At last India gets a formidable diplomat

BY RSN SINGH

The jibes from Modi’s detractors about the lukewarm press coverage that he received during his recent visit to the US was unwarranted, rather motivated. Some of these detractors suffer from pathological anti-Modi ‘foot-in-the-mouth’ disease. It clearly escaped their good sense that for the first time an American President wrote a ‘joint editorial’ with the visiting prime minister of India in a leading US daily.

The import of the joint editorial was that the two leaders were to do business as equals, a major departure from the ‘patron-client’ or ‘benefactor-beneficiary’ or ‘superior-subordinate’ relationship. This was possible because it is impossible to subvert Modi or leverage on him, for Modi has no background of World Bank (primarily a US dominated enterprise) nor he has undeserving or financially ambitious children to be settled in the West.

The evenness of the level of diplomatic discourse between the US and India was manifest in President Obama’s decision to have interlocution with Modi on not one but two occasions, and even more by his gesture of making an impromptu visit to accompany his guest at the memorial of Martin Luther King. It was also evident from the body-language of the two leaders. Few years back, the sight of an American President putting his arms indulgingly round an elderly Indian Prime Minister rocked the confidence of Indians.

President Obama was dealing with an Indian Prime Minister steeped in Indian civilization, possessing fierce but pragmatic nationalism, and character – neither weakened by his station nor by the punishing ‘Navratra’ fast.

Mr Modi spoke at the UN General Assembly on various issues including the need to alter the very character of our present international system to include G-All and a role for troop contributing nations in UN Peace Keeping Missions in decision making. The canvas of his UN speech included all regions, i.e. South Asia, West Asia, Africa, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia. He spoke about terrorism, rivalry in space and cyber space. His canvas also included technology, energy security and environment. He utilized the forum to reach out to Pakistan and reiterated that talks cannot be conducted in the shadow of terror. If the intent was benign, the message was stern.

The fact is that Mr Modi visited US after his visit to Japan and immediately in the wake of hosting the Chinese President Xi Jinping, served as formidable diplomatic leverage. In the prevailing geopolitical situation, India’s weight can decide the scales of US-Japan-South Korea-Vietnam alliance vis-à-vis China-Pakistan-North Korea. To the US, India’s strategic stance is also decisive with regard to the geopolitical evolution of Russia. Mr Modi played these strategic leverages deftly and with consummate diplomatic skill.

Mr Modi, unlike most former prime ministers, has not been duplicitous in dealing with Israel. He met the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN meet. This meeting between prime ministers of the two countries was after a gap of 10 years. In addition to the perspectives of the two countries on the situation in West Asia, defence cooperation was also on the agenda. Significantly, Mr Modi invited Israel to setup defence industries in India and be part of ‘make in India’ programme. It may be mentioned that India and Israel have a very robust relationship and currently bilateral trade stands at approximately dollars six billion. Therefore, Mr Modi has finally demolished the relationship between the two countries in what one Israeli diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid described: “…Israel was always the mistress in the sense that the relations were strong but everything was under the carpet and not public”.

One of the biggest achievements of Mr Modi was to emphasize on India’s security concerns with regard to Afghanistan. With great candour, Mr Modi during his speech at Council of Foreign Relations said: “I have requested the US to not make the same mistake as was made in Iraq, when American troops were withdrawn too quickly. The withdrawal process in Afghanistan should be very slow”. Fortunately, for India, the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between the US and the new dispensation led by President Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan has been signed. According to the BSA some 10,000 US troops can remain in Afghanistan from 01 January 2015 to end of 2024 ‘and beyond’. It may be mentioned that Afghanistan also signed a similar agreement with NATO on September 30, 2014 to allow 4,000 to 5,000 troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014.

Speaking on the scope of the BSA, President Obama said: “This agreement represents an invitation from the Afghan government to strengthen the relationship we have built over the past 13 years and provides our military service members the necessary legal framework to carry out two critical missions after 2014: targeting the remnants of al-Qaeda and training, advising, and assisting Afghan National Security Forces.”

The continued American presence in Afghanistan is of vital security interest to India. A sudden withdrawal by the US and its allies would have created a vacuum to the advantage of Pakistan. A geopolitical vacuum would have ushered in demonic forces like Al Qaeda and Taliban, to the detriment of India. As a consequence, Kashmir would have witnessed massive impetus to terrorism. The American presence may also ensure that the shift of epicenter of ‘global jihad’ is confined to the Iraq – Syria region only. It will also test the commitment of the US in dealing with the jihadi elements nurtured and supported by Pakistan. The former Afghan National Security Advisor Rangin Dafdar has aptly suggested: “If it’s legitimate to attack ISIS in Syria and Iraq even though it’s against international law, why is it not right to destroy the sanctuaries and bases of al-Qaida, Taliban and the Haqqani Network in Pakistan without UN permission?” The same logic can be posed that why cannot India act in a similar manner against the jihadi machines like LeT in Pakistan?

Probably and one sincerely hopes that the US has realized that Pakistan will continue to be mired in terrorism, violence, and instability. Rather Pakistan has nothing to offer but instability in the region. Pakistan’s instability becomes pernicious to the global community when considered in the backdrop of its nuclear weapons that may be eventually available to state (like Saudi Arabia) and non-state entities like Al Qaeda or even ISIS. Apart from Afghanistan, the Central Asian Countries and China too have much to worry about this instability being exported to them.

Again, Mr Modi did not mince his words when he said that there was a time in the early 90s, when the US refused to see terrorism being faced by India and labelled it as ‘law and order problem’.

