Friday, September 25, 2009

The India – China Media War

It is necessary to clearly understand the critical difference between the Indian media and the Chinese media. The freedom and independence of the Indian media is enshrined in the constitution under freedom of thought and expression. The Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi once made the cardinal mistake of trying to muzzle the media and paid dearly. Freedom of the media is very important, both for the people and the government, became it is the only avenue to get information relatively unadulterated, though bias does creep in. Apart from open briefings and background briefing by the government, journalists ferret out information through their sources (or friends) in the government which sometimes leads to inaccurate reporting. But this is part of professional hazard. Inaccuracies can be minimised if the source gives information openly on issues of national interest. Otherwise there is misreporting.
Many Indian political parties have their mouthpieces or organs, but scant importance is paid to them by the general public. These publications are generally meant for party members.
In China it is quite the opposite. Both the State and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) constitutions make it abundantly clear that the country’s media is strictly controlled. Those who violate the red line are strictly dealt with. There have been such examples in recent years. During the Cultural Revolution Mao Zedong and the infamous Gang of Four (GoF) used the media to create political havoc in the country. Following the 1989 Tian An Men Square Students’ uprising, the media that went too liberal and criticised the CCP and the government were thoroughly cleansed and revamped. One was Shanghai’s highly respected “Liberation Daily”. China controlled newspapers in Hong Kong, the “Ta Kung Pao” and the “Wen Wei Po”, also went through similar revamps, and erring journalists dismissed.
Newspapers like the People’s Daily, the Guangming Daily, the China Youth Daily are often used by senior leaders in factional fights and power struggle. So is the military newspaper, the Liberation Army Daily (LAD), but this is used more by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to push their own agenda. But where foreign policy is concerned there is only one view which comes from the CCP and the government. The English Language China Daily is more oriented towards the diplomatic community in Beijing and foreigners. Similarly, the Chinese news agency Xinhua is used in this way. The government and the Foreign Ministry have an overall control on these two media outlets.
The think tanks are strictly controlled by the CCP, the Foreign Ministry, the PLA and the state intelligence. All scholars have to be security cleared and only senior members have access to classified information. Think tank scholars play a very important role.
Senior scholars and academics play a very important role of conveying at times the CCP and government’s thinking, while leaving an avenue for the government to deny that. For example, a veteran scholar of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the government’s premier think tank, while visiting Nepal, stated in an interview that the Chinese government knew India planned to “Sikkimise” Nepal, and China would not stand by silently.
While the Chinese officially will not admit it openly, it is widely known that selected journalists posted abroad play the role of intelligence agents. They normally do not indulge in offensive intelligence but use their contacts in the host country for opinion shaping, collecting intelligence, and spotting prospective assets.
Long ago, a Chinese scholar visiting India for the first time, told this writer that he was shocked by the way Indian leaders, including the prime Minister, were attacked by the media. In China, he said, such a journalist would be charged with anti-state activities and jailed while the newspaper will be closed down.
This is the difference between the media in the two countries. China has its own political systems and laws and we should not have no quarrel with that. But where the Chinese media, especially the newspapers like the People’s Daily, the China Daily and the Xinhua among others, say something, it is bound to be taken as an official view or standpoint.
Recently, hyped-up reports in sections of the Indian media were made for reasons which are briefly discussed below. Some of these reports about Chinese incursions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) have been exaggerated and incorrect. For example, a report saying two soldiers of the Indian Tibet Border Police, the (ITBP), were injured in firing by Chinese troops on the Sikkim-Tibet border was not a fact. But someone had given wrong information on purpose, to the concerned reporter. The same was the case with a report saying Indian insurgents were being trained in China. This kind of misinformation appears because of lack of clear briefings from the relevant authorities in India. Interested foreign agencies can take advantage of such a situation to plant misinformation, especially when the media here is thirsty for information on a subject of high importance to India’s security and territorial integrity.
Two landmark agreements signed between India and China, the 1993 Peace and Tranquillity (P&T) Treaty, and the 1996 Confidence Building Measures (CBM) agreements to ensure stability along the borders, have generally held good. There has been no firing since, and the eyeball to eyeball situation between soldiers of these two sides has been resolved. Having said that, China has violated the CBM agreement to an extent periodically.
It must be stated that the India-China border issue will have to be resolved peacefully and through talks. In 2005, India and China signed an agreement on modalities for resolving the boundary issue. Chinese leaders showed reluctance to accept one of the clauses, the one saying that settled population will not be disturbed in adjustment of a give and take of territories along the borders. Some adjustments and accommodation on strips along the borders is critical to resolving the border issue. Both sides agree on that, but both have their strategic calculations. Therefore, the process is difficult and extended.
