Thursday, March 18, 2010

Links between tribal structures and the Jihadi organism in Pakistan

I am told that the "Jihadi Organism" in Pakistan, (the suicide bombers, the fidayeen, their handlers, and their bosses in the Tanzeems) is composed simply of homicidal sociopaths or maniacs bent on confronting the authority figures and imposing their brand of Islam on Pakistan. These people are preying on the poor or misguided youth in Pakistani society and luring them into a life of violent crime.

This seems to be kind of true. It is self evident that Pakistani society is weak and that a number of extremist organisations have sprung up in cracks left by ill conceived government schemes in Pakistan. Also over the past decade, the post 9/11 flip-flop on the role of Islam in Pakistan has left most people disoriented. After Lal Masjid, the traditional authority structure - comprising the Deobandi Ulema and the Pakistan Army is broken. The economy is collapsing and inflation in Pakistan is out of control. The Pakistan Army is using increasing levels of coercion against anyone who confronts it.

However then I ask myself the following question:

"Why have has the "Jihadi Organism" - not gone all out against the Pakistan Army?"

Whenever I ask this question, I am told by all sorts of people - that the ISI has a way of moderating the actions and dynamics of the "Jihadi Organism". I am told that this regulation scheme that the ISI uses involves some sort of control over the availability of information, arms and finances for the various tanzeems.

I find it curious that such a rudimentary mechanism alone is sufficient to control the jihadis - these are people who are willing to blow themselves up why would they care about material goods.

Neither the accounts of jihadi lives in India, Pakistan and elsewhere, nor the through numerous accounts of jihadi activity in Pakistan, nor books on the role of Islam in Pakistani society seem to really explain how the ISI might control these people.

I was reading my copy of Crossed Swords the other day, and I came across Shuja Nawaz's words on the role of tribal dynamics in the Pakistani Army. It set me thinking about the role of that same tribal structure in the jihadi organism in Pakistan.

It may be recalled that the tribal narrative is very strong in Pakistan. Everyone is a part of a kabila - a small group of people that traces its ancestry to some Islamic personality of note. Every member of the tribe is interdependent on the others, and the small group commands the loyalty of all individuals. With the threat of excommunication it enmeshes them in a localised conflict structure. Everyone is a participant in the tribal fight and partakes in the war booty. The tribes are largely self sufficient and only build into a nation when they come together for a joint attack against an external hostile.

This peculiar notion of unity in the face of an external threat, uniquely predisposes the tribes towards accepting only a militarised society *external* to the tribe. A weird consequence of this is that in the eyes of the tribes, the military legitimises the state (as opposed to the other way around elsewhere). Sans an external threat, there is no reason for the state to exist.

Traditionally tribes are male dominated, and so the militarised Pakistani identity structure emphasizes the male ego. From this perspective, the Nazariya Pakistan, Jinnah and other Pakistani icons are irrelevant. What matters is family first, kin next and then the local tribal affiation, and so on and only the notion of a Jang (a war) keeps us all together. This order exists irrespective of whether the person is a soldier in the army, or a jihadi in a tanzeem.

Each member of the tribe seeks a higher placement within the tribe - their apparent position in any external (to the tribe) structure is merely a reflection of the position inside the tribe itself. Each tribe fights for a higher place in the militarised organisation of the state.

It is reasonable to say that the suicide bombers and fidayeen are urban or rural social dropouts - i.e. people who on account of some defect lost all social mobility. However the people that recruit and train these suicide bombers and fidayeen are *not* dropouts. These people are in fact quite the opposite - they are social well developed and contextualised individuals from relatively well placed tribes in Pakistan.

Another way of seeing this is that no one remembers the name of the suicide bomber or fidayeen, but the Tanzeem members are well known persons. While their exact operational history is a secret, their social power is flaunted in the open. Their tribes are socially dominant, have better access to land and water resources and their kin demand large dowries from prospective brides. Any success on part of the Tanzeem member begets a monetary baksheesh and social prestige for their respective tribe.

I sense that this would be the natural point for the ISI to locate its control mechanism. Using its position in the militarised superstructure of the tribes, the ISI would simply reserve the right to discredit any person in the tanzeem organisation. This loss of credit would be felt instantly by the individual and his tribe and that would serve as a major deterrent to a person deviating from a tight script or acting out their personal frustrations with the Army's way of doing things. This is why all that talk of "3000 suicide bombers ready to be launched at the TTP's command" will remain essentially empty.

As long as the Pakistan Army is able to maintain a semblance of dominance of national affairs, the tribes will naturally look towards it as their preceptor. If the Army can't maintain the appearance of a death grip on national affairs, the tribes will not respect them - and the disaffected Jihad generation will move in for the kill.

I wish to state that this idea I am posing here is my own and it is still in the realm of pure conjecture. It may be possible for national services to examine the validity of this idea by studying existing data on tanzeems and tribes in Pakistan.

I welcome comments on the same.


At 10:12 PM, Blogger sdre said...

Dear Maverick:

You describe the PA as an entity holding an (almost) monopoly over power and patronage. PA basically exists to protect its "corporate interests," and to this end it will nourish Jihadi organizations, but will not hesitate to punish individual Jihadi outfits if it refuses to toe the party line. So far, so good.

But what, in your opinion, will be the effect of the changing class composition of the PA officer class? Until now, the top echelons of the PA has been filled by men from Punjabi landed elite and mohajir professional classes. But today the Pak elites are not sending their sons to Military Academy anymore, and the officers are increasingly drawn from the same pool as the enlisted men. This by itself should not be a cause of alarm, as something similar is happening to Indian, USA, and to pretty much any country that relies on a volunteer army. I understand this process was accelerated during Zia's rule when the PA started accepting madrassa graduates into the military academy.

Off topic alert:
As a digression, I was recently told by a Bangladeshi acquaintance that Maj. Gen. Fazlur Rahman, who headed the BDR when the BDR murdered a dozen BSF men, is a madrassa graduate, with a "fazil" degree or something. According to my source, who is a retired officer of BA, Fazlur Rahman deliberately planned the ambush. It also appears that Fazlur Rahman these days has floated a jihadi organization in Bangladesh...

Coming back to the topic: do you think the new breed of PA officers, who should start dominating the PA hierarchy real soon now (those who got in during Zia's tenure should be reaching 30 years of service by now), will have a different set of priorities than the earlier PA leadership? Even Zia himself did not hesitate to fire officers who wanted to jump-start an Islamic revolution (this was an Abbasi, different from Brig. Zahirul Islam Abbasi, probably from the same clan, who was fired during Benazir's time for the same reason). Do you think the new breed of PA leaders will have the same scruple about keeping the jihadis at an arm's length, and even to hand some of them over to the Great Satan in order to keep the $$ coming?

PS: First post, yippie! Sorry Mav...

At 10:20 PM, Blogger sdre said...

BTW, did anyone notice that Kiyani is now presiding over meeting with Pakistani civil servants on policy matters?

At 10:03 AM, Blogger maverick said...


Those are good questions.

In my tribal picture, there are three echelons of tribes, distinguishable by the extent of their land holdings.

The top echelon tribes (gakkhars,kianis,awans,janjuas, qizilbash etc...) comprise the PA elite and large chunks of the officer corps. Their respective biradaris ensure promotions in face of incompetence. They have several hundred kanals of land and own large businesses. These people have a huge presence in the government and usually send their kids to places like Aitchison, Forman, etc... Their children are becoming bankers, professionals, professors, etc... These people usually trace their ancestry to Khalid Bin Walid, key Islamic warrior tribes, or to some member of the Prophet's family/tribe.

The mid echelon tribes (mehsud, gujjar,etc...), comprise the PA OR, low lever officers (upto the rank of Major), the Police, and the bulk of the Tanzeem leadership. Their children go to good government schools or high ranking madrassas. These people have a few 10s of kanals of land, perhaps a few small businesses as well. These people trace their ancestry to less prominent Islamic military figures or to latter day saints in the region.

The lower echelon tribes, these people have about 1 kanal of land. Their children usually go to madrassas or government schools. They do not have significant presence in the police, military or civil administration. These people comprise the low level workers in Jihadi groups.

I think we are seeing some mobility, in terms of the top echelon tribes being displaced by mid echelon tribes in the PA but this is a slow process and cannot lead to rapid changes in the way the Army functions or appropriates credit to tribal groups.

I also feel this will not alter the basic dynamic - that the tribes will look towards the Army as their natural protector and superior. If anything, that relationship will strengthen as more people from the mid echelon tribes migrate into positions that would traditionally be held by children of top echelon tribes.

It is likely that the mid echelon tribes will feel a greater sense of animosity towards the top echelon tribes as the PA leadership uses the Tanzeem bosses as chips in a poker game with America. Some of this friction will present in the Army itself as the Tanzeem leadership and the Army lower ranks are all from the same social milleu and the PA leadership are distinct from them.

It is also likely that the entering the PA elite will entail vacating positions in the Tanzeems - if that happens then the American intervention is sustainable. Otherwise the dollars will not have any effect.

At 10:37 AM, Blogger makku said...

There is a much simpler explanation without any sophistry.Islam vs 'Hinduism'.

Hinduism an ancient creed made up of different races,beliefs,languages fundamentally opposed to equality.A religion sprung from the soil of India-a reformed religion after the British came,yet full of faultlines and by extension so is India.

Islam an egalitarian,cold blooded(from a brahmin view),anti-intellectual,anti-culture,anti-life 'religion' in the Indian context which was born in the hot sands of Arabia.

Intellectuals like you will criticise Hindus which is not without justification,you can never give up your Brahminical pride(again that is very much a given in the indian situation) but will not dare to criticise Islam or the western agenda in India.

All this sophistry is no good.

Let me ask you a question in good faith? Do you think 'Hinduism' has it in itself to survive?We all believe it will survive because of the ongoing reform.

Which means the battle against Islam and christism has to be relentless.How long is it to going to take the elite to understand that Hindus are imperfect,there is need for reform and efficiency among Hindus,yet without Hinduism,the Brahmin elite contemptous of Hinduism will be swept away as the rock on which they are standing is completely eroded by alien thoughts and faiths.

The BJP/RSS idiots played with fire.They have stirred up a sleeping snake-Muslim fundamentalism.It has to be nipped in the bud.But more importantly Islamic hatred and christist bigotry have to be fought and tamed.

Intellectuals like you should come to the forefront in solving the more important environmental and economic problems in a reformed hindu context.

All this nonsense about jhanjuas,awans,gakkars,pashtuns,jats,arains,syeds is well known.Except jhanjuas,jats and gujars,others take pride in pure arap genes.The jhanjuas are Uber rape cowardly pakjabis.Because of Hindu caste system,the pastoral gujars were below agricultural jats.The Muslim jats had none of the renaissance of jatsikhs.The muslim jat grovelled under every rule in Punjab for a long time until the British resurrected them.Because of long muslim rule,the muslim jats are regressive too and have particularly bad strain of fanaticism in some parts.Yet they are last semblance of sanity,because as sons of the soil and farmers,they have gained under the hydraulic society particularly after jat sikhs left west punjab in 47.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Al said...

Will this braindead nonsense never stop? about Pakistan and how the Pakistanis operate and how their society is structured and some joker will start proving the two-nation theory correct and bring India and Hindus into the Picture. Happens without fail no matter where this discussion takes place.

Bringing religion into this discussion is not helpful from the Indian POV -- it does not help understand how to deal with the Pakistanis, and animosity for India cuts across religious lines in Pakistan.

At 2:34 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Makku,

I think in the Pakistani context - Islam is seen as a vehicle to "modernize"/"correct" a "failed Hinduism".

Per the logic of Pakistani thinkers like Iqbal, Islam (and specifically Pakistan) were a means to reinvigorate India and its "Hinduism".

According to this line of thought, the traditions of "Hinduism" must be denigrated and replaced by "superior" Islamic (and Arabised) cultural motifs.

I believe the tribal parts of Pakistan have completely absorbed these ideas. That is why the traditional gotra system of clan identification popular in Hindu society has been replaced by an equivalent arabised identifier.

Just as the gotra among brahmins traces ancestry to one of the great rishis of vedic mythology - the Pakistani tribal identities among communities like the Gakkhar, Jat (Arain, Janjua, etc...) or Kiani are traced to Khalid Ibn Walid and thence to the Prophet himself.

Pakistanis are taught to see India as a "Hindu Brahminical Terrorist State" that is "crushing" the tendency for "reform" that comes from within to perpetuate their "racial superiority". These ideas form the bedrock of Pakistan's anti-Hinduism agenda and are the underpinning of hostility towards India there. It is these feelings that create fear among the tribes and draw them towards the leadership of the Pakistan Army.
This is why the leadership of the TTP indicated after 26/11 that should India attack the TTP and the Pakistan Army would fight the Indian Army side by side.

I personally think that Islam plays a limited role (as described above) in tribal society. Beyond that lately we are seeing the younger generation in these tribes try to develop a more overarching form of Islamic loyalty, but we have yet to see this form take hold or succeed.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger maverick said...

"Intellectuals like you should come to the forefront in solving the more important environmental and economic problems in a reformed hindu context."

I have no interest in doing this.

If you want to do this Makku, please go ahead.

I remain a even more humble servant of the humbler servants of the humble servants of he-who-is-beloved-of-the-Gods-and-is-their-beloved-servant.

At 7:42 PM, Blogger makku said...

Dear Mav,
In your analysis,you missed out the jats.Also the haris,kameens who have no rights.

