The IN-US Plot Against The RF-PK Partnership Got Facebook To Ban Pakistani Pages

By Andrew Korybko
Source

Facebook’s decision to ban 103 Pakistani pages earlier this week might have been done in order to comply with India’s new domestic legislation prohibiting “unlawful” content on social media such as the “inconvenient” information that would have presumably been shared on those pages debunking the country’s Bollywood-like lies about the latest conflict and raising awareness about India’s state-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir, but the move also suggests a broader American-influenced infowar motivation to advance the bizarre theory recently  put forth by an Indian academic alleging that Russia and Pakistan are now brothers-in-arms waging Hybrid Wars across the world.

Business & Politics

All of Pakistan and the world at large is wondering what really led to Facebook’s unexpected decision to ban 103 Pakistani pages earlier this week for what the company alleged was so-called “coordinated inauthentic behavior”, with it initially appearing likely that this was done in order to suppress the information networks most critical of Indian Prime Minister Modi on their platform ahead of the onset of that country’s general elections next week. That very likely played a part in the timing behind Facebook’s decision, which wouldn’t be surprising because the tech company has a vested interest in supporting the incumbent leader in its largest market, or at least wouldn’t want to get on his bad side and therefore felt compelled to do his government a “favor” upon possible request.

It therefore might not even be that Facebook “deviously” decided to play a partisan role in this process but that it didn’t believe it had a choice if it wanted to continue expanding its presence in the country, though it obviously needed to concoct a so-called “probable cause” in order to do so, ergo the unverified claims about “coordinated inauthentic behavior”. Even so, it’s a murky business speculating about backdoor deals between Facebook and various governments, which is why it’s pertinent to raise awareness about the “legal” basis upon which India could have very likely made their request to get some of the platform’s most popular Pakistani pages taken down, and that’s the country’s recent promulgation of a controversial piece of legislation prohibiting “unlawful” content on social media.

Censoring Social Media

Reuters specifically mentioned in its report about this back in January that it includes any material that affects the “sovereignty and integrity of India”, which is vague catch-all designation that could have easily been applied to the material that those banned Pakistani pages presumably shared debunking India’s Bollywood-like lies about the latest conflict and raising awareness about its state-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir. Even something as simple as sharing the Pakistani map that includes the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan as part of Pakistan and not India like New Delhi claims it is per its maximalist approach to the Kashmir conflict could have been enough to violate that law, like I wrote at the time in my piece about how “Social Media Might Ban The Pakistani Map At India’s Behest”.

Considering that Facebook has self-interested reasons in staying on the good side of the authorities in its largest market, there’s a certain logic to why it might have banned those 103 Pakistani pages if India claimed that they broke its domestic law and might have been engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” as part of an alleged perception management operation conducted by its neighbor. That would certainly be enough of a “plausible” reason for Facebook to take action against those pages and give it a “legitimate” excuse to hide behind in protecting its future profits in that market by doing New Delhi’s bidding. It’s likely that this was the case, but a further analysis needs to be conducted about the way in which most of the Mainstream Media reported on this decision.

The “Gerasimov Of South Asia”

Reuters, which usually sets the tone that most other Mainstream Media outlets follow, reported in its original piece breaking this news that Pakistan’s Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan Armed Forces, was somehow or another supposedly connected to the 103 banned pages. They also curiously included a sentence asserting that “The military’s spokesman has often mentioned the term ‘fifth generation warfare’ during press conferences, referring to an unconventional battlefield that includes the dissemination and countering of information on social media”. This was clearly a dog whistle of innuendo implying that the ISPR was waging “fifth generation warfare” on Facebook through those pages, which in turn triggered Indian media to run with that narrative and call ISPR spokesman Asif Ghafoor the “Gerasimov of South Asia”.

That’s not incidental either, since Ghafoor and Russian General Chief of Staff are both being deliberately misportrayed as practitioners of “fifth generation warfare” despite both of them merely warning about the said tactics that their adversaries are using against them and never saying anything about their own country’s capabilities in this field or intention to “fight fire with fire” like has been falsely alleged. In fact, the false comparisons might go even further because there’s a high likelihood that Pakistan’s ISPR will be compared to Russia’s “Internet Research Agency” (IRA) as India copies a page out of the US’ infowar playbook to pin the blame for “fifth generation warfare” on its hated enemy just like America did with Russia in order to distract from its own employment of these technologies.

