India Provoking Pakistani Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Border Security Personnel of India doing Patrol duty at India Pakistan border 
Indian military operation along Burma border opens new rift with Pakistan

Renewed animosity between nuclear rivals who have fought two major wars over the border territory of Kashmir risks undermining attempts at co-operation

Tim Craig and Annie Gowen for the Washington Post
Tuesday 16 June 2015 05.36 EDT

An Indian military operation along its eastern border with Burma has Pakistani leaders rattled, resulting in threats of swift retaliation should India ever try similar manoeuvres along its western border with Pakistan.

The Pakistani statements – which include provocative reminders that India is not the only subcontinent power with nuclear arms – are once again exposing the deep-rooted suspicions and lingering potential for conflict between the longstanding rivals despite groundbreaking outreach to ease tensions.

It has been worse. The two countries have fought three major wars since 1947, engaged in a nuclear arms race in the 1980s and clashed in the 1990s. But the current uneasiness underscores the challenges for leaders on both sides seeking to overcome the rifts and shift to shared issues, such as regional economic cooperation, water resources and the rise of militant factions.

Over the past month, Pakistani leaders have accused India of sponsoring terrorist attacks inside Pakistan and slandering it at international forums. Historical grievances also have been dusted off, such as claims that India helped force the loss of Pakistani territory – which would become Bangladesh – more than four decades ago.

Indian leaders, in turn, have been outraged by a Pakistani court decision in April to grant bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Lakhvi was a commander in the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group that has historical ties to Pakistan’s intelligence agency.

Now, the downturn in relations even includes open speculation in Pakistan about the possibility of a cross-border strike by India. Such worries – even though apparently remote – carry added resonance between countries that have troops facing each other in the disputed Kashmir region.

“This is going to need more diplomatic and political efforts to lessen the tension.”

“This is coming back to 1980s levels,” said Muhammad Amir Rana, an Islamabad-based security analyst, referring to a period when both countries ramped up efforts to develop nuclear arms. “This is going to need more diplomatic and political efforts to lessen the tension.”

That tension intensified last week after Indian special forces conducted an operation to pursue rebels accused of killing 18 Indian soldiers earlier this month. Indian media has reported that those forces crossed the border into Burma, where they killed more than 50 militants.

Both the Indian army and the Burmese government have denied that Indian troops crossed the border. In a newspaper interview, however, India’s information minister, Rajyavardhan Rathore, said Indian forces had pushed deep into Burma. He called the operation a “message” to countries such as Pakistan that it will not hesitate to pursue threats outside of its borders.

“We will strike when we want to,” Rathore, a retired army officer, told the Indian Express newspaper.
The reaction from Pakistani leaders has been swift and severe – touching off a wildfire of social media comments on both sides of the border.

In a statement issued last Wednesday, Pakistani interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan warned Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to think twice before threatening Pakistan. “Those who are contemplating any kind of adventure in Pakistan must know that they will get a bloody face in the process,” Khan said. “Those who have evil designs against us – listen carefully, Pakistan is not Burma.”

Pakistan’s defence minister, Khawaja Asif, even brought up the possibility of nuclear war should India ever launch a similar incursion into Pakistan. He urged the international community to intervene, telling Geo News the latest tension could prove a “harbinger of disaster” for South Asia.

Pakistan’s army chief, Raheel Sharif, chaired a meeting of his top commanders last Wednesday to discuss Pakistan’s worsening relationship with India. Over the past month, Pakistani leaders have repeatedly accused India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (Raw), of sponsoring several recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Indian leaders, meanwhile, have repeatedly accused the Pakistani intelligence agency of fueling discontent in Indian-controlled Kashmir while also supporting terrorist groups. Earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported that India’s minister of state for defence, Rao Inderjit Singh, is even worried that Islamic State militants could obtain a nuclear bomb from Pakistan.

Speaking at a Delhi event last Thursday, India’s defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, declined to discuss specifics of the Burma operation, but said that “those who fear India’s new posture have already started reacting”.

