Pak Army's (Un)Professionalism & (In)Discipline
“ ...Mussalmans, either you are up in the sky or down in the dumps. You cannot adopt a steady course. All the promotions will come in good time, but there will be no mad rush”. Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s snub to a Muslim army officer when he asked about prospects of promotion for them in the new country. August 3, 1947, Delhi (*1)
ARMED FORCES of a country constitute a unique institution which has its own set of values and ethos which are essential for the smooth functioning of the institution. Most experts of civil-military relations agree that military leadership jealously guards its autonomy in internal affairs. The civilian interference is seen as a threat to the professionalism, discipline and cohesiveness of the armed forces. This is a universal phenomenon and occurs in all societies regardless of the system of the government in place.
In case of Pakistan, the periodic involvement of the military in the civil life has resulted in a very complex situation. Even officers who justify the control of the country by military acknowledge the negative impact of this exercise on the professionalism of the armed forces. In a politicized army, which is used to repeated intervention in national affairs, the politicization of officers corps is inevitable despite the denials by the brass.
The military leadership has to understand the basic fact that due to the nature of running a state, this outcome is the logical one. When military rulers ban politics in the society in general, it creeps right into their own backyard. This gradually ‘corrodes their unity, cohesion and morale’.2 There are certain qualities, which make armed forces efficient, and able to carry its primary task, that is fighting and possibly winning a war. These qualities include discipline, trust, motivation and superior skills acquired by repeated maneuvers and exercises. When army dabbles in politics, it undermines each of these qualities vital for a successful war. Every military ruler skillfully promotes, posts and rotates senior officers to keep them loyal, maintain control and avoid any threats from inside. This article will review the effect of repeated military interventions on the professionalism and discipline of the armed forces of Pakistan. The article will not discuss the internal turmoil and failed coups, which is a separate area requiring detailed discussion.
Pakistan Army is the continuation of the British Indian Army. During British colonial rule, there were frictions between the civilian and military authorities over various issues, which were mainly restricted to financial and administrative areas pertaining to the army. The tradition of strict apolitical attitude of the military authorities of Colonial India was maintained for quite a while. After independence, Pakistani officer corps very quickly showed signs of erosion of this apolitical attitude, which were not checked at that time.
During 1948 Indo-Pakistan clash in Kashmir, a battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Siddique Raja in the presence of his General Officer Commanding (GOC), Major General N. M. Raza and Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Mahmud Hussain criticized the British high command and blamed his British superiors for the stalemate. Instead of giving his opinion with professional and logical arguments, he was using rhetoric and hyperbole, stating that Pakistanis would have done much better and bragged that, “Each one of us is Khalid and Tariq’.(*3) He was referring to Arab Muslim generals Khalid Bin Walid, who conquered a large area during the early part of Islam and Tariq Bin Ziad, who conquered Spain.
The anger of a small group of officers involved in Kashmir war of 1947-48 against civilian government and British senior command was responsible for the failed coup attempt of 1951. The leader of this failed coup, Major General Akbar Khan much later in life stated: “Our ideas were different than government. We have fought in Kashmir’ but ‘government agreed to ceasefire without asking us’. He went on to state that; “I became opposed to Liaquat Ali Khan because he delayed the constitution formation”.(*4) This self-inflated image and extreme self-righteous attitude was not limited to the mid and junior level officers. Many senior officers who got quick promotions after independence, suffered from these grandiose ideas. Some officers really believed that they were holy warriors and compared themselves to old Muslim military leaders. Some adopted the code names after these generals like Tariq. Others were commissioning their portraits in the likeness of Napoleon, Rommel and Duke of Wellington.(*5) Even today, several retired generals (most of them have served their whole life in peacetime and not seen any action in battle have large sized self-portraits in military uniforms adorning their living rooms.
Military leadership often blames civilian leadership for interference in military affairs, which they consider damaging to the professionalism of the army. A close scrutiny of the last 55-year history of the country gives a different picture. The complex dynamics of a military government where a small group of senior officers are at the helm of affairs of the military affairs as well as trying to run a modern nation state creates a very difficult scenario. It is during the military rule that the professionalism of the armed forces is seriously damaged due to involvement in civil affairs. The promotions, transfers and postings are done not due to the competence or availability but to safeguard the interests of the military regime.
As it happens with a civilian government, the interests of the government in power may not be identical with the interests of the country or military institution. When the personal authority and the hold of the ruling regime are strengthened, not all the times by fair means, then institutional norms are damaged. The major threat to a military ruler is army itself as it is only another soldier who can match the fire power of the ruling military leader. This means that military becomes his constituency and his major potential rival at the same time. To walk this fine line, every military ruler has to do certain basic things to both keep a large number of brothers in uniform, loyal and punish any potential trouble makers.
In case of Pakistan, the military leadership had not followed Latin American, African or Middle Eastern model of severely punishing the officers. They have relied mainly on enticement and selective patronage to deal even with the potential rivals. Few examples will amply clarify this point. Ayub Khan, when got suspicious of Major General Sher Ali Khan Pataudi, retired him and sent him as High Commissioner to Malaysia. When ambitious Lt. General Habibullah Khan Khattak was perceived as a threat, he was retired but Ayub married his son to Khattak’s daughter. In addition, with direct government patronage, he became one of the biggest industrialists of the country. General Musharraf has prosecuted, sentenced to life imprisonment and later shipped Nawaz Sharif to exile in Saudi Arabia in record time but Lt. General Ziauddin Ahmad Butt (Director General of Inter Services Intelligence (DG ISI), who tried to become army chief) who probably is as guilty of the charge of causing ‘dissension among the military’ was simply sacked and he now quietly leads prayers at small gatherings of his friends.
The first casualty of the consolidation of the coup makers is the merit in promotions. It is not only the professionalism but also loyalty to the person or regime, which comes first. The process started when Ayub Khan took over as Commander-in-Chief. The first attempt by some army officers to overthrow the civilian government three years after independence (known as Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case) in 1951 gave Ayub the chance to clear the deck as he wished. A retired Lt. General commenting about that period states: “When some general officers were promoted by the Commander-in-Chief against the consensus of opinion of the board and for reasons which were plainly not those of merit, but of affiliations and loyalty, it became obvious that one had to toe the line and be loyal and accept the changes in approach. Thus were the highest leaders for battle selected.”(*6)
When General Muhammad Musa was selected by Ayub as Commander-in-Chief, many senior officers resented that appointment as he was considered a mediocre with only quality of personal loyalty to Ayub. (He served two terms from 1958 to 1966). The trend continued during Yahya Khan’s tenure. Several officers were promoted to senior ranks by Yahya who were not approved for promotion by the selection board. Many posts were upgraded and senior ranks proliferated as many officers were performing civil duties. At one time, eleven Brigadiers were promoted to Major General rank. This wholesale of promotions resulted in much ridicule even in the army. One Subedar Major commented that in his long service, he had not heard of so many Lance Naiks being promoted at one time.(*7) In one case, General Abdul Hamid Khan was promoted to four star rank as a new year gift to him.
Similar policy was followed during Zia’s rule. Officers were promoted to the higher ranks without regard to merit or the availability or need for that post to keep them loyal. At least twelve positions were upgraded to the ranks of Brigadier, Major General and Lieutenant General.(*8) General Zia asked his defence secretary to promote three of his colleagues to four-star rank. The reason for their promotion he gave was that “they have served me loyally and deserve this promotion”. He had to be persuaded to drop this idea.(*9) A retired Lt. General who was very close to General Zia during early part of the Martial Law commented about Zia era that the promotion system of Pakistan Army has been destroyed due to the destruction of institutionalized process.(*10) Many officers to get the promotion or extension of their service have to compromise some principles or accept humiliations. A Major General who was approaching the retirement age came to know that one of his junior officers was acquainted with Zia. He pressurized the officer to plead to Zia for his promotion. The junior officer against his wishes brought the issue to Zia’s attention several times and finally the Major General was promoted.(*11) Late General Akhtar Abdur Rehman is probably the only general not only in Pakistan but also in whole world who has been superseded a record number of times. He has been superseded all the way from Colonel to General. Only one thing, which kept him afloat, was that he was the most trusted ally of Zia and was Zia’s eyes and ears as intelligence chief. This one quality overrode all professional standards.
In a military government, as a small group of senior officers continue beyond the normal tenure, which causes resentment among juniors, whose prospects of promotion are jeopardized. To offset that, military rulers upgrade and proliferate the senior ranks. India with such a large organization has only one four stars general. Most of Israeli Armed Forces chiefs had held the rank of Major General. In contrast, Pakistan has three serving four-star generals. It does not need a rocket scientist to figure out that a country like Pakistan does not need a Major General to head Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) or Lt. Generals to head hockey and cricket organizations.
Most senior officers who have spent a life hearing ‘Yes Sir’ are not willing to hear any dissenting voice. This ensures a status quo and kills any independent thought and exchange of new ideas. The current promotion system of depending solely on a flawless annual confidential report means that the general attitude becomes ‘never disagree’. When officers with this super-sensitivity about their career are given important tasks, they tend not to rock the boat or to do any thing new or innovative. The result is a kind of stagnation at the institutional level. When such officers become generals, most of them tend to become ‘smiling nodders’ thus giving a semblance of a consensus among the highest decision making body of the armed forces. Is this comment too harsh for the senior brass? One cannot generalize the whole brass but there have been a number of senior officers who have damaged the reputation of the institution by their acts of omission and commission. Majority of them are from lower middle class backgrounds that use their influence to climb the socio-economic ladder. It is also correct that a number of them displayed behavior which was not great and showed their preference for petty protocol issues rather than higher grounds. Two examples will suffice in this regard. A former Corps Commander after narrating how ruler of Abu Dhabi (Sheikh Zaid Bin Sultan Al Nahiyan) drove him around in his Mercedes, laments that General Zia-ul-Haq ‘never gave me the opportunity to serve his Highness again’.(*12) One wonders if the respected general was enlisted in the army to serve Pakistan or Royal Highnesses of foreign countries.