The Indo-American Plot Against The Russian-Pakistani Partnership

My professional prediction as a Hybrid War expert (officially recognized as such by the NATO Defense College in two papers that they published citing my 2015 bookon the topic) isn’t without precedent, however, since I wrote an analysis earlier this week about how “A Leading Indian Academic Just Alleged A Far-Fetched Russian-Pakistani Plot” strangely suggesting that the two countries are brothers-in-arms waging Hybrid Wars across the world. In hindsight, that weaponized narrative actually appears to have inspired the aforementioned piece about Ghafoor being the “Gerasimov of South Asia” and therefore laid the basis for the first-ever joint Indo-American infowar against the Russian-Pakistani Strategic Partnership out of fear that the Great Power convergence of the Afro-Eurasian “balancer” and the global pivot state is a game-changing development that’s bound to geostrategically reshape the Eastern Hemisphere.

Pakistan, and not the Indian “rogue state”, is the focal point of Russia’s “Return to South Asia” because of the “balancing” benefits that Moscow expects to derive from Islamabad vis-à-vis Beijing and New Delhi, albeit for different reasons but in pursuit of the same end of stabilizing hemispheric affairs. While this is welcomed by China, it’s regarded by India and its new American patron as a threat to their grand strategic interests, which is why they’re doing everything that they can to thwart it through their combined infowar means of manufacturing fake news about a supposed Russian-Pakistani global Hybrid War plot against them both. Due to New Delhi, “Russia’s ‘Deep State’ Divisions Over South Asia Are Spilling Over Into The Public”, but it’s also clumsily making many mistakes such as when “India’s Ambassador To Russia Lied About Rejecting International Mediation”.

Concluding Thoughts

Reflecting on the insight that was revealed in this analysis, the case can strongly be made that Facebook banned 103 Pakistani pages based on fabricated claims by India alleging that the targets were engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” as part of a “fifth generation warfare plot” and possibly in violation of the country’s recently passed legislation banning “unlawful” content such as what could have been presumed to have been shared on those pages about the latest conflict and Kashmir. Facebook, not wanting to jeopardize its growing presence in its largest market anywhere in the world, promptly complied with the request, which then created a news event that was subsequently spun by the Mainstream Media to propagate the US-influenced weaponized narrative about a Russian-Pakistani global Hybrid War conspiracy.

The US and India have clearly joined forces in a plot to thwart the Russian-Pakistani Strategic Partnership, afraid as they are about the game-changing implications that the increasingly close cooperation between the Afro-Eurasian “balancer” and the global pivot state is poised to have on the outcome of the New Cold War. The most visible manifestation of this is the coordinated infowar being waged by these two unipolar allies against their multipolar targets, which largely relies on the dramatic buzzwords of Hybrid War and “fifth generation warfare” as unmistakable dog whistles to signal to their surrogates to add on to this storyline with each subsequent article until an entirely artificial reality is constructed in the Mainstream Media which serves the purpose of justifying the US & India’s further preplanned joint measures against Russia & Pakistan.

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India’s Outrageous Media Compounds Constant Failures Against Pakistan

By Aga Hussain
Source

One can barely get used to the mixture of amusement and disbelief that Indian propaganda delivered through its burgeoning network of news channels. Retweeted and spread about immediately by the world’s largest Twitter community, it seems odd that the cartoonish levels of false propaganda created and pushed by the Indian media hasn’t become a topic discussed and analyzed far and wide yet.

While this may be explainable by the fact that the Indian public’s overwhelmingly Pakistan-centric approach results in the fake-news campaigns directed at mostly Pakistani online communities, the capability of such a vast apparatus to escalate tensions between two nuclear-armed states makes it worth a lot more attention than it is getting.

