The Harpoons And Pakistan’s American Mess

Posted by Ahmed Quraishi on Sep 2nd, 2009

The Harpoons And Pakistan’s American Mess

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Two Pakistani political parties, Mr. Zardari’s PPP and Mr. Sharif’s PMLN, both ironically created during the reigns of two different military rulers, are taking the nation for a ride in the name of democracy.  Thanks to their nonperformance in the past nineteen months, Pakistan is staring at a huge national failure, from foreign policy to Gwadar.  Terrorism and target killings in Balochistan are being ignored by all politicians in the name of sympathizing with a politician-turned-terrorist who secretly received weapons from abroad and who permitted his grandson to join enemies of the homeland.  



Wednesday, 2 September 2009. 



ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The Americans are back to their favorite arm-twisting practice: Diplomacy through calculated media leaks.  The New York Times story on alleged Pakistani modifications to old-tech US missiles is a reminder that American interests do not overlap with those of Pakistan’s despite the best efforts of the pro-American lobby within the Pakistani government.  This lobby has been quite active recently – through a PR campaign – in defending US position and counseling fellow citizens to stop opposing Washington because Pakistan needs American aid.


What will America’s Pakistani apologists say after this indirect salvo, threatening Pakistan of scuttling the five-year, $ 7.5 billion Kerry-Lugar aid bill because Pakistan continues to develop strategic missiles and refuses to turn its army into a police force at the beck and call of Uncle Sam’s bungled freedom mission in Afghanistan?


Maybe this is the reason why our usually boisterous ambassador in Washington was circumspect yesterday, saying little except that there appears to be a misunderstanding.  But it is not a misunderstanding.  The report – where no US official appears by name – is tailored to create panic in Islamabad and exert pressure without the need for Mr. Holbrooke’s personal skills.  Pakistani policymakers would do well to read between the lines.


Two things stand out: unwarranted US spying on Pakistan’s strategic weaponization programs and – more importantly – the preposterous US accusation that Pakistan’s defensive capability risks attracting an arms race with India.


There is only one explanation for the mounting American frustration:  Despite seven years of intense pressures on Pakistan, Washington is nowhere close to putting a leash on the Pakistani military and its intelligence agencies.  It does not know yet the exact location of Pakistan’s nuclear bombs and warheads.  It is no closer to neutralizing Pakistan’s nuclear button despite the wild campaign to convince the world that Pakistan was incapable of protecting its weapons.  Pakistan managed to deflect pressures and refused to turn itself into a walkway for American and Indian boots.


The credit for this goes solely to the Pakistani military and people.  Our politicians, in government and opposition, remain hugely impressed with American influence and ready to work with it to counterbalance a powerful Pakistani military.  The latest episode in our political soap opera, where retired intelligence officers have been used to divulge old secrets, is designed to discredit the military.


While they distract the nation with their nonissues, there is no one to question the rulers why they approved the construction of the world’s largest US embassy in Islamabad when the American aid bill has not even passed US Congress?  There are signs that the politicians are quietly allowing unprecedented US military and covert presence in and around the Pakistani capital in order to change the balance of power inside Pakistan in a permanent way.  There are reports now that US military presence is being formalized in both Sindh and Balochistan.  The frequency and detail of these reports means they cannot be discounted as hearsay.  


Two Pakistani political parties, Mr. Zardari’s PPP and Mr. Sharif’s PMLN, both ironically created during the reigns of two different military rulers, are taking the nation for a ride in the name of democracy.  Thanks to their nonperformance in the past nineteen months, Pakistan is staring at a huge national failure, from foreign policy to Gwadar.  Terrorism and target killings in Balochistan are being ignored by all politicians in the name of sympathizing with a politician-turned-terrorist who secretly received weapons from abroad and who permitted his grandson to join enemies of the homeland.


Lost in this circus is any talk about health care, education, highways or infrastructure.  It is a national decline.


The worst part about our politicians is not their glaring ineptitude.  It is the fact that their parties are so stifled there is no hope the ruling elite will expand its limited pool of talent to include a nation brimming with initiative and yearning for change.



