By Masood.Ur.Rehman Khattak, Weekly Pulse, August 26, 2013
Indian army continues aggressive posture on LoC. India has always blamed Pakistan for any attack on Indian forces in Indian held Kashmir. India is ignoring a fact that people in IHK are facing oppression on Indian military from last six decades. A freedom struggle is going on in IHK. More than 100,000 people have lost their lives in IHK, more than 10,000 are missing and hundreds of women were raped in last sixty years of repression by the Indian forces. Attack on Indian army across the LoC is the reaction of their atrocities in IHK. The freedom struggle in IHK is solely led by Kashmiris; it has nothing to do with Pakistan army or government.
Recent clash on LoC depicts that India and Pakistan can never come closer, whenever there is chance of rapprochement, India make some ploy and retreat from the negotiating table. Such a policy suits Indian strategic interests in the region. If there is total peace between Pakistan and India, then it is sure that Pakistan would take up Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Water, and terrorism issues with India. Pakistan’s stance over these issues is justified supported with historical facts which can never be ignored. This is the reason that whenever Pakistan wanted amicable relations with India, it has got negative response.
India can never be our friend, this statement may infuriate some friends of mine but my argument is based on logic and solid facts. First of all let’s look at Indian military’s force deployment against Pakistan.
The Indian army is divided into six operational commands. Out of these six commands, three are commands are focused on Pakistan. Firstly, the Northern Command, which is headquartered at Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir. It possess three Corps under its command, which are XIV Corps, headquartered at Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, XV Corps, headquartered at Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir and XVI Corps, headquartered at Nagrota, Jammu and Kashmir. This command is considered to be Pakistan centric and in future wars it would play a vital role for India to carry out attack from this side of the LoC.
The Second command, which is focused on Pakistan is the “Southern Command”, is Headquartered at Pune, Maharashtra and responsible for border areas of Rajasthan. It possesses XII Corps, which is headquartered at Jodhpur, Rajasthan close to the border with Pakistan. It is equipped with Armour brigade and Mechanized brigade along with two infantry divisions for swift and quick operations against Pakistan. The third command which is focused on Pakistan is the Western Command, headquartered at Chandimandir, Indian Punjab. This is the most important Indian command as far as Pakistan is concerned. This command holds extensive strike power. There are four Corps under this command and includes, the II-Corps, X Corps, IX Corps, and XI Corps.
The II-Corps is the most important of the Indian Army’s three strike formations. Initially it was tasked to cut across the Cholistan desert towards Jacobabad cutting Pakistan in two. But after the induction of nuclear weapons in south Asia, its role has been transformed; now it will support Indian army’s proactive military operations to carry out swift, quick and limited operations against Pakistan.
This Corps (II-Corps) holds almost 50 per cent of the Indian army’s strike capabilities. It is responsible for guarding the borders till Ganganagar. II-Corps is a strike force that includes an armoured division, which is capable of intruding deep into enemy territory. Its Armoured Division is located at Patiala; it has also placed Reorganized Army’s Plains Infantry Division (RAPID) located at Dehradun. This is the reason that Pakistan has always condemned Indian military’s aggressive posture on border. Pakistan was compelled to take adequate countermeasures at border with India. X Corps which is headquartered at Bhatinda, Punjab also comes under the Western Command; this Corps also possesses adequate strike power including an Infantry Division two RAPID, an Independent Armoured brigade, an Independent, an Air defence brigade and an Engineering Brigade. Due to its proximity with Pakistani Punjab, this Corps is also considered to be Pakistan focused. IX Corps, headquartered at Yol, Himachal Pradesh also comes under Western Command. This Corps also posses plenty of strike forces including two Infantry Divisions, and three Independent Armoured brigades, giving enough fire power to launch quick assault against Pakistan within short span of time. XI Corps, headquartered at Jalandhar, Punjab is also part of Western Command. This Corps is also Pakistan centric, because of the propinquity with Pakistan. This Corps possesses enough fire power to launch a quick, swift and sudden attack giving no response time to Pakistan army. This Corps is armed with three infantry divisions, one armoured brigade and Mechanised brigade for rapid intrusion inside Pakistani territory. In 2005 Vajra Shakti Exercise, India brought flexibility in its Holding corps. These holding Corps were designated as Pivot Corps. Pivot Corps can initiate offensive if required in the battlefield. According to the then Chief of Army Staff, Gen J J Singh, ‘‘They (Pivot Corps) have assigned roles, which are offensive as well as defensive and the doctrine does not spell them out in detail. The decision making has been left to theatre commanders, depending upon their assessment and evaluation of the situation. Purpose of these Corps was to give an offensive punch to its Defensive Corps for any rapid assault against Pakistan. After the brief assessment of the Indian army’s deployment patterns, we can assess that most of the Indian Army is deployed against Pakistan. Such a deployment has compelled Pakistan to adopt counter measures and devote most of its resources at Eastern border to avoid any coercion by the Indian Army.
In last five years the Indian military has brought dramatic transformation in its weapon and equipment. In 2004 Indian army introduced LORROS- Long Range Reconnaissance and Observation System. This is a high quality, remotely controlled; observation system designed for medium and long range surveillance. India has already utilised this system in Indian Held Kashmir-(IHK) against Mujahideen, and it has also used this system against the Pakistan Army to keep a constant check on the deployment and movement Pak-Army at the LoC. Its main aim is to provide border surveillance, Intelligence gathering, Reconnaissance, Artillery spotting & target acquisition.
The Indian Army has also introduced Weapon Locating Radar (WLR). WLR is mobile artillery locating Phased array radar developed by India. This counter-battery radar is designed to detect and track incoming artillery and rocket fire to determine the point of origin for Counter-battery fire. India practiced this radar in the 2009 military exercises. In the same year the Indian army introduced Battle Field Surveillance Radar- Short Range (BFSR-SR). This is a man portable 2D short range Battle Field and Perimeter Surveillance Radar developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Both these Radars are Pakistan specific and were practiced in 2009 military exercises, closed to the border with Pakistan – which shows Indian military’s Pakistan centric approach. India has also extensively practiced Network Centric and electronic warfare capabilities in the last few years.
It is necessary for the Indian Military to acquire latest fighter jets along with fast mobility latest Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), because any rapid assault (against Pakistan), would require mechanized armour and latest fighter jets to carry out swift, quick, day and night operations with lightening speed. India in last five years has added 82 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters and 300 T-90 tanks from Russia, and A-50/Phalcon Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system from Israel and Russia. By 2015, India would be able to have 272 SU-30 fighter Jets in its air force and approximately 1000 T-90 tanks by 2020. Such a huge air force and Mechanised force is mainly for Pakistan, because of the geographical compulsions. India cannot use its tanks and other Mechanized forces against China because of the rugged mountainous terrain. So as far Indian arms acquisition is concerned it is mainly to coerce Pakistan and establish its regional hegemony in the subcontinent.