Surgical Strike – A Watershed Event

Now that we have opted for ultra-short military expeditions and shrugged our long time policy of restrain and nuclear deterrence, we can very well call this as a watershed event in the history of the continent and for a massive populace. It’s but natural the way events in India are unfurling, they are creating a lot of curiosity and attention, not just it is our motherland but also its the foundation of our very existence. Here after, skirmishes and incursions will take a very different mode. Let us understand why and how.

To begin with, historically, there was never a nation called Pakistan. It was a strategic act instigated on the people of the subcontinent, separating them along the religious lines. Our ethnic stock, for reasons of historical, circumstantial and ideological purpose, adopted different religion and was separated and thus our ethnic destiny was artificially carved out. Its an irony, not all Muslims decided to form a country of their own religion, and even those who decided to set up Pakistan, started it as a sovereign nation with place for plurality where all religions could exist. To add to that, India still has quantitatively bigger population (of Muslims) and they enjoy better opportunities and quality of life in India. It would be worth for the Kashmiris to introspect and ask themselves, if given freedom, would they prefer joining Pakistan?

Irrespective, when Pakistan was formed, regions and or kingdoms could opt for staying independent, or joining either India or Pakistan. History has it that the King of Kashmir decided to join India. We all know how those events unfurled. Pakistan still harbors a pain and anguish that Kashmir should have been part of their territory. Since the time of independence, skirmishes, fomented by Pakistan, has been a normal feature on the India Pakistan border. Gradually, malice and mal-intent has crept into their political ideology and establishment. It has relentlessly struggled overtly by sending troops or covertly inciting insurgency and provoked separatist movements. This comes especially at the cost of the well being of Pakistani people (who opted for having their own land) and Kashmiri populace, to whom they have been luring to join their country. Seven decades and after losing major part of their body in 1971, they are thoroughly frustrated. Their covert activities are incessantly and ceaselessly at work, since the time of independence.

It’s their self-respect and self-identity (Asmita ) at stake. It has been the key driver of all these malicious acts and atrocities. Suffice it to say that, all these big wars or these minor skirmishes have origin in distorted self-pride and identity.

Self Pride at Stake again?

Recent Uri incidence and the reactive surgical strike by India to destroy terrorist launch pads will further aggravate this distorted self-pride. How do you expect them to react? Had this been a sane country and a civilized mature democracy, the world would have pounced on India. However, history is contrary to the facts and they have not just lost the moral ground but actually deprived of one due to their own making. No one ever condemned India, no objections too. They all know who is the Principal and persistent violator of peace and sovereignty. In fact, there is tacit support for India’s action. However, let’s stop here and understand Pakistani establishment’s plight and India’s Euphoria (obviously not a moment to rejoice as yet).

Overtly, Pakistan will never admit Indian surgical strike into their territory. It’s ‘Abru’ at stake, ‘Can’t Admit. Can’t Swallow’ (historically, the most common reason for going to war). Now, that we know they can’t swallow. Let’s see how they would react. Several options are open but one thing is sure, current administration has shown that this is watershed event and future incursions, covert attacks are unlikely to go unheeded. Naturally, Pakistan is unlikely to stop this behavior, there is a complete industry and establishment that exists on the basis of this distorted identity principle, that heinous thought of jealousy.

Here after, when they sent artificial (non native) insurgents, obviously knowing that India is watching from the sky, they will first prepare the army to cover up their heinous covert operations. Unless sense prevails, it’s just escalations from these point onward. India is going to retaliate with its strong brute force. Pakistan is going to take further beating and it would start that vicious cycle, that negative cycle of escalations with additional increasing display of brute force from either side, obviously called a war.

If you recollect my previous blog (written on Sept 22/23, 2016, Ash), I cautioned this cascading into major conflict and possibly a nuclear confrontation that would cause deluge not just for this part of the world but also likely to reluctantly draw major countries. Almost the entire world will be on its toes. Severe and sincere intervention efforts will be underway to prevent this catastrophe. That’s one scenario. I was hoping India would play more tactical and strategic rather than directly jump into bravado.

Another scenario would be Pakistan waging a covert war. There is a high probability of covert happenings. If I am not wrong, my lurking suspicion is still on those four people who were spotted by the kids at Uran on the outskirts of Mumbai. This is not an isolated example, miscreants like these might have already infiltrated and positioned themselves to create situations like 26/11 or some events of biological warfare. That they have the support of China and possibly Russia, even technological war is not far-fetched.

To remind readers not in US, major Cyber-attacks in US are carried from China and East Europe. We have to be on high alert and not just physically vigilant but technologically savvy and advanced in safeguarding our infrastructure, weather it is our dams, or industries or military installations. The gamut of challenges are wide open. There is a serious need for scenario and impact analysis. We need to get back to business with a pragmatic business continuity and disaster recovery plan and test our resilience. Communicate that to our people. That’s just the very high level of building the defense.

What about the offense? Understand, we have to play the offense too. In fact, we have the technological and strategic advantage to play the offensive line too. All these same things can be employed by India. Not very long ago, we all know what happened at Natanz. Stuxnet simply brought down Iran to discussion table. Understanding the strategic importance of this, I will intentionally refraining from going into too many technological details or anecdotes.