During Zia’s rule, the dual role of some officers (civil and military) created situations, where petty protocol issues became source of irritation. The decision was made that protocol will be followed according to service seniority. The Lt. Generals who were also provincial governors insisted that they should be given precedence over four star generals in their own provinces. When North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Governor Lt. General Fazl-e-Haq came to know that Deputy Chief of Army Staff, General Iqbal Khan will be given precedence at passing out parade at Kakul, he did not show up at the parade. Similarly, when Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS), General Sawar Khan was given precedence at a Staff College Quetta function, the provincial governor, Lt. General Rahimuddin Khan skipped the function.(*13)
There have been a large number of good and professional officers who reached senior ranks but they never made any headlines because they restricted themselves to their profession. Even when they were involved in civil affairs, they kept themselves clean. An Ahmadi (Ahmadi sect is generally considered a heretic sect by majority of Muslims and was declared non-Muslim by Pakistani government in 1970s) Major General commanding a division, was well-respected due to his professionalism and was considered a very good officer by his peers and juniors. Due to his religious beliefs, he could not be promoted further. Zia candidly acknowledged this to him personally, apologized to him and offered him the governorship of a province. The officer declining the governorship.
At junior and mid-level, Pakistan army has remained professional by and large as these officers are mainly involved in their primary task, that of soldiering. There have been a number of officers who had resigned their commissions rather than tarnish the image of the institution of soldiering. A former Major of Pakistan army resigned his commission when Ayub Khan took over. He participated in 1965 and 1971 wars without recall or any reserve liability. Years later, he asked his son, a bright officer to resign his commission. It is this breed of soldiers, which has kept the institutional frame of the Pakistan army intact.
After every coup, the initial group of senior officers is of same age and seniority. Most of them have served together and have more friendship rather than strict hierarchy. This means that the coup leader is first among the equals. He has to give more room to his colleagues. In case of Zia, he had to put up with many transgressions of his corp commanders who had launched the coup with him. Many senior officers fully aware of the source of real power insisted on keeping their military appointments in addition to vying for lucrative and powerful positions in government. Lt. General Rahimuddin Khan accepted the governorship of the province on the condition that he be continued to command the II Corps in Multan. Similarly, Lt. Generals Faiz Ali Chisti, Ghulam Hasan, Saeed Qadir and Major General Jamal Said Mian retained their military appointments in addition to becoming ministers in federal cabinet.(*14) Lt. General Fazal-e-Haq would publicly show his brashness in presence of Zia (cleaning his pipe when Zia would be addressing an austere gathering). In 1980, when Chisti was informed about his retirement, he reminded Zia of his promise stating that: “You had said earlier that we would go together”.(*15) In 1984, when Lt. General S. M. Abbasi was informed about his retirement, he became furious (despite the fact that he had already got an extension and served six years rather than the normal tenure of 4 years for a Lt. General), and said that Zia was backtracking from an earlier promise that he will be promoted to four star and appointed Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCOSC). Abbasi told Arif that Zia was using senior officers to serve his purpose and later dumped them unceremoniously. When Zia consulted his intelligence chief (Akhtar Abdul Rehman) about who should be appointed CJCOSC after General Sawar Khan, Akhtar offered himself.(*16) When Lt. General Jehanzeb Arbab was told about his retirement, he refused to relinquish charge. Zia sent some senior officers to persuade him along with many incentives including an ambassadorial assignment.
The erosion of professionalism if not checked quickly can become a very slippery slope, resulting in damage to the reputation of the institution. I’will give few examples of the senior officers in their own words to show that the standard of higher posts needs immediate attention. Lt. General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi (He was Corps Commander in East Pakistan in 1971) in his memoirs narrates an episode of his bravery during his early days. He gives the details of the daring action of overpowering the Christian Librarian of Staff College of Quetta in 1947. He states: “I told Captain Ishaq to go to Baluch Regimental Center, which was located in Quetta, and get a section of infantry from there. When the librarian was closing the library, I pounced upon him and relieved him of the keys. I ordered Captain Ishaq to mount a guard of armed infantry section”.(*17)
All this sensational and heroic action was done to get keys from an unarmed civilian librarian. Niazi has also reproduced a confidential citation when he was awarded Sitara-e-Khidmat. This was given to him because he had fought locusts.(*18) One is lost at what was special about it to award a medal and more interestingly fighting the locust is such a national secret that citation was confidential. Lt. General Faiz Ali Chisti (Commander of X Corps in Rawalpindi) in enumerating long list of his achievements under Zia proudly cites that Zia trusted him to organize the extraordinary session of the Islamic Foreign Minister’s Conference and 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal (Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) Birthday) conference in 1980.(*19)
Interestingly, the Corps Commander who followed Chisti also takes the credit of organizing the conference of Islamic Foreign Ministers as proof of his competence. A Lt. General gives the list of his successes as Commandant of Infantry School at the rank of Major General, which includes, “face lifting of the school”, “establishment of school bakery”, “improvement of officer messes with officer like menu” and “installation of three tube wells”.(*20) A Major General who commanded an armored division (6th Division in Kharian) explains his achievements as division commander in these words: “The Division’s various administrative problems were attended by providing better accommodation to the officers and men, organizing sports activities, polo tournaments and the club/messes social activities. We also had the Iranian Polo Team visiting Pakistan and Kharian. There was a flurry of foreign guests in Kharian”.(*21)
A retired Lt. General in his memoirs gives a two-page long list of his achievements. One and a half page is for his services in different civilian areas. President of Pakistan Golf Association and Pakistan Flying Club as well as membership of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrew’s in Scotland is also mentioned.(*22) Another Major General published the copies of dinner invitations, which he received during his stay in London in his autobiography. The list is complete with even the menu, which includes items such as Creme Portugaise, Salade Francaise, Saumon Fume and Souffle Pierrot.(*23)
A retired Lt. General and former Director General of ISI has recently given his list of achievements in an affidavit in a court regarding a libel case. He stated that he ‘symbolizes the Islam loving populous of Pakistan’ and ‘institutions of practicing Muslims’, most prominent member of Tableeghi Jamaat ‘with international fame and reputation’, ‘first general officer with full grown beard’ and that Sikhs have given him a ‘next to Guru status’. Amusingly, he calls himself a cult figure and that CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) has joined hands to destroy his ‘cult’.(*24) The commander of elite strike corps at Mangla (a serving Lt. General) is Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board while CJCSC (a four star General Muhammad Aziz Khan) is godfather of Pakistan Hockey Federation. These appointments had neither improved performance of hockey and cricket teams nor polished fighting skills of the generals.
Such absurd decisions make Pakistan army a laughing stock in the professional world of armed forces. Memoirs of several retired generals are full of pictures in military uniforms and row of medals shaking hands with foreign dignitaries and laying foundation stones of public buildings. This is not the job of serving generals and even for some unavoidable reasons they have to perform these pathetic duties, this is not something to be proud of or brag about. Generals should be known for their performance in war (if that occurs) and their excellence at tactics and strategy of war and contribution to defence of the country. No one knows, which bright star of army has advised such pathetic decisions but the earlier they can be scrapped the better for the army and the country.
In most countries, there are various gallantry awards which are given to the soldiers for their acts of bravery. This is a common practice and helps to create a healthy competition among various services of the armed forces. The practice needs constant evaluation and an institutional review to see that no negative feelings arise due to bias in giving these awards. Like any other measure, in a healthy dose, this policy may be beneficial but if not done prudently, it can cause more problems. The recipients can have swelling of their egos while those who don’t get an award get dejected. In 1965 war, there was a mad rush for the gallantry awards. This caused so much trouble that a committee was set up by General Headquarters (GHQ) to investigate the matter. The committee found that 60-70% of awards were given without merit. On the basis of these findings, GHQ asked all unit/formation commanders to resubmit a revised list for the gallantry awards. To avoid any embarrassment, the military brass decided that the names which have already been announced should be allowed to keep their awards, regardless of the fact whether they deserved it or not.(*25)
Similarly, during the 1965 war, one officer was sacked for incompetence, but nevertheless given an award to compensate him for his removal’.(*26) After the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, eight Pakistan Air Force pilots stationed in Syria participated in routine patrolling of Syria and Lebanon. In April 1974, during one of these patrols, a Pakistani pilot (Flight Lieutenant Sattar Alvi) shot down an Israeli Mirage fighter aircraft. Four gallantry awards (two by Syria and two by Pakistan) were given to two Pakistani pilots for downing one aircraft.
Every soldier who is sent to the battlefield by the leadership deserves full support of the nation. Those who perform well should be acknowledged but common sense and humility should be the guiding principle not exaggerated and self-deluding hyperbole. In the long run, it only gives to complacency of the armed forces as an institution, which damages the professionalism. Lt. General Faiz Ali Chisti received his Sitara-e-Basalat on March 23, 1980. It is not clear for what kind of military services, he received this award? In the previous three years, he was manning several civilian ministries.
Since October 1999 coup, many serving officers have been working in civilian sectors. They have been bragging about peacetime awards and telling that in army everything is done on merit. They have become butt of many jokes among the civilians working with them. Gallantry awards for performance in battle should be retained and given with prudence but all paraphernalia of different awards for peacetime bureaucratic works of the army should be scrapped for good.
Many senior officers not used to frank and open discussion and debate easily get irritated when asked pointed questions even by their junior colleagues on professional matters. ISI Chief Hamid Gul rather than giving his professional opinion will throw tandem tantrums at briefings at Foreign Office. Similarly, during Pakistani ambassadors conference in 2000, another ISI Chief Lt. General Mahmud Ahmad ‘reprimanded the ambassadors for not relying ‘on the intercession of Providence’ while analyzing Pakistan’s Afghan policy.(*27) These officers, who are unable to give sound professional arguments to support their doctrines, indulge in such abrasive attitude. This would discourage any meaningful debate let alone criticism.
