Using the PAF?

Published: December 3, 2011
The writer is Executive Director of Jinnah Institute. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect that of JI

The writer is Executive Director of Jinnah Institute. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect that of JI

Post-May 2 unilateral action by the United States in Abbottabad as well as in the wake of the US firing on Pakistani posts at Salala in Mohmand, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has come under criticism for not acting and taking out US aerial platforms. There have been witty but misplaced tweets and the PAF’s silence has only added to people’s anxiety about what the force can or cannot do. Briefings have come from the army high command with the PAF, which has the best knowledge of its functioning, keeping a low profile.

While it is up to the air force to package some of those details for the understanding of informed generalists, being no expert in such technical and operational details, let me present here some broad points apropos of higher strategy.

As I have written before, a weaker state should avoid a direct response. The air force is an offensive force. Its use, therefore, for a weaker state would mean a much higher climb on the escalation ladder. That is always to the advantage of a stronger adversary who is likely, to put it in Herman Kahn’s words, to enjoy a marked advantage in a given region of the escalation ladder for several reasons, most importantly, sustainability. The ‘jet effect’ of an offensive action is always more difficult to sustain for a weaker state than a stronger one.

Let me translate it. The use of the PAF would mean going on the offensive. The PAF will decide its targeting strategy and, as a senior air force officer I was discussing the issue with said, carry its own air superiority to those targets and destroy them. The PAF can do it to a fairly effective degree but the US can do it even more effectively because of its greater resources and the ability to sustain such a campaign much longer, not just on the military side but by combining it with coercive diplomacy that isolates Pakistan.

Any such decision by Pakistan will also have to keep in mind other hostile states in the region, their responses and the level of threat Pakistan faces from them. In other words, the issue is not just taking on the US Air Force and bearing the consequences of that decision but also determining the space such a decision would give to other hostile states and what advantage they could derive from such confrontation.

Higher strategy is a function of developing responses that suit oneself rather than the other actor(s). The guerrilla wins against a stronger adversary by operating along his own strengths, by his ability to elude the sledgehammer of the stronger force and develop his asymmetrical advantage over a superior force. Why should Pakistan resort to offensive use of air force when it can use other threats more effectively if the push comes to the shove?

States do not have the guerrilla’s advantage. They present an identifiable target. Talking about US military hegemony in a 2003 article titled “Command of the Commons”, Barry R Posen noted that while the US cannot be challenged on sea, in space and in the air, its military advantage is largely blunted in a ‘contested zone’. That’s what we saw in Vietnam, in Iraq and are witnessing now in Afghanistan. In the contested zone, argued Posen, the US can have selective engagement but not enjoy primacy.

Pakistan developed its military strategy against India, not the US. The mainstay of the PAF is the F-16, the latest being the Block 52 fighters. If the threat from the US increases, Pakistan will have to rethink its military strategy, which cannot be done in isolation from its national security strategy, which is the overhang under which the national military strategy must be worked out.

Those who are agitating the issue of the Jacobabad airbase need to understand that the base houses the Block 52 fighters along with US military and non-military personnel, mostly Lockheed contractors, responsible for training PAF personnel in flight and shop line training and, at an advanced level, depot line training. Their presence on the base is part of the F-16 Block 52 deal.

If, in theory, Pakistan were to get into a confrontation with the US, its equipment and armament acquisition for the PAF will have to undergo a drastic change and that is a long-haul process. Therefore, the US and Pakistan, for their own compulsions, share certain risks and have to play the game short of the outcome Thomas Schelling would brand as ‘disaster’.

There are many other complexities that cannot be discussed in an 800-word piece but let it be said that Pakistan has many other options, non-military and, if need be, military, to deal with the US without keeling over the brink or resorting to a direct confrontation which is a function of the use of air force.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2011. 

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Reader Comments (115)

  • Ali Tanoli
    Dec 3, 2011 - 11:47PM

    Bravo man great article Ijaz sahab.


  • adeel759
    Dec 3, 2011 - 11:49PM

    This is beyond shameful, you can’t fight stronger (Nato), you can”t fight weaker (Militants). Means, You can only fight democracy.


  • Somy
    Dec 3, 2011 - 11:50PM

    The other option of using NSA’s by pakistan is well known. So are you suggesting that this time it will be one notch up- “The NSA with NUKE”, aka Terminator style!


  • Umer
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:08AM

    So in the present circumstances PAF is no good. Why not just keep a few nuclear missiles for defence against India and dump most of the Armed forces to save drastically on budget to make more spend on education, health and services?


  • kemal
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:09AM

    Sir, with due respect to our Armed Forces, if, after countless violations in the past, they can’t come up with a proper contingency plan for once; I’d rather that the Army top brass resigns and takes up real estate development much more actively. Maybe, we just might have a real estate mogul of our own – Donald ‘ Kiyani ‘ Trump.

    I’m not one of those ghairatmands who clamor for blood but turn a blind eye to the contradictions and hypocrisies within us…but isn’t it also just to say that we should at-least show some spine – scrambling a couple of jets simply in the vicinity of Salalaa with our high command calling their NATO counterparts up and telling them that we’re not bluffing, we’d really fire back would have at least made them think. Leaving our troops abandoned for the better part of 2 hours only serves to reinforce their audacity and confidence in the knowledge that the Defenders of Pakistan can’t really be bothered to show up when needed.


  • Romm
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:32AM

    I am impressed with his grip over the Subject. Simply Impressive…. May God(if there) give Pakistan people like him on helm of Affairs..
    well done, Mr. Ijaz.Recommend

  • Sam
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:36AM

    The latest bought F-16 Block 52+ jets have got cutting edge technology but this all has been bugged by USA.Sniper pods,JHMCS,Avionics have been sealed and bugged even the IFF antennas will not identify a US fighter jet as an enemy let alone bringing it down,BVR missiles aka AIM-120 are useless for the same reason,Standing up against USAF would be a challenge for Pakistanis as of they hold advance fighters.F-22 Raptor/F-18 Super hornet/F-15 Silent eagle are a few to name,We haven’t got anything in our inventory which can be up to the caliber of these jets and yes if Americans are to evacuate the Shahbaz air base,Jacobabad which is the ”Real” base where they are residing they will seize these jets,Had been PAF so much concerned about Pakistan after NATO attack they would have cancelled the agreement themselves.


  • sundar
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:39AM


    In your last paragraph you state ” but let it be said that Pakistan has many other options, non-military and, if need be, military, to deal with the US ” but you coyly left out what that might be. At the risk of sounding sarcastic, are you referring to the vast arsenal of non-state actors such as the ‘Haquani Inc.”?


  • Salman Zafar
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:45AM

    very well said… exactly explains the problem which most of Pakistanis are asking these days….


  • Nadeem
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:49AM

    So what the author is saying is that the air force cannot defend us when the adversary is a superpower, and so other means will be found to exact revenge. Like what? Sending more Faisal Shahzads to Times Square?


  • Moeed Pirzada
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:49AM

    Ejaz has once again rebuffed the arguements of all those who for various reasons of emotions, misunderstanding or malice are trying to create a situation of total disaster and no-return between Pakistan and the US. In DGMO’s briefing I thought that many were asking this “insane question” out of emotions and lack of understanding, but since then it has become the buzz words with many on this forum who are not even Pakistanis, but use Pakistani identities. We should be cautious of the ‘real intentions’ of these who are trying to exploit this situation by playing with our emotions. We have a serious situation with the US and we are working to resolve this politically and hopefully we will be able to resolve this within the next few weeks. We must be on our guard against all these who write under Pakistani names but are not Pakistanis. Their writing and emotions give out who they are.