“You have seen for the last two to three days, a simple action against insurgents has changed the mindset of the full security scenario in the country,” Parrikar said.

Parrikar last month raised hackles in Pakistan by saying at a closed event that India would “neutralise” terrorists with terrorists – remarks he later said were taken out of context.

In a statement last Wednesday after the commanders’ meeting, Pakistan’s military said it has taken serious notice of “Indian hostile rhetoric coupled with covert and overt actions to destabilise Pakistan”. Pakistani military leaders “reiterated its resolve to defeat their designs and defend the territorial integrity of Pakistan at any cost with a befitting response”, the statement said.

Since Pakistan was partitioned from India in 1947, the two countries have fought three major wars, two of them over the disputed border region of Kashmir. The last major war, in 1971, occurred when India’s military supported a rebellion in East Pakistan. Pakistani forces were resoundingly defeated, resulting in East Pakistan becoming the independent nation of Bangladesh.

Earlier this month, during a two-day visit to Bangladesh, Modi lashed out at Pakistan and accused it of “harbouring” terrorists and becoming a regional “nuisance”. He also implied that India covertly orchestrated the Mukti Bahini rebellion in East Pakistan that sparked the 1971 war that led to an independent Bangladesh, according to Indian media reports. Those remarks infuriated Pakistani leaders, who viewed them as an intimate swipe, considering they were made on Bangladeshi soil.

Even a year ago, there were high hopes both in Delhi and Islamabad that Modi and Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif could achieve a breakthrough in diplomatic relations. After he was elected to a third term as prime minister in 2013, Sharif pledged he would work to bolster trade ties with India.

Sharif’s efforts angered the Pakistani military, which has limited Sharif’s ability to follow through on the that pledge. Still, after his election last spring, Modi invited Sharif to attend his inauguration. Sharif accepted, becoming the first Pakistan prime minister in history to attend such a celebratory event in India.

Since then, however, relations between the two countries have soured.

Beginning last summer and lasting through January, there were several major skirmishes between the two armies along the contested border. Sporadic gunfire was also reported on the border last Thursday.

Meanwhile, social media on both sides reflected support of their leaders and militaries. Indians showed support for Modi through the Twitter hashtag of #56inchrocks, a reference to a past claim by Modi about his chest size.

In Pakistan, the most popular Twitter hashtag is #atankWadiIndia, which is a slur that refers to India as being a terrorist.

“Our travel advice to Modi is to send his soldiers to invade Pakistan with their bodybags, they’ll need them, and we don’t have any,” the group @defencepk, which tracks the Pakistani military, tweeted to its 69,000 followers.
 

Tension between nuclear nations grows (Dan 8)

 

Tensions grow between Pakistan, India
June 14, 2015 ALI HUSSAIN

The Indian involvement in the events that led to the breakup of Pakistan in 1971 and the acknowledgment of the fact by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as provocative statements by other Indian politicians have once again engaged the two nuclear neighbours in an increasingly hostile war of words.

The provocative statements by Indian leadership, according to analysts, are nothing new as they have tried this in the past on several occasions with the objective of provoking Pakistan into mis-adventurism with a view to declaring Pakistan an irresponsible nuclear power.

Modi’s acknowledgement that the Indian government was involved in the events of 1971 that led to the fall of Dhaka is not new as the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had celebrated the separation of East Pakistan,” said Lieutenant General Talat Masood (Retd), a senior analyst.
He said that Prime Minister Modi’s statement in Bangladesh was aimed at pleasing the Bangladeshi Prime Minister and provoking Pakistan. According to him, Pakistan need not be angered due to Indian leadership’s provocative statements. He appreciated the government’s strategy to raise the issue at international level through diplomatic channels. Amid grown tensions, the United States also urged both India and Pakistan to take steps to reduce tension and move towards resuming the dialogue process to resolve their outstanding issues. “The relationship between India and Pakistan is critical to advancing peace and stability in South Asia,” State Department spokesperson, Jeff Rathke, told reporters in Washington.

