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Indo-Russia S-400 Deal and Its Implications for Pakistan



India wants to become a dominant power in the region on the basis of its military and economic strength. While Pakistan did not want to live under the threats of its neighbor. Pakistan made every efforts in the response of India’s action to alter the strategic balance. After the Sino-Indo war in 1962, India started to modernize its armed forces and this thing compelled Pakistan to do same.

India is spending billions of dollars in the procurement of arms from Russia, US, France and Israel and become a  largest arms importers in the world. This extra ordinary spending on purchasing arms has created a threat full environment in the region and created insecurity among the regional countries especially for Pakistan.

Russia is a prime supplier of arms to India from decades. According to the “Stockholm International Peace Research Institution, between 2012 to 2016, Russian arms imports accounted for 68% of India’s total arms imports”. In 2016 at BRICS summit, an agreement was finalized between Russia and India for the purchase of five S-400 missile systems. Initially, Indian government  has paid 800 million dollar to Russia, as an advance payment and it was expected that India will receive the first batch  of S-400 missile system in late 2021 but it did not received yet. As per agreement the final deliveries of all units will reach to India by April 2023.

 S-400 is a mobile platform that can launch eight missiles at one go with the speed faster than a fighter jet. Its radar can detect a plane as far as 600 km away and its missiles can also engage the target at a range of 400 km onwards.

The S-400 would virtually cover most of Pakistan, which mean Pakistani fighters jets would become more vulnerable against any Indian aggression. India plan is to install three batteries of S-400 at its western border with Pakistan and two batteries on its eastern border with China. The main purposes of installing  S-400 is to protect India’s  important installations like nuclear plants, communication hubs and important cities. After inking S-400 deal with Russia the ‘old friend’ narrative has acquired a new look between the two countries.

 S-400 is considered one of the most advanced  air defense systems in the world. It has the capability to protect  almost all sorts of aerial attacks, including drones, missiles, rockets and even fighter jets. The system, intended to act as a shield over a particular area, which is a long-range surface-to-air missile system. S-400 can engage intruding aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. Each unit have two batteries, which have a command-and-control system, a surveillance radar, and engagement radar and four lunch trucks. Furthermore, it can track 80 targets simultaneously and can be made operational within five minutes. 

 By acquiring S-400 air defense system, it signals that India is fully determined to create its  hegemony in the region especially over Pakistan. This Indian hegemonic designs is not only cause of concern for countries, but will alter the strategic environment of South Asia, which is already under the shadow of India’s aggressive and warmongering attitude. It will create sense of insecurity among other south Asian states. On the other side the purchase of S-400 will provoke India to become more aggressor towards Pakistan and  to carryout Balakot type air strikes against Pakistan.

Though Indo-Russia S-400 deal become major cause of concern in Indo-US relations, with  US threatening sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). But its seems, US will not impose sanction on India over its purchase of S-400 system because of its relations with India and through India, US want to contain China. US also wants India to get its Patriot missile system but S-400 is not only cheaper than Patriot but advanced in technology.

The security situation of South Asia is always characterized by the rivalry between India and Pakistan. The rise of one state means the fall of other states.  The Indo-Russia S-400 deal will have implications for Pakistan, because it can decline Pakistan’s deterrence capability against India. It will also create imbalance between the two countries. By getting such type of technology it can minimize the nuclear deterrence by Pakistan against India. Now India would be able to increase threats against Pakistan. To counter India’s impending threat  Pakistan would have to take countermeasures to maintain power asymmetry  in the region. This thing will compel Pakistan to look other alternative  options like supersonic and hypersonic missiles to counter S-400 capabilities because its unable to intercept such kind of missiles. 

The S-400 will further  provoke an arms race between the two countries. It can also make India to let a conflict be escalate on the assumption that it have  the ability to counter any sort of aerial attack from Pakistan. Such circumstances would spark big conflict which leads to extraordinary implications for the region. The over edge and irrational behavior of India can spark major conflict between the two nuclear-arm countries, which will not only disastrous for  the region but for the whole world.

A recent missile fire, from India  into Pakistani area of  Mian Channu on 9, March 2022, was a unprecedented incident, which has no example in the nuclear history. Although it cause no causalities, except building damage.

