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    Managing the Coalition Business


    by Dr Hamid Hussain


    “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent; but it takes a touch of genius and lots of courage to move something in the opposite direction." Albert Einstein


    Government of Pakistan announced that it has given a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to recently retired Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General ® Raheel Sharif to head the Saudi led coalition. It just put to end the rumor mill swirling around for more than a year.  However, to date, neither Pakistan government nor General ® Raheel Sharif has put forward any clarification about the terms of agreement between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on this subject, nature of the military organization, its objectives, role of its head and the compensation package associated with the job. There may be some good reasons that government of Pakistan thinks this is in Pakistan’s interest but it needs to present its case.  The lack of transparency in important policy decisions only increases the cynicism of general public.

     It is no secret that current Saudi led coalition is engaged in only one conflict and that is in the civil war in Yemen.  Saudi Arabia and Iran are engaged in a power struggle and Saudi led coalition is part of this struggle. Iran is using its own military assets as well as arming and training sectarian militias for different theaters.  On the other hand, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar are arming their own militias to oppose Iran in the same theatres. Iran has recruited many Afghan and Pakistani Shia who are fighting in Syria.  On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has put together its own potpourri of Sunnis from Arab lands, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia for fighting in many conflict zones.  Everyone now has a dog in the fight that makes any concerted effort of reconciliation almost impossible. The main engine of activity in Riyadh and Tehran is the fear and hatred of the ‘other’ rather than any well thought out operational plan for an agreed upon national interest. Both countries are equally responsible for destructive policies totally oblivious to the human cost.


    It is now clear that current Pakistan army brass led by General Qamar Javed Bajwa has given its blessing to Raheel’s appointment.  If the agreement is only about Raheel’s appointment then any negative fallout can be limited to Raheel personally and country can put some kind of a firewall. Raheel can enjoy a three year lucrative contract with a few free pilgrimages as a bonus and everyone will forget about the episode.  The unknown part is whether Pakistan army General Head Quarters (GHQ) also agreed to sending Pakistani troops.  If they have also agreed to sending troops to Saudi Arabia then Pakistan army and government cannot escape the negative fallout if and when it occurs.  My own feeling is that Pakistan has agreed to send troops.


     In December 2015, when Saudi Defence Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman announced the formation of Saudi led alliance, Pakistan parliament passed a unanimous resolution against Pakistan’s participation in alliance. Saudis were outraged and privately they expressed their anger to both civilian and military leadership.  Saudis have been doling out generous financial packages to both civilian and military rulers.  In addition, in mutual infighting among Pakistani power brokers, Saudis have bailed out both Nawaz Sharif and General ® Pervez Musharraf arranging for safe and comfortable exiles.  Saudis have a very low opinion of Pakistanis and they were outraged at Pakistan’s foot dragging considering it a betrayal. This had a sobering effect on Pakistani civil and military leadership and they carefully walked back.


    Pakistan’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is wide ranging.  Saudi Arabia has infused cash into Pakistan’s faltering economy from time to time, provided oil at a special discount rate and Pakistani expatriates in Saudi Arabia send large amount of remittances back home. Pakistan has provided military trainers in the past and in return Saudi Arabia underwrote many military items. In 2004, President George Bush asked Saudi ambassador and close friend Price Bandar Bin Sultan for help.  He told Bandar that it will take a long time to get approval from Congress for the sale of helicopters to Pakistan. Bandar got approval from Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and Saudis paid $235 million for twenty four Bell helicopters destined for Pakistan.  (Bob Woodward.  State of Denial). 

    Pakistan and Saudi Arabia being in United States orbit of influence also agree on major geo-political policy issues.

    In contrast, Pakistan’s relationship with Iran is very limited with only small scale trade between two countries. There is no convergence of interests between two countries as Iran has problems with Unites States for over three decades and Pakistan has a different take on many Iranian priorities. However, Pakistan shares border with Iran.  With this background in mind, one can understand the dilemma of Pakistani civilian and military leaders when Saudis asked them to stand up and be counted. If they wanted, Pakistanis could have used unanimous parliament decision against joining the coalition in Yemen as a cover to try to wriggle out by agreeing to send only some training and support elements.  Even in best of the circumstances, this was a hard task but then there was no will on part of Pakistani decision makers.


    Like any decision, there is a credit side of the ledger and a debit side.  If Pakistan has also agreed to send troops, the minimum number will be at least a brigade and possibly a division size force.  On credit side, at personal level, soldiers deployed to Saudi Arabia will get a generous package something similar to what they receive for United Nations peace keeping missions.  On national level, Pakistan will likely receive a compensation package that could be $1-2 billion per year.  However, this will be contingent upon deployment of combat troops.  On debit side, Pakistan will invariably get involved in the wider sectarian conflict to some extent.  Already, the sectarian gulf inside Pakistan got a little bit more widened with announcement of General ® Raheel Sharif’s appointment. The discussion on the subject is mostly along sectarian lines.  Pakistan does not have direct border or any other significant interest in Yemen therefore there is no risk of direct major damage or acute crisis.  However, there will be some complications if international and regional players up the ante. 


    Like any simmering conflict, many aspects of Yemen conflict are not clear yet.  United States under new administration is reviewing its Yemen file.  Trump administration is entangled in domestic controversies, allegations and investigations that are sucking most of the oxygen.  Foreign and military policy is not clear but indications are not auspicious. Trump’s national security team with the possible exception of National Security Advisor General H. R. McMaster is solidly anti-Iran.  Secretary of Defence James Mattis has ordered the review of Yemen policy and it will likely be completed in a month (The Washington Post, March 26, 2017). 


    In the last few months of Obama administration, Washington not only vetoed many Saudi and Emirati requests about deeper involvement but significantly downgraded intelligence and operational cooperation.  It also stopped shipment of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia in view of rising civilian casualties from air strikes.  Trump administration has lifted the ban on shipment of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia and provided better optics for Middle East players by inviting Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Egyptian President Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sissi and Jordanian King Abdullah to the White House.  Trump administration is currently working on bringing together a five country military alliance to quarantine Iran. The members of this club include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Jordan and Israel. Israel will provide only intelligence and technical assistance while Arab members will provide boots on the ground.  (The Wall Street Journal, 15 February 2017).


