abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has
resorted to every threat, commencing from launching jihad and ending with the
possibility of a nuclear war in South Asia, seeking to force the global
community to pressure India. The world ignored his warmongering, especially his
nuclear threats, despite him repeating it on multiple occasions every day
during his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly session.
these are not words which would flow from a statesman, as the Indian envoy to
the UN stated in her reply to Imran’s speech, “Prime Minister Khan’s threat of
unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinkmanship not statesmanship.”
For a world seeking peace and development, threat of a nuclear war is the last
thing they desire to hear. This was evident when many global leaders sought to
push a meeting between the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, and President
Donald Trump, to ease the Iranian crisis.
believed Imran was speaking the language of his army chief and of associated
Jihadists as also out of desperation, with the changed structure of J and K
having impacted their plans. It was an indicator that Pakistan planned to step
up terrorism in J and K and was fearful of an Indian riposte in case a terror
strike led to large casualties. His intentions were understood by the US and
stated by its Assistant Secretary of defence for Indo-Pacific security affairs,
Randall Shriver, in an address in Washington, last week.
government had repeatedly stated that war is not an option but could be thrust
upon Pakistan. Evidently, Imran had neither been briefed on the escalation
matrix in international relations nor on the basic concept of war and its
nuclear fallout. Hence, he displayed ignorance, immaturity and poor knowledge.
Which global leader would threaten the world with a nuclear war?
could be more childish than Imran’s words at the UN: “If a conventional war
starts, anything could happen. But supposing a country seven times smaller than
its neighbour is faced with a choice: either you surrender, or you fight for
your freedom till death. We will fight and when a nuclear-armed country fights
to the end it will have consequences far beyond the borders, it will have
consequences for the world.”
which prove him wrong were not missed by the world. India is a mature nation,
aware of realities, global complexities and international groupings. It is
aware that the atmosphere of 1971 no longer exists. The world would never
permit the splitting of a nation, and that too a nuclear power, as it did at that
period. India too would desire a stable Pakistan. The army chief, General Bipin
Rawat, had in a lecture in Maldives, last week, stated, “We have no
extraterritorial ambitions and no desire to transplant our ideology on others.”
Pak-China nexus would also never permit a war to extend till such a stage, even
if India develops the conventional capability to do so. Simultaneously, there
is no doubt that India would never stay silent as it had done for decades and
depend on the world to pull Pakistan back from its policy of employing terror
groups as an instrument of state policy. It is aware it would have to defend
itself. It would act to force costs on Pakistan, which would intend to dent the
image of its deep state and its standing within the nation.
understands that the only way to make Pakistan change its outlook is to break
the power and hold of its army on the nation leading to the ushering in of a
genuine democracy. The deep state did manage to hide its losses in the surgical
strike in 2016 and Balakote this year. It may not be able to do so again. An
Indian counter-strike may enhance tensions and lead to a conflict, which may
not directly be in the conventional sense but include employment of multiple
force structures, beyond just conventional forces.
neither be aimed at compelling Pakistan to surrender nor be intended to
breaking it up into smaller states. The division of Pakistan is being done
internally by the highhandedness of its army alone and requires no support from
outside. Hence, the Indian response would be multifarious and aimed at
conveying that employment of terrorism is unacceptable. It is unlikely to
create conditions for even threatening a nuclear war. Nuclear weapons are
internationally monitored by satellite and other clandestine means by global
powers. They cannot be activated and employed the way Imran imagines.
should have attempted to understand the reasons behind possession of nuclear
weapons of other nations, before making ignorant threats. North Korea’s holding
of nuclear weapons is to ensure the survival of the state against any US-South
Korea action against it to change the present structure. It was compelled to
develop them when the concept of forced democracy was sweeping the globe to
challenge USSR and Chinese models of communism. Israel is also suspected of
holding nuclear weapons, though it has neither tested, accepted nor rejected
the reason for holding nuclear weapons is for survival of the state, not for an
offensive against its adversaries. Nuclear weapons are instruments of war
prevention, not war mongering. They would only be considered for employment at
a final stage after requisite warning. This could only be when the very
structure of the state is under threat. They are not weapons which are flaunted
before the world as Imran has done.
may be playing to his home gallery, his lack of knowledge, awareness and
ability to grasp statesmanship came clearly to the fore. In the end, the main
aspects which Imran attempted to raise at the UNGA were also ignored. His
concerns on Kashmir, vulnerability of his state and its dire economic mess were
glossed over because of his threats. The result was that Imran suffered loss of
face and Pakistan lowered its own international standing.
Kakar is a retired Major-General of the Indian Army
Headline: Why the world spurned Imran