There is a pertinent question to ask the Chinese. Why, after signing the agreement on modalities to resolve the boundary dispute, are they going back on it on a critical humanitarian point which could result in people being forced to change their nationality and citizenship against their will? After all, the agreement was arrived at with due considerations from both sides, and signed under the supervision of Premier Wen Jiabao. Obviously, strong forces in China must have done a rethinking, and these would be the ultra-nationalist forces within the Chinese establishment currently on a high with the rise in China’s economic, political and military power.
China has raised claims on Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh on various grounds, and also occupies Aksai Chin. Its recent screaming objection to the Dalai Lama’s proposed visit to Arunachal Pradesh in November is really an issue of legalising Tawang and Arunachal as a sovereign territory of India, which the Dalai Lama did during his last visit to the state. Whatever the Chinese say about the Dalai Lama, he still remains a Chinese citizen and the prime leader of the Tibetans. He holds, in a manner of saying, Tibet’s history is in his palm. This is the truth, and stuck in the throats of the Chinese mandarins.
What has really riled the Indian media is not only the border incursions, but the cumulative effect of Chinese actions and media comments (now proved official policy) of trying to trip India at every stage.
For decades, the Chinese media has been habituated to deride and insult India as a state policy. Even very recently, Pt. Nehru’s character has been assassinated, though Nehru bent over backwards to support China in its initial stages as People’s Republic of China.
In the past decade, to take the new period of improved India-China relations, most Chinese actions were aimed at cutting India down to size. It played the devilish game to make Pakistan a stand alone nuclear power specifically calibrated to counter India. After the May 1998 nuclear test by India followed by Pakistan, China embarked on an international campaign to force India to roll back its nuclear programme. It did everything possible to stop the India-US nuclear deal and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver allowing India to enter into civilian nuclear agreements with other NSG countries. India’s main objective was to ensure energy security, a critical input in today’s world for a clean environment and development. The Chinese actions were aimed at India’s belly, to sabotage India’s development. Beijing is now gearing up to make another effort to attack India’s nuclear programme in the international force, with the kind assistance of American friends like Henry Kissinger, (who has substantial interests in China) and the Democrat anti-India non-proliferation lobby.
What is most galling is that China stridently project itself a responsible player in the international community, when it is actually the mother of all proliferators. Pakistan provided Libya with nuclear weapons documents that Libya surrendered to the USA, which had clear Chinese markings. Even today, there is evidence to indicate that China continues to help Pakistan in its plutonium nuclear weapons programme.
China is supposed to be a partner of the international efforts to counter terrorism. But where Pakistani jehadis or terrorists attacking India is concerned, China is clearly giving them support. Otherwise, why is China blocking the UN efforts to declare LeT mentor Hafiz Sayeed and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) head Masood Azar as terrorist? It is, therefore, legitimate to question whether China is waging an asymmetrical war against India, using terrorists?
When the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Qiu Guohang declares in Kathmandu (Sept. 05, 2009) that the government of China will “readily provide arms support, financial support and diplomatic support if Nepal faced any threat to its territorial integrity”, there is no prize for guessing which country is the target. It is India, and Ambassador Qiu’s predecessor and other visiting Chinese dignitaries to Nepal since November 2008 have made similar statements. It is no secret in Kathmandu that the Chinese have been encouraging Nepal to raise the territorial issue with India, promising backing.
The report about China training Indian insurgents is not correct, and the Indian media should be careful about reporting without checking facts very thoroughly. But it is also a fact that leaders of Indian insurgent groups like the ULFA and the NSCN (I/M) maintain connection with China and travel to China.
China tricked India into believing that it had come around to recognize Sikkim as a sovereign territory of India. This was done at the highest level on both sides. But China reneged on its official words. The Indian media and the people are naturally concerned. Their expressions basically are expressions of concern and frustration.
The Indian political, security and military leadership have come forward with a very considered position recently, and read together they are sagacious and tempered. Do not raise the blood pressure which can burst a blood vessel. Chinese border incursions have not increased over last year’s. And India in 2009 is not India of 1962. Arunachal Pradesh is part and parcel of India and Chinese claims and protests against Indian leaders visiting the state are dismissed as something that had no relevance and not acceptable, and not debatable.
India shares a 4000 km border with China, though China claims it is 2000 kms. The Chinese position negates India’s claims and sovereign territory.
But this issue is that neither country can go into a border war. Chinese incursions remain at 2008 level in 2009, but the fact remains there have been a large number of incursions in 2008, as much as over 230.
The border issue must be resolved politically, but the Indian media must also engage in credible reporting and not go overboard to ignite emotions. The truth should be told, but verification is a must. Do not provoke a situation and do not fall prey to Chinese propaganda. What is necessary is to report factually the Chinese official media. That would be enough.

