The Samjhauta Bombing Acquittal is Proof Of India’s “Deep State” Civil War

By Andrew Korybko
Source

Nothing proves that India stands at the cusp of fundamental change more than the Samjhauta bombing acquittal, which is also the most public evidence yet confirming that the country’s “deep state” is in the throes of civil war over whether the civilization-state should remain a secular republic or transform into a Hindu theocracy.

An Audacious Acquittal

Four Hindu extremists were just acquitted of their long-suspected role in the 2007 terrorist bombing of the Samjhauta Express. The attack killed 70 people (the majority of whom were Pakistanis) on the railway whose name symbolically means “accord” or “compromise” and which was initially supposed to be a sign of both nuclear-armed Great Powers’ willingness to overcome their geopolitical differences, at one time even representing the only rail route between their two nations for decades at the time of its establishment in 1976. The terrorist attack was connected to Hindu extremists who carried it a day prior to the planned arrival of the Pakistani Foreign Minister to India as part of both parties’ desire to continue peace talks at the time, with the suspected intent being to derail those negotiations.

“Deep State” Divisions

It should be noted that the ruling Congress party at the time immediately condemned the attack and actively sought to bring its perpetrators to justice, hence why the four Hindu extremists were brought into custody in the first place. The Anti-Terrorist Squad of the Maharashtra Police also publicly linked Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit to the incident, who claimed innocence by pleading that he had only “infiltrated” the group as part of his professional duty but ended up being the first Indian Army officer arrested on terrorism charges for his alleged involvement in the 2006 Malegaon anti-Muslim terrorist bombings. It’s beyond the scope of the present piece to delve into all the intricate details of these two terrorist cases, but it’s enough to point out that they raised very serious questions about the connection between elements of the Indian military-intelligence community (“deep state”) and terrorist-inclined Hindu extremists.

All of this is important to keep in mind as India approaches its upcoming general elections next month because the civilization-state is at the cusp of fundamental change if the BJP comes out on top. The contemporary ruling party differs from its Congress predecessors in that it espouses the fundamentalist Hindu ideology of Hindutva and is dedicated to imposing a so-called “Hindu Rashtra” (Hindu religious government) on the over 1.2 billion people living in this constitutionally secular state whose founding principles Congress is dedicated to protecting. In fact, it can even be said that the whole reason why the Samjhauta suspects were rounded up in the first place and Lt. Col. Purohit’s role was publicly revealed was because Congress wanted to expose the danger that Hindutva poses to India.

Birds Of A Feather

It’s extremely unlikely that the BJP would have seriously investigated that terrorist attack had it been in power at the time, especially when considering that it pretty much ignores India’s lynching epidemic carried out by its Hindutva followers against Muslims. Looking back on it, the Samjhauta bombing was one of the most recent high-profile salvos of India’s current “deep state” civil war between secularists and fundamentalists because it represented the militant rise of religious extremists against the constitutionally secular state that directly led to the Mumbai false flag terrorist attack the year later, an ascent to power that would later be “electorally legitimized” following the manipulation of communal tensions in the run-up to the 2014 polls. No one should therefore believe it to be a mere coincidence that the BJP-led government acquitted the Samjhauta suspects despite one of them – Swami Aseemanand – previously confessing to the role of the BJP’s RSS ideological fountainhead in that attack and others.

The BJP and their Hindutva ilk aren’t just content with trying to create a “Hindu Rashtra” but also want to expand such a concept across what they regard as “Akhand Bharat”, or “Greater India”, from Afghanistan to Myanmar and Tibet down to the Maldives. This neo-imperial expansionist policy is strongly supported by the BJP’s “fellow travelers” in the “deep state” and given a wink-and-a-nod approval from Prime Minister Modi, though the ruling authorities are facing opposition to this from the geopolitically responsible elements of the military-intelligence bureaucracy who are suspected of undermining the government’s strategy of using Baloch terrorists in the Hybrid War on CPEC. It’s also facing resistance from secular political leaders like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who publicly raised serious questions about whether the authorities let the recent Pulwama attack happen in order to shore up support for Modi’s reelection.

