Karl Von Clausewitz said that war is an extension of diplomacy by other means. States as unitary actors resort to war to protect their vital interests, but both the realists and idealists aspire for peace, albeit they have different routes. They yearn for peace because war is devastating. Who else would know better about war than arch-rivals India and Pakistan; both countries have fought wars in 1965 and 1971, not to disregard those fought in 1948, 1984 and 1999. Both states have attained nothing, but a condition of perpetual enmity. Off-late, peace overtures have been made and perhaps some progress is evident in trade; Pakistan has given MFN status to India, amidst hue and cry. Peaceful coexistence is something that we all covet, but that requires both countries to revise their policies. However, if we delve into Indian defense related developments then there is a need to get skeptical about their seriousness in peaceful coexistence. Readers must be made cognizant of India’s hegemonic designs.
India, which as of now is Pakistan’s adversary, possesses a much larger conventional force. The asymmetry between the conventional forces is large, and ever increasing. The Indian forces comprise of 1,288,000 personnel (Army 1,100,000 Navy 55,000 Air 125,000 Coast guard 8,000); Pakistan has 619,000 personnel to her disposal, to include an Army of 550,000; Air Force of 45,000; Navy of 24,000 and paramilitary of 304,000 personnel. This article does not aim to carry out a comparative analysis between the two forces, but the number game is important to understand that India is in a much stronger position than Pakistan, for the latter is entrenched on the western front too. General Kayani, in an interview with Mariana Baber said that Pakistan has deployed 147,000 troops in Fata. This could embolden India, for she is believed to have deployed 5 out of the 6 armed tactical commands on the Pakistani border.
Moreover, it is worrisome because these tactical commands are being fed with deadly weapons galore. According to a recent study by the Stockholm International Peace Research, India has been the largest importer of weapons for the period 2007-11. These developments will set the cat upon the pigeons for the Pakistani strategic planners. They ought to be perturbed because these weapons are undoubtedly to be used against Pakistan. They can’t use these against China, for bulks of the Indian forces are looking at their perennial adversaries. Did India devise their Cold Start Doctrine for China? Anyone who has kept track of Indian defense policy must know that after the failure of the Sundarji doctrine of defensive holding corps in the Operation Parakram, India chalked-out this doctrine which calls rapid mobilization of integrated battle groups (IBG’S) with air support against Pakistan.
What makes matters more bothersome for the men that matter in Pakistan is that India has endeavored tooth and nail to operationalise this doctrine through her war games. On May 12, 2011, India launched Operation Vijayee Bhava (blessed to win) a defense exercise involving 50,000 troops in Bikaner and Suratgarh near the Pakistan border in order to boost the synergy between the defense forces. During Oct-Dec, 2011 Indian army conducted its largest war game in the last two decades, titled "Operation Sudarshan Shakti" under the Southern Command Headquarters, to revalidate its cold start doctrine.
These are nothing, but virulent Indian designs against Pakistan. This doctrine of limited war can or most certainly will exacerbate into a total war, and India will need to take the mantle of responsibility. This is not all, there are multifarious other happenings that should pester Pakistan.
The Indian defense related ameliorations are being espoused by foreign powers, to include the US and Israel. The Indian- US nuclear deal (2006) is perhaps the most worrisome aspect for Pakistan. The exemptions given to her by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in accessing civilian nuclear technology and fuel from other countries have not gone down well with Pakistan. Then Israel’s military cooperation with India is also tilting the balance in the latter’s favor. The Israeli Elta Green Pine Radar has been acquired by India, amongst other advanced systems. This heavily upsets the strategic balance which will enable India to be preponderant over Pakistan. The region thus, is jeopardized, to the least and considering Pakistan’s military and economic clout vis-à-vis the aspirant hegemonic country across the border, it is certainly stuck with the back against the wall.
It is a fallacy to assume that, the possession of nuclear weapons has neutralized all threat perception of Pakistan. There are challenges to the viability of the minimum credible deterrence doctrine. The development of ballistic missiles poses the greatest threat to the doctrine of minimum credible deterrence. Hence, it is a myth to assume that a limited number of nuclear weapons will have an equalizing impact on the deterrence calculus. . India, for instance tested the Brahmos, a supersonic nuclear anti ship cruise missile, not to forget Shaurya, Sagarika and others which are at India’s disposal. If we consider the strategically deep and large India, and lack of second-strike capability, Pakistan will not find it easy to dissuade India. Perhaps the gravest threat to the minimum credible deterrence doctrine is the development of the Indian ballistic missile defense system. Dr V.K Saraswat, a leading scientist of Defense Research and Development Organization claimed in 2007: within three years major cities would be under a protective shield. Thus India embarked on its ballistic missile defense program. India possesses BDM system such as Arrow 2; furthermore, Israel has been transferring Anti Tactical Ballistic Missile (ATBM) and Phalcon- Airborne Early Warning (AEW). Moreover, they have tested surface to air missiles such as Akash and Trishul; this gives them a strategic advantage. Pakistan ought to take cognizance of these developments.
The aforementioned events in India gives vent to the claim that the eastern neighbor, despite the new wave of peace overtures is a peril for Pakistan by every stretch of imagination. Yesterday’s test of ICBM Agni v is just another example of India’s offensive policies.