By Ali Hassnain
Local and international news sources suggest Pakistan India (and Israel?) were close to an escalation in conflict, possible nuclear holocaust on the night of 27th February, mutually assured destruction. The extent of Israeli involvement is unclear at this point but has been widely reported by local and international media. Formerly my view was that Pakistan and India are at least three major escalations away from a nuclear war. But naturally I am not privy to official sources and it was my educated guess. I grossly underestimated psychopathic tendencies of Indian Prime Minister. Pakistani willingness to peace should never have been mistaken for weakness, not before the standoff and not now. Peace is the only way for the region.
After Pakistani response via air strikes in Indian Occupied Kashmir I calculated that even in the worst case scenario it would take at least three major escalations to a nuclear war:
- Modi in his frustration orders a missiles strike or a naval attack of some kind and Pakistan retaliates by sinking their air craft carrier or air strikes on military targets in Kashmir.
- Limited war breaks out in Kashmir which leads to Indian independent battle units trying to break through Pakistani lines.
- A desperate situation (God forbid) where Pakistan tries to avert Indian invasion by use of tactical nuclear devices (low yield bombs), India responds by nuclear weapons and Pakistan responds or strikes first.
Nuclear war sounded like a remote possibility, statistically borderline insignificant.
It turns out I was an optimist, latest media reports and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech suggests on the night of 27th Indians planned a missile attack of some sort on Pakistan, a situation which was later defused although Pakistan was ready for a response. Recent media reports implicate Israel in the events of that night. It turns out Modi and BiBi are out of their minds. A very high profile and responsible former diplomat Agha Zafar Hilaly has claimed that one of the plots we have along with Abhinandan (Indian POW) is an Israeli which has not been declared. However it is unconfirmed.
Well, all said and done, bringing missiles into the equation when both sides were on a hair trigger alert was a whole new level of epic stupidity that could have caused some 2-5 billion people their lives (directly and indirectly). Half the ozone layer would have been depleted. Too many possibilities and questions exist, was the missile/missiles India planned to launch conventional? Media mentions 9 targets India had chosen, and Pakistani response would have been 27 targets including probably Israeli targets. US has recently installed THAAD missile defence system in Israel on the pretext of military exercises (days after the night of 27th). THAAD in my opinion would not be able to intercept a modern Ballistic missile.
Standoff could have been a disaster of unimaginable magnitude. Pakistani government moved with wisdom and responsibility.
Let’s take a step back and analyse what happened. Someone, deep in Indian Occupied Kashmir, part of Kashmiri resistance developed an IED, put explosives (250kg) in his car and hit an Indian paramilitary convoy which he saw as occupation forces and killed some 40 soldiers. India blamed it on Pakistan within half an hour of attack.
Pakistan responded patiently, demanding proof, offering co-operation in investigation if they had proof any non-state actor from Pakistani side (as India claimed). Government of Pakistan even condemned it. However Pakistan clearly warned India that any military action by India would immediately irk a response by Pakistan. Prime Minister of Pakistan himself delivered a televised message to India to act sensibly, and that Pakistan would not just consider
responding, Pakistan would respond. It is widely believed in Pakistan that Pulwama attack was a false flag operation by Modi government itself, however it cannot be confirmed nor rubbished at this point. There are atrocities in Kashmir by India and the local population sometimes reciprocates violence by the Indian state.
In my view with a man like Modi peace only has to be made from the position of power. As Churchill once said, “You cannot negotiate with the tiger when your head is in its jaw”. Modi had a false sense of superiority and psychopathic tendencies. His false sense of superiority has been smashed but his psychopathic tendencies remains. It is up to Indian voters to phase out extremists in polls.
On the morning (3 am) of 26th February 2019 after weeks of brinkmanship and cat and mouse military manoeuvres Indian Air Force started to move towards Pakistan on three sectors; Lahore, Okara-Bahawalpur side and Muzaffrabad sector. PAF was alert and aircrafts were dispatched to counter any eventuality. They intercepted Indians using indigenous fighter JF 17. Once intercepted they threw their payload (bombs, fuels tanks etc.) and escaped quickly. They were in Pakistani air space for less than 3 minutes.
At day time (27th February 2019) Pakistanis realised that Indian payload had hit unpopulated areas, slightly injured a civilian, and his house, killed a crow (as in the bird) and destroyed 6-8 trees. However India had crossed LOC and international border and attacked Pakistani area of KPK by air, first time since 1971. It was a blatant act of aggression. Indian government bragged about some non-existent terror camps. Everyone was well aware on Pakistani side that Indian prime minister faced an impending corruption probe and election defeat. However India had crossed a red line. All the Pakistanis knew Pakistan would respond. Tyrant had to be stopped. Had Hitler been stopped at Munich, would the history of the world have been different? A highly debated argument. However, Pakistan decided to stop this Hitler (Modi) at Munich. Modi has committed a gross miscalculation. How Indian establishment went with it, is quite an interesting case study.
Pakistan declared it would respond befittingly, and declared India should now wait for Pakistani surprise. However Pakistan decided to go a step less than calling it an act of war. Pakistan responded by attacking non-military Indian targets with no civilian, military casualty or collateral damage of any kind on 4 or 5 targets at daytime. Indians sent their aircrafts in response, two of which were shot down. One is Mig 21, which fell in Azad Kashmir and the other one is said to be Su 30 (which fell on the Indian side). One Indian was taken POW and allegedly an Israeli pilot as well which has not been confirmed by the government. It was a calculated response which left a door open for de-escalation as Pakistan was acting in self defence.
So that happened. Interestingly a while back I wrote about Indian options to counter Kashmiri resistance. I clearly hypothesised that any attempt of aerial strike by India is likely to be countered near the border or at Indian side.
The point to ponder is that Israeli involvement and the news reports that Pakistan would have responded, probably to Israel as well. Israeli PM is facing a corruption probe, Indian PM is facing an impending election defeat. We are no one’s target practice. Both the people have psychopathic tendencies, are corrupt and have a deep rooted thirst for human blood.
What we have to think about is, is Pakistan the only responsible state in the region? Where was UN and UNSC after India violated Pakistani borders and carried out an air strike? The Americans only used diplomatic efforts to defuse the situation after it came down to missiles and possible nuclear war.
US is planning to withdraw from Afghanistan and Pakistan is helping them negotiate a peace deal in Afghanistan. That was perhaps the last ditch Indian attempt to foil the peace deal in Afghanistan so they could continue to use their terrorist proxies from there.
So … what is the conclusion? This very crisis has probably been averted for now. Unless Kashmir issue is resolved we can very well expect another one in near future. Conclusion is that people like Modi and Netanyahu should be kept on a tight leash by their countries. As for Pakistan, it demonstrated deterrence and a will to viciously defend their freedom. As for India “Khaya piya such nai, glass Tora bara anay”(futile effort, backfired, no gains whatsoever).
Is it not time to solve the Kashmir dispute as per the wishes of people of Kashmir and the resolution of Security Council no.39? Is the dispute worth risking the planet? Why do the people have to suffer? They have an inalienable right to freedom, and they want to be with Pakistan, so be it. Let them vote under UN and decide.
“O people! Do not wish to meet the enemy, and ask Allah for safety, but when you face the enemy, be patient, and remember that Paradise is under the shades of swords.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).