India’s hybrid warfare against Pakistan leading to the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

India’s hybrid warfare against Pakistan

April 23, 2021

“The ultimate victory in war is the one gained without bloodshed,” said Sun Tzu centuries ago. But it is as relevant today as it was back then, as the world has seen the replacement of conventional warfare with grey or hybrid warfare, where the victory is affixed in the long term, without direct carnage. In this warfare the eventual triumph is not achieved using a prompt conquest, but the idea revolves around decapitating the nemesis state by indirect fluid means. It is a postmodern military strategy, and strategies are the methods of acquiring utmost potential over an adversary, in any challenging period of time or space.

Some basic facets of hybrid warfare that distinguish it from regular conventional warfare are that the foe is not scissile, but complex to discrete it. It is a mix of traditional and nontraditional approaches, and most importantly cyberspace is involved, which causes further complications.

In South Asia, India wanted to be a hegemonic nation since her independence. Ironically, she detonated a nuclear weapon in 1974 terming it as a peaceful nuclear test, codenamed Smiling Buddha. To counter this threat at its western border, and after the secession of the eastern wing in 1971, Pakistan felt the urge to attain nuclear capability, so that a credible nuclear deterrence could be established.

Ultimately, when both the states attained nuclear capability, the concept of total war was diminished, and a new idea of averting war emerged to circumvent Mutual Assured Destruction. Here the strategy of hybrid warfare gained momentum in Indian strategic thinking.

There are three main objectives of India’s hybrid warfare strategy against Pakistan:  Damage /subvert, Dispirit, Deteriorate

To procure these 3Ds India has executed hybrid warfare at different fronts:

Proxy/ Delegate warfare: Under this kind of warfare come the non-state actors that cause terrorist activities in the rival state, as such groups are aided and braced by India to undertake radicalized activities in Pakistan. Certain groups involved in such activities can be categorized as: Insurgent/revolutionary groups that attempt to alter the ideological basis of state, like the Hizb-Ut-Tahrir’s attempt to collapse ideological prop of state by a military coup in 2015-16.

Fomenter/instigators: these pressure groups use violence to attain their objectives, for example the BLA and BRA which are funded by India, as disclosed by Kalbushan Jhadav.

Conservative/rightist groups: these extremist groups are created to oppose the state, such as the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan), got allied with India to conduct terrorist activities in Pakistani territory.

Dissident/sectarians: such groups are created to segregate the nemesis nation, as the Mukti Bahini’s waged civil war in East Pakistan supported by India, as was confirmed by PM Narendra Modi in Bangladesh back in 2015.

Hybrid warfare undertaken by India against Pakistan has multiple effects and has largely affected the economic, social, psychological, and security conditions. Some of those are, the civil-military gap, social unrest, cultural manipulations, defamation of Pakistan globally, segregating activities, information terrorism by espionage, economic unrest, and many more. Pakistan needs an immediate counter strategy to counter India’s hybrid warfare strategy. The policy or doctrine needs to be very comprehensive to cover the entire spectrum of this waged warfare.

Mercenaries/ hirelings: such masses are hired to create chaos in the adversary state, by harming a state’s repute on the global map, defamation, and devouring the public’s trust of its leadership by carrying out a set propaganda, such as the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement.

Information warfare: In this peculiar facet of hybrid warfare, false information and propagandas are circulated among masses, which consequently give rise to wrong perceptions in them. Media and actors are important tools of this warfare, as words can manipulate, alter and even ignite the perceptions. Information is used as a weapon in ways like espionage and propaganda and so on. This warfare is not confined to the military only, but is deeply penetrated in the lives of masses, institutions, politics and most dreadfully its use is casual for terrorists. An example of this can be seen in the form of billboards, and ads published back in 2017 in the USA with the writing “Free Balochistan” on them. In that happening, Information technology was used by the Indian government in such areas to defame Pakistan worldwide.

Cyberwarfare: Cyberspace is an emerging threat to the national security of Pakistan. Information circulation under high encryptions is no more an arduous task. This very characteristic is widely used by India to develop predatory shots against Pakistan. A recent example can be seen in the form of a cloaked cyber operation, conducted by India after the Pulwama crisis escalation, in which security institutions and mercantile assets of Pakistan were targetted. Pakistan’s Foreign Office was targeted and websites were brought down by hacking. Cyberwarfare may include, sabotage, cyberintelligence, cyber-weaponry and espionage techniques as its tools.

Economic warfare: This type of warfare is used to damage the economy, which is the backbone of the adversary state, by pushing it down to its knees, and hence compelling it to act accordingly. Pakistan is a limpid victim of economic warfare, as India is investing much to keep Pakistan’s economy inert and immobile. Energy crisis, Hydro-warfare, and weak financial institutions are some basic elements of this warfare.

Psychological warfare: It’s a famous saying that, “If you are frightened of me, you will pay attention to me”. India is using this technique to psychologicaly hit the people of Pakistan. Both states are nuclear powers, there is no real chance of full-scale war, but by continuous military developments and modifications in the form of the “Cold start doctrine”, and now “New Land Warfare doctrine”, India is trying to impose an assertive image over Pakistan.

Political warfare: In this aspect of hybrid warfare, political means are utilized in a legal lawfare to lean down the enemy in global grounds. In 2019, the Finance Minister of Pakistan. requested the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to eliminate India from the Asia-Pacific joint group, because India intended to blacklist Pakistan for its own internal political goals. India’s political hybrid warfare further includes, political lobbying, global trade containment, and blockades against Pakistan.

Hybrid warfare undertaken by India against Pakistan has multiple effects and has largely affected the economic, social, psychological, and security conditions. Some of those are, the civil-military gap, social unrest, cultural manipulations, defamation of Pakistan globally, segregating activities, information terrorism by espionage, economic unrest, and many more. Pakistan needs an immediate counter strategy to counter India’s hybrid warfare strategy. The policy or doctrine needs to be very comprehensive to cover the entire spectrum of this waged warfare.

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