they will be killed along with their paymasters without mercy . Luckily for the indians the security guards were also afgans and they never would normally exchange personal safety for the lives of thier indian guests .

The rpg round hit the main gate hed on blowing it out of its hinge and then the second round hit the filmsy guard house .The mounted machine guns opened up next ripping up the assembled machinery and residential tents .A small fire strted up as one of the stray bullets hit a diesel oil dump and thick black smoke soon filled the camp making breathing difficult

CHAMBAL FLIGHT 2 XMIRAGE 2000
----------------------------------------
-Chambal 2 -lead - have visual in target - braek now attack at 3 minutes interval - port targets are mine - calmly announced f/l ranjita as she pushed the control stick further forward and pitched the aircraft to port and in the same motion selecetd the twin rocket pods for engaing target .
The 6 odd pick up quickly filled the hud and the fire control computer quickly calculated the aircrafts speed ,distance to target ,weapon selected and flashed the shoot prompt precisely at 700 mtrs from target . Ranjita pressed on the toggle switch and cursed herself silently as she realised in the excitement of aquiring target she has forgotten to slip up the protective plastic cover over the fire button ,did the needful with a flik of her thumb and in the same motion squeezed the button twice in quick sucession as two salvos of 4 rockets each jetted out from under her wings and she pulled up the stick all the way backwards and pushed the throttle lever full forward lighting up the tail as she climbed out of ground fire range .Her wing man did the same but on the other side of the convoy after a delay of 3 minutes and down below the taliban vehicles started popping up like cheap firecrackers as the 57 mm rockets slamed into them un erringly one by one .

The afgan militants intent on the prize for taking did not even hear the mirages untill it was too late and then did not evn have time to run and they hit the ground forgetting all about the indians just few hundred mtrs away all unarmed and afraid .

- chambal two - execute follow up with defa -shall follow in 2 minutes -over - once again ranjita was in total control as she lined up her mirage for the second and hopefuly final run

The staco chatter of twin defa filled the air as the mirage wing man opened up and ran his fire down the full lenght of taliban trying to take shelter behind uneven ground and rocky outcrops .It was an use less gesture ,the explossive shells ploughed up the earth and blew everthing on its part to small shreds of unrecognisable flesha and bones ,Designed to blow up main battle tanks human bodies did not even slow them down as the high velocity sheels ripped thru and slammed into the hard baked earth before exploding in an fountain of dust and smoke.

In less than one and half minutes the siege was over .There were no taliban survivors . They all died the way they lived by guns killed without remorse .

The lucky survivors stood up and cheered as the two mirages made one last pass and dissapeared into darkening sky north wards -for the mirage pilots it was just another mission for thier countrymen this time.

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Postby H_Singh » 06 May 2006 07:27

dont mean to occupy space--but how about a movie like 3D animated STARSHIP TROOPERS--

read the first 2 PARAGRAPHS PLZ..
http://rohansweblog.blogspot.com

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Postby Shankar » 06 May 2006 23:11

The swift and decisive indian response surprised even the battle hardened talibans who are not knew to use of oberwhelming force by the us armed forces in course of operation enduring freedom . Nor did they much bother about quick death of 50 of thier brethren on the dusty lanscape of kandahar .What surprised them was was the new indian resolve to act decisively when faced with a terrorist situation and the new found power projection capability of indian armed forces under the new political leadership .What worried them more was the determined indian effort to change the social equation in afganistan whcih they knew if sucessful will cut them of thier support base amonst the illeterate tribal and ethnic groups along with cutting off thier main source of money - opium cultivation

The first all female school opened its door to afgan students in the premises of indian embassy in kabu within a few months of indian forces first landing at bagram.This was quickly followed by 3 more at heerat,mazar e sharif and kandahar . It was not like any school you have ever seen . All students were made to pass thru metal detector gates and frisked by police woman before commencing the accademic activities. Outside soldiers in full battle dress guarded the school building complete with heckler and kosch sub machine guns and gypsies with light machine guns mounted on top patrolled the adjoining streets . At first the afgan response to this new indian initiateive was luke warm but soon it changed as the afgan women of earlier generation who have been denied the basic education under repressive taliban regime made sure thier daughters do not have to undergo the same fate.As the schools became more and more popular the taliban became more and more insecure but could not do much in face of overwhelming military presence of the indians and the nato forces .They fumed and plotted .

Afew weeks later the first free hospital in bagram opened up to local population and the facilities included full fledged operation theatre and all female medical staff for providing basic mediacl assitance and education to the female population of the war ravaged country .It was an instant sucess and soon replicated in other three indian bases .

Within three months of arrival indian troops were no longer treated with usal afgan suspicion but a kind of col warmth . For the talibans this was an unacceptable situation . They perfectly understood the brutal oppresion of american troops but against the two pronged strategy of indian armed forces they felt help less .Some thing had to be done to humiliate india before the world and more importantly the afgans and the loose piecses quickly moved into position

CHATRAPATI SHIVAJI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -MUMBAI-1300 HRS
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capt Vikas looked at his new co pilot m/s riya das as he strapped into his seat of boeing 737-400 for nth flight of his carrer to delhi .The mid day flight was only half full ,no doubt a ressult of stiff competition offered by the low cost airlines like decan air and spice jet .As he started his preflight
down in the departure hall the public address system came alive with one more difficult to understand announcement

-may i have your attention please-jet airways annonced the departure of thier flight 9w 345 to delhi .Passengers are requested to keep their boarding card handy and proceed to gat 4 for boarding .Thank you

As the bored passengers ,most of them business man with standard lap tops on thier shoulders stood up to que a small group of school children could be easily notced who were on a school sponsered trip to corbett national aprk near delhi for a week long visit to the world famous tiger reserve . Just next to them sat a small group wide shouldered afgans all clean shaven and in business suits and carrying leather briefcases and were the last t board the air craft .

INDIAN AIRFORCE STATION - BHUJ
------------------------------------------
S/L tandon lazed on the cot inside the hard shelter just by the side of the mig 21 bison with its standard cap load of two r-73 and 150 rounds for its nose gun .It was one of those boring days .The new directive about possible hijacking of indian aircraft has just come in and in it also was included the authorisation protocol to shoot down the aircraft if it does not agree to land at nearest indian air base . Tandon found the instruction a bit too dramatic and seriously hoped he will not be chosen to do such a job .Outside he could see the heat haze over salt pans and guessed the temperature must be close to 45 degree c and once again tried to concentrate on the 3 month old issue of filmfare featuring an exclussive interview of his favourite actress karina kapoor.

CHATRAPATI SHIVAJI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - 1330 HRS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
-Mumbai tower -9w 345 -request clearence for take off
- 9w345 - mumbai tower -cleared for straight take of runway 27-climb runway heading - over
- cleared for immediate take off -runway 27- 9w 345 -rolling replied captain vikas as he looked at his new xo once more and then smoothly rolled into main runway and positioned his 737-400 along the runway center line marker ,one last look at flap setting at 5 degrre and the bank of dials before releasing the parking brake fully and moving the collective throttle full forward and the twin pratt and whitney engines roared their approval as they quickly pushed the heavy aircraft past the v1 rotate speed and then thru the threshold of take off speed or v2 . The boeing climbed steadily at 1800 ft/mon over the muddy waters of arabian sea and started its climbing starboard bank towarda the mumbai-delhi high altitude airways which would take it over udaipur - jodhpur-jaipur and then descent to indiara gandhi international airport delhi n jsut under 1 hr and 48 minutes .The reported weather was fine and he has been sanctioned a cruise altitude of 38000 ft which should help the company save some fuel thought captain vikash as he raised the flapsand slats to cruise configuaration and watched the air speed climb quickly to 500 knost . His new xo was busy finishing the post take off check list and he wanted her to some stick time once away from the busy airwyas of mumbai .

Back in the sparsely occupied business class the one of the afgan business man asked for some black coffe .

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Postby Dileep » 07 May 2006 21:53

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

The Java sea is a tricky place. Either side of the sea is bound by the Indonesian islands of Java and Borneo, making the entire sea within Indonesia's Exclusive Economic Zone. An Indian warship has limitations in lingering around there. The questions by the Indonesian navy would become more and more uncomfortable. There was no way the Sujata could approach Banjarmasin without risking the Mehnaz dropping her plans. The only way to get something out of it was to let her sail into the high seas, where the only authority over a vessel would be its flag country.

Perhaps Faruq made a mistake by transferring the registry to the owners under Yemeni flag. If the Mehnaz was flying Indonesian flag, any warship would think thrice before messing with her anywhere in the area. You would wait her to pass at least the Andamans to be safely away from the Indonesian navy. The Yemeni flag makes Indonesia powerless beyond the 12 nm limit of its territorial waters.

Or perhaps, Faruq just saved his behind by transferring the responsibility. He might know what or who is being carried on board.

Starting from Banjarmasin, there are two possible paths for the Mehnaz. One is to turn west and go via the malacca straits. This is the shorter path. But the path is filled with heavy shipping traffic and also infested by pirates. If you are carrying any sensitive thing, this would be a lesser choice. The other one is to go around Bali into the Indian Ocean. This is a safer route. Once you leave the Indonesian area and turn west, there is a big playground to dodge a pursuer.