  • fahim
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:56AM

    PAF is no match even compared to Indian Air force which is far superior and has international reputation. Why is it now playing with fire and inviting superpower wrath from US? we have a tendency to run towards fire and burn our fingers. Seems we havent learnt from losses in all past wars.


  • Nadeem Ahsan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:57AM

    By non-military, the author means non-state actors like Haqqani network, GBH and others against US forces or perhaps use JUD sympathizers? Pakistan has already used the Haqqani network in Afghanistan, now what? That card has been played. Stopping NATO supplies card has been played. Close Shamsi card has been played.

    By military, the author means what?


  • Salman Ali
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:57AM

    If we keep scary with US and their technologies then tomorow we will have some excuse for India


  • amazed
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:04AM

    failures upon failures but shameless defendants in the garb of ‘military/strategic’ analysts…cannot you for once admit to your incompetence and shed this false bravado?.. that would greatly help people to accept the realities who want no overdose of jingoism but food, and respect of their honor.


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:06AM

    You are defending the indefensible.

    The time-line varies from a “hit-and-run” operation to “hours” to “mid-night till the dawn”. The longer it was, the less of a case the PAF has.

    Even if we had sent up a couple of F-16’s and had them orbit at 40,000 feet over the scene of the carnage below, it would have been of immense symbolic value. It would certainly have given the intruder cause to pause, and think. Unsure of our intentions, they may have hit the deck and bolted. But it is unlikely they would have come back again, wave after wave, unchallenged and in total command of the skies, if they had known we were in the area.

    May be it would have saved lives. Just one would have been worth it.

    This is a repeat of the ODL raid with the important difference that this was not a “stealth” helicopter/fighter jet operation. These were conventional aircraft.

    Please ask the PAF where their airborne surveillance aircraft were. They have four Saab-2000 ERIEYE AEW&C’s and a recently acquired Shaanxi ZDK-03 AEW&C from China with 4 more to come.

    These are paid for from my taxes and are supposed to patrol our skies.

    Were they sleeping too?


  • Babloo
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:10AM

    So these planes are just toys that must be protected in case of ‘violation of soveriginity’ because all the planes will be lost if situation is escalated. So Pakistan must resort to other means ( read terrorism ) . Thanks for the laughs.


  • rehmat
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:12AM

    @Author: ” a weaker state should avoid a direct response. The air force is an offensive force. Its use, therefore, for a weaker state would mean a much higher climb on the escalation ladder.”
    What you are saying is rasonable. It does not however match with the army’s statements which are internally inconsistent. On one hand the army says that the airforce would have scrambled but communication equipment on the post was destroyed leading to the situation. In another article ISPR states that they were pleading with ISAF to stop bombarding and mentioning that this was a PAk post but ISAF did not heed these requests. If they were pleading with ISAF then they cannot claim that they were unaware of the bombing due to communication failure.

    The problem here is one of trying to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. On the one hand Kayani does not want to climb the escalatory ladder with US and NATO forces and continues to give them permission for their operations covertly. On the other hand, he is trying to whip up a frenzy in the country to improve his negotiating position with US. In the process though he is fast losing credibility with soldiers who feel that he puts them in harm’s way while not intending to protect them if attacked.


  • ayesh
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:20AM

    Ijaz saab,

    According to you, the decision not to get PAF involved was a calibrated one to supporty overall national security goals. This is however not what the army is saying:

    According to the army, they would have scrambled the jets if they could have but were prevented by communication failure.

    OFcourse at another place they are internally inconsistent because they admit they were aware of the bombing (i.e. no communication failure) and were in fact trying to ask NATO to stop.,8599,2100363,00.html


  • Dec 4, 2011 - 1:23AM

    This is the best time to send a strong message. This is the best to shoot down a preditor. This is the best time to ask America to vacate bases.

    Why? Because America simply cannot start another conflict (Why an attack is unlikely). Just a reminder, PAF Falcons stayed operational throughout Presller sanctions. How? Ponder over it.


  • F Khan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:34AM

    Good one…informative.


  • A. Khan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:41AM

    PAF, perhaps might be able to hold its own against IAF but is no match for USAF in any way be it technology or tactics. People should remember the fact that PAF front line fighter is F16. Whatever the configuration or block number, it was designed in 1970s and the USAF has planes at its disposal that are a generation newer and far superior.

    Here is some more food for thought. Can the PAF guarantee that their US manufactured planes cannot be remotely disabled ? Or that the much vaunted air defence system using primarily TPS70 radar is protected against jamming ?

    Unless and until a country invents and manufactures these things itself, it is in no position to take on a vastly superior force head on. Guerrilla warfare is another matter.


  • akmal
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:52AM

    so basically 24 men died and the paf is justified to wear bangles sit and watch! …


  • Babloo
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:00AM

    Yes sir, you got that right. The entity is best at fighting unarmed civilians, civilian adminstrations and reporters that do not toe the line.


  • Boy
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:12AM

    Using the PAF, like seriously? The NATO may have involved other complications and it would have been a blackmailing strategy or a show of power, something a general man can neither imagine or comprehend. But for one, using the PAF would not only lead to more turmoil, it would make us he lpless, once and for all. Infact, not any future airspace violations should involve the PAF.


  • Arindom
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:33AM

    The military fans the ‘bomb-US’ hysteria to put pressure on the civilians. But they are careful not to overdo it and turn the hysteria on itself trying to stop people asking questions like – ‘why isn’t PAF responding’.
    So the military PR machine is walking a fine thread – drum up protest and hysteria only to the extent that it pushes the civilians away from the US, forcing them to make anti-US statements – while still quietly continuing it’s business-as-usual ( like the maintenance contract you mention) deals and other deals that keeps the goodies flowing !!!


  • rehmat
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:37AM

    @sundar: “Mr.Haider:
    In your last paragraph you state ” but let it be said that Pakistan has many other options, non-military and, if need be, military, to deal with the US ” but you coyly left out what that might be. At the risk of sounding sarcastic, are you referring to the vast arsenal of non-state actors such as the ‘Haquani Inc.”?”

    It could either be that or it could be unsubstantiated bluff and bluster with no follow through to pacify ordinary Pakistanis who question Pak armed forces’ ability to protect the border despite receiving a lion’s share of the budget.


  • Usman Khan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:38AM

    Sir, it seems you have gone off on a tangent and ended up a long way away from your original argument in relation to the NATO incident (in your last article). Indeed, you might have ended up standing your own ‘further up the escalation adder’ on its head. Come back to the question of the incursion, please, and shooting to kill at Pak soldiers and kindly stay there for a moment. If the posts had no means of responding to an attack from air, how would PAF jets scrambled from, say, Peshawar ,doing no more than letting their presence known to the intruders sucked in the USAF? Was that an imminent, direct and likely enough consequence of PAF being used to merely deter the intruders? What else, other than using the PAF as a deterrant, could have been done to qualify at least as a reasonable attempt to save Pak soldiers’ lives? (whether or not putting manpads at the posts would have been a good idea or not given the risk of taliban getting their hands on one, the only relevant fact is that the posts didn’t have them.)


  • Ashok
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:38AM

    I laughed at Nadeem’s comment above, but to be fair to the author, I think this is in fact a realistic assessment of present conditions in Pakistan’s armed forces, and is a well written article. It summarizes the rational and cold truth and removes unwanted noise from the analysis.

