Friday, October 16, 2009


* 11 killed in suicide attack near a mosque in the cantonment area in Peshawar on Friday.

* 41 killed in simultaneous attacks on Police training academy Manavan, elite commando training centre and the Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) headquarters in Pakistan. The attacks were carried out by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

* Over 100 killed last week in attacks on the Pakistan army headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi, United Nations Food Programme Office in Islamabad and in the Peshawar market.


And yet Pakistan considers India its biggest enemy. Pakistan is like a drug addict. It knows terror is bad for its existence but is unable to kick the addiction. The military establishment and the ISI are addicted to terror. Terror gave Pakistan a high initially. Pakistani army generals felt on top of the world - literally invincible. That's exactly how drug users feel initially. On a high. And before you know it you are sucked in the trap. You keep thinking you are not a slave of the drug - the day you want you can kick off the habit. But suddenly it is too late.

For the Pakistani military establishment it is too late. That's why even after the attack on the General Headquarters in Pakistan - the biggest slap in the face of the Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani - the country is dithering on cracking down on terror. For a country that takes immense pride in its army - a brigadier and a lieutenant colonel were killed by terrorists - the enemy is still not terror but India.

Only a drug addict does not know what is good for it and what is not. Not only does General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani consider Taliban a strategic ally, the army refuses to permit the government to even consider taking action against the professor of terror Hafiz Mohammed Saeed. In fact he is still invited to the Rawalpindi Corps Iftaar party. Saeed continues to be a General of the Pakistan army - minus uniform. The Pakistani security establishment is addicted to the Lashkar e Taiba. The terror outfit continues to be an arm of the Pakistan army.

Who is paying the price for this fatal addiction? the common man on the street in Pakistan and in India. The hundreds of people who are being killed on the streets of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Kohat, Swat and in Waziristan are all Pakistani citizens paying the price of their army's teror addiction. But what is disturbing is the fact that the political leadership of Pakistan continues to be timid, weak and in effective. They appear to be mere pawns in the hands of the powerful military commanders. the judiciary and the civil society that rose in a remarkable protest against General Pervez Musharraf seem to be running out of steam or scared to take on the lethal combination of military commanders and taliban militia.


Why do security analysts feel Pakistan is not sincere about cracking down on teror ? Because even after Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone attack, the Pakistani army well positioned to move in for the mopping up operations refused to do so. Instead it let the situation deteriorate. When Taliban commanders were fighting a bitter succession war, the army remained a mute spectator and sources say elements within the ISI actually tried to find a suitable boy to take over Mehsud's mantle.

Pakistan army generals still nurture the dream of re-gaining the strategic depth in Afghanistan when the US forces withdraw ``like in Vietnam''. Therefore, they do not want to eliminate the entire Taliban leadership. Pakistan is only cracking down on the Taliban elements who no longer believe in taking instructions from the ISI. So the moment Baitullah Mehsud started thinking and operating independently of the ISI, he became the bad Taliban. Remember even Benazir Bhutto had accused elements within the ISI and Pakistan army of colluding with Mehsud to kill her.


Strategic depth in Afghanistan is the reason that despite repeated attacks within Pakistan, its all powerful army is not willing to order a total crack down in the Af-Pak region. How can the Pakistan army order a crack down on the Taliban when they are seeking Taliban assistence in attacking Indian and Afghan interests in Afghanistan. US convoys and interests are repeatedly under attack by the Taliban. Is that possible if the Pakistan army seriously proceeds against them.

To justify getting the US aid, Pakistan army does go after the pawns and the foot soldiers in the Taliban but never the top commanders. On 8th October 2009, ISI used the Taliban once again to attack the Indian embassy in Kabul. Afghan Ambassador to the US Said T. Jawad went on record to blame the ISI for the latest attack on the Indian embassy.

This was the second attack on the Indian embassy in 15 months. both India and the US claim they have evidence of ISI involvement in the earlier attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul. In fact the US claimed the ISI masterminded the July 7, 2008 attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul. India's defence attache, a senior diplomat and ITBP personnel guarding the embassy were among 58 killed in the attack.