Once the look-outs reported the Mehnaz turning east, and confirmed the course by following her as far as they could, the crew of Sujata has assumed that she will take the standard WSW course and turn south to get past Bali. By the current course of Sujata, she will be within 10 nm of the Mehnaz in around five hours. Then the chetak can fly around and find her. After that Sujata will follow her into the Indian Ocean at a safe distance.

At least that was the plan made by Captain Lal. But when it was time, the Mehnaz was nowhere to be seen. The Chetak went around much farther than the expected area, but no indication of the Mehnaz was there.

Ramanathan kept his sneer ready to be flashed, waiting for the Captain to come out, apologize and ask his advice.

Srinivas Rao went back to the Captain's cabin, and announced the failure to find the Mehnaz. "Oh, and what did the Grumpy say"? the captain asked with a wink. "Nothing, as usual Sir". The captain took a step towards the map chart table, and bent over it, looking around the marked area. He drew some lines and finally said "OK. Set course ENE and start next search after fourty nm".

When the order was given at the bridge, Ramanathan made a puzzled look, but said nothing.

To be Continued

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Postby Shankar » 07 May 2006 21:56

FLIGHT 9W 345 -GUJRAT -MAHARASTRA STATE BORDER-36000FT-480 KNTS
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capt vikas checked the dials once again before switching on the auto throttle and engaging the auto pilot as the 737 leveled out into yet another routine flight . His first officer watched his every move intently as she knew next take from delhi she ould be expected to do her share too this being her last of the orientation flights .

Over the next 3 minutes a series of events happened in quick sucession as senior flight pursor nivediata reported possibel cardiac arrest of one of the business class passengers over he intercom .First officer riya das quickly got out of her seat and headed back for a first hand look at the crisis .She returned quickly enough with a 12 inch knife in her throat and a burly afgan holding a standard military issue fragmentation grenade with the safety pin off in his hand .The lock pin luckily was not discarded but hung from a slender gold chain from the hijackers neck. In the passenger cabin other team members quickly took up position and force everyone to seat down in one large cluster with thier head between thier legs .

-captain -as you have summarised by now -this aircraft is being hijacked by the free afganistan military forces and i am perfectly willing to blow evrything up should you decide not to cooperarte fully with the instructions .
Capt vikas with more than 10000 hrs of flying knew what was comming as he gently pushed up the hijack alert transponder with his right knee as he pretended t listen to the hijacker with the correct mixture of confussion and fear . At the same time he clicked open the guard frequency in a very casual way making the cockpit coversation monitorable by the regional air trafic controllers and more importantly air force units who scan this frequency as a matter of routine

-captain pleases set course 270 -reduce altitude to 10000ft- and confirm your iff tranponder is on since we will be entering pakistani air spece in a matter of minutes and we dont want them to mistake us for an airforce jet

Capt vikas did the needful withput bjection but did it all some hat slowly since he wanted the airforce to have max time to intercept -after all they were his last chance .He knew all about kandahar and surely did not wanted to be taken there.Instead of taking the banking turn on auto which would have allowed a faster turn rate he did it mannually and then satred slow descent towards pakistani air space.

IAF STATION -BHUJ -1415 HRS
------------------------------------
The lazy afternoon naps of the four mig 21 pilots on operation ready paltform was rudely broken as the klaxon blared in full volume and reflexively they ran twards thier already fuelled and armed aircraft inside the concrete shelters . It took them all of 2 minutes before they were strapped in and spooled up the engines all at one as the ground crew quickly removed the wheel chokes and on the control tower the red flag came up .

-tango flight - you are cleared for immediate take off -fly runway headingand climb to 30000 ft -contact tower when in altitude -over
- tower-tango flight reads - fly runway heading and climb flight level 300
-rolling now -over

The best thing about mig 21s is how quickly it can scramble that includes engine start -pre flight check -taxi to take off position and ofcourse the final take off roll and finally climb to designated intercept altitude.

For tango flight all this happened in one smooth motion as the four sleek delta winged aircraft lined up on the main runway and took off one by one in a blaze of after burner boring up to the hot afternoon sky at an incredible 40000 ft/min . Within 5 minutes the air field was quite again

- tango flight -tower - we have a hijack situation -yur intercept target is boeing 737 400 with jet air ways marking at 34000 ft and descending -course 270 - donot repeat do not let it cross international border -you are cleared to use all means at your disposal to meet this objective -pax no 76
plus 12 crew -suggest follow interception plan victor delta 23 .

- tower -tango lead - message understood loud and clear - to use all means repeat all means to prevent the civilian aircraft cross international border - understand also we are weapons free as per interception plan victor delta - trying contact 737 on guard frequency over

S/L tandon could feel the cold sweat frming under his armpit -his worst nightmare ahs come true .There was no confusion on the order just being pased down by the ground intercept officer -he is to shoot the aircraft down with more than 100 passengers and crew if the hijackers will to divert the flight to pakistan cannot be broken over the next few minutes .

-Tango flight -tango lead - target at 9 0clock -flt level 300 -type b-737
form up on the aircraft box like immediately execute now .

The four mig 21 quickly acclearted and spotted visally the large civilian aircraft on its slow descent to pakistan border .S/L tandon eased up on the throttle as he neared the hijacked boeing .There was no external sighn of damage.

- Tango 2 -give a good look see on the cockpit please -now

His wingman broke off the formation smartly as he banked away and up from the hijacked aircraft and then rolled over and flew directly across the b-737 s cockpit in a flash

-tango 1 -tango 2 - single hijacker in cockpit -both pilots in thier seats -over

9W -345 -1425 HRS - 40 KM FROM INTERNATIONAL BORDER -30000FT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The aircraft lurched sickeningly as the high mig 21 bis made a close high speed pass across the cockpit and anser khan was for the first time not very sure if he has done the right thing by agreeing to hijack this indian aircraft for a princely sum of 50000 us dollars

The radio came alive on reserved guard frequency as the metalic voice of indian air force pilot floated in

9w 345 - this is indian airforce flight-you are off your filed flight plan and close to internatioanl border-this is restricted military air space - please change your course to 060 and follow our instructions to land at nearest airfield .

- 9w 345 - this is indian airforce flight -please change course immediately and reduce airspeed and deploy airbrakes immediately -you are in restricted military airspace

Lead hijacker anser khan clenched the grenade tightly as the emotionless voice of indian airforce commander repeated the request to change course immediately .

And suddenly the sky was very crowded as the four mig 21s boxed up around the aircraft on all four sides and the lead aircraft strted reducing speed and the distanec between anser and sure death thru a mid air collision became more and more real.

Still he held on and will not allow tcapt vikas to reduce power or change course they were now only 4 minutes flight time from pakistani air space and safety .

Suddenly the four migs broke loose and dissappeared and then anser kahan did not believe what he saw as the first of the migs from the distant horizon turned its nose directly at the b-737s cockpit and bored on a direct collission course at nearly twice the speed of sound .He could clearly see the nose gun pod and the snub nosed heats eeker missiles as the fast approaching aircraft q filled the 737s cockpit view quickly. Anser khan close his eyes and prayed but was surprised when the brutal collission never came and the aircraft lurched violently as the rushing mig pulled up barely 50ft from the boeing and dissapeared into distant sky . Anser khan found he was shaking from the relief of missing certain death when the second mig appeared in the front view and repeated the game only this time it broke off much nearer only 40ft from the boeings cockpit window and the hot exhaust left its mark on the clear perspex . And then the third mig appeared in the distant horizon .

For anser khan it was simply too much .He has never known such raw fear in his life before . As he safed the grenade and sat down shaking on the cockpit floor captain vikash quickly set course for bhuj air base and allowed the same slow rate of descent but this time for security of a home bbase .

Back in the passenger cabin the other 3 hijackers watched the slow turn and descent without interets .They have all seen the flight of indian jets and knew this time thier game was up if anser has decided to give up there was no point in fighting more . Atleast this way they amy stay alive .

Behind them and far up s/l tandon keyed on his radio

- tower -9w 345 has changed course - shall escort them all the way in -over
-good work tango flight - shall take care -over and out .

The air force security police took the 4 hijackers into custody immediately on landing and after athorough search 9w 345 was allowed to commence her journey to delhi after a break of 2 hrs . Needless to say the incident made primetime news all over the world with acidic comments about mig 21 s vintage in some of the so called liberated news channels .

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Postby Dileep » 08 May 2006 01:58

X-Post from Indo-US thread

Neshant wrote:It looks very much like a trap of some kind.
India may send troops to Afghanistan

New Delhi

USA and Great Britain surprised India by urging the Indian government
to contribute troops for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
in Afghanistan and do justice to its own increased role and strategic
requirements in the land-locked country.

......

New Delhi has already made up its mind to send more elite para-military
troops to Afghanistan for giving a better security cover to the Afghan
and Indian workforces engaged in construction of strategic and military
Indian infrastructure all over Afghanistan. There are over 2000 listed
Indians in Afghanistan, besides those who are working undercover.