(The author can be reached at

Saturday, September 19, 2009

बड़ों ने पैदा किए अवरोध

विश्व व्यापार संगठन ने सन् 1993 में अपनी स्थापना के आठ वर्ष बाद सन 2001 में पश्चिमी एशिया के कतर देश की राजधानी दोहा में दोहा विकास चक्र की शुरुआत की। उस अवसर पर दुनिया के सत्तर देशों ने संगठन के मुख्य निदेशक माइकेल मूर को एक ज्ञापन देकर बताया कि गत चार साल के दौरान पैदा हुई उनकी समस्याओं और शिकायतों पर उन्होंने कोई ध्यान नहीं दिया। संगठन की शिकायतें दूर करने वाली कमेटी निष्क्रिय सी थी, किंतु, उस ज्ञापन पर विचार करने का वचन देकर, एक नया विकास चक्र शुरू किया गया। भारत के वाणिज्य मंत्री मुरासोली मारन और उनके साथ चौवन अन्य देशों ने इस पर आपत्ति की थी, किंतु अंत में, धनी और विकसित देशों के दबाव के चलते, सभी खामोश हो गए। अलबत्ता, नयी दिल्ली लौटकर मुरासोली मारन ने अपनी हताशा व्यक्त करते हुए इस बात पर बल दिया था कि विकासशील देशों को अपनी एकता बनानी और कायम रखनी चाहिए अन्यथा वे इसी तरह पिसते रहेंगे।
विश्व व्यापार संगठन एक गैर बराबरी वाली दुनिया में व्यापार के ऐसे नियम बनाने के लिए स्थापित किया गया है जो समान रूप से सभी देशों पर लागू हो। उम्मीद की गई थी कि अंतरराष्टï्रीय व्यापार नियमित तौर पर चलेगा। सात विकसित औद्योगिक देशों ने उसकी स्थापना की पहल की थी जिनमें संयुक्त राज्य अमरीका, जापान, ब्रिटेन, फ्रांस, जर्मनी, इटली और कनाडा हैं। उनके दबाव में 145 अन्य विकासशील और सबसे कम विकसित देश भी संगठन के सदस्य बन गए। सन 1997 से सन 2001 के अनुभव के आधार पर उनकी सामान्य शिकायत थी कि खेती उजड़ रही है, उद्योग बंद हो रहे हैं और धन का बहाव गरीब देशों से अमीर देशों की ओर बढ़ रहा है। दोहा में उन्होंने इसी बात को भारत के नेतृत्व में उठाया था।
विकसित देश एक नया फार्मूला ले आए हैं कि हम अपने आयात शुल्क को 54 प्रतिशत घटा देंगे और विकासशील देश उन्हें 36 प्रतिशत घटा दें, परंतु सन 2008 में अमरीकी संसद ने कानून बना दिया कि सरकार कृषि उत्पाद को दी जाने वाली सुविधा 300 अरब डॉलर तक बढ़ा सकती है। जेनेवा में उसी वर्ष जो बातचीत हुई, उसमें अमरीकी प्रतिनिधि ने कहा कि हम उस सुविधा को 15 अरब से ज्यादा नहीं बढ़ाएंगे। उधर भारत पर यह दबाव बनाया गया कि सार्वजनिक वितरण प्रणाली के लिए सरकार जो सुविधा राशि लगा रही है वह उसे बंद कर दे, क्योंकि विकसित देश वैसी सुविधा नहीं दे रहे हैं। ऐसे दो मुंहे रुख के कारण जेनेवा में तो विकसित और विकासशील देशों में आपसी बातचीत लगभग खत्म हो गई। किसी देश को तब यह आशा नहीं रही थी कि दोहा विकास चक्र पूरा हो जाएगा। स्थिति यह थी कि कृषि उद्योगों और सेवा के तीनों क्षेत्रों के संबंध में विकसित देशों ने अडिय़ल नीति अपनाई है। वैश्विक आर्थिक मंदी के चलते, अस्थायी तौर पर, उन्होंने अपनी मुक्त अर्थव्यवस्था को कुछ नियमित किया है।

वाममोर्चे को एक और झटका

पश्चिम बंगाल में माकपा सत्ता में तो है पर उसका अधिकार छीजता जा रहा है। सिलीगुड़ी नगर निगम के चुनाव के नतीजों को देखकर अजीब विभ्रम की स्थिति पैदा होती जा रही है। सियासी हवा का रुख समझ में नहीं आ रहा है। चुनाव के नतीजे यदि अब तक के चुनावों के कारण राज्य के राजनीतिक सोच के खास रुख की ओर इशारा करते हैं तो वर्तमान चुनाव राज्य की ताजा मनोस्थिति के बारे में भी बताता है। अगर इसी चश्मे से सिलीगुड़ी के चुनाव परिणामों की समीक्षा करें तो महसूस होगा कि राज्य में वाममोर्चे का आधार कमजोर होता जा रहा है, लेकिन शायद कट्टर माक्र्सवादी और पार्टी के काडर इस पराजय को आसानी से से स्वीकार नहीं करेंगे। वाममोर्चा की स्तम्भित कर देने वाली इस पराजय के तीन कारण हैं। राज्य भर के आबादी के अनुपातों से अलग सिलीगुड़ी में पूर्ववर्ती पूर्व पाकिस्तान और वर्तमान बंगलादेश के हिंदू शरणार्थियों की संख्या कुछ ज्यादा ही है। ये लोग पारम्परिक तौर पर वाममोर्चे या ऐसा कहें माकपा के वोटर हैं, क्योंकि इन्हें यकीन है कि कांग्रेस शरणार्थी मसलों को लेकर थोड़ा कठोर है और मुस्लिमों के मामले में ज्यादा ही नरम। दूसरा कि सिलीगुड़ी और डुआर्स चाय उत्पादक क्षेत्र हैं और यहां आरंभिक दिनों से माकपा का वर्चस्व रहा है। तीसरा कि यह राज्य का दूसरा सबसे बड़ा व्यापारिक केंद्र है और माकपा का व्यावसायियों पर प्रभाव रहा है और इससे हमेशा उन्हें चुनाव में लाभ मिला है। ... और पार्टी यहीं से यानी अपनी 'कोर कंस्टीटृ्येंसी में हार गयी। माकपा की यह पराजय लोकसभा चुनाव की पराजय के बाद हुई है। हालांकि वाममोर्चा राज्य में सत्ता में है लेकिन उसका प्रभाव क्षेत्र बड़े नाटकीय ढंग से सिकुड़ रहा है और विपक्षी दल का वर्चस्व बढ़ता जा रहा है। संक्षेप में अब वाममोर्चे का प्रभाव मिटता जा रहा है और इसके बिना उसका नियंत्रण खत्म हो जायेगा और यह सचिवालय (राइटर्स बिल्डिंग) में ही कैद हो कर रह जायेगा। माकपा को यह हकीकत मालूम है इसलिये उसने मतदाताओं में विश्वास बढ़ाने के अपने प्रयासों को छोड़ दिया। 30 वर्षों से सत्ता में बने रहने के कारण पार्टी में हरारत आ गयी है और सियासी तौर पर इसका दिवाला निकल गया है। मंत्रिगण अब समय काट रहे हैं और मुख्य मंत्री बुद्धदेव भट्टाचार्य पार्टी की बैठकों से गायब रहने लगे हैं। इससे वाममोर्चे को हानि हुई और ममता बनर्जी को लाभ। वाममोर्चे का 2011 तक सत्ता में रहना हे और उस समय विधानसभा चुनाव होंगे और पूरी आशंका है कि पार्टी हार जायेगी। गद्दी छोडऩे का माकपा के पास सबसे अच्छा विकल्प है कि वह मध्यावधि चुनाव करवा दे। यह नैतिक रूप से अच्छा होगा।

