Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)
11, Silver State, Pilibhit Byepass Road,
Bareilly-243005 (U.P.) INDIA
Mob: 9411900090, 09999722636

Civil Aviation


Despite the ghastly Manglore crash, India’s skies have luckily been safe. But, unknown to you, airlines are constantly bending the rules and playing with your life.

How safe is it to fly in India? In the immediate aftermath of the May 22 air crash in Manglore, in which Air India Express Flight No. 182 from Dubai overshot the runway, exploded into a ball of fire in the gorge below and killed 158 of the 166 people on board, the temptation to sound alarmist is only nature. For a decade, the Indian skied had been free of any catastrophic incident, even as the number of road and rail accidents registered sharp increases. It was, therefore, considered all right to assume that our aviation sector was completely air-worthy and that the rapid mushrooming of low-cost carriers had only brought air travel within the reach of those who earlier could not even consider flying as an option.


POST-2004, Indian aviation has swung from one extreme to the other. Domestic travel has tripled in volume, while international travel has more than doubled. Passenger load has increased fourfold from 10.5 million passengers in 1997 to 40 million in 2008-09. From 175 aircraft in 2004, we now have 380 aircraft. The size and scale of the business has changed.

The phenomenal growth in Indian aviation is reflected in the load on Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. It now handling over 700 flights a day on an average, from the 77 it was handling in 2002.

Air Traffic Control (ATC)

GLOBAL research has shown that nearly 70 percent of all air accidents occur due to human error, involving, pilots, maintenance crew and the ATC. ATC system in the West can enable a take-off and landing every minute “ACTS across India”, says Kaul, “are clearly overworked.”

Pilot Fatigue

THIS has emerged as a major area of concern. Pilots are clocking in more hours because of commercial considerations overtaking all else. While pilots have different permutations and combinations of rest periods drawn up according to their schedules, operators often compromise on this.

Quick turnaround time

In airports like Srinagar, the minimum required turnaround time is 40 minutes- the time an aircraft’s tyres take to release the heat they absorb on landing at high altitudes. Many private airlines, however, have far lesser turnaround time.

Maintenance standards

IT is well known that the financial health of an airline company depends upon the maintenance of its aircraft. The better you keep your aircraft, the more you get out of it in the long run. While most factors in aviation are looked at from a revenue generating aspect, maintenance is the only component which is not. Massive expenditure is involved to have a workable aircraft.

Difficult/Dangerous airports

WHILE some airports are termed difficult due to the terrain they may be located in, others become difficult to operate in because of adverse weather conditions such as shallow fog, heavy rainfall or wind direction. Nothing illustrates this better than the plight of national capital during the dense winter fog. Short runways too are very common across the country, making landing a very well-calculated process, with little margin for error. Another factor that often goes unnoticed is how safety considerations often become secondary during the planning phase of an airport, and political and business pressures take over.

Manpower Shortage

FROM pilots to engineers, the aviation industry is facing a manpower shortage, exerting a pressure on existing resources. “It is estimated that the direct and indirect economic impact of this sector could be employment for 2.6 million people by 2020.” According to report by CAPA titled ‘addressing the skills crisis in Indian aviation’. To quote from the report: “Education and training have virtually been an afterthought in Indian aviation. The industry has muddled through by deploying as hoc measures to fight fires. This approach will neither deliver a professional, sustainable or a safe industry.”

Changes in safety regulations and policies

CHANGES in aviation have to begin at the top. The regulatory agency responsible for enforcing a global standard of airline operations-the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation- needs a revamp to keep up with the current boom in the aviation sector.
Adapted from Outlook Magazine dated June 07

Observations and Comments


The accident of Air India Flight no. 182 at Manglore (on 26 July 2010) shocked the nation and created a doubt, “How safe are you when you fly. Aviation as a profession or as a mode of transportation has been the safest and would continue to be so. As per the Govt published statistics 1, 30,000 lives are lost every year which amounts to 356 deaths per day in road accidents alone.

The profession of aviation is a highly skilled activity the managers the operators are to display highest standards of professionalism in managing its affair.

Infrastructure and Manpower

Undoubtedly we are growing from strength to strength. The recent opening of T-3 terminal at IGIA at Delhi is an example of our vision and its implementation. Even the aircraft strength is gradually growing which is now 380 air craft will grow to 500 by 2012. (Which is against 700 of China and 7000 in USA as per 2008 statistics?)

We have to keep the manpower argumentation in all spheres of aviation activity i.e. airport management, maintenance, Air traffic controllers and the pilots to keep pace with the infrastructure development including the faster induction of aircraft. Some how or the other our manpower training programs fall short of argumentation of aircraft and ground infrastructure. The result is shortcuts for initial training, continuation training and advance training. Thus we land up in short fall, and result is compromising on safely standards (for examples increasing the age limit of the pilots enhancing FDTL, burdening the maintenance and Cabin Crews in extended duty hours). And the employees do accept and enjoy the extra buck.

Air Traffic Control Vis Viz Frequency of Flights

Often it has been stated that our controllers are over burdened. About 6-7 years back the busy airports handled less than 100 flights a day where as they are handling 700 flights a day. The busy airports in the world (Hethrow- London, Kennedy Airport- New York, Only France, Athens-Greece) handle nearly 1400 flights a day i.e. one flight per minute. If we are planning to create world class airports we have to train world class controllers as well. Our airports like Delhi & Mumbai now and Chennai, Kolkutta, Hyderabad and Bangalore later could reach those standers in years to come.

Difficult and Dangerous Airport

No airports (airfield) can be termed as risky or dangerous. DGCA has listed Leh, Port Blair, Mangalore, Kozikode Lengpui as risky runways. There are many more air fields which could be termed even more risky. (i.e. Thoise, Dumduma, Carnicobar, Vizag in this list). None of these air fields are risky or dangerous. They throw a different kind of challenge where the margin of error is some what negligible. The management and the operators have to lay down norms in terms of types of aircraft to operate, all up weight limitation (AUW) pilots experience, weather limitations (IFR and VFR). If required operator is to take care of referring to aircraft manuals and check on WAT (weight altitudes and temperature) limitations before undertaking a flight. As these are, three primary factors which affect the aircraft performance and operating parameters. Air lines in their eagerness to make fast buck ignore some of these basic safety factors while operating at these so called dangerous risky runways. No airfields are unsafe to operate if operations are managed professionally.

Training and Attitude

The objective of basic training, continuation training and advance and applied training should never be neglected at the cost of safety measures. The time has come for civil aviation to have doctors, specialist in aviation medicine and psychotherapist on their panels to train cockpit and cabin crews and maintenance personnel. This is equally applicable for ATC controllers and others who are managing aviation as ground support system.

Regulatory Body and Quality Control

In Indian context DGCA has been all in one, they are regulatory body, inspection body, accident investigation agency as well. We need to establish, independent inspection and accident investigation bodies. We need to create a Directorate General of Inspection and Safety and independent accident investigation authority like NTSB-National Transportation Safety Board. As the future of the civil aviation is bright (we are expected to have nearly 1000 commercial aircraft by the 2020). All the measures suggested above would go a long way, in enhancing civil aviation image in the country and nobody should question “How Safe Are you When you fly?

Air Marshal Ashok Goel served the IAF for forty years. He is an experienced transport pilot with more than 10,000 in flying to his credit. He has landed at all the so called risky and dangerous airfields (Aircraft flown to these airfields included, IL-76, B-707, Gulf stream-III types of aircraft).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Helicopters & VIPs

Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)
11, Silver State, Pilibhit Byepass Road,
Bareilly-243005 (U.P.) INDIA
Mob: 9411900090, 09999722636

Helicopters & VIPs

An accident is accident, and when it happens to be of an aircraft/helicopters accident especially with a VIP on board becomes a catastrophe and national news. The helicopter crash on 2nd September 2009, near Hyderabad with CM of AP on board sent shock waves all over the country and specially so in AP. YSR was a dynamic leader and had touched the nerves of the masses.

Whenever any accident takes place in Indian skies I am reminded of the Boeing Corporation’s world wide study on aircraft accidents. Study covered commercial aviation accidents of 30 years but is equally applicable to military aviation. Study had revealed that the rate of aircraft accidents is higher in Latin America, African continent and South Asia, as compared to US and Europe. The two attributes which were identified specific to South Asia were (a) “Chalta Hai” attitude (b) A tendency not to point out, fellow beings inadequacies/failings/faults committed. These very attitudinal deficiencies have been the reason of many accidents.

Let us critically analyze various contributory factors for the Bell-430 accident on 2nd Sep 2009.

Distance versus the endurance:-

The helicopter was tasked to fly a distance of 600 KM with an endurance of nearly 3 hrs. with speed of 240 km, could have a ground speed of 220 km, or even less (depending on the prevailing winds) This restricted endurance would have been fine in a clear weather conditions. This would have left very little margin of error on account of variation in track due to weather. Such a situation could have created hypertension among the pilots thus. Lowering the performance level, in rational thinking and decision making. Basically to undertake 600 km flight, in the prevailing and forecasted weather, was an in correct decision.

Route safety heights and its appreciation :-

Calculating the route safety height and airfield safety ht and descending below them under IFR conditions is inviting trouble. We have lost many aircraft/helicopters (even fitted with GPWS) who have ignored this basic principle of flying ‘Do Not Descend Below the Route Safety Height” under IFR, condition. The Belt-430 ignored this and seemed to have hit a hill on a diverted track.

Weather versus the helicopters flying:-

The norms laid down for helicopters flying are well defined and time tested. Basically helicopters are designed for VFR flights. Single engine most stringently. Twin engines not more than 4/8 (four Octa) of clouds/ That mean not more than half the sky should be obscured with clouding. Clouding should be stratus types of clouds. Not cumulus large cumulus build ups and under no circumstances vertical development clouds (Cb clouds). During the year 2009 monsoon had hit the India later. Month of Sept. was experiencing the worst phase of monsoon all over the country and AP is famous for its extra ordinary monsoon fury.

