ISLAMABAD, Apr 17 (APP):Former director general of Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Lt Gen (retd) Mazhar Jamil Tuesday said India’s expansionist and revisionist mindset was guiding its force posture development that made war look more likely.
He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Indian Force Posture Development’ organized by Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), an Islamabad based think tank. The seminar coincided with the fifth anniversary of the founding of the think tank.
The seminar was aimed at providing strategic insight into the emerging trends in Indian force posture, shift in India’s nuclear doctrine and its growing nuclear and missile capabilities. SVI believes that changes in Indian force posture will affect Pakistan, whose threat perception is already India centric. Moreover, the think tank considers that change in Indian nuclear doctrine is alarming as it seeks strategic dominance.
India is pursuing long-term conventional and strategic nuclear force modernization, including the introduction of high-end technologies and advanced systems. India’s conventional force posture has also undergone a significant change moving from Sundarji Doctrine to the dangerous Cold Start Doctrine (CSD), which is a pro-active and aggressive strategy aiming to engage Pakistan in a limited war under nuclear overhang.
“The Indian strategic thought has, for centuries, been focused on an expansionist agenda, which to this day is the muse for its power maximization, including the force posture developments. Our neighbour fancies itself as a regional hegemony, with designs of grandeur,” Lt Gen (Retd) Jamil said.
“This notion has become so ingrained in their revisionist thinking that all their developments – be these conventional or nuclear – are geared towards changing the status quo and find space for war,” he said, adding India was developing destabilizing doctrines and technologies that make war more imminent..
Comparing the Indian strategic thinking with that of Pakistan, the former SPD chief said Pakistan’s strategic culture, in contrast, “has always been characterized by restrained responses, pursuit of conflict resolution and closing the space for war.” Pakistan’s force posture development, he added, was in response to the destabilizing developments in the neighbourhood. But, he at the same time underscored that Pakistan would not enter an arms race.
Strategic restraint, he maintained, was more stabilizing than strategic competition. He was of the view that peace and stability in the region was possible if India agreed to mutual restraint and conflict resolution.
Lt Gen (Retd) Jamil recalled that Pakistan had proposed to India Strategic Restraint Regime with three interlocking elements of nuclear restraint, conventional arms balance and conflict resolution. However, he regretted that Pakistan’s “hand of friendship” always encountered India’s “aggressive strategic culture”.
He urged India to shun belligerence and war-mongering and resolve disputes peacefully and said Pakistan would meet India halfway in peace efforts.
SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema, on this occasion, said Indian National Security Strategy (NSS) objective was to maintain an overwhelming conventional and nuclear weapons capability by developing strategic and conventional offensive capabilities for full spectrum of military conflicts.
He said the main instruments of India’s force posture were deterrence, coercion and coercive diplomacy. The Joint Indian Armed forces Doctrine contemplates the use of military force aimed at destruction, disruption and constraining its adversaries in South Asia, with specific concentration on Pakistan, he added.
“Disruption and constraint also aim at sea denial; including blockade of adversary’s sea-routes. In low intensity operations, Indian Armed Forces Doctrine visualizes carrying-out surgical strikes,” he said.