To enhance its military power and expand its operational capabilities in order to achieve regional dominance, India has not restricted itself to the indigenous production only rather it has evolved defence and strategic cooperation with Israel. India and Israel have a strategic partnership that is based on common interests and has strengthened economic, military, and diplomatic cooperation between the states. According to a 2018 estimate, Israel is the seventh largest arms exporter in the world and approximately half of the military equipment is exported to India.

An air defence missile system deal of worth $2 billion has been signed between India and Israel in which Israel will export Medium Range Surface to Air Defence Missile (MRSAM). Israel has also exported a green pine radar system that can detect missiles from 500 km range. This will provide a strategic advantage to Indian infantry and Main Battle Tanks (MBT). India and Israel are also cooperating on Tech SAR which will enhance India’s surveillance capabilities. Israel Aerospace Industry is also assisting India in upgrading Russian developed Mi-24 helicopters and also exported HAROP attack UAVs to the Indian Air force. India has also purchased long-endurance Heron TPs worth $400 million to enhance its UAV based weapons system. India’s reliance on surveillance through UAV indicates that India is enhancing its limited war strategy.

India’s military modernisation possesses serious threats for the strategic stability of South Asia particularly Pakistan. Historical rivalry between India and Pakistan, persisting Kashmir issue which is considered as a nuclear flashpoint and the aggressive hegemonic ambitions of India is making it difficult to achieve a stable political as well as strategic environment in South Asia. The rapid development of conventional, as well as non-conventional military prowess by India, will create a security dilemma for Pakistan which will trigger an arms race between the two historical nuclear rivals, thus making South Asia a quagmire in which Pakistan is being dragged unwillingly. Despite Chinese economic and strategic assistance to Pakistan, India’s military modernisation together with its huge economic might will make it difficult for Pakistan to maintain the conventional balance in future. In this situation, Pakistan would be compelled to take counter India measures by either choosing a nuclear option to stop Indian aggression or to form military alliances with major powers – China in this case. While discussing the future strategic environment of South Asia one cannot rule out the chances for a limited war between India and Pakistan that has a full potential for escalating into a total war due to the possession of nuclear arms by both the states.

In order to deal with this situation, Pakistan has come up with countermeasures such as the New Concept of War Fighting (NCWF) which will enable Pakistan military forces to take a defensive position and move faster than Indian approaching troops and make an offensive move before the Indian military can. Induction of low yield field-to-field tactical nuclear weapons will help Pakistan at the non-conventional front. Currently, Pakistan’s defense capabilities are considered credible enough according to scholar Charles Glaser, Pakistan has accumulated more sophisticated nuclear stockpiles including short-range missiles, cruise missiles and recently added Submarine-launched ballistic missiles – that has provided Pakistan with second-strike capability.

Military assistance and provision of strategically advanced communication technologies to India by Israel will provide India with an edge to launch hybrid attacks against Pakistan. Therefore, to create balance with India, Pakistan is in need to develop its defensive capabilities together with forming strong military alliances to gain strategic benefits. It underscores the possible effect on promoting regional arms race, enforcing Pakistan to reciprocate to reinvigorate its capability to maintain conventional parity for tactical deterrence in the region. Pakistan should revisit its policy about the Middle East where the growing strategic alliance between Israel and India can be contradictory for Pakistan’s interests. This does not necessarily mean that Pakistan has to bring a radical change in its foreign policy but a minimum working relation can be maintained. India’s growing strategic alliances with global powers are making room for asymmetrical warfare between India and Pakistan which will thwart the peace and stability in South Asia. There is a need to induce arms race stability in the region by promoting multilateral arms control.