    Egypt and Jordan have very close and long standing relationship with Israeli security apparatus and both countries facilitated Saudi rapprochement with Israel. Saudis are cautiously pulling the curtain away. Former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al Faisal met two retired Israeli generals with intelligence background.  Major General Amos Yadlin is former head of Israeli Military Intelligence (Aman) and Major General Yaakov Amidror is former head of research department of Israeli Military Intelligence. In the summer of 2016, former Saudi Major General with intelligence experience Dr. Anwar Eshki led a delegation of Saudi businessmen and academics to Israel. He met Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold and military coordinator of Palestinian territories Major General Yoav Mordechai.  There is nothing wrong in breaking the ice and starting some working relations with Israel. However, in current context it will be seen by Arab public in a very negative light resulting in many public relations problems for Saudi Arabia. Saudis want a broader coalition of Sunni Muslim countries even if majority of the members are sleeping partners to be able to sell the project to a sceptic public.


    The final verdict in Washington will be based on risks of deeper involvement of U.S. troops in case Saudi led coalition falters during a major operation especially amphibious landing.  The other concern will be distraction from main U.S. mission in Yemen that is fighting al-Qaeda and Yemeni franchise of Daesh (Islamic State).


    Currently, Yemen conflict is in a state of stalemate.  If Trump administration decides to push back against Iran, then a low cost powerful message to Tehran can be via Yemen.  In that case, project of taking back the crucial port of Hodeida will be the first item on the agenda.  Hodeida is the port on western Red Sea coast of Yemen.  It is a crucial supply route for Houthi/Saleh coalition that is fighting other Yemeni groups and is the target of Saudi led coalition. Emiratis and Saudis asked Obama administration for increased U.S. involvement including Special Forces and logistics for large scale amphibious landings that was declined.  If Trump administration goes for active involvement in Yemen then close cooperation in capture of Hodeida is an attractive option.  This may also help in jump starting more inland gains especially capture of important city of Taiz.


    Emirati troops have surprised many military observers by fighting well and successful amphibious landings at Aden and Mukalla. It is due to good training by Australian former Special Forces operatives as well as a brigade consisting of Latin American former Special Forces soldiers.  However, Emirati troops are too small in numbers and small Gulf sheikhdoms cannot sustain prolonged deployment or high casualty rates.  It is here that Saudi led coalition needs Pakistani troops and potential complications for Pakistan.  If Pakistani troops are only deployed along Saudi-Yemeni border and they suffer casualties from rocket attacks, this can be sold to Pakistani public as martyrs for the defense of holy places.  However, if Pakistani troops are used inside Yemen where in all probability Saudis want them then it will be a difficult sell.  However, I don’t see any large scale protests against it in view of army’s control of the narrative and civilian leadership fully supportive.  In fact, Saudis may unilaterally activate their own friends inside Pakistan (many sectarian outfits have ideological affinity with austere Saudi version with deep antipathy towards Shia while others such as Hafiz Saeed & Company have received generous financial packages) by organizing demonstrations portraying Pakistan’s involvement as defense of holy places.


    If the scenario unfolds this way, Tehran will face a dilemma.  If they also decide to up the ante, their only option is to provide Houthi-Saleh coalition with maritime mines to cause panic at the choking point of Bab al Mandab that carries most commercial traffic from Red sea to Arabian sea.  This can internationally isolate Tehran as international community will not like any hindrance of commercial traffic.  A less costly option may be to use remote controlled boat based attacks on coalition military ships on Red Sea coast.  If Tehran decides to increase costs for Saudi Arabia and provide Houthi/Saleh coalition with longer range rockets that can have serious re-percussions.  Attacks on areas closer to holy places will inflame Sunni passions putting Tehran in a very difficult situation.  Tehran’s interests in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon are more strategic in nature while Yemen is a side show.  Tehran may decide to concede in Yemen to protect interests in other important areas.  However, it may still provide rebels with enough short range rockets to inflict a certain degree of pain to Saudis especially along Yemeni border. 


    Iran and Pakistan have serious differences on many issues.  There is an environment of deep mistrust and suspicion.  In 2007-10, extremist Sunni Jundullahgroup was operating from Pakistani Baluchistan and was involved in some devastating attacks on Iranian targets in Seistan-Baluchistan province.  In view of close cooperation between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during that time period, Iranians believed that Pakistan was involved in this adventure.  This was not true.  Later, it was disclosed that Israelis made contact with Jundullahin London posing as American agents carrying American diplomatic documents.  After this revelation, U.S.-Israeli relations were strained and incoming Obama administration significantly downgraded Israeli-U.S. intelligence cooperation. (Foreign Policy, January 2012).  Pakistan had to go an extra mile and worked overtime to apprehend Jundullahoperatives and handed them over to Tehran to convince Iranians that they were not in the game.  There was some improvement in relations but in March 2016, when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was visiting Pakistan, he was embarrassed.  The arrest of Indian intelligence operative Kulbhushan Yadav in Baluchistan when he was coming from Iranian port city of Chahbahar was made public and General Raheel Sharif then Chief of Army Staff (COAS) read Rouhani the riot act. Army’s spokesperson dutifully contradicted Rouhani’s statement at a press conference and tweeted the text of conversation while Rouhani was still in Pakistan. This has not been done to even a visiting rival Indian high level dignitary.  Iranians were furious as they had brought a large delegation including several cabinet members for wide ranging engagements.  They left with the impression that Pakistan army had done this at the behest of Saudi Arabia.  This incident brought Iran-Pakistan relations to another low-point.  Now with the hindsight, we know that Raheel was negotiating his post-retirement lucrative employment package with Saudis at that time, it puts a question mark whether he did this to earn few ‘brownie points’ from Saudis. 


