The external section of ISI which reported to DG – ISI routinely executed plans of Army General A Kiyani and trained a few dozen Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) militants near Mangla Dam (close to Islamabad). And guess what : PAKISTAN'S SSG COMMANDO UNIT IS BASED THERE. And I wrote on Nov 27th, that SSG Commando trained terrorists were involved in Mumbai attacks.
Ever since A Kiani took on the reigns of the Pakistani military, the LOC firings have increased. My friends in the INDIAN ARMY tell me that they view Kiyani as someone who is "quiet" but "quite ballsy". In fact, some captured Pakistani terrorists have eulogized Kiyani for being an excellent teacher and motivator.
Strategy wise - this bore all the hallmarks of a Kiyani operation. The bombing of Indian embassy in Kabul was his operation and as is the Mumbai "operation."
The PNS Iqbal – a naval commando unit in Karachi – was the main outlet of militants to be given training and through deserted points they were launched into the Arabian sea and on into the Indian region of Gujarat.
In a major reshuffle of ISI a couple of months back the Director of External wing was changed placing the "game" in the hands of a low level ISI forward section head (a major) and the LeT's commander in chief - ZAKIUR RAHMAN. (Wow!)
Zakiur was personally in Karachi to oversee the operation. Zaikur and ISI’s forward section in Karachi approved of the plan under which more than 10 men took Mumbai hostage for nearly 3 days and successfully established a reign of terror. Satellite phone records show this "gang" was in touch with Muzammil alias Yusuf who is incharge of Lashkar’s anti-India operations.
Times of India is stating: "It is, however, rare for Zakiur Rahman,aka Zaki-ur-Rahman Lahkvi, a veteran jihadi who is fondly called ‘chachu’ by the gang, to get into the frame himself. That he made an exception to get in touch with the jihadis he despatched to Mumbai speaks of the importance that Lashkar gave to the operation."
Core training was overseen by Abdur Rahman, ex soldier, popularly known as “Chacha”. Is he same as Zakiur Rahman - called "Chachu"?
A couple of other tell tale signs that gave away the Pakistani connection:
1. GPS with time stamps and Satellite phone conversations from recovered phone.
2. The Deccan Mujahiddeen mail was sent from Pakistan. Actually the "complexity" of sending this mail gave it away. Mails were routed through Russian servers and it took the best US NSA technicians to trace the path to the original source - not at all an easy task.
The attack, started by ISI and fine tuned by Al-Qaeda, had two major motives:
1. Racheting up India-Pakistan tensions, so that Pakistan Army leaves the Islamists that it has to attack under watchful US eyes on the Afghan border, and move to Indian borders – where it has calculated that India is not in a position for going in for an all out war and
2. Deter India from participating in NATO plans in Afghanistan.
Pakistan harbours deep misgivings of the incoming Obama administration’s Afghan policy. Obama has dropped enough hints that he will get tough with the Pakistani military for its twin-track policy of fighting the war and at the same time harnessing the Taliban as the charioteer of its geopolitical influence in Afghanistan.
I have written earlier, the Taliban is now embedded with Pakistani soldiers – and for all practical purposes one can look at Taliban as another regiment of the Pakistan Army.
What is more disconcerting for Pakistan is the exit strategy of Obama. He wishes to rapidly build up a 134,000 strong Afghan national army. This will certainly be led by ethnic Tajik officers – at presest Tajiks constitute ¾ of Afghan army’s officer corps. Tajik nationalism challenges Pakistani aspirations to control Afghanistan.
Former Pakistani foreign secretary Najmuddin Sheikh recently pointed out, “Obama’s Afghan policy would in fact be the realization of Pakistan’s worst security fears.”
Given this, the ISI, in conjunction with its children (the terror groups) gave Mumbai a knock. And we are to believe that Gen Kiyani was not aware of this plot ??
STRATFOR IS COMMENTING: Given that the Pakistani government is incapable of exercising control in its own country, and given that Pakistan now represents a threat to both U.S. and Indian national security, the Indians might suggest a joint operation with the Americans against Pakistan.
What that joint operation might entail is uncertain, but regardless, this is something that Rice would reject out of hand and that Obama would reject in January 2009. Pakistan has a huge population and nuclear weapons, and the last thing Bush or Obama wants is to practice nation-building in Pakistan. The Indians, of course, will anticipate this response. The truth is that New Delhi itself does not want to engage deep in Pakistan to strike at militant training camps and other Islamist sites. That would be a nightmare. But if Rice shows up with a request for Indian restraint and no concrete proposal — or willingness to entertain a proposal — for solving the Pakistani problem, India will be able to refuse on the grounds that the Americans are asking India to absorb a risk (more Mumbai-style attacks) without the United States’ willingness to share in the risk.
That will set the stage for another Indo-Pakistani confrontation. India will push forces forward all along the Indo-Pakistani frontier, move its nuclear forces to an alert level, begin shelling Pakistan, and perhaps — given the seriousness of the situation — attack short distances into Pakistan and even carry out airstrikes deep in Pakistan. India will demand greater transparency for New Delhi in Pakistani intelligence operations. The Indians will not want to occupy Pakistan; they will want to occupy Pakistan’s security apparatus.
