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Indo-Pak Conflict: The Kashmir Issue

1. Brief history and Chronology of Kashmir

800 AD – Kashmir was a Buddhist Kingdom under Hindu Rule • 1586 – Akbar conquered Kashmir • 1757 – Afghans conquered Kashmir • 1819 – Kashmir was under Sikh rule • 1830 – British East India Company took over • 1846 – The British sold it to Maharaja Ghulab Singh • 1947 – After the Partition, power went to Maharaja Harisingh (son of Ghulab Singh). Mountbatten advised the Maharaja whether to join Pakistan or India or remain independent. Ladakh in J & K, has Pakistan on West, China on the East and is strategically important as it is a block between the 2 Nations.

2. Indo Pak Battle 1

26 Oct 1947, 2 months after Aug 15 (Intense one month, followed by 2 months of inconclusive fighting, total of 3 months)

• The Maharaja’s soldiers started killing the Muslims and the muslim refugees ran to Pakistan.

• Pakistan attacked Kashmir by sending Pathans & Sikhs into Kashmir. Later when the Pakistan Army joined in, the Maharaja asked Delhi for help. A 3000 strong Brigade was rushed to J & K and a battle resulted. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru asked the UN to intervene. UN imposed ceasefire.

• The US & UK sided with Pakistan. 1/3rd of Kashmir went to Pakistan and 2/3rd went to India. The Line Of Control in between became the official border, dividing J & K as: 1/3 in Pak; namely Gilgit, Baltistan (Northern Territories), 2/3 in India; namely Srinagar valley, Ladakh (Leh), Jammu

• Siachen & Baltoro glaciers were left unmarked and undivided as they were futile and rocky peaks of no possible value.

• In 1948 : Forces on both sides were lined up on LOC • In 1957 : Delhi officially took back J&K, Goa, Bhutan & Sikkim

Bottom Note: China holds Ladakh to be an extension of Tibet. A road was built in order to move and deploy troops to Ladakh after the 1962 Indo China war. This road stretches from Srinagar [via Kargil across Zojila pass] to Leh in Ladakh (which is close to Indus River of Pakistan which supplies water to Pakistan).

3. Indo Pak War – 1

1965, 22 Days

1.5 Lakh Mujahideen quietly infiltrated into J & K and a full scale war erupted. The result was India captured Pakistan occupied Posts including Haji Pir Pass 9000 feet high in order to stop Pakistan infiltrators into Srinagar. Both the nations’ supplies were depleted.

The UN imposed a ceasefire, reaching the Tashkent Agreement in 1966. All the captured Pakistani posts were returned by the PM Lal Bahadur Shastri.

4. Indo Pak War – II (Dec 1971) – 14 Days

• In East Pakistan there was an uprising for Independence. PM Indira Gandhi helped by sending troops.

• Gen. Sam Maneckshaw conquered East Pakistan. Pakistan attacked with heavy air attacks in Kashmir (Poonch, Jammu, Pathankot), Punjab , Rajasthan

• Fearing a direct clash with USSR if the war prolonged, America tried to threaten India by intervening in the Arabian Sea with their naval Aircraft Carrier “Seventh Fleet” (which guards South Asia in the Chinese Coast)

• In 1972, the Simla Agreement was reached. 5000 km of Pakistan captured area, along with 1,00,000 POWs were returned. The LOC Line Of Control, had to be respected.

5. 1974 Indo Pak Nuclearisation

• India tested its first nuclear device in the Thar desert (Pokhran)

• Under PM Bhutto, Pakistan responded by initiating a nuclear programme which proved detrimental to the country’s economy. (“we will eat grass”)

• General Zia decided to hang Bhutto. (USSR allegedly sabotaged Zia later for his role in Afghanistan against the Soviets)

6. Sikh riots 1980

1980 – 1984 saw the Sikh Riots, under PM Indira Gandhi which was effectively controlled by the then Director General of Police, Mr. KPS Gill.

• The Sikh militants demanded an independent Khalistan between Kashmir and Punjab. They were supported by the ISI. They started killing Sikhs and their own people who wanted to be part of India.