Iran Program Similar To India’s Program 15 Years Ago

nuke

Iran Talks Shed Light On Nuclear Tensions Between India, Pakistan

MARCH 30, 2015 4:46 PM ET

NPR’s Robert Siegel talks with Frank O’Donnell, a doctoral candidate at King’s College London, about how nuclear powers India and Pakistan manage their bilateral relationship.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

One fear of Iran potentially developing a nuclear weapon is that it would lead to a regional nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Israel already has a nuclear arsenal, although it maintains a policy of neither confirming nor denying its existence. It’s often said that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey might pursue nuclear weapons if their regional rivals in Iran had them. We thought we’d check in on a neighboring region where there has been a nuclear arms race, India and Pakistan. Neither country is signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Both have nuclear weapons. Frank O’Donnell of King’s College London has studied nuclear weapons in South Asia and joins us now. Welcome to the program.

O’DONNELL: Thank you. Glad to be here.

SIEGEL: And does the experience of India and Pakistan present any lessons for the Middle East and nuclear weapons?

O’DONNELL: I think it does. A lot of the analysis I read about the Iran talks will say that this could pave the way toward a realignment of the United States and the Middle East. This could bring Iran in from the cold. However, the Iran deal, if it goes forward, is just a technical agreement, and in India and Pakistan, there are similar technical agreements which are quite limited. One – both states will exchange a list on New Year’s Day each year of the nuclear installations which is part of an agreement not to target each other’s nuclear facilities. One is that they notify each other of any missile tests, and one is that the leadership and also the militaries have a hotline to each other.
The story with India and Pakistan is they still have growing nuclear arsenals. These limited technical agreements have not produced the kind of foundation for that broader relationship that some of the analysis talking about Iran seems to expect.
SIEGEL: What do you make of the argument that countries that acquire nuclear arsenals, even if they sound remarkably belligerent before that time, tend to behave fairly responsibly once they do have nuclear arsenals?

O’DONNELL: Well, I mean, to that I can only say look at the example of North Korea. You know, it’s one of the most irresponsible states in the world. It’s always making nuclear threats. If a state has nuclear weapons, that doesn’t automatically guarantee a certain format of behavior.

SIEGEL: And the India-Pakistan conflict – I mean, do you think of it as one that actually has the potential of turning into a nuclear exchange anytime in the even distant future?

O’DONNELL: I don’t see that getting to the level of a nuclear exchange. However, what concerns me is that there is not a sustainable, ongoing dialogue to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan. What has happened in recent years is that both sides adopt a tough stance and start escalating, and they both wait for the United States to come in and provide both of them the face-saving exercise that the United States will intervene and bring them both down. There are not mechanisms to de-escalate once a crisis emerges.

SIEGEL: Yeah.

O’DONNELL: That is what I find most concerning about the situation there.

SIEGEL: That addressing the question of nuclear weapons can be a remarkably compartmentalized and technical development and really have no implications for a more peaceful relations between countries.

O’DONNELL: I think that India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons out of both of their own sense of security threat. And for there to be some measures of reducing nuclear tensions, this has to be part of a broader political dialogue involving what both of their own threat perceptions are, and also, I argue, including China as well because China is very much part of the South Asian strategic environment. It’s very much a player in the region.

SIEGEL: Do you see any parallels between Iran today and Pakistan and India at the point where they were intent on developing nuclear weapons?

O’DONNELL: The main parallel I see with Iran – up until really the Obama administration came in, the activities it was conducting up to that point seemed to me very reminiscent of what India was doing – the position it had up until it conducted testing in 1998. For a long period – say, from about the mid ’80s and up until 1998, what India did was it had the capability. It had all the material. It had the knowledge. It had, you know, the missiles all sitting disassembled in its basement. By doing that, it meant that it would not be sanctioned as it was after 1998 for conducting the nuclear tests. However, it could in some ways behave like a nuclear-weapon state. It could throw its weight around a bit more. And I wonder if Iranians who are, you know, running the program did look at India’s experience as a guide.

