Indian Submarine Entered Pak Waters? 
| Virendra Kumar Gaur, Former IG, BSF - 06 Mar 2019

Window on Pakistan Media -4

Why Pakistan Media is Silent on Masood Azhar?

 

By VK Gaur

New Delhi, March 06, 2019:

This is the 4th episode of a series on coverage in Pakistani Media about Indo- Pak Relations started by our Indian Observer Post for our readers in India and abroad. Here is the link of our first episode https://bit.ly/2SFc751  Your suggestions are welcome.

Here is the 4th episode of this series - Window on Pakistan Media.  

Pak press came out with headline news of detention of 44 under observation activists of proscribed organisations, however Pak media and the Govt is mum on the whereabouts of Masood Azhar.

A couple of years ago Pak had created military courts to speedily try terrorists. Most of those tried for terrorism were awarded death sentence. Pak thus became fifth nation who expeditiously executed terrorists, almost three accused sent to gallows every week. In the instant case, 44 members of banned terrorist outfits have only been detained Will they be arrestedcharge sheeted and tried by the military courts of Pakistan? It may be recalled that Islamic Jehad in Indian sub-continent was masterminded by ISI in the wake of occupation of Afghanistan by USSR forces. ISI had free hand in organising terrorist operations in Afghanistan by proxy of the Mujahideen and later the Talibans. Its intimacy with al-Quaida JeM and several other terrorist outfits is bound to compel Pak army to help terrorists now under detention. Pak press fabricates new allegations against India and its armed forces.

PAK PRESS 6 MAR19

44 detained in Pakistan including Abdul Rauf and Ham­mad Azhar,

brother and son of JeM chief Masood Azhar

DAWN

Forty-four under-observation activists of proscribed organisations, including two close relatives of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief, have been taken into ‘protective custody’ as the government launched a massive crackdown against militant outfits, said Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi on Tuesday.

Among those 44 detained were Abdul Rauf and Ham­mad Azhar, brother and son of JeM chief Masood Azhar, respectively, he added.

“This is across the board — we don’t want to give the impression as if we are against any one organisation,” Mr Afridi told reporters at a press conference which he jointly addressed with Interior Secretary retired Major Azam Suleman Khan.

He, however, refused to disclose more names of those detained and also refused to reveal if JamaatudDawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed had been taken into protective custody or not.Mr Afridi said the decision to detain members of banned outfits was Pakis­tan’s own initiative and had not been taken under foreign pressure. “This is our resolve that we won’t allow the use of our soil against any country,” he said, adding that Pakistan had taken the decision under its proactive approach.

He acknowledged that some people who had been detained — including Abdul Rauf and Hammad Azhar — were named in the dossier on the Pulwama attack handed over to Pakistan by India.

“This does not mean that the action is being taken against only those individuals who are mentioned in the dossier. This is an across-the-board action. The impression should not be taken that we are taking action against one organisation only,” said Mr Khan, adding that the operation would continue.“India has not provided evidence to us [on the Pulwama attack],” said the interior secretary, adding that Pakistan had sought evidence from it. “As long as some evidence does not come on surface, we have taken these people into preventive detention for investigation,” he explained.

“Action will be taken against these persons if we find some evidence against them,” he added. He further said their detention could be suspended if the government did not find proof against them.

The interior secretary said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had already said the government was ready to take action whenever India provided evidence.

Mr Khan confirmed that a formal notification to ban JuD and its Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) was yet to be issued — around two weeks after a decision to this effect had been taken by the National Security Commi­ttee headed by the prime minister and comprising besides others the military leadership. “The notification will be issued in the next 24 hours,” he said, attributing the delay to procedures. He also said that if the government had to take over the assets of any banned outfit, it could do so.

The government can take over assets of banned organisations under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Hours after the press conference, a formal notification to ban JuD and FIF was issued by the ministry of interior.

Pak Navy Foils Attempt By Indian Submarine Entering Pak Waters

The Pakistan Navy detected an Indian submarine on Monday night trying to enter Pakistani waters and successfully thwarted the attempt, the Navy's spokesperson said on Tuesday — exactly a week after India's aerial violation of the Line of Control that sent tensions soaring between the two nuclear-armed states.

"The Pakistan Navy used its specialised skills to ward off the submarine, successfully keeping it from entering Pakistani waters," a statement from the spokesperson said.

This is the second time since 2016 that the Pakistan Navy has detected an Indian submarine trying to enter Pakistani waters. Pakistan territorial waters is 12 nautical miles while its seabed territory — the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) — grew to 290,000 square kilometres in 2015. EEZ signifies an area of coastal water and seabed within a certain distance of a country's coastline that cannot be entered without permission or prior information.