I am aware of the narrative of Paki islamists from Syed Mohammed.What is the reality?

Regrarding 'great rishis', on more than one occasion,you have taken them apart.Can that ever happen in pakistan.

You do not want to see the elephant in the room.

Regarding leading an intellectual movement,it is easiest advising others.

India has always been seen as a brahmin-bania enterprise by anglo-americans and pakis.And paki view of themselves was shaped by British from 1857 after the revolt by 'pandes' in UP.

Today more than brahmins,it is banias who are the leaders today.Except for 'martial races',everywhere else economics is more important.

In Western societies,Christianity over long ages provided stability before the rise of indvidualism/capitalism in protestant west.

India is seeing simultaneously many currents ,which evolved in West over centuries,NOW in the full glare of democracy,quotas,equality,multiple identities.

There is no coherent framework as a model or ideal for india.However imperfect,a model is useful.Like the varna or karma theory.

Like the one you are attempting for pakistan.In India,we are seeing chest thumping varieties(Hindutva,Tamizh nationalism,Shiv Sena,Akalis,Dalit mobilisation) or the Congress type quiet work.

You should be knowing that Congress is being compromised by demographic realities.For the time being,there is no alternative.

If a chaotic 'quota' model is our goal,why do we need to fight pakistan?I might be simplistic,why should we hold on to kashmir? Are we not being unfair to the majority of kashmiris? Are we not feeding the 'genuine' grievances of Pakis about kashmiris being crushed by Brahmin terrorists?

It is in this context,I felt that you and your friends and like minded people can 'contribute' to a 'new' paradigm.

We 'hear' about the evolution of 'Hinduism'-the Vedic corpus-its emphasis on discipline,contributions to science and language,the cosmology and 'egalitarianism'of Vaishnavas,Bhagavatha piety,Sankya-Yoga,Vedanta,Buddhism etc.

Our world too draws succour from multiple sources-'Western' science and technology,capitalism,indvidual human rights.Whatever that is good in Islam and Christ has to be assimilated.Pakis might see the 'Brahmin' python but that is an imperative today.Prof ManiT quotes with relish Urdu verses.That is the true strength of India.

Whom am I to dictate to you?But dont we need some value system to make sense of ourselves before we venture to analyse pakistan which is but a creation of Anglo-Americans.

My last post.

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

>>>>> My last post.

brilliant strategy.

At 2:42 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Americans created Packeeland? I'll be darn. I didn't know that. Geez. Then Packeeland will just dry up and blow away if America leaves. Gosh. That must mean terrorism will stop if the US will just quit giving money to the Packees. And you Brahmins must reinvent yourselves for Hinduism. Partialy to fight us "Christists".

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Fareed Zakarhia says Obama is winning in Packeeland.

Oh yeah, sure. uh huh.

At 4:47 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Why doesn't Phillip feel free to post under that handle?

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Anand K said...

This feudal system largely rooted in agricultural holdings cannot take you very far. Especially when water crunch, population growth and social mobility issues come to play....

What else is there in Pakistan to dole out? Infrastructure developments? Black Economy? Pah! Is there ANYTHING left? Without recourse to democratic polity where a Behenji/Lalu/Col. Meena and Mandal parties can turn up (even with the quite apparent vertical caste consolidation limitations) things IMO will get ugly.

PS: And on the psychotic ravings of "Hinduism Khatre Mein He": Oh well, how bad can it be dear Knickerwaalon... older, more powerful, more widespread religions and polities have vanished without a trace. Forbidden sacred groves (where dark and brooding Gods reigned) were cut down to make army camps, temples which make the tides rise and fall were demolished and it's stones used to build lavatories and stairs to mosques, Holy Mountains un over by the godless commies (now Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathi and Lord Ganesha and Nandi and the Gana are a Chinese citizens, eh?), "True crosses stained with the blood of the lamb of God" stripped down burnt, sacred fires pissed on, brazen bulls where children's blood and flesh nourished the life-giving Sun were melted etc etc etc and for a millionth time etc....
And yet the sun shines, seasons change, rivers flow, flowers bloom, birds sing and blah blah blah. Maybe it will be the same in an India/World without the Gayatri Mantra or Dawn Poojas and M.S. Subbalakshmi's Suprabhatam.

So bhy you all worry, be happy. All is Maya onlee.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

>> What else is there in Pakistan to dole out?

Pakistan derives its power from being the gatekeeper of supplies to land-locked lands and as a conduit of heroin out of the region.

it wants to play the same role in oil+gas also ...

but, can it fool the mango man abdul?

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


drop this makku nonsense and continue to post ... your anti-americanism needs to be honed outside of the DF echo chamber ....

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger sdre said...

Yallah! Makki da Roti is Phillip? Mani, are your sure?

At 2:04 AM, Blogger sdre said...

Hmmm... land is obviously not a renewable resource. However, Pakistan could try the old Mogul solution, Pakistan being a re-creation of the Mogul state and all: when an official dies, all his property reverts back to the state...

At 2:18 AM, Blogger sdre said...

The top echelon tribes (gakkhars,kianis,awans,janjuas, qizilbash etc...)

Maverick, just a clarification: Ghakkar, Kiyani, Janjua, are basically rajput "tribes" from the Potohar area, where the bulk of PA comes from. Awans are probably rajputs as well. Of course, many of those "rajput tribes" claim foreign ancestry nowadays. Arains, like gujjars, fall below rajputs and jats in the totem pole, in India they would probably qualify for OBC status. Zia was an arain...

At 6:33 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

sdre, 400% sure.

btw, JEM has written an excellent post on p.43 of TSP dhagaa ... good to see that some islands of sanity persist ...

At 10:20 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Gojilla Man,

Gayatri mantra is not incanted anyway.

what is traditionally said with the rising Sun is the Savitri Mantra. it is a modern day mega- misperception that what people invoke is the gayatri mantra. it is not.

Very few and I mean very very few know the actual Gayatri Mantra.


for those who came late/ do not have any interest in all this/ are Gair Mazhabis :) :)/ too sekoolaar for their own good/ whatever-

Brahma's first wife is Savitri and second Gayatri.

One of the many reasons why Brahma is not worshipped anymore in India is because he was cursed by Savitri for his bigamous act in marrying Gayatri.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger GinC said...

But Isn't ... Gayatri is the presiding deity of the morning prayer and rules over the Rigveda and the garhapatya fire?

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Anand K said...

Hi DFC-ji,
Isn't the Gayatri a type of prayer..... just like the Sahasranama. There's a Gayatri Mantra for every deity and even for ancestors and Brahma Rakshas/Bhootas, right? Of course the dawn prayer to Savitr is (for obvious reasons) the most well known. BTW, Didn't know that bigamy was one of the reasons Brahma lost his position.... always thought it was due to Bhrigu's curse or Karthikeya's question or the quest of the cosmic Linga.

PS: Talking of RAPE and Aman.... did anybody's "Inner Pakistani" stir during Nirupamaji's exchange with Motorhama Farah Hussain?
PPS: God bless Anupmishra!

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Nirupama-ji was quite deft in deflecting equal-equal without losing her cool ...

Someone like SSridhar should send her a short briefing on IWT ... had she been up on facts she would have ripped Farah a new smile ...

btw, been traveling a lot recently ... all this flying is not good ... makes the inner pakistani quite stubborn ... :)

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

DFC et al,

I have something of a history with the Gayatri Mantra ... when I went through the Yagyopaweet ceremony (mostly against my wishes), I was told the GM by my grandfather ... he whispered it in my ear while our heads were covered with a towel ... I doubt that CIA/KGB could have penetrated that info exchange ...

I didn't understand the secrecy then ... is DFC telling me that I received some Hot Maal that very very few know?

As it goes, I memorized it and committed it to memory without writing it down ... I still recite it occasionally for not good reason at all ... it feels good :)

Anyway, about 20 years ago, I visited my grandfather in Sarnath when he was not keeping very good health ... we really had very little to say to each other, so I asked him to explain the GM to me (more or less a time-pass on my part) ...

Well, he started and then kept going ... after 4 hours or so, I had to leave for the train station and he still hadn't finished ... (that was the last time I saw him) ...

I returned to the US and forgot all about the GM ... my grandfather on the other hand wrote a book on the GM ... in the foreword he says that there may be others like his grandson who could benefit, so he finished the unfinished conversation in that book ...

I don't know how anyone would find it ... it is called Gayatri Udbodhika by Chandra Bali Tripathi ... he is a well known author, so libraries may have the book ... his most important work is a 3 volume set of Upanishad Rahasya ...

So, back to my story ... being the way I am I didn't even read the book ... the hindi is a bit too Shudh for me ... however, it is only 100 pages or so ...

I suppose it is callous of me to not read a book my grandfather wrote for me on his death bed ... but then, I do cherish the thought and always feel connected to his memory ...

Now, my Q is ... if the GM is such a big secret, then what was he doing writing a book on it?

Hain, DFC-ji?

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Gosh, I wish my grandfather had written a book for me. Seriously.

I *knew* all of you guys were upper crust types. I knew it.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Hi Ralphy,

It is indeed special to have a grandfather like that ...

As for upper crust, he was dirt poor ... when he could have been making money, he was busy pursuading the english man to leave India ...

He did all his writing after 1947 ... one of his books is a biography of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak who was a well known freedom fighter ... my grandfather was his secretary ...

us "upper crust" types can not imagine the hardships that that generation had to go through ...

and the worst of it is that it ended with the creation of pakistan ...

At 6:10 PM, Blogger GinC said...

Mani - Thanks for sharing

There is a stamp issued for Tilak (and others - line drawing of Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak lala Lajpat Rai) and celebrating his proclamation "Swaraj is my birthright"

Here is a link to that picture:

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Swaraj meraa janm-siddh adhikaar hai ... the debt to these folks is enormous ...

ok, enough OT.

At 7:36 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Suffice it to say that there is a specific Gayatri mantra which is longer, has more syllables and requires far more elaborate preparation before its invocation.

BTW Adarniya Tripathi Ji,

If your Acharya( in this case your GrandPa) gave you the following mantra then it still is the Savitri-

Note the fallacy by wikipedia.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

ok, so clearly my version of GM is only M clearance ...

need the more secure inside info ...

what is the Q clearance version of GM?

At 7:42 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Gojilla Man,

Savitri's curse is the chief reason.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

one more OT ...

the explanation on that wiki page is so puerile ... they should locate my grandpa's book, translate it and link to that page ...

At 7:50 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

For Q clearance version, people need Aghori backup.

At 7:52 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Btw Prof T,

was your GrandPa published by Motilal Banarasi Das by any chance?

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


let's take this OT stuff offline ... I now am very curious about the GM and the fact that I have been equipped with a lower level mantra ... as my recent travels indicate, I *need* the upgrade to first class ... the same applies to mantras ...

sorry Mav, this was fun.

DFC, send me an email please.

At 8:54 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

And last aaaff taaapic post-

Gayatri is also a vedic metre . so any hymn to any god composed in that metre ends up being called a

specific deity gayatri mantra.
Like the Ganesh Gayatri Mantra for instance.

But there is a distinct Gayatri mantra alright.

At 5:43 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

BTW Prof,

I did send you a mail.

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Al said...

If you thought Mayawati would be shamed or would have a conscience for flaunting her wealth while her constituents eat dirt, you would be wrong. Mayawati and her criminal cronies remain defiant as ever and plans to steal the public's money a whole lot more.

"Why should the party give an account of the money being giving to its living goddess when unaccounted money is being donated in temples," Maurya said. "On the contrary, if BSP workers collect money from their own incomes and offer it to their living goddess, it does not go well with Manuvadis in media and politics," he said.

That's apparently it -- people done to temples, and Mayawati is "goddess" so people donate to goddess..."who are all you people to ask for accountability in politics?" is the response of these scumbags in the BSP. These criminals in the BSP want to make Mayawati's thievery a issue of caste politics, as opposed to bare-faced robbery of public money by the BSP.

Here is a question to the criminals in the BSP pushing this line...Don't you people have no shame or conscience for looting your abyssmally poor constituents in the UP? UP is one of the poorest states in India with endemic poverty since Independence.

Such criminals in Dalit politics are a disgrace to the memory of Dr. Ambedkar, whose name they feel they "possess"... Dr. Ambedkar is India's jewel and third-rate criminals like Mayawati do not have a exclusive license on Dr. Ambedkar just because she is supposedly "queen of the dalits".

How did this criminal Mayawati gain all her ill-gotten wealth, and why is the Central Govt. toothless to take her down for her disgraceful behaviour and blatant thievery? Is it because they are also involved in such thievery?

Is it because election campaigns are mostly funded by black money and unaccounted money? Seems to be the case as there is no interest in ensuring that elections are not run by dirty money from gangsters, criminals, and thieves in politics.

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Al said...

This chinese eagerness to construct a railway line is suspicious -- that gives them new ways to increase humint on South Asian countries without any reciprocation. The Chinese can build their railway lines in specific sub-parts...since it is 60 years after independence, maybe it would not be too much to expect the Indian Railways to step up to the task and do the needful on Indian territory.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

>>>> These criminals in the BSP want to make Mayawati's thievery a issue of caste politics

Hi Al,

Everything in UP these days is caste politics ... initially, IMO, it was a good thing ... it was a response to the thievery of earlier CMs like Tripathi and Tewari (yes, I am related) who not only looted the state, they ignored the Dalits ...

So, turning the tables on Brahmins and Thakurs was a good thing ... it was indeed social change ...

