Pakistan, India, Israel..

From Dr Hamid Hussain

There are some discrepancies in Indian and Pakistani narratives that give rise to many speculations.  I have also heard some rumors about an Israeli pilot in Pakistani custody but hard to confirm or make sense.  One Pakistani former senior diplomat has alluded to this.  If he is wrong then it is most irresponsible on his part. If true then in these days of Wikileaks and anointing of saints of modern day technology; St. Chelsey Manning and St. Julian Assange, it can not be kept secret for long.  In hyper-nationalist fervor, it is very easy for people to go ‘off the rails’ and modern technology running away with ‘fake news’.

It will be extremely irresponsible on part pf Israelis to jump into India-Pakistan fray directly by allowing its pilots to fly combat missions.  As India buys a lot of defense equipment therefore many Israeli technicians are likely helping Indian forces in training and maintenance of defense equipment which is different.  Israel is very good at ‘bridge technologies’ where advanced electronics of either American origin or indigenous made are retro-fitted in Russian products to improve their capability.  Indian inventory is predominantly Russian therefore it makes sense for Indian-Israeli cooperation in this arena.  India improves its defense capability although in my view only marginally and Israel finds a lucrative market for its defense industry.  Nothing wrong as it is in the interest of both parties.

On the other plane, threat of Muslim extremist as well as separatist tendency in both countries makes them sympathetic to each other’s plight.  Cooperation on this front is mainly in intelligence realm and counter-insurgency training and sharing experience.  Under current BJP government, it seems that India has decided to follow the Israeli model.  However, in my view Israel’s problem is totally different than India’s.  If Indian strategic community is not careful and carried away by emotions, a local Kashmir problem can become a national chronic Migraine headache.  I sensed a lot of fear and uncertainty among Indian Muslim diaspora coming from different geographic areas (UP, Delhi, Surat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu) during recent conversations.  This is totally different than a decade ago.  Indian strategic community should pay attention to one statistic that provides some strategic clarity.  India with a population of 180 million Muslims saw departure of less than two dozen Muslims to join Daesh in the killing fields of Middle East.  Belgium with a Muslim population of less than half a million saw over 500 fighters fighting in Middle East.  India can proudly take credit for its democratic and secular foundations that keeps hope alive among minorities.  Any crack in these foundations can unleash demons that will be hard to understand let alone control.

In Pakistan army, I found a good number who advocate some kind of relations with Israel.  One former Pakistani army officer who was a defense contractor was involved in getting some parts from Israel for Pakistan’s American equipment during the time when Washington had imposed some sanctions on Pakistan.  Once he scribbled on the bottom of his order to Israelis ‘Thank God you are not our enemy’.  An Israeli Colonel and a good friend on the issue of increasing India-Israel relations in early 2000s told me that Pakistan ‘left the playing fields of Eton for others to play,’ hence no reason to complain now.  My personal view has been for a while for Pakistan to have some normalization with Israel in the absence of normal diplomatic relations.  Now, that Arabs are running to normalize relations with Israel especially Saudi Arabia and UAE, they can grab their robes & thobes that will provide them some cover.

THAAD deployment is a separate issue and I don’t see its relationship with India-Pakistan stand-off.  Such deployments are agreed upon months if not years before and not done suddenly.  Main regional concern in Middle East is Iranian missiles.  In this both Israel and Saudi Arabia are concerned.  In fact, Saudis recently paid $ one billion down payment for THAAD and many Israeli security experts see this in Israeli interest as Tehran is a common foe. I think Oman has also placed an order.

In Israel, current THAAD deployment is part of joint exercise to practice and is a tactical deployment.  This is not permanent deployment but a single battery is participating in exercise and to my knowledge there will be no real time test for intercepting an incoming target.  The radar system of THAAD called AN/TPY2 has been operated by American troops in Israel for several years.  These are complex and advanced systems that require years of planning.  However, deployment timing can be sudden what is called in military jargon as ‘Dynamic Force Deployment’.  This trains the soldiers manning these platforms to act in short time and surprises the adversary.

