August 18, 2017

Finland at "elevated" threat level after Barcelona attack


Finland's Security Intelligence Service (Supo) says the agency has not received any indication which would lead them to believe that Thursday's terror attacks in Spain had any links to individuals in Finland. The agency also says it has not raised Finland's threat assessment level following the attacks.

File photo of crowds alongside the Aura River in Turku during July's Tall Ships Races. Image: Kalle Mäkelä / Yle

Following the terror attacks in Spain on Thursday, the security service Supo said on Friday that Finland's threat assessment level remains at level two, meaning that according to the agency there continues to be an "elevated" risk of a terror attack in the country.

The security agency uses a four-tiered terror threat level assessment scale:

1. Low

2. Elevated

3. High

4. Severe

Pekka Hiltunen, a research specialist at Supo, says the agency uses three main factors in determining the level of danger posed to the country.

"Our assessment of the threat level is always based on three factors: the operative information we have, how radicalised elements view Finland, and current trends in terrorist incidents," Hiltunen explained.

"At the moment we do not see a change which would make it necessary for us to change our overall assessment," he said.

On the other hand - pointing to this week's terror attacks in Spain which claimed 13 lives and injured more than one hundred - Hiltunen says that the threat posed to Europe as a whole remains acute.

He said the terrorists in those incidents were aimed at targets similar to attacks in the recent past; such as places filled with tourists and large public events.

Hiltunen says that Spain has long had a relatively high threat level. In 2004, train bombings in Madrid killed 192 people.

Too early to draw conclusions

"The country has been attacked before. It's also been widely known that threats have been directed towards tourist destinations," he said.

Hiltunen said that people should not be making any far-reaching assumptions about the attacks at this time.

"We still don't know if the [attackers] were from two different groups - where one group's [attempted] attack was triggered by the other attack, or they may have attacked earlier than originally planned. Or they may have been coordinated attacks," he said.

The terror group IS has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Spain, but Hiltunen said that Spanish officials need to complete their investigation before any conclusion that the group was actually behind the attacks

Finnish intelligence warns foreign powers targeting young politicians

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service Supo says foreign powers are intensifying efforts to recruit young Finnish politicians and businesspeople before they reach positions of power. In its 2016 report the agency says that the terror threat has also increased as the flow of jihadi fighters to and from conflict zones stepped up.

Suojelupoliisin päällikkö Antti Pelttari Supon tiedotustilaisuudessa
Supo Director Antti Pelttari Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Finland's Security Intelligence Service, better known as Supo, says in its annual report that Finnish politicians and decision-makers are under pressure from foreign intelligence agencies at ever-younger ages.

Supo only mentions Russia once in the report, at the start, where it says that "especially Russia sees Finland as an interesting intelligence target but also other major powers find our country important".

The agency says young people in Finland in particular are the target of foreign intelligence recruiters, especially those that are expected to rise to prominent positions in commerce and politics.

"This is an example of state-run intelligence activity having long-term horizons," according to the Supo report. Supo noted that it had "been forced to interfere" in the activities of certain intelligence agencies.

In a step-by-step guide to recruiting agents, Supo explains that intelligence officers first carry out a thorough analysis of their needs, after which they select a target with access to information. Next, that person is assessed according to their strengths and weaknesses to determine the likelihood that he or she could be persuaded to work for the benefit of a foreign state. When this stage is completed, they establish contact and build up a friendship, leading to the last phase: recruitment.

Pelttari would not comment on how many cases of this kind there have been in recent years.

"I won't take a position on the details, but it is an on-going operation on the part of intelligence services of foreign governments," he told Yle.

Cyber espionage a major concern

There have been no espionage convictions in Finland for years, nor have any spying investigations been conducted - as far as anyone knows.

Supo's 2016 Yearbook also devotes a chapter to the spread of cyber espionage, noting a "sharp increase" in visible activity against Finland's foreign and security policy, comprehensive espionage priorities and the abuse of Finnish data networks in espionage targeting third countries. The agency says the most observations were linked to the APT28/Sofacy attack, which made no effort to cover its tracks. They say more "key people" are also at risk in Finland of illegitimate intelligence gathering.

The leading newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported more on the Sofacy connection, saying that the report was the first time the Finnish Security Intelligence Service had of its own initiative spoke of Russian cyber espionage directed at Finland.

Sofacy also operates under the names Fancy Bear and Strontium, and the APT28 software Supo names is the same that was found in the US Democratic Party networks in May 2016 ahead of the presidential elections. The emails and voicemails that were retrieved – most of which dealt with the Clinton campaign – were then forwarded to Wikileaks.

Systematic cyber espionage via APT28 has been linked by US intelligence to Russian interference in the elections in the US, along with the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and additional sanctions on Russian intelligence services, says HS.

Terrorist attacks and jihadist fighters

Although there have been no terrorist attacks in Finland, Supo says structures supporting terrorist activity have emerged in Finland, and breaking the links to young potential movers and shakers is one way to prevent this.

The agency reports that over 80 adults and dozens of children travelled to conflict zones in Syria and Iraq in 2016, and this problem too is expected to grow, as jihadist fighters from Finland have given the radical Islamists a better knowledge of Finland. 

A textbook example

The tabloid Iltalehti reports on Friday about one specific incident of targeting, as young Finns Party firebrand Sebastian Tynkkynen responded to a Suomen Kuvalehti story in which he said he was "very aggressively pursued" by Russian intelligence.

He clarified for the tabloid that he never specifically said that the foreign country applying the pressure was Russia, and asked the SK reporter Pekka Ervasti to correct his Thursday story accordingly.

"When I saw the story, I asked that the error be corrected before it was published, but he refused to fix it. I don't know why; perhaps he had such a strong preconceived notion about what country it could be. It feels wrong that he put the words in my mouth," Tynkkynen said.

A former Finns Party youth branch chair, Tynkkynen told SK that he attended an Arctic camp organised by Russia a few years ago.

"We were in Tver [northwest of Moscow], and I was the only participant from Finland. There were plenty of others from Sweden, Norway, the US and Canada. We discussed topics like the future of the Arctic Sea, and the pros and cons of oil drilling in the region," he said.

