The phantom soldiers

Published: November 11, 2012

In the first week of August 1965, in the early hours of the morning, Indian soldiers guarding a vital bridge in Indian Kashmir came under sudden attack from close quarters. Five minutes later, they and the bridge they were guarding were no more.

In the first week of August 1965, in the early hours of the morning, Indian soldiers guarding a vital bridge in Indian Kashmir came under sudden attack from close quarters. Five minutes later, they and the bridge they were guarding were no more. In the first week of August 1965, in the early hours of the morning, Indian soldiers guarding a vital bridge in Indian Kashmir came under sudden attack from close quarters. Five minutes later, they and the bridge they were guarding were no more. In the first week of August 1965, in the early hours of the morning, Indian soldiers guarding a vital bridge in Indian Kashmir came under sudden attack from close quarters. Five minutes later, they and the bridge they were guarding were no more. In the first week of August 1965, in the early hours of the morning, Indian soldiers guarding a vital bridge in Indian Kashmir came under sudden attack from close quarters. Five minutes later, they and the bridge they were guarding were no more. In the first week of August 1965, in the early hours of the morning, Indian soldiers guarding a vital bridge in Indian Kashmir came under sudden attack from close quarters. Five minutes later, they and the bridge they were guarding were no more. In the first week of August 1965, in the early hours of the morning, Indian soldiers guarding a vital bridge in Indian Kashmir came under sudden attack from close quarters. Five minutes later, they and the bridge they were guarding were no more.

On a sultry night in September 1965, a convoy of heavy trailers transporting Indian tanks was moving on a road in Indian Kashmir when it suddenly came under rocket and machine gun fire. A dozen tanks exploded and burst into flames.

In early December 1971, shortly after midnight, a column of Indian infantry was moving towards the front to reinforce a position that was under attack.

Suddenly, the silence of the night was broken as sweeping machine gun fire came in from the flanks. Within minutes of the attack, the entire column had perished.

In all three cases the phantom soldiers who conducted these attacks were the chosen ones of the Pakistan Army — commandos of the Special Services Group (SSG).

They struck as if out of nowhere and then disappeared into the darkness like ghosts. Raised in 1956 by Major General Aboobaker Osman Mitha with the mandate of specialising in asymmetrical warfare, the SSG has since gone from brigade to division strength, and now has about 3,000 active members.

Until the late sixties, the SSG had maintained a low profile, as befits a force that relies on stealth and secrecy. But when it was decided to raise its profile by sending a contingent to participate in the Republic Day parade in Rawalpindi, few within the SSG opposed it.

The few who did dissent were overruled in any case. Eventually a compromise was reached and when the actual event took place, the SSG was seen wearing their signature maroon berets and running at a steady pace while chanting ‘Ali, Ali’ rhythmically.

By contrast, the other army contingents marched instead of running. And so it remained until the parade itself was suspended indefinitely for security reasons.

Skilled in the use of weapons, the SSG are trained to handle machine guns, sub-machine guns and pistols as if these were extensions of their bodies.

They are trained to fire from the hip with speed and accuracy, even when on the move. Experts in unarmed combat, they are deadly even with no weapons other than their hands and feet.

Given their training in unconventional warfare, the SSG also learn how to guard against its use by the enemy. As such, they are the unit of choice when it comes to both guerrilla and anti-guerrilla operations.

But of all the varied operations the SSG are called on to conduct, the most demanding are those that are carried out deep behind enemy lines — cut off from supplies, support or even an escape route.

Such operations require the highest state of physical and mental toughness, resourcefulness, and the ability to remain cool and motivated far beyond the bounds of conventional human endurance.

Selection for service with the SSG is, therefore, tough. Volunteers from all over the army apply but two-thirds are rejected during the initial selection phase, and one-third of the selected fall out during the training phase due to lack of physical and mental resilience displayed during the training.

Trainees have to undergo forced marches in which they have to cross 36 miles of rugged terrain in nine hours while wearing full combat loads.

Typical exercises involve round-the-clock movement for five days and nights without sleep, while carrying only two days worth of food and water.

Once that runs out, they must live off the land and the few villages in the area are kept under surveillance by the trainers.

If captured, they are thrown into the dungeons of Attock Fort and subjected to a gruelling process of interrogation. Among those who break down during the five-day exercise, the common refrain is “SSG dozakh hai” (SSG is hell).