Now, where did you see that before? Yes, on page 1 of this thread!!

pkakkar

Postby pkakkar » 08 May 2006 06:24

There used to be under British Rule.

Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer (of JALLIANVALA BAGH MASSACRE fame) was one of them.

http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/events/jbagh.html

What we call Brigadier now was called Brigadier-General then.

Khalsa wrote:
karan wrote:
Khalsa wrote:since when we did have Brigadier Generals in Indian Army ... its a US based rank not in use in most of the Commonwealth Forces.....

Brigadier falls within General Officers Cadre. Just because we don't call him BG doesn't mean the rank is not of General Officer.


My Dear Karan

fine whatever you say but My father retired as Colonel from the Indian army. I lived 17 of my years in the Indian army and I never saw a Brigadier General during that time.

there are no Brigadier Generals in the INDIAN ARMY period.

the least you can do in this thread is Address the rank correctly
Please see below
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORC ... Ranks.html

Shankar
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Postby Shankar » 08 May 2006 23:40

STREETS OF KABUL -ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGANISTAN
---------------------------------------------------------------------
F/L ranjita saxena (she still waiting for her confirmation to squadron leader )
had a day off after the short but difficult close air strike mission at ongc oil well near kandahar . She decided to do what she liked doing best ,moving thru the streets of kabul out of uniform and looking at her in her jeans and tank top not even the most battle hardened taliban could have imagined her int he cockpit of a mirage 2000 flying twice the speed of sound and then killing the militants that threatened her nationas interest without batting an eye lid . She left her professional self as she left the sprawling and increasingly noisy and crowded air base for a breather in the snaky streets of the historic afgan capital . However she some how managed to cary her 0.32 webbly in a shoulder holster for just in case situation .

Public transportation in kabul is bad and very very crowded.With about 200 odd buses for a 5 million population it reminded ranjita of her gorkhpur home.The us govt in course of enduring freedom promised to extend the trolley bus service by 50 kms and add about 60 more buses but like all grandoise promises made by usa this one was also never fulfilled.It is only of late indian made buses have started making thier appearences on the streets of kabul and ranjita felt at home as she somehow managed to jump aboard one cruising along the busy main street and then looked at the faces of a senior afgan lady staring down disaprovingly at her for such un ladylike behavior.

Her first port of call was to locate an indian bank where she could use her credit card to draw some local currency and then go for a mad shopping binge to get over the adernalin hangover of combat the simple task of locating the sole branch of state bank of india kabul branch took her better part of the morning and she fumed as she stood behind three fat ladies two indian and one western type before she could draw the cash.

She next went for a sumptious lunch at kabul hotel and had a filling lunch of lamb kebab wit peswari nun and mango flavours yoghurt and finished off the lunch with achilled jug of rose sherbat .

Ranjita then strted her tour of kabul once again first point of visit was the famous kabul zoo from there to afgan natioanl gallery and then afgan natioanl archive and finally a short visit to afgan royal musoleum . The sun was already dipping on the western horizon as she managed to catch a private minibus to bagram. On her way back she could not forget the legendary lion called marjan who was blinded in a grenade attack. The story she was told goes something like this .Adrunk soldier most likely russian climbed into his cage to show off and was instantly pounced upon and killed by the lion in a true lion way .The soldiers friends lobbed a grenade into the cage which cost the majestic lion one its eyes .

As she approached bagram she could now see the navigation lights of a number of il-76s dotting the sky waiting for thier turn to land . The indian build up has atlast picked up tempo and the firstof the heavy equipment have strted arriving along with their smart alec owners like majot sri ram of the blessed paras who thought they only did the real fighting and fancy airforce jocks like ranjita were there for the show . She wished she would not have to put up with his irritating conversation in the mess tonight .

The smile on her face vanished as she saw the lanky frame of major srinath relaxing in the mess with a glass of chilled beer and an ass like smile .

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Postby Shankar » 09 May 2006 11:19

PRIME MINISTERS OFFICE NEW DELHI
---------------------------------------------
The heat was unbearable outsied ,with mercury ouching nearly 45 degree celcius and insied the aircoditioners tried valiantly to keep the oppressive heat out . The prime minister always liked to work alone and after the air chief has left having briefed the nations chief executive oficer about the attempted hijacking of jet airways fligth 345 and the role iaf played to bring it to a favourable conclussion -he did not forget to mention things could have not workd out the way it has and then the intercepting aircraft would have been left with no other choice but to shoot it down before it entered pakistani air space .The prime minister just noded gravely but did not change any of the rules ,he simply did not want another kandahar type incident .

The situation was certinly complicated and so far no clearcut solution wa in view . Islamic militancy ,call it by whichever name felt the most learned prime minister of india is an obvious outcome of economic depravation or moresimply mass poverty in lands all over he globe .Thoughthe economic outlook of afganistan appeared to be looking up since us forces decimated the taliban regime folowed by significant internatioanl aid to the tune of nearly 2 billion dolars and upswing in agricultural production did help.But the relief was short lived once again draught condition prevailed from 2004 .The few years of post taliban era hardly could get afganistan out of clutches of extreme poverty.Being a landlocked state is a big problem .The shortage of clean drinking water,adequate housing for the majority of populationand over dependence on trade with neighbours like pakistan makes it vulnerable to thier influence .

The prime minister realised in his own way that simply military power projection as his generals would try to make him believe may not solve this particular problem . Afganistan have to come out of economic gloom if the permanent solution to islamic militancy inthe sub continent is to be found . Of course this has to extened under protection of a strong and robust military force sensitive to local traditons and sensitivities . Indian involvement in rbuilding afgan agriculture and infrastructure must take on highest priority .

To summarise afgans must be provided a share of blossoming indian economy ,they must be made happy to an extent realistically possible so that islamic fundamentalism dont get to control thier way of living . Education here more specifically female literacy will play here a decisive role .

However to achieve all these the afgan borders must be made secure since naturally countries like pakistan who use the economic vulnerability of afganistan to extend their foreign policy objectives should be made to realise that govt of afganisatn now has a new and powerful friend .The so called strategic depth which pakistan craves and which forms her basic motivation to encourage and support isalmic fundamentalism must be made impossible to achieve .

That brought him back to square one -indian military presence in afganistan need to be much more than presently planned and for that some of the 200 odd billion dollars in reserve bank dolar accounts may have to be spent .

About the same time the air conditioner gave up its long struggle against delhi heat and tripped . The soft spoken prime minister of india was still thinking as he quite went up and opened the large indow overlooking the tree lined gardens and then went back to work again .

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Postby Dileep » 09 May 2006 19:00

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

Almost a day was wasted by Sujata running around the Java sea, contributing to the search for a needle in haystack. Captain Madan Lal and his XO knew that they lost it, but they didn't want to admit defeat yet, at least in front of the arrogant "Grumpy", as they called Ramanathan. They didn't know what exactly is at stake, so there was an evident lack of seriousness. Ramanathan was very much concerned now, because time is running out. Finally he decided to swallow his pride and confront the Captain. Taking Srinivas Rao along, he knocked on the captain's room, and entered it when invited.

The tone was not apologetic, but Captain Lal understood that he will have to heed to the trained professional this time. "I know you hate these gizmos, captain, but I got to show you something". Ramanathan flipped his Laptop open and turned the swivel screen to the Captain. A grid map of the Java sea came to life on the screen. A red spot was visible at Banjarmasin and a green dot at northwest of Surabaya. A date/time counter shown the moment of departure of Mehnaz. "I guess I don't have to explain what you see captain. This simulator will plot the possible movements of the bogey and ourselves and provide a statistical envelope to look at". What he didn't say was that the original plan he presented to the captain was based on this analysis. He obviously didn't want to piss the captain off again.

The simulation started running. The spots moved, plotting lines on the screen. Dim curcles around the green dot plotted the search range over radar and for the chetak. The plots created a color density graded image that predicted where the Mehnaz could be as time progressed.

"Of course we assume the bogey is not maneuvering to evade us. That will complicate things a bit". Ramanathan said. After several minutes of running, the simulation ended, with the current position of Sujata marked, with something like a cloud of colors spread over the east end of Java sea as a probabilistic density plot for Mehnaz.

"Now, we got to assume that the bogey should converge to the Denpasar channel or the Lombok channel. Anything east would be risky because that area is no longer safe. Ramanathan made a few clicks and the cloud changed into a funnel shape, with two prongs pointing to gap between the Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa islands.The cloud looked denser to the bottom. "If the bogey kept going, it should be somewhere closer to the channel. If they took the max speed.." Another click and the cloud appeared to push through the gaps in the landmass. "Or if they slowed down". Another click and the funnel tip became blunt.

"We wouldn't be able to reach the area in time now". At top speed, this is what we would see." The cloud pushed through and dispersed out of the gaps. "So, I took the liberty to ask some favours from the Australians at East Timor to take a look around there. I would request you to consider moving closer so we would be prepared".

Captain Lal was in fact impressed by the show. Though he had an elemental distrust for the gadgets, he didn't want to contradict what appeared to be sound reasoning and screw up the mission. "XO, set course as Mr. Ramanathan says". And then like an afterthought, he nodded to Ramanathan and simply said. "Pretty impressive."