India has pledged $1.2 billion for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, making it the sixth largest bilateral donor and this is bad news for those Pakistani generals who are seeking that strategic depth. For the sake of ensuring the US war on terror fails they are still willing to bleed their own people.


Al Qaeda and Taliban are growing in strength in Pakistan. Repeated attacks in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar are indications that the terrorists are not limited to Af-Pak border. They can strike at will deep inside the most secure locations inside the heart of Pakistan. After all what can be more secure than the office of the chief of the Pakistan Army - the General Headquarters. This is not the first attack on the GHQ - but the most audacious one beyond doubt.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has sent a clear signal in attacking the FIA office, the elite commando training centre and the police training academy Manawan. They have attacked the very fortress of anti-terror operations.

Pakistan is now gearing up to attack the Taliban in South Waziristan. Air operations will be easy. Pakistan Air Force will pound terror camps from the skies. But the real war will begin when the Pakistan army puts more boots on ground.

But for victory in those operation - the Pakistan army commanders will need to decide who their real enemy is - terrorists or India. And if India is still their answer - then the addiction is complete. Then the cancer of terror affecting the Pakistan army is in terminal stage.

Most security analysts feel the cancer is in its terminal stage... but that are still those who feel the civil society can once again rise to the occasion and force Pakistan's all powerful army to stop playing the double game - realise the true enemy is not India but terror. It is for their own good.If not for themselves then KHUDA KE LIYE...WAKE UP!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Oct 8, 2009 : Seventeen policemen killed in an ambush by Maoists at Laheri police station in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.

Very important lessons here for the police officers. They need to learn to train with their constables and fight shoulder to shoulder.

Indian Police Service (IPS) and state police service officers will have to undergo vigorous training with the jawans - live with them - treat them as family and then - fight shoulder to shoulder. Then the police constables will know they can beat back an ambush and inflict higher costs on the Maoists.

On the day that the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) deliberated upon the use of air power (strictly in self defence), the Naxalites embarked on a bloody mission in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.

They had prior information about a 40 member police patrol operating in the area. More than 200 Maoists laid an ambush and butchered the police.
The Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik earlier in the day spelt out the rules of engagement in case of use of air power.

1. The IAF would only fire in retalliation.
2. The firing would have to be authorised by the captain of the helicopter.
3. The Garud Commandoes of the IAF will protect helicopters.
4. Only small arms would be used - no area domination weapons.
5. Due care would be taken to avoid collateral damage.

There have been instances of Maoists opening unprovoked fire on the IAF during a casualty evacuation (in which the IAF lost an engineer) and on election duty. Maoists have also fired at IAF helicopters from the ground trying to bring them down. The IAF sought permission to fire back.