Some officers who asked some uncomfortable questions found at the peril of their careers that this was a risky business. When Zia-ul-Haq was Corps Commander in Multan, during the visit of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he asked the wives and children of officers to line up and shower flower petals on Bhutto’s motorcade. Later, during an address to garrison officers, one junior officer, Captain Muhammad Kausar of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) questioned the appropriateness of the act. This brought the ire of Zia, resulting in many hardships for the officer. His military career was cut short and he was hounded out of the army. Similarly, during a meeting with officers in Quetta, Colonel Ghulam Sarwar Cheema (Directing Staff of Staff College) questioned Zia about the execution of Bhutto. Zia issued the order of Colonel’s removal from service right after the meeting. Many other junior and middle rank officers who questioned the political actions and not the military matters of the military regime were hounded out of service.
The reason for this attitude is the factor of suspicion on part of the ruling regime. Even Zia’s close confidant, General Arif admits: ‘The army lost a handful of upright and intelligent officers who had the courage to ask discerning questions’.(*28) Such innocuous questions were seen as a potential threat to the military regime, which was the main reason of quick dismissals without any proper institutional due process. A retired Indian Brigadier has rightly advised his country which equally applies to Pakistan that, “the breed of senior officers who only show their importance by losing their temper and introducing restrictions need to be canned and shipped out of the Army because they are responsible for this lack of growth”.(*29)
There is a normal process of limited internal surveillance of army personnel in all countries. In countries, where military is directly controlling the state, the issue becomes very important to prevent a counter-coup. Internal surveillance is greatly expanded at the cost of mutual trust and cohesion of the institution. The process started very early after the failed coup of 1951. All senior officers are under regular surveillance by ISI and Military Intelligence (MI). The result is an enormous clout which even junior officers of the armed forces intelligence community enjoy. A Lt. General who served as Corps Commander during Zia time comments: “Merit unfortunately was no longer the only criterion for promotion; rather, it was loyalty to the regime. The ISI had already acquired a major say in promotion to senior ranks”.(*30)
One case will give the negative impact of such measures on the high command. Lt. General Jahandad Khan was ordered to take the Command of X Corps in Rawalpindi from Lt. General Faiz Ali Chisti with immediate effect. Jahandad describes the process in these words: “I was called for briefing by the DG ISI, Lt. General Akhtar Abdur Rehman. He told me all about the anti-regime designs and activities of Chisti and urged me to assume my command immediately”.(*31)
These few words tell a lot about mutual respect and trust among the higher echelons of the army. X Corps responsible for the defence of the most critical and active area has been involved in such unprofessional activities like arrangements of conferences in Islamabad and receiving foreign dignitaries. Lt. General Faiz Ali Chisti headed X Corps from 1977-1980. During the same time period, he served as advisor to Chief Martial Law Administrator, head of several ministries (the list includes Establishment, Kashmir Affairs, Labor and Manpower, Petroleum and Natural Resources) Chairman of Federal Inspection Commission, Chairman of Election Cell and Chief of Protocol. He made several foreign tours not related to military affairs (in 1978 to United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries to evaluate performance of Pakistani embassies, in 1979 to China and Saudi Arabia as head of labor delegation and in 1980 to Canada to represent Pakistan at the opening ceremony of school for Islamic Studies). He was contemplating on diverse issues and giving his pearls of wisdom. He was having brain storming sessions with politicians of all hues and colors, advising General Zia to strictly enforce law and order, control the prices of ghee and cement and hold local bodies elections. In addition, he would enlighten his countrymen about issues like formulating new labor policy, which would enforce Islamic principles, prevention of industrial accidents, and urgent need for carrying studies in Pakistan on various handicrafts.(*32) It is anybody’s guess to judge how he could have performed his duties as Corps Commander efficiently and professionally.
This abnormal behavior was not new. Long ago, in 1953, when the army was called in aid to civil power to restore law and order in Lahore, the commanding general, Lt. General Muhammad Azam Khan had similar delusions. He gathered principals and teachers of all colleges to tell them how to educate the nation. Another former Corps Commander of X Corps, who was also involved in arranging conferences in Islamabad calls this non-military activity ‘major events of national importance’ although he admits that such deviations interfere with professional duty.(*33) Officers who should be training for war are busy presiding bureaucratic protocol meetings and arranging for transport and accommodation of conference delegates.
Such things are bound to impact on the performance of the armed forces. When ISI was heavily engaged inside the country and senior commanders at important posts with tasks of laying down the war strategy were busy evading the spy network and involved in arrangements of conferences, it is no surprise that they were caught off guard when Indian forces sneaked into Siachin. All officers in ISI (responsible for external intelligence) MI (responsible for all military related intelligence), X Corps (whose area of responsibility is Siachin) and Force Commander Northern Area (directly incharge of Siachin), lived happily after enjoying all perks and privileges. No body has been asked any question, let alone held accountable for their mistakes. The country and armed forces are paying the price in money and lives for this act of omission at the highest level.
When senior military officers remove civilian leaders, they break a taboo of the army. It is quite natural that the junior officers show the same contempt not only for the politicians but everything civilian. This superiority complex also set in very early with long-term negative impact both for the military and the country. The induction of army officers in civilian areas with tremendous powers and privileges result in many complications. The officer gets the taste of power and it becomes very difficult for him to adjust to lower status. On the other hand, other officers try to get to these privileged positions resulting in a race among junior officers and many jealousies and rivalries, thus damaging the cohesiveness of armed forces.
In March 1953, Martial Law was declared in Lahore to control law and order situation. The disturbances quickly fizzled out but the role of military expanded so quickly to so many areas that an abnormal situation was created. Army officers started to preside public functions, addressing public gatherings, touring city areas and opening new markets and public buildings. Uniformed officers started to appear in social and diplomatic functions with their pictures flashed all over newspapers.(*34) From a simple ‘aid to civil power’ duty, army quickly penetrated the civil society thus setting the stage for military take over in next few years. In 1965, Major (later Lt. General) Jahandad Khan was Military Secretary to Governor of West Pakistan. He rang Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the province (equivalent to the rank of Major General) and summoned him to his office to tell him to make fool proof security arrangements for the visit of the Chinese President.(*35) One can imagine how this Major will feel when he is posted back to his unit. During Zia rule, a provincial military governor on being retired and posted as ambassador asked his ADC (at rank of Captain) if he would like to accompany him as member of Foreign Service. The Captain talked to his friends, who was ADC to another provincial military governor, who in turn asked his boss to send him also to Foreign Service. Now, two general officers were sending requests to GHQ wanting to induct their ADCs in Foreign Service.
During his Presidential referendum, taking Corps Commanders in uniforms with him to his address to public gatherings was the most unfortunate and ill-thought decision on part of General Musharraf. During present military government of General Pervez Musharraf, a dangerous trend has been set up on two fronts. First, a large number of officers including Corps Commanders and GOCs of divisions have been involved in contacts with politicians giving the semblance of fiefdoms rather than fighting units. Second, in an unprecedented move (which even previous military governments have not done), a large number of serving and retired officers have been manning almost all civilian sections of the society. The involvement of senior officers of armed forces in political maneuvering both during service and after retirement have already significantly damaged the image of army as a neutral institution. Now the involvement of even mid-level officers in political maneuvers and making and breaking of political parties and alliances is a bad omen for the military. In a multi-ethnic society like Pakistan, where armed forces have disproportionate number of officers from a narrow segment of the society, such ill-thought policies may sow the seeds of a civil war with devastating consequences for the country in long run.
The soldier’s contempt for the civilian is well-known. The attitude of some senior-most officers using very objectionable methods to portray their superiority does not augur well for the lofty posts they hold. The behavior of some officers is plainly offensive. Such examples set a very bad precedent and very quickly trickles down to lower levels. In the long run, this damages the reputation of the armed forces. In 1992, the dinner at a wedding reception in Lahore was delayed as Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Asif Nawaz Janjua was late in coming. Nothing unusual about this in Pakistan as it is a common practice. The interesting part is that the other invited guests included the President, Prime Minister and Governor of Punjab who were already waiting. When the COAS arrived, all three dignitaries were standing in line to greet him.
In 1992, at Lahore Airport, when an IGP tried to speak to COAS, Asif Nawaz, he pushed him away with his baton without saying a word. Colonel Shuja Khanzada served in ISI for 12 years (in Afghanistan and 2 years in Washington). In 1994, he was transferred back from Washington on orders of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Used to unhindered power and clout, the Colonel got upset at his transfer with immediate effect. He called and later met Chief of General Staff (CGS), Lt. General Jehangir Karamat, DGISI, Lt. General Javed Ashraf Qazi, DGMI, Lt. General Ali Quli Khan and even COAS Abdul Waheed Kakar. He even told Kakar that ‘you guys let me down’ and that if ‘General Beg been there, or General Janjua been there, how dare they pull me out from there. I would have seen that. Or if somebody like Musharraf had been there, how could anybody put their hands on me and pulled me out’.(*36) This is the reaction of a mid-level intelligence officer on just being transferred from a cushy assignment abroad by a civilian Prime Minister.
It does not take long for young officers to catch up on the arrogance and contempt of civilians. In 1988, young army officers manhandled a provincial assembly member from Rawalpindi, Bashir ul Hasan after a dispute. In April 1992, in Lahore, a police inspector, Hasan Daniyal arrested a army Captain Nadeem Arif in civil clothes on charges of teasing young women and assaulting a police officer. A case was registered against the army officer and he was released. Four days later, the captain along with fellow officers and eighty soldiers carrying weapons with live ammunition invaded police station. The police station was ransacked and furniture and vehicles were destroyed. The police officer was kidnapped. He was tortured and dragged behind the jeep. A senior officer who later investigated the event as Colonel GS of Corps Headquarters gives a different version of events. According to him, two army officers were publicly beaten by police inspector. A group of 50-60 army officers who attacked the police station had hockey sticks, tent poles and may be one or two handguns.(*37) In a similar incident in Mardan, in a clash with the police, military personnel attacked the police station. In the resulting firing between police and army personnel, one police constable was killed.