The distinction that the Americans made between ‘terrorism’, ‘internal security’, and ‘law and order’ seems to have blurred. The joint-editorial by President Obama and PM Modi vindicates the Indian position, it says: “As global partners, we are committed to enhancing our homeland security by sharing intelligence, through counter-terrorism and law enforcement cooperation…”. The emphasis on homeland security by means of intelligence and physical (security forces) cooperation should not be missed. Homeland security in the Indian context implies ‘internal security’, which includes ‘proxy war’ by Pakistan. Law enforcement cooperation logically should include US cooperating with India to secure Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed.

Further the joint editorial also says: “… while we jointly work to maintain freedom of navigation and lawful commerce across the seas…”. This is more than veiled reference to preposterous claims by China in South China Sea, which is vital to Indian economy in respect of Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC) and energy investments in South China Sea at the behest of littoral countries like Vietnam.

A subverted lobby in India has been exaggerating and fabricating Chinese incursions in India in run-up during Mr Xi Jinping’s visit in India and later up to Mr Modi’s visit to the US. In an earlier article, this author had categorically asserted that the day the Prime Minister leaves for the US, the stories about ‘incursions’ will begin to attenuate. The purpose being solved, there is no wonder that these stories have died. What is abominable is that the subverted lobby can mislead Indians to such an extent based on ‘fabricated photographs of intrusions’.

While leverages to secure national interests is legitimate in diplomacy, statecraft demands that the imperatives imposed by geography, history and ethnicity of neighbours are not ignored. The subverted lobby, which had vested interests in fabricating incursions, got a befitting reply from Mr Modi during his question & answer session at the Foreign Affairs Council. When asked the loaded and mischievous question, whether India would accept a tribunal to mediate dispute between China and India, Mr Modi said: “I have good personal relations with Mr Xi Jinping and could resolve our differences by bilateral talks, which is going to be soon, we do not need tribunal”. This answer gives insight to the machinations of latest ‘Chinese incursion’ lobby.

India and the US extended the framework agreement for defence cooperation for a further 10 years. The US will cooperate as knowledge partner for India’s planned National Defence University. Mr Modi also said: “I want to welcome US defence companies to invest in India”. The emphasis obviously is on ‘make in India’.

This follows the government’s decisions to raise the FDI in defence sector from 26 to 49 percent. This is a major policy departure from the past, wherein India received most of its defence equipment through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. The FMS route has been fraught with anxieties and improbables for the buyer, despite dishing out valuable foreign exchange. The FMS route strictly involves ‘Cash-n-Carry’ and is averse to ‘transfer of technology’.

During the last regime, defence equipment worth US $ 10 billion was procured/under-consideration through FMS route. Most of these items like ANTPQ-37 fire founder counter battery artillery radar, C-130J, C-17, and Chinook and Apache helicopters (attack) are not priority items for the armed forces. The absences of the most critical items, inescapable for our national security are MMRCA and utility helicopters. The MMRCA deal with France has been stalled for the last two years at the culmination stage. Even as this article is being written a Cheetah helicopter of 60s vintage has crashed near Bareilly.

The procurement of 197 light-utility helicopters was cancelled, when it was about to fructify. It may be mentioned that the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters are the lifeline for troops in high altitude and Siachen, but they have surpassed the obsolete phase years ago. Which are the quarters responsible for this sabotage? Isn’t it queer that at the very time when there was apparently abysmal diplomatic acrimony between the US and India on Khobragade issue, India signed for acquisition of six more C-130J aircraft.

In run-up to Mr Modi’s visit, one media house, which has been spearheading the ‘Chinese incursion’ lobby, came out with an exclusive issue devoted to India’s dire defence needs. Indeed, there are! But most patriotic Indians should feel insulted when it is attributed that India is a $100 bn or $200 bn arms market. Our legitimate security concerns and requirements should not be allowed to reduce to ‘arms market’. Mr Modi, therefore, has made a tectonic shift by inviting US arms manufacturers to ‘make in India’.

The US deserves great respect for many of its accomplishments especially in the field of science and technology through people of diverse nationalities. India, however, in dealing with the US should not forget that the construct of that country is basically rests on the military-industrial complex. Its global strategic agenda is purely guided by the imperatives of the military-industrial complex. For instance, it would be naïve to think the American war on ISIS has no imperatives of manipulation of global oil prices. Nature has been very bountiful to India, but it is hugely energy deficit country. Its dependence on 80 percent of energy imports is a drag on the economy. It obviates most well intentioned measures towards reduction of budgetary deficit. Why should this deficit be further burdened by importing items that we can easily do without. Baby Johnson soap and powder, Lux, Fair & Lovely, Pepsi, potato chips and Iskcon – the assault by US is from ‘cradle to grave’. We need to introspect what should be imported and what we can do without.

(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a Guest Blogger with Canary Trap. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

US military/intelligence bases in India?

A recent report by an influential US thinktank has recommended establishing American military and intelligence facilities on Indian soil.

The report titled ‘Reorienting US Pakistan Strategy: From Af-Pak to Asia’ by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) states:

“In light of Pakistan’s geographic location, India is the obvious U.S. alternative to Afghanistan. In recent years, Washington and New Delhi have taken steps to expand their counterterror cooperation with the intention of building defenses against future attacks like the Lashkar-e-Taiba strike on Mumbai in November 2008. However, given persistent terrorist threats and Pakistan’s clear lack of capacity (and, in some cases, will) to tackle them, Washington would need to ramp up its efforts in India considerably, perhaps even to the point of establishing military and intelligence facilities on Indian soil.”