Rights activists are bending over backwards to oppose this. But I wonder why these activists lose their voice when Maoists kill innocent people and security personnel. The Maoists are no revolutionaries. They are cold blooded murderers.
Consider this:
Oct 05: Maoists beheaded Inspector Francis Induwar in Jharkhand after failing to secure the release of three top ideologues - Kobad Gandhy, Chandra Bhushan Yadav and Chatradhar Mahato.
Sep 30: Naxalites set ablaze Gram Panchayat offices at Korchi and Belgaon in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.
Sep 26: Naxals kill BJP MP from Balaghat Baliram Kashyap's sons at Pairaguda village in Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh).
Sep 4: Naxals kill four villagers in a forest in Aaded village in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district.
Jul 31: Two persons, including a special police officer (SPO), killed by Naxals in Bijapur district.
July 27: Six people killed when Naxals trigger a landmine blast at Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh.
July 23: A 40-year-old tribal killed by Naxalites at Ettapalli taluka in Gadchiroli district.
July 18: Naxalites kill a villager in Bastar and in a separate incident torch a vehicle engaged in road construction work in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.
June 23, 2009: A group of motorcycle-borne armed Naxal rebels open fire on Lakhisarai district court premises in Bihar and free four of their comrades including the self-style Zonal Commander of Ranchi.
June 16, 2009: Maoists kill 11 police officers in a landmine attack followed by armed assault. In a separate attack, four policemen killed and two others seriously injured when Maoists ambush them at Beherakhand in Palamau district.
June 13: Naxals launch two landmine and bomb attacks in a small town close to Bokaro, killing 10 policemen and injuring several others.
June 10: Nine policemen including CRPF troops and officers ambushed by Maoists during a routine patrol in Saranda jungles in Jharkhand.
May 22: Maoists kill 16 policemen in the jungles of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra.
April 22: Maoists hijack a train with at least 300 people on board in Jharkhand and force it to Latehar district before fleeing.
April 13: 10 paramilitary troops killed in eastern Orissa when Maoists attack a bauxite mine in Koraput district.
July 16, 2008: 21 policemen killed when a landmine blast hits a police van in Malkangiri district of Orissa.
June 29: Maoists attack a boat on the Balimela reservoir in Orissa carrying four anti-Naxalite police officials and 60 Greyhound commandos, killing 38 troops.
Feb 16, 2008: A group of 50 rebels including women cadre raid a police training school, a police station and an armoury in Orissa killing 12 policemen and leaving four wounded.
Sept 7, 2007: Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Janardhan Reddy and his wife N Rajyalakshmi, escape unhurt while three Congress workers killed in a Maoist attack in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh.
July 10: Naxalites attack a police team with light machine guns and mortar bombs in a dense forest area of Chhattisgarh, killing at least 24 security personnel.
July 1: Nine persons, including five policemen, killed and as many wounded as CPI-Maoist rebels carry out simultaneous attacks on a police station and an outpost in Sasaram in Bihar's Rohtas district and flee with arms and ammunition.
Apr 28: Five security personnel killed in a landmine blast triggered by Maoist rebels in Michgaon village of Kanker district, about 175 km south of Raipur in Chhattisgarh.
Mar 16: Maoists attack a police post in remote jungles of Rani Bodli in Chattisgarh with guns, hand grenades and gasoline bombs, killing at least 49 people.
March 5: Naxalites shot dead Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's Lok Sabha MP Sunil Kumar Mahato. Two of his bodyguards and a party colleague also killed in the attack when they were witnessing a football match at a village in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand.

Three quick points

1. Police training and tactics is very poor. Time and again the Maoists ambush them - kill them - and disappear with their weapons. Not just patrols but even attacking the police in their barracks, police stations and guarded compounds.

2. Naxals have a better intelligence network. The fact that they know the timing of police patrols, area of operation and then lay an ambush - means they know not only police standard operating procedures but also timings and tactics.

3. Police officers should lead from the front: Both police and army jawans come from the same stock - same villages and towns. In the army soldiers do better because of better training, a strong sense of pride in the honour of the paltan (battalion) and because army officers lead from the front - not JCOs alone.

Claiming 15 Maoists were killed and losing 17 men is not victory in operations. it is defeat. Once again India has been defeated by the Maoists. HOW MUCH LONGER ? The police top brass need to answer this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The eight year old old boy could barely speak. Sobbing he told his school principal that his father inspector Francis Induwar had been killed. ``Please send my elder brother Aniket home,'' Animesh wept. Inspector Induwar's family had been maintaining a brave face since the day of his abduction.

The day newspapers in Ranchi carried a report saying the Maoists want to swap Induwar with the three arrested top brass - Kobad Gandhy, Chandra Bhushan Yadav and Chatradhar Mahato, Induwar's wife bravely came on television and said she was opposed to the swap. ``It is with great difficulty that the police have arrested the top Maoist leaders. My husband is a police officer. He must not be exchanged for them,'' she said bravely.

But the million dollar question here - why must the common man be brave all the time. It is now time for the government to deal with the menace with an iron hand. No excuses. No soft peddling and no vote bank politics. The prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh has said, for five years now, that the Maoists are the biggest threat India faces. Then it is now time to eliminate that threat.

The brutal beheading of Inspector Induwar has shown that the Naxals are no different from the Taliban. It is now time to declare war on India's Red Taliban. And the war not remain confined to government files alone. Give the security forces an aim; give them a time frame, lay down the ground rules for the security forces and then let them achieve that aim - without fear or favour.
Because if not now then when!


