Ready for short, swift war with Pakistan: Indian army chief

India is prepared to face offensive military action on its borders should the need arise, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh said here on Tuesday, adding that any future conflict was expected to be short and swift.

The Hindu quoted him as referring to the ceasefire violations along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir, which have put relations between India and Pakistan under a strain. This had made New Delhi aware of the need to remain prepared, General Singh said. Continue reading Ready for short, swift war with Pakistan: Indian army chief

Indian provocations and Pakistan’s reactions

“The lion who breaks the enemy’s ranks is a minor hero, compared to the

lion who overcomes himself.”

– Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi

Can Pakistan overcome itself? India’s hawks, motivated by a range of different sentiments (including the grand civilisational angst of the Indian right wing), and lead by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are trying to find the answer to this epic question. Can Pakistan overcome itself?

Continue reading Indian provocations and Pakistan’s reactions

Actor Saif becomes anti-Pakistan mascot

Actor says he is upset with the response from across the border.
 PHOTO: FILESaif Ali Khan — who caused a major furore in Pakistan with his provocative statements — is now concerned about having become the face of “anti-Pakistan feeling”.

In a recent interview with NDTV, Saif said that he is upset with the response from across the border. “I don’t know if I should say this but I was upset with the action in Pakistan and how upset they’re getting and I seem to have become the face of ‘anti-Pakistan feeling’,” he said. Continue reading Actor Saif becomes anti-Pakistan mascot

Expectations from Pakistan’s nuclear stance

(By TOBY DALTON, MICHAEL KREPON) Pakistan has worked hard and successfully to build diverse nuclear capabilities. It will retain these capabilities for the foreseeable future as a necessary deterrent against perceived existential threats from India. At this juncture, Pakistan’s military leadership in Rawalpindi can choose to accept success in achieving a “strategic” deterrent against India — a nuclear force posture sufficient to prevent limited nuclear exchanges and a major conventional war. Continue reading Expectations from Pakistan’s nuclear stance

Delusional India cannot talk with Pakistan

PAKISTAN’S relations with India have returned to familiar hostility. The foreseeable future looks much the same. Normalising relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government was never a likely prospect. The contrary anticipation in Islamabad was naive and delusional. Modi’s policies are driven by an ideology whose central tenet is the ‘Hinduisation’ of ‘Mother India’ which encompasses all of South Asia.

Pakistan’s eagerness to normalise relations with Modi’s India — attending his ‘inauguration’, pleading for revival of the ‘Composite Dialogue’, offering concessions on trade — were seen as signs of weakness and evidence of the differences between Pakistan’s civilian government and its ‘security establishment’. Not surprisingly, these overtures were met by intensified bullying and bluster from New Delhi. Continue reading Delusional India cannot talk with Pakistan

US support o Al Qaeda helped create Islamic State

A new memoir by a former senior State Department analyst provides stunning details on how decades of support for Islamist militants linked to Osama bin Laden brought about the emergence of the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS).

The book establishes a crucial context for recent admissions by Michael T. Flynn, the retired head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), confirming that White House officials made a “willful decision” to support al-Qaeda affiliated jihadists in Syria — despite being warned by the DIA that doing so would likely create an ‘ISIS’-like entity in the region. Continue reading US support o Al Qaeda helped create Islamic State

India’s Asia problem

Many observers tend to assume that India will play a large and growing part as a great power in a wider ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategic system, that it will use its growing power to balance and limit China’s regional weight. But some caution is called for — although this outcome is possible, it is far from inevitable.

 India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and China's President Xi Jinping wave to the press before their meeting in Xian, the capital of the Chinese Shaanxi Province, on 14 May 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Continue reading India’s Asia problem

Gas Prices: Tariff up by 67%

Price hikeThe government increased on Monday natural gas tariff by four to 67 per cent for different categories. It also raised tax rates on all petroleum products to allow a partial reduction in their prices for the month of September.

The increase in gas rates was one of the key requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is expected to take up Pakistan’s case for disbursement of $506 million tranche later this month.

Continue reading Gas Prices: Tariff up by 67%

The Power Crisis: The real picture

The Ministry of Water and Power has issued a full one page advertisement (enclosed) in leading newspapers on the eve of the Independence Day. The title of the ad is ‘Milestone by Milestone: Towards a Roshan Pakistan’. The objective is to highlight the achievements of the PML-N Government in the power sector in its first two years in office.

The claims include, first a significant improvement in management, measured especially in terms of the flow of funds in the sector. The gap between bills and payments to IPPs, PSO and gas companies is shown as having come down substantially from 2013-14 to 2014-15. Presumably, the intent is to demonstrate that the problem of circular debt is now under control.

Continue reading The Power Crisis: The real picture

Can Pakistan’s election system be fixed?

(By Naeem Sadiq) Fast forward to May 2018. Riots erupt in all major towns of Pakistan after the announcement of the election results. Political parties complain of massive rigging, bogus votes, missing forms, ballot paper stuffing, missing thumb prints, use of non-magnetic ink, printing of extra ballot papers, multiple voting and a host of other irregularities.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) denies all charges. The government appoints a Judicial Commission. A special parliamentary committee for electoral reforms is constituted. The shortcomings of 2018 are a déjà vu of those experienced in 2013 and many earlier elections. Continue reading Can Pakistan’s election system be fixed?