Time to test India’s Cold Start Doctrine
Afshain Afzal


India is quite optimistic that in case New Delhi is able to impose limited war on Pakistan, international community would intervene to support Indian armed forces logistically, tactically and strategically in the final assault.

New Delhi is also expecting that international community, including United Nations, would not allow the war to prolong. No one had ever thought that an ordinary military paper would receive so much recognition that military strategists would include it as war strategy against Pakistan. India ‘s Cold Start Doctrine has never been rehearsed nor is in conformity with the ground realities but some of the Indian top Armed Forces officials are convinced that it would at least enhance India ‘s might in international community. An idealistic situation has been presumed, which can go in either direction. The speed and timings calculated for move Strike Force, Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) as well as the Reserves by road, rail and air do not match means of transportation available in India. It is on record that Indian Army Chief General V.K Singh denied the existence of the Cold Start Doctrine. In a recent leak of Indian classified papers, Indian command discussed various steps to defeat Pakistan which include 1) Provoke a civil war within Pakistan, 2) Provoke mutiny within the Pakistani armed forces, 3) Plan in which India, with the cooperation of US and NATO troops, would carryout selected attacks on pockets inside Pakistan, while Israeli aircraft and guided missiles will destroy Pakistan’s nuclear plants. This would be followed by ground attacks by NATO troops from the west and Indian troops from the east.India ‘s foreign policy is the major irritant between Indo-Pakistan relations as a very powerful lobby in India is waging a proxy war strategy to bleed Pakistan through provinces of Balochistan and Sindh. However, one thing is sure that India cannot defeat Pakistan militarily as any wrong move may cost very heavily to India. New Delhi should not even think about any misadventure as Pakistan would be left with no other option but to use multiple nuclear deterrents.India would be quite innocent if it is of the impression that US and other western countries do not consider her military threat. It is because of its military ambitions and economic strength that many countries consider her as worse adversary. However, as in international politics there is no friend or foe and relations between the states are governed by self interests, US and western world do not pronounce New Delhi as imminent threat. In fact, India is being used by the western powers to weaken Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran and China. Western nations’ long-term plans to slice off Northern Areas and Tribal Areas from the map of Pakistan cannot be accomplished without the support of India. India’s present strategy is to further develop its conventional superiority to fight and win a limited war with Pakistan in a nuclear environment. However, it is not easy for India to tackle Pakistan alone. It is right for India to plan a joint attack in collaboration with many countries as Pakistan can inflict very serious losses beyond recovery to India. Input from India revealed that a “Mumbai attacks” like operation has already been planned by India in coordination with other foreign agencies. The sole objective behind the plot is to blame Pakistan for state sponsored terrorism. US State Department has already issued a travel alert to its citizens in India, warning them of possible terror attacks in the country. India has started amphibious and ambushing training at two locations including Andaman and Nicobar islands. Army Commandos, Marine Commandos and Guards from the Indian Air Force are participating in the training. The Special Forces training will be followed by an Indian Navy’s amphibious exercise next month. In another development, Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne in a recent statement confirmed that Indian Air Force has withdrawn all of its MI-17 and MI-35 attack helicopters deployed in the UN missions in Congo and Sudan. All personnel engaged in operating these 20 MI-17 and 10 MI-35 helicopters have reported back to Indian bases.Although, the Indian Air Chief claims that these helicopters will be used by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in anti-Naxal operations in Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand but the real story is being hidden from Indian masses. Unconfirmed reports also suggest that these helicopters would be placed on Indo-Pak border. Few days back Indian Cheetah helicopter, which was carrying an Indian Colonel, two Majors and a Junior Commissioned Officer was forced landed after it violated Pakistan’s airspace in the Kargil sector. Later they were allowed to fly back as a goodwill gesture. Indian Air Force has accelerated its activities against Pakistan and deployed two squadrons of Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft at the Jodhpur Air Base, close to Pakistan’s Sindh province. An additional squadron has been earmarked for Halwara Air Base in Punjab. Test flights of Su-30MKI aircraft are also being operated from the Leh Air Base. India has recently placed order for additional Russian Sukhois combat jets to bring the number of these jets to 272. India acquired six C-130J Super Hercules special operations aircraft from US’ Lockheed Martin this year and has placed order for additional six C-130J aircraft. Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was asked whether US troops could launch an attack on Pakistan before withdrawing from Afghanistan. His reply was simple “Any such attack by US forces from across the Afghan border would prove 10 times harder than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Pakistan is monitoring the situation. To counter Indian threat Pakistan has alerted its forces. Pakistan has already deployed nuclear-armed ballistic missiles on its borders. The missiles would provide a deterrent to the use of nuclear weapons by either Pakistan or any other country. No doubt, Pakistan’s strategic nuclear forces have acquired the desired edge. It is also prepared for nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is visiting various garrisons to witness the functioning of Command and Control System (CCS). War is no solution to bring peace but when it is imposed, it is the only option.