Then Mayawati (just like Laloo earlier) got into "revenge" mode ... that was going a bit too far because some her moves were self-defeating ...

even so, I gave her benefit of doubt and figured that once she had satisfied her blood lust, she would get back to the enormous work at hand of lifting the Dalits out of misery ...

alas, it has come to this ... garlands of money and statues at every corner ... I have seen no evidence of any attempts to actually work for the upliftment of her community ...

she has looted far more than folks like Kamlapati ever even dreamed of ...

[of course, we all now know what Tewari-ji is into ... its not just money ... LOL]

At 4:52 PM, Blogger kgoan said...


I think I tend t agree with the social structure you've described for the Jihadi orgs, but it raises two questions:

1. How strong is the "tribal" identity?

Specifically, these folks here:
My cousins enemy is my firend: A study of Pashtun Tribes

have done a sterling job, it seems to me, in deconstructing the whole "tribes" thing and showing the fluidity of the terminology.

Basically, someone is a *self-identified* member of some tribe one day and but has another identity on another day depending on circumstances and benefits.

This is a vital question to ask - not least because it may show us how to break or "deconstruct" the PA's strnglehold on the whole system.

2. The other question is how do these self identified jihadi "tribes" work in the larger social structure that is Pakeeland?

If this reward system works on a "tribal" basis what role does the Birdari system play - and we know the crucial centrality of that - even Mushy tried to create a Syedabadi Birdari within the PA officer corps to protect himself.

i.e. How do these various groups and individual self created identities work in the larger scheme of things in Pakeeland - where are the cracks in the edifice, the faultlines?

How do we even go about answering these questions?


A third question just occured to me - if we were American would we talk about this using flash phrases like "human terrain system"? :-)

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Al said...

ManiT, Thanks for the info on UP politics. I remember Tiwari-ji's most recent shenanigans with his staff member, but was not aware that this was the same N.D.Tiwari who was UP chief minister and congress honcho back in the 80s.

Mayawati is entitled to get back on the people who treated the downtrodden folks poorly in a throwback to the feudal times. That part of her fight is certainly noble, but at some point she seems to have converted her politics to that of a caste crusade. Specifically, her trying to pretend that Dalits are a nation and she is their Queen is unacceptable and mischievous. That type of divisive politics should not be allowed to gain ground as an acceptable approach in Indian politics. I think Indians are divided among sufficient dimensions already.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


IMO, politics in UP used to be trend setters for national politics ... now they are regressive to say the least ...

it pains me no end that caste is supreme ... however, isn't it reflecting the true *essence* of representative democracy?

the question that mango man has to ask is this: "who represents me?"

given the motley crew of clueless Neta-jis, how does mango man identify with who represents him? ... there is *absilutely* no basis in terms of policies etc because Neta-jis *have* no policy ...

so, why should we blame mango man for choosing caste as the only identifier in his quest for *representative democracy*?

as you said, the blame lies squarely with the Neta-jis for playing fast and loose with the *representative* role awarded them by the electorate ...

gone are the days of luminaries like Acharya Narendra Dev and Ram Manohar Lohia ... they stood for principles ...

IMO, UP is a failed experiment in democracy ... I *finally* have given up ... seeing Lucknow destroyed by Mulayam and Mayawati is unbearable ...

At 7:22 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

yes but today the chaturvedi jis and Tripathi Jis have regained some power in UP because of BSP's congress formula-

The old brahmin-dalit combine with dalit muslims(arzaL) in the mix as well.

while at one time the BSP used to say:

Tilak(Brahmin), Tarazu(Bania) Aur Talwar(Rajput) inko maaro joote chaar..

it today says - yeh haathi nahi ganesh hain( the BSP's electoral symbol is the elephant) Brahma , Vishnu , Mahesh hai.

In fact this was the chief reason why it won over 200 seats in the last assembly election.

By the way no matter what naked display is done in UP, the Brahmin-Dalit combine is likely to keep voting for the BSP to an extent because of a very simple reason- Police atrocity.

while us upper crust types don't always realize it , India can be a brutal police state in caste polarized polities , where the state either looks the other way or is an active participant when the politically dominant class oppresses the poor.

During the SP era, Dalits suffered immeasurably at the hands of not only Yadav's but Rajputs as well
( that was Maulana Mulayam's winning formula Yadav-Thakur) .

it takes simple forms. somebody gets raped- by x community person- poor person goes to the station - policeman belonginng to x community refuses to entertain the case.. etc etc.

such is the state of politics in UP , even though they know that their "dear leader" is corrupt and as venal as anybody they'll still vote on caste lines so that

"Varchasva kayam rahe".

At 7:25 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Hi Al,

If Mav will indulge me, I can wax eloquent on UP politics of the bygone era ... I saw it upfront and close and it disgusted me even back then ...

Here is a joke from the 70s: "In UP decisions are made by Bahu-mat"

It is a Hindi pun ... "bahumat" means majority vote ... "bahu" is duaghter-in-law ... basically, Kamlapati Tripathi used to route his corruption through his D-i-L ... you had to approach her and pay the bribe to get things done (the son was incompetent) ...

Kamlapati came to my sister's wedding and I had to touch his feet ... absolutely disgusting ...

My uncle was an active socialist ... Lohia's right hand man ... he was president of All India Student's Union (when that meant something) in the 60s ... Lucknow University boasted Acharya Narendra Dev as its patron ... those were days when friction between socialists and Congress was destined to decide the fate of India ... guess who played unfair and undemocratic and cracked down on dissenters? ... my uncle took refuge in Acharya's house and was spared the crackdown ...

these were the times when principles were stifled in the favor of raw power ...

another uncle of mine (from my mother's side) was with the Jansangh ... I remember meeting ABV at a dinner that he took me too ... I must have been around 10 years old ... I was mesmerized ... my grandmother banned my uncle from our house because of this transgression ... she was a Congressi because she was a devout follower of Gandhi-ji ...

how poorly have these jokers in Congress betrayed the legacy ...

Jingos love IG ... but she was solely responsible for crushing all free debate in India ...

I am no fan of socialism, but they had principles ... the crushing f the movement resulted in intellectuals leaving the fold ... it was so badly depleted that by the time the Janata Party came in power, the leading socialist from the old days was Raj Narain!!

ok, so he gets credit for challenging IG in Allahabad court, but he was an intellectual midget compared to those who were brutally crushed ...

aw gee, why am I typing all this?

Perhaps because this explains why I find it more relevant to post in the mold of Shatranj ke Khilari ...


At 7:36 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

despite all the manuvadi rhetoric India's dalits have always felt a degree of comfort when dealing with Brahmins for a simple reason-

Apart from some tracts ( notably the Saryu river region, barendra bhumi- i.e north central bengal) brahmins have never owned land per se.

In fact the state of brahmins in the gangetic belt in many places is no better than that of the dalits. even the BSP has noted this in many statements...

the "upper crust" brahmins that you see today are descendants of those who made a strategic choice to leave sanskrit and learn english and then secure clerical job with the british. Naturally over time their descendants did more and more glorified clerical jobs.

and some like the Saryuparin brahmins had land as well.

In Bihar of course the bhumihar brahmin caste emerged much as a result of british actions , despite the fairytale stories they tell of their own ancestory. in any case that is a different matter.

Now the brahmins who did not give up their traditional pooja paath business and had no land floundered.

Just check official economic and census data on Forward castes and you will see the true state of Brahmins in India.

Now, dalits have mostly been phucked by land owning intermediate castes and of course by the thakurs.

which is why in the polity of the future you will see more and more brahmin-dalit consolidation.

In fact India has always been at its most powerful when shudras and Brahmins have made an alliance.


1. Mauryan power- Chanakya and Chandragupta.

2. Maratha power- Marathas and Peshwas.

Ultimately Jiski Zameen uski bhains , aur uski laathi.

Lekin India mein beedu ek great equalizer de rakha hai- VOTE.

It 'runs'.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


Thanks for the update on UP politics of the more recent era ... it has gone from disgusting to mind-boggling ...

why do we look askance at TSP when UP is as bigoted as they come?

At 7:45 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Prof T,

that is the point. we need to set the heart of our civilization in order.

while because of Indianness/hindunness/ or whatever people in UP aren't killing each other at the same horrific level as some places in puki land, the fact remains that

the "Soch" ( thought process) is as dirty as the Yamuna.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

One last thing.

I have had the good fortune of meeting both a Balochi hindu and a saraiki hindu who came over at the time of partition.

Some of the interesting things that these old gentlemen said were

1. The urban baloch population did not see it as really distinct from people in karachi or other parts of sindh. In fact even in the rural areas nobody was as fanatic about these things then..

2. The saraiki gentleman said that they never really thought of themselves as "saraiki" that much. but today they do stress their difference from the punjabis.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


Come back here in the real world outside your echo chamber and tell me why my posting shayari is the "strength of India", will ya?

are you a fan of IG?

Come here and tell us why she crushed the socialists?

come here and tell us why jokers like George Fernandes came to power?

Here is another anecdote, this time from the SHQ side (who is christian) ... George F came to dinner ... the desert was Baskin Robbins ice cream ... George took seconds and thirds, all the time proclaiming that "Indian ice cream is *so* good why do we need american ice cream" ...

folks had to run into the kitchen and throw out the boxes lest he se the label ...

this is the same joker who credited himself with the largest all india railway strike ...

then he became a minister and threw out IBM and coca-cola ...

the rony is that he was railway minister and had to face a railway strike that he opposed ... LOL.

this is India brother ... we are like that onlee ... :)

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Anand K said...

Arundhati Roy: Walking with Comrades.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger makku said...

Dear high and mighty professors,
I am an ordinary guy.I am sorry to have polluted your high funda environment.I have nothing to do with Philip.You do not know me at all.

I think Mav is a very nice guy.I am sorry,mav,for my rant.They are the fears of a mediocre idiot.I will not post again.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Anand K said...

PS: Bhat this "High and Might Professors" is?
There are ONLY TWO who fits the title; Lalbrofessar and Grand Mufti Enqyoob-ud-din. Neither of these Mahdis post here.
AFAIK all we have here are an Urdu Munshi from Khalif A' Fornia, a lineman from Bhaiyyaland, a lab assistant from Connaught-i-ghat and assorted hobos.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


Philip was the only one I knew thus far who habitually doesn't put a space between a period and the next character ... the same for commas as well ...

so either you are Philip or you are the second such person (very rare).

Please examine Philip's posts ... excuse me, but high and mighty profs notice such errors ... :)

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger makku said...

Prof. Tripathiji,
I was/am impressed by your even mindedness,which I mistakenly associated it with 'hindu' religion. O&O.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Al said...

Reading through Mav's post and Kgoan's response for the Nth time, it seems like the definition of self-interests for the Pakistani jihadi on the ground keeps changing based on chances of survival with a specific group.

KGoan wrote:
"Basically, someone is a *self-identified* member of some tribe one day and but has another identity on another day depending on circumstances and benefits."

Maybe this is an oversimplification, but this seems to be the case of an overpopulation of "Hawks" that run the system and a lack of "Doves" -- this can only mean that the Hawks need to get on each others throats a whole lot more before the average pakistani jihadi sees co-existing as a better solution, i.e., the Hawks manage to reduce overpopulation of their kind by killing each other off.

"This is a vital question to ask - not least because it may show us how to break or "deconstruct" the PA's strnglehold on the whole system."

I am not sure the PA has achieved anything concrete with their stranglehold on the jihadis -- the PA plays the groups against each other so that none can become powerful enough to challenge the PA. So this hierarchical system with the PA on top of the hierarchy and all the lower levels switching sides from group A to group B, where A and B are both influenced by the Pakistani army by controlled violence and material benefits.

To destroy the hieracrchy, the lower levels of the hierarchy should get into conflict with the higher levels of the hierarchy with the PA at the top. Since the lower levels of this hierarchy are not suave and sophisticated like the upper -echelons of this hierarchy, the ideological cleavage that is readily apparent is the pro-USA attitude of the RAPE, which is not looked upon kindly by the lower levels of the hierarchy.

"2. The other question is how do these self identified jihadi "tribes" work in the larger social structure that is Pakeeland?"

If their affiliations are as temporary as outlined by Mav, then the question seems to be not relevant, mainly because there is no "larger society" from this "us and them" world view -- the only question that is interesting is: who is "us" in this "us vs. them" mentality exhibited by the individual in the tribe. If I were to wager, blood relations are probably the basis for defining "us", with "them" being everyone else.

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Anand K said...

Deracinated Indian Elite! Yum Bee yay from IIM too! Adi! Kollu!

Well, from the look of things I guess it'll be about as "exotic" as trash like Jan Lars Jensen's Shiva 3000 or Gotham Chopra's Ramayan 3392AD.
When are we going to see some QUALITY Indian sci-fi/modern high fantasy?

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...

Maverick, KGoan, Al,

The way I see it, one possible fracture line is hiding in plain sight: the Army's central role as the Lord-Protector of all the jihadi tribes in Pakistan. This dual role is nothing but two different ways of looking at the same social compact: The jihadi tribes accept the Army's role as their Lord and it's monopoly over the use of coercive measures to control them and in return the Army will protect the jihadi tribes from all outside forces.

In my opinion, this sort of social compact provides for an unstable equilibrium with uncontrolled departures: If in the *perception* of any one side, the other side (or subsets thereof) is breaking the compact, then it is very likely that the resulting tit-for-tat retributions will spark off uncontrolled blood feuds.

