Since assuming the command of Indian Army, General Bipin Rawat has been displaying intellectual schizophrenia by regularly threatening Pakistan on one pretext or the other. During a recent press conference he tried to act like a mouth piece of RSS, with no regards to delicate balance of power in South Asia; he stated, “We will call the nuclear bluff of Pakistan. If we will have to really confront the Pakistanis, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff”.

Pakistani foreign office led by Khwaja Asif responded well by reassuring the nation and India that Pakistan would give a befitting response, even crossing the Rubicon of nuclear use to thwart any bad notions in the minds of Bipin and his RSS backers. ISPR responded by reminding Bipin that he may have a wish for a misadventure against Pakistan, he could give it a try.

Bipin has tried to play to domestic and international gallery; his intellectual schizophrenia oozed out because of some threatening messaging from president Trump and the Neocon cabal in US, who have tried to project Pakistan as the main reason for their perceived defeat in Afghanistan.

It may be interesting to carry out a postmortem of the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and how does it put the fear of God in the minds of people without intellectual schizophrenia. The doctrine of Mad was coined in Cold War as specter of Nuclear Holocaust loomed over Europe. The doctrine stated that a full-scale use of nukes between two nuclear armed rivals could cause total destruction and complete annihilation of both sides and that’s why it was stupid to even think of a war between two sides armed with nuclear weapons.

Norman Thomas once quoted J F Kennedy on the power of destruction of nuclear war, “If we had a nuclear war, we’d kill 300 million people in the first hour”. Bipin must know that South Asia is the most dense piece of real estate on God’s earth and one hour of nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan could wipe out 500 million people, and as stated by Dexter Gordon, ‘”in nuclear war all men are cremated equal”, Bipin needs some lessons on nuclear war gaming.

South Asian model is very different than rivalry between Cold War era Super powers.US and USSR were thousands of miles apart with sophisticated command systems evolved over decades. The battle ground of Eastern and Western Europe did not belong to US or Soviet Union, despite that the concept of MAD kept peace and avoided any conventional or nuclear war.

South Asia is the main battle ground between India and Pakistan with no warning time and densely populated areas dotting every square mile of the real estate. Pakistan has developed a triad of weapons and delivery systems with ability to strike any hostile force within minutes. From Tactical systems like Nasr to IRBMs with capability to strike upto Anadaman Islands, Pakistan has a capability to really incinerate India, if any war is imposed upon its territory.

Nuclear thresholds are not worked out based on some percentage of loss of territory or military force, especially when faced with a specter of a two front war against heavy odds. The traditional escalation ladder in the mind of Bipin Rawat cannot work in present environment, as Pakistan faces the challenge of ‘Use or Lose’. Pakistan cannot allow itself to be suffocated by slow poisoning on behest of Indian schemers and hyper military politico military leaders like Narendra Modi and Bipin Rawat, who in their hearts have the ultimate desire of dismembering Pakistan and have openly expressed their feeling .

Bipin Rawat belongs to the military cabal of Indian officer who were raised with the frustration of looking at Pakistan as a hard nut, which had become indispensable due to her nuclear capability on one hand, and have to justify the existence of 1.2 million strong Indian Army and a budget of 60 billion USDs on the other.

Pakistan has developed a Nuclear Strategy and conceived a doctrine of full spectrum deterrence to ensure that mad leaders like Modi and Bipin Rawat can be dealt with dexterity. The nuclear threshold is a combination of space, force, economic and environmental mix, ensuring that Pakistan will not lose control over liberty of action. If Bipin Rawat and his RSS backers think that there existed a space for limited conventional war against Pakistan, they must know that they could initiate war on timings of their choice but Pakistan will finish this war on timings of her choice.

Asymmetry in conventional forces between India and Pakistan and Pakistan’s commitments on western border have drastically lowered the nuclear threshold; that’s why Pakistan’s defensive maneuver against any conventional threat may start with tactical nuclear weapons and counter force targeting within 24 hours. In case India is unable to gain senses, Pakistan may go for a full spectrum response against the Cow Belt of India within 72 hours, putting fear of God in the mind of Bipin Rawat.

I may be interesting to quote from a study by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War published in the Telegraph in Dec 2013. “A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization”. The study also concluded that black carbon aerosol particles kicked into the atmosphere by a South Asian nuclear war would affect agriculture as far as the United States and South America and adversely affect food production in China as well.

Just to remind Bipin Rawat, a nuclear explosion under the sea near Mumbai could create a tsunami as high as 100 meters drowning the city in one hour; so next time you talk of ‘Calling Pakistan’s nuclear bluff’, do read the doctrine of MAD or Mutually Assured Destruction.


The author is a freelance journalist.