The ‘Surgical Strike’ of 25 February and its embarrassing consequences

Early morning on the 25th of February, India claimed to have aerially struck ‘terror camps’ on the Pakistani side of the disputed Kashmir region. After initial variations, the main claim from Indian leaders and media settled around ‘300 Jaish e Mohammed militants killed’ (JeM is a Pakistan-based group that recruits fighters to attack India’s occupation forces in Kashmir). Cue the victory lap by Indian media and the announcements of Bollywood films to follow, and ‘revenge’ for the 14 February car-bombing by a Kashmiri of an Indian paramilitary force convoy that killed near 50 Indian personnel. JeM, of course, was blamed by India, without evidence and thus the 25 February strikes were hailed as ‘payback’.

However, Pakistan’s military PR wing quickly uploaded pictures of the site of the attacks and showed that, far from there being no evidence of such a large number of militants having been killed, let alone even being there, the Indian jets had merely dropped a ‘payload’ before speeding back into India after pursuit by Pakistani jets. The fuel tanks damaged trees and injured an old man, and that was about it. Videos taken separately by locals also matched the pictures the military released to Twitter.

The village where India’s few minutes-long incursion into Pakistani airspace yielded the ‘strike’ was Balakot, lying essentially on the de facto border or Line of Control. To maximize the ‘impressiveness’ of the ‘strike’, Indian media claimed India had hit a city with the same name in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which would imply a very deep incursion as opposed to the real one which was only a few miles.

Pakistan’s army acted quickly in getting validation for its response to India’s erratic claims from third party sources and demonstrated that no such fantastic strike had been carried out by the Indians. Pakistan promised a response at a time and place of its own choosing and the stage was set for the Indian media to go from the offensive to the defensive and attempt to exert damage control over the impending losses India would soon incur.

Notwithstanding more recent statements by India ‘accepting’ that it scored no successes in its Balakot adventure, Indian media did still earn more ridicule by playing ‘recordings’ of ‘Pakistani’ militants ‘discussing the strike’ and using Hindi words as well as Indian accents to make it appear as if the strike happened.

Attempting to hide the beating at the hands of the Pakistani airforce with incredulous claims

Pakistan’s airforce successfully shot down two Indian jets, two MIG-21s, the next day as a response to the Indian aerial incursion. One had its pilot eject and land on the Pakistani side of the LoC and proceed to be rescued by Pakistani soldiers before he would have otherwise been killed by a mob as can be seen in this video. The captive Wing Commander, Abhinandan, was interviewed by the Pakistani military and shown to be treated as according to international humanitarian standards. He probably could not have guessed, however, that the Indians would be busy claiming he had downed a Pakistani jet himself.

As expected, there was no video of this Pakistani jet going down or its debris on the Pakistani side of the LoC, or of the mysterious F-16 Pakistani pilot claimed by India to have been ‘nearly lynched’ by a Pakistani mob ‘mistaking him for an Indian pilot’. Apparently, the Pakistani mob would be too foolish to recognize his Pakistani air force uniform or be able to communicate in proper Urdu with him, if one were to believe Indian media claims.

Pakistan stated that it had not used any F-16. In a strange way, then, of trying to prove the possibility of such having happened, Indian media went about attempting to explain that an F-16 had indeed been used by the Pakistani side. Claims were made that Pakistan’s released pictures of Abhinandan’s destroyed MIG-21 were actually pictures of a destroyed Pakistani F-16 and thus that Pakistan was engaging in false propaganda. However, it was soon shown by independent researchers that the pictures Indian media was flaunting desperately of the ‘destroyed Pakistani F-16’ were actually pictures of the downed Indian MIG-21. Despite desperate claims by India’s most prominent print and electronic media outlets, the pictures quite clearly showed discernible MIG-21 parts and not F-16 ones.

India’s continuingly deteriorating quality of propaganda during the escalated situation with Pakistan showed that it clearly had no plan B if its planned ‘surgical strike’ went wrong, whether on the military front or the media front. With officials now backpedalling on the ‘300 militants killed’ rhetoric, fissures seem visible in the Indian camp. Western Air Command Chief Air Marshal Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar’s retirement soon after the aerial combat losses may also have been compelled and one wonders what Abhinandan’s own life will be like from here on now.

Kashmir insurgency rises as India grows yet more erratic

Handwara, Kashmir, saw 2 Kashmiri fighters kill at least 7 Indian paramilitary personnel and police and injure several more. Reported as belonging to the JeM group, they compounded a tough month for Indian forces in Kashmir where continued ambushes by Kashmiri fighters persisted before and after the Pulwama blast.