The report, authored by Daniel S. Markey (CFR senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia) recommends:

“Starting with the national security adviser to the prime minister of India, senior U.S. national security officials should begin to discuss options for significantly expanded counterterror cooperation with their Indian counterparts, up to and including the possibility of basing U.S. military and/or intelligence operatives in India to address Pakistan-based terrorist threats in a post-Afghanistan context. These conversations would be politically sensitive, so they should begin only after the next Indian government is elected in the spring. If diplomatic discussions make progress, the Pentagon should work with members of the U.S. intelligence community to develop specific implementation plans for on-the-ground operations in India.”

But the report also states that the plan may not actually work given the reluctance of the Indian political leadership to get into any “binding alliances”.

“Yet any such plan would immediately run up against India’s lingering ambivalence about tighter ties with the United States. A declared U.S. military/intelligence presence in India, even if directed against Pakistan-based security threats, is for now a political nonstarter in New Delhi, where Indian leaders jealously guard their freedom from binding alliances,” the report states.

The report recommends that: “To prepare for a likely scenario in which neither Afghanistan nor India offers adequate basing opportunities for U.S. military and intelligence operations directed against Pakistan-based security threats, the Pentagon and CIA should identify and develop alternative sites, most likely on the Arabian Peninsula and at sea, where such efforts can be sustained and expanded as necessary over the long run. The cost of these bases, while considerable, would be less than retaining facilities in a violence-plagued Afghanistan and less likely to arouse Pakistani fears than bases in India.”

Click here to read the entire report

Canary Trap had already pointed towards a possibility of proposed US bases in India in a post last year. Click here to read that post.

The Security of Aam Aadmi

BY RSN SINGH

Internal security and external security is solely predicated on the politics and the prevailing political chemistry of a country. Without security there can be no stability and consequently no development. The security discourse and foreign policy posturing of a country is therefore intrinsic to the politics and cannot be seen through different prisms.

At any point of history wars have yielded either new political discourse or new dispensations. Arguably, but for the World War-II, India’s independence from the British Rule could have been deferred by a period, which is open to conjecture. The Congress party’s nearly unchallenged status in the country began to attenuate after the 1962 war. Indira Gandhi’s political fortunes not only revived but soared after the 1971 war. Rajiv Gandhi’s unprecedented victory in 1984 was also a massive endorsement of the country’s government decisiveness in handling Pakistan sponsored terrorism in Punjab.

Since then, particularly after the end of Cold War following the defeat of Soviet forces in Afghanistan by jihadi war machine, created by the US and Pakistan, the nature of warfare has changed. Today’s wars shy away from conventional engagements and use proxy methods, which includes terrorism, to destabilize the target country, to further territorial and economic interests. These wars are called proxy wars or sub-conventional wars. The role of Intelligence Agencies in conduct of such wars is paramount. Such wars cannot be successful without subverting segments of population in the target country. The two main specimens of these segments in India are the jihadis in Kashmir and other parts of the country, and the Maoists. This kind of warfare critically relies on recruitment and indoctrination of so-called ‘intellectuals’.

Proxy war by its very nature thrives on political instability. In India’s Red Corridor, Kashmir and in the northeast; investment, infrastructure and social development are becoming increasingly difficult due to the resistance of those very subverted segments. This segment has unleashed a reign of terror on the population in nearly 40 percent of the Indian territory. Things have come to a pass wherein political parties have begun to transact vote-bank business with the perpetrators of terror. One ruling party of a particular state owes more than half the seats to the manipulation by Maoists. Another politician, the speaker of a Legislative Assembly, owes his legislative position to Maoists.

Similarly, there are enough reasons to believe that some politicians are being blackmailed by the ISI and Hafiz Saeed because of their hawala and other links. It was clearly evidenced when separatists in Kashmir met Sartaz Aziz, Nawaz Shariff’s envoy in Delhi. It was in evidence when Hafiz Saeed shared stage with Yasin Malik in Pakistan. It was also in evidence when certain mainstream politicians tried to label 26/11 as an act of so-called ‘Hindu terror’.

Politics and Stability

The main objective of perpetrators of proxy war and agents of subversion is therefore to cause and perpetuate a state of instability in the target country. Any political outfit, which propagates instability for political reasons or as a matter of political faith is ‘anti-national’, because instability results in insecurity of the ‘aam aadmi’.

India after careful and great deliberation chose the Westminster model of democracy. A hung parliament and assembly is not an unusual occurrence. Cobbling of a majority is a political compulsion based on national and imperatives of the ‘aam aadmi’. Those who decry the Indian democracy, which includes the NRIs should reflect on the bitter and fractious nature of politics in other so called matured democracies, such as in Britain, US, Japan, Israel or Italy. Britain today has one of the most unthinkable coalitions. The last victory of Obama is a matter of fierce debate in the US. Italy has had nearly two-dozen governments in last three decades.

Suspected or alleged immoral considerations or transactions cannot be allowed to derail the very basis of Constitutional and patriotic responsibility. No party, which is patriotic and prides in democracy would prefer instability for reasons of growth. This is what Yogendra Yadav has consistently maintained.

The internal forces of instability in India are jihadis and their proxies, the Maoists and their over-ground activists, and external forces vying for influence in the country for economic and other reasons. The interface of these forces with the ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ will be discussed in detail in the succeeding paras based on unimpeachable evidence.

Sinister design of anti-national activism

A very cogent anti-corruption movement was launched in India for bringing back the Indian money in Swiss Banks. This was not merely a rhetoric but entirely achievable because many countries during the same period had been able to arm-twist the Swiss authorities in recovering the illegitimate money. This was also a period when one mega scam after another, each overtaking the other in magnitude, had hit the Indian mind and caused revulsion for the ruling dispensation. This movement had the potential to dislodge the government. Now the moot question is where was the need of another movement?