Those who finally make it, earn the distinction of wearing the maroon beret and the coveted SSG badge on their chest. These men are too precious to be wasted in the activities of conventional soldiers, yet even those who should know better continue to misuse them for guard duties and personal security functions.

Occasionally SSG troops tend to misuse their skills as well, which is exactly what happened when one of the SSG units was due to be inspected by a GHQ team.

There was a growing sense of anxiety in the unit as many of their jeeps had become unserviceable for want of spare parts which were not forthcoming. Faced with this problem, they solved it in true SSG style. A night before the inspection, a few men stealthily penetrated the motor park of an artillery unit some 20 kilometres away, and went about removing the required parts from the jeeps parked there. Having completed their job quickly and in silence, they returned to base and used the stolen parts in their own jeeps. Lo and behold, when inspection time came around, the unserviceable jeeps were up and running.

The following morning, when the commanding officer of the artillery unit learned that his jeeps had been mysteriously cannibalised, he nearly collapsed and had to undergo overnight hospitalisation.

SSG commandos are trained — in the words of Hannibal — to “find a way or make one”. They had done just that, but GHQ was not amused to say the least.

Whether the target is automobile parts or an enemy position, an SSG operation is typically conducted in five phases: planning, preparation, infiltration, attack, and exfiltration.

Of course, while it is also a truism that “no plan survives contact with the enemy,” the single greatest factor in the success of an SSG operation is the achievement of surprise.

When the plan is not based on precise and accurate intelligence the element of surprise is compromised, as happened to the SSG operations in September 1965 against the Indian airbases at Pathankot, Adampur and Halwara. Hastily planned and based on outdated intelligence and maps, these operations all ended in disaster.

The topographical changes that had taken place in the area of operations were missing from the maps.

The result was that most of the commandos landed in settlements that were not supposed to be there. As a consequence, within minutes of their landing, the alarm was raised. With the element of surprise lost, the odds were now stacked against them.

The next 48 hours saw them fighting running battles with their pursuers until their ammunition ran out. The cream of the army had been sacrificed in a needless operation against targets that were subsequently taken out by the PAF many times over.

SSG teams infiltrate behind enemy lines either by land, air or sea. Insertion by land is hazardous and time-consuming as it involves crossing the frontlines, whereas the air option, in which the preferred means is by helicopter, is the least hazardous and quickest.

But when helicopter insertion is precluded, freefall parachutes are used to make either HALO (high altitude, low opening) or HAHO (high altitude, high opening) jumps. HALO jumps are made inside the enemy territory, with the parachute being opened low, while HAHO jumps are made inside one’s own territory close to the border, with the parachute being opened high, and then manoeuvred towards the area designated for landing inside the enemy territory.

Having landed, whether by helicopter or parachute, they begin the final approach to the target, and once they get within striking distance, all hell is let loose. Minutes later, they are gone as suddenly as they had come, leaving behind a trail of blood and destruction.

Now begins exfiltration, the most challenging of all phases. The quickest way is extraction by helicopter. But the real challenge, especially in the plains, is when this option is ruled out.

It is now that their physical and mental toughness, resourcefulness and the ability to remain cool and motivated come under a severe test, as they struggle to get back across a broad expanse of hostile territory with the enemy in hot pursuit.

The SSG is a small force, but when employed correctly it can inflict damages on the enemy out of proportion to its size. When viewed against the fact that in most conceivable scenarios the Pakistan army will have to fight a future conventional war while outnumbered, the SSG becomes a critical force multiplier.

Therefore, it is best used in support of the army’s offensives to create a strategic impact on the enemy that can then be exploited by conventional forces.

In 1965, for example, if the army had followed up Operation Grand Slam with another offensive in the Ravi-Chenab corridor, the SSG could have been employed simultaneously against the Headworks on River Ravi and the crossings on River Beas ahead of the offensive.

These actions would have isolated the Ravi-Chenab corridor and delayed the induction of Indian army formations into the Ravi-Beas corridor, thus giving a decisive lead to Pakistani war directors in all the dimensions of operational strategy.

Having missed the opportunity to win the war in 1965, they should have atoned for it by doing the same in October 1971 when the build-up of Indian forces against East Pakistan was well underway. Unfortunately for Pakistan, they missed this opportunity too.