    Iranians are no boy scouts and they will look after their own interests.  Osama Bin Ladin’s family members were kept for safe keeping in Iran.  Now looking at the time line after Bin Ladin’s killing, it is clear that in 2010 Iran exchanged Bin Ladin’s family members for its intelligence operative Heshmatollah Atterzadeh.  He was working under the cover of commercial attaché at Iranian consulate in Peshawar from where he was abducted by al-Qaeda operatives and kept in Pakistan’s tribal areas.  Tehran didn’t bother to inform Pakistanis even after the exchange was done.  Leader of Taliban Mullah Akhtar Mansur was travelling on a Pakistani passport with an Iranian visa and coming from Iran when a drone sent him packing back to his creator.  He was surely not going for a holiday trip to Iran.  Pakistan’s involvement in Saudi led coalition will add to this existing deep mistrust. From economic point of view, there is not much between Iran and Pakistan and an angry Iran will simply further downgrade economic ties.  However, everyone knows how to play the game.  If you are unhappy with Pakistan then simply enhance your relations with Afghanistan and India.  It is now certain that Iran’s cooperation with Afghanistan and India will expand and it may result in clash with Pakistani interests.  Tehran will also increase its contacts with Pakistani Shia players as it will find a fertile ground of resentment against the state and its policies.  There is clear risk that Tehran will try to cultivate its intelligence assets inside Pakistani security apparatus for situational awareness.  This in turn will put extra load on an already overstretched Pakistani intelligence apparatus for counter-intelligence. 


    Coalition especially a military coalition is a tricky business.  North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with seventy years history, enormous resources and unrivalled diplomatic cover has failed in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Mutual incriminations, huge wastage of resources and uncertain benefits from a decade long involvement in foreign adventure by a well-established and well-resourced entity like NATO should make every sane person to pause and reflect.  If General Raheel Sharif thinks that he can pull this thing up while serving as an employee of a royal ego like Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, then he needs serious counselling. In case he is not aware, Saudi Arabia has declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization, Egypt has declared Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist entity and Turkey has labelled its own former mentor Gulen movement a terrorist organization. You don’t need a military staff college course on your resume to understand the dilemma.


    It is important for Pakistani elite and general public to understand that if someone is giving them financial aid as well as bailing them out in their personal woes then payback is an essential element of this arrangement.  They may have to then make decisions that may not be in Pakistan’s long term interests. This has been a pattern of Pakistani-U.S. relations and now Pakistan is expanding on this theme with its relationships with Saudi Arabia and China going on the same trajectory.


    ‘The desire to gain an immediate selfish advantage always imperils their ultimate interests.  If they recognize this fact, they usually recognize it too late’.  Reinhold Niebuhr

      

    Hamid Hussain


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    PS: Dr Abid sent in a revised version, so I have over-written the original post.
    The following post was sent in by Dr Abdul Majeed Abid in response to my recent blog post regarding Islam and liberal world order.  (I personally think that loyalty to country, even to an empire not our own, can be successfully created, but it takes an unusually dominant host culture or empire to carry it off for now; and in the future, who knows what shape loyalties and identities will eventually take, but that is a story for another day. Dr Abid's comments follow).

    From Dr Abdul Majeed Abid:

    Islam, it may be, really IS the the rock on which the Western Liberal Democratic Consensus is breaking..



    Recent events in Turkey and the political situation in France are indicators of a future where the modern democratic project fails where an interaction with Islam is concerned. A Democratically elected (quibbles aside) government in Turkey used the tool of democracy to give up on democracy itself (it was not as simple as that, but this is one of the easier inferences). Khaled Ahmed has written in one of his pieces that Muslims don't really 'get' Democracy. Turkey has seen a hundred-year long ‘struggle’ for the government between Kemalist/Secularist forces (be they Mustafa Kemal’s party CHP or the military) and Islamist/Neo-Ottoman forces (starting from Nacmeddin Erbakan to Tayyip Erdogan) and the Islamists seem to have scored a decisive victory. With its Kurdish-majority south-eastern part up in arms, ISIS knocking on its doors and millions of refugees roaming the cities, Turkey can easily be branded the ‘New Pakistan’. Pakistan, lest we forget, was made to escape from a democracy where Muslims would remain as a permanent minority.   



    France, a nation proud of its unique national character, faltered when it came to dealing with Muslims. Starting in the 1970s, the principle of Laïcité, the bedrock of French society for the last century, has faced critical examination because of Muslims and their failure to completely integrate in a majority Christian nation.


    From the article about Giles Kepel linked above:

    “ In September last year, a landmark survey commissioned by the Montaigne Institute found that 28 percent of French Muslims had adopted values “clearly opposed to the values of the republic,” with a mix of “authoritarian” and “secessionist” views, including support for polygamy and the niqab, or full-face veil, and opposition to laws enforcing secularism”.

    The identity crisis that Muslims have felt in France, in Britain, in Belgium, in Germany, has not been fully understood or dealt with by the concerned societies. So you get ‘home-grown’ terrorists in Britain, Germany, France and Belgium killing people indiscriminately, turning on the very states that have provided them a social security net and a place to live (and what most people in Pakistan would give up for getting a chance to spend their lives in Western Europe, living on taxpayers’ dime). Muslims in these countries have refused to assimilate partially or completely, threatening the whole edifice of multiculturalism.


     The threat of such issues arising in United States has become a rallying cry for right-wing politicians and media. And I kind of understand where that fear (even though it is mostly irrational in the US context) is coming from. When I see a black burka-clad woman in Times Square or a full-on Shuttlecock Burka lady in Houston, I myself get afraid, and not for myself, but for 'Fellow Americans’. In the last few months, I have had to provide answers, to the best of my knowledge, about Islam and Muslims, from West Virginia to Miami and Houston, basically everywhere that I went and talked to people (including Ayn Rand fans, non-believers and a few people from India). I see it as a failure of assimilation, even in the United States (where the situation is far better than Western Europe). Be it the ‘grooming’ gangs or honor killings in Britain or Female Genital Mutation in the United States, far too many Muslims have demonstrated an aversion to participation in a liberal democratic order. From Syed Qutb to Afia Siddiqi, the story from this subset of Muslims is similar. "We don’t like you, despite your kindness towards us and when we get the opportunity, we will do our best to harm you"       