Concluding Thoughts

The BJP is on the brink of taking its plans for a “Hindu Rashtra” across “Akhand Bharat” to the next level if it wins the upcoming elections and forms the next government, hinting that this rogue state could become not only more geopolitically dangerous, but also more internally dictatorial after the ruling party strongly implied earlier this month that dissent is treasonous. The Samjhauta acquittal is proof of the future that lays ahead for India where Hindu extremists can commit acts of terror with abandon and impunity, a scenario that few could have thought possible back in the days of Congress rule when the authorities cracked down on such terrorist organizations and sought to bring them to justice. Nevertheless, dissident elements of the “deep state” can only do so much to fight back against the impending dystopia, with it ultimately being up to the citizens themselves to decide if this is what they truly want to see happen to their civilization-state.

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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

Pakistan Turned The Latest Bollywood “Surgical Strike” Flick Into Reality

By Andrew Korybko
Source

India thought that it pulled off an infowar coup by pretending to have carried out a “surgical strike” against 200-300 Jaish-e-Mohammed fighters in Azad Kashmir in the early hours of 26 February, but this vote-grabbing stunt by Indian Prime Minister Modi totally backfired on him after Pakistan turned this latest Bollywood flick into a reality by defending its airspace and downing two Indian MiGs that violated the Line of Control.

The Movie That Came To Life

The hottest Bollywood flick in the world right now is “Surgical Strike 2.0”, which is the big-budget and high-stakes sequel to its predecessor that India claims to have carried out in 2016 with no evidence either. The author wrote about this in his piece titled “’Surgical Strike 2.0’ Or Big Bollywood Spectacle?”, which compared India’s lies about a second “surgical strike” in the early hours of 26 February to a re-election movie by Prime Minister Modi, one which he hoped would amount to an infowar coup that would simultaneously boost his own nation’s international “prestige” while denigrating Pakistan’s. It was predicted at the end of that piece that “Like all Bollywood productions, ‘the show must go on’, but the “surgical strike” series won’t have a happy ending for India” after Pakistan promised to retaliate “at a time and place of its choosing”, which is exactly what happened the next day.

Pakistan downed two Indian MiGs that violated the Line of Control (LoC) and even managed to capture a pilot who was recorded on camera as proof against India’s original fake news assertions that it didn’t suffer such a humiliating military defeat. Speaking of false claims, India says that it downed a Pakistani F-16 that violated its airspace, yet just like it bragged about killing 200-300 Jaish-e-Mohammed fighters in its “surgical strike” the day earlier without presenting any evidence whatsoever that anything other than a few trees were destroyed (and even those were targeted accidentally after its jet released its payload to jettison extra weight as it fled Pakistani airspace), so too is this also fake news intended to deceive the domestic and international audiences. What actually happened on the morning of 27 February is expectedly much different than how India is portraying it.

Fake News Has Real-World Consequences

Islamabad acknowledged in an official press release that it retaliated tit-for-tat by striking non-military targets in Indian-Occupied Kashmir in order “to demonstrate [its] right, will and capability for self defence”, not to escalate the situation. It also hinted at carrying out actual anti-terrorist “surgical strikes” against the Indian-backed terrorists participating in the Hybrid War on CPEC when it declared that “If India is striking at so called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan.” Had India’s elected leadership and its military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) not fancied themselves starring in a Bollywood film and took Pakistan’s words seriously, they wouldn’t have even staged “Surgical Strike 2.0” after Islamabad promised there’d be a response should that happen, but regrettably, New Delhi decided to escalate tensions even further.

Instead of letting Pakistan’s principled tit-for-tat retaliation be the end of their recent tensions, India turned up the notch by dispatching two more of its MiGs to violate the LoC and possibly stage another episode of its “surgical strike” drama, though they were predictably shot down by the Pakistani Air Force. Displaying the maturing that a rising Great Power such as the global pivot state of Pakistan is expected to have, Prime Minister Khan promptly went on national TV to reiterate that his country doesn’t want to take the situation any further but that “No sovereign country can allow another country to become judge, jury and executioners” by using unverified claims such as the Pakistani state’s involvement in the Pulwama attack to violate its airspace and stage a “surgical strike” stunt. India refused to jointly investigate that “trigger” incident with Pakistan, instead choosing to unilaterally act aggressively against it.