Why was the flight undertaken? :-

All the preflight conditions, that is flight envelop, weather conditions, operational planning indicated a “NOGO”. Pilots who are on deputation to State Govts, or other governmental agencies are their own master of decision making. Supervisions levels are negligible. Pilots trend to show over confidence of their performance levels. They (Pilots) try to come closer to the center of power to derive personnel benefits. (Permanent Placement higher position/allotment of land or houses at highly subsidized rates).

The CM had to attend a wedding of one of his colleagues. The pilot must have been pressurized or over emphasized the urgency of the CM to reach his destination point. By violating all possible safety norms (weather/Flight Envelop/Operational Limitation) pilot laid to rest the CM, other passengers and himself and his colleagues.

Dear aviators do not overreach the ORM (operational Risk Management), do apply and think rationally. We lost a great leader in YSR and our aviation colleagues (It was a human error accident).

Air Marshal Ashok Goel, served the IAF for 40 yrs. He was a transport pilot, and has more than 10000 hrs of flying on 13 types of aircraft. His last appointment in the IAF was Director General Flight Safety and Inspection.

PS :- Recommended to be printed in Aug 10 issue if approved by the Editorial Board.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

His Jehad is His Very own

P.O. Rohilkhand University,
Bareilly-243006 (U.P.)
Tel. 0581-2526650
Mob.: 9999-722-636


Radical Islam
The World

Global peace is now threatened by western-educated, middle-class freelance soldiers who have bought into the Al Qaeda way of thinking. Is India immune?

His Jehad is His Very Own

Not a Pak-Afgan-bred radical, the new Islamic warrior could be a regular American guy, swayed by Al Qaeda, but not part of it.

When Faisal Sahzad parked his SUV at the Time Square in New York in the diabolic hope of exploding it, he joined the growing list of ‘normal dudes’ who inexplicably turn radical Islamists, willing to stake their lives or riches for waging Jehad against the world particularly America and its allies. Faisal had everything going for him: an MBA degree, a cushy job which he resigned from just a few months ago and a suburban lifestyle he shared with his wife and two kids. And then the madness, the rush of blood, leaving Americans gasping at the thought of the devastation the bomb could have wreaked had it exploded.
The New Faces of Jehad

Who they are whom they oppose

v Al Qaeda is now more a state of mind than a formidable terror organization. A state of mind shared by those Muslims who believe in violently opposing what they perceive as the injustices of the world.
v Primary directed against the West, particularly the United States. But it is also aimed against those countries seen to be oppressing Muslims-Russia, Israel and India, for example.
v Willing to target Muslim countries aligned to the West or fighting Musllim terror-Saudi Arabia, Egypt, even Pakistan.
v There is a war without boundaries-any country which is frequented by westerners, for instance, is considered a legitimate enough target.

What they seek to achieve

v No longer aims at establishing Islamic states. But wants a just world order, for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
v Its anti-West agenda has been expanded to include the politics of environment. Osama bin Laden’s last speech accused the West of damaging environment.
v It’s also opposing globalization, portraying it as a ploy of the developed world to exploit underdeveloped nations.
v Primary impulse is to weaken sole superpower. All other changes will ensue on their own.
v Become an umbrella group for other militant groups fighting different governments. Provide moral support and ideological justification for violent action.

How the new recruit is different

v He’s a Muslim living in western societies. Also in non western countries where Muslims nurse grievances.
v Belongs to affluent, educated families, often a product of Western educations institutes.
v Bilingual. English is the preferred language of global jehad.
v Voracious reader. Sources info from Islamic literature and doctrines, and from western philosophers and political figures.
v Not religious. Adapted to western lifestyle, drinks, gambles, even has white partners.
v Gets indoctrinated through the net. Downloads bomb-making manuals. Or, if he can, heads to Pakistan’s badlands or yamen.

The worlds can changes, argues Al Qaeda, only if the West, particularly America, is brought down to its knees. This idea was mooted in the late ‘90s by Osama’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who cited the close link between the collapses of the Soviet empire to its defeat in Afghanistan. If one superpower could be defeated, he argued, why not the US?

To fight the US though, Al Qaeda has to first transform itself into a global organization. It did this through the twin attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es0Salaam in 1998, integrating it at once into the global security regime administered by America. With 9/11, the group carved out a space for Islam in the West.

The battle against radical Islam is complicated. With Al Qaeda stressing on ethical issues to justify its acts of violence, many desperate Muslims in the West of elsewhere are likely.

To find their inspiration and redemption in jehad. The West, in turn, is likely to strengthen its already stifling security apparatus at the cost or eroding ideas it is associated with: of freedom of speech, expression and free movement. Curtailment of these rights would be akin to an Al Qaeda win. The West is also expected to intensify the war in terror-and the ensuing bloodshed will only help bolster the Al Qaeda campaign. The best way out for Washington is to resolve the Palestine-Israel issue and cease supporting discredited Muslim regimes.


“To get radicalized, one doesn’t have to go to a madrassa or a training camp in the Pak-Afghan badlands. Internet chat room are good enough.”

Abdul Bari Atwan
Editor, Al Quds al Arabia, London

“They (the new radicals) are outliers, who can cause massive damage and get massive response. But they don’t belong to one group or movement.”

Faisal Devji
Author, ‘Landscape of the Jehad’

“The perception of occupation in Iraq, Afganistan, and Kashmir continues to be a catalyst exploited in terror organizations’ rhetoric/ideologies.”

John L. Esposito
Georgetown University, Washington

Adapted form Out Look May 24, 2010

Observations on Shahjad and Terror

This so called new trend of Jehad is really not new. The elite class joining the global terrorism has surfaced even in the mid and the later part of nineties. I am reminded of my visit to Israel in may-June 1997. The very departure to TelAviv from Mumbai can never be forgotten. Reporting time was four hours and the check in area at the airport was surrounded by Israeli security personnel and the sniffer dogs. I was interrogated for nearly 2 hrs as I was a criminal in spite of the fact that I was holding an official passport and was on the invitation of Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI). The experience was most horrendous.

After reaching TelAviv, the IAI chairman and MD had invited me for a dinner. I mentioned this extra ordinary security measure at the time of my departure from Mumbai to TelAviv. He narrated one incident One Palestinian Youngman educated in UK and settled, was married to a Jewish girl. This girl (wife of Palestinian boy) was flying from London to TelAviv for her first delivery. During security check at London airport a bomb was detected in the suitcase of the Jewish girl. Her husband had planted the Bomb. One can imagine the frame of mind of this Palestinian boy who was ready to kill his wife and the expected child. That was the height of mindset of these educated class of the people even at that time.

ü Even the event of 9/11, the nineteen pilots of different nationalities (All Muslims) had gathered and planned highjacking of four American airliners. Two of them had flown directly into the Twin Towers in New York, and other two had crashed deliberately. Causing biggest catastrophe of this century. All these nineteen pilots were well educated, highly trained and leading a fairly high quality standard life style.

ü There are innumerable cases of elite class of people indulging in such activities, Shahjad son of an Air Vice Marshal, western educated, well settled in life, married ,father of two children, indulging into a terror act should not surprise the world.

ü The US never took a serious note of the terror activity globally, or the cross border terrorism perpetuated by a country like Pakistan and bleeding India day and day out.

ü I am reminded of a visit of US defence team headed by a Mej Gen during Feb 2001 to Defence Services Staff College Wellington (DSSC). Where I was posted as Chief Instructor Air. The US defence team made a presentation on their (US), global engagements. During that time the security environment in Afghanistan was bad and getting worsened. During question hour one of the senior officers of the faculty asked a question “why US is not interfering in Afghanistan”. The head of the US team responded “how US is interested in Afghanistan”.

ü If 9/11 hadn’t happened US would not have declared a Global War on Terror. However, after 9-11 US launched a “global war on terror” by massive aerial bombing of Afghanistan (from 07 Oct. 2001). Nearly 9 years have lapsed with hardly any sign of “global war on terror” getting even contained. If 9/11 hadn’t happened US would have kept aloof of this so called War on Terror. If US had indulged in a serious thought to fight about 20 years back (late eighties), the terrorism wouldn’t have risen so whemently globally and specially so in South Asia.

Now is the time that we have to evolve new strategies globally, regionally, nationally, to contain and manage this greatest menace of Terrorism.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A “zhengyou” (serious & real) relationship with China

11, Silver Estate,
P.O. Rohilkhand University,
Bareilly-243006 (U.P.)
Tel. 0581-2526650
Mob.: 9999-722-636


A “zhengyou” (serious & real) relationship with China

During Pratibha Patil’s recent visit to China, both sides celebrated
the Copenhagen spirit and affirmed to take the relationship
beyond bilateral to global cooperation.

At the Asia Hotel in Beijing, Ma Jisheng, an official with the informa¬tion department of the Foreign Ministry, was declaiming on mil¬lennia-old India-China relations. Suddenly he flung aside the prepared text and an¬nounced that he would speak straight from the heart: "Would the media on both sides be please give India and China a chance to develop normal, relations?"

The official's point was simple. Attitudes' hardened when the media sensationalized to issues, and the events of 2009, when bilateral relations reached a precipitous low following media frenzy and scare-mongering, proved as much. "This constant harping on border, visa and other things, is it not like (eating the same food everyday?" Mr. Ma asked plaintively, adding, "I cannot help but think sometimes that China and India would solve their problems if only the media kept quiet a bit."

Yet as the tour- organized to coincide with the landmark 60th anniversary of the establishment of India-China diplomatic re¬lations- progressed, it was evident that even at the highest level of the Chinese lead¬ership there was a degree of candour and responsiveness that took the Indian side by surprise.

