Tonight, it’s more than likely that many Pakistani commanders will have texts on the Ussuri river clashes for their bedside reading. Ever since 1998, Pakistan’s warfighting doctrine has been premised on the proposition that its nuclear weapons guaranteed it immunity against Indian attack but now that assumption is in ruins. From the Ussuri fighting, Pakistan’s generals will know weaker adversaries can transmute disaster into victory. India’s own strategic planners need to pay close attention to what Pakistan’s generals are thinking, to anticipate, and pre-empt the consequences.
Ending terrorism in Pakistan will give the political class some freedom to manoeuver. A turn to war, and they will, once again, be shackled to the yoke of the army, not to mention the International Monetary Fund and other creditors. Imran Khan's choice is stark — he can either govern or fight. He can't do both.
Narendra Modi has walked the talk, fulfilling the promise he had made after the Pulwama terror attack. A few days ago, in Rajasthan, the prime minister had told people to keep "faith in the Modi government, armed forces' valour and Maa Bhawani" for retribution. He has clearly pushed the envelope and drawn loud and clear red lines that any action against India will invite harsh and strong reaction.
India is telling Pakistan in unambiguous terms that if Rawalpindi-bred jihadists launch terror attacks on Indian soil and target its citizens (be it civilians or security forces), India will not only cross the LoC and hit them but may use its air assets in doing so. And in order to scale up the costs on Pakistan for its use of radical and separatist elements as cannon fodder for its proxy war, India may even go deep inside Pakistani territory to operate, if needed.
Along the border areas in Jammu region, the residents have been witness to heavy cross-border artillery shelling for the last few days. The shelling continued in some areas even today. Riyaz Ahmad, 45, another resident of Balakote, says border residents may have to face a tough time if "situation between India and Pakistan deteriorates". “We don’t have bunkers here. We are not sure what turn the situation will take,” he said.
Updated Date: Feb 26, 2019 19:59:33 IST