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Delhi - TelAviv Nexus( Strategic Naval implications for Pak)

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    Delhi - TelAviv Nexus( Strategic Naval implications for Pak)

    I read this interview on Pakistan Defence news and found it very insightful.
    Author: Mahmood Hamdani

    ADM Sirohey for economic boycott of Delhi-Tel Aviv nexus

    Pakistan can keep Indian Blue Water Navy at bay

    ISLAMABAD—India desires to be the unchallenged maritime power in the Indian Ocean to augment its claim to be the regional power and to realise its coveted dream of gaining a world power status, said former Chief of the Naval Staff and Chairman JCSC Admiral (Retd) Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey in an exclusive interview with Pakistan Observer.

    Answering a series of questions the former Naval Chief said India has been trying to hold exclusive sway in the Indian Ocean since its independence by constantly adding to its naval fleet aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and by building numerous ports and naval bases in a conscious bid to project herself as a world maritime power and thus stand at par with the P5.

    Pakistan, he said, can maintain its stake in the Indian Ocean through adding to its naval fleet true, fast and long endurance submarines to pose a potent threat to the enemy all along its coast and anywhere in the Indian Ocean.

    Answering a question about the Israel-India nexus especially with reference to their collaboration in the nuclear field and the threat this nexus poses Pakistan and the Arab world, Admiral Sirohey said if the 1.3 billion people of the 54 Muslim countries decide to get united, they can not only meet the threat but can force its retreat before it takes the first step. “ An economic boycott would suffice before any active measures are required”, he added.

    Following is the text of Admiral’s interview with Pakistan Observer given in the Question (Q) Answer (A) format:-

    Q1.Recent reports say that India is negotiating to buy costly Barak anti-missile system from Israel for its navy. What added dimension the new missile system would impart to the Indian blue water navy, which has already acquired a dreaded proportion?

    A.Planned acquisition by India of Anti Missile System (AMS) from Israel is a part of a larger cooperation between the two countries. India though recognised Israel in 1950, however, overt relations remained restricted to commerce and culture. Covert cooperation continued in other fields. After the collapse of Soviet Union India recognised the opportunity of having bitter relations with the US. It chose the route via Israel. Hence cosyng unto her India established full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992. While BJP leaders visited Israel openly in the past, the Government of India however paid some heed to the sensitivities of the Arab Muslim States to an extent. The Gulf war removed that inhibition. Since then the cooperation in commerce and Defence Intelligence sharing has been on the rise. Israelis enjoy very special privilege in Kashmir as they are imparting training and transferring their expertise of dealing with Intifada. The brutalities of Indian Military and Security Forces have intensified.

    In addition to Barak Missile System for the navy Israel is carrying out upgradation of IAF Aircraft and Artillery Cooperation in unmanned Aircraft will expand to Airborne Early Warning System (AEW) and AWAC. There has been no objection to these dealings between India and Israel by the US whereas similar contract by Israel with China had to be aborted. Therefore the enhanced and intensified India-Israel cooperation has the United States blessings.

    Along with this cooperation with Israel and the US, India continued to acquire high tech Defence equipment—ships, submarines and aircraft from Russia. Recently AWAC from Russia has been inducted by India. Negotiations have almost been completed for acquiring an Aircraft Carrier and other combatant ships from Russia. With Russian renewed strategic perception of her own position in the global scenario then will ensue competition between US and Russia to woo India. India will be offered sophisticated weapons and systems for economic and strategic reasons. It might make India a regional military power but it will increase the misery of its people, 400m already being poverty line will increase further.

    India has been trying to hold exclusive sway in the Indian Ocean since its independence. Aircraft Carriers, Cruisers, a large number of Destroyers frigate, many ports and Naval Bases on the coast makes her a Maritime nation. To project her as a world power to stand equal to the P5 she has to show herself a Maritime Power. India-Us strategic relation particularly after the US President’s visit to India has gained momentum and India has adopted a strident stance globaly.

    As far as Pakistan is concerned induction of AMS on board ships will not materially change the equation. Technologies are now available to neutralize such defences. Those who are charged with the responsibility currently should be taking into cognizance the development taking place and what may ensue. Accordingly countermeasure must be in place or in the offing. As Pakistan has no global or regional ambition its task is relatively easier. It has to deter the enemy in every medium. Pakistan Navy is capable of doing that and must however enhance that capability. Technology is available to counter any weapon, system and sensor. Therefore concentration should the on high technology.