The brawls of youngsters whether civilian or uniformed are not a major issue and can occur in any society. The problem occurs when such brawls occur on the basis of a self- righteous and exaggerated sense of patriotism on the part of officers. One bright officer describing his early experiences in army states: “I straight away settled down to good soldiering — and in my exuberance had a few street fights with youngsters trying to belittle the army’.(*38) Another bright commando officer Major (later Brigadier, who died during a para jump when his parachute didn’t open) Tariq Mahmud Shah was notorious for such fights during his early days in Quetta. Such attitude if not checked by military leadership has two negative effects. First, general public who respect the army only for its disciplined life starts to have different thoughts as army officers are seen more looking like police (probably the most hated public servants). Second, and more dangerous is that the officers start to see these civilians as potential traitors. It was in this background that the criticism of army by Bengalis was seen as anti-national activity.
In March 1971, when ‘Operation Searchlight’ was launched in East Pakistan, a large number of civilians were killed due to indiscriminate use of firepower. The attitude of senior officers regarding such incidents has to be balanced and keeping in view of the institutional image. While minor discretions by junior officers can be ignored but serious breach of law needs to be handled more maturely. A Colonel (later Brigadier) who investigated the incident of attack on police station by army officers has used words like ‘invasion force’ for the army officers and destruction of a police station as ‘a surgical operation and the blow was delivered with speed and precision’. He told the officers involved that: “If you had asked me I would not have permitted you, but well done”. To be fair to him, at least he admitted that ‘my wild impulse and institutional compulsions were once again at work’. The army chief (General Asif Nawaz Janjua) told the investigating army officer, “Good. See that the officers are not harassed”.(*39) Similarly, when Major Tariq Mahmud after executing few captured Balochis told his GOC ‘Sir: If we follow the normal legal routine, they will go free. I know that they are guerrillas, therefore, I have executed them” and the general concurred. He didn’t question the wisdom of his junior officer who was now acting as law enforcer, prosecutor, witness, judge and executioner for his prisoners.
The critical importance of adherence to law of the land by all officers cannot be ignored. Otherwise, the country runs the risk of turning its army into an armed ‘mafia’ who would protect its kin at all costs with devastating consequences. Any aberration needs to be checked firmly and promptly which will enhance the image of the army as an organized and disciplined force, which has the capacity to punish the culprits among its own ranks.
Contrary to popular belief, military is neither all that cohesive nor monolithic. Like any other bureaucratic organization, there is a wide range of opinion about different issues including military’s role in civilian arena. Unfortunately, in case of Pakistan, there is no other institution, which has any influence let alone control over the military. The only limiting effect is the public opinion and pressure and wisdom on part of higher ranks of the army itself. This means that it is the military’s own leadership which have to do some soul searching at least in short term to prevent deterioration of professionalism. Few areas need immediate attention. Until Pakistan army decides to quit the civil arena permanently (the chances of which seem very slim at present), special courses are needed at all levels to educate officers about their role and interaction with various sections of the society. This will help to decrease the friction between army and society.
Pakistan army consists of Pakistanis and not aliens. The clean image of the army is due to its distance from the civil society and not due to some inherent piety and goodness. The more soldiers will interact with civil sectors; higher are the chances of they being contaminated by the corruption. The quicker the present government disengages soldiers from the civil areas, the better for the armed forces. Threats and intimidation may not prevent the publication of the scandals involving officers of armed forces.
The military brass should be assured that the running of golf courses and business conglomerates by GHQ will come under close scrutiny by general public as well as business dealings of retired army officers. To decrease the politicization of the army, absolutely minimal number of senior most officers needs to be in contact with politicians. In view of the pyramidal nature of the promotion system of the officer corps and large economic gap between the senior and mid-level officers, it is natural that officers who are not promoted will become resentful. The reason is not that those who are not promoted are somehow deficient or bad officers but it is the nature of the military’s hierarchy and promotion system. Officers need to be educated that not getting promotion does not mean condemnation.
Similarly, there is a huge difference in life style of senior and junior officers after retirement. Those officers who are not promoted need a program before their retirement to help them adjust in civilian life. Educational courses (business, small economic activity courses) prior to their retirement would help them adjust in civil life with minimum financial and psychological stresses. There are several other areas including economic and administrative restructuring of army, risks involved with deep penetration of civil society by uniformed officers and tactical and strategic military doctrines which need a comprehensive analysis and input from all sections of the society to help build a stable society and professional armed forces.
The major problem with the military leadership is the dilemma which they are facing vis-a-vis civilian society. Safeguarding the military’s institutional interests which also include “not accepting responsibility or allowing prosecution for human rights violations, the preservation of institutional prestige including recognition of the military’s past role as national ‘saviors’, and the preservation of current prerogatives and resources” (*40) are also the very same factors which undermine the professionalism of armed forces. Protection of officers involved in gross misconduct and violations during internal security duties (in the name of protection of institutional reputation), creation of myths and exaggerated battle accounts and fictitious bravery records (to portray military as national savior) and ostentatious lifestyle of senior officers and non-military uses of defense budget (in the name of national interest and defense) all undermine the fighting abilities of the officer corps.
Every institution needs periodic evaluation and reassessment to improve its performance and to adjust to changing situations to achieve its objectives with minimum cost. This rule applies to armed forces also. Adequate attention needs to be paid to the areas, which help to promote the growth of an officer and broaden his horizons to help him perform his duties professionally. Currently, at National Defence College (NDC) level, there is some frank debate and discussion on various issues but it is limited to NDC. Once the officer leaves NDC, he moulds quickly back to the institutional norms prevalent for decades. To prevent further deterioration in the professionalism of the officer corps, it is critical that a detailed analysis be done. All procedures and practices need periodic assessments to improve them and make armed forces better prepared for the difficult challenges ahead.
The basic problem in decision-making in the Army is that people do not “grow” to be senior officers. They simply get “promoted” to senior ranks.(*41)
Pakistan's army given new nuclear-capable missile times of India 07 Mar 03 REUTERS [ FRIDAY, MARCH 07, 2003 09:43:40 AM ]
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said its army took delivery of a new medium-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Thursday as part of a minimum but credible deterrence policy against what it called belligerence in the region. President Pervez Musharraf, who attended a ceremony marking the handover of the Pakistani-produced Hatf-IV missile, said, "Pakistan (does) not have global ambitions but was compelled to go nuclear due to belligerence in its neighbourhood." "We are not into any arms race with anyone. Minimum credible deterrence remains the cornerstone of our security policy and towards that end we have defined and quantified for ourselves the notion of minimum deterrence," he said. "Beyond that quantified notion, Pakistan will not pursue an open-ended strategic weapons arms race. In my opinion, in the nuclear game, numbers beyond a point lose their significance." Musharraf said Pakistan's strategic plan provided for a "comfortable" level of security but did not elaborate. A statement issued by Pakistan's military said the Hatf-IV missile, also known as the Shaheen One, had a range of 750 km (466 miles) and could carry all types of warheads. The statement did not say how many missiles were handed over to the army's Strategic Force Command, but television footage showed at least three vehicle-mounted missiles being paraded. A spokesman for India's Defence Ministry said he had no comment to make. Pakistan conducted its first nuclear tests in 1998 in response to similar testing by India and both countries have developed a range of missiles to deliver nuclear warheads. Jane's Defence Weekly estimates India has 100 to 150 warheads and Pakistan 25 to 50. Jane's says the Hatf-IV can carry a 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) warhead. Defence analysts say the introduction of the missile is designed as a signal to both India and to Pakistanis. The missile was tested in October last year, during the standoff with India and just before elections called by Pakistan's military rulers to return the country to civilian rule. "You have to keep on giving signals to your own people and also to India, because India is also doing so," said former general Talat Masood. "It is meant for both."
India to get Russian stealth frigates in June PTI [ FRIDAY, MARCH 07, 2003 03:56:40 PM ]
NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy is all set to acquire a lethal punch with the delivery of the first of the three KRIVAK class stealth frigates from Russia by June after a delay of over a year, top naval officials have said. They said that faults in the warships, one of the main battle systems -- SHTIL ship to air missile -- had been rectified, with two successful test flights undertaken recently. India is to acquire three KRIVAK class frigates, which have a displacement of 4,000 tonnes and are armed with Kashtan ship-to-ship missiles, rockets and guns. The officials said after arrival of the first of the warships, christened INS Talwar by the Navy, the other two warships would be delivered within a span of six months. The Russians were to complete the delivery of all the three highly sophisticated warships by the end of last year, but failure of the SHTIL missiles during test firing had delayed their induction into the Navy. In fact, the Navy had already sent the officers and crew to take delivery of the warships who eventually returned "without them". Naval sources said that Russians had told Indian Navy that possession of the warships could be taken and that modifications in the missiles would be carried out in Indian docks. However, the Navy put its foot down and said delivery of the warships would be taken only after the missiles and all sub systems of the warships were evaluated.
