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India’s Arihant — upping the psychological ante

July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Shireen M Mazari

Coming back to the Indian nuclear powered submarine – it should be pointed out that we do not yet know how it will perform once its reactor goes critical. Will it actually have the speed and capability – given that it has been built with Soviet/Russian technology and the fate of many Soviet/Russian subs lies at the bottom of the seas – taking a heavy toll of human life and reflecting the limitations of Soviet weapon systems?

While Pakistan’s decision makers squabble over whether to go ahead and implement the 2008 decision of buying German submarines or alter course and seek more French subs instead, India has put its prototype nuclear powered submarine, INS Arihant, into the waters. Incidentally, those in Pakistan who have been ranting for years over the use of Islamic warrior names for our missiles seem absurdly mute in commenting on India’s aggressive usage of Hindu mythology warrior names not only for its missiles but now also for its nuclear-powered submarine. Of course, the reality is that the nuclear reactor of this submarine will not go critical till 2012, so at the moment Arihant is more of a symbolic reflection of where India is headed in terms of its nuclear arsenal. Nevertheless, the development has signalled the nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean by a littoral state – since nuclear weapons have been present in this Ocean through the military presence of the external nuclear powers, especially the US.

That is one major reason why the US, France and UK always opposed the UN General Assembly’s efforts to make the Indian Ocean a weapon-free “zone of peace” – as reflected in the first UN GA Resolution of 16 December 1971(2832:XXVI). Ironically, along with the Soviet Union, India was a major force behind this Non-Aligned Movement-supported UN resolution. But then this has been the hallmark of Indian security policy: seeking time through multilateral diplomatic moves while it builds its military capability. In contrast to the Indian position on the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace resolution, the US, France and the UK always voted against this idea and in 1989 they chose to withdraw from the 44 member UN committee on this issue that had been set up in 1972. The US in fact demanded that the committee be eliminated so as to reduce UN spending and we know how this whole issue simply died for lack of visible progress. Now that India has also moved towards nuclear militarisation of the Indian Ocean, it will be difficult to see any revival of the zone of peace proposal for this region in the future. With the launching of the Arihant, India has moved still further away from being a proponent of nuclear disarmament to being a projector of nuclear force. Strategic rationality makes it incumbent on Pakistan to seek to restore the nuclear balance for the future.

However, this should not be a major issue for us even in financial terms, as long as the lure of commissions does not distort or destroy our strategic interests. We already have conventional submarines including the Agosta-type which are not only capable of carrying nuclear warheads, but can be upgraded to being fitted with air-independent propulsion technology (AIP) specifically designed to allow conventional subs to remain submerged for longer periods. That is the main advantage of nuclear-powered submarines, along with the speed element – they do not need to surface like conventional subs that need to surface after short periods of being submerged and therefore become vulnerable. AIP technology is specifically designed for conventional subs and the Germans have been in the forefront of this technological development, although the Agostas can also be upgraded.

It is unfortunate that Pakistan’s purchase of subs has been delayed apparently over the commissions lure, because now the international community will make it harder for this country to acquire these subs. Have we learnt no lessons from what happened to Pakistan in 1974 after the Indian nuclear test? India tested and Pakistan was penalised! The Canadians withdrew from KANUPP despite IAEA safeguards and a legal agreement. There is nothing to suggest that things will be different this time round – given how Hillary Clinton practically blessed Indian militarisation with a new defence pact. Besides Pakistan’s pathetic record of asserting legal agreements with its allies makes us easy victims of foreign pressure and diktat – remember the replacement of F-16s with wheat and soya beans? Not only did we lose our money, but before the US finally retracted on the deal, we were made to pay parking charges for these F-16s also! But we always forget US abuse and present ourselves for more of the same whenever the occasion arises!

Coming back to the Indian nuclear powered submarine – it should be pointed out that we do not yet know how it will perform once its reactor goes critical. Will it actually have the speed and capability – given that it has been built with Soviet/Russian technology and the fate of many Soviet/Russian subs lies at the bottom of the seas – taking a heavy toll of human life and reflecting the limitations of Soviet weapon systems? A major disadvantage of nuclear-powered subs is that they are noisier because they have to keep the reactor powered on all the time so if conventional subs can acquire longer submergeable capability through AIP technology – although it will still not be the same as a nuclear-driven sub – the imbalance can be offset to some extent.

