ISLAMABAD: Former Strategic Plans Division (SPD) head Lt Gen (r) Mazhar Jamil said that India’s expansionist and revisionist mindset is guiding its force posture development that makes war look more likely.
He was speaking at a seminar on “Indian Force Posture Development” organised by Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), an Islamabad based think tank on Tuesday. The seminar coincided with the fifth anniversary of the founding of the think tank.
The seminar 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 centred. 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 that aims 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 maximisation, including the force posture developments. Our neighbor fancies itself as a regional hegemon, with designs of grandeur,” Gen 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 finding space for war,” he said, adding that India was developing destabilising doctrines and technologies that would make war more imminent.
Comparing the Indian strategic thinking with that of Pakistan, the former SPD chief said that Pakistan’s strategic culture, in contrast, “has always been characterized by restrained responses, pursuit of conflict resolution and closing the space for war”. He said that Pakistan’s force posture development was in response to the destabilising developments in the neighbourhood. But, he at the same time underscored that Pakistan would not enter an arms race.
Gen 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”.
SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said that Indian National Security Strategy’s (NSS) objective is to maintain an overwhelming conventional and nuclear weapons capability by developing strategic and conventional offensive capabilities for full spectrum of military conflicts.
He said that the main instruments of India’s force posture are 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.