Defense of Pakistan Day: Has Pakistan Lost All Wars to India?

As the South Asian nation of 220 million celebrates Defense of Pakistan Day, it is a good time to ask: Has Pakistan lost all wars to India? Indian defense analyst Pravin Sawhney says NO! In fact, Sawhney argues that Pakistan has never lost to India. Not in 1965, nor in 1971 nor Kargil!! Who is Pravin Sawhney? What makes him an authority on such matters?

Pakistan JF-17s Flying National Colors on Defense of Pakistan Day

Who is Pravin Sawhney?

Pravin Sawhney is a retired Indian Army officer who currently publishes "FORCE" magazine, along with Ghazala Wahab. Both deal with defense matters. Here's how FORCE introduces Pravin Sawhney:

"An author of two books, The Defence Makeover: Ten Myths That Shape India’s Image and Operation Parakram: The War Unfinished, a widely circulated monograph, Ballistic Missile Imperatives Between India And Pakistan, which he co-authored with Pakistani scholar Nazir Kamal at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, US, Pravin writes on strategic, defence and foreign policy issues. He also writes a monthly column, Bottomline in FORCE.  Before starting FORCE, Pravin was the South Asia correspondent based in New Delhi with Jane’s International Defence Review, Jane’s Information Group, Surrey (UK) for six years. Taking premature retirement from the Indian Army (artillery), Pravin started his journalistic career with Business and Political Observer newspaper from where he moved on to the Times of India and Indian Express newspapers, finally leaving defence reporting in 1996 as defence editor, The Asian Age. He has also been a visiting fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, Whitehall, London, UK and a visiting scholar at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, US."


What Does Sawhney Say About India-Pakistan Conflict:

In an interview with Pakistani journalist Israr Kasana that was published on YouTube on June 3, 2020, Pravin asserted that "Pakistan has never lost (to India) in any war, be it 1965 or 1971 or any other." "If Pakistan had lost, there would be no line-of-control or ceasefire line on the ground," he added.  Here's more from that interview:

"If Pakistan had lost we (India) would have erased the LOC...why do I say that? I have explained it in my book. Pakistan has been strong in the western sector. It's a myth that Pakistan is weak, a myth that Pakistan itself perpetrates...India says we (India) are strong when in fact it is not.....CPEC is extremely important...China will share a lot of military capability with Pakistan....China shares platforms and assures unlimited supply of spare parts which is crucial in war...China and Pakistan do frequent joint military exercises...to assure interoperability.

Pakistan Air Force fleet : JF-17 (Dragon) top, F-16 (Aggressor) middle and Mirage 3 (Sky Bolt) bottom.



What Has Sawhney Said About Balakot?

After the February 2019 conflict triggered by India's bombing in Balakot in Pakistan, Sawhney argued that India’s conventional deterrence has been compromised. India's war-fighting capabilities – pivoted on air power – have been blunted without a fight.  Meanwhile, Pakistan maintained credibility of both its first combined civil-military government and its air power.

Sawhney said, "Pakistan was faced with the dilemma of how to avenge India’s unprecedented action: to use or not to use the PAF. It was decided that the PAF too would breach Indian airspace while calling it a non-military strike. Unlike the IAF, the PAF strike would be done with menacing force in broad daylight ensuring that Indian military installations close to the Line of Control were not damaged enough to compel India to raise the ante."

Here's Pravin Sawhney talking about February 2019 action:'
'
https://youtu.be/YX4qXrR34PI


http://www.youtube.com/embed/YX4qXrR34PI"; width="560"></iframe>" height="315" src="https://img1.blogblog.com/img/video_object.png" width="560" style="background-color: #b2b2b2;" />

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Comment by Riaz Haq on September 5, 2020 at 7:27am

War That Never Was: The Story Of India's Strategic Failures
by
Ravi Rikhye

In the Chapter 4- How India Lost All Its Wars of the book, the author gives analysis of the proposition that war of 1947-48 and 1965 were a favorable stalemate and that of 1971 was an outright victory has been carried out in this chapter. Here the author comments that in all security crises, there have been very serious misperceptions of adversary behavior and that India repeatedly commits same mistake.

https://booksynopsis16.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-war-that-never-was-...