He would not confirm to Iltalehti if his trip to Russia was connected to the supposed foreign connections he discussed with Supo. He was tight-lipped about the Supo encounter in general, but praised Finland's intelligence agency for the work it does.

"I'm worried about how weak Supo's operational resources are in light of what they could be doing, especially when we know that there have been attempts to influence Finland's youth politics. Supo has done extraordinarily good work for the amount of resources it has," Tynkkynen told the tabloid

Radical Islamic networks have an increasingly strong presence in Finland, Jyri Rantala, the head of communications at the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo), estimates in an interview with Talouselämä.

“We could even say that a ‘jihadist underworld’ is emerging in Finland. These networks have ties to all key terrorist organisations,” he said.

Supo estimates in its official terrorist threat assessment that the risk of an individual attack carried out by a lone-wolf terrorist or a small jihadist organisation has increased in Finland. Rantala reveals that the risk has risen partly as a consequence of the so-called foreign fighter phenomenon, which has contributed to the country’s recognisability among terrorist organisations.

Supo has urged decision-makers to enhance the ability of security authorities to obtain information crucial for preventing possible attacks.An estimated 80 people are believed to have travelled from Finland to conflict-ridden regions in Iraq and Syria, primarily to participate in the hostilities. More than a dozen of them have later returned to Finland, according to Supo.

Rantala reminded on Thursday that while international intelligence co-operation also yields information concerning Finland, activities concerning the country are not the top priority for any other country.

He concedes that in spite of the efforts to combat terrorism, identifying and arresting individual suspects is extremely difficult. The so-called Islamic State, for example, has instructed its sympathisers to resort to measures that do not require painstaking planning or preparations, such as the lorry and knife attacks that have recently occurred around Europe.

*This is June Report,*

Supo raises terror threat level in Finland


Finland remains one of the safest countries in the world despite the heightened terror threat, reminded Antti Pelttari, the director of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo).


The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo) has raised its terror threat level to the second lowest level of elevated.

Supo on Wednesday estimatedthat the threat of a terrorist attack is higher than ever before in Finland due to the country’s increased visibility in jihadist propaganda and the ever-closer ties of counter-terrorism persons of interest to terrorist activities.

The threat, it reminded, continues to be posed primarily by lone-wolf terrorists and small terrorist groups influenced by radical propaganda or larger terrorist organisations.

Supo said it has identified approximately 350 individuals as counter-terrorism persons of interest, a number that represents an increase of roughly 80 per cent since 2012 and that is projected to continue growing as a consequence of radicalisation and the emergence and detection of new terrorist networks.

Such persons of interest are believed to have more direct and serious links to terrorist activities and include a growing number of people who have either participated or expressed a willingness to participate in armed conflicts, or participated in terrorist training.

Supo’s updated threat assessment indicates that some of the people who have left Finland to participate in armed conflicts in Iraq and Syria have risen to influential positions in, especially, the so-called Islamic State.

Supo also revealed that is has become aware of more serious terrorism-related plans and projects in Finland.

Finland’s position has changed substantially, Pekka Hiltunen, a special researcher at Supo, summarised in a press conference according to Helsingin Sanomat.

The country, he pointed out, was previously regarded as neutral and remained relatively unknown among terrorist organisations. Today, however, it is portrayed in jihadist propaganda, which is also disseminated in Finnish, as a country that is hostile towards the so-called Islamic State – a fact that has increased the likelihood of an attack in Finland.

Another factor contributing to the heightened threat level is the fact that terrorist organisations have widened the range of their possible targets. “Efforts are made to direct attacks against all states and groups that are regarded as hostile. This increases the threat of attacks in Finland,” writes Supo.

The new four-tier terrorist threat scale was adopted to reflect the continuing changes in the operating environment of counter-terrorism, told Antti Pelttari, the director of Supo. The new scale, which measures the threat of a terrorist attack on a scale ranging from low to severe, will according to him enable Supo to inform people of the current threat level more clearly than before.

“Finland remains one of the safest countries in the world. We’re doing everything we can to make sure the situation stays unchanged,” he reminded on Wednesday.

Supo issued its previous terrorist threat assessment in November, 2015. It at the time estimated that the threat of an isolated violent attack had increased but that the threat of an organised attack by a terrorist organisation remained low.

August 16, 2017

Number of deals by Chinese companies targeting the Belt and Road countries are 109

The number of deals by Chinese companies targeting the Belt and Road countries are 109 this year.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) by Chinese firms in nations which are part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are rising, even as the Government cracks down on acquisitive conglomerates of China to limit capital outflows.

The acquisitions by Chinese firms in 68 countries that are officially linked to the foreign policy of President Xi Jinping totaled around $33 billion till August 14, exceeding the $31 billion total count for the entire 2016, as per the data by Reuters.

The BRI project, unveiled in 2013, is aimed at creating a modern-day ‘Silk Road’, which connect China by sea and land to Pakistan, Southeast Asia and Central Asia, and further to the Europe, Africa and Middle East. President Xi has pledged around $124 billion for the initiative in May.

The increase in acquisition-linked investment by Chinese companies in the Belt and Road region comes as the size of all outbound M&As from the country has declined 42% year-on-year till August 14, the data showed.

With China’s move to strengthen the currency - Yuan by limiting the capital flow outside the country and to put a stop on the debt-fuelled acquisitions for ensuring financial stability, it has become tough for the buyers to get approvals for outside deals.

The stricter regulatory scrutiny of acquisitions abroad comes after the *Chinese firms spent a whopping $220 billion last year, buying up overseas everything from football clubs to movie studios.*

However, the strict regulatory scrutiny has not affected the pursuit of Chinese companies for acquisitions along the BRI corridor, as these investments are considered as strategic for both the companies and the economy.

*The number of deals by Chinese companies targeting the Belt and Road countries are 109 so far this year, as against 175 in the entire 2016 and 134 in 2015,* according to the data given by Reuters.

*The biggest deal so far this year in a Belt and Road country was the $11.6 billion buyout by a Chinese consortium of the Global Logistics Properties of Singapore.*

August 15, 2017

Spiral into chaos

Muhammad Akbar NotezaiAugust 16, 2017

1he writer is a member of staff.