Notably, the day of sabre-rattling before India’s ill-fated incursion into Pakistani airspace and subsequent ‘surgical strike’ claims had seen a large crackdown on Kashmiri political groups by India with particular focus on Jamaat e Islami. Declaring the popular party responsible for running hundreds of schools officially banned on 28 February, India added another large provocation to an already rising Kashmiri freedom struggle to go with several others such as hints at attempting demographic change and seeing considerable violence against Kashmiris in Indian cities and towns following the Pulwama blast.

The Kashmiri resistance won’t be diffused or defanged into a state of impotent ‘negotiations’ and stagnancy by an India acting as reckless as it is now. False propaganda about JeM chief Masood Azhar being dead seems to be India’s latest attempt to salvage pride out of its current strategic and military woes.

Setback at the OIC

On the diplomatic front, India also suffered a setback when the Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemned its atrocities in Kashmir and praised Pakistan’s conduct during the escalation. The presence of Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj at the OIC recently after an invite was hailed across India as a snubbing of Pakistan by the latter and provoked a refusal by Pakistan to send its own FM to attend (albeit it did send a lower-level delegation). However, the OIC responded to Swaraj’s assertions of India ‘fighting against terrorism’ by adopting a resolution condemning Indian state atrocities in Kashmir and also endorsing the rebuilding of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya which was destroyed by Hindutva groups in 1992 the day after Swaraj’s ‘guest of honour’ address to the organization.

Ruling party BJP bigwigs responded with anger soon afterward, with Hindutva ideologue Subramaniam Swamy insultingly declaring that Hindus should respond to the OIC verdict by ‘reclaiming the Kaaba’ as a ‘Shivaling’ (or phallus of the Hindu god Shiva).

The fact that the OIC doesn’t do or matter much as an organization here means little. That Pakistan clearly succeeded in getting the OIC to pass the condemnation of India’s atrocities is indicative of a more proactive Pakistan matching up against a more erratic India and a setback that comes amid bigger setbacks during the escalation with Pakistan. Pakistan’s coherence and unity, especially with regard to the civil-military relationship, has contrasted sharply with the conduct and behaviour of the Indian side and the latter shows little signs of bringing its tendencies under check for the foreseeable future.

Modi’s Office was Very Misleading About His Conversation with Putin — Astute News

According to the Kremlin’s official website, President Putin never said anything about “Russia’s steadfast support for India’s efforts to protect its interests against cross-border terror attacks”, but that didn’t stop Prime Minister Modi’s office from misleadingly implying that he did as India continues doing whatever it can to save face after Pakistan gave it a […]

via Modi’s Office was Very Misleading About His Conversation with Putin — Astute News

Israel’s Hands Are All Over India’s Escalating Conflict with Pakistan — Astute News

When I heard the first news report, I assumed it was an Israeli air raid on Gaza. Or Syria. Airstrikes on a “terrorist camp” were the first words. A “command and control centre” destroyed, many “terrorists” killed. The military was retaliating for a “terrorist attack” on its troops, we were told. An Islamist “jihadi” base had been […]

via Israel’s Hands Are All Over India’s Escalating Conflict with Pakistan — Astute News

How The Western Anti-War Movement Became Poisoned Against Pakistan

By Adam Garrie
Source

As has been the case many times in the past, the events of the last two days have demonstrated India’s willingness to risk the consequences of committing acts of aggression against Pakistan, mainly because India remains convinced that Pakistan’s side of the story will never get a fair hearing internationally. As such, whilst Pakistan has produced photos of a downed Indian jet, complete with video confirming the lawful capture of the pilot, in addition to further footage of the pilot drinking tea with a well mannered Pakistani interrogator – there are still some who believe the totally un-evidenced and downright bizarre claims made by India in relation to the events of the past two days.

Clearly, much of the world is starting to see the truth about India’s deceptive military and even more deceptive hybrid military-political campaigns that many in Pakistan have cautioned the world against believing for decades. And yet there is one segment of western political activism that continues to turn a blind eye to the injustices facing Pakistan, whilst automatically sympathising with India. This is the self-proclaimed anti-war movement, whose name is betrayed by the fact that many otherwise consistently anti-war Europeans and North Americans, become unhinged when faced with the prospect of having to condemn India in the context of its hostility against Pakistan.