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 5, 2020 at 8:02am

Defence expert Ravi Rikhye on India-Pakistan war scenario


https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/cover-story/story/19870215-defen...


And if war comes, it may proceed somewhat thus: India's vast military superiority cannot be translated into victory until four to six weeks of attrition have been imposed on Pakistan. Currently, Pakistan has a true reserve of five divisions (leaving three against Afghanistan) to India's 14 plus two more available from the North-east. A realistic exchange ratio might be five Pakistani divisions for eight Indian divisions over a four-week period. That leaves Pakistan without reserves, but India with another eight divisions. Within four weeks more, Pakistan will be defeated.

Because of this four-week lead time, battle results will initially prove elusive, putting the Indian military and political high command under severe pressure.

At sea, Pakistan will seek to deny us its coastal waters and impose losses with its submarines. India will try and control the north Arabian Sea, a harder proposition. Attrition of Pakistani submarines and coastal defence forces will become effective only after four weeks.
In the air, Pakistan will first score visible victories because its pilot training and air doctrine are superior and because India will attack aggressively and give extensive support to ground troops, entailing heavy losses in the skies. The IAF will be under pressure, but after two weeks, will start asserting superiority and after four, supremacy over a declining PAF. The Pakistan Army will be quickly left on its own as the PAF concentrates on defending its air bases and conserving its strength for the final battles. The PAF will regularly launch daring deep strikes with but a single aircraft to keep India off balance. These will achieve precisely nothing.


The armies will see hot action from the Nubra Valley near Siachen glacier to the Rann of Kutch. Both sides will alternate offensives, which will be of three to seven days duration with about half that time spent in full-scale fighting. There will be 10 to 15 days between offensives in a particular sector, and each command and corps will tend to fight its own battle, despite efforts of both General Headquarters to coordinate the entire front.

No progress will be visible between the Nubra and Ferozepur in Punjab because the front is locked: both sides have heavy troop concentrations and fortifications. India, specially, will find the attacking tough because Pakistan has been working on fortifications for 35 years, some of which (as in the Sialkot sector) are mind-boggling.

The major battlefield will be from Suliemanki, south of Ferozepur, and Fort Abbas, in the Thar Desert. The numerous Indian troops now available will get in each other's way. Pakistan will give ground and make some offensives but try to conserve its strength. Despite recriminations in India at the initial lack of gains, after a month, results start showing and Indian morale will sky-rocket while Pakistan's plummets. Pakistan army's theories of mobile warfare and helicopters will flounder on the rock of desperate defence: it will be attrition warfare all the way.

China and the US will stay out unless the USSR intervenes, which won't unless either steps in. The Muslim world and virtually all the United Nations will be against India, clamouring for a cease-fire. The Soviets, as in 1965 and in 1971 in the western sector, will try to prevent spectacular Indian gains. Pakistan will be fighting for survival. India will be the one beset by existential doubts, as was Pakistan in 1971. Not having a clear-cut cause will hurt it.

The political leadership will give in under the lack of early progress and world pressure. It will, as always, seek the softest option and the earliest ceasefire, so that little but a favourable stalemate will have been achieved.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 5, 2020 at 11:20am

#Coronavirus Crisis Shatters #India’s Big Dreams of middle-class lifestyle for its people, powerful military and global superpower status that could someday rival #China. #Modi's #lockdown-and-scatter policy being blamed for it. #BJP #COVID19 #economy https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/05/world/asia/india-economy-coronav...

A sense of malaise is creeping over the nation. Its economic growth was slowing even before the pandemic. Social divisions are widening. Anti-Muslim feelings are on the rise, partly because of a malicious social media campaign that falsely blamed Muslims for spreading the virus. China is increasingly muscling into Indian territory.