In the two wars directed by them, the performance of Pakistan’s military planners was marked by a lack of imagination and daring. Stated simply, they had the force but did not know how to use it. Fortunately for Pakistan, the Indian captains of war were equally, or even more, incompetent.

The bane of any SSG operation is faulty intelligence and a lack of effective follow-up by regular troops. An example of the latter can be found in the frozen wastes of Siachen.

The Indian Army built up a large force to defend the 80 kilometre-long Saltoro Range ridgeline (the gateway to Siachen Glacier), and since then, the Pakistanis have sought to gain a foothold on the ridge line, with the Indians successfully denying it.

In early April 1987, after several attempts had failed, a small force consisting of about a dozen SSG commandos, using ropes and ladders, went up a vertical cliff and occupied a position at over 21,000 ft that dominated the Indian positions at Bilafond La. They named it Quaid post.

The Indian Army made several attempts to evict the commandos but each time they were repulsed with heavy casualties.

However, on June 25, 1987, they succeeded in taking the post as the commandos had run out of ammunition and could not be resupplied for the base supporting them had come under fire. With the only foothold on the ridgeline lost, the Pakistan Army launched a major attack in September to get to Bilafond La, but was repulsed.

Operation Silence, the SSG operation against the Jamia Hafsa/Lal Masjid complex was ultimately a victim of poor intelligence, quite unlike Operation Nimrod — the British SAS (Special Air Service) operation in May 1980 against six terrorists who had seized the Iranian embassy in London and taken 26 people hostage.

The SAS had complete information about the terrorists, hostages and the 50-room, six-storied embassy, and had even carried out rehearsals on full size replicas. The result was that the operation involving 50 SAS troops took only 17 minutes to eliminate the terrorists and rescue the hostages.

In glaring contrast, Operation Silence was launched on what was, at best, sketchy information about the number of people holed up inside the complex. Even today a controversy is raging about the number of people present in the complex at the time of the operation.

How many were there and how many among them were hostages? If there were hostages, were they lodged separately, and if so, where? How many militants were armed and what weapons did they have? Where were the militants deployed?

These questions must have been raised by the SSG, but were clearly left unanswered. The fact that none inside the complex survived the attack, clearly shows that the SSG was given to understand that everyone inside was armed and dangerous.

That those inside were able to resist the SSG for so long and inflict casualties on them, is a testimony to their preparedness and grit, and the fact that the SSG cleared the complex despite fighting blind is a reflection on its ability to deliver even in adverse conditions.

But the SSG’s Zarrar company, which had carried out the attack, would soon face retaliation of a most unexpected nature.

The militants contrived a way to hit the company at its base in Tarbela — most likely using the help of their sympathisers in the base itself.

These sympathisers acquired C4 plastic explosive from the company’s armoury, placed it in the mess, and detonated it by remote control, killing 22 soldiers.

As a consequence, military installations across the country became vulnerable, as shown by the attacks on GHQ, and the Mehran and Kamra bases among others.

The vulnerability is very real, as is the sense of fear and uncertainty in the minds of the commanders. But here too, the special skills of the SSG can be put to good use.

After the 1965 war, Air Marshal Nur Khan had ordered upgrades in the security of all PAF bases and raised units of Ground Combateers (GCs) for this purpose.

To test their effectiveness he employed the SSG to carry out mock attacks against the facilities. Valuable lessons were learnt by the PAF, which were implemented and then retested, with better results for the PAF.

Given the vulnerability of military installations across the country, the Service Chiefs, who must have developed plans for the security of their installations, should also ask the SSG to test the efficacy of their plans. The results would shock them.

The 2009 army operations in Swat and South Waziristan succeeded in ending the insurgencies there, but were unable to prevent them from escaping to other places in the region.

After successfully relocating, these militants have managed to continue to not only stage hit-and-run attacks like the one on Malala and her friends, but also to fight pitched battles like in Bajaur last month.

How long it will take for the army to crush the insurgency that has enveloped the country and threatens to undermine its foundation, nobody can surmise, least of all the army.

But what one can say with certainty is that the war against the insurgency in the tribal areas will become a war without end, unless the requisite amount of force is employed.

This must be in line with a strategy that seeks to isolate the theatre of operations prior to the offensive in order to prevent the enemy from ingressing into it or escaping from it.