It certainly helped that Ms Patil arrived in Beijing at a time when India-China relations were seen to be on the mend after a difficult year characterized by intense mistrust on both sides. The irritants seemed daunting enough on their own: China's angst over the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, and the Indian unhappiness at stapled visas, not to mention apprehensions over Chinese-as-sisted construction in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). But aided by irresponsible speculation on an upcoming war, they began to look insurmountable. In July 2009, the editor of an Indian defence magazine proph¬esied that China would attack India by 2012. A month later, a so-called Chinese strategist posted a web article that argued that China with some effort could indeed balkanize India.

The summit revealed the humongous po¬tential of India-China cooperation on in¬ternational platforms. Given the size of either country's population and economy, India and China are intimidating enough individually. Together their might could be staggering. Not surprisingly, Copenhagen became a metaphor for forward movement at the 2010 India-China Beijing talks. Ms Patil and President Hu Jintao agreed that the Asian neighbours were now ready to beyond bilateral engagement to consider cooperation at International groupings and venues, among them G-20, Doha and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, Chins).

The enlarged scope of cooperation was brought up again on the last day of talks by Vice-President Xi Jinping, who made several, significant points. First, he declared that In¬dia and China were ripe for a "new start." Second, he reiterated the prospects for glob¬al cooperation between the Asian neigh¬bours. Third, he pointed out that between them China and India boasted a combined population of 2.6 billion. The imagery would overawe anyone: Two fastest growing econo¬mies with close to 40 per cent of the global population acting in tandem.
Inevitably India's growing trade with Chi¬na - China is India's largest trading partner with volumes targeted to reach $ 60 billion this year - figured prominently in the talks as did the fact that it was adversely balanced against India.

As against this, the media mood swing was overly positive on India's aspirations for a United Nations Security Council seat. Ms Patil did seek China's backing for it during her summit meeting with President Hu, and China did broadly indicate its support but the phraseology was far more nuanced than understood by the Indian media which drummed it up as "China backs India on UNSC seat." Indeed, the omission of the "promised" UNSC seat from the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement issued the same day underscored the pitfalls of overinter-preting what Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao described as "a gradually developing re¬lationship." What official sources did convey later was that on the UNSC seat, "the Chin¬ese were far more positive than they have been so far."

A top member of the Inian official delegation summed up India-China relations in terms of "pengyou" and "zhengyou." "Pen¬gyou" is a superficial friend. "Zhengyou" is a serious, real friend who will frankly admit to problems and work at overcoming them: ''We have a zhengyou relationship with China.

Adopted from “Hindu National Daily”

Observations on Sino indo relationship

 What intrigues China?

 Political asylum to Dalai Lama and fleeing Tibitians in the year 1959.

 Setting up of “Govt. in Exile” of Tibet in India in Dharamshala (HP) with the declared seat of power of Tibet.

 US setting up the security & intelligence agency DGS (Director General of Security) post 1962 to end Chinese hegemony in the area.

 This plan did not succeed in its primary and desired aim. But the US succeeded in establishing their roots to activate anti Chinese intelligence activities from Indian soil.

 All such events made China to adopt “enemies–enemy” Pakistan as their friend and provided them material & diplomatic support in world forum.

 The US never desires a close and friendly Sino-India. As that would dilute US position in the region.

 Are we really to follow old dictums “National Interests only” should decide our global and diplomatic initiative.

These observations are based on a discussion with the Chinese Ambassador to India in the year 2000 at DSSC Wellington. Where I was posted as CI (air) 2000-2001)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Air Crash in Russia on 10 April- A big disaster and lesson for Aviation/Aviators

Air Marshal Ashok K. Goel (Retd.)
11 Silver Estate,
Bareilly-243006 (U.P.)


“AS I Saw It”

Air Crash in Russia on 10 April
A big disaster and lesson for Aviation/Aviators

The Polish-AF-One crashed on 10 April near moscow. This was one of the biggest air disasters of this year. The “Polish Air Force One” was coming with Polish President and many cabinet ministers, top civilian officers, top military commanders for an official ceremony of the victory of 2nd world war.

The weather was bad and deteriorating. Pilot made four approaches and crashed killing all on board. 95 people were killed. Poland was in grief and turmoil nearly all top people were killed in one go.

From aviation point of view there are few serious flaws.

Firstly- A large no of important people should never be carried in a single aircraft. In the IAF strict norms are laid down. And similarly norms are laid down for VIP/VVIP flights and substantiated in the Blue Book for VVIP flights.

Secondly- A pilot making four approaches and insisting on landing is inviting disaster. ATC has also assisted and corroborated the end of several valuable lives. It is a well known fact that after two missed approaches pilots’ performance deteriorates. This is medically substantiated. This happens due to anxiety, fatigue and tension levels rising. Norms exist; a pilot is not to make more than two attempts. ATC is to direct the aircraft to divert.

Thirdly- Black Box analysis through media reports is revealing. 25 minutes before landing the weather had deteriorated. ATC advised captain of Polish Air Force-One weather is not advisable to land. A Russian Air Craft after having made two attempts is diverted to another Airport. In the mean time diplomatic head of protocol Mr. Kazana walked into the cockpit (against all professional ethics of the aviation.) Pilot intimated that very poor weather conditions exist, and suggested to circle around for 30 min and wait, weather would improve the chief of protocol walkout. In the mean time the head of the Polish Air Force also walked into the cockpit”. It is presumed that there was extra ordinary pressure on the pilot to make another attempt and the result was the Poland lost there top leadership in a matter of few minutes

The Lessons Learned

A large no. of important people should never be carried on one aircraft. The norms should be laid down and strictly followed.

International norms suggest that not more than two approaches should be made. ATC should not only play an advisory role, should instruct to divert and ensure the instructions are executed in the interest of flight safety.

The decision making during flight is only the pilot’s decision. It is not repeat not based on rank structure. Nobody regardless of his position or rank should walk into the cockpit to influence or pressurize the pilot. It would only lead to disaster.

Personal Experiences

To substantiate the about I narrate life experiences of flying:

We were on a trip to erstwhile USSR in Jan 1980. We were flying Antonov-12 Aircraft. Our flight was from Moscow to Odessa (A port city on Black Sea) now part of Ukraine. Actual weather forecasted at Odessa was low clouds and poor visibility conditions (500 Mtr cloud base and visibility 750 Mtrs.) It was also forecasted that weather will further deteriorate. Flying time from Mascow to Odessa was 3:30 hours. On arrival the ATC positioned the aircraft for an ILS approach on the main runway. However we came down to MDA (Minimum Descent Altitude) and couldn’t site the runway. We overshot; the ATC again made us try and position for the 2nd approach on the ILS. However due to poor visibility and low cloud base, we could not site the runway. ATC directed the aircraft to divert to “Simperofol”. Heading distance to diversion, flying time and the alternate to the diversion also was communicated by the ATC. Just imagine the relief in the cockpit. We set course to “Simperofol” and safely landed. One week stay, awaiting diplomatic clearances, was most memorable. In my 40 years of aviation with in India never heard such a confidence inspiring instructions from any ATC, whether civil or air force.

Having flown 13 types of aircraft in the IAF and ARC, had experience to fly as young and senior captain. Never there was an occasion when any senior officers (AOC in C, or the CAS) ever walked into the cockpit and pass instructions to influence the judgment or decision making of the captain of the aircraft.


I have always impressed the transport aircraft accident weather military or civil aviation or caused due to human error. When would we learn?

Air Marshal Ashok Goel served the IAF for 40 years and has more than 10,000 hrs of flying on 13 types of aircraft. His observations are all based on his personal experiences. His last appointment in the IAF was Director General Flight Safety and Inspection.

Monday, May 31, 2010

As I Saw It - Kargil recalled

11, Silver Estate,
PVSM AVSM VMPilibhit Bypass Road,
P.O. Rohilkhand University,
Bareilly-243006 (U.P.)
Tel. 0581-2526650
Mob.: 9999-722-636


The recent judgment of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) concerning the happenings of Kargil War sent sensational messages to the general public, and armed forces personnel in particular. Compliments to Brig Devender Singh who fought this battle for 10 years to bring the facts of that time to limelite.
I have written in great detail on Kargil many years back under the title:
“As I Saw it”
Adventure for Pak
Blunder for India
Victory for those Who Perished

Some relevant para’s are reproduced

Kargil -99 caused the biggest flutter in the Indian subcontinent. This brought the two neighbors close to the nuclear holocaust inspite of the fact that we were far away from a full fledged declared war of the yester years (1965-1971).

Much has been written about the historical and military perspective of the Kashmir issue since independence. So I shall confine my self to Kargil as “I Saw it”, from the closest quarter.

The biggest players of this event were:-
(a) The Govt. the highest echelon of the Political Leadership.
(b) The top rug of the military leadership – The Army Chief, GOC-in-C Northern Command,15 Corps Cdr , and the 3 Div Cdr.
(c) The intelligence agencies primarily the IB & RAW.
(d) The role of Air Power.
(e) And the role played by the dedicated and committed soldiers and the junior level leaders. Who saved the situation of the fiasco created by our senior (Political & Military) leaders?

It is a well known fact that Srinagar Leh axis runs closest to the LOC in Dras –Kargil Sector. Not only that the terrain on the Indian side is hostile to defend, where as the terrain on Pakistan side is favorable to launch an offensive. Strategically Pakistan always intended to block/ disrupt or permanently dislocate the “Srinagar Leh Highway” in Dras Kargil Sector.