HISTORICALLY speaking, Balochistan in general and the Baloch community in particular are secular. Even in traditional Baloch society, the mullah is not a revered figure. Instead, he is merely a functional figure. But this is now changing.

There are two dominant forces in the province: the state and the Baloch. The perennial conflict between these two has had dire consequences. Extremism is one of them. During the Afghan war, money was pumped into Balochistan, especially central Baloc­histan, which led to a breakdown of the social fabric. Before, the Baloch were not aware of differences between Shia and Sunni. Today, they are divided on the basis of sect and creed. Wahabism was alien to Balochistan but, largely through preaching activities, it is influencing increasing numbers of people, especially the youth.

While the seeds of extremism in Balochistan were sown during Gen Ziaul Haq’s time, they birthed different forms of extremism in the post Zia-period. Adherents of the Zikri sect, largely settled in Makran, became a target of religious fundamentalists. The Baloch progressive leader Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, whose tribe comprises many Zikris, began to offer prayers during the last years of his life because he feared being labelled Zikri if he did not do so, although he did not belong to the sect.

Then there is the mushroom growth of madressahs and tableeghi activities, which are an extension of religious extremism in the province. This is very dangerous because Balochistan’s population is far smaller than that of the other provinces.

Moreover, communities in Balochistan are disconnected from one another, so much so that development in the society happens at a slow pace. With religious extremism having taken root, people are expected to be more and more compartmentalised. Each and every group’s mosques and followers in the near future will be further compartmentalised. This will inhibit Baloch nationalism, liberalism and social development. In a nutshell, the mindset in the province is becoming stunted, aggressive and intolerant.

The mindset in Balochistan is becoming stunted and intolerant.

This explains extremist attacks against civilians, state installations and security forces. Although sectarianism is not native to Balochistan, today there is not a single district where sectarian groups do not have at least a symbolic presence. Moreover, sectarian groups have also made inroads into some bordering areas of Sindh where Sufism has traditionally held sway, and many sectarian attacks in that province are said to have been planned from Balochistan.

The banned Baloch separatist outfits, reportedly weakened, have been losing ground to sectarian groups. For example, Mastung district, once an epicentre of Baloch separatists, has to some extent been taken over by sectarian groups who are organising themselves under the platform of the militant Islamic State group. The recent killing of 12 IS militants by security forces in Mastung is evidence of this development.

There are two reasons for sectarian groups to have successfully put down roots in Balochistan. Firstly, unlike in the past, political activities in the province have dwindled drastically because of the crackdown on separatist groups that has driven them underground. A space thus opened up for sectarian groups — not least by the involvement of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat in political activities in Quetta and elsewhere in the province.

Secondly, in the 1990s, when Punjab police began ruthlessly targeting sectarian elements in Punjab, many of them fled to Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan where they went into hibernation, only to emerge later as a powerful force. Their resurgence was marked by horrific murders of Hazara Shias in the province. Incidentally, the perception that the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi is a Pakhtun phenomenon, is incorrect: the LJ is predominantly a Baloch phenomenon.

In the past, it was in the secular nature of Baloch society to safeguard minorities’ rights. With the introduction of the madressah culture, this is also changing. Religious minorities have also been kidnapped for ransom by extremist groups. And if their family members failed to pay the ransom, they have also been killed.

Baloch nationalist parties, including the Balochistan National Party-Mengal and National Party, claim to be on one page when it comes to extremist forces. However, it does not seem they can counter them, because Baloch political parties, much like mainstream political parties, revolve around personalities and a few families.

Balochistan’s huge black economy is also a source of funds for extremist outfits. If unchecked by the state, religious extremism in Balochistan can overtake Baloch nationalism, and that will have terrible repercussions. For the extremist groups can pose an even bigger threat to the state because of their transnational agendas.

The writer is a member of staff.

Twitter: @Akbar_notezai

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2017

Every Indian Needs To Fight Hybrid Warfare Waged By Pakistan And China



Raja Rapper, a Pakistani civilian funded and promoted by Pakistan Army to inspire, incite and provoke Kashmiri youth for stone pelting

Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 14 August 2017

Independence Day Special “Hamein Chahiye Azadi… Afzal Ne Bola Azadi… Bandook Ke Dum Par Azadi”, like slogans in Kashmir; “Chor Di Kitabe, Baste Hang on Back, Ab Aa Gayee Teri Baari India Move Your Track”, rapper songs by like Raja Rapstar; “O Kudaya, lauta de Kashmir Dobara“, an Indian film song sung by a Pakistani girl at a function attended by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, going viral on YouTube looks just ordinary feats… characters look civilian, innocent, emotional; but all of them are warriors; waging a war- war against India. Surprised! No infiltration, No bullets fired, No bloodshed, still a potent fight against Indian Military, Indian State. You are just peeping into the Hybrid WarfareOn thisIndependence Day, every Indian must pledge to fight the hybrid war waged by the enemies of the State.

A snippet of song uploaded on YouTube by a Pakistani agency. The song is from Indian Malayali Film “Keerthi-
Chakra” but was used against India by exploiting emotions in PoK

Today, wars no longer are fought in military domain alone. Year 2008 was the landmark when Pakistan strategically shifted its goal post to attain maximum military goals. Pakistan realized that Indian armed forces have tightened the noose along the border. Establishing an effective counter infiltration grid along (Line of Control) LoC fencing suddenly forced Pakistan to change its war game tactics.

November 2008/ Mumbai terror attack- mayhem in Mumbai resulted into a psychological war reaching the drawing room of every Indian household. It was the same year when Hurriyat allegedly started paying ISI money to Kashmiri youths to throw stone at forces. Stone pelting turned out to be a far potent weapon against Indian military and police. Indian state would often play at the hands of these stone pelters, who have become a uniting anti-national force to reckon with.