Sea-launched nuclear missiles are central to second strike capability which acts as a stabiliser in the context of nuclear strategy since it reduces the imperatives for first strike. In this context, although Pakistan has not officially made any declarations regarding the development of this capability, it is now fairly well-established that we are already on the way to ensuring this second strike capability. It is also now recognised that we have had more success with missile development than India – probably because we have kept our missile ranges and types limited and focused more on developing solid fuelled delivery systems (which, again, are more stable) and reducing circular error probabilities. India, on the other hand, chose to have a wide-ranging missile programme including seeking the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). While we have stabilised our cruise missile as well as moved towards the beginnings of sea-launched ballistic missiles, from all accounts, India has not been too successful in both these fields – especially with the Sagarika (which is to be its sea-launched missile) in surface tests. So if India is to gain any advantage from its nuclear-powered submarine, assuming it will perform as expected once its reactor goes critical, it will have to work more on its delivery systems.

For Pakistan while there is no need to go into panic mode, we will have to stop sacrificing good deals simply because of the greed over commissions. The fact that a French inquiry has hinted at commissions lying at the root of the death of the French engineers in Karachi should be a sobering moment for any leadership. But the brazenness with which our successive decision-makers have been proceeding, with scant regard for propriety and wastage of limited national resources, shows that no lessons have been learnt – nor is there any desire to learn from even recent history.

Worse still, our rulers are full of bombast but are unwilling to take proactive concrete actions. Take the case of Balochistan. Political leaders of all shades have been repeating ad nauseum the need for political healing and economic investment in that province but why have the first steps in that direction not been taken beyond publication of reports and statements? Why is the leadership so hesitant to declare a general amnesty for all Baloch political figures and the release of all political prisoners? When we can talk to militants (and we should if they are our own people prepared to accept the writ of the state) and be allied to the Americans who continue to kill our people through drone attacks, why are we so unwilling to begin the healing process with the Baloch people and their leaders? Why are we allowing our detractors to provide support for the dissidents instead of taking the punch out of their dissidence by granting them a one-time amnesty if they accept the writ of the state? How can we rise to external military challenges posed by countries like India and the US when we are unable to deal with our own people? Our weakness lies within ourselves reflecting a psychological confidence deficit which makes the rulers aggressive and non-accommodative with the nation and timorous before external players. The Indians and Americans are exploiting this well which is why the Indian’s are making grandiose statements about a submarine that has yet to show how it performs!

The writer is a defence analyst. Email: callstr@hotmail.com

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39 comments

  1. Well, thats what they didnt tell u at the press conference – the Arihant is actually an undersea nuclear test, RIP the brave crew…….;)


  2. must watch vids:

    India’s Junk weapons
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videoshow/4835093.cms

    India’s Junk Navy Carrier to be inducted in 2012 ( Gorshkov )
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/VIDEOS/News/Gorshkov-scam-CAG-exposes-Russian-junk-sale/videoshow/4816317.cms

    i expect a similar fate for the arihant


    • hahahaa junk weopens for junk people.they are only masterd propaganda.


  3. well said cheetay, but i am more worried about this sub deal going on these corrupt scum of pakistan, for few dollars more, may sell soverignity of motherland. May Allah save Pakistan from this scum as He had before. Ameen.


  4. arey bhai zardari ko bhi rokoo 2 no sub marine nahi chayeh humey ghazv-e-hind mein humey pitna nahi hain insey zardari tou tab dubai yaha london mein hoga larna tou humaey haina bhai


  5. All the petriotes need to unite and spread this message all over. This can stop these greedy, selfesh rulers from playing with our future……Pakistan Zinda baad


  6. Indian army should be aptly named as “JUNKYARD” manged by drunkard aimless cowards.

    Indian soldires have armory which matches with their skill & courage. killing, maiming and raping innocent people whenever they get a chance like in Kashmir.


  7. Lads, Arihant is not aimed at Pak. Pak is too small a fry for India. Its aimed at china. 🙂


  8. only 40% of the technology is indian, the other 60% is russian. The plan is that russia will transfer technology to india.

    Basically india is being helped by other countries mainly isreal, nothing great about india, just other countries using india to fulfil their own geo strategic requirements


  9. When will Pakistan receive a ready made nuclear sub from China and name it after a mughal, like it did with the Babur cruise missile ?


  10. The fact is that Pakistan is being used like a condom for the geo strategic interests of so many countries. US, and China. India has a good sense of its own sovereignty and usually refuses to be treated as a “junior” partner.


    • @ randomly

      And what are your views on Israel a Small tiny country using India for getting back at pakistan ?

      Doesnt that show how India, a country 100 times bigger than Israel doesnt have the capability of coming up with weapons and has to rely on a small country like israel for its needs.

      Atleast we have a sizeable genital when we sign up with China !…as far Indians go you getting help from Israel tells alot about the size of your weenie…LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL


    • Pakistan and china together developed the jf 17 aircraft at 45-55 ratio, now compare that to india(excess 1 billion and russia (140 million population) yet basically all russia is doing is handing over technology to india, whether is failed missiles(brahmos) failed planes,helicopters,guns and now subs.