• The PM, Indira Gandhi sent DGP, KPS Gill, an aggressive general & gave him “carte blanche” i.e. no questions asked powers. The police successfully crushed the Sikh separatism. Indira Gandhi ordered the storming of the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar in order to extract the Sikh terrorists who were hold up in the temple premises.

• The Sikhs all over the country were deeply hurt and subsequently Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her own Sikh bodyguards.

7. The Battle of Siachin 1983-1984

• During mountaineering expeditions, the Indian Army explored the heights of the Siachin-Baltoro-Kangri glaciers, approx at 23,000 ft.

• By 1983, India lifted an entire mountain battalion by helicopter onto the eastern side of the Siachin glacier. Permanent military posts were created at 8000- 16000 feet high, gaining a tactical advantage.

• In reaction to this, Pakistan moved their troops to Siachin, (80 km long glacier at average 20,000 ft. height). A total of 10,000 troops from both sides occupied the barren, most unfriendly battlefield on earth.

• Pakistan sent their troops via a land route from Skardu, another height, 7700 ft, a start off for mountaineers to Khapalu valley, from where they could move up the glacier via jeeps & trucks & later by mules or porters.

• On the other hand, India had to move men and supplies from their main base at Kargil to the Nubra valley from where they had to airlift everything. It was extremely expensive to supply the three Indian battalions.

• The air at Siachin being half as dense, the choppers could lift only a quarter of the normal load i.e. 2 soldiers & a few boxes of ammo at a time.

• 1984, saw one of the largest battles at Siachin, with each side facing loss of about a 100.

8. 1988 – Op Brass Tacks

In 1988, India and Pak nearly went into war. India expected an impending attack from Pakistan and deployed 30,000 troops on the Indo-Pak border in the Rajasthan desert. “Op Brass Tacks” & war was imminent. Zia Ul Haq suddenly flew to Delhi for a cricket match (to which he had been invited before the crisis) & mellowed down the crisis.

9. 1989 The Kashmir Revolt

• In March 1984, the Indian Government executed many terrorist leaders, including the JKLF leader Maqbool Butt. This is remembered as Martyrs day. This coincided with Pakistan’s Kashmir Program.

• In 1989, riots broke out in Srinagar during the Martyrs day. The daughter of the Home Minister was kidnapped and exchanged for 5 Kashmiri leaders. Following the ensuing bloody riots in 1990 Farukh Abdullah, the Chief Minister was forced to resign.

• New Delhi imposed Presidents rule and DGP Girish Saxena (an aggressive IPS officer like KPS Gill) was rushed to J&K. The Indian Army got special powers.

• A Jihad, holy war was thus started against the Indian Armed Forces and for the Liberation of Kashmir. Afghani mercenaries who were idle after the Afghanistan Jihad joined this new Jihad.

• The Insurgent group JKLF makes Pak nervous. It wants an independent Kashmir & wants to reclaim Gilgit in Pak, their free ‘Baltistan’.

It is thought that the US has changed its policy towards Pakistan because

1. It does not want an Asian center of Islam in Pakistan.

2. It does not want to encourage the ISI as the Afghanistan problem is over

3. Any nuclear holocaust between India & Pak will influence the Asian continent.

4. Pakistan is selling its nuclear weapons to the Arabs; Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc.

Thus the US cut off military & financial aid and brought Pakistan close to an economic collapse. However Pakistan has enhanced its nuclear program to support their conventional weaponry.

10. Nuclear enhancement in 1998 by the BJP

• Under the BJP power, India tested 5 nuclear devices. The UN imposed financial sanctions.

• India’s nuclear doctrine is based on No First Use Policy and India is a firm proponent of complete global nuclear disarmament.

• World imposed Financial Sanctions as US was expanding its investment in resource rich Central Asia for a third possible pipeline because of the oil and gas reserves in the new semi independent Soviet Republic & Caspian basin.

• In 1998, the US levied economic Sanctions on Pakistan.

Bottom Note: Importance Of Asia OIL – 70 million barrels / day consumed by the world India – might use from Iran & Gulf China – might use from Indonesia, South China Sea

Previously there were two oil and gas pipelines from Asia; one via Afghanistan which was blocked by war, and the other via Iran (an old enemy of US). US now depends on this via Iran. The US was expanding its investment in the resource rich Central Asia (the new semi independent Soviet Republics & Caspian basin), which was the third pipeline for oil & gas reserves.

