With the revocation of Article 370, India has united Kashmir with India. Now, all talk of disputes and line of control etc is gone. And, if we look at things, many steps were leading upto this point.
As Pakistan is left with no real cards to play with, it has announced the path of self-destruction.
The main question that we need to ponder on is – was Article 370 the destination of Modi policy?
What if the real game starts from this point on?!
As was the case with the situation after the 1998 Nuclear blasts by India, Pakistan was pushed by its own narrative and announcements into a corner where it had no alternative but to do its own nuke blasts. Now, India’s over-riding objective was to bring out the nuclear proliferation going on in and by Pakistan rampantly. And, Pakistan played into that game. From them on, the “Nuclear bazaar” of AQ Khan was brought out and Khan arrested and humiliated across the world. And things changed.
This is a similar situation.
People in Pakistan – including their PM – have been asking the question about what to do next. And, what they actually end up doing is nothing short of preparation for war. Diplomatic relations are taken off only when you are preparing for a full fledged war.
As the US prepares to leave Afghanistan and negotiates with Pakistan and Taliban to keep peace, Pakistan wants to extract its pound of flesh. The way to do that would be to escalate tensions so much on the Indian side that any talk of helping on the Afghan side will be met with an invoice for money from the US.
And, Pakistan may even calculate – foolishly albeit, like 1965 and Kargil – that a small skirmish can achieve that. Little realizing that there is no such thing as a “small skirmish” in Modi’s dictionary. You try to do mischief and he may go the whole hog!
That is why a Spaniard analyst sitting in Vietnam who focuses on geostrategy and military balance of power between China and its opponents, has shared an interesting thread on Twitter. His views make some sense to us at Drishtikone.
He starts off by stating what is obvious by now – that Pakistan is preparing for a massive insurgency, aka Terrorist operation. This operation “on steroids” will be backed by military. Or in other words – Kargil 2.0
And, apart from sending back the Indian Ambassador and not sending its own ambassador, Pakistan has also suspended the Samjhauta Express. IN his address to the Joint session in Pakistan’s Parliament, the Prime Minister has already warned that a full-scale war can happen. That would be catastrophic in many ways. And this line is also being repeated by the Chief of Pakistan Army General Bajwa.
The head of Pakistan’s army, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, has also vowed his forces will “go to any extent” to support the people of Kashmir.
“The Pakistan army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end,” he said. (source)
So, we are looking at a situation where Pakistan is itching for a Kargil 2.0 or 1965-2.0
As we noted, this can become a full scale war very soon, if Pakistan keeps acting idiotically. But what is interesting is that at this time, the image of Pakistani establishment and the nation as a whole is quite bad. It is known in the world as to what Pakistan really offers to the global community – Terrorism – and everyone has had enough of it.
Given that scenario, India could turn a “skirmish” into an action that could end up in taking back Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. And unlike Indira Gandhi or Lal Bahadur Shastri, Narendra Modi will not be in a mood to compromise or negotiate on that once India takes back what is its own.
As CPEC route is just 80 km from the erstwhile LoC, India would love to disrupt that road and make it completely ineffective. That would certainly bring China into the conflict. Which is what the Pakistanis are probably hoping on happening.
In the events that India does this takeover – India could get a direct route to Afghanistan from India and thus become a player in what is happening in Afghanistan. This will also present the US with an alternative route to Afghanistan. Something that the Pakistanis have been milking and using as leverage all the time. This, in itself, could make US side with India. For, US is quite fed up with Pakistan. And, for India, this would be an opportunity to ensure that Taliban does not get an upper hand.
We may be looking at Indian Army playing a role in beating back Taliban.
In the current situation, however, if Taliban comes in Afghanistan, and do the takeover, they will divert their fighters to India which will hit India even more. That is why India will be more than willing to take the battle to Taliban’s home and beat it there!
This is not a simple war game that is happening. With the revocation of Article 370, India is looking at major geostrategic shifts! Shifts that will change the future for many thousands of years. And its genesis lies in the removal of Article 370. Contrary to many who believe that this bill and action was an end to itself, the fact is that this could be the beginning of a larger game. And this is where the mettle of Doval and Modi will come into play.
Indian PM Narendra Modi is indicating that there is no need to be triumphant at this moment. For, we are looking at a “long road” ahead. Which in itself is an indication that we are looking at a much larger game.
The real issue is that Pakistan will play into the diplomatic and perception game of India and actually come off as an aggressor. Something that India wants to show. That will help India take over PoK as a result without much reaction from the world.
This is the ideal scenario for India. A scenario where Pakistan acts belligerent and attacks India. So, India can do what is needed on the PoK front.
Finally, even if nothing comes out of India’s campaign against Pakistan after the massive terrorist insurgency backed by Pakistani military – India could make Pakistan pay heavily in terms of financial and economic cost. That would be catastrophic for Pakistan which is at the brink of disaster anyway!
The complete dismemberment of Pakistan will be close behind thereafter.
That would be a complete Checkmate – शह और मात.