#Indo-Pak: Is India actually ready for the war with Pakistan?
NP NEWS 24 ONLINE: TANUSHREE PODDAR: The sensitive relation between India-Pakistan is a known fact. The Pulwama chapter is yet another bullet hit the India-Pakistan relation hard, in fact, harder.
We all know, Pakistan is not an easy country to deal with. With a civilian government elected on democratic principles, Pakistan’s established army has brought stability ever since democracy.
Pakistan, for a long time has been accused by its neighbors, India and Afghanistan, and western nations like the United States, the United Kingdom of its involvement in terrorist activities in the region and beyond. Pakistan’s tribal region along its border with Afghanistan has been claimed to be a “haven for terrorists”
It may sound fascinating for the Indians if India crosses borders and attack terrorist groups or demand a war, But, is it that easy? First things first, this would violate the international laws and secondly India will have to be ready for a war with Pakistan.
Here comes the million-dollar question, Is India ready for the war?
According to International Institute of Strategic Studies suggest that in 2018, India allocates four trillion, that is 5800 crores, or 2.1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), to support its 14 lakhs active troops. Whereas, Pakistan spent 1.26 trillion, that is 1100 crores, about 3.6 percent of its GDP, on its 653,800 troops. Pakistan also received 10 crores in foreign military assistance.
India has a strong army of 12 lakhs personnel, supported by more than 3,565 battle tanks, 3,100 infantry fighting vehicles, 336 armored personnel carriers and 9,719 pieces of artillery. On the other hand, Pakistan’s army is smaller, with 560,000 troops backed by 2,496 tanks, 1,605 armored personnel carriers, and 4,472 artillery guns, including 375 self-propelled howitzers.
The report strongly believes, despite its larger army, the capability of India’s “conventional forces is limited by inadequate logistics, maintenance and shortages of ammunition and spare parts”
Now, the war is all about nuclear power. According to Centre for Strategic and International Studies reported that, both nations have airborne missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. India has nine types of operational missiles, including the Agni-3 with a range of 3,000 km (1,864 miles) to 5,000 km (3,106 miles). Whereby, Pakistan’s missile program, built with Chinese assistance, includes mobile short- and medium-range weapons that can reach any part of India.
With 127,200 personnel and 814 combat aircraft, India’s air force is substantially larger, but there are concerns about its fighter jet fleet. India’s defense plans require 42 squadrons of jets, about 750 aircraft, to defend against a two-pronged attack from China and Pakistan. With older Russian jets like the MiG-21, first used in the 1960s, retiring soon, India could have 22 squadrons by 2032. Pakistan has 425 combat aircraft, including the Chinese-origin F-7PG and American F-16 Fighting Falcon jets. It also has seven airborne early warning and control aircraft.
It is believed that Pakistani air force is modernizing its inventory while improving its precision-strike and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.
India’s navy consists of one aircraft carrier, 16 submarines, 14 destroyers, 13 frigates, 106 patrol and coastal combat vessels, and 75 combat capable aircraft. It has 67,700 personnel, including marines and naval aviation staff.
With significantly smaller coastline, Pakistan, has 9 frigates, 8 submarines, 17 patrol and coastal vessels, and 8 combat capable aircraft.
However, having a war is tricky and cannot be done in a hurry and certainly not while Indian blood is boiling. This time the strike has not only to be surgical but it has to be keyhole operation, specific, subtle and effective.