Wednesday, May 25, 2011

why is the pak navy being targeted -- via a certified whacko

I received this from 'international professor' -- a nutjob, a whacko for sure -- but one thing stood out -- in recent days people keep asking why the navy, why target the navy -- part of his longer email, reproduced below, i think explains why the navy is being targeted -- read and see for yourself

Naval base PNS Mehran was sold like Shamsi air base

International Professor

Some months ago U.S. administration awarded “Legion of Merit” to Admiral Noman Bashir, people astonished that what kind of links Pakistan Navy has with war of terror, because Pakistan’s areas chosen by U.S. for operational purposes like Swat, Malakand and FATA or outside Pakistan like Afghanistan have no links with sea.

Most people are not aware of the fact that Pakistan Navy is fighting U.S. war of terror like Pakistan army and Pakistan air force devotedly and its mercenaries services are mostly outside boundaries of Pakistan.

According to Associated Press dated: Jan 04, 2011 the Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleman addressing the 94th officers commissioning parade held at Pakistan Naval Academy (PNA) on Monday said “The geo-political situation has undergone radical changes especially over the past few years. Pakistan today stands committed in the war against terrorism”. He commended participation of Pakistan Navy in Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP). He said that the opportunity to command Combined Task Force -150 four times by PN is a testimony of their professional excellence. Pakistan Navy has been entrusted with the onerous command of Combined Task Force 151 in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin to deter and disrupt piracy for the benefit of all nations.

What is Combined Task Force 150 & 151?

The Combined Task Force 150 was established under doctrine of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001, including naval forces from U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. The major assignments to task force are together with maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
In 2004 the US Defence approved seven P-3C Orion aircrafts with the cost of round US $ one billion, two of these were delivered in April 2010, total current strength was between 5-7, out of two destroyed in yesterday’s terrorist attack. Siege of Iranian navy is also an unwritten assignment.

Other activities:

Following few media reports confirms that Pakistan Navy was under control of Fifth U.S. fleet stationed at Bahrain.

July 15, 2007: Pakistan Navy to take charge of Combined Task Force 150 in Gulf. This would be for the second time that Pakistan would get the command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) of the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan on Aug 1 for four months.

While two other units handle the Gulf, CTF-150s 15 vessels also patrol an area that includes the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

November 04, 2011: Admiral Noman Bashir, was the chief guest on the occasion. “Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan and CTF-151 is a step towards regional and global security”. The Naval Chief said that Pakistan is committed to root out terrorism from the country.
Earlier, Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Abbas Raza while giving a detailed account of fleet activities apprised that during 2010, PN ships conducted exercises with various navies including France, USA, UK, Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia.

BBC: Personnel from a Plymouth-based Royal Navy warship have been training with the Pakistan Navy. HMS Cornwall and the Pakistan warship PNS Shahjahan met in the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea. HMS Cornwall is involved in sea security throughout the Middle East, and crews from both warships exchanged skills when they met.

March 09. 2011: The speakers added that Pakistan was the only regional country to have been entrusted with the command of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF) 151 in addition to that of CTF 150. The overall goal was to ensure security of sea lanes and the overall maritime commons for safe use by all nations, they said.

Pakistan Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Abbas Raza said that Pakistan Navy’s initiative of multinational exercise Aman-11 was an effort that would surely improve response, tactics and procedures to enhance interoperability in joint operating environment. The exercise was focused on combating and countering all illegal activities, particularly in North Arabian Sea which was very critical to future energy security and served as lifeline of world energy economies, he added.

Admiral Abbas said that crime and terrorism were not confined to specific boundaries rather their effects were felt all over the world. This also has the potential to create an impact on maritime trade of the region and of the world. He said that use of sea routes by terrorists, human trafficking, smuggling and piracy were major concerns

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New info on OBL raid -- how could the Pakistanis not have known?

AP's "intelligence writer" quotes US officials briefed on the OBL operation that "Five aircraft flew from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, with three school-bus-size Chinook helicopters landing in a deserted area roughly two-thirds of the way to bin Laden's compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad".