Again, this cannot be done without a holistic strategy that includes the judicious use of the SSG.

In Operation Rah-e-Raast in Swat, the notably successful action by the SSG was its surprise assault on the Peochar heights, a dominating position occupied by the insurgents.

Descending from helicopters, the commandos quickly secured the heights, then attacked downhill, forcing the insurgents to descend into the waiting arms of the infantry in the valley. This ultimately led them to flee and live to fight another day.

In the two Waziristans, the SSG’s employment started in 2002, leading up to Operation Rah-e-Nijaat in 2009. During this period they conducted several operations in conjunction with elements of 12 Corps against foreign fighters and their local partners, who, in almost all cases, managed to get away.

This failing, like so many others, resulted from inaccurate intelligence and the loss of surprise caused by the accompanying infantry.

During Rah-e-Nijaat, the SSG was mostly employed in support of the infantry columns that advanced from three directions to secure the ‘critical space’ of the insurgents in the triangle formed by Makeen-Ladha-Sararogha.

The well advertised Rah-e-Nijaat and the conventional strategy adopted for it compromised the key element of surprise, thus giving enough time to the insurgents to escape to other places in the region.

Had the SSG been employed to open the campaign by seizing the heights dominating Makeen, Ladha and Sararogha in a surprise heliborne assault, the bulk of insurgents would have found it difficult to escape.

Special Forces are precision instruments. While surprise is their main weapon, their success also depends on the quality of intelligence, since their operational plans are based on it.

In a war against insurgency they are the only instrument of the army that can create fear and uncertainty in the minds of the insurgents, a situation that should repeatedly be exploited by the army to break the militants both mentally and physically.

There is no place for orthodoxy and inflexibility in war, least of all in this war. You adapt or you die.

*The author is a former member of the SSG

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, November 11th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (55)

  • abc
    Nov 11, 2012 - 12:59PM

    “Men at their best”. Pakistan Army

    Recommend

  • Yas
    Nov 11, 2012 - 1:21PM

    Excellent article…hats off to our brave soldiers !!! I guess we need good governance in the armed forces as well…to ensure that our elite soldiers SSG are used the best way possible…may Allah bless you all….

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  • NGC300
    Nov 11, 2012 - 2:19PM

    A good commando, doesn’t necessarily make a good scribe.Recommend

  • wonder why
    Nov 11, 2012 - 2:45PM

    Really Pakistan should have a special remembrance day to celebrate the lives of past and present soldiers who have selflessly fought for Pakistan. There really should be a museum in preferably Islamabad which shows the young soldiers who sacrificed their lives for this country for the masses to see. Their bravery is totally superhuman.

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  • ishrat salim
    Nov 11, 2012 - 2:51PM

    They are our unsung heroes….

    but what is derived from this article are :

    our lack of intelligence exposed…

    we have brave soldiers but weak military planners

    hence, soldiers contributions should be given more recognition.
    Recommend

  • indian
    Nov 11, 2012 - 3:09PM

    whatever………….!!!!! ssg or any other force……they’ll still be defeated at the hands of our forces..

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  • Rashid Iqbal
    Nov 11, 2012 - 4:05PM

    “On a sultry night in September 1965, a convoy of heavy trailers transporting Indian tanks was moving on a road in Indian Kashmir when it suddenly came under rocket and machine gun fire.”
    “SSG operations in September 1965 against the Indian airbases at Pathankot, Adampur and Halwara. Hastily planned and based on outdated intelligence and maps, these operations all ended in disaster.”

    Two things:
    Lets pls get one story- did the SSG succeed in 65 or not?Recommend

  • indian
    Nov 11, 2012 - 4:20PM

    @Rashid Iqbal: no they lost……..they were thrashed in 1965 and were held up as prisoners of war in 1971………….

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  • roadkashehzada
    Nov 11, 2012 - 4:24PM

    @indian:
    ok fine… u scared me. happy???

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  • Jat
    Nov 11, 2012 - 4:36PM

    Author: “…In the two wars directed by them, the performance of Pakistan’s military planners was marked by a lack of imagination and daring. Stated simply, they had the force but did not know how to use it. Fortunately for Pakistan, the Indian captains of war were equally, or even more, incompetent….”

    Then how is it that Pakistan was cleaved into two by the lightening strike of the Indian Army. I know, now the Pakistanis will shout, “there is no proof”.