Scholars use many of the same words when contemplating India today: Lost. Listless. Wounded. Rudderless. Unjust.

“The engine has been smashed,” said Arundhati Roy, one of India’s pre-eminent writers. “The ability to survive has been smashed. And the pieces are all up in the air. You don’t know where they are going to fall or how they are going to fall.”

In a recent episode of his weekly radio show, Mr. Modi acknowledged that India was “fighting on many fronts.” He urged Indians to maintain social distancing, wear masks and keep “hale and hearty.”

India still has strengths. It has a huge, young work force and oodles of tech geniuses. It represents a possible alternative to China at a time when the United States and much of the rest of the world is realigning itself away from Beijing.

But its stature in the world is slipping. Last quarter the Indian economy shrank by 24 percent, while China’s is growing again. Economists say India risks losing its place as the world’s fifth largest economy, behind the United States, China, Japan and Germany.

“This is probably the worst situation India has been in since independence,” said Jayati Ghosh, a development economist at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. “People have no money. Investors aren’t going to invest if there is no market. And the costs have gone up for most production.”

Many neighborhoods in the capital of New Delhi where low-paid workers used to live are deserted, shell-like, a hot wind blowing through empty, tin-walled shacks. A few years ago, when the economy was expanding at a 9 percent clip, it was difficult to find a place here to rent.

When Mr. Modi was swept to power in 2014 on a tide of Hindu nationalism, many Indians felt their nation had finally found the forceful leader to match their aspirations.

But Mr. Modi has concentrated his energies on divisive ideological projects, like a new citizenship law that blatantly discriminates against Muslims or tightening the government’s grip over the mostly Muslim region of Kashmir.

Quarter by quarter, India’s economic growth rate has been dropping, from 8 percent in 2016 to 4 percent right before the pandemic. Four percent would be respectable for a developed country like the United States. But in India, that level is no match for the millions of young people streaming into the work force each year, hungry for their first job.

Many of the complaints that investors make about India — the cumbersome land policies, the restrictive labor laws, the red tape — predate Mr. Modi. But his confidence and absolutism, the same qualities that appealed to many voters, may have added to the problems.

Four years ago he suddenly wiped out nearly 90 percent of India’s paper currency to tamp down corruption and encourage digital payments. While economists cheered both goals, they say the way Mr. Modi sprang this move on India did long-lasting damage to the economy.

That impulsiveness emerged again when the coronavirus struck. On March 24, at 8 p.m., after ordering all Indians to stay indoors, Mr. Modi shut down the economy — offices, factories, roads, trains, borders between states, just about everything — with four hours’ notice.

Tens of millions of Indians lost their jobs instantly. Many worked in factories or on construction sites or in urban homes, but they were migrants from rural India.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 5, 2020 at 11:21am

#India's new grim milestone: India adds 76,456 cases new cases to pass #Brazil for 2nd spot for nations worst hit by #COVID19. Only #Trump's #US now has more #coronavirus cases than #Modi's India. Coronavirus case growth in India now the world's fastest. http://covid.gov.pk/stats/global

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1302308856614117377?s=20

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 5, 2020 at 10:31pm

An official US report indicates that China has deep strategic interests in Pakistan, which will persuade both countries to stay engaged despite possible irritants.


https://www.dawn.com/news/1578159

https://media.defense.gov/2020/Sep/01/2002488689/-1/-1/1/2020-DOD-C...

In its 2020 report to Congress on “Military and Security Develop­ments” in China,” the US Department of Defence suggests that Pakistan is among a handful of countries where Beijing seeks to enhance both “bilateral and multilateral” engagements.

The report — published earlier this week — notes that Pakistan is among the countries where China “has likely considered locations for military logistics facilities,” a claim both Beijing and Islamabad reject as speculative.

The Pentagon states that Pakistan is also among the countries where Beijing has developed a series of “campaigns,” outlining operational military activities to achieve its strategic objectives.