Is this the vague reference made in the in-camera briefing by a senior PAF official that Kala Dhaka was also used -- the area northwest of Abbottabad, Oghi, Black Hills, Kala Dhaka, is remote and deserted -- so the Americans were able to land in a deserted area of Mansehra district and use that as a base, so to speak, to launch the Abbotabad operation -- surely all this couldn't have happened with no one in the PAF, or air traffic control finding out -- is becoming increasingly difficult to believe that the Pakistanis knew nothing about this -- yes I know this may seem an irrelevant question now, but if they did know and they are lying about it, this would be the smoking gun, so to speak

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

who would have written this nonsense?

We get lots of unsolicited articles and letters every day -- 10 marks for guessing who wrote this

Method in the madness


There, ironically, is a group in Pakistan which hates two As (Allah and Army) but loves to flirt with another A (America). To them, army is responsible for everything wrong in this country. These ultra liberals (self acclaimed though) are busy deriding and ridiculing armed forces with frothing mouths on Abbottabad incident. But as they say, there is a method in their madness. In an apparent attempt to criticize armed forces in the wake of US operation, they are raising few questions which do not require answers after scholarly pursuits. These few queries can be dismissed by an ordinary mind. But, alas, common sense is not what they aspire to propagate. It’s their love to hold tail coats of USA that drives them to miss the obvious.

The Abbottabad operation by American SEALs is a failure of intelligence. It cannot be defended. But more than intelligence it is also failure of state policy which treated USA as an ally in war against terror. If now we feel betrayed and humiliated, there is dire need to review our state policy on this issue. Everything else will flow and follow from declared policy. Had our state policy about USA been clear, we would not have faced such a situation. All is not lost and we can recover out of this unenviable situation. But let us stop for a while to address some of the plain truths which are becoming casualty of this war of propaganda.

Nations raise various state institutions and organs to address specific needs. Through deliberate process of continuous pondering, nature and scope of these state organs keep changing. When Pakistan was created, we were faced an immense task of rehabilitating hordes of refugees. The department of evacuee property was raised to address this specific problem. Six decides down, it is no more relevant, so it has seized to exist. To mitigate the sufferings of affectees of 2005 earthquake, Pakistan formed ERRA. It’s jurisdiction has now been expanded to cover the whole of country. It was however a response to a problem. That is the sign of a living nation that it knows how to address emerging issues. Armed forces of nations are again no exception to it. All nations have armed forces of varying sizes and capabilities. Most countries have forces to thwart foreign aggression. Some raise armed forces to fight internal dissensions. Yet few countries raise armed forces for ceremonial purposes. Common among all nations is the fact that armed forces are raised, equipped and maintained for specific reasons.

Take Indonesia for one. It cannot be invaded by any of its neighbours in right state of mind. Malaysia, Brunei and Australia can never expect to resolve an issue with Indonesia by use of violence. That brings Indonesian defence policymakers to few conclusions which translate into organization and capabilities of their armed forces. Indonesia, therefore, does not maintain an offensive capability. There army is mostly deployed in maintaining internal order and quelling any centrifugal tendencies.

Maldives has her armed forces with the purpose of mostly maintaining vigilance over their territorial waters. Strength of their forces, all components included, is no more than 3-4000 personnel. Maldives can barely defend its territory with such small force, let alone plan an aggression. But size, organization and capabilities of their armed forces is product of rationally thought out state policy. Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman do also maintain token armed forces but their role, perhaps is no more than ceremonial. No one expected Kuwaiti forces to put up last man-last bullet scenario against Iraqi aggression of 1990.

With this background information we come to the case of Pakistan. We have large standing armed forces. Army gets the lion’s share is numbers, resources and eminence. But how and why did we opt to keep such huge forces? What is the state policy about capability and organization of our forces?

Since independence we have feared, and rightly so till to date, an Indian hegemonic designs on us. Even before becoming nuclear state, we have maintained a minimum credible deterrent posture. Our forces are organized, equipped and trained to conduct military operations in our geo-strategic environments. Since we don’t plan to invade any country including India by sea, we therefore do not maintain large navy. Our navy and army conduct no training exercises to conduct Normandy style beach landings. Our enemy is towards east only and that is reflected in our defence policy and its consequent manifestation. Our military cantonments and air bases are so located as to react to a threat from east.

