A desperate man in a desperate moment

Will go to war counting on a paradox

Praveen Swami warns that the crisis in Balochistan may drive Gen Musharraf to the wall, causing him to initiate another Kargil in order to save his skin.

Could a General this time be sacrificed for the Pakistani military’s errors of judgment? Perhaps. General Musharraf is, more likely than not, aware of the abyss that lies ahead.

In a desperate moment, a desperate man could well undertake desperate actions, driven by the desperate belief that a small war in South Asia is an acceptable price for survival. India’s strategic establishments will have to watch the events in Pakistan with the greatest possible care — and respond with the greatest possible caution. [The Hindu]

And you were counting on the ‘peace process’ to lead to peace?

8 thoughts on “A desperate man in a desperate moment”

  1. Nitin,

    If reports are to be believed, Gregarious General and the Docile Doctor will resume their courthship at Havana.

    The important question is, How in this world can I go to Havana ?
    I will do anything for Havana, anything.


  2. Going from the apparent Indian leadership response to repeated terror attacks, it will be a perfect time for the general to attack (if things go wrong, can always disown the fourth column). Who knows he may even get his way – something that his peace process has not achieved yet.

  3. Come now Nitin where is your sense of optimisim. Almost any problem can be solved over stogies and a couple of pegs of Havanas finest rum. The threat of a conflict in South Asia notwithstanding.

  4. The actions of President Musharraf and his tango with his terrorist beneficiaries in very deft balance with his Non-NATO ally status, only appears to be desperate. Rather, he is a clever, calculating, and cunning leader, (traits considered wisdom, in Middle-eastern circles), whose occasional reasonableness dangerously enhances these traits. He has stayed faithful to his purpose and that is to subdue the entire area, India included, using any device, anyone, (whether it is George Bush, or Osama Bin Laden)to accomplish his goal. What else would be the reason, as an ally in the fight against terrorism, for him signing a treaty with the Taleban? In that one step he not only legitimizes the Taleban, but he creates a country within a country, an army within an army, granting them autonomy to do as they well please,(like the Hizbollah in Lebanon). He sees the pressure that the Taleban is in, in Afghanistan and is acting to protect them as he did when they were surrounded in Kandahar, at the end of the allied invasion of Afghanistan. I wonder what his friends in Washington and London think of him now.

    Essentially, he has picked his side, i.e. Osama Bin Laden, and the Taleban. The peace treaty is no more than total autonomy to cross the border in any direction, train as many terrorists as you can, and terrorize the neighbours, whilst under the protection of Pakistan’s nuclear umbrella. Some ally?!

    His designs are enormously bigger than the man himself, but for a megalomaniac, there is no mismatch between design and ability, dreams and capacity. His problem is that India is in the way of his taking Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc., for starters.

    Watch for a grab for Kashmir, using the Hizbollah model. Under this model, small armies well dug and well equipped can tie down and frustrate conventional armies, creating room and opportunity for conquest by a regular opposing army. Ten thousand assorted terrorists and Taleban fighters in five to six different locations can exact a terrible price on a country and that was well proven in Lebanon. Musharraf just made a deal with the devil himself, so just watch how this will play out. He has again outwitted George Bush and Tony Blair. No wonder he struts around like little peacock at these meetings.

    It is inevitable that for peace in the region and for safety in the subways of London, Bombay, Paris, and New York, Pakistan must be dismantled, and divided into six separate and different administrations.

  5. The situation in Baluchistan is not so dire as to force Mush into another Kargil type misadventure. While he did not handle Baluchistan situation deftly it is hard to imagine Pakistan going up in flames, or something similar, that will force the generals in Rawalpindi to undertake Kargil. Yes, there have been protests, bandhs, etc. but nothing that Pakistan has not seen before. The Baluchs will only be able to undertake a low level intenstity guerrilla campaign against Pak army, again something the army cannot handle.

    Another factor of course is the US. They will not allow them to attack India, even in the guise of a jihadi campaign. They need the 70k odd Pak army troops patrolling the Pak/Afghan border and not on the India/Pak border.

    This does NOT mean that India should let its guard down and let Mush off the hook. I am all for India giving the Baluchis “moral and diplomatic” support but seeing the two countries go to war over this somehow looks beyond the realm of possibility.

  6. I think he’s buying bargaining power for his nuclear programme. He’s trying to get into a nuclear co-operation deal with China and he needs some chips to bargain with US on this, as they will certainly oppose it.

    I won’t be surprised if they start their Waziristan operations again after a few weeks on some pretext.

    His moving some divisions India’a way are again for the same purpose. Although with the winters approaching, the jihadis crossing the line of control would need some help before the snow sets in.

    He won’t start a War (even small scale) now as that would sabotage any chance of a nuclear deal.

  7. The leader of northern alliance, Ahmed Shaw Masood, was killed just days ahead of 9/11. Those were days when nothing was done in Afghanistan without ISI knowing/orchestrating it.

    When I read of the killing of Bugti, that made me think something big is being planned. Following news of ‘ceasefire’ with Taliban means something is surely cooking.

  8. Venkat: interesting parallel. The Taliban ceasefire is definite red flag. The General knows that that could not have gone down well in Washington. That he still chose to do so means he’s got bigger items on his agenda. For this fool, everything is a commando operation. Dimwit.

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