    The proof is there, it is called Bangladesh.

    A badly written piece, also written in poor taste when attempts are being made to improve relations between the two countries.

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  • Adrees
    Nov 11, 2012 - 4:53PM

    SSG is the Best!!!

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  • Amir
    Nov 11, 2012 - 5:04PM

    Very well elaborated. Salute to pak SSG

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  • faheema
    Nov 11, 2012 - 5:07PM

    all resourcefulness seems diluted when challenged by Talibans, it seems Talibans are professionally more resourceful hence their surprise attack on SSG centrer Tarbella resonated more than the performance of SSG Commandos.

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  • Amir
    Nov 11, 2012 - 5:13PM

    @indian:
    Being you here mean you dislike your past

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  • zohaq
    Nov 11, 2012 - 5:25PM

    Irrespective of good or bad relations with neighbours SSG are a valuable national asset to be deployed wisely.

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  • indian
    Nov 11, 2012 - 5:39PM

    @roadkashehzada: the statement was never meant to scare u……….

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  • Anonymous
    Nov 11, 2012 - 5:55PM

    Time to move on!

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  • enlighten moderate
    Nov 11, 2012 - 6:19PM

    the article is based on facts!. Capt najam of SSG and 4 of his jawans were able to break necks of 9 of their captors when they realized their release is not imminent. They were only stopped by the guns of TTP. This was little before SWAT operation.

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  • antony
    Nov 11, 2012 - 7:13PM

    @Jat , I appreciate your comments..Not a single letter I can write better than you for this article.

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  • indian
    Nov 11, 2012 - 7:23PM

    @Amir: yes i do dislike it…there shouldn’t have beeen a war between the two nations…….i despise even the future since i c a war that can stagnate both nation’s growth…….

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  • SUB
    Nov 11, 2012 - 7:27PM

    And what we did to the father of SSG, Gen. AO Mitta? Get a good article on the subject also please

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  • Nov 11, 2012 - 7:54PM

    SSG one of the worlds best commando force equipped with best technology.
    SSG also provides security to the Royal Family of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
    Pakistan Army Zindabad.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEDPmzhOy0s

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  • Lord of Rings
    Nov 11, 2012 - 8:36PM
  • Xulfi
    Nov 11, 2012 - 9:29PM

    Quiet a few of the sentences and indeed some paragraphs have been directly lifted from the book “Crossed Swords:Pakistan, Its Army and the wars within” by Shuja Nawaz. ET what is your stance on plagiarism?

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  • NK
    Nov 11, 2012 - 9:30PM

    “The militants contrived a way to hit the company at its base in Tarbela — most likely using the help of their sympathisers in the base itself.” – A force whose integrity has been compromised will cease to be relevant in the future.

    All the training of the SSG is down the drain if some of them are more loyal to the Taliban than the state.

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  • roadkashehzada
    Nov 11, 2012 - 9:43PM

    @indian:
    i know. but my statement was exactly to make u happy. good night

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  • ishtiaer hussain
    Nov 11, 2012 - 9:47PM

    @ Indian

    And you indians will be defeated but also mightily humiliated at the hands of Chinese.Recommend

  • roadkashehzada
    Nov 11, 2012 - 9:49PM

    they shout “Allahu Allahu” in the parade as far as i remember

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  • Modi
    Nov 11, 2012 - 9:58PM

    SSG is the pride of the nation, the best of the best!
    Talibans are coward paid hitmen and would had been long defeated if they were’nt funded by Indian RAW, since India is too afraid to get its own hand dirty they hire lackeys like Taliban & BLA to do the filthy job.

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  • Akhtar Ali Khan
    Nov 11, 2012 - 10:48PM

    If they are that good, why they are not being used against TTP and terrorists?
    Over-exaggeration does not work in real world (and self praise is no recommendation).

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  • Parvez
    Nov 11, 2012 - 11:30PM

    To get a good understanding of the Pakistan Army suggest read ‘ Crossed Swords’ by Shuja Nawaz.

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  • Jat
    Nov 12, 2012 - 1:26AM

    @Modi: I don’t want to embarass my Pakisyani friends but saying this ” since India is too afraid to get its own hand dirty they hire lackeys like Taliban & BLA to do the filthy job.”

