February 01, 2013
Despite its continuing concerns over the freedom struggle of the Balochs which shows no signs of letting up, China, which originally constructed the languishing commercial port of Gwadar on the Mekran Coast of Balochistan, is reported to have agreed in principle to take over the responsibility for the operation of the port.
2.The 40-year-old contract awarded by the Pakistan Government in 2007 to Singapore's PSA international for the operation of the port has been a non-starter due to disputes between the Pakistan Navy and the PSA International over the free transfer of land to the PSA international for the construction of warehouses for containers and other infrastructure facilities and over the failure of the Pakistani authorities to improve the road and rail connectivity of the port as promised in the contract.
3.The Pakistan Government agreed to the request of the PSA International to withdraw from the contract. Islamabad has now approved in principle the signing of a contract with the Chinese Overseas Port Holdings giving it the responsibility for operating the port.
4.The problems created by the Pakistan Navy in the transfer of land for the PSA International indicated a lack of enthusiasm in the Pakistan Navy for the operation of the port by a Singapore company and its preference for handing it over to the Chinese company.
5.In the eyes of the Pakistan Navy, the Chinese taking over the responsibility for the operation of the port will have two advantages. Firstly, the Chinese, with their reputation for the timely construction of projects, will be able to get the languishing operations revived quickly. Secondly, it could prove to be the first step towards China agreeing to a Pakistani request for upgrading the port into a naval base, available for joint use by the Pakistani and Chinese navies.
6. Taking over the responsibility for the operation of the port, will have strategic advantages for China. It can bring oil and gas from Saudi Arabia and Iran to Gwadar and have them transported to Xinjiang through pipelines. Secondly, it will provide a port of call for ships of China's Indian Ocean fleet for refitting and other purposes. At present. Beijing has not shown any open interest in helping Pakistan by upgrading the existing Chinese-aided commercial port into a Naval base for joint use by the two navies.
7. The Chinese took nearly two years to make up their mind as to whether they should get involved in the operation of the port due to the deteriorating security situation in Balochistan because of the on-going freedom struggle of the Balochs. The Balochs are opposed to a Chinese presence in Gwadar because they look upon the area as their traditional homeland over which the Pakistan Government has no right to negotiate with any foreign power. Moreover, the Balochs fear that the Chinese taking over the responsibility for the operation of the port would result in an induction of a large number of Punjabis into the Gwadar area to work.
8.The Pakistani authorities are hoping that the Chinese agreement to take over the operation of the port could act as a deterrent to India whom they suspect of helping the Baloch freedom-fighters.
9. Beijing's agreement in principle to take over the operations of the port speaks of its confidence that they could meet any security threats from the Baloch freedom-fighters. Whether their confidence will be sustained or belied has to be seen. The Pakistan Army will not be able to assure the security of the Chinese working in Gwadar. Unless the PLA decides to post its own security contingents in Gwadar as it has done for the security of its nationals working on the upgradation of the Karakoram Highway in Gilgit-Baltistan, security for the Chinese in Gwadar will be uncertain.
10.What the Pakistan Government announced on January 30, is an agreement in principle for the Chinese company to take over the responsibility from the Singapore company. The details of the final agreement are still to be worked out.
11.There is a case regarding the security situation in Balochistan presently pending before the Pakistan Supreme Court. The Gwadar project is also linked up in the case. The Supreme Court has to agree to the Gwadar agreement with China being treated as a stand alone issue before the final agreement with China is signed. This should not pose any difficulty
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. Twitter: @SORBONNE75)
January 30, 2013
Revolution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?
Every now and then, leading mavens of the Foreign Policy Community have an uncharacteristic outburst of candor
By Glenn Greenwald
The only thing unclear about Riedel's memo is why he perceives any urgency to write it. As he notes, US policy long has been and still is exactly what he advocates: to ensure that the people of Saudi Arabia remain tyrannized by this monarchy:
January 29, 2013
Refused to hand over David Headley to India or grant him death, yet US says justice for 26/11 a priority
January 27, 2013
This manual is designed primarily for the intelligence staffs and soldiers of units conducting intelligence
support to operations in the urban environment. It can also be used by commanders, staffs, and intelligence
personnel at all echelons, and applies equally to the Active Army, the Army National Guard/Army National
Guard of the United States, and the United States Army Reserve unless otherwise stated.
With the continuing growth in the world’s urban areas and increasing population concentrations in urban
areas, the probability that the US Army will conduct full spectrum operations in urban environments is ever
more likely. As urbanization has changed the demographic landscape, potential enemies recognize the
inherent danger and complexity of this environment to the attacker, and may view it as their best chance to
negate the technological and firepower advantages of modernized opponents. Given the global population
trends and the likely strategies and tactics of future threats, Army forces will likely conduct operations in,
around, and over urban areas—not as a matter of fate, but as a deliberate choice linked to national security
objectives and strategy. Stability operations––where keeping the social structure, economic structure, and
political support institutions intact and functioning or having to almost simultaneously provide the services
associated with those structures and institutions is the primary mission––may dominate urban operations.
This requires specific and timely intelligence support, placing a tremendous demand on the Intelligence
warfighting functions for operations, short-term planning, and long-term planning.
Providing intelligence support to operations in the complex urban environment can be quite challenging
and may at first seem overwhelming. The amount of detail required for operations in urban environments,
along with the large amounts of varied information required to provide intelligence support to these
operations, can be daunting. Intelligence professionals must be flexible and adaptive in applying doctrine
and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) based on mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and
support available, time available, and civil considerations (METT-TC).
As with operations in any environment, a key to providing good intelligence support in the urban
environment lies in identifying and focusing on the critical information required for each specific mission.
The complexity of the urban environment requires focused intelligence, and a comprehensive framework
must be established to support the commander’s requirements while managing the vast amount of
information and intelligence required for urban operations. By addressing the issues and considerations
listed in this manual, the commander, G-2/S-2, and intelligence analyst will be able to address most of the
critical aspects of the urban environment and identify both the gaps in the intelligence collection effort and
those systems and procedures that may answer them. This will assist the commander in correctly
identifying enemy actions so that US forces can focus on the enemy and seize the initiative while
maintaining an understanding of the overall situation