     One of the questions about Islam that troubled me the most during my interaction with Americans of different backgrounds was the concept of Jihad and Islamism. People claimed that in the last seventy years, the only religious ideology that has been used (by various people, for various purposes, more on that later in the post) to indiscriminately kill people en masse is the ideology of Jihad. Be it Al-Qaeda, Taliban in Afghanistan, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Terrorist groups in Kashmir, TTP in Pakistan or ISIS in the Middle East and the rest of the world, the leitmotif that binds all of these violent organisations has been the concept of Jihad and the claim that Islam ‘deserves’ to be a dominant religion in the world. The claim is that there are hardly any Christian or Jewish or Hindu militias hunting down people basis on religion (Thoughts: Myanmar’s Buddhist monks and India’s ‘Beef vigilantes’ are an exception? What about states cleansing their enemies? Somegody is bound to bring up Israel, rightly or wrongly? Was communism a religion? Is the difference one of degree or type?).
    Nuances exist, but still, this ideology which is often described as ‘Militant Islam’ in the United States, is a threat to humanity at present. In my view (and based on my personal interactions with Muslims from various countries), the problem is not just with these terrorist organizations carrying out beheadings and massacres, the problem lies in the minds of a ‘silent’ majority that inadvertently or partly justifies their actions. You don’t have to be a card-carrying Al Qaeda member to be a fellow traveler. When you support an ‘Islamic’ system of government in your country (as multiple polls in the wider Muslim world have established), you are demanding a softer version of the same thing that ISIS is vying for. What if you are a highly educated person spending most of your time in the ‘West’ (like Aafia Siddiqi or Faisal Shahzad) and you still harbor this ideology (that Islam deserves to be the dominant religion in the world and ‘sacrifices’ have to be made in that regard)? In that case, defeating ISIS or Al Qaeda is not going to solve the ideological problem. How and when do you truly defeat an ideology?     


    PS. The concept of ‘Jihad’ (the killing other people type, which is the most commonly used meaning of it, even if many Muslims now understand the need to deny that) has been utilized in the past by colonial powers for their own purposes. The list of leaders/countries invoking ‘Jihad’ includes General Franco, Chiang Kai-Shek, Stalin, Mussolini, Churchill, Hitler, the French during WWI,  the US War Department during WWII, the Japanese during WWII, more recently, the ‘Afghan War’ that was bankrolled by the CIA. These people realized that Muslims can be roused for any cause by using the call of ‘Jihad’. Thus we find both sides in a conflict trying to recruit Muslims for their cause.   


    (Special thanks to Umar, @cybertosser on twitter for the links on Jihad).


     



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    From Dr Hamid Hussain (received as PDF and converted, kindly excuse any formatting issues)

    AN ANGLO-AFGHAN-INDIANDYNASTY


    THE STORY OF THE WARBURTONS


    Hamid Hussain

    The story of the Warburtons began with a love affair in the middle of a war, that spanned two cultures and led  to the  founding   of  a distinguished and flamboyant dynasty spanning several generations.

    Robert  Warburton,  the  founder  of  this extraordinary  family,  was  born  8 March in  Garryhinch , Ireland .  He  joined  the  Bengal  Artillery  in  1831 ,  was  commissioned   in the 6th Regiment of that distinguished formation, later moving to the 5th Regiment. The Warburton's story begins with the First Afghan War of  1839-42.  When the deposed Afghan  ruler Shah Shuja recovered  his  throne with  British  and  Indian  bayonets,  Warburton  raised and  commanded  the ' King's  Own Artillery ' in the shah's army.
    Once the British were  ensconced  in  Kabul,  Warburton  met  and  fell  in  love  with  Shah Jahan Begum. Shah Jahan Begum,  who  was  born  in  1813,  was  the  daughter  of  Adul  Rahim Khan, a Popalzai Durrani noble. She was  married  to  Sardar  Faiz  Talab  Khan. Who served at the court of Amir Dost Muhammad Khan, and they had a  son  in  1840.  Later  that  year, she fell in love with Warburton, and after securing  divorce, she  married  the  English officer in November 1840  .  The couple was married  according to  Muslim  law; the ceremony was conducted by Qazi Fatehullah. The Mahar, a dowry promise d by the groom, was the astounding  sum  of  600,000  Rupees.  Guests  at  the  marriage  included  Sir  Alexander  Burnes, Lt. John Leigh Stuart  and  Lt.  Charles  Howard  Jenkins.  Three  Muslim  officers,  Subedars Abdullah  Khan,  Mir  Haji  and Sirdar   Khan,  signed  as  witnesses  to the union.

    The young couple  had  little time to  enjoy  their  new  happiness.  The  British  position in Afghanistan  began  to deteriorate, and the army was driven  from  Kabul  and  destroyed as it struggled southwards. Warburton was handed over as hostage to one of the Afghan insurgent leaders, Mohammad Akbar Khan, in December 1841 along with five other officers: Capts. Airey, Conolly, Drummond, Walsh and Webb.

    Warburton along with a number of other English hostages was sent north to Bamian when an East India Company relief force retook Kabul. Saleh Muhammad Khan commanded the force detailed to escort the prisoners to Bamian.  Saleh had an exciting career. He was Subedar of the 6th Regiment of Shah Shuja's infantry, which had been commanded by Captain Perin Hopkins, who was killed in Jalalabad in January 1842. When the  British were driven from Kabul, Saleh Muhammad deserted with  his  company  to  Dost  Muhammad. A short time  later an  English  prisoner, George  Lawrence (brother of Henry and  John), called Muhammad by his name and old rank. Saleh Muhammad replied: "Lawrence Sahib, I am a general now, so you must now style me "General'".

    As the returning EIC forces drove back the Afghans, Saleh Muhammad again switched sides when his English prisoners made an offer he could not refuse. He was guarantee a pension for life of a thousand rupees a month with an additional 20,000 rupees to be paid as soon as the prisoners reached Kabul. The next morning, Saleh Muhammad raised a 'flag of defiance' above the fort announcing his revolt against Akbar Khan. It was perfectly in line with Afghan tradition. The freed English officers promptly set up a new governor of Bamian district, and two Hazara chiefs tendered their allegiance to the new administration. But the British withdrew from Afghanistan shortly thereafter and Dost Muhammad Khan returned to power'.

    Robert Warburton returned to India after his release. He was commanding the 19th brigade of the Royal Artillery at Peshawar where he died in November 1863 at the age of 51. He is buried at the Christian cemetery  near Tehkal Bala in Peshawar.

    Saleh Muhammad followed the British to India, and settled in Ludhiana. a city that had become a favoured refuge for Afghans lucky enough to keep their heads after losing in one or other of the bloody power games on the chessboard of Afghan politics. In 1857, he raised and commanded a mounted contingent to aid the British when their rule was challenged by the revolt of the Bengal   army.  The force consisted of some 130 Afghans, Punjabi Muslim  and Sikhs. It was later incorporated into Skinner's Horse, and his brother Fateh Muhammad was appointed Risaldar.