    However, one aspect of all of this I have never really understood is the ‘threat from India’. The only place India would seemingly invade is Gilgit Baltistan, even if it means giving up a portion of the Kashmir valley, in order to open access to land routes in Central Asia, but then why did India decide to not fight for control of this territory itself during 1947 when China was not a neighbor? It means that the strategic thinkers in India have decided they do not want to militarily acquire any part of West Pakistan, even contested zones like Gilgit Baltistan.

    So what exactly is the threat from India? Is there one?


  • bilal ahmed
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:39AM

    Whole of pakistan is working on ad-hoc basis. No planning for the future at all. Our military is powerful not militarily but because it can decide when to become a king or make a king in its own state.
    Since military has ruled us for over 35 years and a kind of resources that were at their disposal by now they should have their own aircraft line. Atleast some high level R&D setups in military units. But alas they were busy in plotting, controlling fertilizer industry, CNG and petrol businesses. While they neglected their duty they kept the whole nation blind of the realities and of the real dangers. They told us how great our Army is and all those national patriotic songs to keep the military budgets high and tell the whole nation how justified that is. While whole nation suffered from hunger, illiteracy and basic necessities of life.

    But still i think its a wake up call for all of us. Its our duty to invest on people so that quality brains can be produced to serve the nation and build new military technologies for our military and remove foreign dependencies !!


  • JustAnotherPakistani
    Dec 4, 2011 - 3:19AM

    @kemal if we’d scrambled jets into the area, the Americans seeing them as hostile would have shot them down. That’s just the truth of the matter.
    @Fahim: The Indian air force is just a white elephant. I’m not sure where you get this “international reputation” from. If it has any reputation it is of flying the least well maintained, flying coffins in the world.


  • Loyal to Pakistan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 4:00AM

    Its people like Ejaz Haider who have been given the job to bring the morale of Pakistani nation to the lowest level possible.
    1: Ejaz starts with writing that “The air force is an offensive force”.He could not be more wrong.Q: What happened at 12:46am on 14/08/2008? Ans:Indian air force fighters entered Pak airspace and PAF fighters defended Pakistans airspace by chasing them out of our airspace without firing a single shot.Now was that “Offensive” or “Defensive”?.Now we all know who M.M.Alam is.When on 07/09/1965, M.M.Alam shot down IAF’s Hawker Hunters bombers over Sangla Hill,Pakistan. Was that “Offensive” Or “Defensive”? I can go on and on with examples from air forces around the world but Ejaz would not have any answers.
    2: Then Ejaz writes about Jacobabad airbase and PAF’s F-16’s model Block 52 jets. Those US personal and contarctors who are based at Jacobabad airbase are not there for training but to make sure that PAF does not fly those F-16’s without their permission against any country espacially India(Thats the deal).Training PAF my foot. Let me give you a lesson of history. F-16 was the world’s 1st “Fly-by-wire”(flown by onboard computers) jet fighter. When F-16 was given to the US airforce in 1978, f-16’s training period was for 1 year. When Pakistani pilots went for F-16’s training to the US in early 80’s, they completed it less than 6 months. Looking at this,US also reduced the training period for their pilots to 6 months.US trainers have been at Jacobabad airbase for almost two years now.If our pilots completed the training in 6 months almost 30 years ago, what is taking them so long now?Its just an excuse for the Americans to stay at the base.
    3: All the examples of different people he has given like Herman Kahn,Barry R Posen and Thomas Schelling Neocon’s belong to anti-Pakistan American thinktanks.Herman Kahn was the founder od Hudson institute also worked at Rand corporation.Barry Posen consultant at Christian science monitor,Rand corporation,CFR etc.If Ejaz is quoting these American Jewish Neocons, every reader should know where his loyalties lie.
    4: Remember George Bush’s famous 3 Axis of evil Iraq, Iran and North Korea.Iraq fell because IAEA inspectors who were sent to Iraq for inspections were all CIA. Iran and North Korea refused them entry and stood upto the West and the USA. As people like Ejaz always write that Paksitan does not stand a chance infront of the modern military tecnology of the USA. I only ask one question. How are Iran and North Korea are standing upto the USA’s modern military might? They are just standing upto the Bully USA and thats all you need is that courage, rest is secondary and they dont even have modern army,airforce,navy or nuclear weapons like Pakistan. What about Cuba? It is one of the poorest countries in the Americas and does not even posses a large army or modern weapons or nuclear program. It is only 90 miles from the USA. USA has been threating it with war for years but never had the courage to attack Cuba because Cuba said it would defend itself to the last man.
    Every one like Ejaz Haider would say that we should not go to war with the USA. Certainly majority of the population of Pakistan including me do not want war with the USA.For Ejaz, I would quote an American expression “Defense is the best Offense”. Atleast Pakistan can defend itself and tell other countries not to cross its borders or Pakistan know’s how to defend itself.
    What Pakistan needs is to watchout for traitors in its ranks because this the way USA wants to bring Pakistan to its knees.


  • amjad cheema
    Dec 4, 2011 - 4:24AM

    This voice of deep stae can never speak truth.


  • MKR
    Dec 4, 2011 - 4:41AM

    They are just testing us to see the response. The war is unavoidable. Sooner or later they will expand their war into our lands but by then it could be to late to respond if didnt stop it now.


  • It Is Economy Stupid
    Dec 4, 2011 - 4:49AM

    “which cannot be done in isolation from its national security strategy, which is the overhang under which the national military strategy”: Read in plain English as-Pakistan can not use American equipment against US. It is part of sale agreement and it can not get spare parts once the war starts. Also, it will have to return all the equipment and future sale of US equipment will be in jeopardy (i.e. will not able to fight India). It is cheaper to use non state actors than toy JF-17 (You can get 10 suicide bomber for the price of one JF-17 because life is cheap). It is Interesting to note that Pakistan’s so called all weather friend is quite and issued only a statement. No planes were offered to Pakistan to fight US. In future also China will not commit any equipment against US. So much for so called all weather friend and all kind of hype about China.


  • N
    Dec 4, 2011 - 4:55AM

    We can’t fight someone inferior – Taliban, at par (so we say) – India, superior – USA! Guess these F16s, we purchased, are for our Baloch citizens!

    The recommendation by the author is to fight the USA indirectly. This means 1) choke all supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan and 2) unleash our best ‘export’ – Taliban, LET etc . to rain chaos on the NATO/US forces. To think of responsible actions and behaviour is beyond our journo strategists!


  • Yoda
    Dec 4, 2011 - 4:55AM

    Why yes! Yes! Absolutely! The commentators on this article are military geniuses the likes of which the world has never seen before! Forget Patton, forget Rommel, hell forget goddamn Sun Tzu, each person here has the perfect solution as to how the ideal response to NATO’s transgression could have transpired. That too without escalating to a full scale response by NATO, which is to say without shattering the dainty tea cups these armchair critics hold ponderously before their lips as they think of something pithy to say. What happened to our soldiers was tragic, and our response is adequate. We have expressed our displeasure and choked off ISAF supplies. Sure we may do more, but a military response? Just plain idiotic. I agree with the author, we can’t afford a full-scale conflict. If we had reacted militarily by attacking the NATO helicopter in those two hours, NATO wouldn’t have waited for an investigation to determine whether it had been instigated due to a friendly fire incident, they would’ve simply acted. And the outrage would have been far more intense from the NATO side–“That poor American helicopter crew was shot down by those damn Paki Moslems! Hell ya we killed 26 of them, we responded to their attack!” It’s very easy to cloud narratives for long enough to get what you want, and then get the hell out of Dodge.