 India and the world always try to propagate that Pakistan’s nuclear program is not in safe hands. Now world should look whose nuclear program is not in the safe hands after, India’s missile fire into Pakistan.  It’s a missile not a rubber bullet which was fired mistakenly into other country. It seems that India’s nuclear program is not in the hands of  professionals. It seems, it is in the hands of terrorists. Now world should praise Pakistan for showing calm, patience and responsibility after India’s unlawful act of firing missile into Pakistan. The world should also look India’s aggressive attitude before getting Russian S-400 missile system and what will its behavior after installing S-400 missile system, it is a big question? Pakistan has always shown serious concerns regarding India’s mind set, hostile and aggressive attitude.  The incident now alarm the bells over the safety of Indian missile system. India should coordinate with Pakistan regarding the incident and should launch joint investigation offered by Pakistan. There has no such example of missile, being fired like this.

Indian officials called it a “technical malfunction” that was “deeply regrettable”. “Sushant Singh” is a Indian writer who wrote that “Imagine if a missile had fallen on Indian territory and the Pakistani side had claimed “accidental firing”, would the Indian political leadership and jingoistic media have accepted that explanation”?

Now, International community especially UN Nuclear Watch Dog must take the notice of this missile fire on a serious note and should investigate the matter to avoid such incidents in future. It was Pakistan who handled the situation very well at this crucial time and safe the two nuclear arms states from a nuclear flash point.

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Beyond the Battlefield

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Since the beginning of time, wars and conflicts have been an inextricable part of human history. As such, they have developed in lockstep with the complex interactions between social, political, and technological changes that have shaped our world. Warfare’s methods and goals have undergone a significant metamorphosis, moving from crude and simple engagements to ones that are sophisticated and complex. Armed conflicts have expanded to take on global proportions with the advent of destructive world wars, and are no longer restricted to simple tribal or regional skirmishes. In addition to transcending their religious roots, these conflicts are now driven by nationalistic imperatives, giving rise to wars with geopolitical goals.

However, in the fierce race to reach the pinnacle of technological achievement with the introduction of a revolutionary artificial intelligence-powered search engine, issues of veracity and the widespread dissemination of false information are the most crucial issues of our time. These worries are well-founded because the consequences of a poorly functioning search engine could distort reality, worsen the already virulent spread of false information, and cause irreparable harm to the fabric of truth.

Additionally, warfare has changed from being characterized by linear battles to being characterized by maneuver warfare, placing greater emphasis on flexibility, agility, and strategic maneuvering. Armed engagements have evolved from primitive first-generation manifestations to the complex dynamics of fourth-generation warfare. They now involve a variety of unconventional tactics such as asymmetric tactics, psychological operations, and information warfare. Thus, in order to successfully navigate the complexity of the modern battlefield, this evolution calls for both a thorough understanding of the many facets of modern warfare and the adoption of adaptive strategies.

Simultaneously, the concept of fifth-generation warfare, also known as hybrid warfare, denotes a paradigm shift in contemporary military tactics, where the importance of cultural warfare, information warfare, and unconventional methods surpasses the conventional use of brute force on the battlefield, as seen in third- and fourth-generation warfare. India is said to be using 5th-generation warfare strategies against Pakistan to sow seeds of enmity and spread false information in an effort to block Pakistan’s progress. Moreover, India is using all of its resources to undermine Pakistani society in a number of different domains. Pakistan to modernize its weaponry and armed forces given the strategic landscape of South Asia, which is becoming more complex and volatile, especially given India’s use of fifth-generation warfare against Pakistan.

Relatedly, information warfare has undeniably grown significantly important in the effort to effectively project Pakistan’s narrative both domestically and internationally. A well-calibrated national response reinforced by a clearly defined foreign policy is required in light of the double-edged nature of fifth-generation warfare. Modern times see a rapid spread of irregular wars across the spectrum of conflict, amid intensifying great power competition, as the nature of warfare changes continuously.

Modern warfare has undergone a sea change as a result of the advancement of information technology, which makes it easier for nontraditional actors like violent extremist groups to communicate. We find ourselves ensconced in a world permeated by high tension, accompanied by a flood of tweets, ranging from the tumultuous battlefields in Ukraine to a pernicious terrorist attack on mass transit inside the borders of the United States. Our insatiable appetite for knowledge is driven by a desire to protect our safety, show compassion for those who are suffering, or see wrongdoers brought to justice. Despite our desire for knowledge, we must maintain an appropriate level of skepticism toward the sources that provide it. After all, we are living in a time that is frequently referred to as the “golden age of fake news.

