Despite all sanctimonious talk (about not retaliating with fire-assaults against ‘brotherly’ Muslim Kashmiris inside J & K’s Kashmir Valley) and bombastic bluster (about possessing full-spectrum strategic deterrence), all signals from across India’s western borders clearly point toward Pakistan being irretrievably bogged down by strategic and operational fatigue. And all this is due to—according to several retired senior Pakistan Army (PA) officers—India’s waging of multi-dimensional ‘Hyperwar’ against Pakistan on the psychological, military, economic and diplomatic fronts.
In fact, so lopsided is the present-day field deployment of the PA (with an alarming 57% now engaged in active LIC operations as against the peacetime norm of 33.33%) that hardly 11.6% of the PA is now being allowed rest & recuperation, again against the norm of 33.33%. Simply put, the PA even in the foreseeable future will be unable to go on the offensive in any theatre along Pakistan’s eastern front against India since, as per the PA’s own sequential OP-PLAN, it will be required to consolidate its gains along the Durand Line after the waging of the eight LIC campaigns (between 2004 and 2015) throughout the FATA badlands, while at the same time begin undertaking internal counter-terrorism campaigns all over Pakistan, to be followed by the launching of counter-extremism campaigns.
Clearly, therefore, the PA is neither capable of, nor is it equipped and stockpiled for waging any kind of LIC against its Indian counterpart, leave alone mulling any form of escalation at both the conventional and sub-conventional levels. Hence all the talk within Pakistan about the PA not retaliating in equal measure against India along both the LoC and the WB. But most importantly, since India late last September finally broke out of years of paralytic indecision and inaction on Pakistan’s 29 year-old proxy war, the aggressive Indian posturing backed up by actions on the ground have together produced two decisive results:
1) It has finally called Pakistan’s nuclear bluff and signalled that India’s armed forces will no longer be restrained from mounting punitive conventional or sub-conventional ground campaigns inside hostile territory with limited objectives in mind.
2) Throughout both the WB and LoC, India has seized and consolidated her moral ascendency, meaning that while India is free to take unrestrained retributive covert or overt operations against the PA, the PA on the other hand cannot do so due to its severely lopsided ground deployment footprint along its western and eastern borders.
This consequently has severely demoralised the civilian population residing within PoK, especially in areas adjacent to the LoC stretching all the way from Bhimber right up to Kel. While the IA today can do a repeat of what it did in 1993 (when through artillery fire-assaults it closed down the 200 mile-long Muzaffarabad-Kel Highway), the PA can no longer do what it did in early 1999 (when it interdicted the Srinagar–Kargil–Leh Highway by infiltrating its infantry forces over a frontage of 180km to a depth of 10km from Drass to Turtuk) under OP Badr because the IA is today sitting atop all dominating heights along the LoC and can therefore conduct artillery fire-assaults from no less than five different locations in order to bring all traffic along the Muzaffarabad-Kel Highway to a complete standstill.
Adding to the troubles of the civilian populace of PoK, especially those residing close to the LoC, are the apathetic responses of both Islamabad and the so-called AJK Government, all of which is glaringly illustrated in the two following video-clips:
Headed For Financial Bankruptsy
The following three reports detail the extent of financial unsustainability of the country as it now exists:
The most glaring indictment, however, cam earlier from the United Nations Development Program in Pakistan’s outgoing country representative, Marc-André Franche, in the following interview:
The five main points of this interview were:
Pakistan's Progress on Development Isn’t Fast Enough
The Country’s Political Class Uses Its Power to Enrich Itself
The UNDP official said that the country’s elites needed to change their lives to help Pakistan. “You cannot have a political class in this country that uses its power to enrich itself, and to favour its friends and families. This fundamental flaw needs to be corrected if Pakistan is to transform into a modern, progressive developed country,” he is quoted as saying. He said that elites take advantage of cheap labour while partying in London, shopping in Dubai and investing in property abroad: “The elite needs to decide, do they want a country or not,” he is quoted as saying. Franche also had a word for the propertied classes: “I have visited some very large landowners, who have exploited the land for centuries, paid nearly zero money for the water, and how they almost sometimes hold people in bondage. And then they come to the United Nations or other agencies and ask us to invest in water, sanitation, and education for the people in their district. I find that quite embarrassing,” he is quoted as saying.
Local Governments Need Real Power
Franche said that provincial governments in Pakistan don’t have enough power. “Only KP [the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province] has a decent law that gives real power and real money to the local government. Local government does not mean that you just elect them and deny them fiscal resources or power,” he said.
Pakistan’s Media Is Manipulated
He also said the media should be one of the pillars of democracy, but“unfortunately, the level of dependence of the government on military authorities, and the degree by which a lot of media in this country is manipulated by powerful sources, are sources of erosion of democracy and erosion of the institutions that are the foundations of this country.”
Country Needs More Opportunities
“The apartheid of opportunities in Pakistan is horrible, which is why so many young people are trying to leave the country,” Franche is quoted as saying. “Pakistan will not be able to survive with gated communities where you are completely isolated from the societies, where you are creating ghettos at one end and big huge malls for the rich at the other end. It is not the kind of society you want your kids to live in.”
(to be concluded)