  • Imran
    Dec 4, 2011 - 5:06AM

    All well and good Ejaz. But the question remains what happened right after the first strike on our Post. What we do know is that there was no immediate recon of the area. While most of us understand the risks involved in responding against NATO with force it is difficult to comprehend why a defensive posture would result in the same. Again, that does not mean taking out the ISAF “Air platform.” Air Force overflights of the border region right after the strikes would have allowed Pakistan to 1) take cognizance of the damage and call for appropriate back-up and 2) send a message to the NATO that the strike was blue on blue, or friendly. This would have prevented the situation from becoming FUBAR.

    If the argument is that it was too risky for the two air forces to be eye to eye, even if the PAF was on its side of the border and even if it tried to watch out for dying soldiers, then we need to be having a completely different discussion with implications for the future of the country.

    Now if we can only explain to the families of 2 dozen dead soldiers, the higher strategy which led to their sad demise.


  • Ajay Kumar
    Dec 4, 2011 - 5:15AM

    Mr Ejaz Haider is unfortunately representing a country where empty rhetoric is the norm. For 64 years Pakistan has played the victim while being the aggressor. Only this time it has chewed much more it can digest. it can not handle law and order within Pakistan but wants to snatch away Kashmir with force, make Afghanistan its fifth province, promote special brand of Jehadism and teach hate aganist one and all. It has become an international migraine.


  • Mawali
    Dec 4, 2011 - 5:54AM

    Hold on a minute there bud; no one is speaking of taking an offensive manuevere against the US. That would be near suicidal. However, I think it is reasonable to assume that if someone enters your house or throws stones at you that you at least present some semblance of a response by confronting the assailant.

    You don’t necessarily have to engage yet your willingness to do so speaks volumes in the eyes of the offender. In the border post incident the Pakistan Airforce should have been present to show not just support for our troups but to show the enemy that Pakistani’s will engage if provoked.

    I am not convinced that the Pakistan Airforce is technically savvy to undertake such potential threats. Besides, the pathetic response time does its pilots know how to react in similar situations without blowing themslves and all to smithereans and in the proccess create an International disaster not to mention an embarrasement.

    But in all fairness your write-up falls way short of providing any insight into the very murky situation. Honestly you did not need an 800 words document that needs serious deciphering to enlighten. Sometimes, brevity and simplicity get you farther then a boatload of references. Keep it real! Its all good though.


  • Suhail
    Dec 4, 2011 - 5:55AM

    Ejaz Sahab….you know what all this inaction by any branch of the Armed forces makes us look like? A Pacifist state thats what! This is not what Iqbal meant when he called us shaheens! Lets get this over with. We have enough people willing to die for the motherland. Bring it on I say.


  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 4, 2011 - 6:58AM

    Sam, you forgot to mention that the PAF F-16 ejection seats can be remotely triggered, and the gear up circuits can be activated while the jets are sitting on the ground, and the winshield deicer fluid container doubles as a poisin gas canister to contaminate the on-board oxygen generators, and the joy stick controller can be remotely function reversed to crash the plane, and the engine retainer bolts are special explosive bolt types to seperate the engine in flight when activated, and the radar dish is cleverly designed to rotate 180 degrees to cook the pilot with microwave energy, and when I dream up any more foolish nonsense I will add to this posting!


  • rehmat
    Dec 4, 2011 - 7:00AM

    @Moeed Pirzada: “We must be on our guard against all these who write under Pakistani names but are not Pakistanis. Their writing and emotions give out who they are”.
    What do yo mean by non-Pakistanis taking Pakistani identities. Do you mean people with Muslim names? I am a Muslim woman but have never on any blog post claimed to be Pakistani. I am an Indian Muslim.
    Secondly if your point is that people who do not have Pakistan’s best interests at heart are the only ones who suggest that perhaps PAF should have been involved in responding to this event then perhaps by your definition ISPR also comes in this category

    because they have said unambiguous;y that they would have scrambled jets but were prevented from doing so due to communication failure.

    People like me know that we do not have any locus standii to give policy prescriptions to Pakistani leaders. All our comments are directly from an observers status where we have an opinion about internal consistency or accuracy of statements made.

    Finally this issue of getting ordinary people riled up against Americans is done primarily by the army who encourages media anchors in the electronic media to do so. Is it your case that the leading media anchors of Pak TV are non-Pakistanis posing to be Pakistanis?

    IT is perfectly Okay for you to disagree with a point of view provided by others but to imply that the opinions have a hidden agenda simply because the people do not share your nationality is very narrow minded.


  • Adeel759
    Dec 4, 2011 - 7:19AM

    Over the next decade, we will be outclassed by India, we cant afford to fight Iran, China forget about it, Afghanistan; they are as crazy as ours are, on top of that they are bring trained by best trainers in the world, will be left with best equipments etc etc. So our Fauj will be left to fight us. Masha allah


  • Amit
    Dec 4, 2011 - 7:34AM

    “The PAF can do it to a fairly effective degree but the US can do it even more effectively because of its greater resources and the ability to sustain such a campaign much longer, not just on the military side but by combining it with coercive diplomacy that isolates Pakistan.”

    This is just priceless. US doesn’t need coercive diplomacy if it decides to go on offensive. This is so Alice in Wonderland-esque. What do you mean by “fairly effective degree”?? PAF would be obliterated before they even took the skies. Recommend

  • Momin
    Dec 4, 2011 - 7:52AM


    So, what if the Americans have an advanced Air Force. Have we not beaten a superpower before with our belief in Allah ? FYI, the mujahideen in the Afghan war defeated vast columns of Soviet troops virtually single-handed, they were run over by tanks but survived, shot but unscathed by bullets. Angels were witnessed riding into battle on horseback, and falling bombs were intercepted by birds, which raced ahead of the jets to form a protective canopy over the warriors. Think how a poor nation like ours defeated the USSR. Do you think it is due to just the martial power of our trrops or our belief in Allah ? This is a fact. Remember we are muslims and are ready to face death. Americans have their F-22, but we have our unshakeable will in Allah, anything otherwise would show that you are not a muslim and an insult to our glorious Islam and the Prophet(PBUH).


  • maxwell
    Dec 4, 2011 - 8:27AM

    PAF did not come out even during Kargil when Indian Air Force was killing some Pakistani Military on Kargil Hills. Yes, it is true that PAF is no match to India Air Force and this distance is only growing but Pakistani friends should know that like in past, India would still not attack Pakistan, it does not need to….despite our heavy baggage of history, Indians still would love friendly relations with Pakistan, BUT Pakistan has right to self defence and its security, like other nations and as Umer said above, lets have some missiles to guard against each other’s misadventure and focus more on development of our people…Indians have been doing it, Pakistan should do it too, for the sake of people there. Please understand, these days, countries that have heavy pockets are also the ones talking louder and are heard. May god bless peace in both India and Pakistan. Long live Pakistan, Long live India.Recommend

  • Faith Betrayed
    Dec 4, 2011 - 9:19AM

    six decades of Pakistan: and the result is that the lives of people destroyed in the name of Pakistaniat (Islam, extermination of non-muslims, cultural genocide of non-urdu culture, imposition of lakhnaviat). First Pakistani-Muslim leaders got people killed so that Pakistan could be made where they could play further havoc with humanity. And now, sacrificing in the name of Pakistaniat, has led to this exposed state. India is enemy, because the Pakistani-Muslim Askariat paranoid poeple want it to be. China is a friend because Pak divided the disputed land with China and resolved border dispute. USA was friend becasue the Capitalist USA and Capitalista-Religious-Bigots of Pakistan wanted to defeat USSR. And now the “Oqaat” of Pakistan and its best institutions are laid bare before the nation and ISPR is coming up with shame-lameful excuses….hahahaha on you…and ISPR says, PAF would have responded if the comm lines hadnt broken…


  • Feroz
    Dec 4, 2011 - 10:13AM

    The Author is trying to say that the Pakistani state should not risk an open confrontation but continue to use asymmetric force there by justifying the army position of creating, training, arming and harboring non state actors. These policies have made the country a violent and pariah state alongside the strategic depth policy. That an intellectual who is supposed to think independently cannot realize why his country is in a soup it is means the religious indoctrination and ideological orientation has seeped in too deep. My prognosis is that Pakistan has the most radicalised intellectual community on Earth incapable of seeing any problem leave aside solving it. The future looks not just bleak, but hopeless.


