July 23, 2011

Why India shouldn't be over-excited about Fai's arrest in US


Last updated on: July 21, 2011 19:14 IST
Senior analyst B Raman explains why the calculated arrest of prominent US-based Kashmiri separatist leader Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was allegedly trying to influence American policy over Kashmir at the behest of the ISI, shouldn't over-excite India [ Images ].

The practice of intelligence agencies floating and funding non-governmental organisations and even publishing houses for using them for psywar (psychological warfare) purposes was born during the World War II and used extensively during the subsequent cold war against the USSR and its communist allies.

Click here to read the FBI compliant against Fai

In the 1960s and the '70s, the US media highlighted this practice and revealed the links of many supposedly prestigious US non-governmental organisations to the Central Intelligence Agency. One of these organisations used to fund the visits of many senior Indian government servants to the US for some purpose or the other.

A senior official in the ministry of home affairs, who was on a Congressional fellowship in the US at the invitation of a highly prestigious non-governmental organisation, was embarrassed when the US media identified it as funded and used by the CIA for softening public opinion moulders in other countries.

He immediately drew the attention of the Government of India to this report and asked for instructions whether he should terminate his fellowship and return to India. The Government of India advised him not to do so. It felt that he had not done anything wrong since he had no way of knowing that the CIA was behind that organisation.

This practice was also followed by the MI-6, the United Kingdom's secret intelligence service. In fact, some years ago, in reply to a question in the House of Commons, the British government admitted that some of the anti-communist best-sellers were sponsored and funded by the MI-6.

After the end of the cold war, this practice has come down but has not been abandoned. Intelligence agencies continue to float and fund NGOs, seminars, etc for psywar purposes. In addition, they also seek to soften political leaders by making contributions to their election funds.

In the 1980s, during the jihad against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan, considerable money was spent by the CIA and the Saudi intelligence for carrying on a psywar against the Soviet troops through NGOs. Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, which played a role in assisting in these psywar activities, which were often in Pashtun language, acquired considerable expertise in this field.

It has since been using this expertise for achieving its Kashmir-related objectives. Since 1989, the ISI has either floated a number of NGOs or has been funding organisations which already existed in order to use them against the Government of India. There are many such organisations in the West floated and/or funded by the ISI.

The more active amongst them is the Kashmiri American Council of Washington, DC, headed by Ghulam Nabi Fai, a US resident of Kashmiri origin. For nearly two decades, the KAC has been organising activities such as printing and disseminating propaganda pamphlets and other literature on alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir [ Images ], holding national seminars in the US to which only residents in the US are invited, holding international seminars to which the participants are invited from many countries including India, lobbying against the Government of India in the US Congress and in the margins of international human rights conferences and softening US politicians by contributing to their election funds.

There were strong indications for many years that Fai and his organisation were promoting such activities at the instance of the ISI with funds provided by it. His activities were against US laws, but the US agencies chose to close their eyes to them and refrained from taking any criminal action against him because of what the US perceived as the useful role played by Pakistan as a frontline ally in the war against terrorism.

There are two kinds of activities which intelligence agencies indulge in foreign territory -- secret but declared, and secret and undeclared. The liaison relationships for intelligence co-operation would come under the secret but declared category.

Unilateral humint (human intelligence) operations such as the one which ultimately led to the killing of Al Qaeda [ Images ] chief Osama bin Laden [Images ] and other clandestine activities, which are kept deniable, would come under the secret and undeclared category.

Since the beginning of 2011, there have been complaints in Pakistan that since 9/11 there has been a mushrooming of US intelligence presence in Pakistan due to an increase in secret and undeclared activities of the US agencies. After the Raymond Davis incident in January, the Pakistan government has been trying to keep a greater check on such activities through measures such as asking the US to reduce its intelligence presence and tightening the procedure for the issue of visas to the suspected but undeclared intelligence personnel.

The activities of Fai and his organisation came under the category of secret and undeclared activities of the ISI in US territory. In return for the Pakistan government closing its eyes to the secret and undeclared activities of US intelligence in Pakistani territory, the US closed its eyes to the secret and undeclared activities of the ISI in US territory so long as those activities were directed against India and were not considered detrimental to the national security of the US.

Now that there has been a change in Pakistan's policy and it has abandoned its hitherto permissive attitude to the secret and undeclared activities of the US intelligence in Pakistani territory, the US has decided to retaliate by giving up its permissive attitude and putting an end to the secret and undeclared activities of the ISI in US territory. That is the message from the arrest on July 19 of Fai and another person for indulging in illegal activities as undeclared foreign agents and the decision to prosecute them.

