By General Mirza Aslam Beg - (General Mirza Aslam Beg is former Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Army)
In dealing with the peaceful freedom movement of the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, India appears to have lost pride in its high military traditions and respect for human dignity.
The brutalities being inflicted on unarmed protestors by an armed might of over half a million Indian occupation troops is shameful. Blatant use of pellet guns and now cluster bombs, show the ugly face of Hindutva Ideology that permeates the entire socio-political order of the so-called Indian democracy.
Having revoked article 370 and 35A, Narendra Modi has decided to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir and establish the Hindu State in the manner Trump’s handing-over of Palestinian lands and Jerusalem to the Zionists.
As a result of Indian machinations and sinister design to change Kashmir’s status, the emerging geo-political realities suggest that Pakistan must take into account the following factors to formulate its policy decisions to face the emerging challenges:
1: What is likely to happen very soon is a large influx of Kashmiri refugees as a result of Indian warmongering. It would be a huge burden for Pakistan, like the Palestinians in neighboring countries. Modi needs space in Kashmir to settle Hindus from outside. Pakistan has options to counter this sinister move.
2: The Afghan Jihad is close to its successful end with the last occupation soldier leaving Afghanistan – a Taliban demand the Americans have no option but to accept. Thus the battle-hardened fighters in Afghanistan particularly those from Indian occupied Kashmir and some from other parts of the world would be released and head to Kashmir as happened in 1989-90, after the Soviets withdrew. It means that the freedom movement will gradually turn violent. Thus, India has inducted two additional two infantry divisions – 30,000 soldiers—to control the situation that is likely to deteriorate further.
3: These additional troops would augment Indian forces on the ceasefire line in Kashmir which has already been taken-over by regular troops. New military technology weapons and devices provided by Israel and America have been tested over the last two years for effectiveness. These will be used extensively to establish a reign of terror in the whole of Indian occupied Kashmir.
4: It is possible India may use these additional troops to launch strikes across the LoC to avenge the February 27 humiliation inflicted by Pakistan Air Force and army in response to their failed attack on Balakot.
5: India plans to ruthlessly crush the freedom struggle in Kashmir because they know fully well that if they relent and the movement succeeds, it would encourage a dozen or so other big and small insurgency movements going on in other parts of India. Thus India will fight tenaciously to retain control over Kashmir.
6: Modi is also trying to gauge the depth of Pakistan’s new found relation with US with promise of mediation on Kashmir and the unprecedented 21-gun salute to the Pakistani chief of army staff, particularly at this point in time when America wants to build-up India as its strategic defense partner, a proxy dominating the region from Central Asia to South Asia and beyond to the Asia Pacific, something akin to the status Israel enjoys in the Middle East region.
7: By engaging Pakistan in Kashmir, Pakistan will be prevented from providing whole-hearted support to Iran as the Warsaw Plan implementation has already begun, with Israel mandated “to contain and curb the military and economic power of Iran.”
8: In a desperate bid to settle the Kashmir dispute on its own terms, India with full American backing will attempt to fight a decisive war in Kashmir, hoping for limited war with Pakistan as in 1971 in East Pakistan. They are expecting that Pakistan will make noises at various forums and ultimately hand over Kashmir as our military rulers did in 1971.
What Pakistan must do is to meet these security challenges in a planned and deliberate manner. They have to evolve the strategies—diplomatic, political, economic and military—merging into one, radiating the will of the Pakistani people. A few aspects of military strategy are suggested below:
i: Our real security base is the regional alliance between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, consolidated and strengthened into a common bond of a powerful national response:
ii: Iran has shown the resilience of a brave revolutionary nation despite four decades of American demonization, sanctions and embargoes and is fully capable of facing the challenges of the obnoxious Warsaw Plan. Iran provides the lead to Pakistan.
iii: Afghans Jihad has defeated the mightiest of the mighty during the last four decades, a feat unparallel in the history of the logic of conflict of the human society. Their valiant struggle is a shining example for Pakistan.
iv: Pakistan armed forces form the most important element of the country’s power, to meet such challenges. Alhamdulillah, the armed forces have stood as a bulwark against Indian hegemonic ambitions. It is regarded as one of the best among the top armed forces in the world.
v: Pakistan does not have to brandish its atomic weapons to fight the war because these are not the weapons of war but they are great equalizers. In 1998, Pakistan exploded the device and since then nuclear deterrence has remained stable between the two countries. It is conventional armed forces that would fight the war and win, supported by robust diplomatic, political and economic strategies based on sound policy decisions.
I do not hesitate to say that Pakistan now has to prepare for a full-fledged war with India to safeguard its freedom. Such preparations are vital to provide security cover, for application of several options to achieve the purpose of freedom, for the people of Kashmir and also ensure water security to Pakistan, its life-line.