  • Eric Kumar
    Dec 4, 2011 - 10:15AM

    In case of confrontation with Indain Airforce,Pakistan can not afford to fight. India has variety,technoligcally advance, much more inventory and can afford to lose a few airoplanes. Pakistan has F-16 and are being controled by americans personals. F-16 are mostly sitting in show cases and gives false security. Pakistan can’t afford to lose infact any airoplanes.The only way out for pakistan is to use nuclear arsenal.


  • faraz
    Dec 4, 2011 - 10:21AM

    Even a kid reading Wikipedia can tell that PAF is no match for US air force. An army which can’t defeat the opponent in a conventional battle is useless. And what’s the purpose of investing in an army which operates like a guerilla? Instead of posturing for public consumption, we should admit the fact that our army is India centric and utterly helpless against US


  • FAZ
    Dec 4, 2011 - 10:23AM

    To all those thinking our forces are useless, why do you think US and NATO are violating our airspace and even go to the extent of attacking our bases!
    They exactly know that we are in deep ** right now, one one hand we have our own self harvested deadly crop in terms of armed militants and on the other hand we have the US and the NATO allies (we are also a NATO ally if i remember!)
    These attacks defame the military, and put the exact pressure like the comments above! It would force the military either to surrender to US demands or make more foolish mistakes!


    Dec 4, 2011 - 10:27AM

    The author though has aptly analysed the use of PAF against NATO and US forces but this recent attack resulting in very heavy casualities raises many uneasy questions to be ignored by Pakistan. However, the Pak military also needs to do self analysis of its dual policy in Afghanistan and India which it has been following with impunity for many a decades now, has resulted in Pakistan being taken with extremely low credibility amongst its neighbours and US as well. Therefore, the recent aerial attack by NATO being delibrate cannot be ruled out but simultaneously lack of reaction from PAF is also quite mind-boggling unless Pakistan was on the wrong foot.


  • Jayan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 10:35AM

    I dont see this US-Pak relations nothing more than a TOM & JERRY episode.


  • Mirza
    Dec 4, 2011 - 10:54AM

    Yes Iraq was also a weaker state and as such did not use its air force to defend itself. What happened to that air force? It is still “safe in Iran”?


  • Maria
    Dec 4, 2011 - 11:09AM

    @fahim: I think we all know that the PAF is no match for NATO or any Western Air Force. It is just a question of injured national pride and how to show the public that the military and the nation is not helpless. Your comments about the PAF and India make no sense since the world knows that the PAF is more than a match for the IAF. Even at present with the IAF outnumbering the PAF many times and having better planes, the PAH still would give better than it gets if history of past air battles is any indication. Pakistan Air Force has always dominated the Indian Air Force as evidenced by independent Western aviation enthusiasts.


  • khan jr
    Dec 4, 2011 - 11:13AM

    One gets quite fed up with these pseudo-intellectual blatherings which appear to be completely out of touch with reality. I

    In reply let me quote from an editorial published today in a local newspaper:

    Pakistan’s military…needs to get its act together and stop pretending that its policies have benefitted the country. Conquest by proxy wars must be ended if we are to survive as a nation. In their bid to bleed its archenemy, India, the military top brass has not only damaged Pakistan’s reputation but has led to senseless violence both in and outside the country. We must not forget that such policies are fraught with the threat of international isolation.


  • Mirza
    Dec 4, 2011 - 11:21AM

    Wow, spot on. I am impressed, otherwise this apology for the failure of deep state was not worth my five minutes. On a side note nobody is asking PAF for a dogfight with the US but just to show their presence in the vicinity to tell the NATO that they are attacking our soldiers not the terrorists.
    Thanks and regards,


  • moonuranus
    Dec 4, 2011 - 11:28AM

    Fauji cornflakes is the best! Yum!


  • Iqbal
    Dec 4, 2011 - 11:35AM

    you can’t fight bigger nation or smaller nation. it is not a matter of fighting it a matter of self respect and dignity and a respect for our country. If we are to fight with any countries rather it is India, US, British or may it be Afghanistan. We Pakistani must first think that we are the followers of Islam and as everyone know that Hazrat Muhammad PBUH went to war with a handful of fighter and he came trumph in the war than why we can’t be a victorious against these countries. Qayamat to ani hai why not show them what is qayamat.


  • Anti-Truth
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:06PM

    come on ijaz
    be a man
    as lal topi says
    “pakistan can kick any one, including usa”
    we should listen lal topiRecommend

  • rehmat
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:07PM

    @Maria: “Pakistan Air Force has always dominated the Indian Air Force as evidenced by independent Western aviation enthusiasts”.

    Well clearly theor dominatin’ did not help in 1971 or prevent Gen Niazi from laying down arms and having 90000 Pak soldiers captured by Indians. In 1999 Kargill, PAF did not have the confidence to engage. So what are you talking about? It is not 1965 anymore where Pak armed with free top of line US fighters was fighting Indians who were making do with far inferior weaponry that they had paid for.


  • antanu
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Excellent….sensible writing…it should shut up those who are questioning the Pak army for not responding to NATO attacks.Disputes can never be solved by escalating the tensions but by applying common sense…and, though an Indian, I must commend Pak army for keeping their cool.It is obvious that US was expecting a violent response fro Pak so that it get a pretext to wage a full fledged war in the region but was kept at bay by shrewd thinking by Pak army.


  • umairashraf
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:43PM

    first i want to say that F-16 is not only the main fighter for the Pakistan air force. Pakistan developed JF-17 thunder and inducted two of its sqd and third is ready. Also the block 2 of JF-17 is in process and will inducted in next year. So the dependence on F-16 is no more.
    Secondly Pakistan air force also ordered the 36 J-10B which is 4.5 generation aircraft and this number will exceed to 150 to 200. So in the presence of jF-17 thunder block 1 and block 2 and J-10b we do not need F-16 block 52. And one thing more after abtobad operation PAF will gained 50 additional JF-17 thunder on emergency basis.
    this all shows PAKISTAN AIR FORCE at this time increasing its capability so in near future it will be capable of handling any threat from the western side.


  • Nasir
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:55PM

    After reading your comments on ET, I must say you need to heal from Pakistan-o-phobia before its too late.Recommend

  • vasan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:18PM

    Is this author indirectly subscribing to the theory of creating,breeding and spawning “Non state actors” just because Pakistan is financially, technically and morally weak ???


  • Farid Ali
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:25PM

    It’s pretty much understood. How can a small power confront with superpower militarily? It will be a stupid step.


  • maestro
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:39PM

    PAF needs to induct the J-10s asap with stealth technology. We already have JF-17s. And please the US cannot retaliate too hard on Pak because we have nukes that can be used in multiple ways. Why do you think they cant dare to attack Iran? The US doesnot have the guts to take on such a threat. Thier economy is in tatters – they cannot afford yet another war when millions of their people are starving. Thats the card Pakistan holds. The PAF should be fully re-equipped and prepared to deal with any further incursions. For all intensive purposes, this was a deliberate act of war. The MINIMUM the US can do right now is to send Obama over immediately, come on PTV and apologize to the nation and promise this will never happen again and then pay homage to the thousands of Pak soldiers and civilians killed in this darn war of theirs.