This coupled with the matryoshka like structure of personal identities in a militarized tribal state like Pakistan will give rise to an interesting dynamic: While my tribe may not openly be at odds with the Army, I suspect the Army of bumping off a close family member for a bundle of dollar notes from the Americans. What do I do? I wish to maintain my personal stature within my tribe but at the same time I wish to get back at those who killed a close relative. So in my tribal identity I dutifully play my part as a cog in the jihadi superstructure but in my personal identity, I lend a helping hand on the sly in organizing an attack on those who killed my blood relatives. This sort of seemingly contradictory behaviour can manifest itself at all scales in the tribal structure. And once a dynamic like this takes hold, it will be very difficult to reverse it and go back to the way things were. Suspicions and perceptions have a very ugly way of feeding off one another.

On the micro level, quite a few of our ex-intelligence types has been commenting on how the rigid structure of many a jihadi tanzeem seems to have dissolved to an extent at the lower and mid levels with people free-lancing to a certain degree. I think what is happening is a dynamic like the one I described above.

On the macro level, note the manner in which the Army fought the various Pashtun tribes (the Mehsuds in particular) during their initial disastrous forays into FATA during Musharaff's time. Every time the fighting ended, the tribes were paid cash. This was blood money, paid to prevent a full blown blood feud from erupting. Not that it was successful as the tribes soon perceived the Army as breaking its side of the compact and using them as punching bags whenever it wanted to relieve pressure from the Americans. The tribes then collectively turned against the Army (the extent to which each particular tribe turned was proportional to the extent to which it perceived itself to be expendable in the Army's eyes).

Lastly, I think the Jaish provides an interesting case study of how the departure from stability occurs at various scales and the resulting downstream effects.

How one might identify the scales at which to simultaneously insert suspicions and shape perceptions over a sustained period of time to spark off an uncontrolled free for all (Maverick's stage three from a discussion a long time ago) is quite frankly way beyond my level of knowledge or competence.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Al said...

Anand K., I think quality science fiction never happens without a proper understanding of the scientific method -- Asimov and Clarke were both competent scientists/engineers. Most of "science fiction" is just regular fiction set in a different time/place with more emphasis on drama and history rather than the crazy ideas that make a science fiction story worth reading.

IIRC, Joseph Campbell's Science Fiction Magazines in the 50s motivated all the giants of American SF to get their short stories published in Campbell's magazine. Some sort of ecosystem for SF writers will exist if Indians start creating original SF.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Al said...

Sparsh wrote:
"How one might identify the scales at which to simultaneously insert suspicions and shape perceptions over a sustained period of time to spark off an uncontrolled free for all"

Seems to me that all these tribes being provided good intelligence on the activities of the PA against their tribe would bring about widespread support within the tribe to take down the Pakistani Army.

Currently, ISI controls the information flow to both the USA and the jihadi tribes which stops both sides from seeing the whole picture -- the USA is a lost cause w.r.t. Af-Pak and is part of the problem and thus worth ignoring. But the tribes could probably use good intel so that they can make better decisions.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


That is easier said than done. How do we provide information to the tribes that they find credible and trustworthy and do so in a way that the tribes do not suspect us as the source?

Identifying where to insert suspicions and shape perceptions is a difficult problem, how to do so is another considerably more difficult problem in of itself. I don't have any answers for either problems.

Somewhat tangentially, does this explain what Khalid Kidwai meant when he stated "Indian interference in our internal affairs" as one of Musharaff's red lines?

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Al said...

Sparsh, Agree that none of this is easily done, even if a way presents itself.

Also, I don't think it is possible to insert any lies/falsehoods into a closed system of this sort. However, given the repercussions of a Lal Masjid type episode, more such episodes of betrayal of staunch supporters of the PA today would make such things easier. Easier said than done, as you say.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Al said...

The idea for radio news service on the actual happenings in the region morning afternoon and evening detailing the latest happenings in Af-Pak may be the tool required for this job. "This is Afghan National Radio Service. The News is read by ..." every morning, afternoon, and evening which gives real world news to people in Af-Pak may achieve such a thing if a strong dose of the truth can create the required level of transparency that can have a toxic effect on PA-tribal interactions.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Al, Anand K,

Yes, good science understanding along with good storytelling makes for good science fiction ... however, my favorite science fiction is when above two are combined with wit and humor ... in case you are not already familiar, try Stanislaw Lem ...

At 5:11 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


I am looking for a more focused and targeted way to precipitate blood feuds within the jihadi superstructure and then keep them going.

The radio thing you suggest, while useful, is more of a long term thing that is broadly targeted at the re-education (for lack of a better term) of the general Pakistani populace.

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Al said...

"The radio thing you suggest, while useful, is more of a long term thing that is broadly targeted at the re-education (for lack of a better term) of the general Pakistani populace."

Sparsh,Was not really thinking of re-education, more than providing information that they cannot access from other channels because it is being blocked by the PA and its interests.

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Al said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:59 AM, Blogger Al said...

India should just quit this pointless exercise of demanding headley, as the chances are that nothing new will be revealed if Headley is produced before Indian authorities at all, which is never going to happen, unless it is under controlled circumstances where answers can be vetted before it reaches Indian ears.

At 7:18 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Sdre,

I don't have a fixed idea of who exactly is in the top echelon. You make a good point about the variable nature of the tribal hierarchy within the PA and the Jihadi groups.

Dear Kgoan,

I don't know how strong the identity is. It is a fair question to ask. I suspect that like all social constructs, the tribe is not without its flaws. Flaws which can be exploited by outsiders to break up the tribe. As the HTS article suggests, there may be a probabilistic/opportunistic element to the structure of the tribes.

I suspect the "tribe" concept might be better applied to people who have specific lands and trace their history to a specific region in Pakistan. The "Biradari" to my mind is a more general concept could be applied to migrants, urban populations, etc... people who do not have a specific shared land association but have a convergence of interests outside of land related matters. There may be some overlap between these two constructs.

I think as you point out - a "biradari" can be constructed out of regional ties, family ties, or even associations formed at a school. However a tribe affiliation I feel comes from a deeper sense of identification.

I would deconstruct Musharraf's organisation inside the PA as, Musharraf, his Mafia (aka Miyan Company), his biradari, his allied tribes, and useful idiots.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

okay still beating Gojilla Man on off topic posts.

The short video on the Meluha book does have some hilarious lines.

Sample this:

"defending their borders against the impure"

"besieged by the hooded terrorists"

At 6:06 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:09 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Nuclear Liability

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Al said...

Looks like the mofos in the AP congress (CM Rosaiah's insistence) will not Cease and Desist with their attempts to bring in Religion-based quotas. Bunch of worthless lowlives seem to be running AP congress. No respect for constitutional fundamentals. Time to find a better country to move to if these tools change Indian laws to bring religion-based quotas. How did such low-principled vermin become the Chief Ministers of states in India?

India is a nominal democracy if religion starts to override the constitution -- find a better democracy to live the rest of your lives.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Al said...

Clearly it is a lot harder to build processes to ensure that the children in the muslim community get a good education or job skill training -- whole lot easier to cut up someone else's (the public) cake and hand over a slice to the ruling politician's current favourite "vote bank". The resulting communal animosity and call for reservations for christians and hindus will also be hugely beneficial to the divisive vermin in Indian politics --- after all communalism wins votes as "everyone" knows.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Al said...

Just awesome. The SC just approved this religion-based quota too. What a great country to live in.

At 3:47 PM, Blogger maverick said...

That is a wonderful article on nuclear liability.

At 5:35 AM, Blogger Al said...

Some @#$%$%^ oiseaules from US universities think it is all just awesome and "normal" to see Mayawati garlanded with money. The "everybody's doing it (in India, which is a turd-world country anyway)"

"Dr. Amit Ahuja is an Assistant Professor of Political science at University of California Santa Barbara. Dr. Pradeep Chhibber is a Professor of Political science at the University of California Berkeley. Dr. Jasjeet Sekhon is an Associate professor of Political science at the University of California Berkeley."

No guesses for what these mo#RQ%#$s "political scientists" would opine about such a happening in the USA. Ack thoo.

At 5:37 AM, Blogger Al said...

Only science and technology education is useful from western countries -- these social and political "science" and humnanities are a load of horse manure that will not do anything positive for Indian kids.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Al said...

In nuke dhaaga, Prime E-Bunny is behaving like the proverbial weasel with his rhetorical devices and questions trying to act as a substitute for reason. It has become to fashion for such folks to pretend that everyone else is an illogical idiot trying to sellout India. No amount of explaining the rationale behind the liability bill can help when conclusions have already been drawn before the "argument"/debate.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Al said...

Let us say that the parliament passes a bill that makes the liability unlimited for the manufacturer, no matter whose fault it was.

As an example, I buy a car and then let the brakes run down and the tires go bald, and then the worst happens on the highway while travelling at "normal" speeds. Asking for unlimited liability on the manufacturer and no liability on the operator is similar to the car owner pretending the car crash was the fault of the car manufacturer, as opposed to the car owner/operator who can expect good performance from the car, only as long as the car is maintained in top condition. It is not the car manufacturer's fault that the tires and brake pads did not function at the time of the crash. Why do people think it is going to be any different for nuclear plants? I wonder.

Basically, without ascertaining at the state of the car wreck and the maintenance record of the car, it is not possible to just blame the car manufacturer. Just like any insurance investigator will have to ascertain claims, so too will the body that investigates any accidents/incidents.

E-bunnies must be seriously ignorant of how the world works to pretend that operators cannot be responsible for any mishaps.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger GinC said...

Saurav - That was a very good article. I see it is being posted in BRF too.

Sanku is, as Mani pointed out, singing like .. well still a broken record. Can some one be that brainwashed. He is not alone, of course, there are stooges like Rudradev who will keep peddling whatever they peddle.

Meanwhile any one who disagrees with their theories .. it is really getting ugly in other threads too.

Getting back to Headley/Gilani - Check out:
>>>>>QUESTION: On Pakistan and the David Coleman Headley case, The New York Times is reporting that Mr. Saeed, who is David Coleman Headley’s key contact, is a member of the Pakistani military. And the question is: Does the U.S. have a response on evidence that a member of the Pakistani military class played such a key role in plotting Mumbai and the Danish newspaper plot?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not familiar with that information.

QUESTION: Can I just follow up (inaudible) different? You had some very important guests in the building who were there from Pakistan.


QUESTION: I mean (inaudible).

MR. CROWLEY: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: You had all those discussions there, so can you give some more of what we have given by those two and Secretary of State and also the foreign minister?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, we provided, I think, over the past 24-to-48 hours some fairly significant background on the very successful strategic dialogue that we had with Pakistan .... blah...blah...


At 7:08 AM, Blogger Al said...

Meanwhile this is the actual status of education in the state of AP -- free education programs have no cash allotted by the AP govt. And this is a program initiated by another Congress CM YSR --- imagine the plight of prgressive policies by non-Congress governments. Every new regime in a state has to cancel all work done by previous governments and "Renegotiate contracts" so that they can get a cut of the bribes like their predecessor.

And yet this AP CM who has FAILED to show any inclination to push free education for AP's poor apparently "strongly believes" that only religious quotas can fix all historical wrongs, help feed the hungry and cure the sick...uh huh, sure.

To the credit of the Tamilnadu government, it has always taken free noon-meals for children and free education very seriously, even in the face of a lot of looting and corruption by the ruling party.

The TN parties that come to power in TN know that shortchanging the poor on noon meals and education will lose them the next election.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Al said...

Nice one.

Time to remove reservations from the constution and instead force the hand of state and central governments to actually do something to increase the size of the education pie rather cut thinner and thinner slices for specific subgroups in exchange for votes...while nothing changes on the ground for the poor.

Reservations have failed miserably in the task of ensuring equal opportunity to all the underprivileged. It started a reservation one dimenstion as a means of correcting the imbalance of large communities of deprived people because of the evil of casteism. Now, it is being divided along religious lines and lines of gender (this recent woman's quota hullaballoo that does nothing to further the position of the average woman). How about fixing all the property laws and other money related matters so woman and men are treated equally first?

Every MLA's seat in parliament must be contestable by ANY citizen in the MLA's district, i.e., political parties can nominate any member in the district without falling afoul of some "election law" instituted by our genius netas.

How about the ruling party and the main opposition reserve 50% of its seat allotments to women first and see how that works out for them? If it looks all fine, I am sure the people will have no trouble supporting even 50% of Parliamentary quotas for women. Why this urgent need to take dump on the constitution and changing it in arbitrary ways without thinking of the consequences? Maybe political parties should adopt their brilliant ideas on political management to their parties first before applying it to the whole country.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Al said...

To the folks insisting on some Nigerian conspiracy theory -- the wahabbi mullah crowd is strong in Nigeria and that is the cause for this claim that polio vaccines are being infected to sterilize Nigerians...standard CT for the regressive mullah crowd.

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Al said...

The Pakis are back to agitprop against India -- the tactically brilliant tools that they are.

I think the GoI's plan to engage Hizb-e-islami is a good one. Kudos.

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Al said...

Funny how the quota math works out:

Sum_over_all_j Q_j = 1.0

All quotas can be no higher than 100%.

Now, "over_all_j" is all the dimensions of quotas: .33 for women, X% for scientologists, etc.

There is only one pie, and the##W$%^ tools that lord over us are pretending that the argument is about how to divvy up the puny pie instead of increasing the size of the pie, so that no one sleeps hungry.

At 6:26 PM, Blogger Al said...

