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 Post subject: Pakistan 'guiding' Sri Lanka's war: Indian expert
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:00 pm 
Pakistan 'guiding' Sri Lanka's war: Indian expert

"About 12 to 15 members of the Pakistani Armed Forces, including four or five from the Pakistan Air Force, are stationed in Colombo to guide the Sri Lankan security forces in their counter-insurgency operations"

New Delhi, Aug 26, IRNA
Sri Lanka-War-Pakistan


A group of Pakistan Air Force officers stationed in Colombo have been guiding the Sri Lankan military in carrying out air-mounted operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a former counter-terrorism chief of India's external intelligence, B Raman, says.

The Pakistani officers have also been involved in drawing up plans for a decapitation airstrike with bunker-buster bombs to kill LTTE leader Vellupillai Pirapaharan, B. Raman says. The appointment of recently retired Deputy Chief of the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) as Islamabad's representative to Sri Lanka is a deepening of Pakistan's support, he says, adding the move is a concern for India's national security, said a report pasted on a website of the Tamil Tigers -- TamilNet.

"About 12 to 15 members of the Pakistani Armed Forces, including four or five from the Pakistan Air Force, are stationed in Colombo to guide the Sri Lankan security forces in their counter-insurgency operations", B. Raman, wrote on August 18, quoting reliable Tamil sources.

"The Pakistan Air Force officers have reportedly been guiding the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) officers in effectively carrying out air- mounted operations against the LTTE", he said.

"They have also been reportedly involved in drawing up plans for a decapitation strike from the air, with bunker-buster bombs, to kill LTTE leader Vellupillai] Pirapaharan."

"Pakistan, which has already been playing a discreet role in assisting the Sri Lankan security forces in their operations against the LTTE even before Mahinda Rajapakse became the President, has further increased its involvement in the counter-insurgency operations."

"Of all the three Sri Lankan services, the SLAF has the closest relations with its Pakistani counterpart", Raman says.

Technical personnel of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) play an important role in the repairs and maintenance of the aircraft and other equipment of the SLAF. Sri Lankan aircraft have been sent to Pakistan for overhauling.

Recently Sri Lanka has accepted Pakistan's proposal to appoint Air Vice-Marshal Shehzad Aslam Chaudhry as the new Pakistani High Commissioner to Sri Lanka in place of Col (retd) Bashir Wali Mohammed.

Col Wali Mohammed, a former Director of the Pakistan
Intelligence Bureau and a former senior officer of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has completed his two-year tenure in Colombo.

On August 14 he narrowly escaped an explosion which killed four commandos in his security detail. The Sri Lankan government blamed the LTTE for the attack, the first on a foreign ambassador in the conflict.

Hours earlier the same day, SLAF bombers levelled a children's home in Mullaitivu, killing 51 teenagers and four staff and wounding 150 more youngsters.

"The posting of Air Vice-Marshal Shehzad Chaudhry, who had in the past handled air-mounted operations against the Baloch freedom- fighters, is expected to further step up the Pakistani involvement in Sri Lanka's use of air strikes to subdue the LTTE and intimidate the Tamil population," Raman says.

"While India cannot justifiably object to it, the increasing involvement of Pakistan in the counter-insurgency operations is a matter of serious concern from the point of view of India's national security", Raman says.

"The clandestine co-operation between the armed forces of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which has been there even in the past, picked up momentum after an unpublicised visit by Gen. Mohammed Aziz Khan, then Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, to Colombo in September 2003," Raman says.

India had never objected in the past to the close military to military relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, but Gen Aziz Khan's secret visit upset Delhi, Raman says.

This is because Gen. Aziz Khan "had co-ordinated Pakistan's proxy war against India through various jihadi terrorist organisations [and] played an active role in the clandestine occupation of Indian territory in the Kargil."

"Under the influence of the Pakistani advisers, the Sri Lankan Government's counter-insurgency operations are becoming increasingly ruthless," Raman says.