However, let us understand not to celebrate any success. Let’s get ready for the next steps. We have a long way to go and lot to do.

With Love for India,


Cross Border Surgical Strike

We hope here, Pakistan does not respond to this ‘Cross Border’ LOC attack.

Surgical strikes (by India into Myanmar or US into Abbottabad, were in connivance with the respective Government. Here it is the Pakistan Government that is creating, instigating, provoking, supporting, perpetuating cross border infiltration.

Even if these are considered small surgical attacks, they are inside their border, sufficient enough to provoke retaliation. Obviously, any retaliation with Pakistan has a great tendency for cascading into potentially bigger conflicts. Let us understand, there is a high probability for reaction. It’s Self Pride (Asmita) at Stake. Who’s ‘Self Respect’ is more important? How do we determine, who is weak or alternately, where do we stop i showcasing strength? It’s a complex equation primarily driven by Self Pride, but primarily determined by the brute force and outcome.

Pakistan has always been violating the peace of this country over decades, and under the guise of international norms. The establishment has been protecting all and sundry activities within its border for several decades. Goons such a Dawood Ibrahim, responsible for the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, has found a home in Pakistan (it’s not a political asylum, Pakistan has given asylum to a hard core criminal (Mumbai bomb blast) or latest terrorist outfits JeM, LeT, who repeatedly attack civilian population. The later never spared the sanctum sanctorum of India’s democracy, the Parliament too. Pakistan has been giving sanctuary to these individuals and or groups. It’s a blatant intentional mutilation of India’s integrity or else, why would they not turn over the criminals to India?

It’s wrong to say that it started post-cold war in Afghanistan, technically they got the manpower, but the experimentation were done earlier in Punjab (by provoking and supporting Khalistan in 1985) and Kashmir insurgency in 1990. Pakistan is a melting pot and epicenter of terrorism. It is absolutely unbiased observation if India claims that Pakistan has been exporting terrorism. It has no reason to cry against violation of its sovereignty.  However, it will respond saying sovereignty is compromised.

Do we tolerate this or do we respond? It’s not just political will. Several factors are involved. It’s a dilemma for India, which we have shunned for long. It was thus pragmatic to weigh in favor of restrain. Strength or Military capability was never a question for India. Cascading response to any small attack is and has been the key concern behind this restrain, an outcome of mature governance and decision making.

This is not an ordinary Cross Border Cricket Match, where huge amounts of Adrenalin are pumped to watch the excitement of the end results. There are several reasons for it to go beyond control. If out of control, we never know the end point and we never know how it will engulf us all and the future of these two nations.

A time comes when we have to shed civility and defend ourselves. Not sure if that time is now though. Watch out for any reactions, overt or covert. Unavoidable but becoming a reality. Let us all pray that sense prevails on either side and future is not compromised.

With love towards India – Ash

Selected References:


No place for bravado!

I drafted this on Sept 22, 2016 after understanding the intense war mongering currently prevailing back in India. I am seriously concerned worrying watching the sudden sullen temper after the Uri incidence. The air is rife at attacking Pakistan. I penned my thoughts. My perspective is less biased as I am away from the milieu and the happenings in the crucible. I am definitely not for war, not because I tow the line with our sixty years of political lineage but I feel the futility of war, especially with a ragged nation like Pakistan, which has nothing to lose except a few more frustrated men and some dilapidated buildings. Generally, I don’t solicit forwards but the simmering anger fueled by social media, need to be countered by anti-war views too. If you think appropriate, if you support this, please feel free to forward this link

No place for bravado!

That is yet another concerning development… Developments like this are likely to slip anytime into grave situations. I just hate to see India being a replica of Iraq or Syria. Pakistan anyways has dilapidated building and infrastructure in shambles. Pakistan cannot lose any further value. India will lose significant competitive edge internationally – Strategically, Politically and in Business. Rhetoric never helps and once you walk that path, you end up being committed to that process.

A morally deprived rag nation like Pakistan has nothing to lose, whereas, a nation like India will get embroiled with a swift or prolonged war (nuclear war may not be a distant option). Pakistan is a barbaric nation, ruled by army despots for several decades (where democracy never had a chance to grow and flourish), and dominated by radical Taliban’s and cunning partner like China, with its own animosity towards India. All these are fed by jealousy and frustration of years of retardation. Being at the bottom, Pakistan has nothing to lose. It is completely devoid of repute, ideologically hollow and lack any sort of credibility.

There is a ground swell for action and many in India, feel, this is the right time to respond to continuous incursions. How can we say this is the right time? In fact, it is right time for Pakistan to incite and provoke a war, they are cornered from all sides, even their best financial aid provider, have turned their back and have started calling them terrorist sponsors. Pakistan is frustrated on multiple fronts, right from political, economic, their own identity, ethnic strife, sectarian violence, regional factions and home grown terrorism, to name a few.  Add to this, they are seeing other emerging issues newly emerging issues such as Baluchistan, Gilgit clamoring for independence. What’s next for them – a natural meltdown, an implosion on its way?  A war will help them consolidate their nation behind their rhetoric of hollow Intifada and support of terrorism. How do we deal? – Simply leave them alone! Keep them on ‘Time Out’! That’s exactly how the most affected countries from western hemisphere are treating them. If you leave them alone, they will go into natural disintegration, no need to aid that process.

