LOC Breach: Worth A War?

The independent and deviant Pakistani army may be infatuated with the Indian military to cause them to time and again spoil for a battle

Udit Mehta January 21, 2022

There is an unquestionable and rather impolite annihilation waiting for Pakistan, “purportedly.” Of course like any right wing rant – the statement is susceptible to much speculation.

Four wars, four defeats and some serious drubbing by the Indian military - the second largest armed force (in troop numbers), should have left a neighbouring country that till a few decades ago was no more than four states worth of territory within India, scarred beyond the ability of sacrifice.

However, there is an entropy endemic to Pakistan with the mullahs, militants and military firing the shots to dispel with disdain politicians who fail to call the shots, conflict is imminent. Especially so since its geo-political infatuation with India seems as unending as it is ungainly.

The events of January 8, when two Indian soldiers were killed, their bodies mutilated under the cover of heavy fog, are nothing but an iteration of this very infatuation.

In a country where tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and dozens continue to be killed daily thanks to a home-grown insurgency fuelled by more killing of civilians in drone attacks launched by the United States, which are targeted at alleged insurgents, the perpetual failure of its political masters in bringing both to a halt is a testimony of their non-relevance.

What then would it be worth taking on a state, where non-state factors are supremely more significant in deciding it’s political course.

The nuclear argument for one isn’t really a fully disarming case for not engaging in a full-fledged armed offensive against Pakistan. The relevance of nuclear weapons is rather severely neutralised with the acknowledged presence of nukes on the both sides of the border. This factor alone reduces them to no more than mutual deterrents.

The sheer scale of India’s military prowess mated to political stability rules out parity in an India-Pakistan conflict. History in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999 has been a rather vociferous witness and indeed fuels food for thought for the future.

But what really would be the point of a war? A war irrespective of the winner entails casualties on all parties involved. The economic implications for India and its much touted superpower ambitions are likely to suffer a severe setback with investments taking a back seat for the duration of any military conflict.

Troop casualties, increased defence expenditures and sanctions, et al make more of a case for the benching of the right-winger. On the other hand, India’s diplomatic rebuttals have barely moved beyond rhetoric, much like how most of diplomacy works.

One wonders if any one in India would really stop listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s or Abida Praveen’s renditions of poetry that preached peace or if Pakistani’s would have a reduced appetite for pirated copies of Bollywood films in wake of the escalating conflict. Wonder what a majority of the millions on either side of the divide did wrong to go through emotional trauma without the healing ability of music and movies. Wouldn’t then not granting artists visa’s seem pseudo and stupid.

A moratorium on sporting ties is another similar syndrome best avoided. It exudes a bureaucratic lack of ability to act in a way that would in real terms make an impact.

The “cultural exchange ban” brand of diplomacy is dichotomous and defeatist at best. Cultural exchanges are as non-relevant to promoting peace as a ban on them is during times of strain. With particular relevance to the geo-politics of the Indian sub-continent, cultural affinity remains binding and omnipresent and is completely curtail-defiant.

What then would be the options to answer to an increasingly impatient population seeking retribution of a predictably weak neighbour that has time and again indulged in acts rebellious of its relevance.

War really does remain the only answer to the unquestionable ethical digression made by Pakistani authorities, however, more importantly does war even remain relevant in the modern-day geo-political scenario. While, “Mendhar, January 8” from the Indian perspective is certainly worth a war, is war really worth itself.

Battles though - the smaller revenge oriented operational mobility of military - remain relevant at least to build resonance along the Line of Control (LOC).