Lt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain, Former GOC 15 and 21 Corps, Indian Army

“Stone throwing started purely as a measure against Government establishment. Now you see from where it has gone to, to what level it has come. Today, stone throwing is taking place at funerals, as happened at the funeral of Umar Fayyaz. It’s happening at encounter sites. It is happening on military vehicles, so that the military is forced to respond in out of proportion (hinting at Major Leetul Gogoi jeep incident). So, it is a plan. It’s an overall strategy which is being used”, says Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata HasnainLt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain, Former GOC 15 and 21 Corps, Indian Army.

”It’s always some incident that triggers it. But those incidents are only triggers. There is something more underlying, something much more fundamental”, says S. Kalyanaraman, Research Fellow, IDSA.

Deception is the crux of what Pakistan is trying to do in Kashmir intensifying what Russia has done in Ukrain by first fomenting trouble in Ukraine; follow it up by sending in Special Forces troops in the guise of volunteer militiamen who took over key locations, declare independence through a popular uprising, move in regular troops while engaging in war rhetoric and then formally annex the area occupied. All this took place in the backdrop of an aggressive information campaign carried out in the cyber space as well as on international TV. Annexation of Crimea was carried out without even a formal declaration of war. Russia denied its involvement till the very end even in the face of mounting evidence.

Lt. Gen. Arun Kumar Sahni, Former Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army

“How did these new disruptions were utilized in the hybrid warfare is the term which Russian used when they did operation in Cremia. They call it co- linear war (non- linear). What is co-linear war? They work in the asymmetric domain and they also worked in the conventional domain.  And they use both these to supplement and synergize the effect that you had on the people whom you had to address, which was basically the political masters in Ukraine and the developed world to get what they wanted to get”, explains Lt. Gen. Arun Kumar Sahni, Former Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army.

“In hybrid warfare, what is important is that you can deny. There is a factor of deniability; also there is a factor of ambiguity. That means you’re not very sure whether it was Pakistan army or they were private citizens that were raiding in J&K”, elaborates Maj Gen (R), RPS Bhadauria.

Major General (R) RPS Bhadauria, Research Fellow, USI

A very small nation or just a select band of people, just a few non-state actor can actually bring another state to its knees through hybrid warfare mixing and matching conventional domain with unconventional domain. Adopting hybrid means it prevents a nation from carrying out its normal tasks of meeting the aspirations of the people. Pakistan is a past master at hybrid warfare. This invariably happens when a nation is smaller and it’s got a larger adversary. In 1977, when General Zia-ul-Haq came to power, he realized it is not possible to fight India on the conventional battlefield; The only way to fight India and try and defeat it and bring it to its knees is to fight through what is called a thousand cut.

Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain bring to the fore the point, “Those thousand cuts are not necessarily military thousand cuts. Those thousands cuts are in different domains. General Zia was particularly very fortunate that he managed to get the ISI deeply involved in the operations in Afghanistan, that is where all the experience came from Afghanistan. And Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, Pakistan army, Pakistan’s Inter- Services Public Relations, the ISPR– all have been able to synchronize together; And bring heavy warfare to the fore. They are, I would say one of the, probably the highest achieving army or highest achieving security establishment in the world in the domain of Hybrid Warfare”.

“And Pakistan’s ISI can be stated as one of the best intelligence organizations we have in the world. I think, if you look at it in terms of both- in terms of effects as well as in terms of results, possibly ISI has achieved very high results in comparison to the best organization; and definitely all the Pakistan thrives on hybrid warfare”: Maj Gen (R) PK Chakravorty, Strategic Analyst.

Hybrid Warfare unlike conventional warfare does not operate under the ambit of operational cycles. Instead, it generally follows a four-stage process, gradually increasing in intensity and visibility- i) Political Subversion, ii) Proxy Sanctum, iii) Intervention, iv) Coercive Deterrence.

Political Subversion is to set the stage, generally covert and low intensity in nature. Local grievances are played up and orchestrated, low level violence is perpetrated forcing local Government to make mistakes. These errors are played up in the local and international media to further undermine credibility. Use of pellet guns, using a local resident as human shield as a fall out of stone pelting incidents in Kashmir is glaring example of political subversion.

To force authorities take unusual steps are part of the hybrid warfare

Proxy Sanctum is alternate sanctuary. Pockets of influence created during subversion are consolidated using proxies like anti-social elements or through specially trained Special Forces personnel within the target area. The aim is to secure important locations like airports, radio and TV stations, Government buildings, etc. The intensity of conflict will generally depend on the reaction of the target state although the attacking state would like to keep it as low as possible while maintaining deniability. Incidents of infiltration and insertion of terrorists in Indian territory is another example of proxy sanctum.

Intervention is the stage where the attacker becomes more overtly involved in the conflict. In this stage, the troops of the attacking country will move into the target country and engage its forces in active combat. The kinetic means will be accompanied by non-kinetic means like cyber attacks, propaganda and the likes. The aim of this stage would be to take over as much territory, particularly the important cities, in order to claim legitimacy and set the scene for the next stage. Kargil war can signify this stage.

CRPF Jawans harassed by Pakistan funded Kashmiri youths. The whole move was to provoke CRPF to fire bullets. But CRPF jawans dealt with the situation meticulously.

Coercive Deterrence is the stage where the attacker’s actions are overt and the intensity of violence is at its highest. During this stage,the affected nations would be in a state of war and there would be a possibility of big power intervention on behalf of the target country. In this phase, the attacker would like to present a state of ‘fait accompli’. While the attacker would indulge in sabre rattling, it would also call for a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement – thus, buying time to install a pliable regime. In certain cases, formal annexation of the area may also be declared, as happened in the case of Crimea.

It is not just Pakistan waging hybrid war against India. In Kashmir, there is collusive hybrid threat of both Pakistan and China; however with lower Chinese footprints. But, it is by and large Beijing mind behind the deceptive hybrid war waged against India by the Pakistan given the border dispute and strategic significance of Siachen to both China and Pakistan.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) built as part of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) Project to connect Gwadar port in Baluchistan with Xinjiang province of China is a strategic project to facilitate Chinese entry into Indian Ocean in the garb of economic connectivity. The project runs through Gilgit- Baltistan, an area in Pakistan Occupied Indian Kashmir. Natives of Balochistan don’t want the project. There is uproar against the project in Gilgit Baltistan too. Strategic experts believe that Gwadar is a strategic hybrid asset and will become a Chinese PLA Navy base. That is the reason why China offering naval ships and submarines to Pakistan to be deployed at the base with creation of special marine units. Pakistanis themselves raised a force with 15,000 troops to protect CPEC. The ultimate aim of China is to gain territory without any direct military combat operation.