Israel has a layered defense system.  It has its own set of different anti-Missile systems for different types of threats.  It operates Iron Dome (for short range rockets possessed by Hezbollah & Hamas), Arrow (for missiles coming from outside of earth’s atmosphere) and David’s Sling (for tactical medium to long range ballistic missiles).  If permanently deployed at sometimes in future, THAAD will provide an additional layer.  US decision to withdraw from Syria and if Iraqi domestic political pressure under the influence of Iran forces withdrawal of remaining US forces from Iraq will provide a ring around Israel for Iran’s mischief.  If Iran provides different range rockets to its proxies in Syria and Iraq and increase supply to Hezbollah and Hamas, this will give Tehran a potential deterrence card against Israel.

I hope this clarifies some of your questions and not further muddy the waters.

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Omar Ali

I am a physician interested in obesity and insulin resistance, and in particular in the genetics and epigenetics of obesity As a blogger, I am more interested in history, Islam, India, the ideology of Pakistan, and whatever catches my fancy. My opinions can change.

14 thoughts on “Pakistan, India, Israel..”

  1. THAAD just sounds so desi. Its something which might as well be assembled by HAL or Pakistan Ordinance factory, (think of all the prime time Pakistan-India tv shows going on with that) 😛

  2. During the Sri Lankan civil war, Israelis sold weapons to both sides, knowing fully well that people were getting killed while they were lining their pockets.

    1. “Jews are one such race that is morally so decrepit that they defy the most basic etiquette of human decency.”
      I loves Jews! Scorpian Eater me thinks someone has a crush 🙂
      Don’t worry I can totally relate 😉

      “India and Pakistan will do well to keep them at an arms length. Inki na dosti bhali na dushmani.”

      India should form an alliance with Jews. India should separately also form an alliance with Israel, which is not the same thing.

      The Indian parliament should pass a law stating that any Jew can flee to India and get permanent residency and a pathway to citizenship. [Automatic PAN card and Aadhar card with long term possibility of becoming an Indian citizen.]

      Jewish immigrants make countries great! Jewish immigrants make countries rich! Jews make countries academically, scientifically, culturally, musically and spiritually dominate.

      Jews would make Bollywood better than Hollywood! Come on, you know I am right. And sorry Bollwood fans, Bollwood could use a little improvement.

      Jews Bharat Behen Behen! Jews Bharat best friends forever (BFF)!

      Did I mention I like Jews?

    2. 1991 Victor Ostrovsky, author of ‘By Way of Deception: The Making of a Mossad Officer’, told Indian Abroad news service that Mossad brought many LTTE cadres to Israel for training in 1984 and 1985. “These groups kept coming and going. When I was in Mossad, it was part of our routine job to take them to training camps and make sure they got training worth what they paid for, no more and no less. The Sinhalese paid in cash.” He added, “Israel charged each of the 60 Sinhalese $300 per day, for a total of $18,000 per day. For a three-month course, Israel charged them $1.6 million. In addition, Israel charged them $5,000 to $6,000 an hour for helicopter rental, with as many as 15 helicopters being used in a typical training exercise. The Israelis also charged for special training ammunition. A bazooka shell, for example, cost about $220 a unit, while heavy mortars were about $1000 each.”

      Meanwhile back in Sri Lanka, the Israelis did everything possible to escalate the massacres on all sides into a full-scale war. In 1985, Rafi Eytan, head of the Israeli intelligence agency LEKEM, was caught running spy Jonathan Pollard against the USA. Afterward, Rafi Eytan was sent to Sri Lanka to take over Mossad operations there. His cover was that he was an employee of Israeli Chemical Industries, which has operations in Sri Lanka.

      1. “Meanwhile back in Sri Lanka, the Israelis did everything possible to escalate the massacres on all sides into a full-scale war. ”

        Precisely my point! Traders of dead bodies!

        I know lot of Indians now think of Israelis as their BFF. My only advice to them is that keep them at an arms length.

