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Home / World / The crisis could subside, but the nuclear threat still hangs over India and Pakistan

The crisis could subside, but the nuclear threat still hangs over India and Pakistan



After their separation in 1947, relations between India and Pakistan were in an almost constant state of excitement. Both sides have fought several major wars – most recently in 1999 – with thousands of casualties and numerous battles across the control line in the disputed Kashmir region.

Since this last clash, both countries have been pressing for expansion and improving their military capabilities.

With its military buildup over these decades, India now surpasses Pakistan in most numerical measurements – fighter jets, troops, tanks, and helicopters.

India surpasses Pakistan in other measures, especially in the military budget, with $ 64 billion According to the International Peace Research Institute in Stockholm (SIPRI) to 1

1 billion US dollars.

But as is often the case, numbers do not tell the whole story.

The China Question

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, India has about 3 million military personnel compared to less than one million in Pakistan, but New Delhi can not focus on its western neighbors.

One piece focuses on northeastern India and its border with China.

"India's strategic problem brings its strength to bear, traditionally it had to divide its forces and leave some in the East to discourage Chinese adventurism." Peter Layton, a former officer of the Australian Air Force and now a fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute.

In 1962, India and China witnessed a bloody border war and clashes that sporadically erupted into the Doklam area in 2017.
  Chinese troops march during a military parade on Pakistan Day on March 23, 2017 in Islamabad.

And China is able to separate Indian attentions through a close military relationship with Pakistan.

"There is a convergence with China's and Pakistan's strategic thinking that has been going on for five decades," said Nishank Motwani. A guest lecturer at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy with expertise in India and Pakistan.

China plays a different role than Pakistan's largest arms supplier – with 40% of Beijing's military exports to Islamabad December discussion of Pakistan at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

India's Relations with the West

While Pakistan has established a close relationship with China, India has implemented its own rapid military modernization program, with a defense budget six times that of Pakistan. [19659002] "India has more purchasing power and is investing in platforms that Pakistan can not afford," said Motwani.

Recent acquisitions include Israeli-era Air Force Early Warning and Control aircraft and US Motwani Artillery

deployed along the Kashmiri line as a replacement for the Swedish guns of the 1980s However, new military technology is often hampered by strict export controls by key suppliers such as the US and the UK.

Other experts say India is also injured by a poor indigenous military industrial station.

"India does not have an ecosystem of industry, so they have no design experience, they may have intelligent engineers, but that does not mean they can design a fighter jet," said Manoj Joshi, a Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

Pakistan is now producing its own combat aircraft, the China-designed JF-17.

  A Pakistan JF-17 performs at a 2015 Paris Airshow.

According to some reports, it was one of those jets who shot down an Indian Air Force fighter Wednesday that led to the capture of an Indian pilot by Pakistan.

This Indian jet was a MiG-21. A Soviet-designed aircraft has been in service since the 1960s, and the Indian Air Force still says that it "makes up the backbone" of their fleet with about 200 in stock.

But Motwani says Indian pilots call the old jet "the flying coffin" for the accidents in which it was involved.

  An Indian Air Force MIG-21 performs at an airshow in February 2019.

In order to carry out attacks, India has the diversity and number of aircraft – fighters, ground attack, tankers and AWACs – that Pakistan just can not keep up.

"Large raids would be hard to stop, though some losses would be expected," Layton said.

While the air advantage of India seems to be on its way, large-scale land actions are being conducted around the world. The border would be more difficult for India.

"Pakistan has a channel system along the international border to make it harder for Indian formations to move to Pakistan," said Motwani. It is an old school war, not far from the trenches of the First World War.

At sea, the advantage is clearly on the Indian side.

Pakistan, whose coastline is much smaller, has brought the lion's share Motwani

New Delhi has an aircraft carrier and nuclear submarines in its fleet, he said, assets that Pakistan can not approach.

The Nuclear Threat

] In an area where the Indians and Pakistan are equally strong, the area is the biggest concern as hostilities between the two nuclear weapons increase.

The figures of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute last year show Pakistan with 140 to 150 nuclear warheads and India with 130 to 140.

Layton fears that if the situation for Pakistan becomes difficult – something far from that is what we see at the moment – they could be deployed before the commanders in Islamabad could stop them. [19659002] "Pakistan has a st" The strategy to delegate the approval of the release of nuclear releases to lower-level tactical units, "he said." There is a real danger of 'loose nuclear weapons', ie. H. Subordinate belligerents who use tactical nuclear weapons if they see fit. "

Motwani said Pakistan wants India to know that nuclear threats are always there." Back to the beginning of current hostilities as one Pakistani terrorist group hit an Indian military convoy in Kashmir on February 14, killing 40 people.

"Pakistan can use terrorist groups, which is a military strategy that has been used for decades as a means of bridging the military gap with India," said Motwani.

And every time India considers retaliatory measures, the nuclear threat is there.

is carrying out terrorist attacks in India without impunity, "he said.

Swat Gupta of CNN contributed to this report.


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