    But Siachin… by the way the “Quaid post” is now called Bana Top. The above article by a former SSG says,

    The Indian Army built up a large force to defend the 80 kilometre-long Saltoro Range ridgeline (the gateway to Siachen Glacier), and since then, the Pakistanis have sought to gain a foothold on the ridge line, with the Indians successfully denying it.

    In early April 1987, after several attempts had failed, a small force consisting of about a dozen SSG commandos, using ropes and ladders, went up a vertical cliff and occupied a position at over 21,000 ft that dominated the Indian positions at Bilafond La. They named it Quaid post.

    The Indian Army made several attempts to evict the commandos but each time they were repulsed with heavy casualties.

    However, on June 25, 1987, they succeeded in taking the post as the commandos had run out of ammunition and could not be resupplied for the base supporting them had come under fire. With the only foothold on the ridgeline lost, the Pakistan Army launched a major attack in September to get to Bilafond La, but was repulsed.”

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  • SB
    Nov 12, 2012 - 1:38AM

    The author suggests that the Indian troops can win a battle only if the SSG runs out of ammunition or the plan is faulty. I failed to understand if he is trying to cover up? or it’s his false sense of superiority?

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  • Something Clever
    Nov 12, 2012 - 2:09AM

    I don’t know about the accuracy of the history… Quite literally, I know nothing about it. But, towards the end, I can say it’s nice to see some former Pakistani military men of higher rank actually have a brain and use it.

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  • indian
    Nov 12, 2012 - 3:02AM

    @ishtiaer hussain: heheh……switched over to chinese for defence eh…..?? we’ll see who’ll defeat whom in future……….but u guys dont meddle when we r fighting the chinese…ok??

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  • Someone
    Nov 12, 2012 - 9:18AM

    @indian: switched over to chinese for defence eh…we’ll see who’ll defeat whom in future We already have, back in the 1960s. It was a rather brutal thrasing of India by the Chinese.

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  • Shahzad
    Nov 12, 2012 - 11:56AM

    @Jat:
    @indian:
    Gentlemen a very good piece on the military aspect , India was a client state of Soviet Union with whom they had a security pact, and which super power was insidiously active at the subversion of the people of the then East Pakistan, based on their communist ideology and provided a lot intelligence and covert help to the then insurgents which is all well documented and available on the net. The Pak army had lost the battle before the fighting started. They were militarily in worst position then to Guedrin in Stalingrad, since he had the force to break through.

    Well the Pakarmy along with their then ally USA returned the compliment in Afghanistan and the USSR eventually collapsed under its own weight. All the writer is saying is that a good commando unit is only as good as the intelligence provided and a regional power doesn’t have wherewithal of a super power for providing the planning and intelligence for conducting a war. So lets look at the future based on regional stability and sheath our swords and stop eulogising are own super warriors.

    The existential threat to Pakistan is from the super warriors we created with aiding and abetting by our Super power client of that time. I suspect and there is plenty of evidence available that the military threat to India would be also from its former proxies trained , indoctrinated and then some killed ( but not all ) by their then super power client.

    For those who need to understand the Soviet connection please see link

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_BezmenovRecommend

  • Matchless
    Nov 12, 2012 - 12:17PM

    Must join SSG…Recommend

  • Modi
    Nov 12, 2012 - 1:11PM

    @Jat: My friend I’m talking of current situation (terrorism) plus the western border of Pakistan, please don’t dwell on the past and the very example you highlighted is with the Indian border.

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  • PAKISTAN
    Nov 12, 2012 - 1:18PM

    this is soo good…
    EXCELLENT –
    hats off to the writer. this clears some people mind who think negative about the military
    i miss the parade. :(

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  • Modi
    Nov 12, 2012 - 1:20PM

    @NK: The attack was carried out by a servant – SSGs has nothing to do with it. REF: Loyalty, SSG loyalty speaks for itself!

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  • Jat
    Nov 12, 2012 - 3:31PM

    @Modi: I don’t want to denigrate soldiers of any country. All soldiers sign up to fight for their countries putting their lives on stake.

    But the author and then Modi and Shahzad have insisted on dragging India in to it. And Pakistanis being Pakistanis can’t utter a single truth when talking about India.

    Indians do not need lackeys to defend our country, our soldiers climbed vertical cliffs after cliff to recapture one peak after another in Kargil. And you ran away and refused to acknowledge the sacrifice of over 4000 soldiers of SSG and NLI.