Friday, September 18, 2009

भ्रष्टाचार को मिटाना जरूरी

देश के प्रधान न्यायाधीश (सीजेआई) ने भ्रष्ट अफसरों की संपत्ति जब्त करने की वकालत कर भ्रष्टाचार पर नकेल कसने की आवश्यकता पर चल रही बहस को एक नया मोड़ दे दिया है। जब देश के प्रधान न्यायाधीश कुछ कहते हैं तो लोग उसे ध्यान से सुनते हैं। न्यायाधीश के जी बालकृष्णन ने जो कहा है, वह न सिर्फ विचार करने योग्य है, बल्कि इस तरह का कानून बनाना समय की जरूरत भी है।
भ्रष्टाचार पर बातें खूब होती हैं, नये-नये उपाय सुझाए जाते हैं, नये कानून और संस्थाएं बनती हैं, पर भ्रष्टाचार थमने का नाम ही नहीं ले रहा। प्रधान न्यायाधीश का यह कहना एक व्यावहारिक कदम दिखता है कि यदि कोई अफसर जनता की कीमत पर संपत्ति एकत्र करता है तो राज्य के पास उसे जब्त करने का अधिकार होना चाहिए। शायद इससे अधिकारी सहमें।
लेकिन प्रधान न्यायाधीश के एक सेमिनार में कहने भर से राजनेता कानून बनाने में जुट जाएंगे, यह सोचना गलत होगा। यह बात सभी जानते हैं कि भ्रष्टाचार देश के सामने एक विकराल समस्या के रूप में खड़ा है, लेकिन इसका मुकाबला कैसे किया जाये जिससे साधारण आदमी लाभान्वित हो, देश को इसका फायदा मिले और भ्रष्ट लोगों को यथाशीघ्र कड़ी से कड़ी सजा दी जा सके। भ्रष्टाचार रोकने में कोर्ट की भी अपनी महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका है। अभी जो कानून हैं, उनके तहत भी इस नासूर का इलाज हो सकता है। चूंकि पैसे का मोह सभी को होता है तो सभी संबंधितों का एक मजबूत गिरोह बन जाता है जिसे तोडऩा इस देश में आसान नहीं है।
जिन अधिकारियों के बारे में बालकृष्णन ने कहा है, उनका चेहरा पहचानना मुश्किल है, पर उनकी संख्या तेजी से बढ़ रही है। अखिल भारतीय सेवाओं के अधिकारी प्राय: एक-दूसरे को बचाते हैं और भ्रष्टाचार को बढ़ावा देते हैं। लोकायुक्त जैसी संस्थाएं पटवारी जैसी छोटी मछलियों को पकड़कर खुश हो जाती हैं। गत दिनों प्रधानमंत्री ने सीबीआई से भी कहा था कि 'बड़ी मछलियों पर ध्यान दें। हकीकत यह है कि कोई मुख्यमंत्री भ्रष्ट अधिकारियों पर नकेल डालना नहीं चाहता।
इन सबके बावजूद के जी बालकृष्णन की बातों को गंभीरता से लेकर अधिकारियों के भ्रष्टाचार को खत्म करने के लिए कानूनी, राजनीतिक, सामाजिक और अन्य कड़े उपाय तुरंत खोजने चाहिए जिससे देश तेजी से तरक्की कर सके। यह उम्मीद करना गलत नहीं होगा कि सेवानिवृत्ति के पहले प्रधान न्यायाधीश कुछ करें, फैसले लेकर भ्रष्टाचार पर अंकुश लगाएं।

