Bad Times for Modi and Indian Air Force – Supreme Court ruled for Open Hearing for 36 Rafale Jets Deal

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By Dr Shahid Qureshi: –

Almost all the opposition parties in India believes PM Modi is using and damaging Indian Armed Forces for his political gains in the upcoming elections. The recent attacks in occupied Kashmir and later failed Indian Air Force attack in Pakistan was more of an advertising campaign of the Israeli made missiles. The Israeli missiles failed to do damage anything but few tresses and an old man in a hut. Next day Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian Jets a Mig-21 and a Suki series jet inside held Kashmir with home made JF-17 Thunder fighter Jets and also captured IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan. Surely Pakistanis must be analysing the performance of the JF-17 Thunder in real combat. But 27th February 2019, was a bad day for Prime Minister Modi and Indian Air Force. IAF lost two jets and a pilot and Modi’s Rafale Fighter Jet deal case to be heard in open court.

What is more worrying for Prime Minister Modi is the Indian Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday on 27 Feb 2019: “The Supreme Court will hear in open court pleas for the review and recall of its December 14 order dismissing a bunch of petitions seeking a probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal. The same three-judge bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph, which had dismissed the petitions, is considering the review pleas. The bench, while deciding to hold the hearings in open court, didn’t set any date for that on Tuesday’. The Congress party has also accused Mr Modi of paying more than what its government had negotiated in 2012 on a per aircraft basis. But there are no details available about how much the government has agreed to pay Dassault.

Indian Prime Minister Modi’s racist arms dealers and advisors in Middle East famous for selling US arms and stolen technology from the back door got him into this position. Surely Kashmir and Palestine are the long-standing issues in the United Nations, but their dynamics are different as Pakistanis are hardened fighters till the end. Modi’s arms dealers and his Israeli advisors have an option to flee back to Europe Russia or US or in their country of origin, but Kashmiris have no option but to fight which may lead to further break of India as there are over a dozen separatist indigenous movements going on in India. Mark my word and it will be the same arms dealers who will be selling arms to those separatists like they did in Myanmar, Bosnia, Ukraine etc.

BBC reported that: “India’s opposition parties are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over allegations of corruption in a multi-billion-dollar fighter jet deal.

Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the main opposition Congress party, has alleged that Mr Modi “favoured” an Indian company that is part of the French deal.

Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has denied the allegation, saying the government signed the deal to meet the Indian Air Force’s combat requirements and had no role in choosing the French manufacturer’s local partner. The issue has caused a political storm in India, and much of the debate in TV news shows has revolved around it in the past few days.

India, the world’s second-largest defence importer in 2017, signed a government-to-government deal with France in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale warplanes manufactured by Dassault Aviation. Mr Modi announced the deal in Paris along with then French President François Hollande. The Indian government said it had negotiated the “best deal” to strengthen its air combat capabilities.

Almost two years later, the leaders seem to have different views on what they once described as an important deal. Mr Hollande sparked political controversy in India last week by telling French news website Mediapart that ‘Mr Modi’s government had pressured Dassault to partner with India’s Reliance Defence to meet its “offset policy”.

The “offset” clause in Delhi’s defence procurement rules says that foreign firms need to invest at least 30% of a deal’s worth back in India. It was introduced in India’s Defence Procurement Procedure in 2008 to boost domestic manufacturing.
As part of the 2016 Rafale deal, Dassault agreed to invest 50% of the estimated $8.7bn (£6.6bn) contract in India to manufacture some components of the jet with billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence.

Mr Hollande told Mediapart that his government didn’t have a say in the matter. “It was the Indian government who proposed this [Reliance] service group, and Dassault who negotiated with Ambani. We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor who was given to us,” he said.

The Congress party has accused Mr Modi of practising crony capitalism by helping Anil Ambani’s firm. “The PM personally negotiated and changed the Rafale deal behind closed doors… The PM has betrayed India. He has dishonoured the blood of our soldiers,” Mr Gandhi tweeted. He has demanded that the government order an inquiry into the deal.

“This [the selection of Reliance] is Dassault Aviation’s choice. This partnership has led to the creation of the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) joint-venture in February 2017,” it said.

Mr Ambani has always denied any wrongdoing in the deal. He has previously said that the joint venture was agreed directly between his firm and Dassault, and that the government was not involved.

The French government seems to have taken a cautious approach. Its statement does not directly contradict Mr Hollande, but emphasises that it did not have a role in Dassault’s decisions. “The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies,” it said.

It is worth noting that Anil Ambani and his late father were very close friends of Nawaz Sharif former convicted Prime Minister of Pakistan who helped the Ambanis in the insurance of Indian Jam Nagar Oil Refinery in 1990s as no insurance company was ready to insure because of PAF and hot target 80 miles from border of Pakistan. 

I mentioned it in my interview with the Al-Jazeera TV when Nawaz Sharif invited Prime Minister Modi to his home in Raiwind at (Dawn Leaks Queen) Maryam Nawaz’s daughter’s wedding in December 2015. Sharif regime issued a multiple visa to Dhrua Bhai Amabani from London High Commission of Pakistan.

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Azerbaijan April 2018, Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. At Government College Lahore he wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ and studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University. He is a visiting Professor at Hebe University in China.)

Views expressed are not of The London Post.

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