11. 1999, The Road to Siachin

In order to dominate the Siachin glacier, in early 1999 India built a road to the glacier crossing 18000 ft high passes. These passes were frequently blocked by land slides & avalanches.

12. 1999 Lahore Bus service

The Lahore Bus service between India & Pakistan was started just before the Kargil war. This probably was done to divert India’s attention from the imminent occupation of Kargil and Siachin by Pakistan .

13. April 1999 Missile testing

In April 1999, India tested the IRBM AGNI Nuclear Capable missiles in Pokhran, Rajasthan. This made India a Super Power in the world. Pakistan in turn responded by test launching the Gauri missile.

14. The Kargil War

Indo Pak Confrontation IV May 1999 to June 1999 – 8 Weeks (3300–17,000 ft)

Though the International community believe it to be an act of terrorism by the mujahideens, in reality it was a full fledged Military Op, mostly by 5000 Pakistani soldiers (along with 1500 terrorists). The Pakistan Army comprised of 10 Corps, Northern LI, SSG Bn, Khyber Rifles, Pak Artillery and Chopper squadrons.

• In May 1999, 800 Mujahideen crossed the LOC and seized the16,000 ft high ridge above Kargil and Arty shelled the Kargil – Leh military highway.

• They also blew up the Indian main ammo dump near Kargil destroying 80,000 Howitzer shells.

• The heights above Kargil, Drass, Batlik and Mushkoh Valley were captured by them.

• India responded with Artillery, airstrikes, Gorkhas and Mountain Divisions and threatened to attack Pakistan in Kashmir, Punjab & Thar desert.

• 1200 Indian soldiers died, 2 planes & 1 chopper were lost. The captured heights were regained by India.

• Bilateral ceasefire was announced in 12 July 1999. However, Pak showed no signs of withdrawing. a) In the Muhkoh Valley, near Drass, 9ParaSF executed the task of recapturing this point. b) In Zulu – 1 height, which was held by Pak (near Zulu 2 & 3 inside Pak LOC), 9 Para SF executed the task of recapturing this point.

• Indian Army Ops included Rock Climbing and High Altitude Warfare & Survival at 9000- 21000 ft, getting behind Pak Army & preventing its withdrawal and preventing access to its supply and reinforcements.

• 2001-2002 – Indo Pak standoff with amassing of troops on either side of the border in response to the militant attack on Indian Parliament.

India Pakistan Military Comparisons

Fighting in Kashmir is only infantry combat & India may not be able to use its tanks, artillery & aircraft to the fullest.

• To defeat Pakistan, India will probably have to strike across Thar desert into Punjab & Sind – India has good mobile strike corps.

• Then India will have to probably severe communication, road & rail links between Lahore in Punjab & Karachi in Sind and then capture Punjab without support from Karachi. In Karachi & Lahore, Pakistan forces are concentrated.

General comparisons

Indian Size is 7 times more

Economy – Indian economy is 6 times more – in war Pakistan’s resources (logistics – ammo, missiles, spares) will run out and sustained war is not possible.

Defence Budget – Pakistan 3% of GDP and Indian budget is 2.5% of the GDP. However since India’s economy is much stronger and stable the total expenditure is larger than Pakistan’s. India’s spending power is over $32,350,000,000 and Pakistan’s is $4,260,000,000 only.

Indian Targets are scattered unlike Pakistan’s which are on the border.

Strategic Weakness – Lahore is the most important metro in Punjab & Karachi is the most important metro in Sind. If rail & road lines between Punjab and Sind are severed by the Indian Army, then support to Punjab from Sind will be cut off & Punjab can be taken by India.

Troop Concentration Indian troops are divided to keep watch on Tibet (China), Assam, Burma & Kashmir; in addition to Kutch (for entry into Pak) & Punjab (the desert). Pakistan can concentrate on the Indian front with few infantry troops concentrated on the Afghan – Iran border.