While we should be gratified over the US action, we should avoid over-assessing its significance as an indicator of US solidarity with India or as a precursor to a possible change in the US attitude to Pakistani claims and designs relating to J&K. It is an opportunistic and tactical action to exercise pressure on Pakistan and its ISI to do the US bidding and nothing more.B Raman

FOREIGN PRIVATE DETECTIVE AND INVESTIGATING AGENCIES

Question by SHRI RAM KRIPAL YADAV in Parliament


(a) how many foreign private detective and investigating agencies are registered with Government for providing their services in India;

(b) the criteria for registration of these agencies;

(c) whether Government is aware that many of these agencies are working in the country without any registration with Government;

(d) whether Government is aware that many retired officers of Government intelligence agencies are working in these agencies immediately after their retirement from Government service; and

(e) the details of action taken in those cases as they may be providing secret information regarding Government, collected during their service to the private clients?
ANSWER
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS

(SHRI MULLAPPALLY RAMACHANDRAN)

(a) to (e): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.

STATEMENT IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) to (e) OF RAJYA SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 28 FOR 23.2.2011.

(a) to (c): There is no Central law for the registration of detective and investigation agencies. Hence, information sought under these parts is not available. Whether such agencies are registered with the State Governments under any State law applicable in that State is not known.

(d) & (e): Employment in a commercial venture/enterprise by a government servant after retirement is governed by rules which mandate the government servant to seek prior permission for employment within one year of retirement. No such case has come to the notice of Government.

Number of suicide cases in Central Para Military Forces

The number of suicide cases in Central Para Military Forces (CPMFs) are as under:-

Name of CPMFs

Number of Suicides during the Year

2008

2009

2010

Assam rifles

10

09

09

BSF

29

26

29

CISF

12

16

17

CRPF

46

28

28

ITBP

04

06

05

NSG

-

-

-

SSB

07

11

12

The causative factors in most of the cases were found to be generally the personal and domestic problems like marital discord, personal enmity, mental illness, depression, etc. and were not related to the Forces as such.

Fencing and floodlighting along Indo-Bangladesh

The progress of fencing and floodlighting and the expenditure incurred under various projects along Indo-Bangladesh border as on date is given below:-

Work

Project

Approved length (in km)

Physical progress (in km)

Expenditure incurred (Rs. in crore)

Fence

Phase I

857.37

854.35

1059.00

Phase II

2579.22

1880.77

3155.00

Total

3436.59

2735.12

4214.00*

Replacement of fencing

Phase III

861.00

750.00

695.00

Floodlighting

3117.00

877.00

361.00

*Inclusive of expenditure incurred on construction of roads

Asian balance of power

July 21, 2011 12:14:45 AM

G Parthasarathy

While seeking to build an architecture for cooperation and security in Asia, India cannot ignore Vietnam’s importance in ensuring a stable balance of power.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger makes some interesting revelations about China’s invasion of Vietnam in March 1979 in his recent book, On China. He explains how Deng Xiaoping made elaborate preparations to invade Vietnam by embarking on a charm offensive, with visits to Japan, South-East Asia and last, but not the least, to the USA. In Washington, DC, Deng spoke of the “parallel interests” of China and the US and the need to “coordinate our activities and adopt necessary measures” following Vietnam’s 1978 Friendship Treaty with the Soviet Union.

While President Jimmy Carter paid lip service to peace, he offered “intelligence briefings” to the Chinese even as Deng asserted, “China must still teach Vietnam a lesson.” Mr Kissinger reveals that Deng indicated that China’s plan was to mount “a limited punitive strike, followed by a retreat” in Vietnam, as it had done during the 1962 conflict with India. He, however, fails to acknowledge that the Vietnamese gave the Chinese a bloody nose during their “punitive strike” on their southern neighbour.

The wheels of geopolitics have turned full circle over the past three decades. After ‘strategic geniuses’ like Mr Kissinger and Mr Zbigniew Brzezinski contributed significantly to China’s ‘rise’ by advocating liberal transfers of investment and technology, the Americans are now finding China increasingly ‘assertive’, with its mercantilist policies designed to corner the world’s natural resources and its propensity to use force to enforce maritime boundary claims with virtually all its neighbours.

One sees a similar Chinese ‘assertiveness’ in dealing with boundary issues with India. Not only is claim being laid to the entire State of Arunachal Pradesh, but China is now alluding to the length of the Sino-Indian border as 2,000 km instead of the actual length of 3,488 km, thereby excluding its borders in the western sector with Jammu & Kashmir from the ambit of differences over the Sino-Indian border.