      1. Yes, there is a lot of antisemitism in these comments. Talking about “morally decrepit races”. Such remarks should be beyond the pale.

  3. “I sensed a lot of fear and uncertainty among Indian Muslim diaspora coming from different geographic areas (UP, Delhi, Surat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu) during recent conversations.”
    Some questions come to my mind.
    1.) Is there a degradation of confidence in their own abilities in the Muslim community?
    2.) Do they hold themselves back intentionally in assimilating using modern systems provided by the Indian economy?
    3.) Are they perceiving actual democracy as being a threat to their way of life?
    4.) As Indians why are they worried if India’s strengthens itself militarily?

    “Any crack in these foundations can unleash demons that will be hard to understand let alone control.”
    1.) Why should there be special preferences and privileges in order to for muslims to feel “safe”?

    1. They’ve been enjoying the special privileges for so long.They are massively pampered by successive governments.

  4. Pakistani army elite is genuinely in pathological fear of Israel and it is paranoia and not a propaganda line for local consumption.

  5. I wrote about this before…Turkey has rejected the offer of the United States to renounce the S-400 Russian land-based missile systems and to purchase the US Patriot system. A part of the offer was a favourable term: by the end of 2019. Unlike the Russian offer, which Ankara had already accepted earlier, even this latest US does not include either the sale of credit or the “surrender of technology” (for the production of the Patriot system in Turkey). Bloomberg claims that the Turkish response to the offer was short: “We cannot accept such offer.”

    Russia’s S-400, a mobile long-range surface-to-air missile system, costs approximately $500 million, whereas a Patriot Pac-2 battery costs $1 billion and a THAAD battery rings in at about $3 billion, according to people with first-hand knowledge of a U.S. intelligence assessment.

    S-400 is anti-aircraft missile system, designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, it can also be used against ground objectives. It is able to intercept cruise missiles out to a range of about 40 km due to their low altitude flight paths.

    INDIA HAS SIGNED a deal with Russia to acquire the S-400 air defence missile system, despite the possibility such a move could trigger US sanctions. … It has a range of 400km (248 miles) and can shoot down up to 80 targets simultaneously, aiming two missiles at each one.
    Turkey plans to buy in the future the Russia’s S-500 Air Defence System. It is the ultimate F-35 Killer.

    Russian military experts believe that the S-500 will be the first missile defence system able to reliably target and neutralise fifth-generation stealth fighters like the F-35. Russia quietly conducted the world’s longest surface-to-air missile test, according to sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence about the weapons program. The S-500 surface-to-air missile system successfully struck a target 299 miles away. Russia claims that the ground-based missile system is capable of intercepting hypersonic missiles, lower level satellites, drones, aircraft as well as stealth warplanes like the F-22 and the F-35.

  6. “Under current BJP government, it seems that India has decided to follow the Israeli model. If Indian strategic community is not careful and carried away by emotions, a local Kashmir problem can become a national chronic Migraine headache.”

    Man the best propaganda is when even your opponents starts believing it. Even folks on the other side have started believing that we are so good/competent that we have started following the “Israeli model.” ???

    Its one thing to say that we are following the “Israeli model.” quite another to actually follow the model and deal with the blow back which comes with it. A country like India cant follow “Israeli model.” and simultaneously wanting 2 be seen as the “good guy”/responsible world actor/ UN Member wanting Security council seat. Israel can do whatever it wants because it does not have hanker after all this.

    Whatever has happened under this Govt (in Kashmir) is marginally different than what used to happen in previous Congress Govt. Yes, Live ammunition,pellet guns, stone pelting everything has happened in Congress era at different times. The only difference is coupled with this tactics the Congress used to also mollycoddle the political/separatist class which the current Govt isn’t doing.

    But since this whole “Israeli model” talk invigorates/riles up both the BJP base as well as our left liberal folks and everything in India is supposedly now either “Fascism” or “Resistance” , there is no space for nuance.

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