The security forces are shocked and appalled the human rights activists and the `jhola wallahs' who scream murder from roof tops when dreaded terrorists are eliminated are silent when the Red Taliban has murdered a police officer so brutally. The pictures are shocking to say the least. Induwar's body was left on the roadside between the Ranchi-Jamshedpur highway. His severd head lay a few feet away. There were hand painted posters which said that death penalty had been given to Induwar. Was he not a human being? Did he not have rights? Why are the rights activists silent tonight.

``Do rights activists only have an agenda? Are they paid by Pakistan or China or other hostile elements so that they come out on the streets and protest when the security forces carry out their operations. Does that mean their breast beating is a sham...A tamassha, Are they paid actors,'' a top ranking police officer asks ?


One cannot happen without the other. But what should India focus on first? Some say it depends on what side of the fence you are on. There is no doubt successive governments failed the people in the affected areas. There is also no doubt that the fruits of development have not percolated down to all. There are lakhs and lakhs who barely get two square meals a day.

But will picking up the gun and killing innocent Indians fill their stomach? The Maoists, according to the government, are destroying infrastructure - railway lines, schools, medical care centres and roads. So do they want development or are they trying to ensure that development does not come their way so that they can continue with their state within a state.

My understanding is development and security go hand in hand. One cannot survive without the other. But first an environment has to be created which is condusive to development. and that will not happen if 20,000 people pick up the gun and call for a revolution.


One of the key result areas for India's new Iron man P. Chidambaram (not a single major terror strike post 26/11) is to neutralise the Red Taliban. Using the army is not the solution. The army is neither trained nor geared to fight ``own people.'' This will have to be entirely a police and at a best para military operation. of course the help of Indian Air Force would be needed not only to scan the area from the skies - using unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters - but also to transport men and material for surgical strikes.

The militant military wing of the Red Taliban need to be neutralised. The poitical wing can be engaged if they give up violence. ``Once the Maharashtra elections are over, work will begin in the right earnest. We are putting men and material in place. This will have to be a concerted inter-state effort. We have to ensure that Maoists do not escape from one state to another when the operations begin,'' sources say.


This is the strategy that the government hopes to adopt. But the success will depend on the cooperation of the states and the training of the police forces. This is the strategy that the army follows in Jammu and Kashmir and in the north east. It is trying to reach out to the people in the right earnest - help them rebuild their lives. But terrorists are killed - those supporting terrorists are sent to jail.

The army has carried out some very transparent operations in counter insurgency situations. Mistakes have been made but those found guilty - punished. The police will have to ensure that. There needs to be a zero tolerance policy on rape, molestation and murder. Rules have to be put in place and strictly complied with.


One of the principles of war is setting an aim and then maintenance of aim. You cannot keep shifting the goal post. Mid course correction is fine but once the aim has been set - maintenance of aim is very important. Only then can the security forces be expected to achieve the target.

This has to be a national effort. Kobad Gandhy, Chantradhar Mahato and Chandra Bhushan Yadav - if guilty of waging war against the country deserve the harshest possible sentence under the Indian Penal system. If there are other elements who are waging war against India - eliminate them - neutralise them.

Because if not now then when.....

Friday, October 2, 2009


The Pakistan army behaving like an occupation army in their own country....Shocking the way Pakistan army personnel are treating their own people.

``Spare me in the name of Allah!'' an old man's pleas falling on deaf ears. The all powerful Pakistan army - dominated by Punjabis - treats people from the north west frontier province, Balochistan and Sindh as second rate citizens. Amply proven by this video.

What is shocking is the fact that Pakistan's judiciary and civil society are not up in arms against this behaviour of the army. Why are they not protesting and loud enough for the Pakistan army to clean up its act.

Had the Pakistan army been accountable to its government and people, they would dare not do something like this. In this video - an officer actually supervises the brutal assault and torture of the civilians - some very old and rather frail.