The root of this problem has comparatively little to do with India and Pakistan’s role in the Cold War rivalries between China and the Soviet Union, but instead has much to do with the events which transpired in Afghanistan between 1978 and 2001.

In 1978, the pro-Soviet People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan overthrow the Republic of Afghanistan ruled by Mohammed Daoud Khan during the Saur Revolution. This triggered an internal backlash against the new communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The indigenous backlash then triggered Kabul calling for the USSR to aid the central government against the uprising, whilst the United States firmly backed the Mujahideen rebels by supplying them with weapons, other material goods and high level combat training.

Ironically, many members of the anti-war movement in the west during the 1980s actually remained neutral or opposed the USSR’s entry into Afghanistan. This is due to the fact that while technically, the USSR was acting on the request of a UN recognised government, the American war in Vietnam was likewise technically at the “request” of the government of South Vietnam – a nation that had strong associations with the UN, without ever attaining full membership (incidentally, no Vietnamese state held a UN seat until 1977, by which time the country was unified).

In spite of these legal nuances, the American war in Vietnam was an unmitigated disaster and the Soviet war in Afghanistan likewise proved to be disastrous. It has only been in the 21st century that the next generation of western anti-war activists have gradually come to wrap themselves in the flag of The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. This is the case for several crucial reasons.

After the 9/11 attacks in the US, the anti-war movement was struggling to have its voice heard in an America that became hellbent for military revenge against anyone thought to be behind the attacks. Americans wanted revenge as was understandable, but worryingly, they were willing to get their revenge even against those who had nothing to do with 9/11 (if this sounds like India in 2019, it is because the same logic applies).

Desperate to stay relevant in a country that was overwhelmingly pro-war after 9/11, members of the US anti-war movement began to rehabilitate the People’s Republic of Afghanistan because on paper (key term), it stood for everything those accused of committing the 9/11 atrocity opposed. The People’s Republic of Afghanistan had a secular government that was far-left, anti-religious and opposed to the US backed Mujaheddin. As Osama bin Laden was once a leading figure in the Mujahideen, the US anti-war movement finally had an argument that in theory they could use in order to revive the general relevance of the anti-war movement in a pro-war age.  Their argument went as follows: “America helped the Mujahideen in which Osama bin Laden was a leading figure. By contrast, the USSR and the People’s Republic of Afghanistan opposed the Mujahideen and stood for an ideology hated by the Mujahideen. Ergo: America’s support of the Mujahideen led to 9/11 and if the USSR and their communist Afghan allies won the war, there would be no 9/11”.

Although the “logic” employed by such members of the western anti-war movement is simplistic to the point of being a straw man argument, this is actually what many anti-war westerners, as well as many knee-jerk pro-Russian international commentators have said and continue to say when trying to find an ideological/pseudo-strategic link between the events of the 1980s and the post-9/11 anti-war movement. Ironically, modern Russia has welcomed peace talks with the Taliban, whilst perhaps not surprisingly, few in Russia now think that their war in Afghanistan was a good idea and almost no one in modern Russia thinks that the war was properly executed. In this sense, the western anti-war movement sounds a lot more like the old USSR than many scholars and even many policy makers in modern Russia.

Be that as it may, due to the fact that Pakistan was an opponent of People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, many of these same anti-war westerners continue to blame Pakistan for the failure of the supposedly “good” communist Afghan government to beat the Mujahideen. What such people fail to realise is that Pakistan’s support for those opposing the communist regime in Afghanistan had nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with Pakistan’s national survival.