To be Continued

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Postby Dileep » 11 May 2006 20:01

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

The democratic Republic of East Timor is the newest country in the world. They were originally a colony of Portugal. In 1975, Indonesia invaded and occupied the island. Being majority catholic in contrast to the majority Islamic Indonesia, there was a big struggle for independence, and after years of bloodshed, a UN sponsored act of self determination, the country became independent. The democratic republic is established on May 20, 2002. East Timor had the distinction of the lowest per capita GDP of the world initially, but with help from UN, efforts of reconstruction were undergone and the situation improved a lot thereafter.

East Timor did not have established maritime boundaries. Efforts were made to negotiate territorial waters and exclusive economy zones with the neighbouring Indonesia and Australia. While Australia was very supportive of the Timorese from the beginning and the demark lines were finalized sooner than Indonesia. The dispute with Indonesia did continue till now, with minimal concessions on passage from the capital and port of Dili into the Indian ocean. Even that was at risk of Indonesian aggression.

Australia had commercial interest in East Timor from the beginning, and the security of the port of Dili and the waterways became of the interest. After the shift in Indonesian attitude, it became clearer that the Australian interests in Timor are in peril. That prompted australia to establish a division of their Volunteer Coast Guard based at Dili. Though officially it was only there to help the Timorese to establish their own coast guard, and also part of the all volunteer coast guard of Australia, everyone knew that the facility is in fact run by the australian Navy. The air arm of the detachment operated from the airport of Dili. Thy had to fly south over to the southern side of the country as there was no air corridor agreement with Indonesia.

Ramanathan had friends at this detachment. He was deputed by the Indian authorities to help the Australians in the covert operations in and around Dili. During the course, he had acumulated goodwill and favour credits with the Australians, so when it was time to get a favour in return, the Australians were glad to oblige. After all, they ran an independent show. The Timorese government had not much control on them, and the Aussies didn't care much about the daily ops. So, they gassed up their Cessna 210, and was in the air in no time. They had to fly south over the Island to reach the southern coast and then turn west, keeping just outside of Indonesian terriroty, and undet FL10 to avoid un necessary quabble by the Indonesian ARTC. A VFR flightplan was filed for arrival at Denpasar. They will have around three hours loiter time around there before they will have to land, re-fuel and return.

And they had all the info they could possibly get to identify the Mehnaz now. And they were experts in what they did.

To be Continued

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Postby Khalsa » 13 May 2006 03:54

pkakkar wrote:There used to be under British Rule.

Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer (of JALLIANVALA BAGH MASSACRE fame) was one of them.

http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/events/jbagh.html

What we call Brigadier now was called Brigadier-General then.

Khalsa wrote:
karan wrote:
Khalsa wrote:since when we did have Brigadier Generals in Indian Army ... its a US based rank not in use in most of the Commonwealth Forces.....

Brigadier falls within General Officers Cadre. Just because we don't call him BG doesn't mean the rank is not of General Officer.


My Dear Karan

fine whatever you say but My father retired as Colonel from the Indian army. I lived 17 of my years in the Indian army and I never saw a Brigadier General during that time.

there are no Brigadier Generals in the INDIAN ARMY period.

the least you can do in this thread is Address the rank correctly
Please see below
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORC ... Ranks.html


I understand but why are you using a Rank which was abolished in 1928

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Postby Dileep » 13 May 2006 22:18

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

Soon after the Cessna took off from Dili airport, the status and ETA at the Bali area were relayed to Ramanathan on board the Sujata over Satellite phone. The information was updated in the simulator program and it predicted that the Mehnaz on full steam will be around 100nm beyond Denpasar. At minimum, she would be just entering the channel. That information went back to the Cessna, so that they knew where to look.

Sujata steamed full ahead WBS aiming at the channel between Bali and Lombok Islands. This was a dangerous territory, plied mainly by fishing traffic. Only Indonesian ferries and freighters going to Denpasar from Surabaya and Banjarmasin traversed those waters. It lies within the terrirotial waters of Indonesia, so INS Sujata needed permission from the Indonesians for what is called "innocent passage". Though their mission was hardly innocent, such requests were never turned down. However, the Indonesian navy "offered" escort by one of their patrol vessels, and also the harbour patrol of Denpasar would make a "friendly visit" on board. The pretext was the Balinese "terrorists" presence, which was equally absurd as the "calling on the Australians" pretext offered by Sujata. However, according to maritime conventions, neither request could be denied, so, the show had to go on.

Surprisingly, the Cessna didn't find it too difficult to spot the Mehnaz. She was found sailing at 70nm SSW. They took some nice aerial photos of the boat before turning north for Denpasar. They decided to use the internet facility at the International terminal to send off the pictures to Ramanathan. He would be able to get download it when Sujata comes closer to land to hook up to the Cell network at Denpasar. The Satellite terminal on board did not have broadband facility beyond the satellite footprint that ended somewhere around Jakarta.

It took around six more hours for Sujata to pass Denpasar. That would be almost twilight. So, the Cessna crew decided to laze around the beautiful city of Denpasar and take another flight before they left back, to make sure that the Mehnaz is on the same cource. They are in the Indian Ocean now, so there was no need to change course, unless they suspect anything. They guessed if they did a sweeping turn, they woudl be able to check her out and still reach back Dili.

At around 5:30pm, they took off from Denpasar and set a VFR course southeast. After around 45 minutes, they took a slow sweep southword, and sure enough, the MEhnaz was spotted on the set course. That would give Sujata enough confidence to sail in the night and catch up with her towards dawn. The exact bearing of the Mehnaz was calculated, but they will have to wait till they get back to Dili to communicate with Sujata. That would be OK, since it would take hardly four hours to reach home.

At around 9:00pm, Ramanathan got a call over the cell network. His friends in Dili gave him the final piece of information needed to find the Mehnaz the next morning.

Now, what to do after finding her, was a big question.

To be Continued

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Postby Dileep » 14 May 2006 10:31

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Asked Captain Lal, with the attempt to contain his excitement barely successful. Ramanathan simply smiled, and continued to tie down the outboard motor onto the inflatable lifeboat. It was a Sea Eagle SRS-10 auto-inflator, normally used on board sailing ships as a life boat. It could carry four people easily, and can survive 15 feet waves. The normal equipment is a pair of carbon fiber oars, but it has hookup points for an outboard motor. A Honda 8HP outboard was the perfect fit for that boat. A flexo gas tank was already hooked up on the outside for extended range service. Ramanathan tied the gas tank to the motor using several feet of nylon rope. He also attached a plastic box that looked like a toolkit to the rope and threw it into the boat. Another box, ornage in color, was lying around that is a standard emergency kit. That contained an emergency radio set, some medications and water.

There was also a bundle of old wood planks with broken jagged edges. this was also tied up to the boat.

Finally, Ramanathan tied the lifeline rope onto himself and prepared to disembark. The Sujata was cruising at an idly 3 knots, just about 15 nm away and ahead of from Mehnaz. Earlier the Chetak had taken a look around to make sure that the Mehnaz is on the same course. It had also made sure that there are no vessels around in the vicinity. Ramanathan turned and walked to the railing on the deck. A Sailor helped to hook up the boat to the winch.

"Good luck, Mr. Ramanathan" Captain Lal said. Ramanathan gave a rare smile and thanked him. The captain nodded to the boatswain's mate who manned the winch, and the winch slowly lowered the boat and the man down, sliding around over the railing and the launch ramp. Once it hit water, Ramanathan untied the lifeline, waved to the Captain on the deck, drifted away. He then started his tiny engine and steered off onto the open ocean.

<==>

"Mayday... Mayday.. Mayday.." squeaked the speaker on the comm console. Captain Lal and Lt. Cmdr Srinivas Rao was standing behind the signalman who sat on the console. The Captain smiled and watched on.

Several seconds passed, and there was no response on the Channel 16 distress channel of the VHF set.

The distress call repeated. Still no response was heard. Then after another brief duration, it repeated the third time. Now the voice also added a plea "we are sinking, please respond".

The captain nodded to the signalman and he keyed the mic and said "This is INS Sujata. What is your stat? OVer"

"This is MV Anack Agoong. We had an explosion on board and we are sinking. I am on a life boat. OVer" Said the panicky voice on radio.

"MV Anack Agoong, do you know your position? OVer"

"Position one three sierra one six and one zero niner echo three zero over"

"MV Anack Agoong, we are ETA four zero minutes away. What is your stat? Over"

"Negative. My lifeboat is leaking. Ten minutes tops OVer"

"MV Anack Agoong, Hold on, let us see if anyone else is closer."

"Calling all vessels, calling all vessels. Vessel in distress. Are you close to Position one three sierra one six and one zero niner echo three zero? OVer"

A pause of a few seconds, but no answer. The call is repeated one more time.

"Come on you ********, this is a distress call for cripes sakes!" Gnarled Srinivas.

Then the radio came alive with background engine noise. A voice with heavy arabic accent came online.

"This is MV Mehnaz. We are fifteen minutes away, but we are outbound. OVer"

The captain broke into a broad smile. Srinivas threw a fist in the air and said "YeSSS."