    Q 2.Why India is building such a huge navy? What are Delhi’s actual ambitions and designs?

    A.For almost 4 decade regional countries led by Sri Lanka have been trying to have Indian Ocean declared as Zone of Peace. Pakistan has been supporting Sri Lanka making Indian Ocean as ZOP and also Nuclear Free. The item has been on the UNGA agenda. It comes up for discussion alternate years. India has not been supporting it. It wanted exclusion of all extra regional powers from the Indian Ocean particularly the USN. Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IORARC), International Forum on Indian Ocean Region (IFIOR), Indian Ocean Rim Consultative Business Network (1ORCBN) and Indian Ocean Marine affairs Co-operation (1OMC) have been established. Pakistan was invited to become a founding member that it declined. After realising its folly it has been trying to become member of these organisations which India has been opposing. India, therefore, desires to be unchallenged Maritime Power in the Indian Ocean to augment its claim to be the Regional power, a step towards world power status. It does not however seem likely in the foreseeable future due to dichotomy in its internal structure.

    Q 3.How you evaluate the nature and extent of Indian navy threat to Pakistan? It is said that in case of war the Indian navy can block Pakistani shipping lanes. Some experts even say the Indian navy has the capacity to blockade Karachi in case of hostilities. How do you visualise the situation and Indian threats?

    A. Indian Navy blockaded Pakistani ports and harbours in 1971. It has the capability to do so in a future war. They paid Pakistan back for what Pakistan Navy did to the Indian Navy in 1965. With one PM submarine the whole Indian Navy was blockaded, IN was humiliated. They learnt correct lesson from that experience. India has built a number of Naval Bases along its coast. The promontory shape of India bestows on her immense possibilities for it. She is building modern warships, planning to build aircraft carrier and submarines. They have run a nuclear powered submarine on lease from the Soviet Union. India will certainly embark on acquiring such submarines and start building these within India in due course.

    According to reports India is planning to have sea launched missile capable of carrying nuclear weapon to create TRIAD. A very serious situation developing not only for Pakistan but also for all the India Ocean region countries. If they succeed in acquiring know-how in this field the countries farther away will also be threatened.

    Pakistan has the potential to counter the threat to the Sea Lines Of Communication (BLOC). That potential has to be realised by integrated planning and development remaining within our resource constraints. The military system has to be reviewed. Effective co-ordination in the defense is vital to ensure optimization of the use of the state power. Fundamental being to deter the enemy.

    Karachi is no longer the only port of Pakistan. PQA and Karachi has become a large Maritime Trade Complex. Therefore dispersal became an inescapable necessity for sustenance during war. We also learnt lesson from 1971 War. Resulting from the analysis or 1971 War, Gwadar is under development as a commercial harbour, Ormara has been built as Naval Operation Base. Pasni is Naval Aviation Base and has taken shape as a fishing harbour. Coastal, seaboard systems and airborne surveillance should provide early detection leading to deployment and destruction of the enemy. Undersea detection system augmenting surface and Airborne anti-submarine warfare should minimise the under water threat.

    The offensive component of the Navy is submarines. True, fast and long endurance submarines are vital for threatening the enemy all along its coast and anywhere in the Indian Ocean. That is how Pakistan can maintain her stake in the India Ocean.

    Maritime power constitutes Merchant Marine Ports, Harbours, Docks and Ship building yards et al. Navy is meant to defend the country from seaward threat and keep the SLOC open.

    Keeping the sea lanes open is not an end itself. It has to have a purpose. Pakistan merchant fleet has dwindled from about 70 ships in 1971 presently to single figure. That is the consequence of nationalisation. During war risk insurance of ship transiting the war zone becomes high substantially effecting the economy and war effort. Only Pakistan Merchant ships will accept the risk. More than 90% trade being by sea there have to be sufficient number of Pakistan Merchant ships to use the sea lane and sustain national development and defence. It means build ships and liberate it from all encumbrance. We must become a Maritime Power in real sense and with speed. It is not a war time requirement but a normal economic activity that is capable of contributing in national development in large measures. It has not been allowed to develop because of greed and corruption.

    Q 4. How would you rate the Pakistan navy vis-a-vis the Indian blue navy? Do you think that Pakistan needs any extra measures to deal with the Indian threat? And if yes what those extra measures could be?