With a balanced blend of defensive-offensive capabilities, we have been successful to keep India at bay during recent crisis. But this brings us to the point which is deliberately being missed out in current barrage of scathing comments against Armed forces. And the obvious is – Did we organize, train and equip our armed forces to fight USA? If we did, take the top military leadership to gallows. But if we did not, why deride and ridicule them. If air force radars could not pick state- of- the –art stealth technology helicopters, is it failure of Radars or the policy makers. Armed forces can’t be absolved completely from this fiascos. But then we must apportion the blame proportionately.

When we decide to fight USA, we will have to formulate newer doctrines, train accordingly and equip to meet operational needs. Till then, we must not let ourselves be swept by despondency about our potential to defend against India. Second obvious being missed out is that in right state of mind no one equates defence of training institution with that of nuclear installation. We are info a full blown war against the state. Despite all attempts, terrorists have never succeeded to penetrate the outer cordon of security. Take example of Wah Ammunition factories. Suicide bomber could only hit public access area at entrance gate. Mardan training centre was also attacked at entrance only. In GHQ attack, terrorists were successful to hold hostages at outer most security cordon.

Secondly, nuclear assets are not carrots and mangoes, lying in a shelf, ready to be transported. These are complex systems, kept in semi knocked down state, dispersed over different locations. Since these are our national pride installations, they are being guarded jealously with what ever resources the nation can muster. Dispersion of these assets ensures that no unauthorized use is made. It also ensures that no Abbottabad- style operations succeeds against them.

Moral of the story is that if armed forces have displayed that their important installations have near impregnable defences, then why cast aspersions on their capability? It is strange that nuclear assets of no other nation are under such intense discussion. Focus of international media over our assets is understandable since we are the sole Muslim nuclear armed country. But uninformed criticism of our own media and thinkers is beyond comprehension. Majority of Indian nuclear sites (storage and launch) are located in area which is known to the world as Red corridor. This area is not under effective control of Indian state is almost been ceded to Marxist insurgents, whom prime Minster Manmohan Singh had described as the biggest threat to Indian security. With nuclear sites in such a vulnerable area one wonders, what are the safe guards Indians have taken to avoid falling of nuclear material in wrong hands?

If this was a scholarly effort to further improve the defence against emerging threats, it should be welcome. But if sole purpose of such criticism is to avenge some perceived grievances, it is no national service. Days of armed forces being a holy cow are nearing an end. Discussion on matters of defence, security and defence budget is no more a taboo. Informed and well researched debate will certainly improve efficiency and capability of armed forces. But treating them as mere punching bags does not augur well. (ENDS)

Monday, May 16, 2011

What route could the US copters have flown?

I'm not really into conspiracy theories at all -- when the raid took place, initially there were suggestions that the copters took off from Tarbela which is around 30-35 kilometres east of Abbottabad -- if they came from Afghanistan, the closest known base would be Jalalabad -- that town is slightly north of Peshawar so choppers coming from there would either have to fly over Peshawar city or north -- through Charsadda (see accompanying graphic) -- and then on to Mardan -- north of Mardan the population density is relatively lower, but the Mardan-Mingora road is situated here -- travelling eastward on this, one would pass north of Swabi and past Tarbela (the country's largest hydel facility) and eastward on to Abbottabad -- the other option to fly slightly on a northern flight path meant that the helicopters flew over less populated Lower Dir (it borders Afghanistan), eastward past southern Swat and Buner and past Allai in Batagram district north of Tarbela (this could be the Oghi area north of Tarbela, home to the Black Hills, or Kala Dhaka) and southeast to Abbottabad --
This latter route could have been taken because it passes through generally less populated and remote areas -- definitely lower Dir, Buner, and northern Mansehra and and western Battagram are all mountainous - also it has been reported that two copters stopped in the Kala Dhaka area, which is northwest of Abbottabad -- if the copters were flying at 30-35 metres (according to the deputy air chief who briefed parliament) how come they didnt crash into the mountainside -- and this was at night -- of course they can fly at night but the risks are significant --
Abbottabad as the crow flies west is around 180-200 kilometres from the Afghan border -- i remember reading 110 kms in some news reports -- i wonder where that figure was derived from

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Questions after Laden's death -- as written by VHP spokesman