As part of these campaigns, China is seeking “an increase in bilateral and multilateral engagement” with nations like Russia, Pakistan, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that “can improve its ability to organise and manage combined operations that integrate foreign forces,” the report adds.

The report also claims that China’s Strategic Support Force (SSF) “runs tracking, telemetry, and command stations in Namibia, Pakistan, and Argentina”.

The Pentagon notes that China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) projects in Pakistan are associated with pipelines and port construction that intend to decrease China’s reliance on transporting energy resources through strategic choke points, such as the Strait of Malacca.

In 2019, the Chinese military participated in Russia’s national-level exercise TSENTR-19 along with forces from Pakistan and India, the report adds.

The Pentagon reports to Congress that China’s counter-terrorism cooperation with Tajikistan is likely tied to the August 2016 creation of a quadrilateral counterterrorism coordination mechanism between Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and Tajikistan. Under this arrangement, all four countries agreed to jointly strengthen border security against China’s defined “three evils,” terrorism, separatism, and religious extremism.

A recent report in the Forbes magazine says that China has commercial and political interests in developing Gwadar but there is no evidence to suggest that it is building military installations in the port city.

Like the Pentagon report, the author of the Forbes report, H. I. Sutton, argues that Gwadar has strategic importance for Beijing because it will provide “a port facility connected to China by road and rail that bypasses the Strait of Malacca.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 5, 2020 at 10:37pm

Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2020 Annual Report to Congress A Report to Congress Pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, as Amended

https://media.defense.gov/2020/Sep/01/2002488689/-1/-1/1/2020-DOD-C...

PLA Overseas Basing and Access > The PRC is seeking to establish a more robust overseas logistics and basing infrastructure to allow the PLA to project and sustain military power at greater distances. > Beyond its current base in Djibouti, the PRC is very likely already considering and planning for additional overseas military logistics facilities to support naval, air, and ground forces. The PRC has likely considered locations for PLA military logistics facilities in Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola, and Tajikistan. The PRC and Cambodia have publicly denied having signed an agreement to provide the PLAN with access to Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base.

------------

Space Systems Department. The SSF Space Systems Department is responsible for nearly all PLA space operations, including: space launch and support; space surveillance; space information support; space telemetry, tracking, and control; and space warfare. The Space Systems Department seeks to resolve the bureaucratic struggles that existed over the PLA space mission, as elements of the mission were previously dispersed across several national and service-subordinate organizations. The PRC officially designated space as a new domain of warfare in its 2015 defense white paper, and expects space to play an important role in future conflicts by enabling long-range precision strikes and in denying other militaries the use of overhead command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. The Space System Department operates at least eight bases, including those whose core missions are the launch, tracking R&D, and operation of the satellites vital to China’s overhead C4ISR architecture. The SSF runs tracking, telemetry, and command stations in Namibia, Pakistan, and Argentina. The SSF also has a handful of Yuan Wang space support ships to track satellite and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches.

-----------------

In support of its national strategy, the PRC pursues a range of goals through OBOR to include strengthening its territorial integrity, increasing its energy security, and expanding its international influence. Given the Party views the PRC’s security and development interests as complementary, the PRC leverages OBOR to invest in projects along China’s western and southern periphery to improve stability and diminish threats along its borders. Similarly, OBOR projects associated with pipelines and port construction in Pakistan intend to decrease China’s reliance on transporting energy resources through strategic choke points, such as the Strait of Malacca.

-------------------

Beyond its current base in Djibouti, the PRC is very likely already considering and planning for additional overseas military logistics facilities to support naval, air, and ground forces. The PRC has likely considered locations for PLA military logistics facilities in Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola, and Tajikistan. The PRC and Cambodia have publicly denied having signed an agreement to provide the PLAN with access to Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 10, 2020 at 8:14pm

Retired PAF Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail:


http://pakistanpolitico.com/rafales-impact-on-iafs-air-power-capabi...