posted by promila 5:22 AM
Cops for the highest bidders
Atul Bharadwaj Indian Express 05 Mar 03
Recently the Delhi commissioner of police issued a circular for regulation and registration of 3,000 odd private security agencies (PSCs) operating in Delhi. The problem is not just Delhi based because in the absence of any specific legislation, about 30,000 such ‘rent-a cop’ type services are in active business across the country. Top global PSCs including a dozen British security firms are already fishing in the Indian private security market, which has an estimated spending capacity of 300 million pounds with an estimated annual growth rate of 12 per cent. Group 4, a multinational company employs about 48,000 personnel nation wide. PSCs entered the Indian markets as providers of benign services like ‘cash in transit’, manning shopping malls, apartments and other sundry watchmen duties. Their proliferation in sensitive areas including the residential complexes of top ranking military personnel and foreign embassies has largely gone unnoticed. Another area of concern is the handling of arms by these agencies. PSCs are not authorised to hold arms and ammunition. Therefore a large chunk of their work force is drawn from the pool of retired military personnel, who are in possession of arms licences. But the basic question is — can a person holding an arms licence use it for commercial activity? Policing and provision of security for its citizens is one of the primary duties of a state. Yet the state is seeking private cooperation in managing internal security within its territorial limits. Such a public-private cooperation could be termed as ‘outsourcing’, where the government hands over selective jobs to private agencies while maintaining a tight control over them. But experience clearly suggests that these PSCs are mushrooming under no guidance from the government and are largely being dictated by market forces. PSCs are challenging the concept of collective security provided by the state by marketing tailor-made security for those who can pay for it. This means that the poor, who have no means to buy security, must remain in a perpetual state of insecurity. Such marketisation of security would only lead to greater inequalities within society leading to creation of ‘gated communities’, which rely on exclusive facilities for themselves. An example of this are the various Senas, which have sprung up in UP and Bihar to protect the rights of landed communities. The functional and pragmatic reason cited in favour of PSCs is that they are only filling the vacuum created by misgovernace of security by the government, which lacks the resources to provide safety for global business. However, the fact is that private security is a phenomenon, which is registering growth more as a result of ‘un-governance’ (reluctance on the part of governments to govern) than due to misgovernace. This problem of un-governance is directly related to the nature of the privatisation movement sweeping the global economy. Those who argue that there is no relation between national-security and globalisation would be surprised to note that the global security industry, which is slated to rise from $55.6 billion in 1990 to $202 billion in 2010, is being marketed as a commercial service. It may not be far fetched to suggest that in future, PSCs may use the good offices of WTO to expand their business interests. Although the present GATS regime (General Agreement on Trade in Services) does not specifically mention private security, such services could later be included as a part of ‘business and professional services’. The global prison industry, which is privatising and globalising at a rapid pace, offers a good example of this trend. US-based corporations like Wackenhunt Correction Corporation (WCC), Correction Corporation of America (CCA) and its French partner the Sodexho SA operate prison services in 60 countries. Today, corporatised private security may appear as a necessary evil. But as the social and political tensions exacerbate, the demand for this industry will grow. To cater to the ever-burgeoning security needs the ‘watchdogs’ may convert themselves into ‘dogs of war’. (The writer is a research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses)
Statement made under pressure, says Hurriyat activist The Hindu 05 MAR 03
New Delhi March 4. Resiling from her earlier statement that she had received money from the Pakistan High Commission here to fund separatist activities in India, the arrested Hurriyat activist, Anjum Zamrooda Habib, has told a Delhi court that she had made the statement under police pressure.
Police had ``forced'' me to make ``false entries'' in the diary (seized from her possession), she told the Designated Judge, S.N. Dhingra, when she was produced before him for extension of judicial remand.
Asked by the judge why she had admitted to having received the ``nazrana'' when she was produced before him on February 7, Ms. Habib said she had never used the word ``nazrana'' in court.
On the admission part, Ms. Habib said ``I was pressured to depose so since they (police) were taking me on ten days remand.''
She prayed the court not to believe the allegations levelled by the police following which the Judge reassured her that he would look into the matter at the right time.
Ms. Habib, who was arrested on February 6 allegedly while returning from the Pakistan High Commission, had in her statement before the court admitted that the money seized from her was given by the High Commission for the Hurriyat chairman, Abdul Ghani Bhat.
The incident had led to India and Pakistan expelling some diplomatic staff. — PTI
World's first flat-packed bomb shelter arrivesRASHMEE Z AHMED Times of India 06 Mar 03 TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ WEDNESDAY, MARCH 05, 2003 10:41:58 PM ]
LONDON: The world’s very first flat-packed bomb shelter, built at the piffling cost of about 50,000-pounds, knocked up in hours, not days and destined to safeguard the sanity of a post-9/11 world has arrived. And it may be coming to an office block near you or possibly any of the new airports the Finance Minister proposes to build across the country. The explosion-resistant construction, which can withstand a car bomb, is made from panels of Bi-Steel or two steel plates weighing two tonnes each. The plates are held together by internal rods and then filled with concrete. The shelter, built by the Anglo-Dutch steel company Corus after 10 years of development went on show before military and government officials from several countries at Lords’ cricket ground on Wednesday morning. Its creator has likened it to a "Lego construction kit" for a world at risk of terrorism. By May, it will be unveiled to Asia at a security conference in Kuala Lumpur and "demand will be assessed in India, Pakistan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Japan", Corus Bi-Steel general manager John Whitton told TNN. Whitton said the flat-packed bomb shelter can withstand huge explosions that could blow a hole through thick slabs of reinforced concrete. "They barely dent Bi-Steel", he boasted. Defence experts said the company was clearly hoping the bland brand name ‘Surefast’ would become a global by-word for 21st-century security. Corus describes Surefast as a fast-track modular construction system suitable for high security buildings, such as command and control centres, barracks, car parks, sensitive ports and the offices of decision-makers and business leaders. In effect, the December 13 attack on the Indian parliament, the 1993 car bomb explosion in the World Trade Centre's underground car park would allegedly cause no damage to the buildings involved if the new material were to be used. Bemused commentators described the flat-packed bomb-proof material, which arrives at its final port of call just like a flat-packed dining table from the low-cost Swedish homewares company Ikea, as a "well-timed" development. But Corus, which is unashamedly marketing it as a response to "growing concerns over terrorism", denies it has jumped on the 9/11 bandwagon. A confident Whitton said he "anticipated huge global demand because airports, say, in India have the same needs as airports in Europe and Australia". Surefast constructions could be used for tunnels under runways, at customs, control towers, secure rooms and so on, he said. Dr Jurek Tolloczko, one of the two British engineers instrumental in developing Surefast in northern England, said it was ideal for "high risk situations, where people and property are under threat from terrorist, military or criminal attack, or in hazardous industrial environments". Whitton admits the biggest interest at present is from the US and Europe.The buildings are already being used by the British Army.
India, US discuss nuke safety plan Econoic times 06 Mar 03AGENCIES [ THURSDAY, MARCH 06, 2003 05:53:20 AM ]
NEW DELHI: India and the US are discussing a mutually-agreed programme on nuclear safety cooperation in the direction of resumption of nuclear cooperation between the two sides, Lok Sabha was informed today.Replying to a question, minister of state in the department of space SB Mookherjee said discussions had taken place on resumption of Indo-US nuclear cooperation between respective regulatory bodies."Our objective is to develop mutually-beneficial cooperation in nuclear power," Mr Mookherjee said.
US military says trying to avoid civilian casualties Economic times 06 Mar 03 REUTERS [ THURSDAY, MARCH 06, 2003 09:25:12 AM ]
WASHINGTON: The US military in any conflict against Iraq will try to minimise civilian casualties by using guided weapons and a mathematical formula known as "bug splat," defence officials said on Wednesday.The military will also use "non-lethal" weapons when appropriate, such as "offensive electronics," said Army Gen. Tommy Franks, who as head of Central Command will be in charge of any assault on Iraq. He would not provide details.The United States has been building military forces in the Gulf region for months in preparation for a possible war against Iraq. Washington accuses Baghdad of being a threat by refusing to give up biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. Iraq denies it has such weapons of mass destruction.The Pentagon held a media briefing specifically on targets to make the point that the military would do all it could to prevent civilian deaths if there was a war.A Central Command official who spoke on condition of anonymity said precision weapons would account for about 70 per cent of the weapons used, compared with 20 per cent in the 1991 Gulf War.US forces would match weapons with targets with an eye toward avoiding civilian casualties, the official said. For example non-precision bombs could be used on Iraqi military forces out in the open, but inside an urban area there would be an attempt to make the circle of impact smaller, he said.A 500-pound (227 kg) dumb bomb dropped from a medium altitude would affect a circular area of 200 feet (60 metres) from point of impact, while a 500-pound (227 kg) laser-guided bomb would shrink that circle to about 22 feet (7 metres), the official said.So war planners when choosing targets draw a circle around the impact zone to see what else might be affected and then may adjust the weapon or angle of strike to avoid nearby civilian targets, the official said.A mathematical process known as "the bug splat" is used to show what areas would be hit by the fragmentation of a bomb dropped at a certain angle on a specific building, he said.Studying TargetsAbout 3,500 Iraqi civilians were killed and thousands of homes destroyed during the 1991 Gulf War.A UN assessment late last year assumed that unlike the 1991 Gulf War, a new war would develop from an air bombardment into a large and protracted ground offensive. "The resultant devastation would undoubtedly be great," UN planners said.Defence and military officials said last month that the US military planned to unleash as many as 3,000 precision bombs and cruise missiles in the first 48-hours of a "shock and awe" war against Iraq designed to gain a rapid victory.Nearly 700 long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles, at a cost of about $1 million each, would be launched by US warships and heavy bombers in opening high-tech strikes 10 times more potent than the beginning of the 1991 Gulf War.Gen. Franks, who spoke at a Pentagon media briefing after the other Central Command official, said the military was studying intelligence and working on the targeting process."When one undertakes military planning, you will always look at the structure, the composition, the locations of enemy forces in which we may have an interest," Franks said.The other Central Command official said while hospitals, mosques, and schools were to be protected from strikes, they could lose that safety if the Iraqi military moved equipment and weapons into those sites.The official acknowledged that there would be civilian casualties and that between 7 percent and 10 percent of guided bombs would not hit within the expected target range due to mechanical or other type of failure.In other conflicts, mishaps have also struck friendly forces, such as when a US fighter jet dropped a 500-pound (227 kg) laser-guided bomb on Canadian troops conducting a night live-fire exercise near Kandahar, Afghanistan, that killed four soldiers and injured eight.For suspected chemical and biological weapons sites, the military might choose methods other than bombing to avoid spreading potentially deadly substances through an explosion.The official said that could include striking the power source for the facility, using "self-destructing small mines" that can be dropped from the air, or employing special forces.
posted by promila 5:21 AM
Defence allocation pegged at current level of Rs 65,000 cr Economic Times 28 Feb03 PTI [ FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2003 02:35:59 PM ]
NEW DELHI: Asserting that no shortage of funds would be allowed to hit armed forces modernisation drive, the government on Friday pegged defence allocation for financial year 2003-04 at the current year's level of Rs 65,300 crore, including Rs 9,000 crore of unspent funds. For the first time, as a measure to bringing in greater transparency, the government has created separate budget heads for capital outlay as well as Defence Research and Development Organisatio. In his budget speech, Finance Minister Jaswant Singh assured that the allocation could be raised if the armed forces had additional requirements for armament purchases. He also said that the funds for construction of married accommodations for both officers and men would be "fully met".