Between 1947 and the present day, literally every Afghan government whether monarchical, republican, communist or theocratic, has refused to recognise Pakistan’s otherwise internationally recognised western border along the Durand Line. As such, Pakistan feared that the revolutionary communist regime next door would act even more vociferously in pursuing Afghanistan’s notorious expansionist tendencies than even previous Afghan regimes. There were several logical reasons which led Pakistan’s leadership to this deduction. First of all, as a country with good relations with the USSR’s main rivals of the time (China and the United States), Pakistan feared that a Soviet victory in Afghanistan would lead an exuberant, emboldened and war hardened Kabul regime to expand its territory at the expense of legally defined Pakistani territory. Secondly, the communist ideology of the Afghanistan after 1978 sought to disguise traditional anti-Pakistan Pashtun ultra-nationalism (aka separatism) in order to create an old fashioned “Greater Pashtunistan” under the guise of “proletarian expansionism”. In this sense, from Pakistan’s perspective, it was better to ally with rebels who supported an Islamic political ideology which in theory would minimise notorious Afghan expansionism aimed at Pakistan, than it would have been to go soft on a secular Kabul regime that was willing to use ethno-nationalism as a means of spreading communism to a Pakistan which had no appetite for becoming a communist state against its will.

As such, Pakistan opposed the communist regime in Afghanistan not only for these practical rather than ideological reasons, but also because domestic terrorists seeking to destroy the Pakistani state were sheltered by communist Kabul, therefore making it clear that Afghanistan was prepared to harbour individuals and groups whose stated goal was the overthrow of state institutions in Pakistan. In this sense, Pakistan was not “in love” with the Mujahideen, but was instead looking to strategically protect itself against a clear threat on what was then, a widely exposed north-western border.

As a Cold War ally of the USSR, India had multiple vested interests in supporting the People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. First of all, India’s relations with Afghanistan have always been centred on New Delhi’s desire to gain leverage against Pakistan through the use of hybrid threats originating from or being sheltered on Afghan soil. Secondly, as in the 1980s Afghanistan shared a border with the USSR, a grand Soviet, India, Afghanistan alliance could have helped to economically isolate Pakistan in an age before Pakistan’s all-weather friend China became the economic superpower that it is today. As such, the idea of a northern CPEC lifeline for Pakistan in the 1980s, would have been virtually unimaginable.

And yet, these deeply important details seem to be lost on a western anti-war movement that especially since 9/11, has partly internalised the western far-right and Israel’s Islamophobia. In doing so, many in the western anti-war movement have reached the simplistic conclusion that “secular terrorists and murderous secular regimes are automatically good, whilst anything Islamic is automatically a reactionary and pro-terrorism”.

Whilst this shift in the western anti-war movement towards secular supremacy aimed at Islamic movements or governments with Islamic (particularly Sunni Islamic) characteristics was a phenomenon based on the west’s own post-9/11 mass hysteria, it had the effect of helping India to revive its own seemingly dead Cold War narrative which claims that “secular leftists of the world and Hindus of the world must unite against CIA back Sunni Muslim extremists”. Forgetting the fact that as the 21st century moved on, India grew closer to the US, further from Russia and continues to maintain hostility against China – this narrative continues to poison many otherwise dutiful anti-war westerners against Pakistan.

This is the case because based on their total misreading of events in Afghanistan in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, far too many western anti-war activists think that there is in fact an unbroken alliance of Mujahideen style groups, modern Pakistan and the CIA and that this alliance can only be counterbalanced by a mythical alliance that includes “sometimes Hindu/sometimes secular India”, a Russia that the western left imagines to still be the old USSR and any country in western Eurasia (Syria and Iran in particular) that has dispute with actual Sunni extremists (mainly Daesh) who happen to have nothing to do with Pakistan.

The fact of the matter is that a mixture of the USSR’s rehabilitation among the western far-left, a gross misunderstanding of Pakistan’s position in the 1980s and Indian propaganda that is aimed at both the western far-right and simultaneously at the ultra-secular western far-left, has poisoned the anti-war movement against Pakistan. This is all the more reason why Pakistan needs a 24/7 news channel to help dispel these canards.

Pakistan’s Restrained Self-Defence is a Wake-up Call to an International Community That Continues to Ignore Kashmir

By Adam Garrie
Source

Two jets down 

This morning, in broad daylight, Pakistan downed two Indian fighter jets which had breached Pakistani airspace. One of the jets landed in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) and one landed in Pakistan’s Azad Jammu and Kashmir province.

Subsequent to the downing of the jets, two Indian pilots were taken into custody. One is currently receiving medial treatment.

