The aggressive political stand taken by government of India vis a vis Jammu and Kashmir, and terror emanating from Pakistan has upset the Pakistani establishment to a great extent, and it is likely to result in a more hardened response from the Pak military, and ISI say analysts. They point out that Pakistan’s policy toward India can be gauged from the recent meeting of National Command Authority which focused only on deteriorating relations between the two countries, and how Pakistan could meet the situation in strategic terms, and meet the military challenge. Instead of improving upon the bilateral relations, the entire Pak establishment focused on likelihood of a war with India, and it’s doctrine of ‘Full Spectrum Deterrence Capability’ which stands for minimum deterrence against India in context of a nuclear fallout.
The meeting in fact put the focus on importance of minimum nuclear deterrence for Pakistan as there is growing conventional asymmetry.
The reason for Pakistan taking a more aggressive stand is that the neighbouring country’s economy, and army both have been bogged down, and there is increasing asymmetry between both countries. The Pak army has been badly caught on western front with Afghanistan, and it has lead to reduction of troops on the eastern border with India. The internal security scenario in Pakistan has also deteriorated badly with Baloch insurgency, and MQM in Karachi putting lot of pressure on security along with orthodox elements in Punjab.
Pakistan has also invested heavily in Afghanistan as it wants to control it strategically but that gambit is also failing today. In such a scenario neither Pakistan can attack India nor it can defend itself in case of a war except with nuclear deterrence.
In such a scenario, an aggressive New Delhi is being looked upon a big threat by Islamabad which has no option but to look at nuclear weapons as the last resort of defence. There is also fear in the Pak establishment that India under Modi wants peace at it’s own term, and it is not ready to offer anything in return. The recent statement by Indian army chief that India should be ready for short wars has sent Pakistani establishment into a frenzy with Pak army saying they are ready for anything.
In highly tense environment one thing is clear that both India and Pakistan would have to stop public posturing, and seriously consider the option of dialogue so that South Asia is saved from another horrific war.