Pakistan Is Protecting The Rules-Based International Order From India (And Its US & “Israeli” Allies)

This pattern of behavior is strongly influenced by the modus operandi of its new American and “Israeli” allies, who never have any compunction against striking whatever state they feel like, though once again, India’s Bollywood delusions deceived it. Nuclear-armed and battle-tested Pakistan isn’t anywhere in the same league as “Arab Spring”-afflicted Libya or war-torn Syria, so Modi’s fantasy of carrying out an American- and “Israeli”-like strike against it – to say nothing of an Iraqi-style “shock and awe” campaign – with impunity was a fantasy from the very beginning, though one which the Indian leadership has dangerously decided to play out in real life. Unlike those aforementioned targeted states, however, Pakistan is strong enough to defend the principles of international law, especially sovereignty and territorial integrity, by militantly upholding the UN Charter, which is why it promptly shot down both Indian jets that tried to stage another “surgical strike” provocation.

It’s become fashionable over the past few years for world leaders to lament the demise of the so-called “rules-based international order”, yet Pakistan just proved that it’s possible to defend it if states have the political will and military capabilities to do so. Whether it’s India, “Israel”, or America, this actual “Troika of Tyranny” (unlike the Latin American one that US National Security Advisor Bolton spoke about late last year) is destabilizing South Asia, West Asia/Mideast, and the whole world, respectively, and doing more than any others to throw International Relations into chaos as they desperately try to stop the emerging Multipolar World Order at all costs.  It shouldn’t be seen as coincidental that India is the US’ only “Major Defense Partner” and bragged about using “Israeli” missiles in its latest “surgical strike” stunt that it intended to indirectly destabilize the Belt & Road Initiative’s (BRICPEC megaproject.

Russia’s “Balancing” Pragmatism At Its Finest

Russia expressed concern about the US’ geopolitical intentions for India earlier this week when Foreign Minister Lavrov presciently warned against using the South Asian state to “contain China” through the “artificially imposed” “Indo-Pacific Region” concept, and Head of the Second Asia Department Zamir Kabulov (who’s also President Putin’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan) confirmed his country’s pragmatism by “balancing” between its traditional India partner and its newfound strategic one in Pakistan after refusing to take sides and reiterating that both are “friendly to Russia”. This would have been unthinkable had Moscow believed that New Delhi was on the right geopolitical path, but it evidently places such importance on Islamabad’s role in protecting the rules-based international order which India’s American patron is trying to destroy that it decided not to take New Delhi’s side this time around, which speaks volumes if soberly analyzed by objective observers.

Concluding Thoughts

“Surgical Strike 2.0”, the latest Bollywood flick to come out of Modi’s India, was supposed to be an action-packed comedy that would highlight the “bravery” of the Indian Armed Forces as they “humiliated” Pakistan, but the movie abruptly transformed into real life after New Delhi forgot that military stunts have real-world consequences and Islamabad showed that it’s more than willing to turn this comedy into a tragedy for its main protagonists. This “plot twist” revealed that far from being the “heroes”, the Indian Armed Forces are actually the antagonists while their opponents in the Pakistani Armed Forces are the real protagonists fighting to safeguard the principles of the UN Charter upon which the rules-based international order is based.

Usually when a movie is going as bad as this one is, it’s a good idea to walk away even if the viewer can’t forget that the experience ever happened, but Modi seems to have a morbid fascination in seeing how much worse things will get. He’s forgotten that he’s not in a flick but is the main player an ultra-risky high-stakes gamble over the fate of his entire nation. The “surgical strike” charade was exposed as the fake news infowar that it was from the very beginning, but unless Modi wakes up and realizes the damage that this vote-grabbing stunt has inflicted on his country, Pakistan will ensure that “Surgical Strike 2.0” has the worst ending in Bollywood history.

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.

The World Must Know the Truth About Ultra-Violent Indian Media

Astute News

In many countries, the gap between social media rhetoric and mainstream media rhetoric is often quite vast. In India however, on both mainstream and social media, there is a race to the bottom in terms of how absurdly hyper-nationalistic one can be when it comes to scapegoating internal strife on India’s neighbours Pakistan and China. In this sense, while India presents the wider world with slick media campaigns which tend to portray the entire country as an economic superpower inside a kind of spiritual Disneyland, what Indian media says to domestic audiences is overwhelmingly crude, base, hostile, flippant and violent. Beyond this, vast swaths of Indian media have perpetually exploited disinformation campaigns in order to foment the mass hatred of Pakistanis, Chinese, Indian Muslims and the Ummah (global Islamic community) as a whole.

Rather than respond to international calls to resolve the human rights disaster in Kashmir through dialogue and…

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