Why it happened in a specific sense

According to Pakistan armed forces spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor, today’s action taken in the morning light, was a necessary and non-lethal effort which demonstrates that Pakistan will never tolerate any illegal infringements of its air space as was witnessed today and moreover as occurred during yesterday’s attempted but ultimately failed Indian aerial assault on Pakistani territory.

Speaking at a press conference Major General Ghafoor further elaborated on the situation as follows:

“Pakistan’s armed forces have capability, will, resolve and nation’s support. But because we are a responsible state and want peace, we decided first of all that we won’t take any military targets.

Secondly we decided that there be no loss of life or collateral damage in our engaging of targets.

Our planes locked targets, then in open air we carried out strikes. We locked all targets with accuracy, and when we had option to fire, we acted responsibly from a safe distance. We have capability to do anything, but we don’t want escalation. We don’t want to go towards war”.

Why it happened in a wider sense 

Although the Kashmir crisis has burnt since 1947 and has been rapidly escalating into a major human rights crisis since 1989 in particular, the international community has come to ignore the Kashmir crisis more so than just about any other lingering conflict on the planet. By contrast, the Israel-Palestine conflict, wars against Daesh terrorism in the Arab world and even elements of the ongoing civil conflicts in Myanmar, tend to receive far more international attention.

As a result, India has been able to act with impunity against the people of occupied Kashmir, while India’s narrative which blames Pakistan for inciting a resistance to occupation that has in reality been incited by India’s own policies in occupied Kashmir – is rarely challenged outside of Pakistan.

The reason this reality has come about is because of the fact that in today’s age of modern warfare, there is little chance that a conventional war between India and Pakistan would directly impact the security of any other nation. In this sense, the vastness of the wider south Asian space has given the wider world a convenient excuse to ignore the crisis, with the noble exception of Turkey.

As such, whilst China refuses Indian calls to scapegoat Pakistan and label local groups as “international terrorist groups”, China nevertheless does not want to risk a further deterioration of its relations with India by taking a firm stance on the Kashmir issue. For the United States that in recent years has pivoted closer to India and further away from Pakistan, Washington seeks to balance its rhetorical support of the Indian narrative against a desire not to totally alienate a Pakistani state that even Donald Trump now realises is required to secure any lasting and meaningful peace process in Afghanistan. Finally, whilst Russia tries to maintain its strong Cold War bond with India whilst also availing itself of opportunities that a Pakistani partnership presents, Russia tends to say as little as possible while at times, an historic pro-India basis is still detectable.

As such, when Pakistan is faced with a large Indian neighbour that seems unchecked in its arrogance and its willingness to use military force in order to engender domestic political gain for the ruling BJP, there is no choice for Pakistan but to demonstrate its material capacity for self-defence.

This is why Pakistan did not attack India under the cover of night, but instead used its military power to actively punish Indian jets that had violated Pakistani airspace with utter impunity. Pakistan wants the world to see the situation for what it is. Beyond this, the only way to break this cycle is for India to realise that bullying a geographically smaller but still nuclear armed neighbour, is totally unacceptable and that moreover, the root cause of all hostility between India and Pakistan is the fact that New Delhi refuses to grant Kashmiris their UN mandated plebiscite on political self-determination.

A wake up call for the rest of the world 

Almost every country in the world has issued a statement on the Israel-Palestine conflict at one time or another. Similarly, the US continues to criticise the Chinese and Russian military superpowers. China makes very firm statements criticising the US when it violates China’s maritime rights in the South China Sea, Iran and Israel constantly criticise one another, Russia constantly criticises the military policies of the United States – and yet this same international community continues to fall silent on the Kashmir issue, in spite of the fact that Kashmir’s crisis is the sole cause of tensions between nuclear neighbours in south Asia.

In this sense, the wider world ought to listen to the following statement, also given at this morning’s press conference by Major General Asif Ghafoor:

“The state, government, armed forces and people of Pakistan have always conveyed a message of peace to India. The road to peace goes through dialogue. Both countries have the capability and capacity but war is the failure of policy which India needs to understand. We do not want to escalate and follow a path which leads to peace. The people of both countries and region at large have a right to live and live in peace. War is not the solution to problems. India should think with a cool head on this offer from Pakistan”.

