Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pakistan's Army & ISI : A dangerous mix of humiliation & desperation

As usual, Sri B. Raman writes with clarity and precision.  His recent blog post - "Pakistan Army & ISI:  A dangerous mix of humiliation & desperation" (May 17, 2011) sums up the situation in Pakistan arising out of the US operation conducted inside Pakistan resulting in the death and capture of Osama Bin Laden alongwith material which might possibly give clues about links of the terrorists with members of the Pak defence establishment (including the ISI). 

Sri Raman writes -
A dangerous mix of humiliation and desperation is the prevailing mood in the Pakistani Armed Forces and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden in a clandestine chopper-borne raid conducted by US naval commandos on a huge house next to the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) at Abbottabad in the Khyber Pakhtoonkwa province.

The humiliation of the ISI arises from the fact that OBL was living undetected at Abbottabad for over five years.
The humiliation of the Armed Forces has arisen from the fact that neither the Pakistan Air Force ( PAF) nor the Army was able to detect and prevent the intrusion of the US choppers into the Abbottabad area....

The vaunted professional reputation of the Army, the Air Force and the ISI is in ruins. ... There is a danger of the military and the ISI leadership concluding that without an external adventure against India they may not be able to salvage their reputation and restore the morale of the Armed Forces and the ISI at junior and senior levels...

The spectacular chopper-borne commando raid would be studied not only by the special forces groups of other countries, but also by terrorist organizations in order to see whether similar chopper borne raids could be organized on our territory. Indian targets which could be vulnerable to chopper-borne commando style raids have to be identified and action taken to reduce their vulnerability.
Hummingbird agrees with the observations made. The situation is more dangerous mainly because ISI and Army (both broadly discredited agencies internally) would like to establish themselves as saviours of Pakistan. To do this, they might instigate an unnecessary conflict with India, hoping that this might polarise/unify the domestic opinion in their favour and against a common enemy. It is important that India stays vigilant and intensifies / strengthens its intelligence.

Hummingbird notes with interest the comment made by Sri Vijainder K Thakur on the blog post -
"A chopper borne raid by Pak army into India sounds far fetched! Whom will they kill and take back as a corpse?.."
Hummingbird is of the view that one cannot (and shouldn't) rule out this kind of operation by Pakistan. It is not necessary that they have to carry someone's corpse. If they can effect large scale destruction and create chaos, even that is sufficient. While such operation by Pakistan can be doubted now, it could be carried out in the event of a full scale operation by Pak against India. I am more worried about such operation by rogue elements / terrorists against India, which Pakistan can later-on conveniently claim that they haven't officially done and they are as much a victim of terror as any one else. Remember all the stories that are now floated about Pakistan losing 30,000 people in anti-terror operations (or) terrorist acts inside Pak.

Causing damage to high economic value targets, death and destruction of large segments of population, creating communal violence etc. could be possibly be motives for such operations by Pakistan's ISI (or) army (or) rogue elements (or) terrorists operating from Pakistan (actually not much difference is there between them except that the defence forces have a formal uniform!).

In short, more vigilance and strong defence is required. Complacence can lead to humiliation and large scale suffering. One-sided peace initiatives (with eye on Nobel Prize) by our Prime Minister can only lead to long term damage to Indian population.