  • Parvez
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:17PM

    You have used the dexterity of your pen to defend a position that the man on the street realises is not truly defend-able.


  • Patriot
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:29PM

    Ostensibly we are not ready to fight the military might of NATO/USA; we have a pathetic track record in all our excursions against India i am left with only the following two questions:

    What is the purpose of Armed Forces than if they are only interested in cherry picking in terms selection of Enemy? (I am not suggesting that we should select one for the heck of it).
    Since we don’t have a weaker enemy in the past to match our strength; are we therefore making a weaker state our enemy, purposely aka Afghanistan?

    If our real strength is no match with the powers we are confronting with; is it not the time to cogitate what we did wrong and rectify those wrong doings. Why are we pursuing those quixotic goals which are beyond our capacity and why are we depriving the common people from a respectful life?


  • Akthar
    Dec 4, 2011 - 3:03PM

    Maestro and umarsherif: You guys joking or hearing lot of investigative reports of that Laal Topi.. Brothers, JF Fighters are technologically far behind, not battle proven and Quality is highly doubtful. Even Chinese aircraft have bought any of these machines that they manufacture.

    There is now no aircraft in the world that match the Raptors, Or other 5th generation machines US has got. Not even the Russians or the Europeans. Do you believe we can fight the Americans?


  • observer
    Dec 4, 2011 - 3:23PM


    Pakistan has many other options, non-military and, if need be, military

    Well let us see.

    A. One non-military option would be the closure of the supply lines and that has already been done.

    B, The other ‘non-military’ option would involve Non-State Actors aka Terrorists and this option is already in use, if the evidence of the attack on the US embassy is anything to go by.

    C. That leaves the ‘military’ option. A Naval challenge to US is a non-starter and now we know so is a challenge by the Air Force.,That just leaves the Nuclear assets.

    D. The Nuclear option is not a real option for the same reasons as the Air option- asymmetric capabilities of the two sides being decidedly detrimental to Pakistan.

    Looks like Pakistan is holding a gun with both the barrels discharged.


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Dec 4, 2011 - 3:24PM


    The Chinese are already offering us the J-20.


  • Nadeem
    Dec 4, 2011 - 3:51PM

    Pakistan Army’s capabilities have been exposed no less than Veena Malik’s


  • observer
    Dec 4, 2011 - 3:55PM


    the world knows that the PAF is more than a match for the IAF…. Pakistan Air Force has always dominated the Indian Air Force as evidenced by independent Western aviation enthusiasts.

    And any Pakistani child with access to 5th standard Pakistan Study textbooks can swear about the superiority of Pak Baharia and Pak Afwaz. The question then is why was Kashmir not liberated in 1965 and why was East Pakistan surrendered in 1971.

    I guess it was all on account of a YAHOOD/HANOOD/NASRA conspiracy.


  • Sudhir
    Dec 4, 2011 - 4:01PM

    I agree with with you, convince your country to go on war with US and NATO.I will happily watch the outcome. All the best


  • harkol
    Dec 4, 2011 - 4:18PM


    “We must be on our guard against all these who write under Pakistani names but are not Pakistanis”

    What is a Pakistani name? Would that be “Abdul Kalam” (ex-president of India)? Or Danish Kaneria? Or Rana Bhagawandas?

    As Shekspere said “What’s in a name”! Check if the message makes sense.


  • pappu
    Dec 4, 2011 - 4:20PM

    janab no on is asking PAF to attack US aircrafts. Just f&^^& fly inside Pakistani airspace and show the NATO crafts that you are not asleep. Such a simple decision could not be taken in time. Otherwise, NATO would have run away because its obvious that a jet in Pakistani airspace will be pakistani and firing at it will blow NATO’s cover that they mistook Pakistani soldiers as talibaan. Common sense is not common these days. Is it?Recommend

  • Momin
    Dec 4, 2011 - 5:08PM


    Of course we can fight them with our belief in Allah. Remember you are a muslim and a muslim is one who does not fear death. It is people like you who are responsible for the current situation in Pakistan, a clear example that you have lost belief in Allah and his messenger(PBUH). May allah guide you to the right path.


  • Dec 4, 2011 - 5:35PM

    Using PAF jet fighter to retaliate during Mohmand Agency Attack was like WALKING INTO ENEMY TRAP……………………..

    On that very night………..towards east……….somewhere close to sleepy Dehli……a group of RAW Management must had been praying to their gods for Pakistan to scramble its fighter jets and get into full escalated war with NATO and US.

    Once NATO Helicopter came for this barbaric attack, they were backed by USAF fighter jets circling 1-2 minutes away from those helicopters and they were controlled by AWACS flying much high and much deep in Afghanistan. Trap was fully laid……………..Even B-52 came for smashing the rest of it at concluding stage of attack.

    Had this attack not been launched we would have been celebrating the arrest of Mullah Fazal Ullah and his group…………………..the RAW sponsored terrorist who created hell in the heavens of Swat few years back.

    Mullah Fazal Ullah will be taken care of in due course of time but I am amazed how Indians lured NATO into attacking 2 well known, well established and declared Pak Army positions ?

    Are some people working hand to hand or it is just coincident of common interests ?


  • G. Din
    Dec 4, 2011 - 6:10PM

    “Looks like Pakistan is holding a gun with both the barrels discharged.”
    I beg to disagree. A nation which is known for negotiating with a gun held to its own head, has all the barrels loaded and squarely against its own head, as usual.


  • usman
    Dec 4, 2011 - 6:11PM

    Mr Ijaz your articles are a treat to read.


  • Umer
    Dec 4, 2011 - 6:16PM

    @Moeed Pirzada:

    Ejaz has once again rebuffed the
    arguements of all those who for
    various reasons of emotions,
    misunderstanding or malice are trying
    to create a situation of total
    disaster and no-return between
    Pakistan and the US. voice of deep state in support of another voice of deep state. Deep state must be very worried as no matter which way you cut it the blame goes back to it.

    First and foremost question is why would US be allowed to attack anywhere within Pakistani territory in the first place thus officially allowing it to infringe upon our sovereignty?


  • observer
    Dec 4, 2011 - 6:42PM

    @Khalid Masood

    Let me refresh your memory about Fazalullah and his Father in Law Sufi Muhammad.

    During the 1980s Sufi Muhammad actively participated in Jamaat-e-Islami, a Islamic political party of Pakistan. In 1992 he split from the group to form TNSM. TNSM was backed heavily by the government through Habibullah
    After the Taliban was ousted from power in Afghanistan in 2001, he organized thousands of militants to fight the Northern Alliance. When Muhammad returned to Pakistan, he was provided protection from parents of children lured away by him yo Afghanistan,.
    Sufi Muhammad remained in prison until 2008 when he agreed in talks with the Government of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to use his influence to work towards peace in the region. Following this control of Swat was handed over to him.

    Now if one were to believe you, JI, Taliban, TNSM and Government of Pakistan, all appear to be RAW agents.

    Please stop imbibing whatever you are having.

  • Hari Karnani
    Dec 4, 2011 - 6:50PM

    Pakistanis, pause a little and think: do you have any friends in the world? Did you get any thing more than condolences and condemnation of attack? How about your rich arab brothers or moslem brothers or Islamic countries? No one has voluntiered to join your ranks to fight your enemies. Think again why are you not a respected member of the world community?