Funds increased for fencing at Indo-Bangladesh border Economikc Times 28 Feb03PTI [ FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2003 03:34:24 PM ]
NEW DELHI: The government has increased the non-Plan Budget allocation for barbed wire fencing and construction of roads on the Indo-Bangla border by 36 per cent in the wake of the recent stand-off between the two countries over illegal immigrants. Rupees eighty crore would be spent on erection of barbed wire fencing in the next financial year as compared to Rs 36 crore during 2002-03. The government also plans to spend Rs 120.68 crore on construction of roads which is up from the figures of 2002-03 when the total non-Plan expenditure was Rs 111 crore. The funds would help the government in checking illegal immigration from Bangladesh into the country. However, there is a marginal decrease in the funds for works at the Indo-Pak border, which has come down to Rs 131.10 crore in this fiscal as compared with Rs 131.71 during 2002-03. These funds would be utilised to check inflow of arms and ammunition from across the Indo-Pak border. There is a whopping jump of nearly 300 per cent on miscellaneous items which include provision for maintenance of Indo-Bangladesh and Indo-Pak Border works and also a token provision for purchase of aircraft and river boats by the Border Security Force.
Indo-Afghan dialogue to skip Pak relations TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2003 04:32:52 AM ] Economic times 28 Feb03
NEW DELHI: When the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai arrives here for the three-day visit, India and Afghanistan will avoid talking about Pakistan.Instead the two countries will concentrate on bilateral issues, aid to Afghanistan, conferring of an honorary doctorate on Mr Karzai and the donation of the last of the three refurbished Airbus aircraft that India is giving Afghanistan.But Pakistan remains a key concern not just to India, but now to Afghanistan and, specifically to Mr Karzai’s regime.It’s a concern he articulated yesterday at a hearing at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. Testifying at the hearing, Mr Karzai said in the past months, there has been increased cross-border activity, mostly from Pakistan.“I’ve had calls in this regard from President Musharraf some time back, and I also had a conversation with him day before yesterday in Kuala Lumpur. And I’ll be visiting him on the 22nd of March. We have agreed to discuss in detail the better operationality of our activity against terrorism and their cross-border operation. That is a problem. That is something we have to focus more energy on.”According to Afghan analyst Ahmed Rashid, US forces are currently fighting Al Qaeda and Taliban groups, armed with sophisticated weapons and communications systems, all of whom seem to be operating from within Pakistan.
Pak bartered N-technology to N Korea for missiles Times of India 02 march 2003PTI [ SUNDAY, MARCH 02, 2003 01:20:54 PM ]
NEW DELHI: Pakistan is believed to have bartered away nuclear technology to North Korea as a "means of payment" for procuring Taepodong ballistic missiles, according to American experts and intelligence officials. "(US) Intelligence officials now believe that Pakistan decided to transfer nuclear technology as a means of payment. This barter proved a perfect match," expert John E Carbaugh Jr, a policy analyst, who advises the US administration and major US multinational firms, said in a recent paper. In 1994, Pyongyang signed the Agreed Framework which led them to shut down their plutonium-based nuclear programme. "But North Korean scientists found Pakistan's uranium enrichment technology to be a good means of continuing a covert nuclear programme, albeit one that requires time". Carbaugh said there were indications that Islamabad had originally agreed to pay for the ballistic missiles in cash. "But missiles are expensive; by the time they were delivered by North Korea in the spring of 1996, Pakistan's economic situation had deteriorated badly. It was dependent on bailouts by the International Monetary Fund". This led Islamabad to offer nuclear technology as a barter for the missles, he said. Regarding Pakistan's missile programme, Gaurav Kampani, a senior research associate at Monterey Institute's Center of Non-proliferation Studies said the history of missile development in any country showed that the process took one or two decades, but Pakistan tested its missiles "all of a sudden". Kampani said "Pakistan is probably one of the only cases where it has no history of testing or development and all of a sudden it displays a fully-developed ballistic missile. "Then it tests it over an urban centre. That degree of confidence suggests that a tested, reliable weapon system has been procured. Second, there is no doubt that the missile is the Nodong in external appearance, range and warhead payload. "Third, North Korean crews were present during the launch in Pakistan and there was a lot of air freight traffic between North Korea and Pakistan before the launch. Fourth, the US State Department sanctioned the Khan Research Labs and the North Korean entity from which the missiles were supplied," Kampani said. Carbaugh said Nodong was "not the only one model procured" from North Korea and quoted US officials as saying that Pakistan's 2,000 km-range Ghaznavi missile "may actually be a Taepodong-I". While Islamabad's Ambassador to UN Ashraf Jehangir Qazi has denied these allegations, Washington has warned Pakistan not to continue such exchanges. Pakistan seems to have understood that continuing these exchanges would bring in to direct confrontation with the US and compromise crucial international aid, he said."But given Pakistan's instability, the situation will have to be watched closely", Carbaugh added.
LeT issues fresh threat, targets PM and Advani PTI [ SUNDAY, MARCH 02, 2003 10:23:11 AM ] Times of India 02 mar 03
NEW DELHI: The Lashkar-e-Taiba has issued a fresh threat to unleash a spate of suicide attacks in India and targets include Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee among others, reports Pakistani media. Noted Pakistani weekly The Friday Times quoted LeT Chief Hafeez Saeed's taped speech, played at a mosque in Rawalpindi, as saying "Listen O (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee, we are about to unleash a spate of suicide attacks. I have ordered my warriors to undertake this duty." Lashkar also threatened Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani saying that his days were numbered, the weekly reported. In yet another sign of continued failure of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to rein in the militants, Saeed said in his speech "Listen O Musharraf! We shall not submit to you or your government....we will not allow you to besmirch the jihad..." The speech, which was in clear violation of law, did not spare the US Ambassador to Pakistan Nancy Powell and said, "We cannot tolerate unholy presence of Nancy Powell...Pakistan should cleanse itself from her unholy existence." Meanwhile, a former army general, Lt Gen Nishat Ahmed warned that chances of war with India were ripe because Islamabad was not keeping its word. "Cross-border infiltration is on. The government may not be supporting it but it is certainly looking the other way."
Musharraf's gone back on commitment to end cross-border terror: India PTI [ SUNDAY, MARCH 02, 2003 02:20:22 PM ] Economic times 02 Mar 03
NEW DELHI: India on Sunday reacted sharply to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's hostile remarks and blasted him for not fulfilling his commitments and international obligations to end cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Asked about the anti-India rhetoric by Musharraf in an interview to an Indian television channel, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said the Pakistan President has chosen to "repeat his time-worn, trite and hackneyed position that tries to mask Pakistan's real intentions and designs.” Musharraf rebutted New Delhi's charge of Pakistan sponsoring cross-border terrorism in Kashmir and responded with his oft-repeated claim that the people in Kashmir were fighting for their "freedom". The Pakistan leader said he was ready to initiate a dialogue with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Kashmir while acknowledging that it was an issue under the 1972 Simla Agreement. The Pakistan President also rejected India's demand for handing over 20 wanted terrorists and criminals who have taken refuge in that country. He also refused to comment on the activities of underworld don and a prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts Dawood Ibrahim, who is reportedly staying in Karachi. Sarna said "the fact remains that Pakistan has to be judged not through facile statements in the media but actions on the ground
Marginal increase in Defence outlay
Saikat Datta Indian Express 01 Mr 03
New Delhi, February 28: Political vacillation on key military hardware acquisition weighed heavy on the armed forces even as Finance Minister Jaswant Singh proposed a marginal increase in the Defence budget today. Though a cap on the Defence outlay would send positive signals to the international community, it would have a negative effect on the modernisation plans of the three armed services. This year, Singh has allocated Rs 65,300 crore to Defence, slightly up from last year’s Rs 65,000 crore. However, last year’s revised estimates stood at Rs 56,000 crore. Announcing the Budget, Singh said: ‘‘The Government is fully committed to modernising the armed forces and equipping them with the best available. This is non-negotiable. Therefore, during the next year, any additional requirement, that may emerge on account of modernisation needs of the three armed services or on account of married accommodation project, will be fully met. There will be no shortage of funds for Defence.’’ While Singh may live up to his assurance, it is for the Defence Ministry to expedite the defence acquisition process by speeding up the decision-making process. The armed forces had to ‘‘surrender’’ nearly Rs 9,000 crore as the Defence Ministry apparently sat on the files on big ticket deals. As a result, the Air Force is still waiting for the advanced jet trainer, the Navy for Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier and the Army for its self-propelled guns. The budgetary proposals show that the Army gets Rs 34,574.29 crore as against Rs 34,509.32 crore last fiscal year. This translates into a negligible increase in the outlay even though the military needs at least a 15 per cent hike to maintain its existing equipment. The Navy gets Rs 11,744.68 crore, up from last year’s Rs 8,435.49 crore, signalling the much-needed modernisation of the naval fleet. The Air Force also garnered more funds with Rs 15,410.45 crore, up from Rs 12,403.52 last year, indicating that a decision on an AJT deal or more Mirages could be on the cards. Defence research and development gets a hike with Rs 3,647.6 crore, up from last year’s Rs 3,193.25 crore, and unlike in the past, is listed as a separate head in the Budget. Security expert K. Subrahmanyam blames an indecisive political leadership for the delay in military acquisition process. ‘‘It is a political problem. While politicians are likely to call it a bureaucratic problem, it is their indecision which has resulted in the delay of some key acquisitions,’’ he says. The allocation for the year works out to nearly 2.4 per cent of the GDP, much lower than Pakistan’s and China’s defence spending (at 4.6 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively).