After being commissioned in the year 1963 first posting was to Jammu in No. 43 Sqn. (A Dakota operational Sqn). The main task was to operate to Kargil and Thoise to provide logistic support to the troops deployed in forward areas. I was fortunate to be deputed to be the base Cdr of AF clement at Kargil from Feb to May 1964, working along with 121 (Ind) infantry brigade was all education. Brig Cdr Brig Chopra (an armd corps officer) always used to mention that Dras-Kargil Sector is the most sensitive sector because of its close proximity to the LOC and terrain factors. Being a transport pilot interaction with the Army remained a part of service life. I was once again with the Army’s most prestigious Institutions College of Combat “MHOW” (Now renamed Army War College). This was during 1980-81 to undergo the “Higher Command Course”. Fortunately Gen Sunderjee was the commandant. Who always believed in real time situations to be part of “sand model discussion”. Dras-Kargil sector was one such situation discussed during the course Not only that he had planned a similar offensive during 1987-88 during his tenure as the Army Chief. I was a privy to that plan along with Gen BC Nanda Army Cdr Northern Command, Air Marshal MM Singh AOC-in-C WAC and some other officers. The plan was conceived, articulated discussed at 15 corps HQ for weeks. The same was presented at Army HQ, however was not found feasible due to nearly whole of the IAF being deployed for the air defence. One has to visualize how senior commanders of the Army, could remain so insensitive to this sensitivity of Dras-Kargil Sector.

After Oct 1998 it was only on 07 May 1999 that DGMI from Army HQ had called up Billi Bedi (Director ARC) to provide Air Reccece Mission in Dras-Kargil sector. When the info was filtered down to the air operation it was surprising and astonishing to decipher that the area to be covered was our own territory. Immediately mission was planned and launched the next day. However we did not succeed due to inclement weather. First six days that is upto 13 May 99 inclement weather did not allow the success of our missions. By, this time ground situation was becoming explosive and the media was very active in projecting the scenario as a war like situation. Most of the civilian pilots were reluctant to fly in the war like zone. Since I was fully qualified and operational on Gulf Stream type of aircraft fitted with MCRS ( Multi Camera Reconnaissance System), first three successful missions were flown by me personally. The PR mission flown on 18 May indicated 6 MI-17 helicopter of Pak Army parked in Mushok Valley area of our territory. These photographs were shown to the honourable RM he was aghast. This could not have happened with few weeks preparation this plan & preparation must have taken months of planning and preparation.

Some of the observations of Subramaniam Committee are relevant:-

“However, it acknowledges that the Director, Intelligence Bureau (IB) did convey certain inputs on activities in areas under Gilgit-based FCNA (Force Commander Northern Areas) of Pakistan to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the Cabinet Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Director-General Military Operations (DGMO).

There is a general lack of awareness of the critical importance of and the need for assessed intelligence at all levels. JIC reports do not receive the attention they deserve at the political and higher bureaucratic levels. Of the 45 intelligence inputs generated between May 1998 and April 1999, only 25 percent went through the JIC.

A Kargil-type situation could perhaps have been avoided had the Indian Army followed a policy of Siachenisation to plug unheld gaps along the 168 km stretch from Kaobal Gali to Chorbat La- Such a dispersal of forces to hold uninhabited territory of no strategic value would have dissipated considerable military strength and effort and would not have at all been cost effective. The alternative should be a credible declaratory policy of swiftly punishing wanton and willful violation of the sanctity of the LOC."

There is much evidence available to suggest the agencies concerned with intelligence gathering, RAW and IB, had in fact provided their political masters and military commanders with ample warning about Pakistani intentions and activities. RAW went as far as telling the government that the Pakistanis were getting ready to launch a major operation in Kargil.

Lack of strategic intelligence could have been made up by the observation on the ground through scouts and patrol’s. Let us not forget that two shepherds observed the Pakistanis first and reported their presence to the forces. They had one pair of binoculars between them. Purposeful and planned patrolling would certainly have revealed the presence of 1500/2000 troops spread over an area of about 1400 square kilometers even if their ingress was not contemporaneously detected much earlier. The aggression across the LOC in Kargil clearly indicated a well planned military operation with a view to capture territory across the LOC, which would provide a springboard for further offensive operation inside Indian Kashmir. An operation of this magnitude could only be planned at the highest level in Pakistan with complete approval of the government.

We have to accept that our political leaders did not show enough foresight, they neglected, “National Interest” (of security) to gain political advantage. At the same time senior military leadership cannot escape the responsibilities of dereliction of duty in safe guarding the “National Frontiers”. Those who should have been censured were awarded and decorated. We have to come out of that shell of a “holy cow” attitude.

India’s decision to limit the scope of operations in Kargil by not crossing the LOC despite suffering greater losses in the process was calculated not to enlarge the conflict or provide an excuse to Pakistan to seek UN intervention. The Army and the Air Force took this restriction in its stride and forged ahead. We saved the situation because of our highly professional, committed troops, junior leaders (JCO’S) and officers who were fighting in the field. The commitment and sacrifice of those who perished is commendable and “Nation Salutes” them.

Undoubtedly the damaged caused not only to Brig Devender Singh and some others can not be undone. If the observations and assessments of people like Brig Devender Singh and others had been taken into account at the right time may be we wouldn’t have lost 527 dedicated soldiers and officers. But for the folly of our Sr Commanders. I reiterate this point the generals who should have been sacked were awarded highest of gallantry awards, can we undo all that.

Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.) served the Indian Air Force for 40 years. He has more than 10,000 hours of flying on 13 types of aircrafts. He has operated at airfields, like Dumduma, (6000 feet length, Thoise (when airfield was less than 6000 feet) and many so called difficult air fields. The aircraft operated were Boeing 707, IL76 and Gulf Stream. His last appointment in IAF was Director General Flight Safety and Inspection, IAF.

Air Marshal was on deputation the RAW. He was operational head of the Air Wing of the ARC during the year Feb1997 till 31 December 99. During the period of Kargil War, Air Marshal visited Sri Nagar, Dras, Kargil, Mashkahvalley, Leh, and Thoise extensively. He also flew Intelligence Mission many a times during the Kargil War. All observation are based as first hand account.

You can visit his blooger firstly - open the www.google.com and than type Air Marshal Ashok Goel and find my blooger

Friday, May 28, 2010

Naxalism-Maoist and the Massacre at Dantewada

PVSM AVSM VM 11, Silver Estate,
P.O. Rohilkhand University,
Bareilly-243006 (U.P.)
Tel. 0581-2526650
Mob.: 9999-722-636


Naxalism-Maoist and the Massacre at Dantewada

Naxalism erupted in the year 1967 in a village called Naxalbari. However, the same was nearly brought under control because of wisdom of the political class, duly supported by the bureaucracy and the security forces. The same further reemerged as Maoist in the eighties and remained dormant till beginning of nineties.

However declining standards of polity, infested with criminal elements casteism, communalism and corruption political masters lost site of development & governance, (to remain on power), kept in the background. Undesirable, unlawful, elements gathered momentum and this lead to further isolation deprivation of the people of these areas.

Today the situation has reached that in 12 states more than 160 districts are under the influence of Maoism. The prime minister of the country in 2007 boldly declared that the Maoism is the biggest internal security threat to India. With this background we launched a very big antimaoist program in the state of Chattisgarh as Operation Green Hunt. And before even the operation could have been anywhere near its real launch 76 CRPF personnel were massacred on the early hours of 6 April 2010

Why did that happen?

Firstly CRPF as a force was created and has been employed for crowd control, mob control during large scale agitation against unarmed people.

Secondly CRPF is highly stressed in their deployment and their basic comfort zones are very low.

Thirdly the quality of leadership is poor for fighting insurgency environment. The leadership is to be leading from the front i.e. should be pulling the force and not pushing.

Fourthly lack of coordination with the state police and the intelligence agencies was totality in adequate.

Fifthly even the political leadership has been lacking in there stewardship, statesman like qualities and connectivity with the people. It was only India Gandhi the prime minister who ever visited the tribal areas in early eighties. Since then no political leader worth the name has made even an effort of that kind.

Sixthly very hard hitting and bold statements by the people in position become retaliatory by such an organization as Maoist.

Seventhly there appears to be mismatch between the state government and the central government. The state government has snubbed the recommendation of the Ram Mohan Committee.

Eighthly the recent revelation of police personnel supplying arms to Maoist is very alarming. The possibility of ex-serviceman joining the rank and file of Maoist can not be ruled out. The reason they remain (ex-serviceman) isolated deprived and neglected.

What do we do?

Firstly it has to be a stick and carrot policy to be adopted.

Secondly lines of communication with the adversaries should be opened and maintained.

Thirdly fast & committed development process should be initiated.

Fourthly we should infiltrate into the core groups of the Maoist to slowly weaken them. Superior human intelligence force to be developed.

Fifthly at the same time we should train some paramilitary forces Bn like (CRPF, BSF, and SSB) as Special Operation Groups. Which has to be on the lines of commando units of the Indian Army, RR Bn (deployed in J&K) Assam Rifles (in the North East).

Naxalism and Maoism has been result of decades of perpetuated social order in which the inherent structural violence subjugates exploits, displaces tortures and destroys the poor and the weak to benefit the rich and the powerful. It’s from this indictment of the state that the Maoist combatants claim legitimacy for their armed struggle for the over throw of such a state. Naxalism is a political challenge that is in the hearts and mind of the people. Ultimately it is not superior violence but the superior politics that will win the day for one of the adversaries.

The problem is serious and grave but certainly not insurmountable the political leadership has to rise above low quality standard to bring up the bureaucracy and the security forces to very high level of leadership.

IX-812 22nd May 2010 and the disaster

PVSM AVSM VM, Silver Estate,Pilibhit Bypass Road,
P.O. Rohilkhand University,
Bareilly-243006 (U.P.)
Tel. 0581-2526650
Mob.: 9999-722-636


IX-812 22nd May 2010 and the disaster

The astrologer fraternity has already declared that this major disaster was due to numerological combination of the many twos. We may discount this theory in totality and come to the real professional assessment.

Media reports clearly indicate that the preliminary factors of aviation i.e. is weather, aircraft status, ground based NAV & landing aids and all other support elements like ATC, runway, were all in a high state of serviceability and readiness.

