An IDC Analysis


New Delhi, 31 May 2002

We received the following piece from an IDC watcher and it makes sense. There is a definite view that if India is willing to accept the LOC as the International Border then the West is ready to get Pakistan to agree and dismantle the training camps, but the latest in London from where this report was filed is that India is hopeful of getting back the POK. There is talk in London that the Pakistani missile tests were not as successful as President Musharraf had claimed them to be and they are seeking Chinese help.


By An IDC Watcher

“The "war-cry" is being sounded on both sides but war is something which neither side wants nor can afford. What does it all mean and where are we headed?

When Niazi had cracked down in East Pakistan in March, 1971, a very highly connected and knowledgeable civilian gentleman (a Padmabhushan at that) told me that Indira Gandhi had called Maneckshaw on or about the 24/25th of March 71 and told him that the Army could go in on 26th but she wanted to be assured of ‘victory’ in 3 days –– by 29th March! Maneckshaw naturally could not oblige and this gentleman lamented that Maneckshaw had no balls!!  And the war occurred on 2/3 Dec 1971, after almost 8 months of preparation.

Why is Shri Vajpayee lamenting now –– that he should have 'gone-in' on or soon after 13 Dec? Do our leaders (and the civilian population at large) have no comprehension whatsoever how a war (if at all) is to be conducted? When I was in Delhi (last Dec-Apr), it was common knowledge that even though the order for mobilisation for placing the troops at the border was given, the Army was ill prepared (men and materials) to conduct any sort of serious campaign in Dec/Jan.

The Americans started their build up in the Gulf in July and the following year in Jan the Gulf War against Saddam Hussain was fought when all their personnel and infrastructure were in place. During this preparation phase most believed that there would be no war - and I had commented to an American friend in Sep/Oct that the American troops had not gone to the desert to celebrate Christmas/New Year and that there would be a war in mid Jan or so, but would not last beyond February. After all you cannot spoil the holiday season, can you!

The frenzy of diplomatic activity and various countries advising their nationals (including non essential diplomatic staff) to leave Pakistan (and India) now indicates that something is indeed afoot –– or is it? The Indian Army told the reservists in mid-Jan after Musharaff's speech of 12 Jan to stand down and I guess that they may have been again recalled at this stage. Is the Army ready NOW if the leadership wants a war? And more importantly, is there going to be a war?

I say, yes. What do you think?”

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