Here is a lesson to the Royal Astrologer -- if you claim to be a geopolitical realist and you talk about pride in the same breath, you are a #%#ing tool. Pride is a self-constructed mental state that has no consequence to reality.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

does anyone have a link to the Indo-US reprocessing agreement that was concluded yesterday?

At 8:13 AM, Blogger maverick said...

This is a startling admission of how badly the campaign has been going in 2009.

Kayani impressed U.S. officials, think tankers and journalists with the extent of the military's campaign against extremists. Since 9/11, the Pakistani army has sustained 30,810 killed and wounded, 10,000 in 2009 alone, or 10 soldiers a day. Terrorists arrested or killed: 17,742. Those who believe the army is reluctant to leave the Indian front to fight in Pakistan's tribal areas were reminded Pakistan now has 147,000 troops on the western front.

At 8:14 AM, Blogger maverick said...


more statistics from the article.

Kayani said Pakistan is still handling 84 percent of cargo container traffic to Afghan cities, 40 percent of fuel needs, or 120,000 gallons a day. Out of 58,700 container trucks that ply the two routes, Kayani said the loss was 0.1 percent in nine years.

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Al said...

AFAICT, The problem with the supply line was not pilferage of materials, which is what Kayani is focussing on to remove attention from the real issue. The supply line used as a lever to keep the US to toe the Pakistani line on the War on Terror, giving the PA leverage over both sides in the war in Af-Pak. In the past, Not enough Baksheesh or the US starts to ignore the PA...and, boom, a bunch of supplies and vehicles seem to get torched by alleged "miscreants" who have the PA's best interests at heart.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Al,

I have never seen raw data on PA KIA in anti-terror ops. There are no numbers from anyone - this is the first time I have seen something from the PA COAS himself.

10000 soldiers KIA/year is very high. This sounds higher than what we had in Op Rakshak or Op Woodrose.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Here is something about the scheme I have posed that confuses me.

Let us say that Major Kayani of the ISI wants to do something big - how does he do it.

Assuming that the measure has HQ approval, and the required funds are available, and he has a profile of all the leaders within an existing tanzeem.

How does he pick which guy to get to do the job?

One possibility is that he picks based on a specific profile - he likes a particular character, so he goes and taps him to do any task that comes to mind.

Alternatively, he picks based not on the individuals ability, but on his tribal background. If that is the case what is the governing dynamics?

I imagine every tribe within an echelon must be vying for the Major's affections, so how does he pick the tribe?

Does he spread the jobs around so as to avoid creating a situation where any particular tribe dominates?

or does he give the jobs exclusively to a tribe until it becomes self motivated?

It is easy to suggest that a mission profile may determine the choice of tribe, for example you want to bomb a bus load of Pakistani Shia police officers in Quetta, then Major Kayani simply has to go to their local sunni rivals and then give them the job to do - but what if the Pakistani shia tribes from which these policemen come - has many sunni adversaries? who does Major Kayani pick? and how?

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Al said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Love Shiv's new poll. Most of the respondents want to see the US get hit by terror groups.

And when one respondent said his poll was a wee bit skewed, then Shiv said well don't respond to it.

I understand now how the Jordanian doctor wiped out those CIA folks in Afghanistan.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


Kayani is talking about total casualties i.e. dead and wounded. Going by historical data, we should expect a roughly one-third two-third split between the dead and wounded respectively.

If true (never underestimate what the Pakistanis might do to get some more bakseesh in the katora), these casualty numbers are staggering.

At 6:48 PM, Blogger dilbert said...

I think Kiyani is lying about those casualty figures. "Ten thousand Pak Army casualties" is pure BS.

At 6:55 PM, Blogger dilbert said...

Hi Mani_T,

You asked for a link to the IUCNA text. Here it is:

And here is a link to Brahma Chellaney's article complaining about the agreement:

Enjoy! And please post your opinions when you get a chance.

At 5:29 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Sparsh,

The Arnaud article is pretty specific that those are explicit KIA not casualties. The PA usually only talks about its own (PA OR, PA officers, Rangers, Tribal Levies, and Scouts) and does not count police, or civilian helper casualties. It usually does not include Police, or local militias.

The number of informers, undercovers, etc... killed is usually about two times as high as the number of troops.

The number of civilians killed is usually about 3 times as high as the number of security people killed (mostly due to indiscriminate use of high explosives and rapid fire weapons on both sides).

Kayani puts the number of terrorists killed at ~ 10k.

Even if this number is not exact - that is an order of magnitude the casualties.

If we add that up - then Pakistan is losing about 100,000 people a year to this conflict. That seems very high.

The most we have is 2000 KIA a year in Punjab and Kashmir.

Scaled by the population, the numbers look even worse for Pakistan. The numbers for terrorism *alone* in Pakistan are comparable to the total numbers for Washington DC at the height of the crack epidemic in 1990.

I mean there is this - and then there is regular crime which is very high in Pakistan due to economic factors.

At 5:32 AM, Blogger maverick said...

At this rate the "700000 Kashmiris massacred by Hindu troops in Kashmir" is going to have to be replaced with "7000000 Pakistanis killed in the War on Terror" pretty soon.

At 8:45 AM, Blogger maverick said...


I think the respondants in the forum poll may be saying that unless the US faces a carnage like 26/11 Bombay - there will be no sensitivity towards India's needs in this regard.

If this is the case - then - I feel this is delusion on the part of the respondants. A 26/11 style attack in the US imo will do absolutely nothing to make the US more sensitive to India's needs.

Most Indians don't understand that the US is not like India. The US does not care what the international community says about it. Americans go about their day believing in the heart of their hearts that the US can completely shape international media coverage at will. There is no comprehension in the US that there exist sentiments that cannot be modulated by USG's media management techniques. This is a hangover of the US "victory" in the Cold War that we are yet to see ebb.

An attack of such a nature is possible and highly likely. I believe the NYPD intelligence task force that went to Bombay after 26/11 came away with similar conclusions. The alarming regularity with which LeT cells crop up in the CIA's backyard make it obvious that the LeT operates freely in the US, and very little is done to suppress its workings there.

It is speculated in Indian circles that the LeT has a special relationship with sections of the US intelligence community and a large number of "interlocuters" exist in the US to smooth out any "misunderstandings". David Coleman Headley is merely one peculiar facet of this phenomenon. It is also thought in India that if the US moves against the LeT in Pakistan in any meaningful way, there will be severe blowback from LeT sleeper cells on US soil.

As you have seen B. Raman and others in the national security community have indicated that a trust deficit will build up between the US and India if the David Coleman Headley situation is not remedied.

B. Raman has recently gone even further, he has spelt out the quid pro quo on offer with regards to *interrogating Headley on US soil*. He has made it clear that India will protect US H&D. He has blandly stated that India will not seek to inquire into the intelligence handling lapses in the US that permitted David Headley, an asset of the USIC to participate in 26/11. Any such queries would naturally open the door to more questions about an active conspiracy involving members of the USIC and the LeT in the planning and execution of the 26/11 attack. This is the clearest indication that India does not want to go down the road that the Pakistanis have been suggesting in private contacts - i.e. implicating US officials like Micheal Vickers in a conspiracy to carry out flase flag operations in India via the LeT.

It appears that the GoI is giving the US a "get out of jail free" card.

I also note that in all these discussions appearing the press about US attitudes on extradition of wanted mass murderers to India, none of the people in the press have brought up the case of Union Carbide CEO, Warren Anderson. This is another signal - one that I feel should not be ignored. It is crystal clear that the Indians don't want to make more trouble for the US on this front.

I hope that American officials who routinely accuse the Indians of speaking in riddles will see this as a case of the GoI speaking pretty plainly.

I note that while key departments like the DOD and the FBI are still staffed by Bush era bureaucrats, the Obama Administration has a different idea of where relations with India should go.

I am a pragmatic person.

I am not holding my breath for a resolution of this problem. I feel the Obama Admin may want this to remain in its current state creating a pressure point on good relations with India. What purpose that will serve, it is difficult to say.

At 8:55 AM, Blogger GinC said...

Ralphy - Unbelievable! DF has gone worst (seriously) than any of the Pak forum.

I am sure, homeland security and Indian Intelligence are monitoring those IP address.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Anyone who is following the US behaviour and Indian responses in this Headley saga can see that the US is fighting very hard to protect its own H&D - even though this is coming at cost to its ties with India.

The similarity between the US and Pakistan when it comes to non- cooperation on terrorism issues with India makes it more likely that India evolves a common framework to deal with both these problem states.

It may be sad to see Indians put the US on the same short bus that they see Pakistan riding in every day but I feel there is little to stop that from happening. I for one, had better hopes for the US, but clearly the US favours keeping Pakistani company. This mess on the currency side, the near fiasco on the nuclear deal front, and now the handling of the headley situation - has left little room for perceptions to go anywhere else.

At this point Sri Raman has made it clear - that a similar deal to the one offered to the US on currency issues - is available to the US on this Headley business also.

I don't know if the US will realise that this is best deal it is going to get. I suspect given its general disconnect with reality and its deeply ingrained habits, the US may continue to bargain for a better deal with India on the Headley issue.

I am pragmatic. I believe people go to extra lengths to do stupid things.

Either way the US looks the deal on offer - there is little for them to feel happy about - I mean at best they have been publicly told that in exchange for cooperation they will be spared a public humiliation and at worst they have just been handed a public humiliation that will linger in judicial memory. That is not very satisfing from a US perspective.

And there is a constituency (mostly comprised of NPA and old NESA driven idiots) that wants to see pressure points like this in Indo-US ties.

In sum this problem will remain in limbo.

Now I have made it clear why I have refrained from commenting on the Headley situation thus far.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Al said...

Latest mental drool from Comrade KaRat -- apparently no liability cap on operators and cap on suppliers impinges on right to life. Not being able to sue Bill Gates for a Jillion Dollars impinges on my right to own a private island in the Bahamas.

CPM general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters that earlier too his party had opposed the introduction of the Nuclear Liability Bill. "But in case the government tries to bring it again, we would oppose it both in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as it compromises on the citizens' right to life and health".

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Here is a chronology of the David Headly case:


How is it that anyone has ascertained that Headly is/was part of the US "intelligence community"?

Apparently Mr. Headly decided to cooperate with the authorities in this case in order to avoid the death penalty. He got life in prison. I believe the GOI has stated that the US has divluged important info to its investigators. Purportedly 5 Packee Army offciers were arrested in Pakistan.

The result? Waves of hatred toward the US because we won't turnover a US citizen that was arrested, tried and convicted in the US to India.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Al said...

What irks me is the promptness with which India provided access to Kasab after 26/11 to the FBI under the pretense that a handful of americans were killed, while protecting crucial evidence that could implicate pakistan in the 26/11 attacks..apparently, no lessons were learnt in India after the episode of the grenade cap with the US "losing"/destroying crucial evidence that implicated Pakistan in the 1992 mumbai terrorist attacks. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Al said...

Let's get this straight, Indians feel aggrieved that Anti-Indian terrorist groups like LeT are being shielded by the USA and see nothing wrong when those same groups targeting the USA.

At the very least it will bring a convergence in interests in Terrorism that does not exist today, and maybe even bring about a common definition of "terrorism", as opposed to today, where US's definition of "terrorism" apparently does not include anything inconvenient to the Pakistani army, even if it means winking at Pakistani terrorism against India.

How the frak does having this opinion amount to instigating terrorism against the USA? Or is it all unacceptable for Indians to speak their minds if it will queer the pitch for American citizens of Indian origin in the USA?

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Let's be clear, the US divulged Headly's Packee Army contacts.

And where is the US "protecting" LeT? If you say that there are supporters of LeT in the US then you are probably correct. There are also supporters of al Qaida in the US. That doesn't mean the US government approves of it. Also the US has played a key role in stopping the Islamic charities banking systems where ever it can.

Finally, if the US feels that India doesn't support the US in its war on terror enough, is it alright for its citizens to wish that al Qaida should strike India?

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Al said...

It would not surprise me one bit if the Owaisi clan and their MIM were responsible for the communal disturbance in Hyderabad -- their tactic of making this the police's fault is a standard islamist trick. They will then turn this into a grivance against the Indian state that it does not protect muslims. The behaviour of the Owaisi clan and the MIM is highly suspicious with each passing day.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Al said...

"where is the US "protecting" LeT? If you say that there are supporters of LeT in the US then you are probably correct. "

Perhaps, but all that is irrelevant to the point I was making.

The point is that the LeT is the official terrorist wing of the Pakistani army/ISI -- if you disagree, there is no point continuing this discussion and wasting our time, and we can just agree to disagree.

Names of people in the Pakistani Army has cropped up in these investigations, and refusing to call out the collusion of the Pakistani Army in 26/11 mumbai attacks amounts to protecting the handlers of the LeT in the Pakistani Army/ISI. Hope that clarifies.

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Al said...

It is not like these Pakistani Army people responsible were on a private mission and disobeyed the orders of Kayani. After all, we all hear that the Pakistani army is a highly professional army.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger GinC said...

The result? Waves of hatred toward the US because we won't turnover a US citizen that was arrested, tried and convicted in the US to India.
I don't think (or at least I hope) most Indians have the hatred towards US.. Although it will be hard to see this seeing the poll in BRF.

Besides, turning Headley to India would be terrible. Indian legal system is a joke, they have not even tried the decade old terrorists acts.

They (Jaswant S. personally) have freed and escorted known and worst kind of terrorists from Indian jails back to Pakistan after IA 814 Hijacking.