    You soldiers have fought bravely but have been let down by your cowardly incompetent generals. By all means honor your soldiers and do not drag India in to it.

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  • Shahzad
    Nov 12, 2012 - 5:41PM

    @Jat:
    I am sorry please read your comment preceding mine, I have in fact said that we should look at the future. Additionally the article under discussion talks of the battles between the SSG and the insurgents in Pakistan to. I have merely stated planning and intelligence gathering and logistics of super powers and their covert operations are more sophisticated then regional players similar endeavours.
    I have also quoted a source, so please read the aforesaid comments again, the idea was not tomdenigrate anyone, I hope this explanation is taken in the same spirit as it is given.

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  • Jat
    Nov 12, 2012 - 8:06PM

    @Shahzad: “…India was a client state of Soviet Union…” You lost your way right there. Very obviously you neither understand the concept of “client state” nor do you understand the personality of the then PM Indira Gandhi (haughty and proud).

    You should read some good books, not the kind that are made available to Pakistani aam janta by the ruling elite, but real books.

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  • khan
    Nov 12, 2012 - 10:58PM

    @indian:
    watchout everyone, we have a b@da$$ among us!

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  • Haris
    Nov 13, 2012 - 12:36AM

    DONT FEAR THE NIGHT>>>>FEAR WHAT HUNTS AT NIGHT (SSG)

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  • Shahzad
    Nov 13, 2012 - 1:25AM

    @Jat:
    Please read the link I provided and please note if you want a meaningful dialogue be specific and do do not generalise , specify the books as I have the link. Thank you and I hope this is taken in the same spirit as pointed out. I can point out other material on the subject of Soviet activity which is freely available on the net but suggest you read this for a starter.

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  • Jat
    Nov 13, 2012 - 3:16AM

    @Shahzad: I’ll read the link if you promise it is somehow related to SSG, their training, history or state of readiness. How old are you by the way ?

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  • Shahzad
    Nov 13, 2012 - 7:59AM

    @Jat:
    This is getting counter productive.

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  • Subhash Sharma
    Nov 14, 2012 - 12:29PM

    @PAKISTAN:
    Looks like Parade is the only place where they look good & perform good.

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  • Jim
    Nov 14, 2012 - 9:49PM

    Mindless, bogus, machismo. Reflective of weakness and insecurity. Applies equally to all parties concerned — Pakistanis, Indians, Chinese alike. Strong nations don’t need to thump their chests. And strength comes not from a few commando battalions, but from inherently strong foundation based on sound ethos, rational mind, pursuit of learning and education etc. Instead of all this bravado (despite losing every war it has initiated) I’d love to see a Pakistani report that boasts of conquests in science, hygiene, child care, women’s welfare etc. Leave such bragging to retards like Zaid Hamid.

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  • PakSarZameen
    Nov 15, 2012 - 1:09PM

    @Rashid Iqbal: The point the author is not explicitly praising the SSG , but trying to point out the poor intelligence. So there are no two things.

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  • Dr Dang
    Nov 15, 2012 - 3:28PM

    @abc:
    How about using American dollars to grow more SSG’s & sending them after terrorist & taliban. Rather than praising write-ups about their failed ventures.

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  • wolfie loves kulfi
    Nov 17, 2012 - 8:19PM

    maratha light infantry

    and gurkhas

    will chew these so called SSG :d

    it is not mentioned but in ambala raid in 1965 the indian villagers with lathis

    beat up the 200 SSG commandos which parachuted and only 34 returned back to Pakistan

    wearing lungis to disguise themselves :d

    also in 84 they surrendered to Indian army mountaineering alpine force of dogras

    and in 71 there simply surrendered to assam rifles

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  • KSingh
    Nov 18, 2012 - 12:54AM

    What nonsense! Despite all the SSG’s greatness they have more failures to their name than success. In The 1980s REGULAR Indian army soldiers beat the “PHANTOM SOLDIERS” back with their bare hands!! And the number of PR events they do proves how unporffesional they really are.

    Indian SOFs are almost the complete contrast- remain in the shadows, let their work doing the talking, refrain from media attention, go about their buisness. There is a reason the West SOFs rate the Indian SOFs so highly and the SSG so poorly.

    Talk,talk,talk.

    Propoganda much.Recommend

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