    Warburton and his Afghan bride had a son who  was also named Robert. He was born in a Ghilzai fort between Jagdullak and Gandamak when his mother was on the run from Afghan insurgents after the British retreated from Kabul. A number of Afghan women had married British officers. and they were a special target for the insurgents. In one case, an eighteen year old Afghan girl who  had married a British officer was burned alive and the throats of all her servants were slit.  Shah Jahan Begum was sheltered by relatives and well-wishers in  various  towns, villages and hamlets. Finally, she escaped in disguise and reached Peshawar in 1843, where she was joined by her two sons. 


    Robert's early education was at a school in Mussoorrie before he was sent to England and entered Kensington Grammar school. He attended Woolwich and was commissioned in the Royal Artillery in December 1861. He served with F Battery of the 19th Artillery Brigade, which his father had commanded. He also served with the 21st  Punjab Infantry in the Abyssinia campaign in 1868 and the 15 Ludhiana Sikhs before transferring to the Political Department. 

    He was Assistant Commissioner of Peshawar and Mardan before being appointed Political Officer of the Khyber in 1879. During the Second Afghan War, Warburton serve as political officer of the Jalalabad Valley Field Force. He was fluent in Pushtu and Persian and his linguistic skills and Afghan heritage gave him a special status when dealing with tribesmen.

    The Khyber Jazailchis were raised byCapt. Gilbert Gaisford in 1878 as a paramilitary force to police the famous pass. Warburton later took over the force. His right hand  man  was  the  legendary
    Honorary Colonel Muhammad Aslam Khan. Aslam was from the royal Saddozai family of Afghanistan. He started his career as risaldar with the 5th Bengal Cavalry in the I857 mutiny.

    The two men transformed the force into the famous Khyber Rifles. Regular troops were withdrawn, and the Khyber Rifles became the guardians of the pass. Under its watchful eye, law and order in large swathes around the Khyber was far superior to that in many settled areas. When Warburton left his post on May I0, 1897 due to ill-health, hundreds of Afridis crowded the platform of Peshawar railway station to say goodbye to a man they regarded as a friend. In the autumn of 1897, there was a general uprising among the Khyber tribes, and  Warburton  was  recalled.  He had complete faith in the Afridis and traveled around the Khyber accompanied by just four orderlies of the Khyber Rifles.

    When British forces entered the Afridi heartland in the Tirah, and burned the tribesmen's homes as retribution, Warburton told a group of old Afridis that it was beyond his power to prevent the destruction. With tears in their eyes, the grey beards of the Afridi jirga or council replied. "Never mind, Sahib, whatever happens we are earnestly praying that you may not be injured in this campaign Warburton died in England and is buried in Brompton Cemetery in London.

    Robert Warburton 's daughter, Marie, married Lt. Col. James Richard Birch of the Cheshire Regiment. Their son, Lt. Col. James Robert Birch joined his father's regiment. In 1933, thirty-five years after Warburton's retirement, a huge crowd of Afridis showed up at Landi Kotal railway station just before the arrival of a troop train carrying the Ist Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. The tribesmen had heard that Warburton's grandson was an officer in the battalion and had come to see him.

    The famous exploits of Robert Warburton on the North West Frontier were matched by the career of his Afghan step-brother. Shah Jahan Begum's son by her first marriage, Jahan Dad Khan, was adopted by the first Robert Warburton. The boy was baptized John Paul Warburton, and educated  at the Roman Catholic school at Agra. He joined the Punjab Police in 1864, and during a long career served at Kamal, Ludhiana, Muzzaffargarh and  Ambala, eventually  retiring as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Railway Police. After leaving British service, he served as Inspector General of Patiala State Police.

    John Warburton became a legend for his remarkable detective work and relentless pursuit of robbers. Locals, struggling with pronouncing his name, called him "Button Sahib'. He was given many difficult cases because he spoke Pushtu and Persian and possessed an innate understanding of local attitudes and customs. In one case, a band of Pathan thieves repeatedly evaded capture. The case was assigned to 'Button Sahib' and he arrested most the gang members  and broke up the ring.

    Like his step-father, John Warburton was smitten by love in unusual circumstances. ln 1863, while out exercising one morning, he saw a young woman being attacked by a mad dog. He intervened and rescued her. The woman was Mary Meakins. a beautiful 21-year-old widow with three children She had married Ensign William Philip Meakins at the age of fourteen. Meakins had died of cholera, and Mary was Iiving with her parents. John married Mary at Ludhiana, where he lived with his mother, who was attended by her own retinue of Afghan servants. The Afghan widow was proud of her royal lineage, and made sure that everybody understood her station.

    In later years, John was allotted land near Lahore for his services, and the town that grew up in the area was named Warburton.   He  built a  house  and a garden  there. Later, a railway station was constructed for the town bearing the name Warburton. After retirement,  he lived at Gilbert House in the hill station of Kasauli. He was out riding in October 1919 when he fell from his horse; a broken rib punctured his lung and he later died. Edmund Candler wrote an obituary hailing the former police man, saying: ·'he went through life with  a  brave heart and clean hands".

    John  had  two  sons  (Robert and Arthur, and four daughters (Durani, Lizzie, Minna and Muriel). His son Arthur served with the  Burma Police. His grandson Julian Durani  Warbrton ( 1894-1936) a!so joined the Punjab PoIice, where he had a distinguished career, winning  the King's Police medal and the OBE. He died at the young age of 41 . His wife Lucy Farrant joined the Intelligence Bureau as a cipher officer.

    The Warburtons, with their Anglo-Indian   heritage.  illustrate   how  the  barriers of race could  sometimes  be  overcome  in British India. Few Anglo-Indian families achieved  so much.

    *  **
    Further reading:

    Colonel Sir Robert Warburton. Eighteen years in Khyber 1879-1898(Lahore:Sang-e- meel Publications 2007, Reprint of 1900Edition)

    G. D. Martineau. Controller of Devils: A Life of John Paul Warburton. C.J.E. of The Punjab Police  (Privately  Published)

    Hamid  Hussain. The  Romance  of Soldiering -  Experience  of  Colonial  India.  Defence
    Journal, October 2002

    Wing Commander® Sardar Ahmad Shah Jan Saddozai. Saddozai: Saddozai Kings & Vaziers

    of Afghanistan (Peshawar: Public Arts Press), 2007


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    Peace activists from India and Pakistan have circulated a resolution to support efforts for a durable peace between India and Pakistan. The full text of the resolution can be found at this link. The preamble states:

    "In the 70 years since independence and Partition, the people of India and Pakistan have seen too many conflicts and the loss of many valuable lives. Enough of the distrust and tensions. Those who suffer particularly are ordinary people denied visas and those in the conflict zones, especially women and children as well as fishermen who get routinely rounded up and arrested for violating the maritime boundary.
    We condemn all forms of violence regardless of its objectives.
    Deeply concerned at the current rise in animosity and antagonism between India and Pakistan, we urge both governments and their security establishments to take all steps possible towards improving relations.."