Navy – India has many Submarines, including one nuclear capable submarine and 2 Indian Navy aircraft carriers which block Pakistan’s mini Navy in the two sea ports of Karachi & Gwadar. The Indian Navy also has a maritime bomber squadron. The Indian Navy is the 8th largest Navy in the world. Pakistan has only 2 ports – Karachi & Gwadar Pakistan Navy brings supplies, if cut off it has to get it by a 1000 km long road through the Iranian desert and mountains.

Nuclear Comparisons – India & Pakistan

Consequences of a nuclear war:

1. Both have targeted each other’s major cities and nuclear reactors.

2. In a fullscale war Pakistan will lose. It’s only option is nuclear weapons at the advancing Indian Corps.

3. Pakistan may also launch a nuclear attack on India’s 11 nuclear reactors.

4. Israel aids India’s nuclear program to remove Pakistan’s nuclear capability.

5. An attack on the reactors will blanket South Asia with radioactive dust, pollute ground water & food chain for decades & eventually will blanket the globe. It will kill 2 million and injure 100 million (Rand Corporation study)

6. It will contaminate south & central Asia & a parts of the globe (radioactive fallout)

7. NRDC estimates 30 million people divided between the 2 countries would be threatened by the fallout of a nuclear war

8. Estimated nuclear casualty within 5km of Ground Zero:

India – 16,90,702 dead Pakistan – 11,71,879 dead

Indian Targets: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Amritsar, Ahmedabad Pakistan Targets: Lahore, Multan, Karachi, Islamabad

1974 Nuclearization already discussed 1998 Nuclear Enhancement already discussed April 1999 Pokran Tests already discussed

Indian Reactors are at Baroda, Tuticorin, Nangal, Talcher and Trombay. India has possibly 10 major reactors. Now Israel is helping India to have 100 operated nuclear warheads. India’s nuclear weapons program is largely plutonium based in research reactors produced in BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre)

Pakistan has two new reactors at Khushab which can produce 100 warheads at a short notice.

• India and Pakistan do not have good surveillance systems to detect fired missiles with nuclear warheads. It may be possible to easily jam the communication systems, thus making easy trigger buttons for the use of nuclear weapons.

• It might take 3 nuclear weapons to destroy Pakistan, but it might take at least 8 to destroy important parts of India (central and north).

• Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are mounted on missiles and India’s are gravity bombs deployed on fighter aircrafts.

• India has 60-80 nuclear warheads and Pakistan has 70-90 nuclear warheads. * Source: SRPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)

• India has a ‘No First Use Policy’ when it comes to nuclear weapons, while Pakistan has no known policy.

Indian Missiles & Weapons systems

Presented below are the missile systems in chart form

Ballistic Missiles (BM) Flight time of these missiles may be as short as 3 minutes. They are classified, depending on their

Short Range Intermediate Range Long Range

SRBM (Short Range Ballistic Missile) – 250 km Surface to Surface)

• India – Prithvi (1 Stage), Agni 1 (700 km) • Pakistan – Shaheen (750 km)

IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile)

- 2500 km • India – Agni II (over 2000 km) Tested April 1999

Agni III (3500 km) • Pakistan – Ghauri II (2300 km) Tested Aprill 1999

ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles)

- upto 7500 km Long Range (3 stage) may reach upto far away continents such as Europe, etc.

• Agni V – 5000 km (being developed)

BMD (Ballistic Missile Defense) India’s new BMD or Ballistic Missile Defense System: Two interceptors will be launched at incoming Short Range Ballistic Missiles to destroy at altitude of 40km and to annihilate falling debris at a height of 15 km.

India also has developed/ is developing *

• Trishul – Surface to air Missile • Nishant – Remotely piloted vehicle for real time battle surveillance & reconnaissance • Pinaka – Multibarrel Rocket system on 8 wheeled TATRA truck • Rajendra – Phased army radar, for Akash & Nag Akash – surface to air guided missiles. • Nag – Anti Tank Missile deployed on tracked vehicles & helicopters. • Arjun – State of the art Tank • Bhramos – Cruise Missiles – Top Speed of Mach 2.8 (approx 3 times faster than the US Tomahawk missile)

Pakistan’s answer to the Bhramos is the Babur.