PAK CRUISE MISSILE: BLOWBACK OF
Most observers of the
international scene had expected the recently concluded Indo-US defence treaty
and American efforts to de-hyphenate its relations in the Subcontinent would
induce a major re-alignment. But none expected this to come about so quickly-
yes I am referring to recently carried out test of cruise missile by Pakistan.
It should be very clear from the circumstances that it is reaction to Indo-US
treaty and the ‘actual’ parentage of this ‘indigenously’ developed missile
would turn out to be our Northern Neighbour-China. Like in the case of
Pakistani nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the only indigenously
produced part of the Babur or Hatf
VII cruise missile may well be the label, ‘made in Pakistan’.
It took India
several years, at least 7 to 8, to develop ‘Brahmos’
cruise missile. It has gone into serial production only after more than 16 tests.
For the technology of continuous guidance and required accuracy needs that kind
of time gap. But Pakistan
after just one test has announced that the missile is going into serial
production. Unless Pakistan
has dozens of Einstein’s and Thomas Alva Edison’s, this feat is impossible. A
dead giveaway about the ‘imported’ parentage of Pakistani missiles is their
practice of announcing tests done from ‘UNDISCLOSED LOCATION’. The secrecy in
this is due to the fact that Pakistan
has carried out these tests fly over populated areas,-a unique feat NEVER done
if you are testing a fresh and newly developed weapon. Once the location and
flight path are known, logically it would be correct to assume that the
‘tested’ missile was in fact a proven weapon, already tested by their ‘friend’.
World over new systems are tested in ‘missile range’ like ours at Chandipore on sea or the Chinese in Sinkiang.
More likely is the fact that the
Chinese have supplied several missiles to Pakistan in crates. Pakistan
would now start opening the crates and began assembling the missiles and
produce a sizable arsenal. Or has the world and Indians forgotten the story of
M-11 missiles supplied by the Chinese?
All Weather Friend.
friendship was born in 1963 in the aftermath of Sino-Indian border war of 1962.
The ever alert Pakistan
had seized on the event and Bhutto, the then foreign minister, had dashed off
to Beijing in early 1963. The
motive then as now, was to counter the growing closeness between India
and the US.
That relationship which was India
specific has become of even greater importance to both.
During most of the cold war era,
barring the brief Indo-US honeymoon of 1962-63, the US
played the role China
is playing today. The recent revelations by the former Dutch Prime Minister as to how
the CIA forced him to let go the notorious AQ Khan, show the nexus and its
contribution in creating the Pak nuclear capability. But having said that,
there is a qualitative difference between US and the Chinese support to Pakistan.
In case of the US
it was often the price it had to pay for Pakistani acceptance of role in its
actions against erstwhile Soviet Union. In that sense
many times the threat posed to India
by these American actions was an outcome of US global aims. While in case of China,
it is NOT secondary consequence but primary motive. That motive is to check India
and continue the fiction (and fact) of the ‘balance’ between Pakistan
and India (ten
times larger country in economic & demographic terms), in
the military field.
Cruise missiles typically are
‘First Strike’ weapons. Given the declared Pak policy of first strike of
nuclear weapons, the cruise missile have added teeth
to Pak boasts. China
has thus ushered in a dangerous trend in the sub continent.
Thus what India
has to counter is NOT Pakistan,
which is easy enough, but Chinese military and technological prowess. This is
the blow back of the Indo-US defence agreement that ought to have been
anticipated by us. The supply of cruise missile and associated technology to Pakistan
by China shows
that for all the normalisation between India
and China, the
later seem determined to continue its hostile policies towards India.
During his last visit to the Indian Subcontinent, Chinese Premiere also signed
a defence deal with BanglaDesh,
aimed at us. It seems that China
intends to follow a dual track policy towards India-
normal economic relations and continuing military pressure through sub
Indians ought to impress upon the
US that mere
de-hyphenation of relations is NOT enough. The US
has a responsibility to ‘de-fang’ Pakistan.
The Pakistani nuclear capability is as much a threat to them as us, if reports
of Al Quaida nexus with Pak scientists are to be
believed. Containing, degrading Pakistani nuclear capability has to be the top
priority of all. China
will be a mute spectator of this effort as a weakened Pakistan
is in their interest as well, becoming ever more pliant ‘client’ state.
is slated to test Agni III with a range of 3000 kms in December this year. Without putting a diplomatic
gloss on it, Agni III is a China
our geography. Chinese ought not to protest too much since their medium range
missiles in Tibet,
already operational, are similarly India
specific. All that India
would be doing is to achieve some sort of strategic parity with China.
But if China
continues to raise its stakes then we must look to support countries of South
East Asia that fear the Chinese. If that means supplying them with
Brahmos missiles, then so be it.
Boost to Indian indigenous
Most analysts of international
affairs accept that India
is likely to be number three economy in the world in coming decade. Yet in
terms of military strength it is struggling to cope with worlds 53 economy,
that of Pakistan.
This imbalance in the economic prosperity and military strength was our bane in
the past. India,
described as ‘Golden Sparrow’ by Babur, attracted
invaders. Right till the British military conquest of India
in the 18th century, British records themselves accept that the GDP of Bengal
alone was greater than Britain.
Deindustrialisation and poverty followed and was not the cause foreign rule. Though the votaries of
White Man’s burden theory would have us believe otherwise!
defence weakness is primarily technological and
organisational and are well known. Time after time, the Parliamentary
committees have pointed out the DRDO failures to deliver. It is time to rectify
these weaknesses and harness abundant Indian talent! As a Director of Madras
IIT had once put it, India
believes in exporting engineers and importing Mercedes! The Pakistani test of
the Chinese gifted missile ought to serve as a wake up call.