Lt Gen PK Singh, Director, United Service Institution of India

“I argue that CPEC will destabilize Pakistan because Pakistan will not be able to repay the loan. As per the Pakistanis themselves, they require to repay back 90 billion US dollars in the next 30 years; from where will Pakistan bring this money and if it can’t repay then what will they give to the party – Chinese? They will give the ownership of places like Gwadar or those special economic zones”, says Lt Gen PK Singh, Director, United Service Institution of India.

Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain throws more light, “2011 is the first time, I think, we heard reports of Chinese personnel in PoK and Gilgit Balistan; 11,000 of them working together on the Karakoram highway and the potential CPEC, which was coming up at that time. Yes when you invest 46 billion, now it has come to 50 billion almost in a project, you are going to try and keep it secure. China is attempting to do that. They are definitely sending in their engineers and others; but at the same time they’re sending in their soldiers to protect because you must remember that China has also got a problem back home in Xinjiang, where they ‘ve got a large Muslim population and that population isn’t too happy with what is happening inside Pakistan either”.

Kubhushan Jadhav alleged RAW Spy is a victim of Hybrid Warfare

Kulbhushan Jadhav, the alleged RAW spy case is a glaring example of hybrid warfare. Pakistan has allegedly picked him up from Iran and shown to have arrested from Gwadar. A video of alleged confession was released followed by execution and subsequent legal case in ICJ.

Lt Gen PK Singh explains, “I think it’s a part of psychological warfare also. It is to tell  the world that India is interfering in Balochistan. So they want a narrative for that and that is why they don’t want this man to come out openly. Otherwise, they should have said we will have a trial in International Tribunal to try him. Why not? Why don’t they give the consular access? Why don’t they say where did you get him from? So they’re trying to use this to say that India is meddling in the internal affairs to that extent that it fits into their, as I said what is hybrid warfare, all elements of national power. So they are trying to say this is our national power and we can squeeze the Indians somewhere”.

Even if India wins the case in ICJ, Pakistan will not execute the ICJ verdict forcing ICJ to report it to UN where China in collusion will veto against India. So, both Pakistan and China are fully prepared to wage Hybrid Warfare through media and legal front.

“So there are linkages, deep linkages by which the Chinese presence in Pakistan itself is very very vulnerable and.. China is… Pakistan itself reportedly has raised a light division worth of troops to actually protect the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. As you go along in the future you will find that the Balochistan is going to probably emerge as one of the very contentious areas. If we have  got our things right, I think we should ensure that what is happening in Kashmir, if  things continue to get raked up like this by Pakistan, we must ensure that we put the pressure back on Pakistan by doing the same what they’re doing here in Balochistan; and the potential is all there. So, I think this is the season of hybrid warfare. Hybrid warfare has to be fought with Hyrid Warfare. You can’t fight Hybrid while being Conventional”, remarks Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain.

Chinese private security companies are now global tools of hybrid warfare as their is deniability and disowning by Government to private individuals (Picture Courtesy: Reuters)

China has added another dimension to Hybrid Warfare by giving birth to private army of retired PLA soldiers as it’s first company De Wei sets up operations in Sudan. The logic is the same. Overseas private contractors are convenient with no political liability and deniable. But they and the military are in reality two sides of the same coin. No one can deny in future the same would be extensively deployed in Balochistan and PoK.

Kalyanaraman, Research Fellow, IDSA says, “Chinese support for Pakistan is increasing; we see that. Earlier there has been only nuclear missiles only. Since 1980s, 90s, conventional weapons transfer have increased. Fifty per cent or more of China’s exports- arms exports, conventional arms exports go to Pakistan. So, if there would be a change in Chinese position, diplomatic position on Kashmir, then that’s something to be taken care of. We need to take note of it and prepare ourselves. So it doesn’t make sense to deal with two adversaries at the same time. You need to separate the two at least minimize the amount quantum of support that China would give to Pakistan”.

China waged hybrid war against America. The 9/11 attack was allegedly the handiwork of Chinese PLA.

At the one hand China is using Pakistan as an instrument of asymmetric war against India. On the other hand, China is silently invading Pakistan culturally. The aim is to gain indicrect control of Pakistan by turning it into it’s colony. China calls Hybrid Warfare as Unrestricted Warfare. Two senior colonel of People’s Liberation Army, Liang Qiao and Wang Xiangsui, advocated attack on US Twin Tower at least two and half year before the actual attack. They even talked about using Osama bin Laden to perpetrate the attack on US soil in their book Unrestricted Warfare published by PLA Literature &Arts Publishing House. They talked about using asymmetric means to take on the bigger enemy operating a substantially large military. For its rise, China devised Science of War strategy to use asymmetric means instead of directly involving itself in any spat with its adversaries. China’s hybrid domains include media, legal and cyber space. China aims to dominate the world through use of electronics. To achieve this, in December 2015, China announced creation of PLA Strategic Support Force, which will focus on space and cyber domains. This is clear indication that strategic priorities of the PLA have shifted to information-based joint warfare with emphasis on technology while being able to fight the full spectrum of conflicts from irregular to strategic warfare.

Lt. Gen. Arun Kumar Sahni: “So you have information warfare, which is technical and you have information warfare, which is psychological. So when you look at these two aspects, you are utilizing the asymmetric or disruptive mediums to achieve what you have to and that is to set the pace and attack the mind of the commander that is what the whole story of psychological warfare is. So today if you see the changes that will happen whether you look at Taiwan, you look at China, you look at Soviet Union and similarly in the US, you already started raising Special Forces and special commands, which are addressing the issues of this asymmetric domain of that cyber is a very key component”.

