Can you share some of the important events of which you were an active part in your Military Service?
The first event was 1984 mobilization. Pakistan Army was in bad shape and would have come to certain grief if India had attacked. We were mobilized and concentrated at Qila Sobha Singh near Pasrur. Tanks were in bad shape and the nuclear deterrent was not there. Only assassination of Indira Gandhi averted the disaster that Pakistan was sure to face. The second event was 1987 mobilization in face of Brasstacks. Again the Pakistani military was in bad shape but disaster narrowly avoided because Indians had no long term strategic vision. The Indians lost three golden chances to strategically reduce Pakistan in size in 1971, 1984 and 1987.Now Indians will reap the harvest of destabilization, which would be difficult to foresee as well as handle.
What exactly do you mean by destabilization? When India avoided the chance to reduce Pakistan by size, then what exactly are you referring to by destabilization?
India lost chances to deal with the Pakistan factor in 1971,1984 and 1987.With the nuclear deterrent now fully active India cannot impose any settlement on Pakistan. The threat of destabilization and a possible war will now increase because of following factors:
- A new Afghan civil war.
- US China rivalry in Pakistani Baluchistan.
- India Pakistan tensions over water.
- Greater religious militancy in Pakistan.
- China is working on tightening a noose around India and Maoist rebels are a central part of this strategy.
All these above means that the threat of instability and war will greatly increase within next 5 to 10 years.
What is your opinion about three wars fought between India and Pakistan?
1948 war was a war of lost opportunities for both sides. Indian army was better led and performed better. 1965 war was a war of lost opportunities for both Indian and Pakistani militaries. Both proved that they were equally incompetent. Essentially Indians and Pakistanis could not handle offensive battles, which requires finesse and quality leadership. Both armies did well in defense, which is far simpler affair. In 1971 India lost the golden chance to strategically settle the India Pakistan issue. What Indira Gandhi should have done was to overrun West Punjab after fall of Dacca by shifting troops westwards and impose a long-term strategic settlement on Pakistan. She proved to be a midget as her secretary SS Gill rightly pointed out in the book The Dynasty.
Indian Army and Pakistani Army fought again in 1999 at Kargil? What is your opinion about the same? Initially Pakistan Govt. denied to accept the involvement of Pakistan Army and blamed the infiltration in India on Mujaheeds. But after 10 years they accepted the involvement of Pakistani Army and gave the dead a title of Shaheed- What is the effect on the psyche (psychology) of such political denial of the blood shed for the motherland (Pakistan) by her soldiers? How do other soldiers accept such politics?
Kargil has deeply affected Pakistani military although the matter was hushed up. Strategically Pakistan for eternity has lost the chance to exploit the previously weak Chor Batalik Sector. All Pakistani soldiers were volunteers. In future fewer will volunteer as all was in vain. Kargil was a debacle no doubt, but proves that a Pakistani General in future can again carry out a similar operation to advance his career.
It is possible that infiltration in Kashmir recommences because there is an ongoing debate in Pakistani military about dealing with militancy by diverting them in Kashmir.
The Bombay attack again proves that such operations can be launched again and a big country like India destabilized at a small cost? While Bombay was not repeated India still has no answer to Bombay and Indian reaction over Bombay was mild. This would definitely increase chances of similar attacks.
My take is that both US and China want Pakistan and India to fight. India and Pakistan’s survival lies in peace. However peace may not be easy as the historical forces are dead set against peace.
Why is Pakistan Army still unable to curb the terrorism on the bordering regions of Afghan and Pakistan?
Pakistan army has failed to curb terrorism as it is using the same forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere, which it is using to curb terrorism in Pakistan. A dangerous strategic fault has been created in Pakistan after 9/11 and the Muslim masses now know that the Muslim elite misused religion in 1947 to gain petty class ends. Pakistani military will deteriorate and will not be able to control terrorism. The end would be Yugoslavia at best and Somalia at worst.
Can you highlight the dangerous strategic fault in Pakistan after 9/11 which you are referring to?
The claims of Pakistani state about Jihad etc were shattered and a serious internal divide introduced. For first time in history Pashtun tribes as a whole attacked Pakistani military while Islamists attacked Pakistani military and specially ISI. While previously Pakistan experienced insurgencies on ethnic basis the present insurgency is ideological. The divide is growing by leaps and bounds and would be difficult to contain. Basically a confusion of principle has been introduced and the misuse of Islam as a slogan by Muslim higher classes seriously fractured.