Screenshot from the footage shared by Pakistan Navy shows the Indian submarine detected on Monday night.

"The submarine was detected and localised in Pakistan’s maritime zone on March 4," said a statement by the director general of Navy's public relations. "The submarine could have been easily engaged and destroyed had it not been Pakistan’s policy to exercise restraint in the face of Indian aggression and to give peace a chance to prevail.

"However, the submarine is being kept under watch along with monitoring of other Indian navy units. The detected submarine is one of the latest submarines of Indian navy," added the statement.

Learning from this incident, India should also work towards peace, the statement added.

"This great feat is a testament of the Pakistan Navy's superior skills. The Navy will keep defending Pakistan's naval border. The force has the capability to respond to any aggression."

The latest provocation by India comes a week after the Indian Air Force (IAF) violated Pakistani airspace on February 26 following the Pulwama attack in Indian occupied Kashmir. The IAF returned unsuccessful after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) "immediately scrambled" its jets. According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Indian aircraft released their payload "in haste" as they returned.

PAF the next day, on Feb 27, targeted non-military targets across the Line of Control to demonstrate Pakistan's aggressive capabilities, and shot down two Indian Air Force jets after they crossed the LoC.

An Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan, was taken into captivity of Pakistan's armed forces. He was freed the next day and handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah border. Prime Minister Imran Khan had termed his release as a "peace gesture" — a move lauded by people on both sides of the border as well as the international community that had urged restraint.

No such move or gesture for de-escalation, however, has been made by India so far.

DAILY PAKISTAN

Can Pakistan Use F16s Aginst India? The Deal.

 Ever since Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian aircraft in a dog fight last week, concerns have been raised whether Pakistan can use F-16s against India or not, however, the answer is in the affirmative with a multi-billion dollars deal behind the outrage stirred by India and the US.

The aerial combat between Pakistan and India after latter’s repeated violation of the Line of Control brought the nuclear-armed neighbours to the brink of full-blown war with Pakistan scrambling its aircraft to foil India’s nefarious plans.

However, the question of whether Pakistan is permitted to use F-16 against India has been addressed by a social media user who goes by the name Xulfi Moon on Twitter.

Moon, while detailing the subsequent deals made between Pakistan and US over the use of F-16 confirmed that the armed forces of the country are fully authorized to use the aircraft against India.

“Pakistan Air Force has F-16s in service since 1983. Its conditions of end user agreement as for many other buyers include non-use against US and NATO members and non-supply/sharing technology with US/NATO adversaries. Pakistan can use them against anyone if needed to defend,” Moon said.

Pakistan signed deals for procurement of F-16 before and after the 9/11 tragedy, however, there are no strings attached to the deal.

 Pakistan signed an agreement with the US for F-16 with no condition, however, the following deal bound Pakistan to take action against terrorists – without any mention of restriction to use against India.

The ‘take action against terrorists’ did not compel Pakistan to use the aircraft against terrorists only, contrary to the reports that emerged after the mid-air clash between Pakistan and India last week.

What’s the Deal Prompting Outrage?

Having explained the zero conditions about the use of F-16 against India bothers one to think as to why India and the US are concerned about the use of aircraft?

Solving the puzzle is a bit complicated, however, an upcoming potential deal serves as an answer.

Lockheed Martin, the makers of F-16, is pitching India F-16 Block 70s and New Delhi would acquire 110 if it gets selected with a deal worth approx 15 billion US Dollars.

The public outcry is all about appeasing India as the US is desperate to get this deal done, be it F-18 or F-16 who are competing for it among other competitors.

If Washington successfully appeases India, there would be more dollars rolling for the US weapons complex and that’s the reason as to why US embassy official said the government was looking into the matter and takes violations seriously.

In fact, Pakistan had used F-16 against India in the Kargil conflict, however, as per the spokesperson of the armed forces, F-16 was not used to shoot down Indian aircraft, stated Moon.

What confirms the approval of usage of F-16 against India is that Pakistan received air to air missiles along with the procurement of F-16 in the latest shipment and such missiles can be used against Pakistan’s eastern nighbour instead of terrorists.

In case, US tries to get closer to India for the above-mentioned deal, it can simply stop the sale of spare parts and further munitions-related to F-16s of Pakistan.

EXPRESS TRIBUNE

PAKISTAN TAKES ANOTHER STEP TO REDUCE TENSION WITH INDIA

In a first sign of de-escalation in tensions, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood, who was recalled after the Pulwama attack, is returning to New Delhi while the talks on Kartarpur Corridor would also go ahead as planned.