"MV Mehnaz, this is INS Sujata. Could you respond to the emergency please? We will join and pick up the lot ASAP. OVer"

"This is Mehnaz. We are on our way over."

"MV Anack Agoong, did you copy? Over"

"Roger that. MV Mehnaz on the way. Thank you very much for the help. Over"

And Sujata continued her lazy stroll. After all, she have 40 odd minutes to reach the location she could in a quarter of that.


To be Continued

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Postby Arun_S » 14 May 2006 15:07

Interesting to also look at page 66 of this RAND report

War and Escalation in South Asia

Page 61:
CHAPTER FIVE: Illustrative Pathways to Conflict

Page:66 State-Sponsored Nuclear Trafficking Discovered

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Postby nits » 16 May 2006 18:01

:-? Hey shankar

Why so much silence... I am eagerly waiting for your next post.... make sure its a long one....

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Postby Dileep » 16 May 2006 23:59

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack
Ramanathan watched the green spot in the horizon. He put down the oars and drew his knife from the sheath. Leaning over the edge, he slashed open the flexi fuel tank that floated beside the boat. fuel spilled out and spread with amazing speed. He then threw out the big undle of planks and slashed the rope that tied them together. with a push with the oar, the planks started floating around. He then proceeded to slash open a big trash bag and dumped the contents into the water. Finally, he removed the outboard motor, tied the things that did not belong to a boat wreck scene and threw it overboard. It readily sank down. with the oil slick and planks floating around, it made a passable resemblance of a boat wreck site. However, you could call the fake if you looked hard enough. Ramanathan hoped the crew of Mehnaz wouldn't care to do that.

After several minus the Mehnaz came closer. Ramanathan rowed frantically towards her, and caught hold of the lifeline. LEaving everything back on the boat, passed the lop on the lifeline around his chest and spread his arms. The crew of the Mehnaz started hauling him up. Once over the railing, he collapsed unconscious. the crew inspected him, and was a little bit surpirsed to see him uninjured.

Ramanathan came around in a few minutes and saw that the crew, consisting up of a few Arabs, a pakistani and a couple of Indonesians, watching him. He looked around, taking in the details.

The Mehnaz was a Bakhla class vessel with one deck. The body of the boat is made of wood planks stiched together with ropes. The gaps are sealed using fibers dipped in bitumen. Ahmed Faruq has implemented improvements in building them. He started using synthetic resins as sealant and kevlar ropes for binding. Below the deck, there was an enormous hold that occupied the area beyond the engine room. the hold can be configured into cabins or can be used as cargo hold. Above deck there was a two floor superstructure that contained living quarters for the captain and crew as well as the bridge. The single mast went up from midship. It was rigged sloop style, with two conical sails, rigged aft and forward. The bow curved upward and the stern was square, flush with the superstructure. The sail rigging had power drive, so that it can be changed from the bridge. This reduced the number of crew needed to run the ship.

Ramanathan was very impressed about the boat. He had been aboard all kinds of ships, from supertankers to aircraft cariers, to small fishing boats. But his experience with Bakhlas were limited. He looked around with interest. The man who looked to be in-charge barked an order to the crewmen and they dispersed at once. He was an arab who looked like in his fourties. He then turned to Ramanathan and said in heavily accented english "Waath haappenedh?". Ramanathan had his story ready. How MV Anack Agoong, of Denpasar, Bali, was on a ferry trip to Christmas Island, and how they had engine trouble, and how the engine blew up and injured the crew and how he was the only likely survivor, and how the anack Agoong sank, and how he grabbed the lifeboat and emergency radio and escaped etc. It was a good story, and the captain swallowed it readily. Ramanathan was invited inside while they waited for INS Sujata came over to pick him up. Captain Al Thameem looked somewhat grumpy, but typical to the Arab culture, had to show hospitality. Ramanathan also noted that the Pakistani crewman having some influence on the Captain. While the captain barked orders to the other crewmen, the Pakistani didn't have anything much to do, and the Captain spoke somewhat respectfully to him. Obviously he was a representative of the owners.

Ramanathan's casual questions about the ship and its destination was met with sidesteps, and he knew better than to push it. He was informed that Sujata was on the way, and as they are going around Denpasar, he will be transferred to Indonesian coast guard there. Ramanthan faked rejoice and went back to his tea that was offered to him. The Pakistani sat around and scowled at him.

In half an hour, the profile of INS Sujata was visible in the horizon. The crew of Mehnaz was glad to get rid of the uninvited guest

To be Continued

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Postby kax » 17 May 2006 15:45

Hi All,

Although i have little interest in defense, i became member of this forum because of this topic only. Good job shankar and dileep. Please continue this work.

Cheers,
Kax

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Postby Dileep » 18 May 2006 00:27

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

Captain Al Thameem of the Mehnaz was mildly surprised to see the rescue party being disembarked from INS Sujata. Instead of a couple of sailors, the infla-boat carried more than eight sailors, and by the look of them, they were not medicos either. He reluctantly ordered to lower the ladder and one by one the Indians came overboard. The leader of the group came forward, shook hands with Al Thameem and introduced himself as Lt. Shah. The Pakistani pushed himself forward, but Shah ignored him. The Captain pointed to Ramanathan. Shah nodded. "Thanks for the help Captain, but we would like another favour from you please". "Whaath that wouldh bee"? asked Al Thameem. "We need your permission to take a look around your nice ship".

Al Thameem was really dumbfounded by this direct approach. He didn't know what to say for a moment. Then drawing him up together, he asked "On what authority, if I may ask?". "No authority, Captain, we simply would be glad to accept your invitation to take a look around your nice ship. That is all"

"What if we don't "invite" you?"

"Well, I don't think you would be foolish enough to be that rude Captain". The Captain suddenly realized that during their conversation, the Indians spread over the deck, and one of them could be seen in the bridge that was left unmanned.

"This is a violation of international laws. I don't think you can get away with this" Said the Pakistani.

"Not if the Captain "invites" us"

"The Captain will not!"

"How are you so sure?"

"I represent the owners of this ship, and I say you can't search this ship. We will go to the internationa court if needed. We will make a diplomatic incident. You will be sorry!" The Pakistani panted with excitment.

"Come to think of it.." Shah looked around and noted with satisfaction that his sailors have now taken position around the deck. "I would think that the ship of that guy was a pirate ship that we sunk, and you just gave him a getaway. And maybe he is going to fight us, and there is a possibility we might end up in a firefight."

But, of course you wouldn't want that to happen on board right?"

He let his words sink in for a few seconds.

"What do you say Captain?"

Al Thameem looked around. Now a couple of the sailors had the fearsome Tavors in their hands. That was enough to drive anyone to terms.

"OK, you got your way."

"Thank you very much for the invitation, Captain. We accept it with pleasure. No, we wouldn't trouble any of your crew to escort us, thanks."

While the gun totting sailors took a leisurely guard over the men on deck, the rest spread around the ship. Ramanathan joined them, while Lt. Shah strolled around the deck, taking in the beauty of the brand new Bakhla.

He noticed that the Anchor, now pulled up into its cage, looked too big for this ship and is oddly shaped. He didn't think much of it. Neither did Ramanathan, which was surprising.

To be Continued

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Postby Shankar » 18 May 2006 20:53

OXFAM BASE CAMP -HERAT-AFGANISTAN
-----------------------------------------------
Lynda and cynthia was just 6 day old in afganistan . After finishing school in montana ,a small town in the state of minnesota they wanted like all young girls of thier age to see the world without spending money .The atractive recruitment brochuer world renowned aid agency asking for volunteers to help with food aid programme in afganistan was a god sent oppertunity to good to pass up . Getting permission from thier parents was more difficult than getting selected for the job bit atlast it was done . And then a long long flight from minneapolis st paul to schipol and then to delhi and finally by indian to kabul and then ariana to herat was uneventful though they did see the indian security forces in thier tracked armoured personnel carriers patrolling the streets of kabul it did not alarm them much .

For the first time in thier young life they were exposed to real poverty and real hunger as from the day one they were pushed into a small group responsible for distributing milk powder and high protien biscuits amogst women and children who had nothing to eat . The starving but spectacularly handsome afgan women and thier rosy cheeked babies made them wonder how despite so much poverty they can still be so happy and good looking . Language was a big problem but in thier short stay they did manage to pick up a spattering of tajik and the first weekend of thiers in afganistan decided to a look see of the the historic city of herat .Comming from the frozen arctic like environment of northern minnesota the balmy mountain air of herat was for them just right to dress in skin tight jeans and tank tops and a wrap around sunglasses . In all thier 20 odd years of individual experience they did not think it nessecery to pay much attention to specific state department advisory to dress adequately and conservatively as they strolled the city of herat in a sense of perfect bliss .They in all thier innocence did not even notice the discouraging gazes of turbaned elders or the fierce gaze of kohl lined eyes which followed them as they moved around .In short they did not understand they have committed a cultural blunder in the land which once belonged to the talibans .