Naturally, the Pakistanis will refuse that. There is no way they can give India, their main adversary, insight into Pakistani intelligence operations. But without that access, India has no reason to trust Pakistan. This will leave the Indians in an odd position: They will be in a near-war posture, but will have made no demands of Pakistan that Islamabad can reasonably deliver and that would benefit India. In one sense, India will be gesturing. In another sense, India will be trapped by making a gesture on which Pakistan cannot deliver. The situation thus could get out of hand.
In the meantime, the Pakistanis certainly will withdraw forces from western Pakistan and deploy them in eastern Pakistan. That will mean that one leg of the Petraeus and Obama plans would collapse. Washington’s expectation of greater Pakistani cooperation along the Afghan border will disappear along with the troops. This will free the Taliban from whatever limits the Pakistani army had placed on it.
Now, step back and consider the situation the Mumbai attackers have created.
First, the Indian government faces an internal political crisis driving it toward a confrontation it didn’t plan on.
Second, the minimum Pakistani response to a renewed Indo-Pakistani crisis will be withdrawing forces from western Pakistan, thereby strengthening the Taliban and securing al Qaeda.
Third, sufficient pressure on Pakistan’s civilian government could cause it to collapse, opening the door to a military-Islamist government — or it could see Pakistan collapse into chaos, giving Islamists security in various regions and an opportunity to reshape Pakistan.
Finally, the United States’ situation in Afghanistan has now become enormously more complex.
By staging an attack the Indian government can’t ignore, the Mumbai attackers have set in motion an existential crisis for Pakistan. The reality of Pakistan cannot be transformed, trapped as the country is between the United States and India. Almost every evolution from this point forward benefits Islamists. Strategically, the attack on Mumbai was a precise blow struck to achieve uncertain but favorable political outcomes for the Islamists.
Rice’s trip to India now becomes the crucial next step. She wants Indian restraint. She does not want the western Pakistani border to collapse. But she cannot guarantee what India must have: assurance of no further terror attacks on India originating in Pakistan. Without that, India must do something. No Indian government could survive without some kind of action. So it is up to Rice, in one of her last acts as secretary of state, to come up with a miraculous solution to head off a final, catastrophic crisis for the Bush administration — and a defining first crisis for the new Obama administration. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once said that the enemy gets a vote. The Islamists cast their ballot in Mumbai.”
However, since we have commented ad naseum that Pakistan Army wants to get out of the Afghan border to free Taliban (Pakistan Army’s unofficial brigade) to cause mayhem, we should not provoke war now. And our External Affairs Minister has rightly stated: NO MILITARY ACTION AGAINST PAKISTAN.
This is a complicated situation and calls for intelligent actions. War would be playing into the hands of the Islamists. War is not an option now – let the Taliban get the brunt of Pakistan Army (unwillingly) on one side and US-NATO from the other side.
This is where the Govt of India comes in and its media wing has so far done a very shoddy job.
It should explain through Min of External Affairs the rationale of why Indian army does not want to fight now and why that should be playing into the Islamists hands, the overwhelming desire of Pakistan Army to run away from the Afghan border and not attack Taliban and how that can be compromised by upping the ante now - precisely what Pakistan Army wants and we will not let them. Govt of India should parade the terrorist to TV and give his exact address and the addresses of other slain terrorists. TO GOVT OF INDIA - BE MEDIA SAVVY.
What we should do, I have highlighted in earlier article and as MAX suggested and I agree, points 1 & 2 should be actioned now.
1. Stop water flow to Pakistan from Kashmir. Bleed them and make their land dry
2. Close air / road / rail links to Pakistan
MAX - A "learned" commentator said this on the options and I think it is not only important but strategic:
The best thing India should do if there's hard evidence pointing at Pakistan state sponsored links in the attack is to would make a demand to Pakistan (e.g. hand over Dawood). Within a week, if there's inaction, India should reduce the water flow of the Chenab by 1/4, at the same time cut all communication/road/rail/air links to Pakistan. Why Chenab? We don't want to drag in Kashmir. Chenab originates in Himachal, an uncontested part of India. Moreover, Himachal is well buffered from Pakistan, making it more difficult to reach for an airstrike.
There are “feelers” going around that ISI is planning to assassinate Barrack Obama.
Not a big deal for an agency that planned to assassinate Bill Clinton during his visit to Manila, when he was US President. The plotter could not carry out the attack as the apartment they were staying in Manila caught fire. It was, at that time, a joint ISI – Al Qaeda operation.
JULY 11th, 2006 MUMBAI BLASTS: India Standard reports : "Investigations into the financial planning behind the July 11 Mumbai Blasts revealed how deep and dangerous the ISI-Let and Simi nexus has become of India's internal security. The Lashkar-e-Tayiba’s Pakistan-based commanders were given Rs20 lakh by the Inter-Services Intelligence to execute the blasts."
Some things never change.
PAKSITAN IS A ROGUE NATION – HAS BEEN AND WILL BE.
MADELINE ALBRIGHT REFERS TO PAKISTAN AS AN INTERNATIONAL MIGRAINE.