"There have been many instances of targeted killing of innocent civilians through actions on the ground as well as from the air." "This will only drive more Tamils into the arms of the LTTE," he fears.

"Since Rajapakse took over as the President in November last year, more innocent civilians have been killed by the Sri Lankan security forces than in the [recent] past."

"Pakistan, which has already been playing a discreet role in assisting the Sri Lankan security forces in their operations against the LTTE even before Rajapakse became the President, has further increased its involvement in the counter-insurgency operations [since November 2005]", Raman says.

B Raman served as additional secretary at the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's external espionage agency, and headed the counter- terrorism division at RAW for more than a decade till his retirement in 1994. He is presently director of the Institute For Topical Studies in Chennai, India.


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 Post subject: Lanka dismisses claim over Pakistan role in Kfir strikes
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:53 am 
Lanka dismisses Indian claim over clandestine Pakistan role in Kfir strikes

By Shamindra Ferdinando
@ Sunday island / 27 Aug 2006


The military yesterday dismissed claims that Pakistan Air Force was guiding the ongoing air war against the LTTE.

A senior official emphasized that there was not an iota of truth in claims that a group of Colombo-based Pakistani officers are leading the SLAF campaign believed to be the most successful in the conflict.

A series of Kfir attacks on major LTTE targets including artillery positions helped ground forces to blunt their recent onslaught. The Kfirs and artillery, particularly multi barrel rocket launchers acquired in the aftermath of the Elephant Pass defeat in April 2000, forced the LTTE to call off the offensive.

B. Raman, a former counter-terrorism chief of Indian External Intelligence recently said that Pakistan’s involvement in Colombo was growing.

Raman who served as additional secretary at the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s external espionage agency, and headed the counter-terrorism division at RAW for more than a decade till his retirement in 1994. He is presently Director of the Institute for Topical Studies in Chennai.

Raman claimed that the SLAF was planning to hit LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s underground hideout with bunker-buster bombs. "A figment of Raman’s imagination," a senior defence official said.

"Pakistan, which has already been playing a discreet role in assisting the Sri Lankan security forces in their operations against the LTTE even before Rajapakse became the President, has further increased its involvement in the counter-insurgency operations [since November 2005]," he said.

The military acknowledged that forces receive legitimate Pakistan assistance. "There is nothing clandestine in our relationship," an authoritative official said. He said Raman could not have been unaware of growing Indian support to Sri Lankan forces. The SLN took delivery of an Indian warship several months ago. The vessel was given in place of SLNS Sayura now in India for a refit.

"It is one example (of defence cooperation with India)," he said, emphasizing that Indian support, particularly to the SLN was growing.

Against this background comes the recent US action to thwart an LTTE attempt to acquire Russian-built SA-18 anti-aircraft missiles.

This week’s arrest of US and Canada—based LTTE operatives engaged in a bid to acquire Russian built SA-18 anti-aircraft missiles and 500 AK 47 assault rifles among other arms, ammunition and equipment was evidence that the enemy was serious in strangling the peninsula, the military said.

Many terrorist groups including Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah is believed to have acquired highly sophisticated SA-18 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Acquisition of the Russian-manufactured SA-18, a much improved version of the SA-7 missiles would have vastly upgraded the LTTE’s capabilities.

The SA-18 is vastly superior to the SA-7 which was previously used by the LTTE against the SLAF with devastating success. SA-18’s 2-kg chemical energy fragmentation warhead is larger and more lethal than that of the SA-7, while aerodynamic improvements give it a greater maximum range (5200 meters) and altitude (3500 meters).

Its higher speed enables the SA-18 to hit faster targets. The SA-18’s enhanced seeker allows it to be fired at much broader angles than the SA-7 and greatly reduces the missile’s vulnerability to both heat flares and electro-optical jammers.

Unlike the SA-7, the SA-18 can hit aerial targets head-on. The LTTE is reported to have sought ten SA-18s. Their deployment would have substantially impaired the ability of the SLAF to conduct low-altitude bombing and reconnaissance missions.


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