Other factors which are for critical assessment:

1. Aircrew Status

Whether they were medically fit and breath analyzer test had been done before each of the flight. Presumably the same crew has departed from Manglore at 8:00 Pm (IST). In that case they could be counted on duty from 5:00 PM onwards. Their arrival was between 6 and 6:30AM in the morning hours. It is a matter of judgment the crew flying the whole night would have crossed FDTL than laid down. It may be appreciated the flight between 4 o’ Clock morning till 6 in the morning is the most critical time of rest. It is during this hour that an individual feels most sleepy, sloppy, and sluggish. Many accidents have been caused during such early hours. Though FDTL (flight duty time limitations) are laid down but they seem to be not taken in to consideration all night operation.
2. Airfield Status

Manglore is just about 4 years old airfield with very little undershoot and stop ways, and is termed as tabletop airfield. There are many airfields in India (Lengpui, Dumduma, Portblair, Thoise, Leh Kargil, Carnicobar) which pose a greater challenge to the pilots for safe operations. These airfields are not unsafe, but operating agencies are to define categorically the types of aircraft to operate experience level of aircrew, and training patterns to qualify to operate at such airfields (for captains and Co-pilots both). These airfields are not unsafe but margin of error is negligible. A constant reminder and preflight briefing is the hallmark, and that is the responsibility of the operating agency.

3. DGCA Circular AIC Sl. No. 9 of 2007 dated 6 December 2007

This circular is professionally unsound, germinates complacency and finally accident prone. Though circular runs in 16 paragraph I quote the opening paragraph and para 12

Opening Para

“The pilot in Command who is solely vested with the responsibility of the safety of aircraft and passengers therein, may, authorize a Co-pilot of his flight to effect landing and take-off and route flying, under his direct supervision in accordance with the following conditions.

Para 12

The Pilot-in Command shall ensure that during approach to land for a supervised landing, the aircraft is established on the correct approach profile by 1000 feet above the aerodrome elevation. He shall also ensure that the aircraft is stabilized during approach at the correct approach speed and aligned with the runway centerline and maintain a rate of descant within the specified limits for the type of aircraft and approach being made”.

Though the DGCA seems to have taken all precautions to ensure the safety in their wisdom, but it does not take care of the CRM, “transcockpit, gradient” and the attitude and behavioural patterns of different pilots.

If Co-pilots are expected to be trained to land the aircraft from right-hand seat, this training should be on simulater and in pure training sorties. We can’t play around risking the lives of passengers by training copilots for landing from RHS, whatever the reason may be. (Landing an aircraft from RHS poses greater challenge. Authorized to QFI’S or specially trained RHS qualified pilots in the IAF.)

If we take into consideration all the factors it is apparent the aircraft has made highly overshooting approach and touched down passed midway point of the runway, and the pilots’ assessment to decide the go round after touch down has played the havoc.

A Boeing 737 class of aircraft requires 4000-4500 feet of landing run (i.e. from touch down to complete stop) if flown at the correct approach speed. This air craft has air brakes, engine reverse, automatic breaking system (where the degree of breaking 40% to 80% can be adjusted) in addition the emergency brakes.

The above factor have been analyzed as preliminary causes of the accident, the analyses of CVR and FDR can reconstruct the flight if total transparency is observed.

We need to review the:
(a) Operating Agencies Training System
(b) Continuation and Refresher Training program
(c) and DGCA Circular
Transport aircraft accidents whether military aviation or commercial sector, 90% are due to human error (could call as pilot error accident). This is based on the statistical study on transport air craft accidents of the IAF and the study by Boeing Corporation (for commercial aviation) over a period of 30 years all over the world. Both reflect the same.

Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.) served the Indian Air Force for 40 years. He has more than 10,000 hours of flying on 13 types of aircrafts. He has operated at airfields, like Dumduma, (6000 feet length, Thoise (when airfield was less than 6000 feet) and many so called difficult air fields. The aircraft operated were Boeing 707, IL76 and Gulf Stream. His last appointment in IAF was Director General Flight Safety and Inspection, IAF.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Congress Strategy for 2012 UP

Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)
11, Silver State, Pilibhit Byepass Road,
Bareilly-243005 (U.P.) INDIA
Mob: 9411900090, 09999722636

August 11, 2009

Congress Strategy for 2012 UP

You were in Lucknow on 06 August 2009 to attend the coordination meeting to discuss and plan out the party’s strategy in UP. (for 2012 assembly election). I was also asked to be present, however technicalities did not allow even the entry in the UPCC headquarter area.

I have assumed the present responsibility about a year ago. Soul aim being to rejuvenate and strengthen the Congress in the state. With absolute assurances to the leaders to whom I had met (Shri Digvijai Singh, and Dr. Rita Bahuguna Joshi) prior to the appointment and even later that I am not looking for any gains of any kind as an individual.

Recently concluded parliamentary elections rightly proved and established the fact that our leaders at the “Apex level” (i.e. Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and you) projected the rarest of the rare qualities not heard of in the political arena i.e. Honesty, Modesty, Humility and Connectivity. When I talk of Honesty that is not only in financial terms, but honesty of purpose, honesty of commitment, honesty of accomplishment, honesty of deliverance. That made all the differences.

It is with this message we have to evolve over strategy not only in UP may be all over India. Other salient points are:

Why only Congress? dkaxzsl gh D;ksa \& 62 Years of independence 50 years of congress rule at the centre we have enough to say on four major counts (“Governance-lq”kklu Development-çxfr, Internal Security- vkUrfjd lqj{kk and National Defence- ns”k dh j{kk½
2- 12 years of Non Congress Govt. Only negated the achievements of the Congress Govt. or failed on their own.


3- Don’t allow the politics of venom and personal attacks.
4- Defeat the politics of hatred- We lost three great national leaders Mahatma Gandhi, Smt Indira Gandhi, Shri Rajiv Gandhi, only due to politics of hatred.
5- Condemn Communal Forces- Communalism spreads venom and hatred in the society is divisive in nature. Ruptures the social fabric of the country. All this leads to fundamentalism, fundamentalism leads to communal violence and disturbances. And the final out come is terrorism. ¼lkeaiznkf;drk] ?kz.kk vkSj vyxkookn c<+krk gSA blls lekt esa dV~Vjokfnrk c<+rhA dV~Vjckfnrk ls mxzokfnrk c<+rh gSA vkSj ;g tUe nsrh gSa] vkradokn dksA
6- Fight the Regional Parties on their ground-They are largely dependent on a few individuals and their families. They have limited organizational and policy resources. They have no manifestoes or agenda to offer. They are like cancer for the political scenario. They have only one agenda to secure large no. of seats in parliamentary election and so that they can indulge in “Saudebazi” ^^ ¼lkSnsckth**½ in forming the govt., due to compulsions of a coalition politics. And then demand lucrative ministries, so that they can fill up their coffers.
7- Focus on Youth- India’s median age is just 25 years. There were 43 million registered first time voters in 2009 general election. By some estimates there will be 100 million possible first time voters in each of the next five elections. The percentage voting of last parliamentary election does not indicate a large participation of this segment. We have to evolve strategy to attract, this young crowd towards the congress.
8- The Indian politics is transiting from identity based politicization to result based governance. This shift may well lead to less fragmented and relatively stable bipolar political systems.

We have to move ahead with a +ve note at all lines. We should aim 210 seats in UP in 2012 and not only 80.

Shri Rahul Gandhi
General Secretary, AICC

Copy to:
Shri Digvijai Singh, General Secretary, AICC
Smt. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, President, UPCC
Shri Moti Lal Vora, Treasurer, AICC

Moti Lal Vohra : 33 --------------
Digvijai Singh
Rita Bahuguna
055-2239825/Fax UPCC

Credentials of “Mazboot Neta”.

Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)
11, Silver State, Pilibhit Byepass Road,
Bareilly-243005 (U.P.) INDIA
Mob: 9411900090, 09999722636
Credentials of “Mazboot Neta”.

1. He is 82 Years of age.
2. He has been in politics for more than 5 decades.
3. He is a refugee from Pakistan migrated in 1947.
4. However he became an Indian citizen only in 1954.
5. He has been a member of RSS since his child hood
6. He was president of BJP twice.
7. He is one of those senior leaders who visited Pak.
8. During his visit to Pak he made some favorable remarks on Jinnah (A secular leader) to earn the goodwill of Indians Muslims and to present himself as a secular leader of Communal and fundamentalist party i.e the BJP.
9. This bounced back on him, and the custodians of Hindu Raj the RSS bosses were annoyed with him for his utterances in Pakistan.
10. He retracted his statements on Pak and was forced to shed the BJP president ship.
11. To shadow his weakness and take shelter he writes his biography with too many contradictions.
12. During his tenure a HM and DPM the internal security scenario showed was at its worst
(a) Attack on Parliament 13 Dec 01. How did two loads of Ambassador Cars enter the high security zone of Parliament, was any body made accountable and punished?
(b) Attack on Aksherdham in Gujrat and on Raghnath temple in J&K are other examples.
(c) Kargil happened due to overwhelming exuberance of the NDA Govt for Feb 99 Bus Yatra. To Lahore
(d) 24 Dec 99 –IC -814 is hijacked , on ground at Amritser for 45 Minutes , / half a dozen ways to incapacitate the aircraft on ground at Amtritsher indecisiveness of the Govt resulted in IC -814 taking off from Amritser . Most shameful event.
13. As a matter of bargain (subsequent to the poor design making) three most dreaded terrorist longing in our Jails. (Azher Masood / Omer Sharief / Zorawar) for more than 5 years are released and escorted by then FM on 31 Dec 99 to Kandhar.
14. OP Parakram (subsequent to Parliament attack on 13 Dec 2001) all three wings of armed force were put on high alert Dec end 2001. The complete Western border was concentrated and futified. All combat elements from the EAC / CAC were moved to the western front. They all remained on high alert for eleven months. It was difficult to explain to the combat elements after few weeks why and for how long.