Mr. Modi has apparently not yet been briefed by his Air Staff about the JF-17’s upcoming PL-15 BVR missile guided by the new AESA radar, which beats the Rafale’s ramjet-powered Meteor by several tens of kilometers. It is manifest that long range BVR combat will take precedence over close combat in any future conflict, and enemy aircraft will be shot out of the skies while remaining well inside their own territory.

While we are at it, it may be worthwhile to have a cursory line comparison of the Rafale, F-16A and JF-17 in one-on-one visual air combat.

All three aircraft have a ‘clean’ configuration Thrust-to-Weight Ratio of 1:1 and can climb and accelerate equally well. In a turning fight, Aspect Ratio and Wing Loading are critical parameters. The JF-17 and F-16A enjoy better Aspect Ratios of 3.7 each, compared to the Rafale which stands at 2.6. A better Aspect Ratio (square of wing span to wing area) implies better aerodynamic efficiency due to less induced drag during turning. As for Wing Loading, or the weight of the aircraft per unit area, the lesser the better. The Rafale has a slight edge, having 68 lbs/sq ft compared to the JF-17 and F-16A, both of which have Wing Loadings of 77 lbs/sq ft. A lightly loaded wing helps in a tighter turn, though in case of the Rafale, this advantage is overcome by greater induced drag due its lower Aspect Ratio. In sum, all three fighters are at par, more or less, in a turning fight.

Induction of the Rafale in IAF has created considerable media interest, and the impression has been created that with immediate effect, IAF will rule the Indian skies. It must, however, be remembered that it will be at least two years before the Rafale achieves anything close to Full Operational Capability. PAF, on the other hand, has been flying F-16s for 37 years, including hot scenarios during the Afghan War, in local counter-insurgency operations, and the latest Operation ‘Swift Retort,’ downing half a dozen enemy fighters in these operations. The JF-17 has been fully operational for over a decade, and is expected to replace the legacy fighters over the next five years. These combat-proven PAF fighters are fully integrated with the air defence system, and are mutually data-linked, alongside all AEW and ground sensors. Such capabilities are not achieved overnight, and it will be several years before the Rafales can be considered a threat in any real sense.

Any immediate impact of the Rafale on IAF’s air power capabilities is, thus, simply over-hyped. This inference, however, must not be dealt with lightly, as there is a distinct possibility of the Indian Prime Minister using the Rafale for a false-flag operation in a surreptitious manner, to prove his point that, “with the Rafale, the results would have been different,” from those of 27 February 2019.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 2, 2020 at 7:21am

People in #Bangladesh didn’t exactly welcome #Indian Army with open arms either. Pro India Mujib was soon killed in a coup. Bangladesh was ruled by strong anti #India rulers. Even today, there’s little love in Bangladesh for India.

Here's a #Bangladeshi's view of #India from back in 2007: "We cannot love India. The relationship is too unequal for romance, and our neighbour is too aggressively self-interested to be embraced as a generous parent" https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/aug/14/india.features115

The troubles began almost from the start. After intervening in the war, the Indian army did what armies do - they behaved like victorious soldiers. Pakistan did not surrender to Bangladesh - the treaty signed on December 16 1971 was between an Indian general and a Pakistani general. Suddenly the war that Bangladeshi freedom fighters had been waging became yet another skirmish between the two elder children of partition. And those same freedom fighters were forced to surrender their arms to the Indian troops. It was a symbolic wound that would fester. The bear-hug began to feel like a stranglehold.

Relations between India and Bangladesh were soon further strained: in 1975, the Indian government built the Farakka Barrage 10 miles from the Bangladesh border; it diverted Ganges water to the Hoogli river basin, raising salinity levels, contaminating fisheries, hindering navigation, and posing a threat to public health. Many Bangladeshi villages were plunged into drought, which kickstarted a sentiment of anti-Indianism that has gripped the popular imagination in Bangladesh ever since. None of these issues stop Bangladeshis from embracing our neighbour's prolific cultural exports. We buy Indian cars, Indian saris, and most importantly, we adore Bollywood.