In 2015, India faced 36 major critical cyber attacks meaning every 15 days there were some aspects which were impacted either in banking system, air traffic system, rail reservation system or hacking into critical component of civil offices. This year in May, India becomes world’s 3rdworst hit country affected by the wanna cryransomwareattack. The latest ransomware targets computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin crypto-currency.

Lt Gen PK Singh gives historical perspective, “Today we are talking of cyber. But, in the second World War, we were looking at radio communicatio; we were intercepting that; we were breaking codes- Morse codes. Today you’re breaking cyber codes, the medium has changed but to say that it was not there earlier we are doing it now, the medium is changed, the space has changed and more importantly today the number of people who can do this is much more. Anybody can hack, you and I can hack, the state can hack and the deniability is there”.

Information and cyber warfare are the essential tools of hybrid warfare waged by twin terrorists Pakistan and China

Lt. Gen. Arun Kumar Sahniemphasizes the need of tackling cyber threats,  “Make in India components with Prime Minister saying is extremely important in the area of your cyber security. Today, you need to have capacities in an area where you are communicating across sectors, sub sectors, seamless integration, you are talking about Artificial Intelligence; you need to have the capacity to be able to manufacture it yourself. When you manufacture it then you control the process of embedded hardware and software that are there. I think this is an area of extreme concern”.

Drugs, Criminal Networks and Insurgency are other constituents of hybrid warfare. According to sources, there is a connection between Pakistan and Punjab’s Drug problem.

Not only drugs but crime and insurgency are hybrid threats in Punjab. Every year, Rupees 6,500 crore worth of heroin is smuggled into Punjab. According to a research a total of 1.2 crore people suffer from Pakistan’s silent killer drugs. In 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, Dawood’s D company drug network was used by Pak’s ISI soon after the Babri mosque demolition.

Maj Gen (R), RPS Bhadauriahighlights, “So, the ISI contacted them. This network was used to plant bombs at seven – eight places and almost 250 people died, 700 injured. So Pakistan could attain the kind of results that they wanted by using the criminals. This is not the only example. Another example is in 2004, in Spain, what we call as Madrid train blast, there also these drug smugglers were used. That network was used by al- Qaeda to carry out the bombings of the train”.

There is another strong connect between what is happening at LoC and Arunachal Pradesh. In 2016, when temperature on LOC was very high, there were three blasts in Arunachal Pradesh. This was a Chinese message to cool down temperature on LOC. Similarly during Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit, China raised huge protest and threatened India. And within a few days of visit there were naxal attacks on CRPF in Chhatisgarh and China renamed six places in Arunachal Pradesh. There are strong evidences that China is involved in insurgency in India’s North East. Not only this, China exploits the local sentiments using the stark contrast in development between Indian side and Chinese side of LAC. At these places, the adversary may not go for outright annexation but may try to create instability. The Pan Naga Movement in the border areas of Nagaland and Manipur can be leveraged by the adversary to create instability. With ever rising stakes in the Indian Ocean Region, our island territories can be prone to such attacks and this should be factored into our security calculus.

Maj Gen (R), RPS Bhadauria: “Together in terms of Hybrid warfare, we will find there is a nice connect between what is happening in J&K, what is happening in North East and in Maoist affected area”.

What should be India’s response against Pakistan and China’s hybrid wars. India has to fight Hybrid War with Hybrid Warfare only. There is no other way out. For concerted efforts, India needs a comprehensive and consolidated ‘National Military Strategy’ to meet multi- front challenges.

Hybrid warfare has no front and is a combination of all elements of national power. India is still evolving its National Military Strategy. No doubt, India’s upcoming National Military Strategy is to be influenced by Kautilya’s Arthashastra.

India devising National Security Strategy to deal with hybrid Warfare: General Rawat (file pic)

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army sometime back at a book release function at USI said, “While we do not have ‘National Military Strategy’ (NMS) as of now, but the Directorate General of Perspective Planning (DGPP) has been tasked to come out with one. We are also coming out with the National Security Strategy (NSS), which will be given to the Government; And based on that we will be evolving our National Military Strategy. Both these drafts documents are ready and hopefully, we will be releasing them very soon”.  

Kautilya/ Chankya in Arthshastra mentioned of four types of dangers to a state: That which is of external origin and of external abetment; that which is of internal origin and of internal abetment; that which is of internal origin and of external abetment; and that which is of external origin and of internal abetment. In the Arthashashtra, Apratyaksha Yudh- the indirect or invisible wars have been elaborated. In fact, no attack by the Mauryan state was launched without first destabilizing the balance of opposing power.

Lt Gen PK Singh explains further, “the use of force is the last. He says that the King must solve all his problems, if nothing else works then use his powers. Similarly when he says Sam, dand, bhed; dand is the last part. So he is trying to say, solve the problems, but all of these… the nation must be able to use its power combined. Did he not talk about what you would call spying, getting intelligence that has been done by all. You could not fight a war without knowing what your adversary is planning to the best of your ability. So you send out people to gather that intelligence”.

Hybrid war can’t be fought in military domain alone but all the departments of government must have a full understanding of what is Hybrid Warfare and be prepared to fight it through every single domain available. The very same way ISI has fought India physically through the sponsorship of terrorists, infiltration along with finances through hawala, they are also using social media to bring psychological warfare against Indian population particularly against the Kashmiri population. India has been countering it in the military domain by killing terrorists. In the valley, there may not be more than 250 to 300 terrorists. India need to ensure that the governance continues, the finance network of terrorists devastated; social media networks impinging on the minds of the Kashmiri population are neutralized. At the same time India should have sufficient amount of material and text to be able to take the battle of the social media to the other side to influence the Pakistani population or to influence the population in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

S Kalyanaraman, Research Fellow, IDSA

Kalyanaraman says, “ensure that the idea of Kashmiri Nationalism comes closer to the idea of Indian Nationalism. Now we need to do things to keep us together; it cannot be done only by force. It has to be done by the Power of Attraction, Soft Power

“You have an organization called the ‘Unified Command’ in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). I think it’s a tailor-made organization to counter Hybrid Warfare. Because it’s an organization in which all the organs of the state, all the domains meet together. That’s the place where they can understand, probably create more doctrines, more guidelines, rules of engagement, and sensitize everyone on what exactly are the intentions of Pakistan and what it is attempting to do”.