These are reflections of the “Mazboot Neta and Nirnayak Sarkar” for you to Judge.

Compiled By Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)

IPL T-20 World Cup and India

Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)
11, Silver State, Pilibhit Byepass Road,
Bareilly-243005 (U.P.) INDIA
Mob: 9411900090, 09999722636

IPL T-20 World Cup and India

Recently concluded T-2- world cup raised many questions to the dismal performance of India.

We have to find the right answers to many questions.

ü Media hype from the very beginning, as India is already a winner (of T-20 World Cup) be ready to welcome them as the T-20 World Cup Champion.

ü There were total of 12 teams eight of them frontline world class teams, when any of them could be a winner and even then only four qualified for the semifinals.

ü Top teams like South Africa & Windies also got washed out of the semifinal race.

ü Indians poor performance has been greatly attributed to IPL, just because Lalit Modi has become a discredited performer during last thirty days, don’t blame the IPL.

ü If we look at the performance of the cricketers of other countries who were part of IPL, they have performed the best.

ü Why should our media hype the event, to such an extent that if our cricket team does not return as champion, we are ready to thrash them/stone them or the over enthusiast are ready to cause them physical harm.
ü Game is game, winning or loosing are the two sides of it as the “Life & Death”. Please accept it.

Do analyise the reasons:-

(a) Was the selection correct?
(b) Was the schedule too tight?
(c) Was the desired discipline and decorum maintained?
(d) Are the cricketing conditions so different from India? Specially in a Coastal Country?
(e) Are our players not able to adjust to “Poce & Bounce”?

ü Dear Media (specially the electronic Media), India under Dhoni has achieved most remarkable standards in Cricket. No. 1 in Test Cricket, No. 2 in One Day International. T-20 Format is very different and unpredictable don’t discredit the captain and players to an extent that they become the most envious members in the eyes of the fan club.

“Don’t Kill the Cricket Also”

11, Silver Estate,
Pilibhit Bypass Road,
PVSM AVSM VMP.O. Rohilkhand University,
Bareilly-243006 (U.P.)
Tel. 0581-2526650
Mob.: 9999-722-636


“Don’t Kill the Cricket Also”

With a population of nearly 1.20 billion (120 crores), India can barely make any impact in International Sports arena. It has been only in cricket that India has earned some international fame professionally and performance wise. Even on management front BCCI has earned name and fame as one of the best professionally managed sports bodies internationally.

The origins of IPL in the year 2008, against all expectations become a great success story. A brain child of Lalit Modi, who has ample and, elaborate experience of working in corporate world where he achieved only success. IPL became a every home story, It brought business, foreign capital, employment to the people. And the most a great entertainment.

The greatest service IPL did was, this activity germinated cricket to those who could how never imagined being at International levels. We in India could hardly pickup seamers/ spinners/batsman for our tests/ and ODI. Today we have dozens of seamers/spinners/batsman with a wide choice. A large no of small city youngsters have reached International fame and made a mark in Indian cricket. Our players like R P Singh / Praveen Kumar/ Pragyan Ojha / Ravindra Jadeja / Pathan brothers are rubbing shoulder with Brettlee/ Adam Gilchrist/ Symonds /Sangakara/Jaya Wardhan/Bonds and many others. The standards of game in every discipline have nearly touched the ultimate heights i.e. batting/fielding/bowling.

Unfortunately some of the events during the 3rd IPL have brought the IPL to disrepute. Every possible politician is giving sermon / “close the IPL give this to a Govt. body” etc. etc. Every politician wants to head the sports bodies. Be that at state level or National level. Every sports body at sate or national levels is headed and dominated by a politician. And politicians those who have not been able to make a mark are making maximum noise. It was disturbing and horrifying to see Lalu and Mulyam in the Lok Sahba giving sermons to the govt., on the future of IPL. Lalu’s biggest Crib was that his own son could not make the grade for any IPL team. Hope he knows that Sunil Govaskar’s son Rohan Govaskar could not make it to national side even what to say of IPL. Dear Lalu jee the only sports body which has been managed professionally independently and with fairness is BCCI, with your efforts don’t try to kill the Cricket in India.

When it comes to malpractices and corruption Lalu ji don’t forget “Chara Ghotala” and Mulayam jee don’t forget the defence deals when you were the RM, (SU 30 deal specially) Enough heat has been generated on IPL let the Law take its own course “but don’t kill the cricket”.

“Citizens and Nation Building”

Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)
11, Silver State, Pilibhit Byepass Road,
Bareilly-243005 (U.P.) INDIA
Mob: 9411900090, 09999722636

“Citizens and Nation Building”

More than sixty years of independence is a long period in a Nation’s life. We have made long strides and made significant achievements, specially having established Democratic system of Governance. This gave us total freedom to think, reach and make our own choices of choosing our way of life. However, when we look at our social and economic development, we find ourselves much lacking in ensuring its even distribution to our people. Where have we failed?

Human resource development or quality of our human resource has to keep pace with our infrastructure development only then we can see and appreciate an overall development. It has been emphasized over and over again that an increase in any physical capital formation by itself cannot ensure rapid economic growth unless it is supplemented by an increase in Human capital formation.

Our objective is:-

To produce good human beings
To produce good professionals
To produce good citizens

However we are failing to produce good citizens.
Two important facets are discipline and cleanliness.
Manifestation of discipline has to be in every facet of life i.e.


Standard of Cleanliness
Places of public interest
Should not be only a show piece
Middle class towns
Tourist places

Wars and conflict, it is widely thought, are the biggest dealers in human death around the world. The ongoing conflict in Kashmir has, over the last quarter century or more, claimed more than 1, 00,000 lives. But how does that figure compare with death due to other causes. Take road fatalities, in 2008 alone, as many as 140,000 were killed in accidents on Indian roads. Another 550,000 were seriously wounded. More people, in other words, are killed and injured on the Indian roads in a single year than all the wars put together since Independence. India suffers an economic loss Rs. 55,000 crore per year due to road crashes which is almost equal to the cost of building the entire Golden Quadrilateral.

We talked about the major problems.
What is the remedy?

Human Resource Development.

Quality of human resource to match the infrastructure development.

Every Independence Day, we proudly enumerate, and rightly so, our achievements. There is no doubt that our achievements in every area of development be it agriculture, space, atomic energy, electronics, information technology or pharmaceuticals have been remarkable. India today is the fourth economic power in the world. And certainly, better times lie ahead.

Having said that, it must be acknowledged that India is a very complacent country, whatever we have achieved has been not entirely because of the system but in spite of it. This, however, does not diminish the record of our achievements in any sense. Even after 62 years of Independence, roughly 50 percent of the population, above the age of 35, has no formal schooling; 25 percent has incomplete education. Our literacy rate in 65 percent which includes even those who have learnt only to sign their names. Out potential and capability can achieve much more than what we have done so far.

Amongst the 370 and odd universities hardly 30, in any discipline, can be counted as having respectable standards. Yet we have witnessed the miracle of India’s developments and achievements for which we should be proud. Out leaders talk of Japan but they refuse to follow its example. Japan has no resources of any kind at all. Its resource is only one and that is human capital.

I know of nothing so helpful for the timid, those who lack faith in themselves, as the habit of constantly affirming their own importance, their own power, their own divinity. When a man once gets a glimpse of his own capability, he will never be content to wallow in the mud and mire of things; nor will be doubt his own kingship.

There are many persons who are always looking to government, to reform societies, to improved educational institutions, to working- men’s or other associations, to anything and everything but their own hands and brains, to better their condition and make their life- journey easy. But even the best institutions can give a man no active help. Laws, wisely administered, will secure to men the fruits of their industry; but no laws which the will of man can devise can make the idle industrious, the thriftless provident, or the drunken sober. Nine-tenths of the great social evils which our reformers denounce are but the outgrowth of individual life, and no legislation can extirpate them, unless the axe is also laid at their root.

The art of being yourself at your best is the art of unfolding your personality into the man you want to be. A good place to begin is by having faith in yourself”, wrote Emerson, “every heart vibrates to that iron string.” We are a proud “Nations” of 1.2 billion (120 crore) and nearly 65% are below the age of 35 years. We have the power to change the destiny of the country. Appeal to youth.

Take time to live: it is the secret of Success.
Take time to think: it is the source of Power.
Take time play: it is the secret of Youth.
Take time to read: it is the foundation of Knowledge.
Take time for friendship: it is the source of Happiness.
Take time to dream: it hitches the soul to the Stars.
Take time for laugh: it helps to life life’s Worries.
Take time for God: it is life’s only lasting Investment.
Take time to meditate- it is the lifting of your Heart.
Take time to pray- it is the union of your mind with God.
Take time to love- it is the privilege of the good.
Take time to work- it is the price of success.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam former president of India articulated A vision of India (while addressing Indian Science congress in April 2005. In a nutshell.

“A developed India in 2020 should be a nation where the divide urban-rural has reduced a thin line: A nation where education is not denied to any meritorious candidate due to societal or economic discrimination. And finally, a nation that is one of the best places to line in and brings smiles to billion plus people” A youthful nation has a challenge and only enlightened “Peoples Power” can make the dream come true.

Secrets of RAW

Secrets of RAW By Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)
11, Silver State, Pilibhit Byepass Road,
Bareilly-243005 (U.P.) INDIA
Mob: 9411900090, 09999722636

This is a commentary on a recently released book by a former officer in India’s external spying agency. There have been views and counter-views and occasionally, some of RAW operatives have spoken out of hand. Strangely, one RAW officer, posted in a Gulf mission, tried to denigrate his successor by alleging that he was using the diplomatic bag to smuggle gold.

Nonetheless, there has been some serious debate on whether the government should have released the tapes of conversation between Gen Musharaf and his Chief of Army Staff on the occupation of Kargil heights. Of course, Pakistan lied and was nailed by the conversation. But still, one the Indian government let it be known that its agencies could monitor the highest level of conversation between the Pakistani military brass, the source dried up.