SIEGEL: Frank O’Donnell, thanks for talking with us.

O’DONNELL: Thank you.

SIEGEL: Frank O’Donnell is a doctoral candidate in defense studies at King’s College London and a research associate with the Center for Science and Security Studies.

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Tensions Rising With The Third Horn Of Pakistan ( Daniel 8:8)

India-Pakistan Relations: Tensions Rise After Almost A Week Of Cross-Border Attacks

India-Pakistan Relations: Tensions Rise After Almost A Week Of Cross-Border Attacks
Macro Insider
January 3, 2015

Tensions among nuclear armed neighbors and arch rivals India and Pakistan ratcheted up late Friday evening after India’s Border Safety Force (BSF) mentioned that it had foiled fresh infiltration attempts into the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir from the Pakistani side.

At least 3 soldiers of Pakistan Rangers, the country’s border protection paramilitary force, were reportedly killed as a outcome of intense firing from Indian positions.

“Firing devoid of provocation started from the Pakistan side,” an Indian government spokesperson mentioned late Friday night, adding that India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh had asked the BSF to give its neighbor “a appropriate response.”

Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that a 14-year-old girl died as a outcome of the shelling from each sides along the international boundary.

Comparable incidents of cross-border shelling have occurred in the previous few days, and are routine along the tense India-Pakistan border. At least 5 Pakistan Rangers soldiers and one from India’s BSF have been killed given that Tuesday, when the latest round of firing started. Both countries have accused each other of escalating the tensions in the border area.

Friday night’s events followed the sinking of a Pakistani fishing boat, which the Indian coast guard suspected of carrying explosives, on the intervening night of Dec. 31 and Jan.1, in which at least 4 persons are believed to have been killed.

Indian media was, having said that, divided on whether or not the Pakistani boat posed a genuine terror threat like the one particular that led to an attack on Mumbai, India, in November 2008 in which a lot more than 160 men and women died and over 300 were injured. As numerous as ten attackers had managed to arrive on two boats, undetected on the night of Nov. 26 that year, and launched a series of coordinated attacks on India’s financial capital and one particular of the most densely populated cities.

Besides the boat that went down, a second one particular was allegedly spotted and may possibly have escaped India’s coast guard, The Instances of India reported. There are also doubts on whether those on board the Pakistani vessel were terrorists, The Indian Express mentioned, adding that new evidence reportedly showed that the victims may perhaps be petty smugglers.

On Friday, the Indian coast guard had mentioned that the boat, which is believed to be from the port of Keti Bandar in western Pakistan’s Sindh province, was intercepted about 220 miles from the Indian port city of Porbandar in Gujarat state. Gujarat coast is on high alert just after the incidents.

At The End Pakistan and Iran Will Unite (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan-Iran Border Stress

Pakistan and Iran Flag

Pakistan and Iran are important neighbors on the rim of South Asia and the Middle East, with deep cultural, linguistic, religious and traditional ties. Recently, though, Iran has bolstered ties with India, engaging Indian military expertise in the development of a strategic road. The road connects Iran’s Chabahar sea port and Afghanistan at the border town of Zaranj, running very close to Pakistan’s border in the process. The presence of Indian element on its Balochistan border with Iran, unrest in its Balochistan province, and multiple claims of foreign interference in the internal security of that troubled province all add up to create a serious question mark over the future of security relations between Pakistan and Iran.

Since the revolution, Iran has been unafraid to explore multiple avenues to fulfill its perceived security needs, including proxy, guerilla and urban warfare. From using Hezbollah against Israeli forces to supporting the Assad regime in Syria, Iranian policy has had an outsized role in the Middle Eastern security environment. Although few Pakistani security experts believe that Iranian Shia exposure can dislodge Sunni dominance in Pakistan, the Pakistani public is very aware of the curse of sectarian violence and many believe it is a result of foreign interference.