The announcement was made by the Foreign Office in a statement issued here on Tuesday after the acting High Commissioner was invited to the ministry. The word ‘invitation’ itself reflected a sign of thaw. In recent weeks, the two countries mostly summoned each other’s diplomats because of the ongoing tensions.

The statement said the acting Indian envoy was conveyed that the Pakistani High Commissioner was returning to New Delhi after completion of consultations in Islamabad.

Also, the envoy was told that Pakistani delegation would visit New Delhi on March 14 as planned for talks to finalise the modalities for the Kartarpur Corridor. Indian team would then pay a return visit to Islamabad on March 28.

Another significant move taken by Pakistan was to inform the Indian side of its commitment of “continued weekly contact at the military operations directorates level.”

The Pakistan and Indian militaries have a hotline through which the military operations directorates of the two neighbours interact with each other on a weekly basis.

It was, however, not clear if the two sides were in contact during last two weeks especially after tit for tat cross border attacks by the two sides in the wake of Pulwama attack.

These measures appear to suggest that the situation may be heading towards de-escalation. The development, according to some sources, was possible after lot of ‘backchannel talks’ through influential players.

Many countries namely the US, UK, Russia, Saudi Arabia and UAE were involved in both covert and overt diplomacy to ease tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

The Foreign Office statement came within hours of the government’s announcement of widespread crackdown against banned militant organisations.

Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi told reporters that 44 suspects were taken into custody. Among those who were detained include Hammad Azhar, the son of Maulana Masood Azhar and Mufti Abdur Rauf, the brother of head of banned Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM).

These two individuals were also named in the dossier India had recently shared with Pakistan regarding the Pulwama attack.

Although, the minister insisted that arrests were not linked to the current tensions with India, it is evident that the government is sending a clear message to the outside world that it is serious to tackle all militant groups.

THE NEWS

INDIA FACES INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION

In a bid to isolate Pakistan in international community, India is now finding itself isolated as the US has removed it from the preferential trade list and the United World Wrestling (UWW) has also suspended its membership besides a warning by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on hosting rights of the Cricket World Cup and World T20 events.

The US President Donald Trump has announced that he plans to end India's preferential trade treatment that allows duty-free entry for billions of dollars worth of Delhi exports to enter the country.

In a letter written to the leaders of the Senate and House, the president said that he intends to terminate India's designation as a beneficiary developing country."I am taking this step because, after intensive engagement between the United States and the government of India, I have determined that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India as set forth," the letter stated.

He has taken the decision under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme. The GSP programme provides duty-free treatment to goods of designated beneficiary countries.

The programme was authorised by the Trade Act of 1974 to promote economic growth in the developing countries and was implemented on January 1, 1976. India has been the world's largest beneficiary of the GSP programme. Under the rules, certain products can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress.

The president apprised the Congress of the plan explaining that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India as set forth in the programme rules and regulations. "I will continue to assess whether the government of India is providing equitable and reasonable access to its markets, in accordance with the GSP eligibility criteria," the president said in the letter.

The US trade representative's office told media outlets that removing India from the GSP programme would not take effect for at least 60 days after notifications to Congress and the Indian government, and it would be enacted by a presidential proclamation.

Meanwhile, the United World Wrestling (UWW) directed all the members to suspend their relations with the Indian Wrestling Federation (IWF) till the time it guarantees (in writing) in-time visa facility to all athletes willing or drawn to compete in any international event the country hosts.

The international wresting body called Indian government’s failure to mix sports with politics as an act against the Olympic Charter. "Indians involve politics in sports and deny players and officials visa to compete in international events. All member countries are advised to suspend relations with Indian Wrestling Federation," the world body said in a letter to all member countries.

Pakistan has requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to strip India of their hosting rights for the T20 and 50-over World Cup if India does not assure the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of issuing visas to its players.

According to sources, the PCB has told the cricket’s governing body that until and unless India assures them in writing that they will issue visas to their players and officials, their hosting rights should be taken back from them.

India is scheduled to host the T20 World Cup in 2021 and the 50-over World Cup in 2023. The ICC has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that they need to assure that they will issue visas to Pakistan players for the mega tournaments, the sources added.

Moreover, the ICC has ordered the BCCI to take written guarantee from their government, a year in advance before the tournaments kick-off in the country or they will look to another country to host the events.

The issue was raised by the PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani at a recent ICC meeting in Dubai, where he pointed out that India recently denied visas to Pakistani athletes to participate in events held in the country. On this, the ICC chief Shashank Manohar ruled that the Indian board has to obtain a written guarantee from their government about the issuance of visas

Image credit - Daily Times / Business Today / Dawn

(Compiled by Mr VK Gaur, former IG, BSF, who has written more than 50 Books on the issues related to Defence, Strategy and Internal security.)


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