Needless to say that it was an invaluable source.

Maj Gen VK Singh’s recent book has sent quite a flutter in the intelligence fraternity in particular and has given the media another masala subject to ponder and deliberate upon.

I also happened to serve an outfit of RAW, the Aviation Research Center (ARC), as the Operations Manager for three years from Feb 97 to 31 Dec. 99.

My predecessor had called me up and advised me not to accept this deputation, as he had felt most unhappy 9during his two years tenure) mostly due to administrative arrangements and some what lopsided hierarchy. Since I had been on the advisory panel of the ARC during the late 1980s to establish the new inductions. I was quite familiar with the working environment. I accepted the deputation as directed by the Air Hq and joined the outfit during the first week of Feb 1997. Of course, the was against the advice of my predecessor.

A fleet of more than 30 aircraft (fixed & rotary using), half a dozen air bases and about 1500 personnel spread out at the various places, I set the targets for myself: high serviceability, fully operational aircrews, high standards of maintenance and fulfillment of operational tasks.

Overall objective” 100 per cent mission accomplishment. And I can say that this was achieved within the first 3 to 6 months.

All I can the say is that the organization provided an open platform, to use one’s managerial skills, administrative acumen, and professional approach to achieve the organizational objectives. No such directives were given by my superiors. I had set by goals, I was responsible for my actions and I also set my objectives to ensure my accountability.

The organization, up to the highest level, provided support to achieve all these institutional objectives. That is all an operative can ask for in an intelligence outfit.

I served with three RAW chiefs- Mitra, Arvind Dave and AS Dullat, My immediate bosses were Mahajan and Billy Bedi , each of them an officer of impeccable character, excellent as human being and through professional.

Having gone through Maj Gen VK Sing’s book’s 12 chapter, I did not feel any chilling feeling. The first three chapters are dedicated to his years with the Indian Army, the next two on very mundane issues of how the offices are located and to whom you report, and how many flower pots at the entrance of an office etc.

One has to understand that in an organization like RAW – or for the matter in any intelligence organization-people have to work on the need-to-know basis.

Having an office on the first, second, or third floor does not matter and certainly did not affect the functioning of the organization. People were available to the senior executives for interaction of issuance of any directions.

Whether there are name plated or not outside the offices of various executives or personnel, id decided by the organization itself as part of its cultural on how to transact its business. People can be at different places;

What matters is that the required connectivity should be there. Even the Army and Navy officers are widely dispersed in South Block, Send Bhawan, and hutments and even farther.

Maj Gen VK Singh has talked about signal intelligence in three chapters. May be for an Army formation for its operational task, the signal Regiments plays a role which a commander cannot relegate elsewhere. That is a role peculiar to the Army.

But for the conduct of external intelligence, there are may sources, humint, personal contacts, publications, satellites, and other sources of technical intelligence. As regards the interception of two generals being monitored and its tapes being handed over to Nawaz Sharif, RAW couldn’t have this on its own.

This was deliberate decision at the highest political level. May be the dividends in terms of political and diplomatic gains were considered higher, and hence the assessment. Judgments are relevant to the time they are taken at.

It should be well understood that intelligence organizations work at the behest of their political masters. It would be appropriate to quote an incident here.

During Oct 1998, the Prime Minister’s Officer (PMO) advised RAW and ARC to go slow on surveillance of Pakistani activities to help ease the tension between the two countries, and build a friendly atmosphere. The focus was on Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee’s Bus Yatra (journey) to Lahore.

The Pakistani military establishment, particularly the Inter services Intelligence (ISI) has not shown any such gesture. But despite that, New Delhi wanted to show a sense of goodwill. It was conveyed from the highest quarters that peace is important for both the countries, and sooner or later, Islamabad should evolve a sense in its own interest that peace with India would mean economic prosperity with its own people.

Only when there were reports of Pakistani incursions in the Kargil heights that the ARC was tasked to check if the Pakistanis had indeed crossed the Line of Control to the Indian side and violated the border agreement.

They had.

We saw six Pakistani Mi 17 helicopters 10-12 km inside of the Indian side of LoC, mules and camps, in Mushkoh Valley, and Kargil and Dras sectors. Their pictures were immediately given to the then Defence Minister. George Fernandes, and the Chief of Staff of the Indian Army. In fact Fernandes expressed shock that Pakistani government talked of peace on the one hand and sent its troops to across the LoC on the other. What lies and double-speak, he had commented, and asked the Army to immediately address the intrusion.

And we know the consequences. The Pakistanis initially denied-lies being a part of their state culture always-and later tried to rationalize it when caught.

There are only two chapters, 11 and 12, where Maj Gen V.K. Singh has expressed serous apprehension of the organizational functioning.

May be he was in an era where a particular set of people could not enforce and continue with the organizational cultural. A certain decline seemed to have set in and that is why Tharakkan, an outsider, was brought in to head the organization.

There was a time when the Intelligence Bureau Chief and later, the RAW Chief, could meet the Prime Minister at any time. The hearsay is that Mallick and Kao used to brief the prime Minister every morning. They did not need an appointment.

When Morarji Desai succeeded India Gandhi in 1977 after the Emergency, he did try to distance the RAW chief from himself, who was the legendary RN Kao, and asked him to go to the Cabinet Secretary first.

03 RAW Chiefs IO served with also enjoyed a fairly decent equation with the higher political leadership.

To quote an incident, the Army and Naval Chiefs had complained to the Defence Minister about inadequate and ineffective functioning Raw and its other outfits. A briefing cum presentation was planned in the Minister’s office in April 1998.

This was attended by the Minister, George Fernandez, as well as the then Defence Secretary. RAW was represented by the RAW Chief, three addl/spl secretaries, Billy and myself. The Minister and the Defence Seretaries were more than satisfied.

The inadequacies in fact were identified on the part of the Army and Naval Headquarters; there was no proper dissemination of the information given to them.

Even during the Kargil operations, despite the clear picture of Pakistani helicopters well inside the Indian side of LoC, some Indian generals in the northern sector kept on insisting that there were no Pakistani troops inside India but only 60 to 80 infiltrators. The Pakistan President would have been the happiest with them.

The Indian Army is yet to say what impact this perception, ignorance, or mindset of a couple of generals at the command level had on the Kargil operations.

The K Subrahmanyam Committee, which looked into the Kargil War, did not go into the Army’s operational details, and I understand that he has mentioned that he was not aware of this mindset of the top army brass on the operational area.
Perhaps the Army should have a re-look, if only to ensure that mistakes at the command level do not happen ever again Was it the system at the Army HQ which failed to convey the ARC reports to the Army Brass in the northern sector, or they deliberately ignored it so as not to own responsibility for the Pakistani intrusion.

Reference to Subrahmanyam Committee

A lot has been talked about the Subrahmanyam committee.

Sixteen meetings were held between the Committee and ARC and RAW from August 1999 to Dec 2000.

I quote relevant portions: “No intelligence failures had been attributed on account of functioning of RAW and ARC. However, certain equipment inadequacies were highlighted such as:

(a) Satellite imagery resolution.
(b) All weather capability with sub-meter resolution
(c) Availability of UAVs
(d) Better coordination

Some of the observations of the Subrahmanyam Committee are relevant. It says in its report:

“However, it acknowledge that the Director, Intelligence Bureau (IB) did convey certain inputs on activities in areas under Gilgit-based FCNA (Force Commander Northern Areas) of Pakistan to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the Cabinet Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Director General Military operations (DGMO).

There is a general lack of awareness of the critical importance of and the need for assessed intelligence at all levels. JIC reports do not receive the attention they deserve at the political and higher bureaucratic levels. Of the 45 intelligence inputs generated between May 1998 and April 1999, only 25% went through the JIC.

A Kargil-type situation could perhaps have been avoided had the Indian Army followed a policy of Siachenisation to plug upheld gaps along the 168 km stretch from Kaobal Gali to Chorbat La… such a dispersal of Forces to hold uninhabited territory of no strategic value would have dissipated considerable military strength and effort and would not have at all been cost effective. The alternative should be a a credible declaratory policy of swiftly punishing wanton and willful violation of the sanctity of the LoC.

Specific to Kargil Operation

The Army HQ asked for photographic intelligence of the LOC in Oct 1998. After that no requisition was given by them. Only on 10 May 1999, a requisition was given to photograph our own territory. A number of missions were flown and I would like to mention the comments of the Chief of Air Staff of the operation, sent to director ARC:

“I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation for the sterling work done by the ARC during Operation Vijay. The electronic and optical information provided by the ARC before and during the actual operations was of immense value to the conduct of air strikes.

The co-operation extended by your men in carrying out missions under difficult and demanding circumstances in an eloquent testimony to the excellent leadership and guidance provided by you to the organization.

I am confident that the co-ordination between our organizations achieved during the operation will continue in times to come.”

Not only that there used to be nearly daily meetings between the DGMI or even with the Chief of Army Staff, Gen VP Malik. I quote the Gen VP Malik as saying:

“ I highly appreciate the efforts of ARC in making our tasks easier. But you will appreciate I cannot publicly acknowledge these contributions.

But I have no hesitation in admitting that it was with your organization’s sterling effort that the Army could link up and correlate their operational plans and execute them timely and successful; otherwise the causality figures could have been much higher.”

Even after my retirement whenever Gen Malik me, he always complimented the efforts of the ARC.

Every organization develops its own culture. Some allow more freedom, which actually help an officer, and an operative, to set the direction of his goals and objectives. As long as there is responsibility, this should be okay.

There are enough checks and balances in the form of National Security Council and National Security Advisor, and checks can only restrict the flexibility of the organizational functioning of intelligence bodies. That may not be wise idea.

(The views expressed by Subrahmanyam Committee u the author are based on his personal experience and do not necessarily reflect any policy of this publication).


Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)
11, Silver State, Pilibhit Byepass Road,
Bareilly-243005 (U.P.) INDIA
Mob: 9411900090, 09999722636


2008 the year of terror. Major incidents where Indian cities were on line of fire (Jaipur 13 May 2008, Bangalore 25 July, Ahemdabad 26 July, Surat 29 July Delhi 13 Sep, Delhi 27 Sep, Malegaon 29 Sep, Guwhati and other places in Assam 30 Oct and finally Mumbai 26-29 Nov)

The terrorist attack in Mumbai (26/11) through a new medium (Sea route) and Fidayean attack has added a new dimension. This resulted in 183 dead (including 28 foreign nationals) and nearly 300 injured. This catastrophe is being compared with 9/11 of the US and sent the electronic media, the diplomats, security and defence analysts into a frenzy. Hundreds or even thousands of articles and essays have appeared all over in magazines and National dailies. To day nearly forty days have lapsed since 26/11 but even now this frenzy continues. Not only that state CM (Chief Minister) and “Home Minister” had to go home. Even the Union Home Minister was packed off. India’s top leadership have spared no effort in shouting on top of their voices that Pakistan is the “Perpetrator of all this Terror Attacks”. Pakistan being the perpetrator in nothing new. Pakistan would like to see India bleed and bleed continuously and as long as they can.

Pakistan was built on hatred for India, US has been a collaborator since the time Pakistan came into being, member of SEATO & CENTO in the early years. Pak & US came much closer after the Soviets entered Afghanistan and installed a pro Soviet Govt. Americans saw this as a design of “Soviet Expansionism” to the east. American had to halt this expansion of the Soviets. They could not find a better ally and partner than Pakistan, not only that this could please the Chinese as well indirectly. The US along with CIA & ISI of Pakistan worked on a strategy to prop up groups with in Afghanistan who were opposed to the Soviet occupation. CIA & ISI created Taliban, hard-core fundamentalist group to over throw the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. The Taliban ably trained and motivated succeeded in their mission and over threw the soviet Forces. This creation and success of Taliban in throwing out a mighty power (of that time) legitimized “Global Terrorism”.

India faced the terror situation first in Punjab in early eighties. The same was handled firmly and differently and contained. J&K was brewing up with the calls of separatists and dissents from time to time. How we have fared in last twenty years in reacting to threats and demands of the terrorist needs a recall and analysis, to appreciate how we have allowed these elements to be on the upper edge.

One cannot forget the first of such an act on 8 Dec 1989. That was the day when Rubaiya Sayed (daughter of Mofti Mohammed Syed, who was then the home Minister of V P Singh Govt at the Center) was kidnapped by the militants in Srinagar. The Kidnappers demanded the release of militants who were in jail. The Govt succumbed within no time, and five hard core militants were released on 13 Dec 1989. This very soft approach changed the security scenario in the valley. Within no time chaos had commenced, Pandits, academicians, defence personnel were targeted at open and public places. And the valley was now gripped with terror.

The second such incident can be recalled of the year 1995. It was on 5 Jul 1995 six foreign nationals were taken hostage by a terrorist group “Al Faran” consisting of fourteen militants. American hostage escaped and was luckily saved by an Army Chopper. A Norwegian was beheaded and his body was thrown on the streets of Anantnag. As a follow up of these ghastly acts a task force was created. The task force assembled at Srinager (15 corps Hq). The task force had the elements of the Army, NSG and the Air Force. (Author was the Air borne force Cdr.) Not going into many details suffice to say by 9 Sep 1995 the task force had full knowledge of the hide out of the militant group, Al Faran. Then COAS had flown in to Awantipur and a presentation was made on 14 Sep 1995, that the force is really to strike. (Force had done night drills at similar heights at Gulmarg on 11/12 night Sept). Than COAS went quite satisfied, On 18 Sep 1995 a message was received, that the CMG would like to know if the task force could give guarantee on the safety of the hostages in this operation. Which fool could give such a guarantee? On 21 Sep 1994 the task force was asked to disperse and told, if required they would be recalled. More than 13 years have lapsed and that day never came. CMG (Crisis Management Group consisted of cabinet secretary, home secretary, defence secretary, foreign secretary and the ambassadors of those countries whose nationals were taken hostages). Later it was also learnt that the then Governor of J&K (whose was a former Army Chief) had also opposed the operation for the reasons best known to him.

The third security failure and internationally known hijacking of IC-814 on 24 Dec 1999 was the most shameful and regrettable event of this decade. Hijacked aircraft had landed at Amritsar and was on ground for more than an hour was allowed to take off for Lahore (just with 15 minutes fuel), we should hang our heads in shame.

There were half a dozen ways to incapacitate the aircraft while landing, or when parked. One hundred and fifty commandos of the Punjab Police had surrounded the aircraft with in no time though NSG and all other relevant actions were initialed. What happened ultimately that is release of three terrorists held in our jails for last 5 years, they were Omar Shiekh, Maulana Massod Azhar and a Kashmiri separatist Lat ram. There three terrorist were picked up in a Gulf Stream duly escorted by them RAW chief from Srinagar & Jammu. These three terrorist were put on an Indian Air lines plane. They were duly escorted by Jaswant Singh who was a Cabinet Minister in the NDA Govt in power at that time. Three hard core terrorist planners and thinkers were duly exchanged for the passenger’s on board the flight IC – 814.

In all three incidents (Rubiaya Sayed 8 Dec 89, Foreigners Hostage crisis-Aug, Sep- 1995, Hijacking of IC – 814) we did not respond in an aggressive and firm manner. We reflected indecisiveness and politically weakness for hard decisions.

Whenever we talk about “terrorism” we should remember Kargil as well. That was the longest and most well planned terrorist act by Pakis. It was planned directly by the top most military leadership of Pakistan. Though it happened prior to hijacking of IC-814, but its reasons and fall out are important “Indian Political Leadership” was over whelmed with the forthcoming “Bus Yatra” in Feb 1999. PMO had advised to go slow on Pak on intelligence gathering activities. This seems to have percolated down in military establishment as well. And we faced the biggest military challenge of our security lapse along J&K. We lost nearly 600 men and young officer. Due to folly of our “Political Masters” and “Top Military Leadership”.

26/11 and thereafter has sent the whole nation into frenzy . This was a unique attack of a kind. A group of well trained and highly motivated group of ten Fidayeen’s (Suicide attackers) sailed through Indian waters and struck some “Elite Destination” in the economic capital of India, Mumbai, leaving nearly 180 dead and more than 300 injured.

The writings, of commentates have said a lot. US secretary of state and British Prime Minster were in India within first week of the massacre. The reasons our simple, the region in now termed as the most “Volatile and Dangerous zone”

Pakistan is a deeply wounded state from India the reason are.

· Partition 1947.
· Annexation of majority states (Muslim) into Indian union, acquiring a minority status.
· Defeat of Pakistani raiders in 47-48.
· India’s Pokhran – 1 – 1974.
· Dismemberment of Pakistan, 1971 war, creation of Bangladesh.
· Surrender of Pakistan Army with 93000 Pow’s on 16 Dec 1971.
· Surrender of Bhutto - Simla agreement 1972.
· Kargil war -1999, unconditional withdrawal of Pakistani “Terrorists”.
· 2004-2008 Growing Indo US relations.
· Indo/US Nuclear Deal.
· Pak in Turmoil due US/Pakistan alliance on “War on Terror”.

Pak would like to see India bleed the jihadis logic in employing soft state India as their laboratory has been that if they can bleed the world’s largest democracy through novel technique for application against the tougher free societies in the west.

We reflect more of an emotive approach than realistic & practical. We have the intelligence, we have the security personnel well trained and motivated. But we fail. We have always responded in a manner to gain political advantage rather than react in larger national interest. We are arguing “Actionable information’s’ or not, NSG was delayed, these are week statements as we always try to save the organization and their masters.

We would blame every existing mechanism, and would not squarely and directly put the blameworthiness. And we land up creating new agencies or proliferate the assets. NIA has already been created. We are looking for additional Coastal command, NSG should have their own aircraft like etc (though there was no delay on the despatch of NSG from Delhi by ARC Aircraft) Rather punishing those who were guilty of ignoring the early signals, we all are moving ahead of doing every thing, rather than looking at failure & remedies.

Not only that proliferation of “Gallantry Awards” were not spared. One organization recommended even award of “Ashok Chakra” (Nation’s highest peace time gallantry award) to all 12 police officer’s killed. Don’t be emotive we should be more realistic with this yardstick all-military personnel killed during Kargil should have been decorated with the “Nation Highest Gallantry Award”.
So much has been written about state sponsored terror. Public has been sounded on military action, hot pursuit, limited military action, to dismantle terrorists camps in POK. These may not find a favourable response and the same has been adequately reflected in the print media. We had this option of “limited offensive in POK” only during Kargil conflict but our political leadership displayed lack of foresight and proactive aggressive approach.

We have been quite aggressive in our diplomatic offensive this time. A “Diplomatic Offensive” not only now but this should become a state policy. Global terrorism has acquired a greater menace then even nuclear-armed open & clandestine states, responsible or irresponsible states. United Nations should create an international mechanism where, all states should be subject to inspection of terrorist related activities.” International mechanism should be set up to extradite the terrorist from the state and law fully tried, or should be tried through “International Court of Justice”.

India has to launch an aggressive diplomatic offensive to woo China & Saudia Arabia two great supporters of Pak in their defence and economic built up.

We have to look total indigenous solution to mange or contain terror. Diplomatic offensive a “National Political Consensus” do not politicize “terror” to grain some votes, First and foremost political leadership is to show maturity, firmness, statesmanship. To conclude finally the words of a well-known strategic analysist are awakening “while Pakistan is guilty of sponsoring terror and making the country an easy prey. Make no mistake if Pakistan is to dismantle its state reared terror complex, India’s leaders will have to first dismantle their terror “Emboldening Outlook”