The Indian Economic Times story on October 30 quoted a statement from former Air Force chief BS Dhanoa, who said that India was ready to wipe out Pakistan’s forward brigades had Islamabad’s “military adventure” been successful in response to the Balakot aerial strikes and added that “our military posture was very offensive”.

His remarks came just after PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq’s controversial statement that Pakistan’s politico-military leadership was trembling to send Wing Commander Abhinandan back to India as it had threatened to retaliate if he was not set free in March 2019.

Dhanoa, whose airforce lost four aircrafts after February 27, 2019 appeared to come out of oblivion to boast, “The way he (Pakistan MP) is saying that ‘Pair ‘kaanp rahe the’ (legs were trembling). It is because the military posture was very offensive... God forbid if there were military misadventures on 27th and they had hit some of our military installations, we were in a position to wipe out their forward brigades. They know what our capability is,” he said.

Ayaz Sadiq is a seasoned parliamentarian and former Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan and had held the keys of Pakistan’s most important institution as the custodian of the Majlis-e-Shoora. We thought of writing an open letter to Mr Ayaz Sadiq to expose the damage caused by his statement, most probably given at the behest of his seniors.

To start with, there is a need to school him on the implications of hybrid warfare. Taking help from our previous article published in The Nation on April 25 2018, hybrid warfare is defined in variety of ways, one suggested by London School of Economics defines it as a ‘military strategy that blends and employs conventional warfare, irregular warfare, cyber warfare and subversion and blurs the formal distinction between war and peace’. In a nutshell, it is a combination of non-kinetic warfare and kinetic operation. A classic hybrid war would make it very difficult to attribute or blame the aggressor as it hides behind layers of disinformation and deceit.

Ayaz Sadiq sahib may have a look at events of February 26-27, 2019, the aggressive posturing by Pakistan had put India on the defensive and re-established nuclear deterrence due to the cool-headed approach of the politico-military leadership of Pakistan and a resolute response. PAF Shaheens not only shot down two IAF jets but also caused a paralysis and panic in Indian military command; no wonder IAF shot down their own helicopter near Srinagar and did not venture to even touch Pakistan’s airspace.

Mr Ayaz Sadiq, there is another thing known as asymmetry between two belligerents in war time. The Indian military with an annual budget of 72 billion dollars, is double the size of Pak Army, triple the size of PAF and almost four times in naval strength. Pakistani military command, in a two-front scenario, did not bother about this asymmetry and kept its faith in Allah Almighty and responded aggressively to win the battle in February 2019.

On the other hand, we have asymmetry between the Chinese and Indian militaries; just have a look at the conduct and posturing of Indian military vis a vis PLA; India has lost 1200 square kms in Ladakh since May 2020, its military has not responded aggressively; the reason—the Chinese military is superior in numbers.

Ayaz Sadiq sahib, no report was leaked into Indian media about any discussion between the political and military leadership; even the sacking of the Commander of Indian 14th Corps after one year of command was done in a subtle manner so that it does not become a national embarrassment.

Ayaz Sadiq sahib, could you tell us who has shivering legs, when it comes to the military standoff between China and India?

Ayaz Sadiq sahib, can you quote one statement from the Indian political or military leadership or the ruling party where the military command was censored by Mr Modi, despite the face-loss against Pakistan in February 2019 and the current standoff with China? Actually, the Modi regime made sure that Indian masses, addicted to post-truth perception management by the media, headed by the pack of fake news generators are given lullabies of victory. Mr Ayaz Sadiq you helped Modi in strengthening that fake narrative of victory against Pakistan and dented the real victory of Pakistan over India that was established in broad daylight in the skies of Kashmir.

Unfortunately, the PML-N leadership has continued to paddle the narrative against Pakistan’s defence forces for the last three years and Mr Ayaz Sadiq became a conduit to fire the last shot.

Mr Ayaz Sadiq, we also need to remind you about Kulbhushan Yadav’s case; he has been arrested and remains in Pakistan’s custody. If the Pakistani leadership was that weak, Kulbhushan would have ended up in Delhi by now. We know how the PML-N leadership was reluctant to even hold a press conference to expose Kulbhushan Yadav in front of the media—this was due to the appeasement policy of the PML-N leadership vis a vis India and nothing else.

We conducted a psychoanalysis of anti-state themes being generated by Indian chaos generators, especially after the PML-N leadership’s blatant assault on the state, and found that it is targeting the bond between the Pakistani military and the people of Pakistan by trivialising the success of bravehearts of the Pakistani military.

While speaking at a military literature festival in Chandigarh in December 2019, Christine Fair went on to assert that she did not believe India shot down an F-16 fighter during the dogfight between Indian and Pakistani jets in the aftermath of the Indian airstrikes over Balakot.

“I say this clearly with 100 percent certitude that there was no F-16 struck down…I do not believe you did. I believe that my bonafides as a critic of Pakistan stands for itself,” She maintained that “India has lost a lot of credibility in the ways that certain images have been deployed through social media that do not show what they show, with the level of certainty that is asserted.”

To conclude, we expect Mr Ayaz Sadiq to reflect on the damage he has done to the genuine narrative of victory by Pakistan Armed forces, just to please his leaders.

Adeela Naureen and Umar Waqar

The authors are freelance journalists. They can be reached at adeelanaureen