The city of herat with a population of 175000 is nestled in the fertile river valley of hari rud and the herat grapes the afgans claim are best in the world.The sprawling local market is famous for its wool,carpet,textile weaving dried fruits and variety of nuts . Lynda and cynthia gorged themseves on super quality sun dried raisins and jumbo sized almonds and they enjoyed the haggling with the tajik traders in sign language.They enjoyed thier rides in horse drawn cabs locally called gharries along the paved roads that lead to tajikstan border .The importance of city of herat stems from its strategic location on the ancient trade route from persia to india and china to central asian republics. Herat has seen many wars notable ones being when chengiz khan almost destryed herat in 1221 followed by timur long in 1383. The uzbek rulers took control fo herat in late sixteenth century but the city was always in dispute between the uzbek rulers and the kings of newly emerging afganistan .As usal british military presence brought a forced peace of some sort but was short lasting.During decade long soviet occupation of afganisatn it was one of the main military command centres and finally went under control of ismail khan an afgan army officer who revolted against soviets witht he help of his own private army .

Ismail khan became the local mujaheedin comander during soviet occupation and after departure of soviets became the governor of herat till taliban forces took control of the city in 2001 . During enduring freedom the us assited northern alliance once again took control fo herat and ismail khan returned to his power center. It is also the city where afgan civilian aviation minister was killed

The young american ladies rather girls did notv realise till in a narrow alley behind the sprawling market they were surrounded by a group of black turbaned men who were all carrying the quite common pakistan made poor copies of infamous 47s ,that they were in any danger .But that perception changed quickly as the men efficeantly and quickly overpowered them , took off thier mobiles and and passports and bundled them off in a closed toyota van with dark windows . From carefree tourists they quickly became the pawns in the game of world power and dominance .

The ransom note was delivered to us embassy in kabul within 12 hrs . The language was simple and precise .All outside military forces nato and indian must leave the state of islamic republic of afganistan within 7 days or the the two girls will be publicly beheaded somewhere in the mountains and the videtape aired over arabic tv channels immediately thereafter.
A high resolution digital photographs of the two young american girls with thier hands tied behind thier back and facing a sword carrying masked man holding thier passports accompanied the letter .

OVAL OFFICE WASHINGTON D.C-0600 hrs FRIDAY
----------------------------------------------------------
The commander in chief of worlds most potent military force clenched his jaws as he looked back for the nth time at the mug shots of the two young girls cowering before the sword carrying terrorist and his eyes were very very cold and angry . His secratary of defense has just informed him that the last of us forces have left afganistan and a hostage snach operation without sizable military back up can end up in a disaster . It will take a minimum of week or 10 days to deploy a sizable force in the region and which surely would trigger hasty response from the kidnappers whoever they might be .

The president of united states needed a reliable friend with considerable military muscle and political good will in afganistan right at this moment if the lives of these girls need be saved . There was only one such friend available thought he as he quitely picked up the red push butotn reciever
asked quitely for a specific person to person call .The call came thru in less than 3 minutes after all no one keeps the us president waiting and then a long conversation started .

US was for the first time asking a major favour from its newest strategic ally and her newest friend did not let her down . By the time the conversation ended the us president looked visibly relaxed as looked at the wall projected map of afganistan -more particularly the the city of herat.

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Postby Philbert » 18 May 2006 23:06

Welcome back Shankar.

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Postby Dileep » 18 May 2006 23:14

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack
The IP Phone conference went into hours. Connected over the Internet using a security entryption system, it allowed users of the inconspicuous rhstech.net domain to hook up into the internet from anywhere in the world and establish a level 4 secure communication channel. Things were not working out properly for Sanjeev, Anil and Natarajan. Now they got to scramble and decide what to do. Natarajan had a guest with him. Ramanathan was at his best in grumpyness. His ego is bruised by the complete failure of the mission of searching the Mehnaz.

Though himself and the navymen from INS Sujata have searched The Mehnaz thouroughly, they couldn't find anything suspicious with it. She was configured for cargo in her hold, and it was empty, except some concrete and brick blocks for ballast. A handheld echogram didn't show anything unusual with them. The scanner was the standard issue device for Singapore customs to scan boxes. They didn't have better equipment like the scatter X-Ray or radiation counters at hand. Ramanathan didn't feel good about the concrete blocks, because they didn't look exactly like the ballast used in Bakhlas. They were too big. But there was no evidence to suspect them. Finally, they had to thank the Captain of The Mehnaz and leave. The only good thing is that apparently they did not complain about the infraction, at least, as yet.

Anil Nambiar was positive that The Mehnaz is an important part. Muhammad Ali is feeding him daily reports about the chatter at the harbour. It could not be written off as excitement of receiving a new boat. She has already completed four of the thirteen day voyage already. Anil didn't like leaving her out of signt, but the Navy wouldn't deploy their Bears based on the hunches of a middle level intelligence officer. Not that he didn't try! Hell, he even pleaded for the Sujata to do some shadowing, at least till she goes around Andamans. But Rear Admiral Sudhir wouldn't hear none of it. They had commitments with the joint patrol, and that must be honoured.

Sanjeev Gupta indicated that there was no contact to Ahmed Faruq from the Good General after the sail of the Mehnaz. Looking at the chatter pattern, it was evident that the sail of The Mehnaz was an important event. Right after that, several messages had gone from the general to various places, some of them known CIA locations. Sanjeev also got a voice mail from "The Ascetic" which quoted Sherlock Holmes."Watson! The game is afoot". That was good enough proof for both him and Anil to convince them.

They had tried to get a flight from Car Nicobar to go around to take a look. The airforce liaison guy laughed on Natarajan's suggestion. Ramanathan even tried to get a favour from the Aussies again, but they didn't have the equipment to reach the area.

So, right now, The Mehnaz is having a free run in the Indian Ocean. The discussion right now was on what to do when she approaches closer to the Indian mainland.

To be Continued

Shankar
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Postby Shankar » 19 May 2006 21:18

HERAT MYMAN ROAD - DAY 2- 0900 HRS
-----------------------------------------------------
Gul mohamed was a happy man today . As his four truck convoy made thier torturous traverse on the unpaved country road he looked back at the 3rd truck which was carrying his prize worth atleast 25 million us dollars which us he was sure will pay for release of the two indecently dressed girls under guard by armed guards and thier every action supervised by his wife . The demand note faxed by one of his english speaking deputies to us embassy in kabul was just a " red herring" as the americans call it .He had no interest in politics or presence of military forces of any country in kabul . His problem was more practical .He owned almost 250 acres of opium land in the vicinity of herat and the american drug enforcements agencies last year have burnt them down wihtout saying even sorry and the promised govt compensation never came . His estimated loss was close to 10 million us dollars and the street value of the drug in streets of new york and paris may be several hundred times that .He knew american drug agencies cannot operate without adequate military support in the interior of afganistan . Today that support was provided by nato forces and tomorrow may be the indians will pitch in. This was an unacceptable situation as far as gul mohamed was concerned .Amessage needed to be passed on .If the american govt agrees to his demand well and good , otherwise he palnned to scale down his demand as cash compensation of 25 million us in cash before the two girls are released and if his demands are not met -well the world will atleast have two less in appropriately dressed women and next time the world will listen to his demands

USS ABRAHAM LINCHON - 0945 HRS -SOMEWHERE OFF THE COAST OF PAKISTAN
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The flight deck was clear for a special flight . The unusal sized global hawk unmanned aerial vehicle was difficult not to spot amonst the bevy of hornets and hawkeyes crammed on the super carriers flight deck . The signal from pacific command was embossed with highest security classification and passed on from the task force commander straight to captain julia who was incharge of flying the global hawk from abraham linchon .

Launching the global hawk from the sprawling deck of a super carrier though appears to be simple in real terms it is not . While it did not need the catapult services ,its wing span 40 mtrs made its take off from a carrier flight deck a difficult technical proposition .

-clear deck for uav launch ,blared the metalic voice and support crew checked for one last time the launch zone was clear of all obstacles

Sitting on the cat 3 console capt julia moved the toggle switch on her remote control repeater powering up the rq 4b uav s turbine which was unusally quite sounding more like a high powered motorcycle than a high performance turbine but as the rpm picked up the usal shrill but some what muted whine of the powerful engine could be heard clearly . Her hand held repeater console showed satisfactory thrust buil up and engine parameters were right on the mark as she quickly punched the brake release button and the light changed immediately to greee as the graceful and perhaps the most potent uav of our times raced down the deck and took off smoothly and slowly strted climbing to its designated cruise altitude for this mission of 18000 mtrs . She cut power to 80 percent at 5000 ft and shorly therafter retraced the flaps and then switched on the auto pilot as the aircraft dissapeared in the dark thunder clouds of north eastern horizon .She quickly came out of her temporary launch console and headed down wardd three level below the flight deck to a small dark room air conditioned to the point of chilling to monitor and control her mission as the delicate bird tries to locate the kidnapped girls some where in north west afganistan .Julia will be on station for the next 20 hrs monitoring and guiding the uav all the way to afganisatn and back .At a fuel conserving speed of 250 km/hr the rq 4 global hawk was not exactly a foxbat but then no foxbat has the ability to loiter and wait for the target to appear of follow a slow moving camel convoy or for that matter a ramshacle motorcade as may be the the case this time .