In the first week of April 2011, Anna Hazare sat on hunger strike at Jantar Mantar demanding a Lokpal Bill. The ‘aam aadmi’ of the country till then and even now never contemplated this bill, but they definitely wanted the Swiss Bank money back to the country. The Lokpal Bill entailed a tortuous Constitutional process but recovering the Swiss Bank money, given the international environment then was far more convenient. It is not so any longer. The very aim of the Lokpal movement it seems was to kill the movement for Swiss Bank money. Anna Hazare was very-very feeble in raising a demand for this money. Who orchestrated this?

Though the Indians were still figuring out the import of Lokpal Bill, the movement had its ripples in London, Glasgow, New Jersey, Paris and Huston. But for this new movement by Anna, the government would have never dared to go for a mid-night crack-down on Baba Ramdev’s movement exactly two months later. Lokpal Bill had neutralized the ‘movement’ over black money in Swiss Banks, but not completely.

Anna movement and US factor

During the same period, i.e. in April 2011, the US lost out on MMRCA F-16 deal. The $11 billion contract was critical for the US to generate jobs, as the country was going through unprecedented downturn of its economy. The US felt that it was politically outmaneuvered by its less deserving rivals. The then Ambassador to US in India Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer said that he was ‘deeply disappointed’ and resigned citing personal reasons. The grapevine in informed circles was that the Americans had decided to teach India a lesson through its ‘Agency’ in India. This is again a matter of conjecture but it is an established fact that when Ambassador Timothy left India, there was no replacement for a period of eight months, i.e. June 2011 to first week of February 2012. Mr Albert Peter Burleigh was Chargé d’affaires during that period. Never in the history of Indo-US relations such a glaring diplomatic hiatus had been witnessed ,not even during 71 War when the US openly sided with Pakistan. There have been 23 American Ambassadors to India since Independence. All of them barring Mr Burleigh carried the designation of ‘Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary’.

Such long absence of an American ambassador in India was unthinkable because of India’s geopolitical importance and geo-strategic location in South Asia and the Indian Ocean. This was also at a time when the so-called ‘war against terrorism’ had not abated in the strategic agenda of the US in which India was a declared partner.

In the third week of August 2011, Anna Hazare again launched his Lokpal Bill movement from Ramlila Ground. It was during the same period when the Arab Spring had hit one country after another, i.e. Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Morocco and Syria. Most of these had similar signatures, which many analysts allegedly attribute to the Americans. The same method of wielding flags, the same use of musical groups, the same mobilization techniques by internet and similar methods of logistics was clearly discernible. There were allegations that the key figures of these protests including in Tahrir Square in Egypt were trained in Western countries or by their Embassies. It may be mentioned that the second largest US Embassy with some 400 personnel in the world is in Cairo.

I would request the readers to compare the visuals of Arab Spring, Ramdev’s agitation and Anna’s protest at Ramlila. The visuals of Tahrir Square and Anna’s protest at Ramlila are so similar that one can confuse on the flags in the first instance. The parallel was too uncannily similar, rather a vulgar replication. Again in this protests any clamour for recovering black money from Swiss Banks was conspicuously absent. The government got a reprieve from imminent fall, solely attributable to the new agenda i.e the tortuous Lokpal Bill which eclipsed the agitation for recovery of black money abroad.

The entire proceedings at Ramlila got a 24×7 coverage by the media for more than 10 days. Two media channels, one foreign owned and the other government funded pioneered the strategy and the rest had no choice but to follow for reasons of TRP. Never in the history of India,any movement or protest had got such sustained media traction. This had a unimaginable amplification effect. It is therefore wrong to suggest that ‘aam aadmi party’ is a new unknown phenomenon.

The spokesman for US State Department Victoria Nuland blamed “some extremely inaccurate reporting out of India” for Indians taking umbrage over the US stand on Anna Hazare’s protest. She said: “with regard to the case (Hazare), however you know where we are. We support freedom of expression and assembly and we encourage all countries and all parties to do same. All democratic government have responsibility to allow peaceful protest and freedom of dissent even as they work to maintain public safety”.

This is the same US which had jailed Charlie Chaplin for his communist leanings. One wonders as to how the US would react if there were to be Anna type prolonged sit-in protest by thousands of Americans in the vicinity of White House for change in the form of American democracy i.e. from presidential system to parliamentary system, or if Anna were to replicate a Jantar Mantar with NRIs for repatriation of Union Carbide officials responsible for Bhopal Gas tragedy. It may be mentioned that that Anna, recipient of American funded Magsaysay award was in the US in August this year and was accorded star status by NRIs in the India Day celebrations.

Arvind Kejriwal too, after being conferred with Magsaysay award in 2006 had gone on a long lecture tour to US. The list of Magsaysay awardees also includes Kejriwal’s mentor Aruna Roy. Another Anna associate Kiran Bedi is also the recipient of the said award. Prashant Bhushan, a former Anna ideologue and founder member of AAP party has also done his post-graduation at Princeton University in the US and is a regular visitor to the country. So the American imprint on the leadership of Anna movement and the AAP party is very strong.