    The resolution has been signed by hundreds of prominent activists, journalists, intellectuals and peace-lovers from all over the world. Whenever such resolutions are circulated, they tend to get pigeon-holed as Leftist or Liberal and while popular within those domains, they are derided as fairy-tales by those who like to think of themselves as more "realistic". I would submit that this is unfortunate.. I think all realists should support the DEMAND for peace. While there are powerful lobbies that are genuinely un-interested in peace (and would PREFER to settle matters by force) on both sides (the situation is not necessarily symmetrical, as I have pointed out in the past, the Indian establishment, and even their Right Wing, is willing to make peace on current borders, Pakistan is the anti-status quo state), "realists" do not support war in principle, they support it because they think "the other side leaves us no choice". I submit that those who believe this should have no problem with such a resolution: to ask for peace is not the same as asking for surrender. In the cold war, both Russia and the US made it a point to stress that THEY wanted peace, it was the other side that was not cooperating sincerely. I would appeal to all my "realist" friends to get with the program and at least do this much: joint the demand for peace. Put the onus for it's failure on the other country. Don't be the one asking for war as the preferred step.
    Who knows, It may even work.
    😊

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    Corrected Officer List: Sitting on ground Left to Right: Lieutenant Harbhajan Singh (1) and Lieutenant Muhammad Afzal (2).

    First Row Seated: Left to Right: Captain Khalid Jan, Captain Hira Lal Atal, Second-in-Command (2IC) Major Basil Holmes, DSO, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel A. H. Williams, MC (with dog in his lap), Major Faiz Muhammad Khan, Captain K. M. Idris (11), Risaldar Major Ugam Singh (12).

    First Row Standing: Left to Right: Unidentified VCO, Lieutenant Inder Sen Chopra (3), Lieutenant Enait Habibullah (4), Lieutenant K. K. Verma (5), Captain S. D. Verma (6), Captain M. S. Wadalia (7), Lieutenant Ghanshyam Singh (8), Lieutenant J. K. Majumdar (9), Lieutenant P. S. Nair (10) and unidentified VCO.


    16thLight Cavalry was one of the first cavalry regiment of the Indian army that was Indianized.  7th Light Cavalry was the second cavalry regiment that was Indianized and later 3rd Cavalry was also earmarked for Indianization.  Disproportionately, large number of future senior cavalry officers of Indian and Pakistani armies belonged to these three Indianized cavalry regiments. They were the founding fathers of armored corps of Indian and Pakistan armies.



    King Commissioned Indian Officers (KCIOs) were graduates of Sandhurst and Indian Commissioned Officers (ICOs) were trained at Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehra Dun. During the war, Indian officers were commissioned as Emergency Commissioned Officers (ECOs) after only six months of training. The picture is circa 1936, therefore most Indian officers are KCIOs and only two ICOs as first IMA batch known as ‘pioneers’ was commissioned in December 1934. Both are from the first IMA course.


    Major Basil Holmes:In this 1936 picture, he was Second-in-Command (2IC) of the regiment. He was an Australian and served with Australian army during First World War.  He was ADC to his father Major General William Holmes who was killed by a shell in France during a tour. He won Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in First World War. After the war, he transferred to Indian army and after a career of twenty one years in India, retired as Colonel and went back to Australia.


    Lieutenant Colonel Austin Henry Williams (1890-1973): He was commissioned in 38thCentral India Horse in 1909. In Great War, he fought with his regiment in France and won Military Cross (MC).  In 1922, 38th and 39thCentral India Horse regiments were amalgamated to form 21st Central India Horse. He served as Adjutant and later squadron commander of the regiment. In 1933, he was transferred to 16th Cavalry as Second-in-Command of the regiment. In 1934, he was appointed Commanding Officer (CO) of the regiment and he held this position until 1938. He then served as commandant of Equitation School at Saugor and when this school was closed in August 1939, he became commandant of Small Arms School. He retired at Brigadier rank and after partition of India in 1947 moved to South Africa.  He was an accomplished international polo player and was member of Indian army polo team that visited United States in 1927. 


    Lieutenant Harbhajan Singh:He came to IMA via Patiala State Forces.  As evidenced from his picture, he was very tall and was member of the color party of IMA.  He retired as Brigadier of Indian army.


    Lieutenant Muhammad Afzal:He was member of a military family and son of Risaldar Major Fazal Dad Khan (12thCavalry). His five brothers; Major General Muhammad Akbar Khan (Probyn’s Horse & RIASC), Major General Muhammad Iftikhar Khan (7th Light Cavalry), Major General Muhammad Anwar Khan (Engineers), Brigadier Muhammad Zafar Khan (RIASC) and Brigadier Muhammad Yousef Khan (RIASC) served with Indian and Pakistan armies. 


    He later transferred to Royal Indian Army Service Corps (RIASC).  He retired as Brigadier of Pakistan army.


    Captain Khalid Jan:He was the scion of Afghan royal family section settled in Peshawar.  He was the grandson of legendry Colonel Sardar Muhammad Aslam Khan of Khyber Rifles and son of Brigadier Sir Hissam-uddin Khan.  He attended Royal Indian Military College (RIMC) at Dehra Dun.  He was commissioned in August 1928 from Sandhurst.  In 1940, he went to Indian Cavalry Training Centre (ICTC).  During Second World War, he served with Persia-Iraq command in Middle East.  In 1946, when he returned to India, he served with Guides Cavalry for a short period of time before assuming command of 25/8 Punjab Regiment (Garrison battalion).  In 1947, he commanded 3rdMahar Regiment during internal security duties in East Punjab.  In 1947, he opted for Pakistan army and his Pakistan Army number was 13 (PA-13). He was the first native commanding officer of 1/12 Frontier Force Regiment (now 3 Frontier Force Regiment) from October 1947 – October 1948.  He later transferred to Remount, Veterinary and Farm Corps (RV&FC). He retired at Lieutenant Colonel rank of Pakistan army.