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

China, India and Pakistan: A Comparison of Nuclear Forces of the Nations

Currently, there is an increased frenzy about China’s incursions, referred to by some of the seasoned analysts as “war hysteria”. China, from 1962, never deviated from its path of an aggressive posture. While India is being blamed for its 1962 syndrome, China is equally guilty of freezing its 1962 mindset on India.
But India is itself to blame for the present situation.. While China, slowly and steadily was on the military build-up, Indian leadership has continuously followed an ostrich like approach towards the implications. It pains to accept the China’s description of India as a ‘paper tiger’. By this, I don’t refer to the capability of our armed forces but to the timidity of our Indian leadership. Many articles, have already been written on the timidity of Indian leadership and the ineptitude towards strategic and military doctrines. Hence, this article mainly tries to draw a comparison of the nuclear forces by these countries to assess where India stands, at present.
Nuclear Forces by 2006-2007
The data for the countries were not available at the same timeline hence, the closest available data were used.
According to the Nuclear Notebook published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, China’s nuclear arsenal comprised of around 130 nuclear warheads deployed in missiles and aircraft and 70 more is predicted to be in storage. According to the report around 80 warheads are deployed in the ballistic missiles of DF-3, DF-4, DF-5 and DF-21. China is retiring some of its liquid fueled DF-3 missiles with a range of about 3100Km but has slowed down the retirement of the missiles, apparently, due to delay in the deployment of modified DF-21 and DF-21A missiles with a range of around 2100Km. China has deployed around 22 two-stage DF-4 missiles with a range over 5500Km, the targets for some of these missiles is expected to be in Russia, India and Guam. While the number of Chinese ICBM, DF-5, is unclear Chinese military power 2005 claims to have deployed 20 of them in 20 launchers. These missiles are capable of targeting the entire continental US. China, undergoing military modernization, for quite sometime is also developing a new 3-stage, solid-fueled, mobile ICBM, DF-31 with a range of about 7200-8000Km and a circular error probable of 300 to 600 meters. The targets for these missiles are expected to be in India and Russia from the range of the missiles. Another version of DF-31, DF-31A, is expected to have range of about 12000Km. Reportedly, China have had the capability for Multiple Reentry Vehicles and Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry vehicles. China is also developing new nuclear powered submarine capable of carrying 16 modified versions of DF-31 missiles which is expected to be deployed in 2008-2010 or later. China also has a stock of nuclear payload to be delivered through aircraft, whose combat radius is around 3100 Km.
In 2007, Pakistan was credited with a nuclear arsenal of 60 and it is busy in increasing its capability rapidly. From 2005-2007, Pakistan has deployed two nuclear capable missiles and developments are underway for the third. According to the reports, Pakistan, which declared a moratorium in 1991 on the production of highly enriched uranium (HEU) soon resumed its production of the weapon grade uranium and has setup a 40-50MW heavy water Khushab plutonium production reactor completed in 1998 and work were under way for the second reactor which will double its production capability. In this venture Pakistan is being helped totally by china. No one appears to blame China which is the root cause of proliferation by Pakistan.
Pakistani nuclear devises are expected to have a yield in between 5 – 10 kilotons. Pakistan was developing a nuclear capable cruise missile with a range of around 500 Km.
By 2007, India has produced enough plutonium for around 100 payloads but is estimated to possess only 50-60 warheads by the time. According to the report, India’s nuclear deterrent is predominantly aircraft-based. While, after the repeated announcements of Indian officials, US Air force in 2006 reported that India has not deployed Agni I and Agni II. While Agni III, Dhanush and Sagarika are underdevelopment, a cloud of uncertainty surrounds the Indian missile based nuclear deterrent capability. While technical capability exists in India for developing and deploying missiles, the reports questions on the number of missile currently deployed.
Nuclear Forces by 2008-2009
In 2009, Bulletin of Atomic scientists has estimated the Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to include 70-90 warheads and that it is busily enhancing its nuclear capabilities. In 2009, Pakistan was readying a new nuclear capable ballistic missile and two cruise missiles for deployment. Pakistan is believed to have produced around 2000kg of HEU and 90 Kg of plutonium sufficient to build 80-130 Kg. But based on several factors, the report suggests that Pakistan has not yet crossed 100 warheads. Reportedly, all of Pakistan’s missiles and aircrafts are of dual purpose. Pakistan is also expanding its nuclear processing facilities. Hilary Clinton, in her address to Congress have said that Pakistan’s Nuclear arsenal are spread across the country and not in a single central location. The aircrafts deployed for nuclear mission are predominantly F-16s given by the US by waiving the Pressler Amendment. The cruise missile of Pakistan, Babar, is similar to that of the Chinese DH-10 air launched cruise missile and has a range of about 320Km, according to US intelligence agencies, as opposed to the media that suggests it to have a range of 500-700Km. The design of the missile also suggests that Pakistan scientists to have made progress in warhead miniaturization. The other cruise missile Ra’ad is expected to have stealth and standoff capability at sea and land.
In report on Chinese nuclear forces in 2008, it is believed that China is expanding its nuclear arsenal boosting its number by 25 percent since 2005. In 2008, China also deployed DF-31, DF-31A and DH-10 missiles. By 2008, China is also reported to be building 4 new ballistic missile submarines. By 2008, China is estimated to possess around 176 nuclear arsenals deployed by missiles and aircrafts. Another 65 warheads is expected to be in storage. The nuclear arsenals are expected to have a yield of 10Kilotons to 3 Megatons. The Pentagon projects that by 2010 Chinese nuclear forces would include DF-4s, DF-5As, DF-31, DF-31As and upto 5 Jin class submarines carrying between 10 and 12 Jl-2 SLBMs.
According to report on Indian nuclear capability in 2008, India is reported to be struggling to develop a complete nuclear triad and currently only its fighter bombers constitute the fully operational leg. All Indian nuclear delivery systems are dual-capable but their operational status are ambiguous. The report estimates, India to have assembled around 70 warheads but only 50 is expected to be operational. Currently, out of the four land based missile systems, only Prithivi has been fully deployed but how many of them are deployed with nuclear warheads is uncertain. Of the variants of Prithivi, only the army version is identified by CIA to have a nuclear role. The report is skeptical about India acquiring multiple warhead capability any time soon. Another subsonic cruise missile is also reported to be under development.
Compared with Pakistan and China, India scores low with respect to its military modernization and preparedness. Much of the India’s long range missiles were not fully operational. It is also alarming to note that Pakistan as well as China are expanding their nuclear arsenal rapidly creating a huge gap between the numbers with India. Indian leadership is yet to shed its timidity and ineptitude to come up with a strong military doctrine. It is also worth noting that, apparently the current government's diplomacy and the so-called US relationship seems to have no say in the expansion of the nuclear capability of Pakistan. Pakistan’s Babur cruise missile, which is believed to be based on DH-10 of China also asserts beyond doubt the proliferation of missile technology by China, which is a member of security council and it is be noted that none of the superpowers have done anything to put a tab on China.