“For example, the subversion going on in south Kashmir at the moment, right, the subversion against the government servants which is going on at the moment, they need to be protected. We need to protect our people who are going on leave; we need to protect our Jammu and Kashmir police in a very-very big way because the whole attempt of Pakistan at the moment is to subvert the Jammu and Kashmir Police, which is found to be one of the very important elements in this entire game in which the joint-ness of the Jammu and Kashmir Police along with the Indian Army is actually a game changer in the entire thing”.

So, I think, as I said before, it is education, awareness, knowledge and training these are the very- very essential things before we take on anything else in terms of Hybrid Warfare”, elaborates Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain.  

The psychological impact, Prime Minister Modi’s 2 minutes speech on Balochistan from rampart of red fort in August 2016 created on Pakistan shows that India can also leverage the faultlines of Pakistan, if Pakistan continues to meddle in Kashmir.

“If we are ultimately serious about it, I can assure you that the Indian brain can be very- very wily. It can be as notorious as any other brain in the world; and I think sometimes it is important to send home that message to your adversaries that do not consider us to be a benign power, which only believes in the use of soft power. The messaging must be very clear. This is a part of Hybrid Warfare where the messaging content has to be clear to tell your adversity that up to this point that we can take it; This is the threshold, beyond this, we will respond and we will respond very strongly”, Lt. Gen (R) Syed Ata Hasnain explains further.

Terror Camps in Pakistan are the source of Hybrid Warfare

Training of terrorists in terror camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and terrorists’ insertion through launch pads on the line of control requires hybrid military response. Experts believe that weapons like Brahmos Cruise Missiles should be used to tackle this hybrid threat.

Maj Gen (R) PK Chakravorty explains “They have proved their worth on 3rd May beautifully. On 3rd May, they hit a target at 270 kilometers in Andamans. So, what is the problem. We can take on all the launch pads. There is no problem at all. And Pakistan wishes to retaliate so be it. We have no launch pads on our sides. I certainly feel this is a very strong response. This could be a true surgical strike”.  

Hybrid war is not against the military alone, it is not directed against the Government too; in reality it is the people who are subjected to Hybrid Warfare. If you are reading this, then as a citizen state you must be prepared to respond to Hybrid Wars wage by the enemies of the nation, irrespective of who you are, what you do.

(Special thanks to Lt. Col Samir Srivastava (replicated some incidents in this article from his original  input), CLAWS and (not to name) a serving Brigadier of Indian Army)

Best picture of the day

Best picture of the day.

The Spirit of India.
Mizanur Rehman, Principal, Primary School, Nosara, Dhubri Dt. Assam.

August 14, 2017

Friendship with China the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy: Ambassador

Friendship with China the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy: Ambassador

Masood Khalid, Pakistani ambassador to China Photo: Li Hao/GT

Editor's Note:

Monday marks Pakistan's 70th anniversary. And China and Pakistan have enjoyed a strong relationship for more than 65 of those years. Global Times (GT) reporter Wang Bozun spoke to the Pakistani Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid, ahead of the celebration to discuss the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and bilateral relations.

GT: Security issues have always been considered major challenges to implementing the CPEC. What security measures have the Pakistani government taken? 

Khalid: Roughly 30,000 Chinese work in Pakistan. It's the responsibility of the Pakistani government to provide requisite security protection. As such, the Pakistani government has raised a special force including more than 15,000 soldiers who provide security to Chinese working on CPEC projects throughout Pakistan. In addition, our four provinces are raising their own protection forces. As said, we will continue to do our bit and make security improvements. At large, I think Pakistan's security situation has improved.

In the last two years, we have cracked down on terrorism, militants and their outlets in Pakistan to a great extent. If you look at the figures, you will find terrorist incidents in Pakistan have been considerably reduced.

GT: Besides security issues, what other challenges are there?

Khalid: All mega-projects face challenges. Challenges come naturally. The Belt and Road initiative is a big initiative involving nearly a hundred countries and has to pass through many different countries, territories, cultures, systems, economies and taxation regimes. These could be considered challenges. 

But I think the larger picture should be kept in mind: This initiative is for the greater good of humanity of the global community and of the participating countries. 

There are similar challenges with the CPEC. In 2013, when Premier Li Keqiang visited Pakistan, both countries decided to launch the CPEC. 

But after that, both sides had to undergo long sessions with experts and officials, which took about two years in order to reach consensus. We discussed how to implement the plan, how to finance it and how to translate it into reality … You can say this was challenging. 

Principally, we divided the corridor into four main cooperation areas: energy, infrastructure, Gwadar Port development and industrial park and economic zone establishment. Alongside, we also worked on educational and cultural corridors to promote people-to-people connection.

GT: We have heard there are debates in Pakistan regarding which provinces should participate in the CPEC and how it should be implemented. Can you talk about these debates?

Khalid: Debate is a natural thing in the democratic and political system we have in Pakistan. But I don't think it's a cause for concern. 

There are provinces which need development more than others, such as Balochistan, so they are keen on the benefits of the project. But all provinces will benefit.

GT: Pakistan has just elected a new prime minister. In your opinion, how might the leadership change impact CPEC and China-Pakistan relations?

Khalid: There is no change in policy. There is a new prime minister, but the Pakistan Muslim League is the same ruling party. The new PM has clearly stated that the projects will continue and increase. So there is no doubt or ambiguity on that account.

GT: More Chinese companies are becoming interested in making investments in Pakistan. What is the size of the investments, and what sectors are firms most interested in? 

Khalid: A figure released last year in Pakistan showed Chinese investment in 2016 was more than $1.8 billion, which will continue to grow. 

But if you put everything together, the cumulative investment figure crosses more than $50 billion, but this depends on when projects start and finish. Currently, projects starting in different sectors could be worth around $45 billion. 

Their investments are primarily in energy and infrastructure. But now, there is a trend of small and medium-sized Chinese enterprises in textile, cement, energy and food sectors emerging in Pakistan - we offer a good market for these areas.

GT: What advice do you have for those companies?