--------------

We cannot love India. The relationship is too unequal for romance, and our neighbour is too aggressively self-interested to be embraced as a generous parent. We must either live with what we have, or take the initiative. For instance, we can wield our geographic advantage by negotiating between the two nuclear powers in the subcontinent, India and Pakistan. If we cannot have our own romance, at least we can become matchmakers. And instead of decrying the way India treats its minority Muslim population, we can be an example of a pluralistic society ourselves. But the uncomfortable truth is that our anxieties are displayed and articulated through the lens of religious prejudice. Since 1971, the Hindu population in Bangladesh has been steadily dwindling, as Hindus are systematically and institutionally discriminated against. Bullied, we bully in return.

Finally, instead of bemoaning our fate, we can strengthen our democracy, rid the political landscape of corruption, and capitalise on our economic growth - which, despite disasters both natural and self-inflicted, stands at a healthy 5%. By doing a better job of levelling the playing field, we may still never have a chance at romance with India, but we can at least work towards a relationship of mutual respect.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 17, 2021 at 6:50pm

Fatah-1 Guided Multiple #Rockets Launch System (GMRLS) With 140 KM Range Reinforces #Pakistan’s deterrence capability & escalation control. It has greater capabilities & longer effective range than Conventional #Artillery Shells. #Kashmir https://pakobserver.net/pakistans-deterrence-capability-escalation-... via @pakobserver

By Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan

CONSTANT Indian “warmongering” has now forced Pakistan to take “concrete” steps to further strengthen its “Deterrence” “Capabilities (DCs)” and upgrade its “Escalation Control System (ECS). Most recently, according to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Babar Iftikhar, Pakistan successfully conducted a test flight of “indigenously” developed “Fatah-1”, Guided Multi Launch Rocket System (GMLRS). The DG ISPR highlighted that the new weapon system is capable of delivering a “Conventional Warhead (CW) up-to a range of 140 kilometres (87 miles). It has further enhanced its “operational” and “tactical” capabilities in which its wide range of Short Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM), Medium Range Ballistic Missiles ((MRBM), Battlefield Ballistic Missiles (BBM), Surface to Surface Cruise Missiles (SSCM) and Rocket Artillery would play a “decisive” role in the “war theater”. The newly developed GMLRS weapon system will give Pak Army capability of “Precision Target Engagement (PTE). Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and COAS have also congratulated the participating troops, technicians, engineers and scientists on successful conduct of flight test.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and the COAS General Qamar Bajwa have been projecting Indian “hegemonic” and “destructive” designs as “potential” threat to regional peace, stability and harmony. Pakistan’s political leadership and defence forces have been on “alert” because of imminent threat of aggression from India since last year. Last February, amid heightened tension with India, Islamabad carried out a successful test of its “Ra’ad-II” cruise missile. In March 2020, Pakistan tested the “Ghaznavi Ballistic Missile (GBM), which has a range of 290 kilometers (180 miles), just days after India tested its submarine-launched K-4 ballistic missile. It is bitter reality that bilateral relations between the two neighbors have worsened since New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and imposed a lockdown in August 2019. Unfortunately, Indian massive arms purchasing “madness” and Strategic Security Deals (SSDs) with USA and others also flared up tension and have started a fresh arms race in South Asia.
The 140 Kilometers range capable Fatah-I GMLRS has a significant “tactical” and “strategic” importance because the majority of “Indian Air Force (IAF)” bases situate within its “range”. In this connection, the Multi-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) is basically a type of Rocket Artillery System (RAS) that contains multiple rockets assembled and fired from the same platform. The rocket fired from MLRS is “self-propelled” and has different capabilities and a larger effective range than Conventional Artillery Shell (CAS). It helps to “devastate” hell on the enemy by “striking” different rockets in Multiple Rapid Successions (MRS). It has lots of significance in terms of “operationalization” and “channelization” for Pakistan and defence forces of Pakistan. It has probably either Beidou or GPS inertial navigation system.
Deep analysis of “modern” and “advance” warfare system and weaponry reveals that during the war it will provide “comparative advantage” and essential “strategic cushion” to defence forces of Pakistan because, according to defence experts, distance of Fort Abbas (Pakistan) to Bikaner Air Force Station (IAF) is 130 kilometers. Distance of Lahore to Adampur Air Force Station (IAF) is 125 kilometers. Distance of Berwala to Sirsa Air Force Station (IAF) is 140 Kilometers.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 29, 2021 at 10:57am