The global hawk entered the pakistani air space at 15500 mtrs and was not challenged as it leisurely made its way north . Julia did not power up the synthetic aperture radar immediately to conserve power ,she would do the same once near the afgan city of herat as she watched the scrlling map dispaly down linked from the global hawk o to one of her display panels . It would be almost 6 hrs before she can really bring the full spectrum of global hawks capabilities till then she concentrated on how the auto pilot was piloting her precious air craft .

Up on the deck two f-18 s stood ready fully armed with air to ground missiles .But it was as everyone knew not likly to be used . If the lives of the young girls are to be saved -a far more precise and quiter opertation will be required . No one had any idea how or who wil do it .

IAF BASE -BAGRAM -AFGANISATN -1000 HRS
----------------------------------------------------
Major srinath was not in his usal smiling self ,as he read and re read the instructions for immediate tempoarry deployemnt to herat to take charge of the zeta force based there .There was no further elaboration and but the news of kidnapping of two american girls was all over the news channels and for an intelligent person like srinath who specialised in counter insurgency operation the connection was not difficult to make .Outside he could see his core group loading up the gear onto an il-76 which has miraculously appered overnight .In the distance he could see the two mirage 2000s getting rearmed with 57 mm rockets and f/l ranjita moving around in apurposeful way .But some how today he was in no mood for another attempt to break down her reserves with polite conversation . His mind today was in a diffrent frame altogether - about the terrain of heratand the two young girls living under threat of death.He strolled towrsd the parked 76 but his mind was already several hundred miles away.

Dileep
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Postby Dileep » 19 May 2006 21:47

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack
The change in Pakistani politics have naturally affected the Pakistani interests in India too. It is well known that ISI operate a vast underground network of operatives in India. It is more than a traditional spy network. Apart from the regular intelligence duties, ISI also actively pursues disruptive actions, including communal rift, sabotage and terrorism. The Indian authorities very well know about this. The intelligence field is always like that. you can't eliminate the enemies operations. You can only defend and contain it. So, India had to support its own vast network of counter ops within the country, just to fend off the ISI operations. This cat and mouse game had been continuing for a very long time.

When Gen Yusuf took power in Pakistan, the ISI stood with him. In fact the converse is true. A general wouldn't be able to make a coup without active support of ISI. Yusuf, having been the boss of the organization had a lot of loyal following in the ranks. So, the ISI was too glad to let Gen Musharraf go and get Gen. Yusuf take the seat. The ISI operations in India did not get affected. They were still attached to the same chain of command. Nothing changed in terms of the rule of the game.

But that created a problem for Anil Nambiar in the present. His organization had been doing a good job of following the ISI operatives very closely for a long time. It worked very well that the field operatives could very easily co-relate two ends of a chatter and take action. but that worked only for ISI. Anil had no idea what standing the Nawaz empire had in India. He knew about a trade route to Karwar that he busted a couple of years ago that very positively linked to the empire. The problem is, they were focussing on the merchandise, not the company that did the traffic. It was very difficult to identify the Nawaz empire from the available data.

After certain terror attacks in India were traced to explosives smuggled by sea over non conventional routes, India had established a very strong network of operatives at the west cost. This resulted in drastic reduction is the threat, and also in the smuggling of drugs. Stuff still got through, but there was a good amount of control. Posts were established from Vizhinjam in the Southernmost tip to the cost of Gujarat, mostly among fishing communities and also among the harbours. They knew the ISI very well.

Anil had been in touch with the costal operatives ever since he tagged Nawaz empire. But no progress was made. However, these constant followups kept the operatives on a sharper lookout

As luck would have it, he got a call from Sainuddin, the policeman from Beypore.
To be Continued

RP_singh

Postby RP_singh » 20 May 2006 20:23

I am desperately waiting for shanker's next post.

Shanker can you please post your email address like Dileep had posted.

Shankar
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Postby Shankar » 20 May 2006 22:20

KHAWJA CHAHRSHANBE -HERAT MAIMANA ROAD -AFGANISTAN-1300 HRS
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Once the initial shock of being kidnapped wore off , lynda strted looking out of the window of thier pick up at the uniquely beautiful country called afganistan. The aged lady accompanying her was very affectionate and pressed local unleavened bread and spiced chicken kebab with over sweet tea at evry oppertunity . The armed guard with his ever present ak-47 looked bored at his security duty and whenevr possible stole a look at the red haired cynthia who some how have managed to fall asleep on the floor of the van .

The condition of the road -thought lynda definitely could be improved a lot actually before it can be compared to I-85 passing by her home town .As per her guess they must have travelled about 50 kms from herat and from the direction of the sun they were traveling north .(she was remarkably accurate in her estimate though she overestimated the average speed of the four truck convoy .The city of khawja charshanbe is approx 40 km from herat) As the convoy made a small tea stop by the side of a rushing stream and in the shade of tall mullberry trees a shepard in the distance played on a sad lost tune in his flute .This definitely was a diffrent land form minnesota felt lynda as cynthia at last out of her exhausted slumber slid in close to get some sense of security from her proximity .

While no one can say with any degree of certainity how the town got its name elders say it came from a holy man khawja a decendent of abu bakrthe first caliph who died on a wednesday or charshanbe also it is possibele the holy man came from a town named charshanbe a prominent 19th century caravan town loacted west of maiman.Naming the town after the main market or bazar day was and still is a common practice in central asian republics .Like Doshanbe or monday in Tajikstan .

After the short tea break the small convoy left once again with the mountains all around just allowing enough space for the road and ever present mountain river to pass thru with unusal shaped wheat fields dotting the surrounding lanscape in between the rugged mountains and as they climbed the the nip in the air became stonger and h speed slowed even more as the local drivers down shifted repeatedly to keep up with the evr increasing gradient and sharp hairpin bends . Lynda admired thier mountain driving skill and control which they exercised over thier ill maintained four wheel drive vehicles . In the distance she could see the narrow mountain pass what she did not know was the pass was the famous sabjak pass located at an altitude of nearly 8000 ft .

HERAT AIRPORT - ZETA FORCE BASE CAMP - 1400 HRS .
-------------------------------------------------------------------
- Herat tower - india alfa three zero - request permission for full stop landing
- india alfa three zero -herat tower -please state aircraft type and load details
- herat tower - aircraft type india lima seven six-120 pax - standard military mission -over
- india alfa three zero - your iff transponder not operative - request authenticate authority code
- sorry herat tower-india alfa three zero - authentication code orange foxtrot -over
- authentication code accepted india alfa three zero - you are cleared to land on riunway 21 right - execute standard landing precautions -over

- cleared to land on runway 21 right -executing standard defensive landing proceduer -over

The giant il 76 quickly strted loosing height in a series of concentric circles with ever reducing radius with the runway 21 as central axis with abank angle touching almost 20 degree she came down fast with string of flares comming out as the height dropped below 7000 ft and the quickly lined up on the runway ,extended full flap and slat quickly followed by air brakes as the ground rushed up to meet the aicraft .It was a hard landing by all standard but for the crew of il 76 it did not matter after all they were flying the most rugged transport aircraft ever built with the exception of perhaps the c-130 hercules . As the main landing gear touched the runway with big whiffs of smoke inside major srinath became alert as did his team of paras .Thet needed to get out as quickly as possible withot many locals spotting the heavily armed group in thier unusal dessert camo and bulky sky divers chute conscpicious deep blue colour . Their target was to get out of the aircraft and into the darkened hanger within 2 minutes max and major sriram intended to see it done .

The aircraft slowed sown as it turned into IAF technical area and the whine of turbines died down as the soft whirr of hydraulic motors strted and the rear clam sheel dorr strted comming down -in the distance they could see the darkened hanger door half open . And then the dazzling bright sun of herat hit them bang on .

GLOBAL HAWK FLIGHT - 1500 HRS - PAKISTAN AFGANISTAN BORDER
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Captain julia punched in the new altitude command to the auto pilot on board global hawk as she saw the imaginary line on ground pass below the scrlling map display on her console . Her precious aircraft was now nearly 1500 kms away and now climbing onec again to higher altitude of 45000 ft .She could visualise the pug nose going up and the engine note changing as the turbine rpm increases on her tele command for greater altitude and still maintain the planned cruise speed of 250 kms per hour.The climb was slow but steady and the occasional drafts of hot mountain air tended to thrw the filmsy uav off course but then the computer responded and the global hawk dipped her nose and shrugged of the distarction as she corrected her course and then resumed the climb .It was time to switch on the high resolution synthetic apperture radar and the elctro optical sensors this she did with practised ease but did not energise the infra red imaging system as yet which she planned to do to in the evening when the rapidly cooling mountains will provide a good contrast to any vehicle still on the move in the mountain roads .She expected to reach herat in another 31/2 hrs and then a slow high altitude circle profile to get her fix and then her ntuition told her to check the roads leading out of herat towards turkmenistan and tajikstan . Two more consoles in her cabin lit up automatically as they strted getting real time dat feed from the sensors onboard global hawk and captain julia hunched down to her work .