    A. It has been covered in response to the last question. 1 emphasise the need to integrate available power and employ it when needed according to a plan prepared by a centralised authority that should be responsible for the defence of the country and the conduct of war. Make conscious use of the experience gained since the creation of our country. We spend on defence about 15% of what the enemy does. Therefore that amount has to provide the defence of the country. It can be done by high quality of manpower optimising the effect of weapon systems by innovation using high technology. These may be less in number but they can produce what is needed.

    Q 5. There is a view that Indian blue navy is not only a threat during war but in peacetime as well. It is said that Pakistan shipping lanes will always remain insecure with the massive India navy patrolling the sea close-by.

    A. Interference with sea trade or imposing a blockade is an act of war. Engaging in any such operation by India will tantamount to declaration of war. It is not likely scenario unless India decides to go to war. It will be a dangerous act that may result in a catastrophe for the whole region. It is hoped that better sense shall prevail. However, the encouragement India is getting despite her atrocious human right violations in Kashmir may affect its perception to the dangerous outcome. A foreboding thought hoping it never to happen. Denial of sea for innocent passage cannot take place on its own. So peace will not prevail when that happens. Such intentions are known well in advance. Every country has contingency for such an eventuality.

    Q 6. Much has already been written on the growing Israeli-Indian nexus. The two country collaboration in the nuclear field has given a menacing proportion to these ties. How do you think this situation can be successfully met by the Arab world and Pakistan?

    A.Indian Interior Minister’s visit to Israel leading a large contingent of Intelligence heads during June last and his meetings with the Israeli President, Prime Minister, his counterpart, extensive exchanges with the Heads of Mossad and Sabak, reported agreements for extensive cooperation between RAW and Indian Home Ministrys Central Intelligence Processing Unit (CIPU) and mutual access to archives should be taken very seriously. Both countries have openly declared Muslims as their enemies, particularly those neighbouring them must take the development with attention and concern. Pakistan should prepare itself for increased terrorist activities. The people of Pakistan should be warned of the likely threat without causing any alarm. Our security and counter intelligence should be made effective. It should be organised and trained for objective achievement with the hope of preventing it rather than catching perpetrators after the event that has always been the case. Our embassies all over should be directed to pay special attention to this menacing development.

    We need to rebuild the nation ab-initio with faith in its capabilities and immense strength of the country in every respect. The media instead of promoting cynicism and despondency should project the country’s potentials and encourage the people to harness vast resources, which Allah has blessed us with. As a nation we need to set our aim and then pursue it relentlessly. As a last resort we may let the perpetrator know that no act shall go unresponded.

    Arabs are fully aware of the development, as they have been experiencing the onslaught for half a century as we have. They have already taken note of it. However our envoys in all Muslim countries should apprise the respective host governments about the ramifications of the Indo-Israel joint action plan. They should know that they have declared Muslims as their enemies.

    54 Muslim majority countries, 1.3 billion population covering the whole globe if decide to unite they cannot only meet the threat but can force its retreat before it takes the first step. An economic boycott would suffice before any active measures are required to be taken.

    Q 7.India has all the avenues open to it for the procurement of military hardware of all sorts. This is not the case with Pakistan, which finds it difficult to procure the necessary equipment from the open market. How do you rate our indigenous capacity in meeting our own military requirement? Are we doing enough in this field or we need to supplement it by other means?

    A. Pakistan is a nuclear power state. It has built various types of missiles submarines, fighter aircraft being built with French and Chinese cooperation. With clear objective and focused pursuit for its achievement, despite our narrow and low technological know-how, we can built/manufacture any thing we may decide to do. Armed forces development includes extensive indigenous production. Economic situation and self-made financial constraints have stunted the realization of these plans.

    Bureaucratic status quo approach and numerous restriction and hindrance are impediments to the progress in any field. Procurement is preferred to production as the former is lucratively more productive. Progress is being made but a lot more has to be done. Most important is universal, purposeful and identical education for harmony and a larger base for selection to higher education in science and its conversion into technologies for better and secure future of our coming generation and the country.

    Q 8. How do you view the peace prospects in future? Do you foresee war? There is the widespread impression that a ‘limited war’ is very much a part of India’s strategy against Pakistan. What you have to say about this? What necessary measure we need to take against this looming threat?

