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LoC tense: Pakistan can sustain a war for just 20 days

  • Ankur Tewari, Dailybhaskar.com
  • Jan 15, 2013, 00:07 AM IST
LoC tense: Pakistan can sustain a war for just 20 days
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New Delhi: Provocation after provocation. Can India sit back and watch Pakistan's open aggression on LoC?
 
The wounds of the brutal beheading of Indian soldiers by 'Hafiz Saeed-led Pakistani Army' are fresh. Outraged Indians want the government to go for an all-out war against Pakistan.
 
But, if the war happens, how long will the two nations be able to sustain it?
 
 

Find out more by clicking on the following slides

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    LoC tense: Pakistan can sustain a war for just 20 days
    According to Pakistan's claims, it has an edge over India and could launch a nuclear strike within eight seconds.
     
    Its threat came after then UK PM Tony Blair visited Pakistan post the 9/11 attacks in 2001. 
     
    However, according to former Pakistani Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Pakistan cannot afford to match India's modern weaponry that has a greater capacity to sustain a war.
     
    With India inducting a lot of armaments, its capacity to sustain a war is 45 days against 20 days of Pakistan, he underlined.
     
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    LoC tense: Pakistan can sustain a war for just 20 days
    Indian Naval chief admiral (retd) Manvendra Singh said: "The war cannot begin overnight. First, India should outline its endgame, is it to attack entire Pakistan (which I don't think is right and can happen too) or to finish the entire network of terror."
     
    "India is still not ready for war. Both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers. Also, the ceasefire violations on LoC should be dealt at localised military level. Reports of Mumbai terrorist attack accused Hafiz Saeed inciting Pakistani soldiers is yet another tactic by Pakistan to shift the blame. Even if Saeed did it, it was Pakistani Army which lost its sanctity by allowing him to cross the border."
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    LoC tense: Pakistan can sustain a war for just 20 days
    According to Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, president of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, "The war is not for the Army to decide. In a democracy like ours, the decision is political. I, personally, feel it's high time we should act tough. Pakistan is yet to own up the recent killings of three Indian soldiers and is openly challenging India. Even after such an open aggression if we don't retaliate, it will send a message that we can only bark and not bite."
     
    "The government will never want to retaliate as it's the dream of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to see peace with Pakistan in his regime. But at the cost of our soldiers? Akshardham, Parliament and then 26/11, to name a few... Will the government never wake up?
     
    "War is the last resort and Army, too, doesn't want it. It's role is to protect the country from war. But the government can at least send some kind to stern message. If not bullet for bullet, India can at least halt peace process, put curbs on sports, recently-liberalised visa regime and raise diplomatic pressure. Hissing won't work anymore. We will have to answer back in the same coin."
     
    Asked if the war happens and Indian troops face the problem akin to the 1999 Kargil conflict when Pakistani soldiers attacked India from highest altitudes, he said: "It is just one of the incidents. In a war, the attacker has the right to choose his position. I don't think there will be any difficulty."   
     
    On the possibilities of the war intensifying into a nuclear battle, he said: "It will never happen. Since Pakistan and India each had weapons of mass destruction in 1999 as well, many in the international community were concerned that if the Kargil conflict intensified, it could lead to nuclear war. Both the countries had tested their nuclear capability in 1998 (India conducted its first test in 1974 while it was Pakistan's first-ever nuclear test). When Pakistan didn't use it then, it will not use this time too as it knows the decision will be suicidal."
     
    "Also, one should understand nuclear weapons are not kept readied. They are not there in the structured form and take time to be developed... They are stored in the form of critical mass."
     
    Critical mass is the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction. It is not kept radio active.
     
    Asked if China which has of late been a bigger threat than Pakistan, will support the 'troubled' neighbour, he quipped: "China is a matured neighbour. It will never support Pakistan just to settle scores with India." 
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    LoC tense: Pakistan can sustain a war for just 20 days
    Maj Gen (retd) S Thapliyal said: "I think it is the right time for war as Pakistan is engaged in Afghanistan. But except 1965, we have not shown any aggression... I don't think there is any likelihood of war as the government is yet to show open hostility. Pakistan continues to be defiant and we are too sweet-tounged."
     
    "If as a last resort, India attacks Pakistan, the option is to go for a limited area bombing (concentrated bombing) in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir. India can, at any given time, bomb the terrorist training camps in PoK and send a strong message across the border."
     
    He also underlined that "if the war happens, we will not be able to use nuke weapons. Indian doctrine restricts first use of mordernised weapons against enemy soldiers. The war, I think, should always be the last resort."
     
    However, according to Ashok K Mehta, a former Major General of the Indian Army, said "national security's last comprehensive appraisal was done in 2001 after the Kargil review panel report. Our security came under direct scrutiny post the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Or security apparatus has still not reached that level of adequacy."
     
    Why to talk of the past, only on January 7, the Army’s operational preparedness got a major blow after its ambitious ‘Cold Start’ doctrine to quickly counter Pakistan in the first few days of the war has been hit following the budget cut of more than Rs10,000 crore.
     
    The Army has little hopes in the next fiscal too. It is not in a position to raise an operational corps to sustain unhindered logistical supply of ammunition to the advancing forces in Pakistan.
     
    It prepared the doctrine after mobilisation of troops Operation Parakaram post the 2001 Parliament attack took more than 10 days. 
     
    Besides, Army’s plan to fight a two-front war with Pakistan and China has taken a toll due to resource crunch. The government, according to sources, is not willing to raise two mountain strike corps for China front.
     
    India is not ready for war till it mobilises its forces to attack the enemy.

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