Khalid: I would like to advise that they seriously look at Pakistan's entire market potential. 

Firstly, consider our geographical location of being near the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. 

The concept behind the CPEC is linking Gwadar with Kashgar, enabling Chinese exports to go straight through Pakistan to Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa and with lower cost and shorter time. 

Secondly, Pakistan is rich in natural resources, which remain untapped. Labor is at low cost and more Pakistanis are learning Chinese. 

Also, incentives, facilities and tax exemptions are granted by the Pakistani government to foreign investors. 

If you combine these factors, I think Pakistan offers good business environments for Chinese.

GT: There has been an increasingly popular buzzword, "Batie," which describes the unique relationship between China and Pakistan. What do you think of this Chinese expression? 

Khalid: This is a beautiful word. Friendship with China is the cornerstone of our foreign policy. We are close friends, strategic partners, and this friendship has evolved over the last 65 years. In fact, our cooperation is growing, which is a positive sign for the two countries.

There is mutual respect and mutual interest. We believe that our friendship is true, selfless and kind and has withstood the test of both good and bad times.

For example, in 2005, Pakistan was hit by a big earthquake. Subsequently, freights appeared from China to give help and assistance. After the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, Pakistanis and the government helped our Chinese friends.  

These examples signify that, if China is in need, Pakistan is there to help in whatever way we can, and vice versa. 

So I truly respect the definition of "Batie," it means "iron friend." I think we have established a good foundation for our bilateral relations. Our friendship will grow as we move along.

Photo: Coutesy of the Embassy of Pakistan

GT: What message would you like to send to China on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Pakistan?

Khalid: The 70th anniversary is important to Pakistan. It's a developing country and has faced many challenges, but it has overcome past challenges successfully. 

We highly value our relationship with our friends. Pakistan and China serve for regional peace and stability. We welcome our Chinese guests on this occasion and a strong message of unity will be sent to the world.

GT: Some Indian media outlets have published a map of China that excluded Tibet and Taiwan and also suggested that China is working with Pakistan to corner India. What is your comment on that? 

Khalid: We also suffer from this mischief by the Indian media from time to time, it's unfortunate. 

I think the entire world recognizes Taiwan and Tibet are part of China. I don't think stirring controversy is the right approach because this causes instability within bilateral relations and also in the region. 

The Pakistan-China relationship is not against anyone; it is for peace, progress, stability and regional development. Peaceful co-existence is our mutual policy. But if a neighbor is aggressive, we, as sovereign states, must defend our territories

Chinese Military Toppling Jinping? Is PLA Plotting Coup?

Though this news has nothing to do with Doklam military standoff between Indian and China; the news, if it really possess even faction of truth, then it has potential to shake word politics and economy in a single stroke. Since Xi Jinping's reached at the helm of Chinese leadership in March 2013, there are rumors of coup against him. But all news died the natural death lacking any substantial proof and secured no space in media circle. But his time the news came out with minute details with persons involved in the affairs and many in Delhi media circle have personally confirmed the happenings.

The whole set of chain of incidences set in motion in May last week when two Chinese businessmen arrived in New Delhi separately on business assignments as per their Visa details. They were supposed to meet CII and FICCI officials to discuss investment options in Karnataka and Haryana. Both businessmen arrived on different dates and through different routes. But reached at same 7- Star Hotel in India's nationa capital within just 12 hours gap. They had suits booked in the name of Indian citizens but their suits were adjacent to each other. 

After arriving in New Delhi, they didn't tried to meet CII or FICCI officials, neither they sought appointment of any business personality or anyone from corparate circles. Then what did they do in New Delhi?

Interestingly one businessman booked SUV through hotel staff and went to 2 star hotel in South Delhi where he met Captain Marco Terrinoni, Italian defense attaché in New Delhi. Both had lunch together and they were together for about 3 hours. Later Chinese businessman left the hotel and Itlaian defense attache checked out of hotel only to check in to another hotel nearby. This time Italian man booked 3 Star hotel and another Chinese businessman arrived in that hotel by 5.00 pm. Both had dinner together and Chinese businessman left the hotel by 11.30 pm. Immediately Italian defense attache checked out the hotel and reached Italian Embassy.

Next day Captain Terrinoni met both Chinese businessmen together at hotel suit booked by Italian man on business trip in India. The whole cycle of meetings continued for 5 days and Italian Captain Terrinoni met both Chinese businessmen for hours in total 9 sessions; sometimes both Chinese were at meeting and sometimes one by one. 

As a result of repeated meetings between Italian defense attache and Chinese businessmen, RAW agents got activated on third day and started following them, only to get shocked! the RAW came to know that both travelling Chinese businessmen were acting as interlocutor for top Chinese Army commanders i.e.PLA commanders.

On last day of the meeting Captain Terrinoni arranged their meeting with US defense attache in New Delhi Brigadier David E Brigham. But it is still couldn't be confirmed whether Brig. Brigham personally met Chinese or his trusted aid in embassy had dialogue with Chinese businessmen.

The whole exercise, as per RAW report filed to RAW secretory in PMO is solely aimed at judging US reaction to possible military coup against Xi Jinping by PLA commanders. During their meeting, Chinese were repeatedly asking US defense attache, whether Trump admistration would acknowledge new Chinese government where military commander would be head of the state replacing Communist Party leader; sources privy to the issue said in New Delhi.

RAW officers are not in a position to guess whether Communists Party leaders are with PLA commanders in coup attempt or not.

The incidence are bound to raise many serious questions in diplomatic and media circles, 

1) Why they choose New Delhi for meeting US defense attache? 

2) Whether Indian Government had knowledge about this meeting?

3) Whether Indian Government arranged this meeting?

4) Diplomatic fallouts of this meeting on India- China relations,

5) Whether Doklam Standoff was started by China to intimidate India after it came to know about this meetings in New Delhi?

6) Whether these meetings were jointly organised by Trump- Modi with tacit understanding?

We have to wait for answers to these questions till next Wikileaks Revealations!

One thing is very much clear Doklam Standoff is not isolated incidence but it has totally different background than to squatting attempt by China, as painted in media....