In this scenario, India still is unlikely go down the 1962 scenario. But this time, India has to remember that Pakistan’s interest in India is not just Kashmir It is also foolish to believe that China’s interest is limited to Arunachal Pradesh.
In practice, India should build up to be fully capable of deterring Chinese incursions. It has to expect a two multi-point war as China has covered India on all sides and with a strong ally in the west. India’s missile systems are not fully developed and/or deployed restricting its capability. India is also continuously failing to take advantage of its technically developed workforce, much of which moves to other nations for better education, and opportunities. Indian establishment is yet to take steps to bring in the Indian minds from abroad. To be eligible for an NRI to be considered for DRDO, he has to have a PhD and at least 3 years of experience abroad. Most of the people by the time would have settled and it is practically not possible for them to return even if they wish to. ISRO, has not even an option for an NRI. Corruption and the lethargic unchecked bureaucracy is continuing to be another checkpoint for India to develop.

It is also to be noted that Pakistan’s ISI is having a significant presence in India but not the other way around. Indian RAW is considered to be one of the most bureaucratic organizations and Mr. Gujral’s misplaced trust has fully left India vulnerable. Taking into consideration the Chinese publication to split India into many parts it could be expected by Pakistan to up its shadow war against India with China acting as a pressure point for any retaliation by India. India lost its covert capability long ago and will the political leadership allow the organization to renew it?
If Indian governments timidity and lack of foresight continues then Indians should brace themselves for another 1962 embarrassment .

*The source on Nuclear arsenals were taken from Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
*The link to the website portraying Pakistan’s ambition is from Daily Express of Pakistan

चीन ललकारता ही रहेगा क्या?

अखबारों में खबर है कि लद्दाख सीमा पर चीनी फौज का जमावड़ा बढ़ रहा है और एक जगह तो उन्होंने भारतीय फौजियों पर गोलियां भी चलायी हैं। यह सब उस समय हो रहा जब हमारा ध्यान केवल लद्दाख पर है। उत्तर-पूर्वी क्षेत्र में उनकी हरकतों ने सुरक्षा के लिए खतरा पैदा कर दिया है।
चीन ने संयुक्त राष्ट्र सुरक्षा परिषद में जमात-उल-दावा (जो पहले लश्कर-ए-तय्यबा कहलाता था) को अंतरराष्ट्रीय आतंकवादी संगठन घोषित करने से रोक दिया। चीन ने ही संयुक्त राष्ट्र में जैश-ए-मुहम्मद के प्रमुख मौलाना मसूद अजहर पर रोक लगाने का विरोध किया। हालांकि वह दिसंबर 2001 में भारतीय संसद पर हमले का जिम्मेवार था। यह देखा जा सकता है कि चीन ने पाकिस्तान को सैनिक सहायता, जिसमें युद्धक विमान और पाकिस्तानी नौसेना के लिए फ्रिगेट व थलसेना के लिए टैंक भी शामिल थे, में वृद्धि कर दी है। इसके अलावा चीन पाकिस्तान को उसके परमाणु हथियारों और मिसाइल कार्यक्रमों के आधुनिकीकरण और सुधार में मदद कर रहा है। चीन की ये हरकतें उस समय हो रही हैं जब अरुणाचल प्रदेश की सीमा को लेकर उसका रवैया ज्यादा कठोर हो गया है और नेपाल में चीन समर्थक गुट भारतीय प्रभाव कम करने के लिए पशुपतिनाथ मंदिर के पुजारियों पर हमले जैसी हरकतें कर रहे हैं। इन सबको लेकर चिंता स्वाभाविक है हालाँकि सरकार चीन की इन हरकतों को ज्यादा महत्व नहीं देने की कोशिश कर रही है।
सीमा के मामले को हल करने के लिए चर्चाएं दिसंबर 1988 में पूर्व प्रधानमंत्री राजीव गांधी की चीन यात्रा के बाद से चल रही हैं लेकिन सीमा पर चीन के अतिक्रमण की समस्या बनी हुई है। भारत और पाकिस्तान के बीच जम्मू और कश्मीर में वास्तविक नियंत्रण रेखा का निर्धारण तो किया जा चुका है लेकिन दोनों पक्षों की सहमति के बावजूद भारत और चीन के बीच की सीमा का निर्धारण हो ही नहीं पाया है जिसे दोनों पक्ष स्वीकार करें। तय किया गया था कि सीमा निर्धारण का काम भारत और चीन एक-दूसरे को वास्तविक नियंत्रण रेखा की सही स्थिति बताते हुए नक्शे एक-दूसरे को सौंपते हुए करें और इसमें जो मतभेद हों उन्हें बातचीत से हल करें। मध्यक्षेत्र (उत्तराखंड से लगा हुआ) के नक्शे दोनों पक्षों ने एक-दूसरे को दे दिए हैं। भारत ने चीन को पश्चिमी क्षेत्र (लद्दाख) की वास्तविक नियंत्रण रेखा के नक्शे 2002 में ही सौंप दिए थे, लेकिन चीन ने वास्तविक नियंत्रण रेखा को लेकर अपने पक्ष के नक्शे देने से इनकार कर दिया। पूर्वी क्षेत्र (सिक्किम और अरुणाचल प्रदेश) की वास्तविक नियंत्रण रेखा के नक्शे देने से भी उसने इनकार कर दिया। इस गतिरोध के कारण 2003 में तय किया गया कि दोनों देश सीमा समस्या का राजनीतिक हल तलाश करेंगे।
आबादी वाले सीमावर्ती इलाकों में 2005 के बाद की स्थिति में कोई बदलाव नहीं लाने के लिए राजी हो जाने के बावजूद चीन अभी अड़ा है। इस शर्त पर अड़ा हुआ है कि लद्दाख में वह भारतीय दावे को स्वीकार करने के लिए तैयार है बशर्ते उसे पूर्वी सीमा में छूट मिले। छठे दलाई लामा की जन्मस्थली होने के कारण चीन बौद्ध धर्मस्थल तवांग का महत्व समझता है और इस पर अपना कब्जा चाहता है, क्योंकि इससे वह तिब्बत पर अपने शासन के औचित्य का एक कारण बता सकता है। भारत ने तवांग पर चीन के दावे को सीधे-सीधे खारिज कर दिया है। प्रणव मुखर्जी कहते हैं, 'संविधान के अनुसार भारत की किसी भी चुनी हुई सरकार को कोई अधिकार नहीं है कि वह किसी ऐसे क्षेत्र को अपने से अलग कर सके जहां से भारतीय संसद के लिए प्रतिनिधि चुना जाता है।Ó अब तक चीन अरुणाचल प्रदेश को लेकर अपना अडिय़ल रुख अपनाए हुए है। भारत ने यह भी संकेत दिए हैं कि वह चीन के साथ लगी सीमा पर सड़कों के जाल को बढ़ाने जा रहा है और साथ ही, पूर्वी क्षेत्र में वायु सुरक्षा को भी मजबूत कर रहा है।
बावजूद इसके कि मौसम के बदलाव विश्व व्यापार संगठन (डब्ल्यूटीओ) वार्ताओं और विश्व पटल पर एकाधिक ध्रुवों के बनने के मामले में भारत और चीन के हित साझा हैं, भारत की सीमा पर और सीमा पार के कारनामों से चीन भारत के खिलाफ सक्रिय है। इससे दोनों देशों के बीच मतभेद बढ़ ही रहे हैं, लेकिन हमें इन तनावों को और अधिक नहीं बढऩे देना चाहिए।