US should NEVER turn any terrorist back to India, India may very well free and reunite that guy back to their terrorists friends. It has been done more than once.


At 4:25 PM, Blogger maverick said...

If Headley was not a USIC asset, then there is even less reason to deny the Indians access to him.

I have no idea who has been arrested in Pakistan - we have no access to anything that happens there. To date we have not been able to question any of the people that Pakistan claims to have arrested in connection with 26/11. Pakistan has refused to provide a voice sample of these people. I doubt if these are actually the people who were involved or whether they are some patsies on whom blame is being pinned.

As Barkha Dutt says in her article, the attack in Denmark never happened, but the attack in India did. The gravity of Headley's crimes against India far exceeds his involvement in anything else. Mind you Barkha Dutt is second only to Karan Thapar when it comes to waving the US flag in India and even she is disappointed by US behaviour in this context.

There is a judicial mechanism by which a plea bargain can be set annulled by the Judge. Also citing national security interests a US president can intervene in a judicial process to whatever degree he deems fit.

However I know neither of these things will happen.

I feel that the US is simply not interested in giving India any access to Headley.

Pakistan has never honoured its extradition treaty with India if the criminals were Muslim. US attitudes towards extraditing American citizens to India are not very different.

While India has looked the other way on continued Al Qaida/ Pakistani backed attacks on its people in US-held Afghanistan. It cannot look askance at this kind of behaviour in the context of the events of 26/11.

I think the consequences for the joint efforts in the war on terror are obvious.

If there is an Al Qaida attack in India - possibly even one that specifically targets US citizens only - then I wonder if India will cooperate with the US in sharing its findings. Ofcourse the state department would issue all kinds of warnings to its citizens not to visit India, but given the state of the US economy - I doubt poor American businessmen hungry for a market share in India would have a choice. I mean - the US economy is not growing, so they have to come to places like India.

If the NPA and old NESA hands want to use that to demonise India - then that may be what the Obama Admin wants - a state of hostility with India.

As long as people like Headley are not brought to justice in an Indian court and their backers in Pakistan not made to pay for their crimes - Al Qaida will have a free run in India.

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Hi GinC,

Please don't go thinking that India is the only one that has a screwy legal system. The US rivals it easily:

Feds illegally wiretaped Islamic charity says Judge

Our country is trying to fight terrorism and we can't get the courts to cooperate.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger maverick said...

I don't think India is asking the US to extradite Headley.

The US does not extradite its own citizens to places like India. Obviously we have the wrong skin colour, but more generally the US does not extradite its citizens to foreign lands if it can help it.

The US only puts pressure on other countries to extradite their citizens to face justice in an American court.

This is something every Indian policymaker is aware of - so there is no desire to seek extradition. I doubt the GoI would be too surprised if in the not too distant future Headley will be released from prison and allowed to return to Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

India is asking for access to Headley on US soil.

What this request is being met with is legal mumbo jumbo about Headley's rights.

When American sources say "Headley is a USIC asset", India says "Okay we won't ask him about how despite that fact he managed to get mixed up in this"

When the US sources say, "No no, he is not our agent" ... India says - "Okay then why are you denying us access to him?"

Round and round we go.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger kgoan said...

Shivs BRF poll is, IMO, a valid exercise to pull out the level of angst and fury associated with the US' handling of the Headley saga.

A lot of Americans simply can't grok the impact of Mumbai and the Headley business.

Yes, the respondens are deluded if they think a mumbai style attack on the US is going to change US attitudes to pak terror.

US grand strategy to India-Pak is already set - they mean to remain, in Madam Albights words, "the balancer of last resort".

That *requires* a Pakistan capable of "balancing" India. The rest is simply details.

GoI clearly understands this and is prepared to work with the US under these conditions as Mav has pointed out.

It doesn't change the fact that the rage about Headley/Mumbai exists and *will* have an impact on issues.

It's best that the US understands this. And given the US's deliberately cultivated "we-dont-know-what-youre-talking-about" line, Shivs poll is as unambiguous a way of saying things as any.

Indo-US relations have to be handled carefully. The phenomenal approval of the US amongst the janata in India will change dramatically if theres a *perception* that the US isn't simply "helping" Pakistan against India as it always has, but has moved to helping the *ISI* against India.

If that perception takes hold . . .

At 7:46 PM, Blogger powerslave said...

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At 7:57 PM, Blogger powerslave said...

GinC said

They (Jaswant S. personally) have freed and escorted known and worst kind of terrorists from Indian jails back to Pakistan after IA 814 Hijacking.

Yes we did that for the said terrorists were holding over 170 of our people hostage , unlike the US who gives in to terrorist demands just because the latter hold a gun against their own temples .

And btw its one thing to give into terrorist demands and another to use them as armed mercenaries to push one's agenda .

Btw your posting style is too predictable :P


At 8:48 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

You are aware that Headly, a US citizen, once in the judicial system, has rights? Oh yeah, those things. Whatyamacallits. Dang. What if he doesn't want to talk to India's finest? He has the right to remain silent, you know?

*Now* you know why we have those turds in Gitmo. Headly, as a US citizen couldn't be sent to Gitmo.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Was Kasab an Indian citizen? You know you could have turned him over to us for our excellent guest hospitality. Unfortunately, apparently we are no longer taking reservations.

At 11:47 PM, Blogger sdre said...

Ishaaramaster sez:

Shankar< Arun says this:

In the 126 aircraft MRCA deal involving operation from Leh (Jammu And Kashmir) for high altitude basing test flights. The first two air-crafts (F16 and F18) that went to Leh failed miserably. Both barely manged to lift off at the fag end of the runway, and that too with ZERO payload.

OTOH Mig35 passed the test with flying colours.

Aha! Rocketman is still peddling "top secret" info. These guys are SO predictable...

At 5:48 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Ralphy,

It is not a violation of his rights to be questioned by Indian police officials while he is *in* US custody.

Neither is it India's intention to publicly humiliate the debt-ridden US. Despite all that has happened so far, India *still* has a positive impression of the US (I think the Chinese impression of the US has taken a big hit). In the US, India sees a fellow democracy that is struggling with a failing economy and social inequity. There is a desire in India to be supportive of the US, just as India supported the USSR during the worst days of the collapse.

However there is a pressing matter of national security. The German Bakery blasts point to the possibility that Headley is part of an *ongoing* conspiracy to commit terror in India.

The German Bakery attack casts doubt on all the claims that US and Pakistani sources make about having neutralised the Headley-Rana network.

If all the plotters of 26/11 and all of Headley-Rana's friends are custody in Pakistan - as is claimed by US sources - then how did the attack on the Bakery happen?

In all honesty, we have no idea who the Pakistanis have arrested, we are simply told by the Americans that the "right people" have been arrested and these "bad guys" are out of circulation. We have to accept the Americans word - we are expected to *trust* the Americans and not make further demands on the Pakistanis.

This would not be possible if there is a trust deficit vis-a-vis the Americans.

Why should India hand Kasab over to the US? He is not wanted in the US for any crimes? The FBI asked to speak to Kasab, and that request was serviced. Additionally when the US wanted to interrogate an Indian citizen, Anita Udaiyya, the witness who saw Kasab and company land in Colaba, India allowed the US to do.

India will not understand why its gestures are not reciprocated by the US - after all it is only natural to assume that cooperation begets cooperation. If that implicit notion is erased - then, we are entering a different world.

I think going forward it is likely that US requests on the counter terrorism front will receive a very poor response from India. Additionally, I feel India may feel compelled to pursue independent and aggressive security initiatives in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan where it has so far been content to operate within the US policy shadow.

The consequences for the counter-terrorism on account of a disconnect between India and the US are obvious.

I feel the Obama Administration may not appreciate these consequences and pursue a policy that attempts to create a pressure point on Indo-US ties.

I also feel that is a misplaced policy emphasis that will result in severe problems in the foreseeable future.

But then I am a pragmatic person, if people don't make mistakes, how will they have an opportunity to learn from them.

At 7:13 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Headly doesn't have to be questioned by extra judical interrogators unless he wants to. He doesn't even have to speak to the US authorities unless he wants to. Believe it or not, we do have a constitution and a bill of rights. I realize you think this is typical gora double speak but let me assure you, he has rights, especially once he is lawyered up. I wish cookie monster was here. Being a lawyer in the US he can confirm what I say. And apparently, he has the requisite skin tone in order for you to believe him.

At 7:38 AM, Blogger maverick said...

The Indian policemen are officers of the court in India and by permiting Headley to the be questioned, the US will be fulfilling the spirit of its obligations towards international terrorism as specified in UNSCR 1373.Unless a US Court specifically rules that the USG has no obligations under UNSCR 1373 - there is nothing extra judicial about India's request to interview Headley.

India is not asking that Headley be rendered to Seychelles, Nepal or Sri Lanka, or some such country for questioning in a permissive environment.

India is asking for access to Headley on US soil. Headley will continue enjoy all protections accorded to him by the USG's plea bargain with him unless ofcourse President Obama decides otherwise.

If Headley chooses not to answer the questions posed to him, then that itself will shed light on an underlying pattern of deception in his conduct. It will prove that the claims made after his arrest - i.e. of having contained his terror cell - are unviable.

Logically that would constitute grounds for annulling the plea bargain but again that would remain at the US' discretion.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Headley is not out of the ordinary as far as the US is concerned.

There is a long list of USIC assets from Africa that have been involved in all manner of terrorist acts against unarmed civilians that have immigrated to the US and exploited the benifits of US citizenship to escape prosecution for their crimes.

A large fraction of US aerospace research was carried out by former Nazi scientists many of whom participated in the holocaust.

The US has long opened its doors to such people and the protected them from judicial scrutiny elsewhere.

People in India know this - so they are not asking the US to hand him over to India's police.

India is asking the US to be allowed to interview Headley on US soil.

By preventing India from doing this, the US is encouraging terrorism in India.

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Quite simply, no lawyer worth his salt is going to let you talk to him other than what was involved in his plea agreement. You can imagine all the evil things the US is doing to India that you care to but I really don't think it is going to help the situation. At the moment we are busy in Afganistan, Pakistan and now it looks like Yemen and Somalia. You guys take care of your side of the border and we will take care of ours. I think we're doing the better job. All you guys are concerned about is holding on to Kashmir.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Ralphy,

India does not seem to be interested in what his lawyer has to say otherwise I think the concerned ministry would have communicated with his lawyer.

If the interview takes place without his lawyer present, any competent judge would rule the information collected inadmissible in a US court. It is difficult to imagine why any lawyer would have a problem on that account.

It is likely that Headley's testimony would result in a criminal case being lodged against him in India, but Headley will be safe and comfortable in an air-conditioned American high security prison.

In the matter of the extradition, I imagine that the lawyer will simply be able to raise Valiente v/s the US or a comparable case or make up some argument to the effect that his client is a "pious Muslim" who will be sent to "certain death" at the hands of a kangaroo court in "Hindu India". I feel the average Abdul in America will buy into that. At the very least political correctness will dictate that the US will resort to its traditional position of non-extradition of American citizens.

There is a diversity of opinions about how successful US efforts in the region are at containing terrorism.

Presently, in the context of this business with Headley, the opinion in India is that the US is falling short of the spirit of its obligations towards India per UNSCR 1373.

That will have a very negative impact on Indo-US ties.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger maverick said...

"Label China a currency manipulator"...

hmm.. that should generate the same response in Beijing that India's requests for access to Headley are generating in DC..

I guess its all good for a few laughs.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

The Chinese are worried. Obama is not a laissez faire president. The Chinese know that they sell way more to the US than the US to China. Obama can use that against them. As far as China dumping it US treasury bonds, well, there has to be buyer as well as a seller. Take note that Dell Computer is talking nasty about China and of course you've got Google going rogue too. Trust me, the goras have gone into "must" like the elephants do at times.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

After the elections have settled down in Iraq, there should be a nice steady withdrawal of US troops. Already the Marines are out along with a number of "hardcore" Army units like the airborne, etc. Then it well just be Afghanistan. There is a big campaign coming up against Kanduhar so there will be some bloody fighting there. Then a gradual draw down there also.

Drones are being moved from the Seychelles to northern Kenya. I don't forsee any troop action in Somalia just a lot of drone work and the usual special forces raids. Yemen will get some drone coverage also again with special forces occasionally. So things are on the cusp of quieting down, Allah permiting.

For a while Iraq will be a unique Arab democracy until they too go into "must" and screw it all up again. But that is not the US's business.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

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At 10:34 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Anyway, I'm not sure what India expects to learn from Headly by talking to him. His lawyer would be there of course, advising him. Anyway, they are not getting access. Unconstitutional. *Unless* they bribe Headly into wanting to talk to them as visitors to the prison. Like give some money to his momma. Then it will be may Allah bless you my brother.

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Al said...

Headley played the DEA and the CIA, and went rogue against them, and he prevailed in the end anyway, even if it means permanent lodging in Uncle Sam's discount housing facility.

Such a person cannot be trusted to provide any useful information esp. since DCH has no worries about any bad consequences for lying to the Indian interrogators, if they ever question him. DCH can still take everyone's money and lie through his teeth.

As the conversation goes between Captain Jack Sparrow and his latest betrayee:

X: "How could you?!! You lied to me!"
Captain Jack: "Umm..I am a pirate!"

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Then, Headly would be treated like royalty at the prison commissary.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Al said...

Headley's testimony against his Pakistani handlers can be used by India without violating any of Headley's constitutional rights in the USA.