Kejriwal not a bolt from blue

Kejriwal was far from an unknown commodity to the government when he first infiltrated Ramdev movement, then recruited Anna in his Lokpal movement as the leader, and then politically hijacked it. Aruna Roy of the National Advisory Council (NAC) has actually nurtured Kejriwal in his career as a professional activist. Sandeep Dixit has also been his close associate in an NGO for several years. It is rather strange and despicable to put banners at the back of auto rickshaws calling a friend’s mother ‘beimaan’. There are many conspiracy theories, but it is undeniable that the members of NAC associated with Kejriwal are all Left leaning and alleged Maoist sympathisers and so was the case with majority of the close aides of Anna before the split with Kejriwal. Now the Maoist segment forms part of AAP.

Some analysts are of the belief that close aides of Anna (before the split) combined in them the agenda of external forces out to destabilize India and political manipulators within, who were desperate to stave the threat to government posed by the Ramdev’s movement against corruption and repatriation of Indian money from Swiss banks. Plausibly Kejriwal and his coterie had exceeded the brief given by political manipulators within the government; but their external benefactors, which includes larger than party and government elements within, had different long term plans. These elements within the NAC which does not share its agenda with the government and the State, were responsible for foisting of Binayak Sen in a health committee of the planning commission no sooner he was granted bail. He has been charged for assisting the Maoists in ways more than one.

Swami Agnivesh’s lament on phone that the Anna team had gone mad like wild elephants and were no longer amenable should be seen in this backdrop. It was caught on camera. The same can be viewed by clicking on the link here: Swami Agnivesh betrayed Anna Hazare sensational video exposed by News24

Forces of Destablisation

The two most vicious proxies of external forces of destabilization in India are the Jihadis and the Maoists. The Jihadis are the proxy soldiers of Pakistan who feed on religious fundamentalism. The Maoists are not only the proxy soldiers of China as is generally understood, they also draw their sustenance from Church organisations and the Western world. In 2008,he killing of social worker Laxminanda Saraswati was allegedly engineered by the Church through Christian Maoists. In March 2012, again in Odhisa two Italian tourist, Bousco Paolo and Claudio Colangelo, in a poorly staged drama got themselves abducted, to be used as bargaining chip for release of other Maoist leaders. Later in April 2012, a group of ten French tourists were deported from Bihar for their collusion with the Maoists. In November 2012 an International Conference in Support of Peoples War in India was held at Hamburg in Germany and was attended by delegates of more than two dozen countries. Members of European Commission swooped on the Chhattisgarh to watch trial of Binayak Sen. It was a blatant insult to India, but such is the level of blackmail and influence the West that goes beyond the Indian establishment, that it did not even whimper.

The congruency of agenda of Jihadis, Maoists and their international benefactors, has impelled them to collaborate. The US and the West has been using all these leverages to destabilize countries to further their strategic and economic interests. The US supported the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Al-Qaeda in Syria (Al Nusra) and Iraq. It has been using ultra-leftist groups to destablise target countries in Latin America and South America. The umbrella organization of ultra-leftist groups, ‘International Revolutionary Movement’, is headquartered in Chicago.

The overwhelming presence and influence of alleged Maoists and their over-ground activists in Team Anna was palpable. Later these elements drifted to AAP. The US imprint on AAP has already been discussed. To arrive at a proper assessment is imperative that the views of AAP on other destablising forces like Jihadis, Separatists, Pakistan, Terrorism and Islamic Fundamentalists are also considered.

On Batla House encounter Kejriwal categorically says that it was fake and questions the sacrifice of security forces only to tone it down later. To hear his belief click on the links here: Batla Encounter was a fake – Arvind Kejriwal

Prashant Bhushan’s pro-Maoist proclivities and posturing has been witnessed many times on television. At the peak of Anna agitation the views expressed by him on Kashmir on television were shocking. He was administered some rough treatment by young patriots for his separatist remarks. Subsequently he tried to mitigate his statement which had no takers. His clarification was unconvincing and can be heard here.

Members of AAP have never responded on questions on Maoism, Jihadi Terror and Pakistan. Insinuations have been made about their links with jihadi outfits in Pakistan and Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt through fundamentalist groups in India. Arvind Kejriwal in fact took umbrage when queried about his approach on Pakistan and terror. His hostility to the queries on security of India can be heard by clicking on the link here.

Kejriwal has been hobnobbing with Islamic Fundamentalists to further his political career. His political transaction with a rabid Islamic Fundamentalist, Tauqeer Raza Khan, accused of spreading communal hostility, can be gleaned by viewing the video here.

Conclusion

Whatever the actual conduct, at the core of a political party is its nationalist ideology, which is accepted or rejected by the people during elections, depending the manner in which translates into governance. A political party which does not divulge its foreign policy and security agenda is anti-national.

Any political party which relies on country’s instability for growth is anarchist and anti-national. Activism can be national and anti-national, creative and destructive. Negative and anti-national activism destroys concepts of hard work, production and progress. It creates cynicism amongst the populace and negates demographic dividends. This is what the inimical forces are doing to India through their proxies which include terrorist outfits, NGOs and political parties. If the agenda of AAP was purely nationalistic it would have never split from Anna.

A number of organisations like the RSS, Bharat Swabhiman Manch and Art of Living made the Anna agitation in Ramlila Maidan in Delhi and their absence wrecked it in Mumbai. Each of these organisations departed suspecting the political and anti-national agenda of the core members who now constitute AAP.

To know the consequences of instability and anarchy caused by subverted extremists one has to look only at Nepal wherein the forces of destabilization were the same as in India. The people realized the anti-national agenda of the Maoists and have thrown them out in the recent elections. The disaffection caused by the Maoists, nevertheless, continues to cost something as basic as Constitution in Nepal.

(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a Guest Blogger with Canary Trap)

Possibility of political assassinations?