Historically, Pakistan was among the first countries to recognize Iran’s revolutionary regime. Amazingly, the Zia regime – itself often considered the cause of much sectarian violence – not only accepted Iran’s revolution but also sent a high-level official delegation to endorse friendly relations with Iran. Pakistan banned many local anti-Shia militant organizations and was evenhanded in its approach to both Sunni and Shia militant organizations. Anti-Shia groups such as Sapah-e-Sahaba and Lashker-e-Jhangvi were banned and many of their operatives were detained in operations by Pakistani security forces. Anti-Sunni groups such as Sapah-e-Muhammad faced the same treatment. Both sides had been linked to assassinations and bombings. Neither Pakistan nor Iran ever allowed sectarian issues to disrupt their relations, even at the peak of sectarian Shia killings in Pakistan.
In the wake of the A. Q. Khan revelations, Iran decided to seek nuclear technology from other sources, and Pakistan’s nuclear expertise lost its significance. Meanwhile, India began to develop closer relations with Iran. This led to a further cooling of ties between Iran and Pakistan.

The current tensions on the Pakistan-Iran border cannot be evaluated within the narrow context of the border area itself; broader strategic implications must also be considered. Pakistan has good relations with Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia, which may be misinterpreted. However, few security analysts believe that Saudi Arabia can address its concerns about Iranian nuclear ambitions by buying nuclear weapons from Pakistan. Saudi Arabia cannot buy, create or import weapons of mass destruction as long as it remains within the NPT regime. Even if Saudi Arabia did elect to withdraw from the NPT regime and pursue nuclear  weapons capability, it would surely have no shortage of willing suppliers. For its part, Pakistan is not well placed to meet the demands of any other country – it is hard pressed to maintain its own strategic deterrence posture against a much larger country. At any rate, if relations between India and Iran can flourish while New Delhi maintains military relations with India, then surely Iran-Pakistan relations should not falter in the presence of Pakistan’s dealings with the Sunni Arab world.

The second assumption in this regard is that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands. This phrase “wrong hands” warrants some consideration. Chinese nuclear technology is in the hands of the Chinese, while Indian nuclear assets are under Indian control. The same goes for all other nuclear states. For an international relations realist, all of these weapons are in the “wrong hands,” at least as far as the adversaries of these nuclear powers go. Pakistan as a Muslim state has firm control over its nuclear assets. The IAEA has acknowledged the strengths of Pakistan’s nuclear safeguards, achieved through a strong Personnel Reliability Program (PRP) and Human Reliability Program (HRP), which unlike those of Western powers also monitor religious issues. The A. Q. Khan episode is old and has been fully addressed by UNSCR 1540.

Iran is also a NPT member state and as such is (theoretically) prevented from developing nuclear weapons capabilities. Iran’s concerns about Pakistan’s rapidly growing nuclear arsenal are illogical for many reasons. First, Iran has never been a target of Pakistan’s nuclear force – Islamabad views it as a friendly state. Pakistan’s nuclear posture is designed to address the nuclear threat from its arch rival, India. Second, unlike Pakistan, Iran is a member of the NPT regime. As such it is bound to follow the IAEA’s safeguards and protocols, which allow regular inspections of its nuclear installations, and cannot engage in a nuclear arms race. Third, Pakistan’s security policy towards Iran is not based on hegemonic intentions; Pakistan respects the integrity and sovereignty of Iran and only seeks the same in return.

Pakistan has successfully established its writ on the border of Afghanistan, while the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb has dealt a major blow to the Pakistan Taliban. Armed operations in North and South Waziristan have implications for the border with Iran, given that the area of operation is quite nearby. Indian arms are being used against Pakistani forces in ongoing operations, demonstrating external interference in the region. While fighting externally funded terrorism on its soil, Pakistan is developing strict border controls. Recent border tensions between the two neighbors should not be interpreted as representing lasting conflict or reflecting ideological antipathy, as neither is supported by the facts on the ground.

Aziz Muhammad Jawad is a Ph.D. candidate in the Strategic and Nuclear Studies Department, National Defence University, Islamabad, Pakistan.