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

India battles with nuclear fallout

The controversy ignited by a leading scientist who participated in India's nuclear tests in 1998 has shaken political and scientific circles in India.
By describing the tests as a "fizzle", K Santhanam has not only challenged the official claims about the tests but also raised critical questions about India's nuclear doctrine, its voluntary moratorium on tests, its adherence to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the much-trumpeted civilian nuclear deal with the United States.
Santhanam said on August 26 that "based on the seismic measurements and also the opinion from experts there was a much lower yield in the thermonuclear device test" conducted at
Pokhran in May 1998. In nuclear parlance, a test is described as a fizzle when it fails to meet the desired yield. Affirming that India would need more tests, Santhanam cautioned against India being pressurized into signing the CTBT.
Santhanam's statement has divided the scientific community and made the political establishment nervous. But it's not an entirely new development; the division in the scientific community in India and abroad on the results of the 1998 tests started within a week after they were conducted.
The official claim was that the thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb had achieved a yield of 43 kilotons and that "it had been purposely kept at this relatively low yield to prevent damage to neighboring villages and radiation venting". At the first press conference after the tests, the leading scientists of the team, including R Chidambaram, head of the Atomic Energy Agency (AEA) and APJ Abdul Kalam, director general of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), asserted that weaponization was complete.
One of those present at that press meet was K Santhanam, then a senior official of the DRDO who had played a leading role in coordinating the tests.
These claims were challenged both in India and abroad. In India, though the scientific community generally took the official line, serious doubts were expressed by some leading scientists, including PK Iyengar, former director of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Those who followed the technical debate in the international nuclear weapons community at that time will recall that foreign analysts had challenged India's claims and agreed, based on seismographic studies, that the yield of the thermonuclear device was in the range of 12 to 25 kt.
Some suggested that Shakti I was a "boosted fission" weapon, not a thermonuclear device. According to the website of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), "Based on seismic data, the US government and independent experts estimated the yield of so-called thermonuclear test in the range of 12-25 kilotons, as opposed to the 43 kt claimed by India. The lower yield raised skepticism about India's claim to have detonated a thermonuclear device."
In November 1998, Nucleonics Week, the international nuclear industry's trade journal, reported that scientists at the Z division of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California - an industry watchdog responsible for making estimates of progress in foreign nuclear weapons programs based on classified data - had concluded that the second stage of a two-stage Indian hydrogen bomb device failed to ignite as planned.
Chidambaram and others repeated their claims and even expanded them. During a two-hour briefing for the Indian Science Writers' Association in February 1999, Chidambaram made a series of claims about the "perfect" character of India's tests and the country's "high technological threshold". He said that the Indian scientists had achieved a "perfect three", with the tests: mastering the optimum emplacement design for the nuclear device; getting specific yield calculations and ensuring zero radioactive contamination.
It is this claim of perfection that is under serious challenge and generally believed to be dubious, if not hollow. Prominent scientists such as A Gopalkrishnan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and P K Iyengar are in agreement with the criticism of Santhanam and point out that the single thermonuclear device India tested in 1998 did not function at all as per design and did not produce anything near the expected design yield.
There was something wrong with the design or prediction method, they argue, and therefore a re-examination of these aspects to decide whether further tests are necessary to obtain a "perfect" design approach is called for.
For Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the controversy should have ended with what he believed to be the final verdict given by former president APJ Abdul Kalam. Kalam refuted the claims of Santhanam, who was his junior in the DRDO at the time of the tests.
The credentials of Kalam, then considered the highest authority on the subject, are questioned by many scientists, including Homi Sethna, another former chairman of the AEC, who was the guiding force behind India's first nuclear test in 1974.
The most profound statement made by Kalam, who later became president of India, immediately after the tests was not scientific - but political. He said how a nuclear-armed India "will be free of foreign invasions which have constantly remolded the ancient Hindu civilization". Those who believe that this was the statement - more than the bomb itself - that endeared Kalam to the leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruling at that time, may have a valid point. Sethna has suggested that Kalam's statement refuting Santhanam was that of a politician.
The fact that the controversy disturbed the political establishment came through in comments made by India's National Security Adviser M K Narayanan in an interview to a national daily. While putting on a brave face, Narayanan dismissed Santhanam as a "bit of a maverick" instead of facing the many issues raised by the statement.