Forever apologetic and defensive in dealing with an ‘assertive’ Beijing, South Block has yet to acknowledge that this constitutes a significant change in China’s approach to the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and indeed to the entire border dispute. A similar pusillanimity appears to characterise our response to indications of China giving consideration to projects to divert the water of Brahmaputra, while adopting an approach similar to its policies on the Mekong basin.

Clearly alarmed by China’s growing ‘assertiveness’ on its maritime boundaries with virtually all its neighbours, ranging from Japan, South Korea and Vietnam to the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined ASEAN Foreign Ministers at an ARF meeting in Vietnam in July 2010, expressing concern about growing Chinese disinclination to work constructively to resolve differences. American concern was again expressed at a meeting of Defence Ministers of ASEAN and its partners in Hanoi in October 2010.

During the past year China has not hesitated to use force along its maritime boundaries with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. Tensions have grown significantly between China and Vietnam in recent months. In May this year, a Chinese fishing boat escorted by two Chinese naval vessels deliberately rammed into a Vietnamese seismic survey ship. Following protests by both sides and demonstrations in Vietnam, Hanoi embarked on naval exercises off its central coast. China responded with large-scale exercise in the South China Sea in which fighter aircraft participated.

On June 14 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung served notice about the possibility of an impending military mobilisation, while the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, the Global Times, warned Vietnam that China would answer any “provocation” with “economic or even military counter-strikes”. If China colluded with the US to attack Vietnam in 1979, the Chinese now warn the Vietnamese against “unrealistic” expectations of American backing. Vietnam was told: “China will take whatever measures are necessary to protect its interests in the South China Sea.”

Vietnam, in turn, is strengthening its defences with the acquisition of six kilo class submarines, SU 30 MK 2 fighter jets and MI 17 helicopters from Russia. Vietnam’s Naval chief and Deputy Defence Minister Vice-Admiral Nguyen Van Hein visited New Delhi on June 27. Prior to his visit, Hanoi had permitted Indian naval ships to berth at Nha Trang Port in southern Vietnam. Vice-Admiral Hein visited Indian naval dockyards in Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam. Maritime cooperation will be a crucial element in India’s defence cooperation with Vietnam. Both countries extensively use equipment of Russian origin.

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on May 8 that India would continue to assist Vietnam in the modernisation of its armed forces, focusing attention primarily on its Air Force and Navy. Mr Mukherjee also spoke of enhanced intelligence cooperation with Vietnam. Unfortunately, given our disgraceful incompetence and inability to utilise opportunities for oil and gas exploration that Vietnam provided to ONGC, India cannot be said to enjoy an image of efficiency in Vietnamese eyes.

Moreover, we need to be far less inhibited in dealing with defence cooperation with Vietnam than our mandarins in the Defence Ministry are generally given to being. If we are really serious about developing Vietnam’s capabilities to defend its maritime boundaries, we should be prepared to transfer potent weapon systems like Brahmos missiles to that country. China has, after all, shown no inhibitions in transferring a range of missile systems to Pakistan. Moreover, we should avoid subjecting Vietnam to the inefficiencies of public sector enterprises like ONGC and NHPC which have under-performed in our eastern neighbourhood.

India needs to play an active role in building an inclusive architecture for security in the South China Sea and across the Asia-Pacific. We are expanding defence ties with Japan and participating in multilateral naval exercises. Should we not elicit participation by Vietnam in such exercises? While describing the national traits of the Vietnamese, Mr Kissinger writes: “Hanoi was not any other country’s proxy. It fought for its vision of independence, which assigned to Vietnam the dominant role that Beijing had played in East Asia. To these single-minded survivors of centuries of conflict with China, compromise was inconceivable between their idea of independence and any outsider’s conception of stability.”

While seeking to build an architecture for cooperation and security in Asia, no country, least of all India, can or should ignore the importance of Vietnam in building a stable balance of power in the continent.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/354767/Asian-balance-of-power.html

India Boosts Its Presence in Kyrgyzstan

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 8 Issue: 131
July 8, 2011 01:49 PM Age: 15 days

Indian Defence Minister Shri A. K. Antony and Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva in Bishkek, July 5, 2011 (Source: indinon.net)

New Delhi’s presence has suddenly expanded in Kyrgyzstan following Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony visit to Bishkek on July 4-5 to meet with his Kyrgyz counterpart, Abibilla Kudayberdiyev, to discuss bilateral cooperation on security issues.

It was agreed that by the end of July, Indian peacekeepers will begin training Kyrgyz army conscripts to make them suitable to participate in UN operations. “India has offered assistance to Kyrgyzstan to strengthen its defense and security capabilities. The training team is the first step,” Antony said in Bishkek (www.hindustantimes.com, July 5). India will also provide English language training to the Kyrgyz army.