Pak-Korea nuke nexus ran deep: US govt advisor Economic time 03 Mr 03 AGENCIES [ MONDAY, MARCH 03, 2003 06:33:15 AM ]
NEW DELHI: Pakistan is believed to have bartered away nuclear technology to North Korea as a ‘means of payment’ for procuring Taepodong ballistic missiles, according to American experts and intelligence officials. “(US) Intelligence officials now believe that Pakistan decided to transfer nuclear technology as a means of payment. This barter proved a perfect match,” said John Carbaugh Jr, a policy analyst who advises the US administration and major US multinational firms.In 1994, Pyongyang signed the agreed framework which led them to shut down their plutonium-based nuclear programme. “But North Korean scientists found Pakistan’s uranium enrichment technology to be a good means of continuing a covert nuclear programme, albeit one that requires time.” Mr Carbaugh said there were indications that Islamabad had agreed to pay for the ballistic missiles in cash. “But missiles are expensive; by the time they were delivered by North Korea in the spring of 1996, Pakistan’s economy had deteriorated badly. It was dependent on bailouts by the IMF.” This led Islamabad to offer nuclear technology as a barter for the missiles, he said.
Pak hands over 9/11 mastermind to US Economic times 03 Mr03REUTERS [ MONDAY, MARCH 03, 2003 06:31:36 AM ]
ISLAMABAD: After a decade on the run, the suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was in US custody on Sunday, in what US officials hailed as the biggest catch so far in the global war on terror.Pakistani officials said Mr Mohammed, branded by Washington as one of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s “most senior and significant lieutenants,” was arrested by Pakistani agents at a house in Rawalpindi before dawn on Saturday. A Pakistani official said Mr Mohammed was handed over to US custody and taken to an undisclosed location within hours of his arrest. It was not known if the man described by counter-terrorism experts as having been behind almost every major terror attack in the last decade had been taken to Afghanistan, a military base in Cuba, a US ship or flown to the US or a third country. The White House said Mr Mohammed, one of three Al Qaeda suspects detained in the early morning swoop, was “a key Al Qaeda planner and the mastermind of the September 11 attacks.” Officials said the others were a Pakistani and a foreign national of Arab origin. An intelligence source described the third man as an Egyptian national, but gave no other details. However, the family of the arrested Pakistani, Ahmed Quddus, said he was the only person detained in a raid by 20 to 25 security men armed with Kalashnikov rifles on their home in Westridge, a middle-class area of Rawalpindi at 3.30 am on Saturday. Some analysts questioned whether Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had actually been arrested on Saturday and speculated he may have been held for some time and the news made public when it was in the interests of the US and Pakistan. Analysts describe Mr Mohammed, a Kuwaiti in his late 30s, as a pivotal figure in Al Qaeda who vetted all its recruits and who may know the whereabouts of both bin Laden and Mullah Mohammed Omar, fugitive leader of Afghanistan’s former Taliban government.
NEC used a UN plan to ship material to Iraq
Pranab Dhal Samanta Indian Express 28 Feb 03
New Delhi, February 27: Doings of the Delhi-based NEC Engineers Pvt. Ltd, blacklisted by US and chargesheeted in India for supplying prohibited dual-use material to Iraq, seem to get murkier by the day. Investigations have revealed that the company not just successfully veered past the Indian Government’s safeguards on export of dual-use material, but also managed to dodge the vigil of United Nations. The company claims to have exported bleaching powder, ammonium perchlorate and several types of engineering equipment — all dual-use material — under the UN Food-for-Oil Programme to Iraq, but, as it turns out, the world body had never sanctioned the exports and neither did it receive any of the proceeds made in this exercise. According to an investigation report by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), NEC had struck a deal worth $230,000 directly with the Director-General of the Ministry of Interior, Iraq, for supplying 200 tonnes of bleaching powder in January 2001. However, to bypass authorities here, NEC officials strung together a tale of how they had quoted as per a tender issued by the Jordan-based Mohammed El-Khatib. The rouse worked and the goods were exported from Mumbai to Um-Qasr port near Basra in Iraq. The UN authorities at New York never received any receipt for this shipment and by the time their inspectors inspected the ports, the goods had been duly delivered. The report also states that NEC’s general manager Rajiv Dhir concurred with these details during his interrogation. In fact, he went on to say that the contracts were signed, a letter of credit opened but these never had the approval of UN authorities. Not just this, the company had foxed Indian authorities to believe they were genuinely working under the UN programme. While they signed 11 contracts with different Iraq ministries valued at $25 million after the bleaching powder shipment, they never had the UN approval. Further, NEC, owing to its connections with Jordanian firms was able to bag several contracts. Many reputed Indian firms like Balmer Lawrie and Bharti were contracted to undertake survey of key infrastructure plants in Iraq. In its chargesheet filed in the Patiala House Courts here, the DRI has stated that to facilitate large volumes of trade in varied items, NEC’s owner Hans Raj Shiv floated a company in Dubai, Indjo Trading. According to information supplied by the consulate-general of Dubai to investigating agencies, Hans Raj Shiv had changed his name to Sayed Harat Hans Raj to smoothen operations.
Pak army Major held for links with al-Qaeda PTI [ TUESDAY, MARCH 04, 2003 12:35:21 PM ] Times of India 04 Mar03
ISLAMABAD: In a significant development following the arrest of the top al-Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, Pakistan authorities detained an Army Major for his alleged links with Osama Bin Laden's terror network. Intelligence officials have detained Major Adil Qudoos, who was believed to be the uncle of Ahmad Qudoos, the local accomplice, arrested three days ago along with the Kuwait-born Mohammed in Rawalpindi, media reports from Kohat, a Pakistani town in the border North West Frontier Province said on Tuesday. Qudoos was detained at his Cantonment residence in Kohat during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, local daily Dawn quoted officials as saying. "Only Pakistani agencies were involved in the operation and the Major has been detained to confirm whether he has links with his nephew or Khalid Shaikh Mohammed," the officials said. Mohammad was arrested in Rawalpindi from the residence of a local leader of Jamat-e-Islami party. He was reportedly sheltered by the leader’s son Abdul Qudoos who was closely linked to al-Qaeda in the past. Soon after their arrest, a group of senior Pakistani military officials went to the house of the Major Qudoos, who belonged to the 45 Signals regiment carried out a thorough search of his house. His wife and a daughter were secluded during the search, the officials said. The major was asked to furnish details about Sheikh Mohammed as to whether he had visited Kohat in recent days or last year. The wife of the Major was told that she would shortly be informed about his fate, the report said. "There is nothing to worry about. We have orders from above to interrogate the Major and search his house and he will be released within a few days," the leader of the raiding party reportedly told Qudoos' wife. The newspaper report said during the search, the telephone connection of the Major's residence was cut off and was restored after few hours. According to one version, he was being interrogated by a joint investigation team somewhere in Kohat, while some officials said he has been shifted to Islamabad, the report said. This was the first time that Pakistan publicly detained an Army official for alleged links with al-Qaeda and Taliban. Officials here said that Mohammad arrest also exposed the direct links between the hardline Jamat-e-Islami leaders and al-Qaeda. Commenting on Mohammad arrest from a Jamat-e-Islami leader's, Paksitan Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad told reporters yesterday that it was unfortunate that all the al-Qaeda leaders who were detained in Pakistan from different cities since last year had links with Jamat-e-Islami. Appealing to Jamat-e-Islami to realise the delicate position in which Pakistan was placed in the international community, he however ruled out banning the party for its links with the militant outfit. "We want to defend the political people but at the same time they must demonstrate more responsibility", he said.
posted by promila 5:19 AM
IAF to get mid-air refuellers PTI [ WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2003 04:24:05 PM ] Times of India 26 Feb 03
NEW DELHI: India will receive the first two of the six IL-78 mid-air refuellers from Uzbekistan on Saturday at a formal function in Tashkent which would be attended by Defence Minister George Fernandes. Heading a high-powered Defence delegation, Fernandes left for Uzbekistan to personally take delivery of the mid-air refuellers which would enable the Indian Air Force to enhance its strike capacity upto 5,000 kms. The IAF, which early this month had their first air to air refuelling experience with French Air Force KC135 tankers during joint fighter exercises in Gwalior, had already sent pilots and crew for taking delivery of the tankers. According to IAF officials, the tankers would be initially based in Agra and later moved to Nagpur after the full complement of a squadron of six is formed. The officials said IAF pilots and air crew had received their initial training on refuelling and operation of the huge tankers in Uzbekistan from Russian experts and later these experts would fly to India to give training and expertise to others.