  • Dec 4, 2011 - 7:14PM


    Either you have no idea how Intelligence agencies operate or you are playing being innocent.

    A devoted Muslim Mujahid could be working on the behest of CIA, RAW or MOSSAD unknowingly or knowingly.

    Such things are practiced by all Int agencies.


  • LOK
    Dec 4, 2011 - 7:25PM

    Author is right..Recommend

  • observer
    Dec 4, 2011 - 7:49PM

    @Khalid Masood

    Either you have no idea how Intelligence agencies operate or you are playing being innocent.

    Sirji, intelligence agencies and devout Mujahids may act in any which way they want. What flummoxes me is , Why was Swat handed over to TNSM and Muhammad, Fazlullah combine unless the Pakistani government was also acting as agents of RAW and ISI either did not warn the Government or encouraged the RAW plan.

    And that Sirji, sounds absolutely delusional to me.


  • Bangash
    Dec 4, 2011 - 8:14PM

    But Pakistan army and navy are also built to fight India so I guess only ghq beloved strategic assets will be used to attack usa


  • Arjun
    Dec 4, 2011 - 8:52PM

    So, to summarize MY Haider’s column : “Use the PAF!! LOL!!! Wut!!”


  • FAZ
    Dec 4, 2011 - 9:47PM

    @Hari Karnani:
    If there would have been a time machine, u should have travelled back to 1920’s and ask the same to the Germans! And then wonder why Hitler was born?
    Just keep on hating us world! Breed the Taliban, use them against soviets, and let us handle them afterwards. When things do go as expected, blame us for everything!
    One thing is for sure Mr. Hari…Pakistani version of the Hitler would be far more scary!!


  • Dec 4, 2011 - 9:53PM


    *In fact you are a lack of practical experience case.*

    I have the practical experience of personally dealing with goons in 1999 just after Mush take over and they were taken care of properly with iron fist.

    Now coming to your point of handing over – **There was time once Fazal Ullah had support of 100% population of Swat. He use to give sermons from his illegal radio stations and whole population use to act upon his directions. One day, he asked donation for his Imam Deri Madressa and people collected 6 Cror rupees in one day. Women folks were his die hard supporters. During that kind of scenario TNSM was given some space so that people could see their real face. Soon people of Swat saw the reality and gave full support to Military Operation which was swiftly launched and completed in record time at the cost of many lives of officers and men of Pakistan Army.**

    Mullah Fazal or Mullah Radio is surely an enemy agent and must be on the payroll of CIA or RAW.Recommend

  • persian
    Dec 4, 2011 - 10:30PM

    I am waiting.


  • rehmat
    Dec 4, 2011 - 11:52PM

    @Momin: “So, what if the Americans have an advanced Air Force. Have we not beaten a superpower before with our belief in Allah “

    No. It wasn’t you who beat the SOviets. It was American arms and fundingthat was responsible. No matter what your armed forces may have told you that is a fact.
    If your armed forces were as strong as you claim, they would not have attacked KArgill by pretending to be mujahids and when challenged by Indians – run to Washington to declare a unilateral ceasefire to which India was not party. Your armed forces know their capacity and that is why they do not even challenge drones.


  • Saqib
    Dec 5, 2011 - 2:56AM

    Mard-e-Momin just got a whole new meaning now….We no longer protect our own soldiers or borders if we cant win the war. What do we live for then? Do we fight for what is winnable or for what is RIGHT? . Instead we present 800 word articles to jusitify why the 26 soldiers had to die without any help or support. SHAME ON US! Today they killed 26, Tomorrow it will be 100, and then thousands. When will you finally wake up? How much is a single life worth? For me, its not about the number of lives but about fighting for what is right. Our return is to Allah in the end. No matter if we die on our comfy bed or against a tyrant.


  • Cynical
    Dec 5, 2011 - 3:46AM

    It’s not rocket science. We can’t win a conventional war against US/NATO fire power.
    So the option is going un-conventional and playing to one’s strength. That brings the strategic assets and non state actors into play.


  • T Khan
    Dec 5, 2011 - 5:21AM

    after a long time of reading ‘kill and die’ (cause in our condition if we try to kill we will certainly die) kind of articles and comments…something sane to read for a change.

    Living in reality is what we need to focus on.


  • Farhan Khan
    Dec 5, 2011 - 6:25AM

    @adeel759: This guy is mixing things up. I am a student of tactics and strategy as well. Just scrambling intruder aircrafts in your own territory is no offensive. And scrambling is an automatic response which does not require any authorization from Air chief. This was mere inefficiency. Airforce pilots are only good at wearing sunglasses, enjoying VIP messes and having photo shoots with airplanes. Thats about all, they can do


  • gp65
    Dec 5, 2011 - 7:37AM

    I am an Indian Muslim. The reference to non-Pakistanis taking Pakistani names was made by Moeed Pirzada. I asked him how he determined if someone was a Pakistani – since Tribune does not publish the location from which the comment comes. HE was obviously assuming that any proi India statements from a Muslim name came from a non-Pakistani pretending to be a Pakistani. My point was that there are Muslims who are not Pakistanis and I infact am one of them.


  • A. Khan
    Dec 5, 2011 - 8:53AM

    @Eric Kumar

    Indian Air Force suffers from such poor maintenance that their pilots are scared to fly the aircraft literally calling them flying coffins. So technology becomes irrelevant, if the aircraft are poorly maintained.

    In other words, IAF should be more scared of having to fly their own planes than of meeting PAF in the skies.


  • Dec 5, 2011 - 11:15AM

    We were unable to protect our planes from getting destroyed by a handful of terrorists. There was an outcry but Navy and Gen. Kiyani were both silent. We have consistently failed to protect our borders. Our Army has never won a war against India. What have we done? I am sure most of the high class American weapons are controlled somehow by Americans in Pakistan. Just like you mentioned, a case of F-16 is for all to see. We have world class pilots but cannot do anything to protect our soldiers. Either this Pakistan Army is sold out completely or something is amiss, which I cannot fathom.


  • AN
    Dec 5, 2011 - 1:34PM

    @Saqib: Using non state jihadi terrorists aginst other countries is” right”?
    Ejaz Haidar is suggesting using non military means such as using non state jihadi terrorists against USA and other countries? Doesnt he realise that Pakistan is the most discredited and isolated country in the world, just for that reason alone? All thosre suggesting that Pakistan fight USA are completely out of thier minds. USA has an economy 100 times larger than pakista and pakistan will be completely out of ammo in no time. It has taken 65 years for pakistan Army to acquire a country for itself. If defeated, whichj it obviosl;y will be, the amry will gobble up all the resouirces of the poor country for next 65 years just to build its pride.By then the country will sink into oblivion.
    Best option is for the Govt to firmly put its estabelishment under civilian control, and to address the world community asking forgiveness for being a double dealing terrorism sponsoring rogue state, and promising never to go that road anymore.
    Get on with your economy people. No nation can deliberately want to keep its people poor for all times to come. The day pakistan acquired nukes, it put a noose around itself. sad but poor nations neeed to realise how poor they are.


  • Mahmood Saeed
    Dec 5, 2011 - 4:13PM

    There is a strong argument to reduce the size of armed forces to a level where we retain capability to annihilate an aggressor the minute red lines defined by Pakistan are crossed. We should let the world know that this our National Security Strategy because our economy does not permit us to have defensive postures/capabilities on our borders.

    That is the work of the Parliament where a National Security Strategy should be debated, agreed and given to the armed forces to equip themselves/use/implement/work on.

    As of today, the narrative by Ejaz Haider holds until the Parliament says we as a people are ready too eat grass. We can do that too. We did it for our nuclear programme.