Juggling Pakistani and American interests

4 Responses for “The Harpoons And Pakistan’s American Mess”

  1. Rehan Ansari says:

    Where does Ahmed Quraishi get all these articles?

    Why can\’t the ISI and Army act on these if the actual photos of indivisuals and buildings are being given out.

    Or has the ISI and Pakistan Army also been sold out to the highest bidder.

  2. yahoovisitor says:

    What is establishment. Who are the people known as part of establishment. What role does the establishment play in Pakistan\’s future. These questions came out after seeing a program Merey Mutabiq & ex-minister Mr Mushahid Hussain facing Dr Shahid in the program. He was busy putting all the misdoings of the govts he served in the past on the present govt or the hurdle creating politians. He also stressed on the word Establishment saying that the foreign policies implemented on Pakistan come in the duty of the Establishment to enforce. There are many readers as well as column writers on Ahmed If Mr Ahmed Quraishi of any of the members of this website could put a light on the above mentioned word ESTABLISHMENT & define it I\’ll be most obliged. For I am above 50 yrs of age and have a dream like glimpse of Ayub Khan\’s reign. A clearer picture of Z.A Bhutto\’s govt and more clearer pictures of the govts taking over consecutively at a fast pace. None of the dictators was able to rule Pakistan without the help of the political filth. Ayub Khan also held fake elections declaring himself successful. Gen Zia also held a national consensus/referendum about implementing Islam & tried to call his govt a democratic govt. After his death weak democratic govts were formed which hardly lasted for 2 or 3 yrs each. Then comes the reign of Musharraf. He had to take PCO oath from the judiciary as well as from a group of political filth to enable him to move on. Pakistan politically and financially has moved in the reverse gear with the fastest speed it could. What does this indicate? If Mr Ahmed Qureshi or any member of his website could enlighten on the issue I\’d be most obliged. For all I see is just darkness ahead unless some miracle from Allah Almighty takes place. We are all praying to Allah Almighty for Pakistan\’s solemnity and development but it seems that our prayers are not being accepted there. Why? Will any political change take Pakistan to the destination required/prayed for by all the Pakistan loving citizens? As the present political filth has lost its confidence in the Pakistanis mostly. One bold step taken by the present govt that Judiciary is totally free from any govt pressure for any sorts of decisions. But if anyone goes to have his appeal/witness recorded it is not being done without bribe. If any one gets a decision in his favor being on the right he is unable to get the attested copy of the decision being his legal right without having to pay for it. The amount to be paid is ascertained on the nature of decision. Meaning to say that the political filth has destroyed the judiciary and the concept of justice this much that justice is just a dream for a common man. May Allah Almighty forgive our sins, get rid of this political filth, award Pakistan with some sincere leader like M.A Jinnah and bring Pakistan\’s govt & all its departments on the right path. Ameen


    FROM AN ARTICLE MY FRIEND WRITES IN INDIA: India-based intellectuals, be they civilians dabbling in strategic affairs or even serving or retired armed services chiefs, have repeatedly demonstrated a remarkable consistency in making ludicrous and largely discredited claims about Pakistan’s military-industrial capabilities that seemingly tend to give the Pakistan Armed Forces a debilitating force projection superiority over their Indian counterparts. The latest such accusation to have surfaced concerns the alleged efforts by the Pakistan Navy to modify its ship-launched Boeing-built RGM-84A and submarine-launched UGM-84A Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles (of 1984 vintage) into ship-launched 50nm-range dual-role anti-ship strike and land attack precision-guided missiles. True or false? Can such modifications be done covertly without any involvement by the guided-missile’s OEM?

    The best and most convincing answer comes from none other than the OEM itself—Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, which had by the mid-1990s successfully modified the Harpoon into precision-guided land attack missile called SLAM-ER (standoff land attack missile-extended range), and had also developed the related Harpoon Shipboard Command Launch Control System and the AWW-14 data-link pod (this being for the air-launched variant of the SLAM-ER). The above slides clearly demonstrate what exactly were the modifications carried out by Boeing IDS on the basic Harpoon, and how this missile has since evolved into the SLAM-ER (which is now being offered to the Indian Air Force along with both the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-16IN Super Viper medium multi-role combat aircraft). Taking the cue from the SLAM-ER, both MBDA and Israel Military Industries (IMI) have adopted the same optronics-based precision-guidance approach for their SCALP and Delilah air-/ship-/submarine-launched standoff land attack missiles (as has the Pakistan Air Force with the Ra’ad air-launched land attack cruise missile).