Prime Minister Manmohan SinghBY RSN SINGH

It is blasphemous for any prime minister to express apprehension in a public meeting that the elections in the country he governs may be disrupted by inimical elements. He must have been compelled to make statement to this effect because of the sheer weight of the inputs provided to him through intelligence and diplomatic channels. The manifestation of this threat was evident during the BJP’s rally in Patna in end October this year, wherein half a dozen people lost their lives and about 100 sustained injuries. Their only fault was that they had chosen to attend the political rally of a leader whom Pakistan and its tentacles in India do not endorse.

From which quarters did the Prime Minister implied the threat? Was it the Maoists or jihadi groups from Pakistan or both? Or is it the ISI-jihadi combine of that country? The same country which the Prime Minister has been indulgent towards despite the architect of 26/11 enjoying political patronage! The same country which beheads our soldiers and then has the gumption to send its prime minister on a pilgrimage to India? The same country which dispatched Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff’s advisor to India to brazenly confabulate with the separatists of Kashmir. All these were facilitated by the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh. An attack on Indian election process is the ultimate target for the enemies of India. It is the moral duty of the leader of a country to mitigate and then downplay such threats when interacting with the people. His admission of the threat therefore is a commentary on the vulnerabilities of the country, whose architect is none other but himself. It also reflects how incorrigible our security planners have become to gravest of provocations.

Why did the Prime Minister make this curious admission? Is it to psychologically prepare the people of India for the possibility of some high-profile assassinations by jihadi elements? Nothing is unthinkable in a country ruled by intrigues.

This tacit admission by the Prime Minister is in the same vain as that of Nehru when during the Chinese attack on India, he had made the famous remark: “My heart goes out to the people of Assam”. He was obliged to make such a statement because somewhere in his heart he felt guilty about the security vulnerabilities he had created because of his idealism, lack of statecraft and pathological hatred for people in uniform. In that he had a conceited and garrulous associate, left leaning Mr VK Krishna Menon. In the present dispensation under Manmohan Singh, it is not ‘hatred’, but the factor of politicization and subversion of the security apparatus and the instruments of governance that has brought this country to this pass.

India is a sum total of its states. Nobody should know it better than an economist prime minister who was expected to dedicate himself to further the cause of nation-building. But the dispensation he leads at the Center began to bribe, promote, reward and subvert corrupt and anti-national elements in the government of the constituent states’ purely for political expediency. As a consequence the economic and security apparatus crumbled. This has been the bane of India under Manmohan Singh.

A police officer demanding blackberry phone from a political party will be a scum under any dispensation. An officer who bargains his bail in exchange of some official documents with a predator Central Government that treats some state governments as ‘prey’, will remain a blackmailer all through his career. An IAS officer of a state when sacked for corruption choses to politically scheme with vested interests at the highest levels in the Central Government to wriggle his way out of corruption charges is intrinsically disloyal, even to his family. Treating them as political assets is myopic and no patriotic prime minister should allow it.

The Manmohan Singh dispensation has given an exceptional impetus to the culture of creating crooks, cronies and careerists in the states. Some ‘Center-friendly’ Indian states have been used solely for political funding and crony capitalism, and most have been used for creating so-called ‘Hindu terror’. While the states the Center perceives to be inimical are being hounded for being tough on terror. In this regard, the Ishraat Jahan case is glaring.

The Prime Minister therefore has no right to bemoan the threat to the election process.

This mode of subversion is not only confined to the bureaucracy and the police, but has been extended to the Armed Forces and intelligence agencies. There are insinuations that pliable service chiefs have been used to manipulate the defence budget and procurement schedules, and have been accordingly rewarded. One service chief is widely believed to have bought his post-retirement sinecure. The level of subversion of the governance apparatus was at its acme in the run-up to the Indo-US nuclear deal. A senior journalist close to the government was heard bragging as to how he made all media houses fall in line in support of the deal.

The art of subversion was adopted even before Manmohan Singh was ‘selected’ as the Prime Minister. It began with the subversion of set of journalists. A comprehensive conspiracy was hatched in Lutyen’s Delhi and the country for the first time was witness to sting operation in journalism. The idea was to target the then ruling party and its main ally by ‘creating’ vulnerabilities in individuals and institutions. They did not find it easy to succeed. They were being stonewalled at many levels. A party leader was pestered, literally implored to accept rupees one lakh, saying ‘sir, please sir, for party fund sir, please sir’ and so on. If these journalists were patriotic they would have been proud about his refusal in the first instance.

This party leader indeed put the amount into the party fund. The legality part is not an issue here. Fundamentally, this was a journalistic crime because it was not seeking out vulnerabilities but creating them desperately. Journalism in India has never been the same since then. The main architect and the conspirator of the sting operation went on to own a weekly magazine. He collected many other subverted characters, some of them patronized by jihadis and Maoists. It is therefore not at all surprising that the main architect this time chose to outrage the modesty of a girl, who looked upon him as a father figure. For those who believe, it is a vindication of phenomenon of natural justice.

Too many people, some very honourable, were trapped by these so called ‘investigative journalists’. Investigative journalism involves seeking or ferreting documents or inputs. Merely being a receptor of documents and inspired leaks doled out by subverted government functionaries for materialistic considerations is an anti-national and lecherous activity.

Mr Prime Minister, politics under your dispensation has hit such a low that the State has begun to denigrate surveillance as snooping activity on selective basis. The vitiated political culture is destroying the sanctity and anonymity of even married women subjected to sexual crimes in different ways. If an IAS officer persists in trailing a girl of his daughter’s age, is it not legitimate to institute surveillance on him and his target victim? Sustained surveillance is an imperative to obtain details and for the purpose of legal framework against the offender, especially the high-profile ones. The CIA plant in RAW, Ravinder Singh was put under surveillance for many months. If the degradation of institutions and professions had not taken place, this shameless and corrupt IAS officer would not have been entertained on television channels.