    A. India has been waging a war against Pakistan since it came into being. It flared up in 48, 65 and 71. It then the world took notice of the root cause of this unending limited war and tension between India and Pakistan. No government in India has accepted the partition of Bharat. The creation of Pakistan was temporarily endured on the premise that it would not last for more than 6 months. BJP has RSS credentials. Since assuming power it has adopted strident, proactive and aggressive stance against Pakistan. After carrying out Nuclear tests in May last year, Indian leaders threatened Pakistan and ordered it to behave otherwise they would teach Pakistan a lesson. When people in authority make such statements these must be taken seriously. Pakistan response calmed them down and helped them to return to accepted international etiquette and norm.

    After the collapse of Soviet Union India has been wooed by the West as they did so on its gaining independence. India played clever and by adhering openly to non-aligned status but leaned towards the Soviet Union. West did not stop its effort and desired to have India in its camp to surround and contain communism. They did not succeed but for India’s debacle in NEFA in 1962. Abundant moral, material and monetary support by the West led by America made a dent.

    Pakistan on the other hand befriended a Superpower at 12000 miles and made adversary of the other only 12 miles away. Pakistan took on the USSR when it invaded Afghanistan. After its defeat and withdrawal from Afghanistan, Americans having taken their revenge in Vietnam abandoned Pakistan with serious social distortion in its society. It is the main cause of Pakistan’s present economic, political and social predicament. US imposed sanctions and adopted almost adversarial stance. As Soviet Union imploded India shifted its leaning to the West. Notwithstanding Indian Nuclear programme and the sanctions the West is supporting India in every field.

    Kargil opportunity was not exploited by Pakistan to her advantage despite having been almost at the verge of routing the Indian Army in Kashmir. On the contrary India gained international political ascendancy. United States has entered in to a number of agreements in technical economic and other fields. Most western developed countries are following America. Their interest is the Indian market of one billion people. Free Market profit driven economy has made them oblivious of finer values. From strategic viewpoint they see India a counter balance to China.

    Pakistan has the capability to defend itself against any Indian threat conventional, unconventional, limited or unlimited. On its own, with all the rhetoric India will not take any step that may spell disaster to the region. Limited war also has a threshold beyond that it may not be perceived as such. Therefore limited war doctrine is dangerous and defective.

    Pakistan neither has an expansionist design nor wishes to be a global player. The core issue between Pakistan and India is Kashmir. If that is resolved then as far as Pakistan is concerned the adversarial relation between the two countries should cease.

    It is not seen to be resolved in a hurry. We must therefore remain alert at all times. Economic well being is vital but only within secure borders. In addition to the affordable standing armed forces we have to seriously consider about national service to prepare a large reserve. It entails substantive reappraisal of our military system.

    We need to raise the morale of our people and revive their faith and confidence in themselves. They must have unflinching resolve to defend the country.

    Improve their quality of life they will improve the quality of the country. Protect them and they will protect the country.

    We should focus on our internal problems with fear of Allah only and nothing and none else.

    [This message has been edited by outlaw (edited December 09, 2000).]


    I've been goin on about this for a long time. These two "secular" countries are ganging up on us.



      Unlike India, pakistan's navy has a very centered strategy and does not need to get sucked into a deep water escapade.

      With a gradual upgrade of teh time-endurance vessels we are increasing the range of effective defence and in any conflict the Indians will fins it hard to get into a damaging distance.

      Most of their Sea launch weaponary is countered and they would find it hard to cause real damage.

      However, if Pakistan was to enter a larger scale of naval warefare the Paksitan Navy is not prepared or equipt for it. So, we can safely assume that PN would stay close to shores

      As for a nexus....well there is more to a naval nexus than dialogue and exchange of intel. Adding to that there is little India can gain from Israel in Off shore warefare.
      The tactics that the Americans use are dependant upon the presence of a deep sea fleet would a drone at all times. India can not operate in thos situations at present. So, there is little that can be exchanged apart from text book knowledge.


        I think Pakistan has come a long way in meeting its Naval requirements through indigenous sources. Agosta-B submarines will certainly keep our waterways secure during any kind of conflict with India. Addition of EMB-145 AEW&CS will give an edge over India in survailence.

        Pakistan still has a long way to go in adding air superiority. Without an aircraft career ,and absence of mid-air refuelling capilibities, the Naval aircrafts have a limited striking range. Pakistan also needs to develop next generation of anti-ship misilles based on Exocet, and Silk-Worm. Establishing grassroot modern ship-building facilities will go a long way in fulfilling the need for sophisticated frigates and destroyers.

        [This message has been edited by outlaw (edited December 10, 2000).]