Furthermore, India will open a joint Mountain Biomedical Research Center in Tuya Ashu village. The center will host 20 Indian soldiers and conduct research on the mechanism of short term and long term high altitude adaptation, Antony said (www.timesofindia.com, July 6). “We can explore areas for cooperation in research and development in high-altitude base agriculture, plantation, animal husbandry, poultry and food processing that would also help generate rural employment and remove poverty,” the Indian defense minister added.

Kyrgyz President, Roza Otunbayeva, praised the growing cooperation with India, saying that “the new center must become a leader in Kyrgyzstan’s sciences. National professionals will study genetic aspects of the formation and development of mountain diseases.” She also said that the new center is a watershed in the 20-year history of cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and India (www.24.kg, July 5). Overall, however, unlike international media outlets, the Kyrgyz press largely ignored Antony’s visit to Bishkek.

The potential to play a role in post-NATO Afghanistan is the major driving force behind India’s expansion into Central Asia. India has already expressed strong interest in joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which also recently unveiled its new Afghanistan policy. However, one difficulty the SCO faces is maintaining a balanced approach towards India and Pakistan.

For several years the heads of India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan have held observer status with the SCO, while Belarus and Sri Lanka are SCO’s “dialogue partners.” The SCO plays a “constructive and forward looking role in contributing towards peace in Afghanistan,” India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said during the SCO summit in Astana last month (www.hindu.com, June 16).

According to the Indian press, New Delhi has sought to strengthen ties with Kyrgyzstan since the reign of former President Askar Akayev. India’s President A.P.J Abdul Kalam and Akayev met in November 2003 to discuss the possibility of launching a mountain medical center (www.economictimes.com, July 5).

India helped in the construction of the airbase in Ayni, Tajikistan, and is known for its lack of any practical use. New Delhi has also sought to build stronger ties with other Central Asian states on issues other than regional security. The Indian government is also planning to build a pipeline to import gas from Turkmenistan’s Yoloten-Osman field (www.defensenews.com, July 5).

Kyrgyzstan is the only Central Asian state to provide both ground transportation and an airbase for the Northern Distribution Network that supplies the US and NATO campaigns in Afghanistan. The country also hosts a Russian airbase in Kant city. In the past Bishkek had to balance its relations between the United States and Russia. Since the regime change in April 2010, however, Kyrgyzstan has been more receptive to foreign influence. There is no one government body that is responsible for foreign policy decisions. Otunbayeva pursues a more Western leaning policy, while Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev (a potential presidential candidate) favors cooperation with Russia. Individual members of parliament have also boosted ties with various foreign partners – ranging from Washington to Jakarta.

Against this background, India enjoys a special status of being on good terms both with the West and Russia. Any of India’s advances into the Central Asian states might compete mostly with the interests of Pakistan and China. Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy is likely to become more focused after the presidential election scheduled for October 30.

India’s indirect economic impact on Kyrgyzstan and in the wider Central Asian region has expanded mainly due to shuttle traders importing goods from India, as well as student exchange programs. However, despite the geographic proximity between India and Kyrgyzstan, India still remains a much more difficult place to travel to when compared to Russia. For now, there are far more routes connecting Bishkek with Moscow than New Delhi. This is unlikely to change in the coming years.

Maoist Violence in India

State

Year

Incidents

Civilians Killed

Security Forces Killed

Andhra Pradesh

2008

92

45

1

Bihar

2008

164

52

21

Chhattisgarh

2008

620

157

85

Jharkhand

2008

484

169

38

Maharashtra

2008

68

17

5

Madhya Pradesh

2008

7

0

0

Orissa

2008

103

28

73

Uttar Pradesh

2008

4

0

0

West Benga

2008

35

19

7

Others

2008

14

3

1

Andhra Pradesh

2009

66

18

0

Bihar

2009

232

47

25

Chhattisgarh

2009

529

163

127

Jharkhand

2009

742

140

68

Maharashtra

2009

154

41

52

Madhya Pradesh

2009

1

0

0

Orissa

2009

266

36

31

Uttar Pradesh

2009

8

2

0

West Benga

2009

255

144

14

Others

2009

5

0

0

Andhra Pradesh

2010

100

24

0

Bihar

2010

307

72

25

Chhattisgarh

2010

625

171

172

Jharkhand

2010

501

132

25

Maharashtra

2010

94

35

10

Madhya Pradesh

2010

7

0

1

Orissa

2010

218

62

17

Uttar Pradesh

2010

6

1

0

West Benga

2010

350

221

35

Others

2010

4

0

0