India violates nuclear deterrence


Sajjad Shaukat

BY availing the opportunity of the terror attack at a military base in Uri, India has deliberately been creaking war-like situation against Pakistan. Besides creating war-hysteria, Indian forces continue shelling at the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistani side of Kashmir. Without bothering for nuclear war, New Delhi is increasing tension with Islamabad. Therefore, with the SAAR summit scheduled in Islamabad in November has been postponed, under a shadow following a boycott by India, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh—the countries which have accepted the US-led Indian hegemony, while Pakistan is encountering it. Following war-mongering diplomacy, on September 30, 2016, New Delhi also shut down the Friendship Bus Service which runs between Lahore and Amritsar.
The phenomena developed after the Uri base assault has clearly proved that with the help of Indian intelligence agencies, particularly RAW, India has itself arranged the Uri base attack not only to defame Pakistan, but also to achieve a number of sinister aims. By promoting Hindu chauvinism on the basis of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan slogans, extremist party, BJP won a landslide victory in the India elections 2014 by defeating the Congress. Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been implementing party’s agenda against Pakistan. BJP leaders are hyping up Hindu sentiments against Pakistan. It is noteworthy that on October 2, 2016, Indian security agencies conducted another false flag terror operation at Baramulla town, northwest of Srinagar where suspected militants fired on a military camp in Indian-held Kashmir and killed one trooper—two weeks after the Uri base assault. Pakistan’s reliable sources reveal that Indian security agencies can arrange another Mumbai-type terror attacks to malign Pakistan and in the pretext to fight a limited war with Pakistan in Kashmir. Indian has increased troops at the LoC and deployed heavy arms and weapons.
Taking note of Indian threat of war, Pakistan’s armed forces have become high alert, and Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif said on September 23, this year, the Army will defend “each and every inch” of Pakistan “no matter what the cost may be.” In a clear message to India, he stated on October 6 that “any aggression borne out of deliberate intent or even a strategic miscalculation will be met with the most befitting response.” It is also of particular attention that BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swami stated on July 12, 2014 that India needed only two years to defeat Pakistan militarily, and the only solution of Kashmir was war, as “there is no peaceful, democratic solution.” Responding to the withdrawal of the US-led NATO forces from Afghanistan, he remarked, “Americans will hand over Afghanistan to Taliban and go…India should send at least 200,000 troops to Afghanistan.”
However, it is wishful thinking of the BJP leader that India can destroy Pakistan through nuclear bombs. While both the neighboring adversaries are nuclear powers, New Delhi should not ignore the principles of nuclear deterrence, popularly known as balance of terror. After the World War 11, nuclear weapons were never used, and were only employed as a strategic threat. During the heightened days of the Cold War, many crises arose in Suez Canal, Korea, Cuba and Vietnam when the US and the erstwhile Soviet Union were willing to use atomic weapons, but they stopped because of the fear of nuclear war which could eliminate both the super powers. Therefore, the two rivals preferred resolving their differences through diplomacy.
Similarly, many occasions came between Pakistan and India, during Kargil crisis of 1998, and Indian parliament’s attack by the militants in 2001, and particularly in 2008, in the post-Mumbai terror attacks when New Delhi started a blame game against Islamabad in wake of its highly provocative actions like mobilization of troops. Pakistan had also taken defensive steps to meet any prospective aggression or surgical strikes by India. But, India failed in implementing its aggressive designs, because Pakistan also possesses atomic weapons. Political strategists agree that deterrence is a psychological concept which aims to affect an opponent’s perceptions. In nuclear deterrence, weapons are less usable, as their threat is enough in deterring an enemy who intends to use its armed might. In this connection, a renowned scholar, Hotzendorf remarks that nuclear force best serves interests of a state when it deters an attack.
In the present circumstances, BJP-led government of Modi is badly mistaken, if it overestimates India’s power and underestimates Pakistan’s power. As Pakistan lacks conventional forces and weapons vis-à-vis India, so, in case of a prolonged conflict, Pakistan will have to use nuclear weapons and missiles which could destroy whole of India, resulting into Indian political suicide. In the past too, Indian rulers had intended to implement their doctrine of limited war in Kashmir or to fight a conventional war with Pakistan, but they could not do so owing to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
Past and present history of Balkan gives ample evidence that insurgency and movement of separatism in one country have drastic impact on other neighbouring states. Similarly, civil war and unrest either in Somalia or Sudan have affected all the States of Darfur region, while violent uprising in Egypt, Syria etc have radicalised a number of the Middle Eastern countries. Indian state terrorism in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and Israeli atrocities on the Palestinians will further radicalise Asia by increasing the danger of nuclear war.
It is also noteworthy that while following ambivalent policy and conflicting interests, the US-led Western countries which consider India their largest commercial market are encouraging the Indian extremist prime minister to continue his anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan approach, as they are doing in case of Syria. They must think that atomic war will destroy their market. Undoubtedly, we can conclude that irresponsible and unrealistic approach of the BJP-led government in the modern era of peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development could culminate into nuclear war between India and Pakistan. Therefore, India is reminded of nuclear deterrence in wake of creating war hysteria in its own country and Pakistan.
—The writer is freelance columnist based in Lahore.