      India is not a junior partner , you are right, india is NOTHING its just given technology and the know how, you dont learn how to make Missile over night unless mr netanyahu wants you to


  11. @neel123

    Very soon neel we will get a submarine from China. But just like the JF-17 (Joint Fighter 17) aircraft we will build a submarine as well but at a 50 – 50% ratio. Unlike India who despite having countries like russia, israel and now the US was not able to develop a single flying jet in the past 15 years 😀

    The difference between Us ans You is we will build it with others help. Whereas you are not able to build it even if you collaborate with others.

    You only take pride in things which are handed over to you despite being 10 times bigger than us 😀

    Any other country of your size produces atleast all their military equipment themselves. India does not even do that !

    So when you cant compare to a third class country in africa, you should learn to keep your mouth shut!


    • can i add that the website you provided had no urdu translation available despite the fact that 10% of indians speak urdu


  12. @ neel123

    Can you please explain to the world here why does India have the largest Bastard population in the world ?

    Wat is the meaning of this ?

    Check this report : http://www.indg.in/social-sector/social-vulnerable-groups/orphan-and-street-children

    Better come up with a good case because this is 400 million children…What the fuck are you doing with the children ?


    • India and Pakistan, both have a nuclear weapons. But whats the difference between both countries. India, which is preparing itself from its betrayal neighbours while Pakistan is preparing its nuclear stock for the terrorist. They have an intention to hand over the nuclear weapons they owns to the terrorist organization so that they can rule the entire world by achieving their bloody goal.

      Today, Pakistanis are prouding that their PM has handed over the evidence of India’s interference in their region “Balochistan” to the Indian PM however, PM has said that he’s not received any dossier from his counterpart.

      Pakistan is trying to destablize India for the past 60 years by trying to win Kashmir from India. I don’t know whether these charges are right or not however, I’m very happy with these allegations of Pakistan that India is supporting the violence in Balochistan. If Pakistan is making the life of Kashmiris a netherworld, so why can’t India should intervene in your country’s matters. Of course we can.


      • a totally opposite view of the world. way to go.. dude read history once again.


      • @ Vishal

        Ungrateful subjects like you, who we have ruled for a 1000 years are always the reason for ignorance and have to be reminded of their place in history.

        We pakistanis or the mughals are the rightful ownwers of India, it was ours yesterday and it is ours in the future.

        You are very right when you say that we want to control India. We dont want to control it, we will TAKE IT BACK because it was ALWAYS ours !- Their is nothing wrong in this.

        And for your information, You are the bigger country here with more resources, we are not destablizing anyone. It is you people, the UNJUST rulers who are always destabilizing your neighbours !

        It was people like urself who conspired with the British Empire to temporarily bring down our rule.

        It was people like you who betrayed their own race just because of us being muslims and joined hands with the british.

        It was because of people like you, that despite joining hands with Israel and US you continue to be humiliated on every forum of the earth !

        It is because of you that 800 million, muslims, dalits, shudrs and other minorities continue to suffer – when during the mughal reign we all lived in peace and the GDP of the MUghal Empire was 22.5 % of the WORLD GDP ! – A figure which india has never reached and will never reach on its own because of its slave mentality!

        And it will be because of people like you that we will come to take our country back !

        The biggest problem with India is its facination with myths. whether its facination with hindu mythology, or baluchistan myths or some other kind of myths.

        People in kashmir are fighting a war of independance. Everytime pakistan wins a cricket match the kashmiris raise the Pakistani Flag and even in parts of assam these incidents have been reported.

        India is helping only a few terrorists in in baluchistan. India has no relations with baluchis. The baluchis know your real and ugly face .!

        I am a Baluch and I know my people and they certainly dont want to be a part of India !

        Kashmires however are muslim, they are pakistani. Pakistan has relations with them and not only them but even, New Delhi, hyderabad, ahmedabad and several other cities are muslim cities and we will come to get them.

        Radio Pakistan will be broadcasted from New Delhi !

        Pakistan Zinadabad !


      • If you have a right to rule India, so why don’t you rule it. Mr. Emperor Babur, you’re still sleeping and you strongly need a class to understand, how to win in today’s tough time.

        Just forget that you’ve ruled India or you’re the rightful owner of India. Even you’re not a rightful owner of your own life. So, grown up and try to see this world from a different perspective to make your life pleasant.


      • And I’m hoping that Radio Pakistan will be broadcasted from New Delhi before the end of your life!

        Your aggression is abosultely showing the envy you have for India. And one more thing, Pakistan would be a part of India in the next two years. That’s my promise.


      • Vishal lolzzz man

        Your whole of north east is not under ur control and u will control Pakistan in 2 years! LMAO!!


      • @Vishal

        Pakistan does not have 144 internal insurgencies. Specially big ones like kashmir, naxalites and the sikhs. It is you who have these insurgencies.

        Indian flags are not being raised in pakistan. It is the other way round in Kashmir, nagaland and assam !