    Consequently, it emerges from the above that for any Pakistani military-industrial entity to modify the Harpoon into a LACM, it would not only have to radically redesign the missile’s nose section, but will also have to develop a passive optronic sensor and integrate it with the missile’s inertial navigation system, develop a new Shipboard Command Launch Control System, and develop the airborne data-link pod so that the LACM can be provided with over-the-horizon targetting (OTHT) cues at its terminal cruise phase. Which means, while the LACM will have to be launched from a warship lurking dangerously close to a hostile coastline, a defenceless manned airborne platform (either fixed-wing or rotary-winged) too will have to be in the warship’s immediate vicinity for providing OTHT cues.

    Given such daunting R & D challenges, wouldn’t it be much easier for Pakistan to acquire and deploy ground-/air-/ship-launched LACMs like the Babur and Ra’ad, both of which not only have much longer engagement envelopes, but also heavier warheads for guaranteeing assured target destruction? And if at all it is so easy to modify or even reverse-engineer anti-ship cruise missiles of 1980s vintage, then can someone explain why the DRDO’s labs (like the DRDL, GTRE, IRDE and DARE) have still been unable to reverse-engineer the decommissioned BAE Systems-built Sea Eagle anti-ship cruise missiles (whose performance parameters closely resembled those of the Harpoon A) that have now been decommissioned and are available for total strip-down and cloning? Why has the DRDO been unable to re-engineer the Sea Eagle into an unmanned high-speed target drone capable of subjecting the Indian Navy\’s Barak-1 and Kashtan-M close-in anti-missile defence systems to some pretty realistic threat simulation environments of the kind expected to be faced in wartime? Why does this operational requirement (for the drones) remain unfulfilled till this day? India’s civilian and military decision-makers—it thus seems—can bark galore but cannot bite.

  4. yahoovisitor says:

    When the ruling community is a slave community then I don\’t think we can take any action except writing on websites like Our ruling community or more precisely political filth is the least interested in these columns as computer and internet facility are rarely available to each individual in Pakistan. Or rather the low paid community being in majority can\’t afford this facility being poor. The latest information received an hour ago via sms is that over 700 US soldiers have been settled at US Embassy Islamabad & 1000 more U.S soldiers are expected any moment. The US Conciliate in Pakistan have bought 18 acres of land near AQ Khan Research Laboratories, their actual target being destruction of Pakistan\’s nuclear capability which has taken the peace off the Anti Pakistan Community the day Pakistan achieved this capability. The US PVT Terrorist Army \’Black Water\’ has bought land in Shah Qadar near Chahar Saddah. Unfortunately our news channels claiming to be producing awareness in the people of Pakistan & FIA Pakistan also seem to be asleep like (or on the order of) our political filth being led by Asif Ali Zardari. What is the next step that may be taken? Our enemy is in our country to physically crush us. We have already been morally crushed by devils like Mush & Zardari etc. Please wake up. Now is the time for the common man to wake up and become a soldier of Pakistan/Mujahid and save it from the hands of the internal & external devils. Our Holy Prophet S.A.W at the time of death didn\’t have any currency or earnings left in his house. But his 2 swords alongwith his metallic shirt (Zarra Baktar) were hanging above the place where Our Holy Prophet S.A.W gave his life to Allah Almighty. What does that depict. Our Holy Prophet S.A.W was never asleep from his defense. But on the contrary our political filth imposed upon us to rule Pakistan is strictly against the teachings of the Holy Prophet S.A.W. It can also be called a team of hypocrites who just to get a vote behave as a Muslim & once they get their seats they are fighting for, hypocrisy is again there being a part of their nature. They are being paid heavily for all this hypocrisy by USA & the Anti Pakistan Alliance. But they have actually forgotten the fire of hell which starts from the moment a hypocrite is put into his/her grave. May Allah Almighty save Pakistan from all the dogmatism being enforced either internally or externally.

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