I am not for letting Pakistan go scot free. We have strategies, technology and credibility. We definitely have better options. Does that mean restrain is a weakness? No, seven decades of restrain is not enough, we have to be more creative in solving this menace. War, with its brute force, certainly is not the best option though. In fact, War should be the last one. It’s not war that we are worried about, we certainly will win the war. However, we will compromise significantly, both tangibly and intangibly. Compare India, we have earned tremendous international repute, respect and stature, irrespective of the field we ventured. Readers need no examples, it’s all across.

IAF airbases along western front on high alert, hold major air defense exercise –

Is there no smart option other than swift tactical attack with nuclear arsenals at stake, has a strong potential towards an all-out full-fledged war. Several other complex scenarios will emerge. None of those would favor a war. Nations go to war with best case scenario but the festering circumstances makes us deal with worst case scenario. Recent history is rife with many cases of tactical attacks resulting in long term engagements depriving nations of their valuable resources, both human and financial. Even economically advanced nations like US suffered through recent wars. While Pakistan has nothing to lose, India has a lot at stake. All our recent growth, prosperity and blueprint of emerging nation would be at stake or may be compromised if we are dragged in a provoked war. Worst case, if there is a nuclear attack, one or more of our major business hubs may be seriously destroyed with significant long lasting impact to our growth projections and massive loss of life and value. We will see a sea of humanity wiped out rightly. The impact may be massive than the one created at the time of partition. If we are affected by the widows of Jawans, we would hate to see the site of thousands of widows, orphans and parents without care taking kids.

That’s the human side of the loss after winning this war. Let’s visit the tangible effect. Immediate impact would be significant reduction of GDP (though it will rise in post aftermath of nation rebuilding) and international currency equilibrium will change significantly. FDI will be significantly impacted and we will see a net out-go of FDI with further depreciation of Rupee and significant loss of net asset value. We certainly know what is at stake. Intelligent and advanced countries have better option to restrain and nullify aggressive behavior.

Let’s visit another dimension –

Just see this as a strategy of China. China may be prodding Pakistan. Again, that’s a strategy to get India bogged down on one border. That may be their plan in neutralizing India now that US has partnered with India as a counter to their Asian and South China Sea policy. It would be wise to think that China will have another reason not to let us be part of the permanent member of UNSC and many other coveted international groups such as the NSG etc. If we so much detest Britisher’s despite our seventy years of freedom, in hind sight, we would hate Chinese game plan. That moment is now, let’s avoid a war, or any provocation for war.

When I talk with my brethren’s from India, I almost realize a ground swell urge to attack and teach a lesson. While those sentiments are correct, we are not sixth graders. Even they understand the consequences of physical engagement. Yes, we have been patient for seventy years and truth is, we will have to be more patient and explore other options. Recent progress should not give that sense of complacency. Israel can do that or US can enter Abbottabad, doesn’t mean we should do the same bravado!

With deep love and concern for India and Indian


Selected readings:

At UN, Sharif talks of `Intifada’ in J&K, India says Pak `in complete denial’ –

Indian army’s anger over Kashmir killings

The best among limited options

Why India needs cool heads after Kashmir attack

Envisioning IS Security Strategy

Reactive versus proactive Information Security

Given the existing cyberenvironment in which enterprise devices (IoT) exists, it is pertinent to adopt a defense posture that is ahead of the adversaries. Definitely deploying defense in depth and adopting controls based on attack modes are not sufficient. Concurrently, it is impossible to encapsulate assets and resources with all possible controls in proverbial and not practical. Adopting a pragmatic approach based on right strategy that consists on being ahead of adversaries and staying ahead of adversaries is critical.

Entrepreneurial Whiteboarding

Typical to the development of product or technology life cycle, ideas are conceived, go through the brainstorming phase, a business case is created, pilots are enacted and development of the prototypes are worked upon, later being submitted to peer review or directly being reviewed by angel mentors/investors or venture capitalists.

As I move around, I see several ‘On the crest’ products/technologies being driven by creative, hardworking and passionate entrepreneurial initiatives along this cycle. However, one remarkable observation is that these developments are happening in silos. As I interact and review the case reports, I strongly realize few prominent facet of business development are entirely missing or not thought through.

As I watch and study the cycle from conception to outcome, I see several of these go into an outcome devoid of results. What are the possible causes? How can we make these better?

One such initiative is guiding these entrepreneurs through the different phases or life cycle of development to ingrain or imbibe the mature perspective of a full blown or comprehensive sturdy product that can withstand the pressures of time, security and scalability.

This initiative is about collecting under one umbrella, the requisite advisory source and providing a bouncing pad for these budding entrepreneurs. This is a global initiative with access to all entrepreneurs or product/service innovators.

More announcements to be made as this idea takes a concrete form.