Today’s conflicts are largely not fought between nation-states and their armies; instead, they are increasingly fought with the mighty arsenal of words rather than with traditional weapons. In recent years, policy discussions, popular discourse, and academic analyses have given priority to a particular breed of weaponry: “fake news” and viral disinformation. In reality, disinformation used in warfare in the digital age may not differ much from other forms of warfare; after all, wars are fought to establish power, with some reaping financial rewards while the most vulnerable suffer the most.

The problem of fake news has gotten worse since the Internet and social networks were invented. The conventional news model, which involved a small number of media outlets run by experienced journalists who interviewed reliable sources and meticulously verified the information before it was published, has been overturned by the current media environment. Today, there are numerous channels, a never-ending stream of messages, and an environment where contradictory information is frequently overlooked that all contribute to the relative ease with which conspiracy theories and rumors can spread. The temptation to cling to a simpler fiction rather than taking on the laborious task of dissecting a more complex reality grows as we are frequently presented with contradictory messages.

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United States Donates $9 million in Weapons, Equipment to Support Somalia National Army

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Photo: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Zoe Russell.

Official reports here said the United States through its diplomatic office in Mogadishu has presented $9 million in weapons, vehicles, medical supplies and other equipment to the Somali National Army (SNA). The ceremony was attended by Minister of Defense Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama and U.S. Ambassador Larry André.

Aside from heavy weapons, equipment included support and construction vehicles, explosive ordinance disposal kits, medical supplies, and maintenance equipment for vehicles and weapons.  Most of the supplies are already on their way to Hishabelle and Galmudug States to support SNA troops.

“We cheer the success achieved by Somali security forces in their historic fight to liberate Somali communities suffering under al-Shabaab,” said Ambassador André.  “This is a Somali-led and Somali-fought campaign. The United States reaffirms commitment to support country’s efforts.”

Minister of Defense Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama thanked the United States, saying, “Allow me to convey the appreciation of the Federal Government of Somalia to the Government of the United States of America for the continued support to Somalia’s peacebuilding process and the support for the fight against terrorism.  This support comes at a critical time for our forces as we boost their capabilities to combat al-Shabaab.”

The Minister was joined by Chief of Defense Forces Brigadier General Odowaa Yusuf Rageh for the ceremony.  

The weapons, including light and heavy machine guns were purchased with U.S. Department of Defense funding. They are marked and registered pursuant to the Federal Government of Somalia’s Weapons and Ammunition Management policy, designed to account for and control weapons within the Somali security forces and weapons captured on the battlefield.  

Notification to the UN Security Council is conducted by the Federal Government of Somalia in close coordination with the Office of Security Cooperation of U.S. Embassy Mogadishu in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

The weapons will support SNA-Danab battalions, including battalions currently participating in operations in Hirshabelle and Galmudug. The weapons will provide a significant increase in the lethality and mobility of the SNA-Danab units participating in these operations. Somalia and its neighbouring States have come under frequent heightened militant attacks in the Horn of Africa.

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From Strategic depth to Strategic Threat



On 30th December, in broad daylight, the hub of Peshawar and administrative center was targeted by the militants with the explosion of a deadly bomb, leaving behind 59 dead. the attack was claimed by the TTP Mohmand faction, whose leadership is allegedly residing in Afghanistan.

The issue of Afghanistan has occupied a consequential part of the strategic culture of Pakistan. Following the partition, with the specter of Pashtun Nationalism looming large on the horizon, policymakers in Pakistan opted for a policy of Islamic Nationalism, which became a cornerstone of strategic thinking during the era of General Zia-ul-Haq in the wake of the Afghan Jihad War in 1979.

Islamic nationalism was seen as only the means through which Pashtun Nationalism could be confronted and subdued.

With the adoption of this policy, swiftly and generously, aid from US, UAE and KSA began to inundate the territory of Pakistan, carrying each their national interests with it.

Within a short period, thousands of new madrassas were established, cultivating youngsters by inculcating the concept of Jihadism.