Conclusion 

Both India, its traditional partners and other major members of the international community must think with a cool head on Pakistan’s offer. Pakistan’s doors to dialogue continue to remain open, but likewise, Pakistan will always respond robustly to any acts of provocation committed by any of its neighbours. If the world truly cares about peace, the international community must tackle this matter at its root. This is to say, the international community that for decades has ignored Kashmir, must cease to do so.

Balakot and Batgram

Spearhead Analysis – 27.02.2019
Source

Pulwama happened and even a moron could connect two dots and decide that its roots lay in India’s disastrous policy in Kashmir. PM Modi (no doubt assisted by his National Security Adviser) jumped the gun, mounted his bandwagon and made the hare-brained unilateral determination (without an investigation) that Pakistan was behind the attack. He also committed India to retaliation closing the door to any deniable response. The die was well and truly cast. The world ignored the mounting evidence of linkage behind the Pulwama and Zahedan attacks and the conclusion that India was the sole beneficiary of the two linked attacks.

India’s retaliation (that is now being seen as a damp squib) came in the form of a pre-dawn attack by Mirage 2000 aircraft loaded with bombs from India’s Avantipura base. The bomb load clearly indicates the intention to bomb an area target and in this case it turned out to be an open area near Village Jabba close to Balakot in Pakistan’s KPK province. Did the pilots have wrong coordinates or was an area chosen, rather than a specific target, to lessen the impact of the attack hoping that Pakistan would not respond and India’s baying Hindu population and its frenzied media would be satisfied. The problem is that India chose a target area outside the disputed Kashmir area well within Pakistan. Pakistan’s interceptors responded and their rapid response has led to the perception that the Indian pilots exited hastily jettisoning their bombs. What was meant to be a retaliation to Pulwama turned out to be a disaster and within the Indian Armed Forces the feeling grew that they had been used for political purposes with no strategic or even tactical goal assigned. The only success for India was that it did not lose a Mirage in the attack because its pilots hightailed it out quickly. Subsequent press conferences and briefings by Indian officials have been confusing but the people and the media celebrated without restraint till reality began to kick in.

India’s second intrusion into Pakistani airspace came today with MIG 21 aircraft. It came in response to Pakistan’s carefully calibrated standoff early morning air attacks on six infrastructure targets in IOK— carefully selected to avoid human casualties. Pakistan Air Force (no doubt flying CAP-Combat Air Patrol Missions) swooped on the MIG 21 aircraft and shot down both aircraft. One fell on the Pakistan side of the LOC and Pakistan claims three pilots captured. The other aircraft fell in IOK and apparently the pilot was killed. India had perhaps decided to make cross border air intrusions and attacks a regular feature of its coercive policy on the LOC—that was so far restricted to cease fire violations on the ground. Pakistan’s measured response has put paid to any such policy and also signaled its competence and capacity as well its desire not to escalate to war. The DGISPR made this clear in his briefing.

What India does after this incident is unclear but another facet of the situation is the post- Pulwama crackdown in IOK that is inflicting unbelievable atrocities on the Kashmiris presaging a major upheaval in the valley. India’s economic attraction may have shut the world’s eyes to the gross human rights violations by India but the escalation of state sponsored terror in IOK and subsequent irresponsible actions could lead to a conflict that in the Pakistani PM’s words ‘no one could predict how it would end”.

Pakistan has rightly stated that all it is doing is defending. After the Balakot bomb run Pakistan had reserved the right to respond at a time and place of its choosing. And it responded responsibly through carefully calibrated attacks from within its territory and within IOK. Now with Indian aggression fully exposed and its policy in tatters Pakistan does not have to respond further and it can keep its right to respond reserved for the time being. The Indians have had their celebration and just as they were basking in the after-glow they have been given a dose of reality. It is time for introspection in India. It is time for diplomacy to kick in so that madness does not take over. Rein in the media. Educate public opinion. Listen to the voices advocating sanity. It is easy to plunge into the abyss but you cannot climb back out. Pakistan has again offered unconditional dialogue to defuse the situation and set the scene for regional stability. The world needs to support Pakistan especially as it moves to eradicate militancy from its soil in its own interest.

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