Received this in my gmail -- some people may want to read it --

Questions After Laden’s Death
May 4th, 2011

After 10 years of cat and mouse game, America, finally managed to kill Laden, the world’s most dreaded terrorist. The authorities on terrorism are right in their assessment that this is not going to end all terrorism as we know it today. This can be an important step in this direction, but this is certainly not the final blow. The war on terror will remain unfinished as long as the ideology of Darul-Islam,which is the goal of jehad against humanity, remains intact. It was this ideology that had given birth to Osama. It is quite possible that after the death of Osama, many more Osamas may emerge adhering to this ideology. New Osamas may prove many times more dangerous than the dead Osama. The red alert having been notified all over the world after the death of Osama is proof enough of this danger that is lurking amidst us. Therefore, this is not the time for celebration, but that of taking a resolve to weed out the jehadi terrorism from its root. ‘This war is not against Islam’, this constant clarification can actually weaken the war against terror. Let the Islamic world decide if the war against terrorism is a war against Islam or not. This is not only a military war, it is also a war of ideology where it must be made clear that the heinous act of shedding innocent blood in the name of jehad will not be forgiven. Only when this fact is established beyond doubt, can humanity rest in peace.

It is a well-known fact that Osama was a product of America itself which was created to be used against Russia, he later proved to be a Frankenstein’s monster for them, as we all saw. This American policy of ‘running with the hare and hunting with the hounds’ can prove disastrous for all, even for a mighty nation like America. Terrorism is a two-edged sword which can kill its own creator. In India, the progenitors of terrorism in Punjab and LTTE, ultimately ended up being consumed by their own creation. Today, America is not taking the terrorism that has taken roots in Pakistan seriously, in fact, at times, it can even be seen encouraging it. Despite India’s constant reminders towards this fact, Americans have ended up mistakenly edifying India only. The denouement of this policy is front of the world now, America’s ally Pakistan only, had hidden Osama in its backyard. It has now been established that America has been immature in thinking that the terrorism emanating out of Pakistan will not harm it in any way. To rid the world of this scourge of bloody terrorism, today the whole world together with America will have to take a resolve to put an end to Islamic terrorism.

India’s home minister, P Chidambaram gave a hasty reaction immediately after the death of Laden, “It is now proved that Pakistan has become a den of terrorists.” This is already a well-known fact. But, who has made India the sanctuary of terrorists? Terrorists are not only being trained here but they are also getting protection. In this country, the custodians of terrorism are rewarded whereas the ones who raise a voice against it are hounded and punished. In this the role of the pseudo-secular brigade of the country must be taken note of, which leaves no stone unturned to favour the terrorists and malign the ones who raise a voice against it. Ishrat Jahan and her relationship with the terrorists are well-known, yet this pseudo-secular brigade is trying all the tricks in the book to prove that she was killed in a fake encounter. Has anything of this sort been asked by the citizens of America, has the encounter of Laden, a sick Laden, been questioned in America as a fake encounter? If an Indian had dared to kill Laden, leave alone being rewarded, he would have either landed in jail or tortured to such an extent that he would have committed suicide, very much the way things happened in Punjab or are happening in Kashmir. It is not only America but the whole world that has commended the killers of Laden and one can be sure that they will be rewarded in the future. The secular brigade of India should do some introspection as to why they always stand behind the terrorists in backing them. In their quest to being seen as the upholders of the muslim society, aren’t they taking them towards a certain hell? Why was the red alert notified in India after Laden’s death? Does the home minister think that the muslims of the country can give a negative reaction whereas the fact is that Laden had proclaimed India as its enemy? This question should be posed to Ram Vilas Paswan, who had procured a Laden-look-alike to campaign with him during the Bihar elections, certainly a very cheap political gimmick to garner muslim votes. Aren’t they again committing the same mistake today by equating the muslims with Laden, the same mistake that they had committed by equating the muslims of the country with Babar during the Raam Janmabhoomi movement?

Laden’s death has proved that these terrorists can be eliminated only in this way. How long will India protect the Kasabs and Afzal Gurus? Ater all, when will they summon enough courage like the Americans have in Pakistan, to finish off Dawood? Do they still expect that Pakistan will hand over these terrorists on a platter to India? How can Pakistan, which has been misleading its mentor, America, for so long, be expected to hand over India’s ‘wanted’ to it? We have had enough of handing over proofs. It is now high time, Pakistan is taught a lesson, only then will India be able to punish its guilty and bid farewell to terrorism in the country.

By Dr. Surendra Jain
National Spokesperson
Vishwa Hindu Parishad.