This formation of an alliance with the US in the Afghan Jihad war was driven by two factors; first, to subdue the dominant Pashtun Nationalism with Islamic Nationalism, and second, to establish an Islamabad-friendly regime in Afghanistan so that any terrorist group could not use Afghan territory while keeping New Delhi at bay, by not letting her establish any foothills in Afghanistan.

Fast forward to 2023, the facts on the group are now telling a different story. Islamabad’s once “strategic depth” is now becoming a distant dream as Pakistan is now confronted by insurmountable problems from all sides

According to the data collected by the Pak Institute of Peace Studies, Islamabad, in the past two years, Pakistan has encountered 100 terrorist attacks, and yet, the recent surge of terrorist activities shows no signs of cooling down in the formidable future. This is clearly evident from the news coming from the casualties on the daily basis of the security forces of Pakistan, mostly on the border areas, and the havoc it caused to the infrastructure. Officially, it is estimated that in the last six months, around 350 military personnel have lost their lives, while the outlawed group has claimed even more than that. These occurrences elucidate the failure of the Pakistani state to effectively persuade the Taliban regime not to let the Afghan territory be used against Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty.

Now, who is to be blamed, if not our flawed policies, and the masters of shortsightedness. Lately, upon leaving his office, the ex-COAS scapegoated  Imran Khan who initiated the dialogue with the outlawed group, TTP. While Imran Khan, on the other hand, said that the army was on board when the negotiation decision with the TTP was taken. These inconspicuous but powerful statements  clearly reveal  the uncertainty of our policymakers while dealing with a sensitive topic. Besides that, it also shows how the wizards of policy making and governance are not on the same page while dealing with the Afghanistan issue.

Recently, a document was released by the National Counter Terrorism Authority and presented to the senate committee where discoveries pertaining to the ceasefire between the government of Pakistan and TTP were made. According to the report, the truce initiated by the PTI-led government last year had utterly emboldened the TTP.

With careful planning and shrewd utilization of resources, they were able to revive themselves both logistically and materially. Once the truce between the two parties was over, yet again, a surge in violent attacks was documented.

Beside the challenge of TTP, the Afghan Taliban shows no signs of a positive stance for the Durand line issue. In an interview, the information minister, Zabiullah  Mujahid, said, “The issue of the Durand line is still an unresolved one, while the construction of fencing itself creates rifts between a nation spread across both sides of the border. It amounts to dividing a nation”.

Another prominent concern is the time to time border shelling. On Dec 11, 2022, the Taliban forces heavily shelled a town on the outstrips of the Pakistani border leaving behind seven civilian casualties. A few days later, on Dec 15, another exchange of fire took place, claiming one more life. Although, not much heed has been given to such reports, it seems the genie is out of the bottle now.

Last but not least, the Taliban had even scapegoated Pakistan through which the US drone was flown that killed the top Al Qaeda leader, Ayman Al Zawahiri.

The cherry on top happens to be the readiness of the new system to exhibit the disposition of candour in their interactions with India.  The Taliban defense minister, Mullah Yahoob, has expressed his desire for the training of Afghan troops by Pakistan’s arch-rival India. If this goes according to the plan, the dependent policy of Afghanistan on Pakistan will diminish and create new challenges for Pakistan. India, by using Afghan soil, can embolden and logistically support the liberation movements in Balochistan and Sindh, thus exacerbating the already precarious situation.

It’s high time to call a spade a spade!

Our Policymakers must accept that the old strategic depth policy inside Afghanistan has begun to fail. Taliban 2.0 are entirely in contrast to its 1.0 version in terms of statecraft. They are more pluralistic in their policies, and economically, they are far more independent compared to the 90s. This time, they want to cut deals directly with the regional states. It may appear unilateral, but rather it’s a mutually desired engagement as other states have expressed interests in establishing relations with Afghanistan while   considering them a new and inevitable reality.

Meanwhile, China is feathering its own nest, and is more concerned about the East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement (ETIM). She does not want Afghanistan to be used as a pawn by an insurgent group in the great game against China.

Considering these dynamic global realities, Pakistan must abrogate its old policy towards Afghanistan and focus on a unanimous policy towards Afghanistan. For the success of a cohesive and effective anti-terrorism strategy it is contingent for policymakers to align their viewpoints against the new resurgent groups.  And last but not the least , a collective action by the military, politicians and society is necessary.

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