Dileep
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Postby Dileep » 21 May 2006 06:58

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

The Karippur airport of Kozhikode is situated in fact in the neighbouring district of Malappuram. It became the second international airport in Kerala after Trivandrum, with services to the Gulf. That time the major city of Cochin was still a small airport operating in a civil enclave of the naval station. Even after the brand new greenfield airport at Nedumbassery came into being for Cochin, the importance of Karippur did not fade. Instead, it also was expanded and developed into a full fledged international airport.

The airport was the primary means for the Gulf bound passengers of north Kerala. Kozhikode had trade links with the Arabs for millenia. They had almost exclusive trading rights with the kingdom of the Samuthiri, till the portugese came in early 1500s. As the arabs embraced Islam, its effect came also to Kozhikode, and a population of converted local muslims came into being through a non violent way. It was one of the rare occurence of the Islam spreading not through the sword, but through the "Dinars". Slowly, Islam majority areas came into being in and around the city. Typical to the Kerala culture, the muslims lived peacefully among the mainly hindu majority.

As centuried went by, Tipu Sultan conquered north Kerala and aquired soverignity over the lands. This caused a huge population of hindu landowners to flee the area to the south. The ensuing rule of Tipu resulted in the muslims becoming majority in several areas. After defeat of Tipu by the british, north Kerala, of which Kozhikode was the capital, became part of british india.

Upon independence of India, Pakistan had made claims for the muslim majority areas around Kozhikode. But it made no real impact in the muslim population. Pakistan also tried to incide a movement for an independent country by name "Mappilasthan" for that area, but that too didn't get much traction. Of course, the region was part of british india, so it automatically became part of the new dominion of india upon independence. A miniscule number of people did choose to migrate to Pakistan, but most came back within the six month grace period. There are still some families in Karachi who originally migrated to Pakistan.

Pakistan, however, did not sit idle. They had always tried to create problems in that area. ISI activity in the state of Kerala had been focussing in the area for a long time. They did have some sucess in this regard. This made a requirement that the indian counter intelligence also had to focus in the area. So, the biggest operational unit was in Kozhikode, with branch ops at various satellite areas like Ponnani, Manjeri, Beypore, Malappuram etc. The strength of the force in that area was more than the total strength in the rest of Kerala.

Muhammad Faizal was an LIC agent with a small office at Palayam. He also ran the newspaper agency at a couple of places. He was surprised to get a visit from the young man who introduced himself as Sainuddin, the police constable from Beypore station. The surprise became bewilderment when Sainuddin said he was sent there by Anil Nambiar from Dubai.

To be Continued

Dileep
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Postby Dileep » 21 May 2006 21:38

Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

Muhammad Faizal was very surprised to see someone from his own area being introduced by the guy in Dubai. But such things do happen in life. Spywork is the job where the left hand doesn't know what the right hand does. Sainuddin was, in fact a relative of Muhammad Ali, and he was brought on board first to contact the carpenters at the Usman Faruq company. A very enthusiastic fellow, Sainuddin got so excited and started taking his minor contribution seriously. When he saw something suspicious going on near his place, he immediately got in touch with Anil. Since local support is needed, Anil decided to make him contact the local team. So, the next morning, Sainuddin took the bus to Kozhikode.

A guy by name Ashraf has arrived at Beypore, apparently from Dubai. His story was that he is visiting his Aunt and family, but Sainuddin got suspicious when he was heard to charter a uru boat to go to Lakshadweep. He had come a few months ago to do background work. Nobody really cared that time. He simply said he had a load of Copra to be ferried from Agatti island to Beypore. That was pretty normal. But when he came this time, he did two mistakes. One he started spending much more money than he did last time. Secondly, he mentioned to the captain of the boat that they might be going a little beyond Agatti. The sharp Sainuddin caught on this, and did some following. Then the name "Mehnaz" was heard in a telephone call he made from a public booth.

Sainuddin paid a visit to him, pretending to be a courtesy call. During the conversation, Ashraf gave some information about his whereabouts in Dubai. That was easily disproved by Muhammad Ali. All this information meant only one thing. Ashraf is going to meet the Mehnaz in the sea beyond Lakshadweep. Obviously they want to transfer somethign or someone to the boat and take them back to mainland.

This was in fact conflicting to the information from Dubai. But no one would take extra effort to charter a boat and go to lakshadweep for nothing. So, it was decided to tag this operation. Sainuddin was instructed to find out who the crew would be, and if possible mole them.

The boat by name Haji Moosa was the one chartered by Ashraf. Early the morning they were supposed to sail, her master lasker was arrested by Beypore police in connection to a petty thievary case. In a typical bad cop-good cop situation, constable Sainuddin was very kind to get them another master laskar by name Aliyar. Captain Basheer was very much thankful to Sainuddin for this favour.

Haji Moosa sailed out of Beypore harbour on time. The man who was arrested earlier was released that afternoon with the usual threat of "You should come whenever called!" by the inspector. He had no clue what was that all about, but he was thankful that he is out of the slammer.

To be Continued

Shankar
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Postby Shankar » 21 May 2006 22:44

GUL MDS CONVOY - HERAT -MAIMANA ROAD -APPROACHING SAJDEK PASS
-1600 HRS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For gul mohamed the difficult part of journey was more or less over and he looked for quick crossing of the sajadek pass which is difficult negotiate in dark and once the pass is crossed he could get lost in the unreachable porous borders between afganisatn turkemenistan and may be if required further north with tajikstan. Aerial survilance is difficult and any ambush almost impossible to set up .

Gul knew thes roads beter than back of his hands . After all he has been smuggling out his white products for years profitably thru thes borders till the american drug enforcement agencies started putting the odd sized spanners in his well co ordinated work. This was followed by destruction of his labs used for processing raw opium and then finally with the help of local govt officials burning the poppye crop at nominal no price . With the 25 million dollars he hoped to make from this easy kidnapping deal he hoped to set up his facilities" once again and hopefully the gold will startflowing in once more .

It is said niether the americans or the afgan govt or the local warlords have any power in afganisatn.They are like riples on the surface of a pond. The real power in afganisatn lies with those who control its multi multi billion drug production.In the first step of the rudimentary chemical processing of poppye raw blackish opium is dissolved in boiling water and that the poppye is the real power centre of afganistan.Talibans in fact manged to bring down poppye cultivation during thier regime and with brute force almost eradicated poppe cultivation from afganistan except in some remote pockets in north east .Still about 185 tons of opium was produced in afganistan in 2003.However completion of enduring freedom saw a 20 times jump in opium production to nearly 3500 tons and afganisatn once agin became the lead supplier of heroin to the free world biggest customer ofcourse was united states.Processing of raw opium into heroin is a simple process and all that is needed are a couple of large vats for boiling ,burlap sacks for coarse filtering of the hot intermediate extracts and chemicals like acctate to convert opium to morphine base and then finally to fluffy white powdery heroin the most cherished hard narcotic drug in the world today.The heroin so produced is graded according to its purity like no3 for smoking and no4 for intra vainous injection . Since morphin is the main narcotic ingredient in opium the production fo heroin involves seperation of morphine from opium followed by conversion into heroin with accetic anhydride and acetyl chloride for the acytylation reaction.

Using simple arithmetic you can only convert 10 percent fo the available opium to heroin which means at the moment afganisatn is producing nearly 400 tons of pure heroin evry year .The average price of heroin in afganistan labs is 15000 us dollars a kilo and in international market close to 200000 us dollars a kilo .

However the user on the steets of la never gets pure heroin even at the highly inflated rate . As the white powder moves the worlds oceans it gets diluted with anything from sugar to detergents milk powders to multiply his commission many fold . Considering all this the market price of one years production of heroin in afganisatn is nearly 600 billion us dollars .

This is a stupedous sum -close to several times indias hard currency reserves and even equal to chinas dollar reserves . So much of wealth has the power unbelievable in normal way . It has the power tochange govt policies ,buy local officials and ofcourse kill if the money alone cannot solve the problem.

So for gul mohamed and his like ,killing two young girls was of no consequence and he was more or less sure no local govt official will get involved in this problem as they all knew where not to get involved . He just forgot one small detail . The presence of a small band of indian para commandoes in the country -for whom lives of two inncent girls was more preciuos than all the drug gold money can buy and for whom the possible menace from drug mafia mattered next to zero.

Gul mohamed did not know the force being readied just now not very far off to bring a quick end to his plans and dreams in some what violent way.
Niether did he know of the funny toy like aircraft which was fast approaching the mountain road almost 9 miles up in the sky . He simply did not know his days or rather hours are getting numbered .

And then luck to desserted him as the lead toyota stalled on the steep gradient blocking the road for atleats few more hours and the night came on quickly .

GLOBAL HAWK FLIGHT - 1830 HRS - 100 KMS FROM SAJDEK PASS
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
capt julia watched with interest the lengthning shadows on the monitor from low light tv camera and so far the synthetic aperture radar have not turned up anything interesting she was approaching the town of herat from where the roads lead out to neighboring centarl asian republics like turmenistan and tajikstan and iran is also close by .Capt Julia had a hunch her target will be some where in this region as she punched in new course coordinates on the global hawks flight computer and few lines of cryptic command . Her charge obeyed and started a shallow dive towards the roads comming out of and going into sajdek pass as julia powered up the infrared cameras .


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