If it is the USA's statement to the world that this Pakistani citizen turned naturalized american terrorist's constitutional rights take precedence over the USA's international obligations to fight terrorism under the UN resolutions, then I am sure other countries will learn appropriate lessons. The USA just put a knife in the UN's back, and that works very well for India, thank you. If any joker in the Indian side talks about "international law" henceforth, he/she should be reminded of the DCH affair.

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Or, smuggle a cell phone to him. I hear those are hot items at prison nowadays.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Sorry, Headly is natural born US citizen, mommy certified, although he was born in Packeeland.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Al said...

Apparently, DCH squealed so much about his Packee sources back when he was caught smuggling drugs and before he became a DEA informant. So it stands to reason that he did a brain dump on the entire 26/11 charade this time around to the FBI and other US agencies, though none of what he has revealed will help India build a case against those responsible for 26/11. Anyway, the only response India can have to all this is to build capability on its own and not depend on any other country when it comes to all accounts in public, that is the path the Indian govt. has already chosen.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Al said...

The worthless turd Mayawati is now wasting 1200 police personnel to protect statues while the state is mostly lawless. How did this worthless thieving cretin with a megalomania complex like Mayawati get to her current position of stealing and wasting crores of rupees from the National/State Exchecquer? I would like to know.

Let us recall that UP is one of the original BIMARU states that has terrible levels of poverty and illiteracy and high levels of anarchy, i.e., no law and order. Jharkand is in exactly the same state of shambles with respect to police forces being deliberately kept incompetent, so that the criminals in the Chief Minister's chair can sell the state resources for personal profit.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Al said...

" Mayawati goes ahead with constitution of special force without Governor's nod"

This thieving loser Mayawati has no respect for constitutional norms and will flush the country down the toilet if she ever comes to power in the center.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger sdre said...

Ralphy & Maverick,

Let's get a few facts right. Part of the plea bargain deal Headley struck with the prosecutors is that he will cooperate with Indian investigators. He is also supposed to cooperate with Danish and Paki investigators, but I am not sure what the Pakis need to investigate, except maybe to ascertain how to plug leaks in future operations, maintain more plausible deniability through cutouts, and so on.

Headley is even supposed to testify in Indian trials through videoconferencing, if it comes to that. In return for all that, he will not be extradited to India. Note that the prosecutor has clarified that this deal does not make him immune from extradition in future, should newer charges be filed against him. So it seems the prosecutor used the threat of extradition pretty effectively to make him cooperate. In all probability, there have been background negotiation between the US and India, before the plea bargain deal was struck. Perhaps the US made it clear that Headley will not be extradited because the US government is not yet ready to expose the Pakis for the complete scumbags they are (read: the supply line through Pak has to be kept open). In return, India will have access to Headley, and Pakis will promise to clean up their act somehow (fat chance).

Given all this, I don't understand why the US is denying Indians access to Headley. I can only imagine America's reaction, if India managed to catch one of 9/11's main conspirators, the very person who scouted the locations for terrorist strikes and repeatedly met with AQ's leadership, and then struck a deal with him similar to the one US prosecutors did with Headley.

I don't understand why is that so hard for Ralphy to understand. Headley's constitutional rights do not protect him from extradition, nor from execution. America has extradited Nazi war criminals to the USSR, knowing fully well they would be executed. The usual argument against extradition, "cruel and unusual punishment" and "legitimate fear of persecution." simply do not apply, considering the enormity of Headley's crime.

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

I went and read the plea agreement:

Plea agreement

The agreement does indeed allow for foreign deposition in the US or by video teleconferencing. However no country is specified. Please provide a quote from the agreement where a country is specified.

Nazis who obtained US citizenship and did so under false pretenses are indeed liable to be deported.

As long as Headly cooperates to the satisfaction of the federal district attorner of nortern illinois, he is safe under the plea agreement.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger sdre said...

I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theory that 26/11 was a "joint CIA-ISI mission," although I notice that Ishaaramaster is still peddling that shite. So why would America deny India access to Headley? My guess is that the US gov is under tremendous pressure from the Pakis to not let Indian investigators talk with Headley.

I think India will benefit from questioning Headley, even what he does not say will be revealing, and he has a lot to reveal. I also think that it would have been a good idea to extradite Headley to India. I am sure Headley would have talked his heart out. From all indications, this guy will do anything to save his butt, IOW he is a Paki. IMHO India should keep up the pressure on the Obama administration to play ball, there is a lot riding on that. India should continue demanding his extradition, especially if he refuses to cooperate.

An assurance from the US that the Pakis would clean up their act is simply not sufficient at this stage.

At 12:19 AM, Blogger sdre said...

Page 26 of the Plea Agreement:
"Defendant further agrees that, when directed by the United States Attorney’s Office, he will fully and truthfully testify in any foreign judicial proceedings held in the United States by way of deposition, videoconferencing or letters rogatory."

I doubt that India is excluded from the category of "foreign judicial proceedings," considering that only India, Denmark and Pakistan are mentioned in the section titled "Extradition." What is your point?

BTW, I agree that he is safe from extradition if he "cooperates" to the federal DA's satisfaction (as in there is nothing India can do). But that doesn't mean that the deal doesn't stink to high heaven. What's more, I don't think the extradition treaty only applies to naturalized citizens and foreign nationals. A US-born citizen is not exempt from extradition...

At 12:26 AM, Blogger kgoan said...


The pakees *cannot* clean up their shite. If pakistan doesn't have terrorism as a pressure point against India, what does it have?


If it cant offer itself as a balancer against India, of what *longterm* use would it be to our northern neighbours and Dear Asian Brothers and to our best-friends-forever Natural Allies?


Everyone knows this. But somethings you musnt say.

(Speaking of things you musnt say, funny moment the other day - group of folks talking about Afghanistan. All of them supposed experts, profess complete and total ignorance of why Majra was chosen as the first exampe of the surge.

They cited examples, tactical explanations, strategic stuff, and gawd only knows whatelse.

Then one of the mil tyes, a former US Army Lt. Col, (2 years in Iraq, but never made it to Afghanistan), casually says something like: You folks are aware that the area around Majra produces something like 1/2 the worlds supply of poppys aren't ya? And that Helmand province probably produces 90% plus of the worlds opium supply?

Dead silence. Then Everyone starts talking again completely ignoring him and go back to discussing why they simply cant figure out why Majra was chosen. . .

Funny moment - well you had to be there.

At 2:04 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Has Denmark and Pakistan had access to Headly?

At 2:09 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Marja wasn't chosen because of access to poppy fields. It was chosen as a field test for joint Marine/Army and Afghan forces exercise. Not too big, not too small, no heavy weapons are to be used by the joint forces, just small unit weaponry and tactics. And a target rich environment.

At 2:45 AM, Blogger sdre said...

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At 3:01 AM, Blogger sdre said...

Has Denmark and Pakistan had access to Headly?

Indeed, why should India have any claim on Headley? After all, he did not commit any crime in India, did he? Clearly, Denmark (which was intended target of a plot which was thwarted because of Headley's arrest) and Pakistan (which probably wants to give him a medal) have stronger reasons to be given access to Headley...

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Al said...

Long life and more power to Justice Hegde and his kind of public servants.

At 7:06 AM, Blogger Al said...

"The Lokayukta says he is personally not worried about cases being filed against him, but the problem with his officers being charged is that it gets recorded in their confidential reports and could possibly affect their career prospects. "

Honest officers and bureaucrats are being targeted their criminals counterparts -- the criminals must not be allowed to toy with the system in this manner with the deliberate intent of destroying its integrity and balance of power.

At 7:18 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

If it would have been British, now they would have got access. But no, I don't think India is going to get it. Too many American haters and too eager to make America responsible for everything bad that has happened to India.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger sdre said...

India not getting access because there are too many America haters? So you are saying GOTUS makes decisions based on the attitudes of BRF teabaggers?

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Ok, riddle me this, why would Obama protect the Bush administration in its dealings with Packeeland? That is essentially what you are asserting. Unless you are saying the present administration had something to do with Headly? Oh, I know! It's just one long string of one administration after another using Packee terrorism against India.

Really, I hope you guys get to depose him. But make no mistake, I also fully expect you guys try to use whatever you find as leverage against the US.

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

And let me add, that I have had remarkable accuracy in predicting Indo-American relations whether it be Indian troops in Iraq (that was big duh), Indian military purchases of American gear or Indian purchases of US designed nuke power plants (even though India would build them and operate them, even a bigger, no duh). You guys are too easy in your intentions but you think you're smart about it. Incredible.

At 4:00 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Have Denmark or Pakistan asked for access?

What is Denmark going to ask Headley? - no crime has taken place.

The Pakistanis don't need to ask Headley anything because they already know everything that was planned - precisely because *they* themselves planned it and told Headley what to do.

Headley was picked up *before* the raid in Denmark materialised but *after* 26/11 happened.

It seems the US authorities were numb to the effect of Headley's activities until the Jyallands Posten people were threatened - then suddenly everyone in the US work up to what a big danger this guy was.

Between his citizenship, his contacts in the USIC, and the plea bargain, India can't touch Headley.

Yes, Nazis who illegally sought refuge in the US were deported but then folks like Hubertus Strughold were *given* US citizenship and protected from Nuremberg type proceedings.

From what it appears, Headley fits the Strughold mold.

From all intents and purposes, India wants to ask him about any elements of a continuing conspiracy that he may be aware of. And India would like to question him without the potential for electronic interference - which all these "video conferencing" depositions are vulnerable to.

It is becoming very obvious that whatever Headley might or might not tell India would cause major problems for the US.

This kind of behaviour and defensive psychobabble about Headley's rights, reflexive Anti-Americanism, etc... will only be seen as delaying tactics in India.
It is exactly this behaviour that is feeding the trust deficit.

Terrible things will happen if that deficit builds up.

This issue should be resolved but I doubt it will be.

I feel President Obama does not have a real choice on some issues - and maintaining the continuity of the Pakistan policy initiated by President Bush is one of them.

The other such issue is that masterpiece we call the dollar, but I will not go into that. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said to President Obama that he does not believe that the US economy has entered a period of irreversible decline. So I will keep my mouth shut about this.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger maverick said...


I think there is a agreement in place among academics not to talk about the opiates issue.

I suspect talking about it directly will lead to severe funding problems.

As I understand it - academia in the social sciences and humanities is put into place to come up with two things - distractions for the public at large and form/context free solutions to problems.

It appears to me that the opiate aspect of the discussion has been sequestered to the relevant government departments.

The idea that the nation's armymen are dying so that the junkie down the street can shoot up or so that you can drive your gas guzzler at 5 mpg - is simply too distressing to the general public and their political leaders.

So the whole debate has been deliberately couched in terms like "protecting your way of life" and crap like "religiously motivated hatred towards your freedoms" or rhetorically "why do they hate us? - oh it is because we are soooo awesome."

At 5:14 PM, Blogger sdre said...

Ok, riddle me this, why would Obama protect the Bush administration in its dealings with Packeeland?

Well, I have posted my guess about why, and if you bothered to read, it had nothing to do with any conspiracy theory.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger sdre said...

And let me add, that I have had remarkable accuracy in predicting Indo-American relations...

That is because you have consistently predicted negative outcomes in India-US relations. Even a broken clock is right twice a day...

FYI, India has purchased American military gears, and will do so in future, whenever American stuff is deemed suitable. India has already declared intention to purchase American reactors, and I'll bet that it will happen too.

What you'll probably never see is a US-UK type relationship, more like US-France...

At 7:47 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:50 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Well, I have posted my guess about why, and if you bothered to read, it had nothing to do with any conspiracy theory."

And again I must state that we have divulged Headly's Packee Army contacts. We know that elements of the Packee army have supported Headly. We also know that elements of the Packee army have been victims of terrorism themselves. What don't know is to what degree it is blow back and to what degree the mullahs have sympatizers at the top levels. Face it, Headly's contacts were probably (I don't know this for a fact) were probably low level schmucks insulating the top elements. So no, I don't mind that India wants to depose him. It's just I think it will be the usual tamasha of India presupposing Headly's deep contacts at the CIA.

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

About the only thing I have missed is India buying US made satellites. I would have said Roscosmos, but hey, none of the BRF hate monkeys ever said anything about it. So I was wr....wr..wron.... well, you know what I mean.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger sdre said...

It's just I think it will be the usual tamasha of India presupposing Headly's deep contacts at the CIA.

Please point out who, in India, whether in the government or in the media, has been insinuating such thing. Face it, you've been way too influenced by the fulminations of the BRF teabaggers...

At 9:26 PM, Blogger sdre said...

About the only thing I have missed is India buying US made satellites. I would have said Roscosmos, but hey, none of the BRF hate monkeys ever said anything about it. So I was wr....wr..wron.... well, you know what I mean.

Well, I rest my case. In case you haven't noticed, this isn't Teabagger Central, a.k.a. BRF.

At 4:50 AM, Blogger Al said...

What is this US-hating communist Sitaram Yechury doing in Columbia University? Going by his shenanigans in the past few years, one would have thought US would be the last country he would be visiting..but then upper-crust communists like Karat and Yechury have different rules for themselves than for the rest of their cadre.

At 5:13 AM, Blogger maverick said...

If the truth has been told so far - then why can't the Indian Police hear it from the headley's mouth?

What other conclusion is there to draw when the US won't let India talk to him?

It seems to me from the incident at German Bakery, the truth has not been told either by Headley to the US or by the US to India.