Pravin Sawhney: I am inclined to agree with the PA (#PakistanArmy) standpoint that #Kargil was a victory for them. #India #Kashmir #Musharraf http://forceindia.net/bottomline/kargil-legacy/

Writing in my first 2002 book, ‘The Defence Makeover: 10 Myths that Shape India’s Image’, I had argued that Kargil war was not a victory for India. Here are my reasons which Rashid may want to consider.


At the operational level, let alone the Pakistan military, even its regular army did not join the war. It was Indian armed forces (army and air force) pitted against ISI-supported irregulars (terrorists) and its paramilitary force (Northern Light Infantry). The big takeaway for PA was that it perfected the art of fighting irregular and regular wars simultaneously. Called a paramilitary force, the NLI, unlike Indian paramilitary forces, is commanded by army officers on deputation and has the army ethos. In previous wars of 1947-48, and 1965 over Kashmir, the PA had first waited for the success of its irregulars before launching regular forces. The results were not good. After the Kargil war, Musharraf formally inducted the NLI into its regular infantry, and importantly, called terrorists his first line of defence (read offence). Given the operational utility of battle-tested terrorists in a war with India, the PA cannot be expected to sever its ties with them as long as India remains the existential threat.
'

The other advantage for the PA was that it raised the peacetime surveillance burden on India. India’s 8 mountain division (over 10,000 troops), a reserve for conventional war, is now perched on the Kargil heights in high altitude areas round the year. Holding posts on the linear treacherous ridge line, these troops will have a limited operational availability in war with Pakistan. This is not all. During the war, despite a shortage of acclimatised troops, the Indian Army (IA) did not consider it wise to pull-out its acclimatised 114 infantry brigade at Durbok in Ladakh facing China for combat with Pakistan. This implies that in a war with Pakistan, the IA will find it difficult to use its dual-tasked formations (two-and-half divisions) from the Chinese to Pakistani front. The knowledge that India fears a substantive Chinese reaction in a war with Pakistan in a future conflict will help both allies plan hostilities optimally.
At the higher level, Indian political leadership was worried about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and hence resisted pressure to cross the Line of Control to take the war into enemy territories. This established Pakistan’s nuclear weapons’ credibility; that PA is capable of exercising its nuclear option.

For India, the Kargil war was about evicting intruders. The war was fought on Indian soil, and all associated with national security got exposed abysmally. In this respect, the war was a monumental let-down. The intelligence failed, the army leadership was caught napping and unprepared for war, the air force had little idea and wherewithal for combat in mountains, the chiefs of staff committee meant for successful air-land battles was found unworthy, and the political leadership was pushed against the wall. It had no choice but to get intruders out of India’s territories. No one in the Indian establishment had an iota of idea of how to run a successful campaign if the nuclear-armed PA had joined the war. It was India’s good luck that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif blinked, and of course paid a heavy price. Various committees and task-forces set up after the war by the Vajpayee government to comprehensively review the national security edifice were meant to figure out how to fight a successful war with Pakistan.

Finally, most Indian analysts concluded that eviction of terrorists (under US pressure) meant that LC had been sanctified, suggesting its acceptance as de-facto border. This would be a grave miscalculation. A LC by definition is a military held line which can be shifted by whichever side has the capability.

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