Mr Prime Minister, do you agree with some of your party colleagues that Batla House Encounter was fabricated? If you do not, will you kindly issue a public statement. Mr Prime Minister, do you agree that so called ‘Hindu terror’ is more serious than ‘jihadi terror’? This contention is attributed to second most important functionary of your party in the Wikileaks. Mr Prime Minister, why did you allow members of the European Commission to descend on Raipur to watch the trial of Binayak Sen? You must answer some of these questions and then tell the nation who is out to disrupt elections in India and who has created the conditions.

And finally the last question that tests the very basis of modern India: Do you as a ‘selected’ prime minister suffer from any pangs when popularly elected, patriotic and conscientious Chief Ministers of the country you govern are vilified and demonized for being vigilant and prompt in tackling terror?

(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a Guest Blogger with Canary Trap)

Nitish Kumar’s special package from Pakistan?

BY RSN SINGH

In December 2012, the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, visited Pakistan. The fact that the main perpetrator of 26/11 attack, Hafiz Saeed, is being treated as a ‘national hero’ did not deter Nitish Kumar and various other delegations from India to Pakistan. Those political leaders keen to visit Pakistan have all but abandoned any pretense of even a modicum of empathy for the victims of Mumbai attack. Are the jihadi terrorists therefore only based in Pakistan?

This author is at loss to fathom the reasons for Nitish Kumar to undertake a tour to a country with which Bihar shares no borders. Did he go to Pakistan to learn lessons of ‘secularism’? Did he visit Pakistan to elicit Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) or was the purpose to get ‘special package’ (Vishesh Rajaya Darza) from the federal authorities based in Islamabad? The plausible reason could be ‘special package of vote-bank’. If going to Pakistan were to enhance vote-banks then the idea of Indian nation-state is over.

In an interview to a TV channel the CM implied that following LK Advani’s commentary on Jinnah during his visit to Jinnah’s mausoleum in Karachi, the latter’s secular credentials could not be doubted. At this juncture, it will be worthwhile to briefly recount why Jinnah wanted Pakistan. On 23 March 1940, Jinnah in his address to the Lahore Session of the All India Muslim League said: “We are a nation of a hundred million, and what is more, we are a nation with our distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of value and proportion, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and tradition, aptitude and emotions; in short we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all canons of international law, we are a nation”.

Now look at the abysmal level of religious discourse that Jinnah entertained. Mrs K L Rallia Ram, an Indian Christian, founder of Indian Social Congress, who supported the cause of Pakistan wrote to Jinnah on 22 September 1946 from Lahore: “I wish you can also win over Sikhs. But the difficulty is that the Hindus are trying their level best to keep the Sikhs to themselves to fight their battles with Muslims. Hindus are morally and physically a coward race and so they want Sikhs to act as their militia. Do you know that 4000 Hindus left Murree two days before when somebody gave out that Muslims would create trouble”.

In the same interview, the Chief Minister boasted about Imran Khan’s laudatory comments about Bihar’s developmental model. It is yet another matter that Imran Khan is yet to prove his mettle in governance. His politics has been absolutely communal and undemocratic even by Pakistan’s standards. Both he and Nawaz Shariff partnered with the most rabid fundamentalist parties/organizations during the recent General Elections. The relatively secular parties like the Pakistan’s Peoples’ Party (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP), particularly the latter, were so intimidated that most of their supporters chose life over votes. The leader of the ANP said that while other parties were counting votes, we were counting dead bodies. Imran’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has formed government Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province with the support of radical outfit Jamat-e-Islami.

With this kind of untimely, uncalled and illogical romance with Pakistan, is it surprising that the northern parts of Bihar are emerging as the strong hold of the ISI backed terrorists outfits. The culprit of the most obnoxious and provocative act of kicking the ‘Jai Jawan Memorial’ in Mumbai was finally traced to the same region.

The apathy of politicians is not only confined to the victims of jihadi terrorism. The Bihar chief minister continued with his political yatra even as a passenger train was attacked by the Maoists. To top it all, he chose to give ‘political interviews’ to a series of television channels on a day when thousands were reported dead and several thousands were oscillating between life and death in one of the most revered Indian pilgrimage axis in Uttarakhand. A substantial number, including one of the former cabinet colleagues of the Chief Minister, were from Bihar. At least 30 percent were still battling death. If this is politics and political acumen, shame on our parliamentary democracy!

What was Osama bin Laden to the Americans, Hafiz Saeed is to India. Only a few days ago, the Punjab government in Pakistan, headed by Shahbaz Shariff (Nawaz Shariff’s brother) announced a grant-in-aid of Rs.61 million in the current fiscal to Hafiz Saeed’s Markaz-e-Taiba, ostensibly for setting up a knowledge park. The said organization was rechristened after the UN Security Council designated the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a front organization of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in the wake of Mumbai attacks. The funding to the LeT, which is an armed organ of the ISI is no more covert but open.

The common Indian is befuddled about the flirtation of the Indian establishment with Hafiz Saeed. The Home Minister alludes to him as ‘Hafiz Sahab’, a delegation of Hurriyat leaders are given visa to confabulate with him, and brazenly in Pakistan Hafiz Saeed is allowed to share dias with Yaseen Malik, another separatist leader! No questions are asked about this from Yaseen Malik.