A simple face to face interview with Headley should sort all that out.

At 5:15 AM, Blogger Al said...

Ralphy wrote:
"We know that elements of the Packee army have supported Headly. We also know that elements of the Packee army have been victims of terrorism themselves. What don't know is to what degree it is blow back and to what degree the mullahs have sympatizers at the top levels."

How touching. It appears like this level of sympathy for members of the PA and respect for the sacrifices made by the pakistani army, in their war for and against terrorism simultaneously, is only matched by Pakistani concern for the lives of Americans which they demonstrated right after 9/11.

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Al said...

India is discussing a UNSC seat with China, apparently? For what purpose, I wonder. Clamouring for a UNSC is a pointless waste of state resources, esp. when the UN is on its way down. Countries in a leadership role in the UN are violating their own resolutions on combating terrorism, which about tells how much value the UN possesses in real terms to India.

Add to this the UN's raising of charges against Sri Lanka at the insistence of these western champions of human rights, freedom, and democracy, and all of them are making a beeline for Indonesia, something's up.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

"Well, I rest my case. "

If you're demanding perfection then it's not there. However, I am right more than I am wrong.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

"How touching. It appears like this level of sympathy for members of the PA and respect for the sacrifices made by the pakistani army, in their war for and against terrorism simultaneously, is only matched by Pakistani concern for the lives of Americans which they demonstrated right after .."

You're simplifying a complicated situation. A lot of Indians seem to be of the opinion that al Qaida is an arm of the packee army. Nonsense. al qaida is an entity which the packee army has sought accomodation and mutual goals where they are coinciding. It's sorta like playing with the cobra that lives in your garden. I don;t have any sympathy whatsoever with people who allow cobras in their garden.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

I highly doubt the german bakery was done by packee frogman rising out of the Pune sewers to bomb that strategic target the german bakery. I would suspect locals.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Al said...

"al qaida is an entity which the packee army has sought accomodation and mutual goals where they are coinciding."

Uh huh...So suddenly it is all perfectly reasonable to pretend that entities aiding the dreaded "Al Qaeda" (the root cause for all the terror hunting in Af-Pak) are not part of the problem...that's pretty stupid to say the least.

Sure, it is all "very complicated" when you have to work on the goal of "rooting out Al Qaeda" and "providing funds to people who sustain Al Qaeda" at the same time...maybe there is something wrong with this plan for victory?

At 3:02 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Headley conducted surveillance in that area, he passed the information to his friends in Pakistan.

After the Kasab fiasco, the ISI seems reluctant to send Pakistanis out for such missions. The embarassment caused by Qasab's capture and the manner in which the PA behaved afterwards has most likely eroded the PA's credibility with the LeT in such matters.

So it would not be surprising if the attack was carried out by a non-Pakistani national. This person probably lacked the training to carry out a more devastating attack.

There is little doubt in India that the attack originated in Pakistan even if the hands that planted the bomb were not Pakistani.

If everyone Headley pointed at in Pakistan has been rounded up, then how was this operation carried out?

That is the kind of question that India is seeking an answer to.

There does not appear to be a desire to humiliate or embarass the United States in India, so I don't see why people in DC are getting so worked up about a simple request to question Headley in person.

I deeply commend Americans who want to protect Mr. Headley's rights. It makes me feel warm inside to see so many people in the US government work so hard to ensure that a known terrorist like Mr. Headley's rights are not compromised in anyway. Surely one can clearly see that the US government is working overtime to protect the Bill of Rights. I will try to remember that the next time a "NATO Airstrike" bombs an Afghan school bus by mistake.

But as far as I can see, there is no desire to violate his rights. I mean it is not like the Indian police officers are going to be allowed into an American prison to commit unspeakable acts of torture and neither is Headley going to be rendered to some other country for rigourous questioning.

This obstructionist attitude in the US is really counter-productive.

Per Qasab's testimony, the original plan for 26/11 called for the detonation of a sizable quantity of explosive inside the Heritage Wing. By some miraculous chance - the first responders managed to prevent that from happening. At great cost to the lives of security staff, a catastrophic attack on an a major infrastructure landmark was avoided.

I doubt India can afford to ignore the signal that kind of intent sends.

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Faizi said...

Also, see the following article in the WSJ.

The actions of the Obama administration discussed in this article are going to render ties with India pretty difficult in the near future. They also explain a lot of what is going with Indo-US ties lately. Intransigence on the Headley affair is just icing on the cake at this juncture.

Ralphy, surely you realize that there generally is a lot of goodwill towards the US in India? Things like denying India access to Headley will simply destroy some of this goodwill. The current administration's policy appears to have originated in a time-warp, where nothing happened after the cold war.

At 3:45 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

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At 4:11 AM, Blogger Anand K said...

Caves of Steel time


At 4:52 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

OK guys I;ve posted the last I'm gonna post on the Headly affair. It's not like Obama is listening to me anyway.

At 4:54 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Now more than ever the US needs friends. If for any reason the Obama Administration fails - then a great social experiment in the US will end with poor results.

So I think it may be more like the time India refused to send troops to assist the US in Iraq.

The sheer amount of hostility expressed vis-a-vis India on 26/11 was too great to be ignored. Kasab et al. planned to murder some 5000 people in Bombay.

We need to understand where that hostility comes from. We know that kind of thinking has traction in Pakistan, but this monster does not does not come to your door unless it is called. Someone has to put the Pakistanis up to doing things like this - otherwise they just sit around and talk.

We need to understand everything that went into this conspiracy and who put these people in Pakistan up to it.

There are two working theories for this, firstly the Pakistan Army did it purely to stop being marginalised by the democratically elected PPP regime and secondly, an extra regional power hijacked a Pakistani initiative and conducted this as a false flag operation.

The Pakistanis quite naturally support the latter - and they claim someone in the US was involved in this. I am skeptical about that claim.

However the answers to those questions lie in Pakistan, with people that Headley was in touch with.

The Pune blasts suggest that this conspiracy is far from over.

As long as those questions remain India cannot assume that with the Kasab and Headley arrest - the matter has been closed and the crime completely detected.

No one has the faintest idea who has been detained in Pakistan. As in the case of A Q Khan, no American agency has been given access to the suspects arrested in Pakistan. Any claims in this regard will be met with a natural sense of skepticism in India.

Everyone knows the US is good at selling things, every used car lot is full of signs promising you the best deal in the world. Unfortunately, Indians are very picky customers. After spending an eternity cheating others, Indians tend to look past the "50% off" signs and ask themselves "do we really want this?".

Many people in India believe is that with so many major defence deals, reactor purchases, and infrastructure deals hanging in the balance - the US will come to realise its error in the handling of the Headley affair and they will make amends. That the US will some how realise that it is not an island, but part of an interconnected global organism.

I don't know if that is going to happen - I hope for their sake - they are right.

I think there are too many people who sit in the Pentagon, in Langley and other places that genuinely believe that they can solve any foreign policy problem with a well placed drone and a well guided missile. I call this the "guided missile diplomacy syndrome". Like the "morality of altitude" before it, this syndrome is sapping America's international strength, and draining its reserve of international good will. That sort of thing is ultimately weakening the framework of US national security.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


you are pursuing a line that is indefensible ... Obama and his crew have seriously botched up Afghanistan ... now, they will lose India as well ...

all they will have to show for their effort is "strategic dialog" with the jokers in Pakistan ...

my grandma could do better in foreign policy ...

At 4:54 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I watched the Wikileaks video of the murder of the Reuters photographer in Baghdad yesterday.

It is pretty clear what happened, the rules of engagement and the combat initiation guidelines were placed in the hands of the mentally deficient people in armed Apache helicopters.

While the cause of the deficiency can be debated, there is no doubt that this peculiar tragedy is unique to the US.

Only US helicopter gunners spend enough time in the air to develop a vacuum in their brains. We have unfortunately seen this sort of thing in Vietnam.

In India *fortunately* we do not have that situation yet. Our combat helos are too expensive and every round fired is accounted for. Also our pilots haven't grown up on video games and don't think of everything "down there" as some kind of insect to squash.

In stark contrast to this is the attitude of the ground troops who responded to this event. The US soldiers who pulled the wounded children out of the burning car and tried to take them to a US controlled hospital deserve a commendation.

The Apache pilots and the incident commander should be handed over to the Iraqi Police, just like the wounded kids were.

The Mai Lai massacre told the US public that the war in Vietnam was morally unsustainable.

I doubt that the Wikileaks video will have that much impact, but more of these incidents will happen and as the Obama Administration seeks a way out of the mess in Iraq that the Bush Administration saddled them with - more of these incidents will become public.

A steady trickle of such leaks will ensure that slowly but surely the last leg of the moral credibility of the Iraq war - which rests on people supporting the sacrifices of the "boys" - will corrode as the public at large sees that the "boys" aren't necessarily doing "heroic defending-America things". Among the intellectuals in the US, it has already sunk in that the war in Iraq creates more problems than it solves. It is only a matter of time before the folks in the Dakotas get to hear about it.

Public opinion will gradually shift in favour of disengaging from Iraq.

At 5:02 AM, Blogger maverick said...


"Just a few days earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India needed a well-functioning bond market to help finance $1 trillion in infrastructure investment."

When did he say this?

Does anyone recall reading this anywhere?

At 5:08 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hmm... Blackwater/Xe-Kestral wants to talk to them?

I guess that attack on the ISI Hq near the Peshawar consulate touched a raw nerve.

IIRC Sultan Amir Tarar is not Mullah Omar's handler.

At 6:18 AM, Blogger Al said...

Seems pretty self-defeating to discuss the stapled-visa problem with the chinese, rather than reciprocal measures to hurt chinese and giving them a seriously stern warning. The chinese are basically not going to give up being aholes on stapled visa or any issue, unless they feel reciprocal pain.

If all the chinese workers in Asia and Africa suddenly run into problems and end up in prison, what will china do? I wonder. The Chinese are very clear on escalating on the J&K front so that over time they get bargaining talking points that they will use for concessions on the AP front. That way both territories are now up for discussion with India.....but only if India falls for this stapled-visa scam and makes that part of the long-term discussions.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Our troops are leaving Iraq. Obama said so. And starting either this year or next year dpending on how soon the elections in Iraq settle down. A democratic Arab state or reasonable facsimili there of. Incredible isn't it? I would never have thought we could have pulled that off. Exacuse me while I pat myself on the back.

At 7:32 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I fear that pat on the back may be premature.

If the US leaves Iraq, then the Iranians will leverage the shia majority in Iraq to secure a friendly democracy in Baghdad. Control over a large fraction of the proven ONG reserves, a substantial fraction of ONG refining capacity in the world and the Kurdish controlled heroin refineries would fall under the Iranian sphere of influence. Add that to rising Iranian influence in Afghanistan, and then pretty much all the end-to-end opiate manufacturing and refining will be under Iranian influence.

The US leaving will set Iran on the path to superpower status.

India can live with that I don't think the US can.

It is easy enough to understand, India did not hand over intaglio presses to the Iranians.

The situation that will suck badly is when the US *has* to stay in Iraq but no one in the US actually believes in the war anymore.

At 7:58 AM, Blogger kgoan said...

Mav, a few years back when Shaheen Sehbai had to bolt from Pakland, just ahead of Musharrafs knife men, he started a Pakee site from the US commenting on all the marvelous workings of the Land of the Pure.

That site had some fairly heavy duy people on its forums. Khalid Khawaja was among them. It also had the requisite insignificant "disreputable" :) types, like me.

Thing is, I got to know Khawaja - for some reason he seems to have mistaken me for someone else - quite well for a short time.

That dudes connections were staggering. They went all the way back and seemed to wrap around from BCCI days (family link, I think - not sure though).

I have no idea about things now of course, maybe he was "tactically" brilliant and burned a bridge to many, and of course I'm to unimportant and dimwitted to know anything anyway but. . . IMO, Culinary Institute chefs don't need to talk to him thataway.

Something else is up. (Course, it could just be that Col Imams new found celebratary simply made him a target for an enterprising subunit of Jihad Inc trying to go indepenedent - but. . .

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Naw, all we need is a permanent airbase in Iraq for the US Air Force and a CIA/Spec Ops station. A few black helicopters (equipped with that impressive 25mm chain gun you saw in action in the video) and plenty of drones and we are set. The US Navy can handle the rest. Not a problem.

The Russkis use a 30mm on their choppers. Even more impressive.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger kgoan said...

Thinking about your last post, I think Ralphy has a point.

I mean, theres still the pakees.

They'll fight the Iranians tooth-and-nail for control over that.

And they'll get the backing of the Usual Suspects.

Without control over opiates, can the Iranians *afford* to put the Iraqis on a dole? Their economy at the moment has all the strength of Greeces.

I dont think we can afford to assume that the US cant pull this off.

With US support, the Pakees can keep Jihadi Inc against us, opiates against the Russians, the Salafis against the Central Asians and simple Saudi backed Sunni bastadry against Iran.

And the US uses *us* against the Chinese. . .

I think we're underestimating the US. The Headley episode itself shows us whats what with them.

At 8:24 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

And add to that, your boy friends the Iranians, brilliantly decided that they weren't going to accept the dollar for their oil anymore just the Euro. :-> Now thems some smart people right there!

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

What up with the Maoists in central India (of all places)? Killing dozens of policemen? Are you guys serious about this problem? Sounds like you guys need to be buying out black heliocopters with chain guns to me. We can work a deal. Pakistan did for our choppers. India can too. It's only fair.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

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