    His elder brother Ahmad Jan was commissioned in 1927 in 7th Light Cavalry.  He retired at Brigadier rank of Pakistan army.


    Captain Hira Lal Atal (1905-1985):  He was a Kashmiri pandit and son of Major Dr. Pyare Lal Atal of Indian Medical Service (IMS).  He was medical officer of 59th Scindh Rifles (later 6/13 Frontier Force Rifles and now 1 Frontier Force Regiment of Pakistan army).  He died in First World War in November 1914 in France when the house serving as hospital collapsed from artillery shelling. 


    Hira Lal was commissioned in January 1925 from Sandhurst and joined 16thLight Cavalry. He served with 47th Cavalry on frontier duty during the war.  He later commanded 18th Cavalry in 1945.  After partition, he commanded 1 Armored Division of Indian army and also served as commander of UP Area. He was the first native Adjutant General (AG) of Indian army.  He retired as Major General of Indian army. 


    His younger brother was Kanhiya Lal ‘Bagga’ Atal (1913 – 1949).  He was from the first IMA course and commissioned in 6/13th Frontier Force Rifles. His father had died with his boots on while tending to the wounded comrades of the same battalion in France.  He fought Second World War on Eritrean front.  In 1948 Kashmir war, he commanded 77 Para Brigade.  In 1949, he was Brigadier when he died at the age of 35 from heart attack during a hunting trip.


    Major Faiz Mohammad Khan: He was commissioned in July 1921 from Sandhurst.  He was the first Indian commissioned officer posted to 16th Cavalry. He was from the ruling family of the state of Maler Kotla. In 1927, he was seconded to Indian Political Service (IPS) for six years.  He spent three years as Military Secretary to Maler Kotla State Forces and returned back to 16thCavalry in September 1936.  Two years later, he was posted to 15thLancers (then converted into a training regiment). At the time of partition, he was the second senior most Pakistan army officer and assigned Pakistan Army Number 2 (PA-2).  He transferred to Army Services Corps (ASC) and served as director RV & FC.  He retired at Brigadier rank of Pakistan army. His grandson Colonel Sohail served with 26th Cavalry of Pakistan army.


    Captain Khairuddin Mohammad Idris: Known as K.M. ‘Shrimp’ Idris.  He was commissioned in September 1925 from Sandhurst.  He later raised and commanded war time raised 44th Cavalry.  At the time of partition, he was commanding 3rd Cavalry.  Muslim component of 3rdCavalry was detached and regiment left for India.  His Pakistan Army number was 4 (PA-4). He commanded 3rd Armored Brigade of Pakistan army.  He retired at Brigadier rank of Pakistan army. He was a great polo player.  His two sons Major Owais Idris (13th Lancers) and Lieutenant Colonel Shuaib Idris (12th Cavalry) also proudly served Pakistan army.


    Lieutenant Inder Sen Chopra:He was commissioned in January 1931 from Sandhurst.  He transferred to Indian Political Service (IPS) early in his service in 1937 and served as political officer of Loralai in Baluchistan.  Later, he joined Indian Foreign Service.  In early 1950s, he was chief of protocol.  As a former cavalry officer steeped in traditions of appropriate and formal dress, he had many nightmares when politicians showed up at president house in native dress despite reminders about formal attire.  He served as ambassador to Sweden, Iraq and Argentina.


    Lieutenant Enait Habibullah:Shaikh Enaith Bahadur Habibullah was from a taluqdar family of Oudh and son of Shaikh Muhammad Habibullah who served as Vice Chancellor of University of Lucknow.  Muhammad was an enlightened feudal and wanted a different course for his children.  He sent all three sons to England for education.  Enaith was educated at Clifton College and commissioned in August 1930 from Sandhurst.  During Second World War, he served with 16thCavalry.  In 1947, he opted for Indian army.  He was the first commandant of National Defence Academy (NDA). He retired at Major General rank of Indian army. His two brothers Issat Bahadur Habibullah and Ali Bahadur Habibullah opted for Pakistan.


    Lieutenant Krishna Kumar Verma:  K. K. ‘String’ Verma was commissioned in February 1933 from Sandhurst.  He later transferred to 3rd Cavalry when this regiment was Indianized.  At the time of partition, he was serving at Quarter Master General (QMG) branch.  He retired at Brigadier rank.


    Sardar Mohinder Singh Wadalia: He was nick named ‘Wad’.  He was commissioned in January 1929 from Sandhurst.  He was originally commissioned in 4/19 Hyderabad Regiment but later transferred to 16th Cavalry. He served as Chief of General Staff (CGS) and Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) and retired at Lieutenant General rank of Indian army.


    Captain Shiv Dev Verma:He was from Lyallpur (Pakistan). He was commissioned in January 1929 from Sandhurst.  In 1947, he was instructor at Staff College at Quetta and was responsible for taking the Indian share of Staff College to India.  He managed to get the Camberly Owl silver trophy for India by arguing that the inscription stated that it was presented by Camberly staff college to ‘Indian staff college’ and as staff college at Quetta will not be called Indian staff college therefore it should go to Indian staff college whenever it is established. He was the founding father and first commandant of Indian staff college and responsible for selecting Wellington as the home for staff college.  He served as Corps Commander and retired at Lieutenant General rank of Indian army. 


    Verma adopted the Quetta staff college emblem Owl and motto ‘Tam Marte Quam Minerva’ for new Indian Staff College. The survival battle that ‘owl’ fought in India and Pakistan is interesting. In Pakistan, the motto was changed to a Persian saying ‘peer shu be amooz’ (grow old by learning) in 1950 but owl survived.  In 1979, owl lost the battle when Pakistan replaced the owl with an Arabic word ‘Iqra’ (read). Owl also had a hard time in India. Initially Army Headquarters (AHQ) rejected the owl symbol and motto insisting for an Indian symbol and motto.  The debate went on for a while when in 1957, Major General P. S. Gyani argued for retaining the owl as it was used by commonwealth staff colleges. In 1964, the decision was finalized when a Hindi motto ‘Yuddham Pragnaya” (to battle with wisdom) was adopted but owl survived proudly perching on crossed swords. The owl lost in Pakistan but won the battle in India thus keeping a link with the past.