He said Western analysts had questioned the Pokhran II tests because "they don't want to recognize that we are a nuclear weapon power, particularly that we are capable of a fusion device". Narayanan should know. He knows how much time and energy had to be spent to get India a certificate from president George W Bush recognizing it as a de facto nuclear weapon state of good conduct.
Yet another claim made by Chidambaram and others at the time of the tests was that India could develop simulation technology. Their statement on May 16 referred to this and other sub-critical experiments. It was apparently the confidence in developing simulation technology that also made them claim that no further tests were necessary. This claim also was disputed at that time. France, in spite of almost 200 tests in the Pacific, could not develop simulation technology.
To ensure support for the CTBT, the US made secret arrangements with France to provide it technical assistance as well as cooperation with US nuclear weapon laboratories to enhance computer simulation to maintain the reliability of nuclear weapons. There have been reports that soon after the tests, India approached the US for similar assistance. This was a non-starter in Washington as providing such assistance to a non-nuclear weapon state would be a violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Scientists who now say that the 1998 tests failed are clearly stating that the establishment of a validated computer simulation model cannot be done without more weapons tests.
The nuclear tests were carried out in a doctrinal vacuum. There was neither a doctrine that guided the tests nor a consensus after the tests as to what India's nuclear doctrine should be. On August 4, 1998, prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee stated in parliament, "We have now declared our nuclear doctrine." He then said that India's nuclear doctrine would be "no first use based on minimum deterrence".
One year later, on the eve of elections to parliament, the government released the Draft Nuclear Doctrine proposed by the newly formed National Security Advisory Board. Nothing much was heard of this precious document for a long time, though it was known later that it was disowned by foreign minister Jaswant Singh as "unofficial" in his negotiations with Strobe Talbott, former US deputy secretary of state.
After virtual silence on the nuclear doctrine for a long time, a government press release on January 4, 2003, "shared with the public" the Cabinet Committee on Security's review of the operationalization of India's nuclear doctrine.
It spoke of "building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent", "a position of no first use" and "a second-strike capability that will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage in the event of a nuclear attack". The doctrine says, "The fundamental purpose of Indian nuclear weapons is to deter the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons by any state or entity against India and its forces anywhere."
What will be the minimum deterrent required for credible second-strike capability and for punitive retaliation against any state or entity which could include the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?
More importantly, the doctrine speaks about attacks "against India and its forces anywhere". Those who advocate more nuclear tests see a mismatch between the doctrine and weaponization. The question of whether India needs an array of thermonuclear weapons for deterrence also is relevant. So far, not even a limited discussion on requirements for deterrence has been attempted in the public domain.
Santhanam has made it clear that the purpose of his statement was to prevent the Indian government from being railroaded into signing the CTBT as the Indian government will be under increasing pressure from the Barack Obama administration. Until the time of the nuclear tests India had opposed the CTBT.
In the statement on India's nuclear policy presented to parliament on May 27, 1998, it was said that the government had announced India's desire to observe a voluntary moratorium and refrain from conducting underground nuclear explosions.
It also signaled a willingness to "move towards a de jure finalization of the declaration" thus meeting the basic obligations of the CTBT. Within hours of the test, Brajesh Mishra, the prime minister's principal secretary, said that India was ready to adhere to certain provisions in the CTBT. Brajesh added, "This cannot be done in a vacuum."
What India wanted from the US were concessions, especially in the matter of high technology and lifting of sanctions. Talbott wrote later in his book Engaging India, "India was prepared to find a modus vivendi with the US and with the global nuclear order through participation in a number of arms control agreements. India reiterated its 'de facto adherence to the spirit of the CTBT'. In exchange of lifting of sanctions, India might take the next steps, de jure formalization of our position and acceptance of the letter of the treaty."
India had come almost to the point of signing the CTBT when the US Senate refused to ratify it. India had to wait until the George W Bush administration left office to make a deal with the US. There is more than implicit acceptance of the CTBT by India in the nuclear deal. The voluntary moratorium of India has been turned into a virtual ban on future tests and thus a condition of the civilian nuclear agreement with the US.
The Obama administration is keen to get the CTBT ratified by the senate. Once it is done, there will be much pressure, not only from the US but also from member states of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, on India to sign the treaty.
Although India's official position is that it can conduct tests, in practice it is not allowed to do so. If India conducts tests, the nuclear agreement will be terminated by the US; and if it does so after the deal is implemented, there will be enormous loss for India. Therefore, those who ask for more tests argue this is the best time to do it.
The debate now is between those who make a case for further tests to have a "credible nuclear deterrent" and an officialdom hamstrung by the nuclear deal with the US. The voice of those who are gravely concerned about the nuclear arms race in the volatile sub-continent is yet to be heard.