Was America wrong in targeting Osama bin Laden and are we right in indulging with the perpetrator of 26/11? This is for the Prime Minister to answer because he knows both the American establishment and Indian establishment equally well.

Why some of our politicians are so afraid of Hafiz Saeed? Does he blackmail them? Was he used for staging 26/11 in the bid to balance jihadi terror with so called ‘Hindu terror’? Ajmal Kasab’s love for life probably spoilt the script!

Why the desperate emphasis on Ishrat Jahan, an established LeT operative? At whose behest? The desperation could not have been more indicative than in the CBI summoning a Special Director of IB for questioning. The job of Intelligence officials is to disseminate intelligence to designated consumers, and it is done after thorough internal appraisal and vetting process. This development is unprecedented in Independent India and hereafter the apolitical character of Intelligence organizations will be in question.

In yet another case of the Malegaon blast in 2006, the investigation of the Maharastra ATS and the CBI has been nearly overturned by the NIA. As a consequence, all the nine accused are clamoring for release from prison on the grounds that NIA has already labeled the incident as the handiwork of so-called ‘Hindu terrorists’.  Will NIA now prosecute the CBI and the Maharashtra ATS?

Mr B Raman, unarguably India’s best Intelligence analyst, had decried the creation of the non-existent phenomenon called ‘Hindu terror’.  In an article where he disabused this fabrication, he was visited by some most unsavory comments. Some of the respondents went on to the extent of labeling him as a BJP ideologue looking for sinecures in case the party came to power. A completely distraught Raman blogged that he was in terminal stages of cancer and the only sinecure was the ‘inevitable’. Mr B Raman departed for the heavenly abode on 16 June 2013.

CBI versus Intelligence Bureau, NIA versus CBI and ATS – the country’s intelligence apparatus is being wrecked not by external forces, but by inimical forces within.

The ISI has been funding politicians earlier. In the intelligence circles the identity of these politicians are very well known. Has the ISI found new recruits?

(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a guest blogger for Canary Trap)

After attacks, Afghan endgame seems more of a mirage

BY SAEED NAQVI

Do the latest attacks by the Taliban on government buildings, Western embassies and military bases across four provinces bear some resemblance to the dramatic attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental hotel in June last year? In fact the intercontinental attack was probably more telegenic – blazing flames, billowing smoke. Let us also not forget last September’s attack on the US embassy, then, as now, directed from construction blocks.

In these instances the message from Haqqani network based in Pakistan’s north-west was: look we’re still around. Dare you script scenarios for Taliban being in the power structure without us?

The earlier attack linked up with the arrest in Karachi in February 2010 of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban commander who led the Quetta Shura and directed operations from Pakistan. The arrest was ordered because Baradar was engaged in conversations with the CIA which Pakistani intelligence chanced upon. In other words, neither the CIA nor Baradar had kept Islamabad in the loop on the talks which could have a bearing on the future power structure in Kabul. This has been something of an anathema for the Pakistan establishment.

And now talks with Taliban have been launched in Qatar, not quite Pakistan’s preferred rendezvous. Meanwhile, President Hamid Karzai is huddled with US officials on the Strategic Document where the fine print is being read carefully by the skeptics on what, for instance, is the understanding on “night raids” to be carried out by Afghans with US troops playing a support role.

Americans have, in spells, been hated in Afghanistan, but over the years other hate objects had come into focus – Pakistan, for instance. But the burning of the Quran at the Bagram base, Marines urinating on dead Afghans, posing for pictures with mangled bodies, the gruesome murder in Kandahar of 16 people mostly women and children by “a group of US servicemen” according to the Chief of Operations of the Afghan National Army, Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi – all these have raised Anti Americanism to fever pitch. Americans insist only one serviceman was involved in the mindless massacre. In other words negotiating anything with Americans in an atmosphere of feverish Anti Americanism depletes whatever goodwill President Karzai has.

In these circumstances, Karzai has to prepare himself for the high table at the NATO summit on May 20 to 21, focused on Afghanistan. President Obama is determined to show the Chicago Meet as his successful management of the withdrawal process from Afghanistan. But how? Drawdown, reduce, withdraw are terms being used for what the US will do with its troops in Afghanistan. I doubt if a cogent withdrawal strategy can be given shape in a month when the Summit is due. The situation on the ground in Afghanistan, leave alone Pakistan, is in total disrepair.

The irony is that in a region of such noisy anti-Americanism, there is no regime which is actually interested in the US departing from Afghanistan, whatever the public postures.

President Karzai would have difficulty surviving in Kabul without US protection.

Iran would be happy to watch the Americans embroiled in crises and not, with pruned numbers, comfortable and settled in their bases. Would Pakistan like to lose its “frontline” status with the US depending on supply routes through its territory and those billions of dollars. On current showing, relations between Washington and Islamabad are hopelessly bad. Can they sort out the rules of engagement, a prohibition in unilateral military action which includes drone attack?

Russians too have tossed their hat in the ring. They are willing to open up Lenin’s birth place, Ulyanovsk, as a supply base for the Americans so that they remain pinned down in Afghanistan and end poppy cultivation in Helmand because Russia has become not just a transit route for drugs but also an end consumer. This could also be the Russian olive branch to the US for balance of power because Moscow probably feels uncomfortable playing second fiddle when Moscow and Beijing move in concert as at the UN recently.

Yes, there will be some withdrawal agenda discussed in Chicago but the real policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan will only be delineated when the new administration takes charge in Washington in November.

(Saeed Naqvi is senior Indian journalist, television commentator, interviewer, and a Distinguished Fellow at Observer Research Foundation. Mr. Naqvi is also a mentor and a guest blogger with Canary Trap)