As many as 43 clandestine intrusion into Indian territory Economic Times 26 Feb03PTI [ WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2003 01:18:49 PM ]
NEW DELHI: Government on Wednesday said as many as 63 violations of Indian Airspace had taken place during the last four years with clandestine intrusions from Pakistan accounting for half of them, Defence Minister George Fernandes informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.Fernandes said Pakistani aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles had since run up to the occupation of Indian posts in Kargil in 1999 carried out 30 violations of the Indian airspace mainly close to Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and in border areas of Punjab.The Minister, in written replies told the House that at times the intrusion had been deeper with Pakistani coming close to Jammu, Udhampur, which houses the Northern Army Command, Srinagar and Amritsar.The figures of intrusions tabled by the Minister show that as Pakistani troops occupied the Indian posts in Kargil the entire area along LOC in the sector had wittnessed a spate of air intrusions.The figures also show that since 1998, there have been as many as 15 intrusions of Indian airspace from Bangladesh and ' six from Nepal, with both the countries having no spy planes in their inventory.The Government also said that there were as many as seven intrusions across the McMohan line in eastern and central sectors.
India Relies on Israel for UAV Needs
By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI, BANGALORE, India
India’s ambitious unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) procurement plans have three foreign firms vying for tactical UAV contracts, although the Ministry of Defence already has tapped Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. (IAI) to meet most of its reconnaissance UAV needs.
Forgoing a global tender and competition, the ministry’s Defence Procurement Board awarded a $130 million contract to the Lod, Israel-based firm Jan. 13 for 18 Army Heron UAVs to be delivered within a year. Another 16 UAVs for the Indian Air Force are expected to be ordered in March.
Meanwhile, the country’s tactical UAV business has piqued the interest of Elbit Systems Ltd., Haifa, Israel, and South Africa’s Denel Pty Ltd.
Denel has offered a variety of UAVs to India, said Johan Peltz, the Hennopsmeer-based firm’s India manager. Despite losing the low/high altitute UAV contract to IAI, Denel has set its sights on the tactical UAV tenders for the Indian Army and Air Force, Peltz said.
India Strives for Missile-Building Hub
By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI, BANGALORE, India
India is working to build a domestic missile industry that can meet most needs of its own military, and those of others in Southeast Asia and Africa.
State-owned Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL), Hyderabad, has forged partnerships with overseas missile houses for licensed production and joint development of anti-tank missiles and torpedoes. BDL has crafted a plan to pen technology-transfer deals with firms in Israel, Britain, Germany and Italy for licensed production of new-generation tactical missiles for domestic use and export, BDL Chairman Purushotam Mohandas said Feb. 7, in his first interview since taking over India’s only missile producer. He said BDL also will seek technical help from foreign defense companies to modernize Russian tactical missiles in India’s arsenal.
India has about $500 million in orders out for a dozen tactical missile types, including air-to-air and air-to-ground.
BDL signed a joint venture agreement Feb. 7 at the Aero India 2003 show here with MBDA, London, for the new Indan anti-tank guided weapon system. It will use MBDA’s Milan anti-tank guided missile, which BDL already builds under license. The prototypes are to roll out by mid-2005, and Indian forces have an annual requirement of more than 2,000. Neither company provided cost estimates.
Aero India 2003 Show Holds Several Surprises
By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI, BANGALORE, India
The 2003 version of the Aero India exhibition, one of Asia’s largest, featured the announcement that a decision was imminent for the long-delayed Advanced Jet Trainer program and welcomed a U.S. delegation for the first time since Washington levied sanctions following a 1998 Indian nuclear test.
Held Feb. 5-9 in Bangalore, the fourth biennial show included sizeable groups of British and French government officials.
French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin arrived in Bangalore, then traveled to Delhi to approve an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) agreement between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), Bangalore, and Turbomeca, Paris.
The show, which featured 16 foreign and 52 Indian aircraft, was held against the backdrop of the Indian government opening up the defense sector to private and foreign investors.
Its inaugural ceremony was enlivened by aerial images displayed on a screen, taken by an Israeli Heron unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that kept a five-hour vigil overhead.
Israel, which brought more than 70 executives to the show, is the biggest supplier of UAVs to India. “We will shortly bring in our tactical UAVs for the three Indian defense forces,” said Giora Shalgi, chief executive of Rafael, Haifa, Israel. India’s three defense forces have a requirement of more than 500 UAVs in the next 10 years, and most are expected to be procured from Israel.
See the full reporter’s notebook from the show in the Feb. 17, 2003, issue of Defense News.
India Seeks Foreign Help To Build Howitzers
By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI, NEW DELHI
In order to meet its Army’s requirement for more than 600 howitzer guns, worth about $2.5 billion, the Indian government is exploring collaborations with some major foreign defense firms, in both equity and technical participation, to produce the guns in India.
State-owned Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML) has developed a prototype 155mm wheeled howitzer vehicle at its facilities in Bangalore. The prototype was developed in technical collaboration with Denel Pty Ltd., Hennopsmeer, South Africa, where the gun was sent in November for testing.
Denel has a memorandum of understanding with BEML to develop a 155mm wheel-mounted howitzer gun, said Johan Peltz, regional marketing manager for Denel.
Peltz told Defense News Jan. 28 that the prototype will be given to various customers, including the Indian Army, for user trials, and once an order is received, Denel will enter into a joint venture partnership with BEML for serial production of the gun in India. He did not say when an order is expected.
See full story in the Feb. 17, 2003, issue of Defense News.
Cost of Iraq war could approach $100 billion REUTERS [ THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2003 09:44:50 AM ] Economnuic time27 February 2003
WASHINGTON: US military planners believe the cost of a war with Iraq could balloon to $95 billion, eclipsing earlier estimates, administration and congressional sources said on Wednesday.The White House cautioned that it was impossible to put a dollar-figure on a war because no-one knows how long it would last and what measures Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would take to destroy the country's critical infrastructure, including oil wells."It is too soon to be able to have any type of reliable number," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.But Pentagon officials have discussed the $95 billion figure with the White House, which could scale back the package as it prepares an emergency spending bill that must then be approved by Congress."That's the figure that's been put forward," said a senior defense official.Sources involved in the deliberations said the price-tag of a war could still come in at close to the $61 billion spent on the 1991 Gulf War. They called the $95 billion figure a Pentagon "wish list.""The idea is to find out what we will need in terms of a relatively short, intense conflict," a defence official said, adding that deliberations at the White House were ongoing for what would likely be the most intense and precise assault in military history.It calls for more than 3,000 guided bombs and missiles ripping Iraqi military and leadership targets in the first 48 hours. Nearly 700 long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles, at a cost of about $1 million each, would be launched by US warships and heavy bombers in opening high-tech strikes 10 times more potent than the beginning of the 1991 Gulf War.In addition to direct war costs, the administration is prepositioning humanitarian supplies near Iraq and assembling multibillion-dollar economic aid packages for Turkey, Israel and other key allies in the region.Administration officials say they planned to present detailed cost estimates to President George W Bush in the next week. "It's a big bill," acknowledged Robin Cleveland, associate director for national security programs at the White House Office of Management and Budget.According to internal White House documents provided to key congressional committees, the Bush administration expects to spend about $1 billion on humanitarian relief and reconstruction in Iraq in the first year after any US-led invasion.US officials say they are preparing for the worst, including up to 2 million refugees in the weeks after any American-led invasion.They are already sending blankets, water, tents, medicine and other supplies for up to 1 million people to the region. Nearly 2.9 million daily rations were also being stockpiled to meet emergency food needs.But they acknowledge the cost could skyrocket if Saddam sets the country's oil fields on fire and uses chemical or biological weapons against civilians.Although the administration is counting on Iraqi oil revenues to help pay for long-term reconstruction, it has yet to say how the United States would manage the oil industry and whether oil income would cover the full cost."We don't know what's going to happen in the (Iraqi) oil fields" if there's a war, a defence official said, noting that Iraqi forces destroyed Kuwait's oil infrastructure before fleeing that country after the 1991 Gulf War.The Kuwaitis, he added, spent an estimated $22 billion to rebuild their smaller oil fields after that conflict.In contrast to the 1991 Gulf War, the United States this time could be forced to pick up almost the entire bill.Costs MountBut experts say occupation costs could far exceed the direct military costs of the war itself. The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments estimated the five-year costs at between $25 billion and $105 billion, depending on the number of US troops on the ground.Aid packages for Turkey and Israel alone could cost US taxpayers more than $10 billion. Jordan is seeking more than $1 billion in grants and a supply of subsidised oil. Egypt wants duty-free access to the US market for its goods.Excluding these Iraq-related costs, Bush is already projecting record US budget deficits of $304 billion for the current fiscal year and $307 billion next year."No one likes to talk about putting a price tag on national security, but these costs simply cannot be ignored," said Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee."The total price of a war in Iraq could easily add up to hundreds of billions of dollars -- even a trillion or more -- overwhelming a federal budget which is already sliding into deep deficits and warping the US economy and impacting the economies of other nations for years to come," he added.
OIC nations may use oil as weapon to avert Iraq war Economic times 27 February 2003AGENCIES [ THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2003 04:26:30 AM ]
KUALA LUMPUR: Muslim nations on Wednesday discussed using oil as a “weapon” to avert possible US-led action against Iraq even as they urged Baghdad to comply with UN resolutions to avoid war.“There were suggestions that we look at using our oil wells in order to exert some pressure,” Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who chaired an informal meeting of 48 Organisations of Islamic Conference (OIC) nations here, said after the talks. However, Mahathir said, “Oil is a double-edged weapon. If the price of oil goes up, many of the countries of the south suffer the most.”“We have to also see how to use this weapon, if we simply mark up the price we might have a bad reaction that is why I recommended that we should think about it first” and the OIC members also agreed to “look into it.”During the meeting, the members also urged Iraq to comply fully with UN weapons inspectors, Mahathir said. “We are agreed that Iraq should comply completely with requests by inspectors for any examination into possible weapons of mass destruction which may be manufactured or which may be kept by Iraq,” he said.Mahathir said Baghdad maintained it did not have anything that was endangering anyone and had invited members to verify this. But, he said, “members do not doubt Iraq and there is no need for them to go and verify.”“The problem faced by Iraq is that if it has nothing to show then there is an assumption that it is hiding something. So either way, Iraq is not going to be able to get off the hook.”
posted by promila 5:17 AM