LAHORE -  Ex-Army generals don’t see any real threat of war between the two nuclear neighbours as it would be mutually disastrous. Nonetheless, they do foresee some terrorist attack on Pakistan military on Indian instigation.

The Nation talked to a number of retired Army generals about the prevailing tension between India and Pakistan in the wake of Uri incident, and the possibility of surgical strikes by India or a full-fledged war in the region. They included Rashid Qureshi, Amjad Shoaib, Ghulam Mustafa, Ziauddin Butt and Moeenuddin Haider.

Lt Gen (r) Amjad Shoaib said that there was no history of war between two nuclear states.

“Usually the nuclear powers don’t go into a war given its mutually disastrous results”, he told this paper. However, he did not rule out the possibility of escalation in the proxy war from the Indian side.

“India may attempt to use its proxies inside Pakistan to attack some vulnerable military points or it may send its commandos in AJK through infiltration to carry out attacks on some military positions”, he observed.

Shoaib even rejected the likelihood of surgical strikes by India,stating that it will incite retaliation from Pakistan and the resultant situation may push the two countries into a full-fledged war .

“India knows the consequences of such strikes inside Pakistan and will not dare do so”, he added.

Asked what Pakistan should do in the present situation, he said that it should increase surveillance on the Line of Control (LoC) to prevent a possible infiltration from the India side and maintain a certain level of preparedness to avert any eventuality.

Lt Gen (r) Ghulam Mustafa also did not anticipate any immediate danger of war between the two countries. But as per his calculation, India might resort to mild intensity surgical strikes across LoC and the working boundary to satisfy its public that they had avenged the Uri attack.

“India has put itself into an awkward situation by rhetoric and now it is finding a way out for face saving. India is now looking for some action against Pakistan which may not incite retaliation but is heard louder inside the country”, he remarked, adding, that it may also like to embarrass Pakistan Army by terrorist attack on its installations using its links with the TTP militants.

In his view, Pakistan should play cool in the given situation unless provoked from the other side. “It is India which has created the hype and it is up to it to defuse the buildup”.

Lt Gen (r) Moinuddin Haider viewed that there was no possibility of a war between the two countries in the near future. “Instead of waging war on Pakistan, India would rather like to intensify efforts to destabilise our country through sabotage and subversive activities as it was already doing”, he opined.

Asked what should Pakistan to deal with the current situation, he said it may seek help from countries like US, UK and Saudi Arabia to play mediatory role to bring India on the negotiation table. Besides, it should also make plans to deal with any untoward situation, he said.

Lt Gen (Retd) Ziauddin Butt was of the view that prospects of war between nuclear powers are usually bleak. They seldom fight due to fear of mutual destruction which is colossal, he stated.

In his opinion, a Kargil like situation may arise but it will not lead to an open war . “There is a possibility that civilian leadership in India may trap the military into taking such an action against Pakistan”, he added.  Maj Gen (r) Rashid Qureshi also did not agree with the idea that India may go for surgical strike inside Pakistan, arguing that there were no surgical targets here which India would like to hit. “Nonetheless, we need to be prepared for all sorts of possibilities”.

In his assessment, India would suffer more casualties in case of a flare-up.

Qureshi said it was difficult to judge the intention of an enemy country in such a situation. “But we should make preparations keeping in view the capability to strike of the neighbouring country,” he added.