India’s National Security Strategy was launched in the form of India Armed Forces Joint Doctrine. This particular doctrine substantiates that India has evolved and moved from credible minimum deterrence to credible deterrence. Furthermore, the doctrine explicates that there is no restriction in development of their nuclear assets which means Indians would develop their armed forces horizontally as well as vertically. Moreover, the joint doctrine explains that Pakistan and China are direct military threat to the India’s hegemonic posture. India may soon change this role in the global arms industry by transforming itself into a leading weapon exporting nation as the country has shifted its focus towards indigenous defense production. In addition to that, the document also reiterates that surgical strikes will become a formal retaliatory toolkit against terror provocations especially against Pakistan.

Since India has aspirations to become a regional power, its doctrine provides an impression and reflection of Unites States National Security Strategy. Most of the component in India’s doctrine are taken from US security strategy. India is trying to harm Pakistan through kinetic and non-kinetic means, and the Government of Pakistan needs to stop its internal squabbles and focus on developing the country’s national strength by virtue of strong and resilient armed forces, robust defense production infrastructure, and by developing an indigenous scientific research and development culture. Also, there is a need of greater debate in Pakistan on the introduction of tactical nuclear weapons for counterforce, targeting to offset India’s conventional forces and it’s Cold Start Doctrine (CSD). Additionally, Pakistan also needs to build its tri-services capability, in order to bridge the existing asymmetry between India and Pakistan by strengthening latter’s nuclear as well as conventional deterrence.

Pakistan government, policy makes, military and political leaders and strategist must also be aware of the fact that this doctrine is not only limited to physical encounters, rather the doctrine also comprises elements of Hybrid Warfare. Pakistan needs to cater to these facets holistically rather than see them in isolation for its own national interests and national security. Regardless of what India did, Pakistan needs to put all its efforts in strengthening its economy and governance mechanisms as without these prerequisites, it would face insurmountable challenges in the future. One important factor is that Pakistan’s national narrative must not be compromised at any level. With recent example of our political leader, defying the national narrative and security, defaming Pakistan’s image in the international arena by claiming Pakistan’s role in Mumbai attacks will assist India to pursue its mission of maligning Pakistan as a state that sponsors terrorism.

India has committed about 1394 ceasefire violations along the LoC in 2017, while from the beginning of 2018 till now, the Indian forces have carried out more than a 1000 ceasefire violations which clearly indicates the upsurge of Indian military aggression. International organizations, especially the United Nations must take notice of continuous Indian belligerence. Pakistan strongly believes that continued, comprehensive and result-oriented engagement between the two countries is important for peace and prosperity of the region and beyond, however if necessary, Pakistan is fully capable of giving a befitting response to any misadventure.

 

The writer is a Assistant Research Officer (ARO) at Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).