  • G. Din
    Dec 5, 2011 - 6:16PM

    “Yes Iraq was also a weaker state and as such did not use its air force to defend itself. What happened to that air force? It is still “safe in Iran”?”
    Your post will leave the impression that Iraq has any hopes of getting its air force assets back in future. Not so! Iran already told Iraq that it was keeping them as a part-payment of reparations due it for inflicting a 10 year war on it (Iran) resulting in 10 million Muslims dead on both sides. Now, if that was not an Islamic expression of universal brotherhood of ummah, how can that be topped?


  • MH
    Dec 5, 2011 - 7:12PM

    @Eric Kumar:

    Well if you people have so much then why “The Indian Navy in an advertisement has published a picture of Pakistan’s JF-17 Thuder Jet and expressed pride by claiming it to be one of theirs, Geo News reported”
    Check out: link text


  • Yash
    Dec 5, 2011 - 7:55PM


    False propaganda as usual….luk at it carefully…magnify if u want….its a Mig 29K recently acquired by air arm of navy…tc and have a gud life…

    now just for once i wanna try being lil fanatic or hypocritic…..the JF 17 pic was published coz we dont have a gud printing tech….wat gives u pride in that??….hahahah….rofl lmao…its sumtimes really fun talking crap n acting foolish….Recommend

  • Romm
    Dec 5, 2011 - 7:57PM

    I am the biggest advocate of Having ICBMs. If we had ICBM’s, US would have thought thousands time, b4 attacking Pakistani post. Army shud be downsized and money allocated for pays shud be diverted towards technological development of armaments.


  • arshad lone
    Dec 5, 2011 - 8:06PM

    i beg to differ, offence is the best form of defence. while military is busy in de-escalation in ordeer to not meet fire with greater fire the enemy gets emboldened and continues to up the ante and the brinkmanship. thats an age old tactic by empires to squeeze the life out of smaller vassals. it is not rocket science…look the old addage that bullies are just cowards hold true, in the school yard everytime a bully threatens a small child and the child gives in and hands his lunch to the bully or his dinner money, the bully gives them respite but ‘allways’ comes back to demand more and never leaves because he gets what he wants with weaker more scared inferiors. yet if a bully is resisted and at least fought back, win or lose the bully thinks twice about ever attacking the victim

    Pakistan is not a weak coward, it has a lot of weapons at its disposal…it needs to stand up to the bully.

    well mr kayani….


  • MH
    Dec 5, 2011 - 9:40PM

    “According to Indian media reports, the Navy is yet to give its stance on the issue.”


  • Yash
    Dec 5, 2011 - 11:21PM


    chillax dude….its nothing new to us….at least to me…although neva saw sucha thing in military ads…this will be the first time….n btw…hardly 3-4 articles are there in indian media….amongst them only one is a lil reputed…which says “ACCORDING TO MEDIA REPORTS”…i searched for images of both jf 17 n mig 29k…both luk so similar…the place where wings are attached to the plane…on the cockpit side (i.e. the fornt side)…observe its structure carefully…it luks more of like mig 29k…bt then those missile like things at ends of wings make it luk like jf17….however i dint find any pic of jf 17 of this angle on net

    there was a time wen there was an ad showing delhi in pakistan n kolkata in sea….

    also there was an ad by pak navy for something which showed indian navy warships….big deal man…who remembers it…my main point was abt the stupidity…this article is abt PAF against NATO…i dunno why indians have brought in IAF in comments and dunno y ur talking abt the ad….original topic gaya bhaad mein…


  • Eric Kumar
    Dec 6, 2011 - 7:15PM

    @A. Khan:
    If PAF is that good ,How come Kashmir is still India’s hand. How about Bangladesh war,Kargil etc. Then of ofcource american came and killed OBL. where was PAF. and now this recent happening where was PAF when again NATO/US killed 24 or so Pakistanies soldiers. Sir, nodoubt Pakistan has good patriot pilots , but what they can do,when they have no orders to fight the enemy. To tell the truth Pakistan can not afford to loose even one ot two F16. India has more inventory , better machines , and because of economy afford to loose planes where as Pakistan can not. Please tell in recent history where Pakistan Air Force have come out fought and won.
    To see into the future India is looking into add better planes,airfields,more personels,etc. Infact pakistan has no depth physicaly too. Modern air craft can easily fly over Pakistan and enter next country . Where as for India it is not possible. One feel sorry for Pakistan that instead of spending that money being spent for betterment of it’s country and people, they are in pursute of fighting with India. Knowing that they can not compete with India but still Pakistan dream of fighting and wining . I wish you good luck, Sir.


  • Scha
    Dec 6, 2011 - 10:40PM

    Watch for the Hindus guys.


  • shouvik mukherjee
    Dec 7, 2011 - 1:26AM

    Here are my potshots at the article:
    1) The air force is an offensive force: Not true. It can be used as a defensive force if your airspace or land is violated by attackers (as pointed out by other readers).
    2) The use of the PAF would mean going on the offensive. Not true. Escalation: probably.
    3) States do not have the guerrilla’s advantage: Pakistan does.
    4) Any such decision by Pakistan will also have to keep in mind other hostile states in the region…and what advantage they could derive from such confrontation: Not True. If India wanted to take advantage, it could have done in the past.
    5) If the threat from the US increases, Pakistan will have to rethink its military strategy, which cannot be done in isolation from its national security strategy, which is the overhang under which the national military strategy must be worked out: Huh? If the threat from US increases Pakistan is screwed. Period .The Chinese and Saudis won’t help out.
    6) Therefore, the US and Pakistan, for their own compulsions, share certain risks and have to play the game short of the outcome .. ‘disaster’: Pakistan has more compulsion than the US simply because the Chinese and Saudis have not come to Pakistan’s rescue as much as Pakistan had hoped.
    7) ..that Pakistan has many other options, non-military : Non-Military? Really? Name One. Should not take more than 15 letters in a 800 word article!


  • Me Myself & I
    Dec 7, 2011 - 2:57AM

    I appreciate what the author says. But this is all for a calculated situation. What happened was a sudden assault on our forces due to confusion that should have led to PAF fighters scrambling. If a few were shot down or they took a few down, there would have been no issues on part of America – just like now; because it was a confused situation.

    The point most commentators are making is the planes never got off the ground – even in all this confusion.

    Obviously, confusion or not, they are meant to be comprehensively absent from the battle-field at all times


  • Asim Siyal
    Dec 11, 2011 - 11:10AM

    Great article.
    I would agree with sam.
    Let alone Pakistan, in present scenario when USA spends almost half of the world’s total defense budget for its fire power enhancement, no country can take direct confrontation with its armed forces. This is the hard fact we had to accept without going emotional and partisan.
    @momin and my other friends, yes mujhaeeden defeated Soviet troops but dont turn eyes from reality and know the facts by virtue of which it became possible i.e. USA cum PAK support of those mujhaeeden.
    and the consequence of it, afghan land is still in rubble with no view of privileged circumstances in near sight and where world powers still try to impose & defend their interests.
    Do you want our land to be same as that???
    PAK armed forces have done well going through this tough period of HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT and i hope they will continue to do so INSHALLAH.
    Nothing more but just as per article writer
    1. A weaker state should avoid a direct response.
    2. Higher strategy is a function of developing responses that suit oneself rather than the other actor(s).
    3. There are many other complexities that cannot be discussed in an 800-word piece but let it be said that Pakistan has many other options, non-military and, if need be, military, to deal with the US without keeling over the brink or resorting to a direct confrontation which is a function of the use of air force.

    Long Live Pakistan


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