The Pakistan army has a history of being brutal and believing its officers and men are above the law of the land. Rather feudal in their attitude. Remember the genocide in the then east Pakistan by General Tikka Khan. The Bengalis were always treated as second rate citizens. The same is happening in Balochistan, Sind and the NWFP. The Pakistan army resorts to extra judicial killings, rape and torture again as part of state policy.

My colleagues and I searched for other instances of Pakistan army's brutality on their own people. The results - were shocking to say the least. Scalding hot coal tar being thrown at people by the army, innocents shot dead, stabbed and tortured.

Consider this:

On August 21, 2009, A high-ranking police official in Balochistan issued an open threat - saying the police will begin killing people indiscriminately in Balochistan. Ghulam Shabbir Shiekh, the deputy inspector of police, Nasserabad range, announced in September that the police will kill 40 local persons in revenge for the militants’ alleged abduction and murder of 20 policemen in July and August.

DIG Shiekh also threatened that if any bullet was fired at the police, the police would fire 100 bullets indiscriminately back at the locality from where the bullet was fired.

If any rocket was fired at police stations, the police would fire 10 rockets back. The announcement by Shiekh was the most recent attempt by Pakistani state agencies to instil fear among Baloch nationalists.

On May 31, 2009, police officers from the Panjgore district chased a car of armed men into the village of Mohalla Gharibabad, UC Chitkan, Panjgore, and a shoot-out ensued. A wedding was taking place nearby, and at the first sign of shooting, the wedding guests took shelter in neighbouring houses. Eyewitnesses reported that the police continued to shoot even after the group of armed men had fled.

Noor Ahmad Baloch, 32, a cousin of the groom, urged the leading officer, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Mohammad Ismail, to stop firing noting that there were children around. ASI Ismail responded by shooting him in the head from 25 meters away. Mr. Baloch was then taken to hospital in Panjgore city where he was pronounced dead.

ASI Ismail has since defended himself by claiming it is his prerogative to decide who he does and does not choose to shoot. Despite protests, no case against him has yet been lodged by the police.

On February 3, 2009, soldiers attached to the Pakistan Army Frontier Constabulary attacked a wedding party, killing 13 people including the bride and the groom, six members of their families and the wedding officiator (nikah khawn). 21 people were injured, the majority of them women. The attack was allegedly carried out in retaliation for an incident that took place on the previous day, in which unknown assailants killed three FC (Frontier Constabulary) soldiers.

In January, 2009, journalists received threats from the Director of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) for writing editorials demanding investigations into allegations that the Pakistan army was running torture cells and detaining female prisoners. The Pakistan army threatened to withhold official advertisements and payments from the newspapers if they continued their “malicious” campaign against the army. Some television channels in Pakistan disclosed the threats publicly.

on April 5, 2008, AHRC (Asian Human Rights Commission) received confirmation that Pakistani soldiers arrested four people in the Dera Bugti district of Balochistan, and subjected them to torture.

They were asked to identify local supporters of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). After failing to get any names from them, the victims were immersed in scalding hot coal tar. Three of the men were literally boiled and burned to death. A fourth died later from his injuries.

Pakistan army and intelligence officials arrive in unmarked jeeps, pick up suspected Baloch nationalists and take them to ``Abu Ghareb style'' prisons. Here the Baloch people are tortured till they ``confess'' they are ``Indian agents.''

The world may be shocked by this video of torture of Pakistani civilians in `Abu Ghareb style prison,'' but India knows Pakistan army's brutal and inhuman style of operations. Remember Lieutenant Saurav Kalia, a young officer of the 4th Battalion of the Jat Regiment. His patrol was ambushed in Kaksar. He was brutally tortured and killed by the Pakistan army.

Is there a solution ? Yes! Pakistan's civil society. They need to rise against the feudal-lawless elements in their own army. The Pakistani judiciary needs to rise to the occasion. The Pakistani media deserves credit for speaking out fearlessly. They need to be strengthened. Only when the people of Pakistan speak in one voice - as one country - will the message be loud and clear to their all powerful army. Only then will the Pakistan army top brass know