    Lieutenant Ghanshyam Singh:He was nick named ‘Popeye’ and commissioned in February 1934 from Sandhurst.  Later transferred to 3rd Cavalry when this regiment was Indianized. 


    Lieutenant Jai Krishna Majumdar:He was nick named Joy ‘sunshine’ Majumdar. He was son of Captain P. K. Majumdar of Darjeeling.  He was commissioned in August 1933 from Sandhurst.  He died in a plane crash.


    Lieutenant Palat Sankaran Nair:He was from Kerala and grandson of Sir Chettur Sankaran Nair; an eminent jurist who served as member of Viceroy’s Council and President of Indian National Congress.  P.S. Nair nick named ‘Bosco’ was commissioned in September 1932 from Sandhurst.  He was originally commissioned in 3rd Cavalry and later transferred to 16th Cavalry. He retired at Brigadier rank of Indian army.



    There are several other Indian officers of 16th Cavalry who are not in the picture.  Some were not with the regiment in 1936 while others joined after 1936.  Mirza Rashid Ali Beg was from a respectable Hyderabad family.  His grandfather served as a Rissaldar in Royal Deccan Horse.  His father was an educated government servant and rose to become the first Indian to become Vice President of Council of India in London.  He moved his family to London and Baig lived in England from 1910 to 1923 attending the prestigious Clifton school.  He was selected for Sandhurst and after commission joined elite 16th Light Cavalry in 1925.  For the first time in his life he experienced racial prejudice when he came close to British in military setting.  He along with two other Indian officers (Faiz Muhammad Khan and Sheodat Singh) lived in a separate bungalow called ‘native quarters’.  He resigned his commission in 1930.  He was more of an intellectual bent and felt constrained by highly disciplined military life; however his personal unhappy experience in the army due to racial bias probably was the main reason for his resignation.  Later, he served a long career in Indian diplomatic corps. 


    Raol Dilawarsinhji Dhansinhji was from the princely state of Bhavnagar. He was educated at Dulwich College in London and commissioned from Sandhurst in 1927.  He resigned his commission in 1933 and then served with Bhavnagar State Forces. Thakur Sheodatt Singh is not in the picture as he was attending Staff College. He retired at Major General rank. Y. S. Paranjpe transferred to infantry battalion 1/7th Rajput regiment.  He commanded a para brigade and retired at Major General rank.


    Those who joined after 1936 include Sangram Keshary Rey, Leslie Sawhney, Nawabzada Agha Khan Raza and Zorawar Singh.  S. K. Rey was son of Captain Dr. K. Rey of Indian Medical Service (IMS).  He retired at Brigadier rank and died in 1971 in a tractor accident at his farm. Leslie Sawhney left army early at the rank of Colonel.  He married Rodebeh; younger sister of business tycoon Jahangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata know by his initials JRD. Leslie had great leadership qualities and JRD was planning to make him chairman of Tata Sons. Tragically, in 1966, Leslie dropped dead on the golf course from a massive heart attack.


    N.A.K. ‘Windy’ Raza later transferred to 3rd Cavalry.  After partition, he opted for Pakistan and commanded 10th Guides Cavalry (November 1947 – November 1948).  He was the first native to command Guides Cavalry.  He served as Military Attaché in Washington and retired as Brigadier of Pakistan army.  Zorawar Singh ‘Zoru’ (14 February 1920 – 24 December 1994) won the coveted sword of honor on graduating from Indian Military Academy Dehra Dun in 1941. He was commissioned in 16th Light Cavalry but later transferred to Central India Horse (CIH).  He was the first Indian to command CIH in 1947. In 1947-48 Indo-Pakistan war over Kashmir, CIH tanks managed to get to and capture Rajouri under his command in April 1948. He retired at Major General rank of Indian army.


    By the end of Second World War in 1945, Temporary Lieutenant Colonel (later General) J. N. ‘Mucchu’ Chaudhuri (ex-7th Cavalry) was commanding 16thCavalry.  His Second-in-Command was Major S. D. Verma and Captain Shamsher Singh Puri was Adjutant.  Puri later commanded 16thCavalry.  He served as Military Attache in Germany and retired at Brigadier rank.  Several officers were not with the regiment and attached to other postings.  Major Faiz Muhammad Khan was at recruiting staff, Thakur Sheodat Singh was at Military Intelligence directorate, K. M. Idris was commanding  44th Cavalry and Captain Khalid Jan had gone to 8 Punjab Regiment. M.S. Wadalia and Enait Habibullah were GSOs and N.A.K. Raza was at training centre.


    Class composition of the regiment was Rajputs, Jats and Kaim Khanis.  In 1946, it was decided to change the class composition of the regiment and convert it into a South Indian class regiment.  This was finally completed in March 1947.  In 1947 division of armed forces, 16th Cavalry went to India.  It was South Indian single class regiment; therefore there was no headache of interchange of class squadrons.


    Post Script:In September 2013, militants attacked the officer’s mess of 16thCavalry in Kashmir.  Luckily, all officers were at gun cleaning after morning physical training (PT).  CO Colonel Avin Uthaiya and Second-in-Command Lieutenant Colonel Bikramjeet Singh had come back after morning PT.  Bikramjeet and one jawan ran towards the guard room to grab weapons.  Both were shot dead by militants.  CO and Quick Reaction Team (QRT) surrounded the militants and engaged them.  CO was hit and his elbow was shattered.  Regiment had brought out few tanks and CO climbed on one of the tanks with his shattered arm and tried to run down a militant outside the building.  CO was shot second time in the chest and evacuated.  Probably first time in an armor unit history, Captain Arpam Bose leveled his gun on the regiment’s own mess and shot off two high explosive shells into the building.  An officer of 2 Sikh was attached to the unit doing a computer course.  He rang up his unit and pretty soon QRT of 2 Sikh was at the scene.  They were joined by soldiers from 9thSpecial Force (SF) battalion.  They carried out the mopping up and cleaning operation of the buildings killing all three militants (These events were narrated by an officer of 16th Cavalry and published in The Times of India, 02 October 2013).


    Acknowledgements: Author thanks many Indian and Pakistan army officers for many details.  All errors and omissions are author’s sole responsibility.



    Hamid Hussain


    May 2017 


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