        It is very natural to get a rush of blood when hearing the truth to utter rubbish, but that does not change reality.

        So you people need to first fully control your country which you havent and you cant for the past 50 years but eventually we will.

        Also since when did taking back something you own equates to rage ??

        We pakistanis dont have rage against anyone. We have hindus here, we have christians and parsees here.

        Our minorities are not crying down with anyone .. You want to see how patriotic our Hindu Community is ?

        here check this out : https://pakistankakhudahafiz.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/pakistani-hindus-rally-to-support-jud/

        Jamat ut dawa who india thinks is a trouble maker, our hindu community actually protested at their closure !!!

        This is a ROYAL SLAP on your face !

        This is exactly how the mughal empire was. Peace and happiness for everyone.

        Unlike hand the country over to you and you turn it into a gay loving, poor and destitute, dalit vs brahmin dungeon where the normal man longs to escape !

        This is why buddy, it ok to get a rush of adrenelin but radio pakistan will indeed be played not only from new delhi, but also from Mumbai, hyderabad, Srinagar and lots of other cities.

        The world will see !


      • @ Vishal

        Pakistani flag is actually a symbol of freedom in India !..LOL LOL

        http://groups.google.com.pk/group/paknationalists/browse_thread/thread/96b453ee46289e02

        Here Vishal Let the world see how people feel about u.

        http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/details.asp?id=oct1208/at02

        http://www.assamtimes.org/index.php?news=2188


      • @ Vishal

        Pakistani flag hoisted in Kashmir!

        The great flag is a symbol of peace and freedom for sane minded people !

        http://newsblaze.com/story/20080620114112kash.nb/topstory.html


      • @ Vishal

        It seems your times are really Bad .. Pro-Pakistan slogans are heard in Karnataka too 😀 😀 😀

        http://www.hindu.com/2005/03/21/stories/2005032111910300.htm


  13. @neel 123

    When a country doesnt have enough food to feed its people and your leaders are urging your nation to eat RATS.. You shouldnt be worried about what Pakistan Makes with China.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7557107.stm

    We have enough resources and means to manage our affairs!..

    By the way once the rats are done, you guys can start with skunks !…lol lol lol


    • Yeah ! and the word in the media goes around

      “India Mastered a cheap and effective way to PEST Control

      Motivates locals explaining them where the real protein is !”

      No wonder they are always termed as Indian RATS!!


      • rat meat is a delicacy in paris.

        give india a break man. besides pakistan is no match for india anyways..


      • @ sal & Nikhil

        Ofcourse SAL, for indians even cow piss drinking is exotic. A rat would definitely be somewhat of an upgrade.

        By the way can you tell me in what part of india is a ‘menstrated skunk” a delicacy ?.. Cuz that is yummy for you guys isnt it 😀

        lol lol lol


  14. Sal/Nikhil

    Lolz man so if it is a delicacy is “PARIS” thn it’s ok to have it??


  15. @ sal and nikhil

    Oh you are so right sal, we indeed are in no way rat eatters and urine drinkers and feces smellers and shit eaters and frog marrying chimpanzees !

    Pakistan is indeed no match and we would never like to match you in such Filth. Infact NO COUNTRY in the world can match you guys in the level of Filt you inherit and manufacture !

    lol lol lol lol lol


  16. @ sri and nikhil and the cow stinking bunch

    Hey Guys I would like to share a story of an Indian Man who likes to GOAT SHIT – Another delicacy in Incredible INdia …LOL LOL LOL .. This man not only likes to eat glass but also GOAT SHIT.

    http://www.tonyrogers.com/humor/glass_man.htm

    Now this is very befitting for the proverbial saying – Shit Face !!!!…LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL 😀 😀 😀


  17. Great content, very helpfull. The web needs more great sites like this.


  18. hahahaha….guys you surely did shut some impotent indian boforos guns…lol


  19. men living in fantacy can only imaging a situation like what mr baloochi said. Yours is a technology strarved poor country, if go behind the india will certainly suffer a lot from all corner of your life. Be try to live in reality, try to devolope the living condition of your people, fight againstpoverty,illness, illetaracy of your people


    • please type in english!?!?


  20. Pakistani’s can rave and rant,its fate has already been decided ! It is the center of terorism in he whole world and will be broken in many pieces by 2012. In so far as its military powers goes, the whole world remembers how the salwar and kameez dropped down of the elite 100,000 Pakistani commando’s in 1971.This time along it will be much more, time for the Pakistani chicken feed to think where hey will hide, after a war breaks out,We are watching, monotoring and preparing,,look out for our Recsar in the sky..


    • you sir, represent a true product of the fantasy world that Indians lives in or have created around themselves. sooner or later your disneyland dream will be over and the sight won’t be pretty for sorry asses like yourself.

      ciao



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